Thursday

16th Sep 2021

Von der Leyen issues rallying cry for more EU sovereignty

The Commission president hailed the EU's scientific capabilities at providing the most vaccines to the world, and the speed at which the bloc rolled out its digital Covid-19 vaccine certificate, as examples of the EU's resources and capacities.

News in Brief

  1. Bulgaria's president appoints interim government
  2. Navalny poised to win EU human rights prize
  3. Poland will not leave EU, says Kaczyński
  4. Eurozone wages fall for first time in a decade
  5. Israel joins EU digital Covid-certificate programme
  6. Johnson reshuffles UK cabinet: new foreign minister
  7. Macron says French forces killed Islamic State leader in Sahara
  8. Finance minister tipped to become Sweden's first female PM

Opinion

Russia's biggest enemy? Its own economy

Russia's leaders have been fully aware of the reasons for its underlying economic weakness for more than two decades. Dependency on energy exports and the lack of technological innovation were themes of Vladimir Putin's first state-of-the-nation address back in 2000.

EU 'stands by Afghans' but wants most kept away

The European Commission wants to help vulnerable Afghans to reach the EU, while seeking to resettle thousands of others. But an internal document also says those not welcomed should be returned to transit or so-called third countries.

Von der Leyen doubles up on vaccine-donation pledge

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen praised the EU's vaccination roll-out as a success and announced that the EUn will donate 200 million additional doses to low-income countries - doubling its current pledge.

EU pitches infrastructure investment plan to rival China

Ursula von der Leyen launched a global investment operation directed at infrastructure and transport. Its aim is to compete with the China's Belt and Road. "We want to create links and not dependencies," she said.

Exclusive

EU diplomats oppose common forest-monitoring rules

EU diplomats have raised concerns about the scope of the new forest strategy - and its implications for member states' national competencies, according to draft conclusions seen by EUobserver.

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Timmermans: high energy prices must speed up transition

High energy bills are already affecting businesses and households across the bloc. But only about one-fifth of the price increase can be attributed to the CO2 prices rising, EU's climate chief Frans Timmermans told lawmakers

Analysis

Von der Leyen's moment to step up her game

"It is the opportunity she has to seize now to set the course for the remainder of her mandate," said Georg Riekeles from the European Policy Centre.

Opinion

Trusted connectivity: the European value proposition

Connectivity has become a major foreign policy tool in today's international relations – from transport, trade, and environmental technologies to standards and people-to-people contacts.

Opinion

Gig economy workers need EU to end digital modern-day slavery

On Wednesday, the European Parliament is to adopt a report calling on the EU Commission to propose laws to better protect platform workers. The S&D want to ensure platform workers can be considered employees, with full social and worker's rights.

2020 saw record number of climate activists murdered

Some 227 climate activists were killed in 2020. European financial institutions have in the past contributed to the problem by financing infrastructure projects that later were linked to the targeted killing of environmental activists.

Exclusive

MEPs' Cuba trip foiled by US embargo

CWT Global is the European Parliament's in-house travel agency. But the US owned firm cannot book MEP flights to Cuba, due to the American embargo. MEPs now question why this agency was selected in the first place.

Agenda

All eyes on von der Leyen's state of the EU This WEEK

MEPs expect the EU Commission president to also address issues such as the economy, climate change, digital transformation, the EU's role in the world, migration policy, and the Conference on the Future of Europe.

'Frugals' renew effort to reduce excessive debt

Finance ministers of eight EU member states released a signed letter calling for a renewed effort to "reduce excessive debt" among member states. It is the starting point for renewed debates on debt and deficits in Europe.

Feature

The war on cash - is forcing 'no cash' shopping even legal?

Pro-cashless lobbying efforts, mainly coming from private financial institutions, have stepped up. Banks and companies providing financial services are interested in the transaction fees they receive from cashless payments and offer incentives to merchants and consumers to stop using cash.

Opinion

Hypocrisy of S&D and Left MEPs on fossil-fuel gas pipelines

The majority of members of the European Parliament's energy committee, including the Socialists and the Left, look set to green-light measures proposed by conservative parties which would lock the EU into fossil gas for years to come.

Russians more friendly toward EU than US

Almost half of Russians still have friendly feelings towards the West despite years of hostile propaganda, a new poll has shown in a snapshot of the EU's giant neighbour on the eve of elections.

EU needs to step up espionage defences, experts warn

Robert Dover from the University of Hull said intelligence work nowadays is mostly data warehousing to "improve the behavioural models of how state and individuals will act and behave" - and how to encounter that.

Natural disasters drive inflation, study finds

A new Greenpeace study found natural disasters can cause market prices to swing - both up or down. These 'inflationary pressures' will increase in the coming decades, as natural disasters are expected to become more frequent due to climate change.

Lead MEP on asylum fingerprint bill dismisses NGO appeal

NGOs are appealing for EU lawmakers to stop work on Eurodac reforms, a bill that collects the biometric data of migrants and asylum seekers. But the lead MEP on the file says the European Parliament intends to adopt it anyway.

Opinion

Kosovo: the goal of Serbia's global 'vaccine diplomacy'

Belgrade has been generous, but there are also other reasons at play. The first one is the keystone of Serbian foreign policy: Kosovo. The countries receiving Serbian generosity have been the ones that did not recognise an independent Kosovo.