Wednesday

1st Feb 2023

Feature

Belarus dictator's family loves EU luxuries, flight data show

Lavish birthday trips to Michelin-starred restaurants in France and sunbathing in Italy — leaked flight data show how the family of ruthless Belarusian president Aleksander Lukashenko lived la dolce vita in Europe.

Latest News

  1. Hungary blames conspiracy for EU corruption rating
  2. Democracy — is it in crisis or renaissance?
  3. EU lobby register still riddled with errors
  4. Polish backpedal on windfarms put EU funds at risk
  5. More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies
  6. Study: EU electricity transition sped into high gear in 2022
  7. Russia and China weaponised pandemic to sow distrust, MEPs hear
  8. Frontex to spend €100m on returning migrants this year

Investigation

Asbestos — two to three times more deadly than known

Where once working men in heavy industry were diagnosed with cancers related to a more direct exposure to asbestos, now women in professions such as teaching, nursing and other occupations are being diagnosed, as well as young people.

Investigation

Russia's €200m nuclear exports untouched by EU sanctions

While Europe is weaning itself off Russian fossil fuels, its nuclear sector is still heavily dependent on Russia, importing over €200m of uranium annually. But when the EU adopts a new sanctions on Friday, nuclear energy will again be absent.

Investigation

The European shipping giants plying Putin's fossil-fuels trade

A vast network of European ships helps keep Putin's oil economy afloat. European vessels have shipped millions of tonnes of oil, gas and coal from Russian ports in the six months since the invasion, Investigate Europe and Reporters United reveal.

Investigation

€60bn earmarked for EU Covid recovery could go to fossil-fuel projects

The EU will allow post-Covid recovery funds to be spent on "urgent" energy infrastructure developments —which could see dozens of liquefied natural gas projects awarded funding. Campaigners call it "disastrous", fearing projects will increase Europe's dependence on imported fossil fuels.

Investigation

Cycling's legislative chaos: do they know what they're building?

Some EU countries lack clear and binding legislation regarding cycling infrastructure standards. There is little political will to introduce them, as this would stand in the way of real estate developers' interests or inconvenience car drivers.

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Investigation

How EU funded bike infrastructure is used to 'greenwash' new tarmac

Despite millions poured in, EU countries are failing to reduce car use. But by adding an environmental dimension, countries covered by cohesion policy can continue road building with EU funds and file it under measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Exclusive

Borrell gets pension from MEP fund set for taxpayer bailout

Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief, is currently drawing a pension from a European Parliament fund that is some €400m in debt and may require a taxpayer bailout at a time of rising inflation and high energy costs.

Investigation

EU lawmakers under pressure to act on 90,000 asbestos deaths

The EU Commission has watered-down a broad political initiative —but now governments of member states hold the key to what the EU should do. Some member states and regions have adopted asbestos strategies of some kind, from Poland to Flanders.

Investigation

How Europe's pension funds are gambling with food prices

Some of Europe's largest pension funds are investing billions of euros in volatile commodity markets, risking the hard-earned income of millions of workers while fuelling a global hunger crisis caused in part by such investments, a new investigation has found.

Investigation

Dismantling Schengen — six months at a time

Several EU countries have put in place almost permanent internal border controls, circumventing the Schengen Agreement on free movement. The EU Court of Justice declared such controls illegal. Now they are trying to loosen Schengen rules in Brussels negotiations.

Investigation

Unmasked: Who were Putin's spies in the Kingdom of Belgium?

A humble "trade representative" from an elite spy unit and a "technician" who did wiretapping — the identities of 21 Russian diplomats kicked out by Belgium help tell the story of how Moscow made Brussels the 'spy capital' of Europe.

MEPs to grill Denmark for pushing Syrians to EU states

MEPs are taking the EU-lead to hold Denmark to account for stripping Syrians of residency rights. Although aware of the problem, the European Commission has other priorities while the issue has not been raised at the Council, representing member states.

Investigation

How EU Green Deal fosters overfishing in West Africa

The fishmeal industry in recent years has been growing fast in West Africa, in Morocco, Mauritania, Senegal and the Gambia. But that creates problems, with a proliferation of fishmeal factories leading to a "serious overfishing situation."

Investigation

Why are cross-country train tickets in EU still so complex?

Why no price-aggregating website for international trains in Europe? Why is it almost impossible to buy a single ticket for a cross-border train? It's easier to go by plane - and governments are making sure it stays that way.

Investigation

How Big Tech dominates EU's AI ethics group

Despite the responsibility for drafting the EU's artificial intelligence ethics guidelines, few of the expert group members were ethicists. In fact, 26 experts – nearly half of the group's 56 members – represented business interests.

Investigation

Revealed: loopholes letting EU firms 'break' arms embargoes

Most arms deals include "post-sale services", such as training, maintenance and know-how. Often up to 50 percent of the value of a multi-year arms contract is related to post-sale services, which leave companies with an unseen stake in controversial conflicts.

Investigation

Exposed: French complicity in Yemen and Libya

French defence companies are providing training to Saudis on weapons that France's own military intelligence says puts almost 500,000 people in Yemen at risk. Meanwhile, new evidence has emerged of the French-built Mirage fighter jet being used in Libya.

Investigation

EU money used by neo-Nazi to promote Holocaust denial

A prominent Holocaust-denier has made the cover of an EU-funded newsletter, which was published by an avowed German neo-Nazi with a lengthy criminal record. The lack of clear labelling of the MEP behind it violates European Parliament rules.

Investigation

France opposed guidelines on EU presidency sponsorships

Internal document shows diplomats questioned whether the secretariat of the Council of the EU was legally allowed to write guidelines on the financing of the six-month rotating EU presidency activities.

Investigation

China suspected of bio-espionage in 'heart of EU'

Chinese spies have targeted Belgian biological warfare experts, vaccine-maker GSK, and other high-tech firms in the country, Belgium's intelligence service suspects.

Investigation

EU agencies tested monitoring data on refugees

As debate around the issue of contact-tracing grows, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveals that the new science of predicting and monitoring population movements is already here – and EU agencies have been testing it on refugees and migrants.

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.

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