Monday

16th May 2022

Opinion

The EU Parliament Covid inquiry: the questions MEPs must ask

A basic lack of transparency around the EU's vaccines procurement negotiations has prevented effective public and parliamentary scrutiny. It has also made it impossible to answer some of the key questions we put forward here.

Opinion

Working at EU institutions not easy for ethnic minority staff

EU institutions have failed to create an inclusive culture for Europeans of colour and people with disabilities, according to the European Commission's first-ever survey on diversity, inclusion and respect at the workplace.

News in Brief

  1. McDonald's to sell up and exit Russia
  2. Nordic nations to help Sweden and Finland if attacked
  3. Germany to reject EU green label for nuclear
  4. Afghans and Syrians using Western Balkans to enter EU
  5. Putin: Russia will respond if Nato bolsters Sweden and Finland
  6. British PM urges Northern Irish parties to work together
  7. EU-US pledge to counter Russian propaganda in Ukraine
  8. EU greenhouse-gas emissions rebound to pre-pandemic levels 

Opinion

Is EU 'Horizon' science funding going towards Pegasus spyware?

MEPs have raised questions about the involvement of the EU — through its funding — in the development of the Israeli NSO Pegasus software, directly or indirectly, which has been used to target activists and journalists in Europe.

MEPs sue EU commission for Covid contract transparency

Five European lawmakers from the Greens lodged a lawsuit against the European Commission for not fully disclosing its Covid vaccine contracts with the pharmaceutical industry. The commission says it is in "the business of respecting contracts."

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Opinion

How Europe undervalues the economics of its craft heritage

In 2017, Poterie Renault fired its kilns for the final time, having struggled to make ends meet. Its closure is a drop in the ocean — but also illustrates how Europe fails to realise the economic potential of its heritage.

EU takes nuclear protection measures, amid safety worries

Europe set up a rapid decontamination team to protect Ukraine and EU member countries against chemical, biological or nuclear attacks, and sent three million potassium iodide tablets to Ukraine, amid worries over the safety of the country's nuclear facilities.

Opinion

The pandemic EU billions? Follow the money (or don't)

This is the first time the EU has raised money collectively – some called it Europe's New Marshall Plan – and if the process is seen to fail, it could shatter the frail trust in the European project.

Ramaphosa slams EU for protecting vaccine profits

African leaders, after their two-day summit in Brussels, called an offer by the EU to help Africa build vaccine-manufacturing plants was incomplete without backing a vaccine patent-waiver proposal.

Opinion

Never waste a crisis - so start building Covid research in Africa

Botswana was the first country able to detect the emergence of the Omicron variant, thanks to its sequencing capacities. Eleven infectious disease experts from Africa and Europe call for developing research networks across the African continent to respond future pandemics.

Von der Leyen slammed for not revealing Pfizer CEO texts

The European ombudsman has criticised the European Commission for its handling of a request for public access of text messages that were exchanged between president Ursula von der Leyen and Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla.

Omicron wreaks havoc across eastern Europe

Romania's underfunded public health system was on the verge of collapse during the last surge of cases. Hospital morgues were full, and some patients were transferred abroad for treatment because Covid-19 intensive care units were at full capacity.

Record-breaking Omicron wave sweeps across Europe

The record numbers reflect those registered by health authorities, and does not include self-tests or infected people who develop no symptoms, and are not aware of their contagiousness.

WHO: Omicron to infect over half of Europeans in two months

The World Health Organization said Omicron is likely to infect more than half of the population in Europe within the next two months, threatening healthcare systems. It warned that it is too early to consider Covid as an endemic virus.

WHO 'good news': more proof of milder Omicron symptoms

A World Health Organisation official said hospitalisations and death rates linked to the spread of Omicron tend to be lower than with previous strains. The more transmissible variant appears to affect mostly the upper respiratory tract, causing milder symptoms.

Christmas travel disrupted by Omicron variant

The spread of the more transmissible Omicron variant of coronavirus has triggered a flurry of flight cancellations, hampering Christmas plans for millions of people.

EU unveils plan to repay Covid recovery-fund borrowing

The European Commission has presented three new sources of revenues for the EU´s coffers aimed at repaying the emergency coronavirus recovery fund and supporting vulnerable households in the transition towards climate neutrality.

Covid-pass protestors try to storm Romanian parliament

The protest was organised by the far-right populist party the Alliance for Romanian Unity (AUR), which is strongly against Covid restrictions and against the law that would make a certificate mandatory for the workplace.

Opinion

Where is the transparency in the EU €2 trillion recovery?

A lack of transparency and unwillingness to engage stakeholders, with first the EU pandemic recovery plans and now with the cohesion funds, threatens to imperil a bounceback instead of steering the Green Deal.

Will Christmas be cancelled again?

The surge of infections and emergence of the more-transmissible variant Omicron has raised concerns about possible lockdown restrictions in the EU, but for the thousands of Europeans who recently tested positive Christmas is already cancelled.

EU leaders divided over Omicron travel rules

EU leaders failed to guarantee a coordinated approach to travel measures for the Christmas holiday season during their summit meeting. Instead they stressed that boosters shots are "crucial" and "urgent" to curb the new wave of Covid-19 infections.

WHO warns mandatory vaccination 'absolute last resort'

Mandatory vaccination has become a hot topic in the EU, but the European branch of the World Health Organization has warned that it should be "an absolute last resort". Children, meanwhile, account for the highest infection-rates across the continent.