Tuesday

26th May 2020

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Magazine

Welcome to the EU engine room

Welcome to the EU engine room: the European Parliament (EP's) 22 committees, which churn out hundreds of new laws and non-binding reports each year and which keep an eye on other European institutions.

Coronavirus

EU delays 'exit strategies' plan, as WHO urges caution

The European Commission dropped plans to unveil a "roadmap" to end restrictive measures imposed by member states. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization warned countries not to lift restrictions prematurely.

New push to kick Orban's party out of centre-right EPP

Member parties from the largest European political family have called for the expulsion of their Hungarian partner - again. This time, two prime ministers joined, but so far the heavyweights have again stayed away.

Coronavirus

Polish MEP makes false claims on EU parliament infections

The European Parliament's chief administrator Klaus Welle had set the record straight after a Polish MEP from the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group made false claims on Polish television on infection rates at the Brussels assembly.

Column

That German court ruling hurts EU rule-of-law fightback

The short-term damage to financial markets may be smaller than feared. The damage to democracy is considerable because it weakened the ECJ - the most effective institution to stop attacks against democracy and rule of law in EU member states.

EU's smallest institution warned on 'threats, blackmail'

An EU institution known as the EESC has been given until the autumn to initiate a series of reforms to protect victims of harassment and whistleblowers, including against threats, blackmail and bribery attempts.

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EU sued for funding 'forced labour' Eritrea highway

The Dutch Foundation Human Rights for Eritreans has initiated a court case against the European Union for financing highway projects in an Eritrea where forced labour is rampant. The lawsuit comes amid a European Parliament debate on the funding.

Commission struggles with German court challenge

While the EU commission has suggested there could be EU probes becasue of the German consitutional court's decision, chancellor Angela Merkel argued to her party that a clash is avoidable.

Ombudsman slams EU bank watchdog for 'revolving doors'

The European Banking Authority allowed its executive director to take a job at one of the world's largest financial lobbying groups. The move has been slammed by the European Ombusdman, who called it maladministration.

Stakeholder

Solidarity is the cure for post-pandemic Europe

It is crucial for European countries to mobilise all the necessary resources to strengthen public health systems, nationalising healthcare facilities if need be.

Romania abused rights of EU's top prosecutor, court finds

Romania violated the rights of its former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruta Kovesi when they fired hire. The judgement issued by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg follows a long catalogue of high-level corruption in Romania.

Commission defends von der Leyen hiring PR firm

The Berlin-based public relations agency Story Machine has been working with European Commission president Von der Leyen since her days as a candidate for the top EU post. Despite offering the same in-house service, the Commission defended the president's choice.

Hungary and Poland in spotlight for lockdown moves

The EU commission is double-checking emergency measures in every member state, as fundamental rights have been temporarily abrogated. But Hungary and Poland are problematic, yet no actions are planned.

Opinion

Stopping the authoritarian rot in Europe

A few weeks ago, the European Union underwent a fundamental change: it ceased being a bloc of exclusively democratic states. Even worse - leaders across Europe barely flinched.

Analysis

How the EU's virus-alert agency failed

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, an EU agency, was meant to highlight threats from infectious diseases, but painted a rosy picture of Covid-19.

Opinion

Why Europe must act now, and on a big scale

It is still very likely that Europe will face a new deadly spread of the virus next autumn or winter. Until a reliable vaccine and cure are in place, we all have to live in this new reality.

Coronavirus

EU science chief who 'quit' had been told to resign

Contested version of events cloud the shock resignation of Mauro Ferrari as president of the European Research Council. Ferrari dramatically tendered his resignation on 7 April. But his colleagues overseeing the council wanted him gone already by late March.

Exclusive

Parliament mulls allowances for home-working MEPs

The European Parliament's internal decision making-body, the Bureau, is set to decide on whether MEPs should continue to receive a daily €323 lump sum despite working from home.

Analysis

Coronavirus: What EU can and can't do

Legal limitations means the European Commission's role when it comes to tackling the Covid-19 pandemic is broadly limited to coordination and support. It is up to member states to work together.

Analysis

First 100 days: Digital and Green Deal policies hit by crises

The first 100 days of Ursula von der Leyen's commission were supposed to be about the digital and environmental transitions. However, that agenda has been hit by first the coronavirus, and now the Greek border situation.

Feature

How corporate lobbyists steer EU law-making

Former EUobserver investigations editor Peter Teffer has written a new book about how lobbying in the EU works. The EU's focus on the internal market offers corporate lobbyists a perfect means to forward their interests.

Investigation

G4S: the EU's preferred security contractor

The British multinational security company G4S lost its contract with the European Parliament in 2011 in a backlash from MEPs over alleged abuses in Israel. Today, they guard the parliament's main entrance and have become the EU's top security provider.

Opinion

Dear EPP: Please, please expel Orban

As a member of Orbán's opposition in Hungary and Renew in parliament, I am here to remind you whom you are choosing between. Is your political home in the pro-European centre or in Orbán's camp of far-right authoritarian nativists?

Frontex hits activist pair with €24,000 legal bill

Two pro-transparency campaigners received a €23,700 bill from the EU's border agency Frontex after having lost a court case. Frontex's budget for 2020 is €460m. The campaigners refuse to pay, saying the agency doesn't need the money.

Opinion

What the Dutch don't get about the EU budget

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is for chopping the European budget and its redistributive mechanisms. But each year, according to one economic analysis, the Netherlands get €7.1bn of additional revenues which should be payed in other tax jurisdictions.

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