Monday

12th Apr 2021

Exclusive

Four deaths after taking Russian Sputnik V vaccine

Four people recently died after taking Russia's Sputnik V anti-corona jab in previously unreported cases, which are being taken "seriously" by the EU regulator, the European Medicines Agency.

News in Brief

  1. Turkey blames EU for sexist protocol fiasco
  2. France to close elite civil-service academy
  3. Covid-19 cases in UK drop 60%, study finds
  4. White House urges 'calm' after Northern Ireland riots
  5. Italy's Draghi calls Turkey's Erdoğan a 'dictator'
  6. Slovakia told to return Sputnik V amid quality row
  7. EU risks €87bn in stranded fossil fuel assets
  8. Obligatory vaccination not against human rights, European court says

Column

Why Germans understand the EU best

In Germany, there is commotion about a new book in which two journalists describe meetings held during the corona crisis between federal chancellor Angela Merkel, and the 16 prime ministers of its federal constituent states.

Analysis

Why Iran desperately wants a new nuclear deal

This week negotiations on a renewed nuclear deal with Tehran started in Vienna. Iran is desperate to have a deal quickly. Elections are coming up in June, and the economy is in terrible shape.

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Opinion

After 50 years, where do Roma rights stand now?

Beatings, forced sterilisation, police violence and fire bombings by right-wing extremists against Romani communities are still a reality in Europe. The corona pandemic only worsened this situation.

Commission demands equal treatment of EU presidents

The European Commission says its president should be treated on an equal footing with the president of the European Council. The issue came to a head over a meeting in Ankara which saw von der Leyen separated from male counterparts.

Hundreds of thousands log on for 'spare' Belgian vaccinations

On Tuesday Belgium launched a new website, QVAX, where people who are not yet vaccinated or have no appointment to be vaccinated, could register in case 'spare' appointments come up. Brussels will start it's own system mid-April.

EU Parliament probes Czech MEP on China ties

The European Parliament has launched an internal probe into the conduct of Czech MEP Jan Zahradil over his dealings with China and a so-called 'friendship group'.

Opinion

Does new EU-ACP deal really 'decolonise' aid?

Since 2018, when the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries started negotiations on the deal that would replace the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, calls for "de-colonising aid" and a strong role for local actors in development have grown.

Feature

Italy's mafias - boosted by Covid, now eyeing EU's billions

Italy's various mafias are allegedly exploiting the chaos caused by the Covid-19 emergency to infiltrate even deeper into sectors where they are already present, such as healthcare, mortuary services, and waste disposal (both medical and non-medical).

Opinion

A German judge: my fears on rule of law in EU

As a German national, I see German history as a constant warning to defend the rule of law - and to be vigilant to detect even the slightest beginnings of its erosion.

EU missed March vaccination target for priority groups

The EU failed to reach its target of having at least 80 percent of the elderly and healthcare workers vaccinated by the end of March. According to estimates, 55 percent will be vaccinated by the end of June.

New Greek family bill 'drafted by anti-feminist lobby' claim

A family law bill currently under talks in Greece was drafted by an international men's movement, says Giota Massouridou, vice-president of the European Democratic Lawyers Association. Critics say the bill rolls backs international treaties to protect women against domestic violence.

Opinion

Why Iceland isn't the gender paradise you think

Iceland's international reputation masks two blunt realities that face the country's women - the disproportionate levels of gender-based violence that they experience, and a justice system that is frequently suspicious and hostile towards victims of this violence.

Study casts doubt on possible far-right MEP alliance

A study from the London School of Economics found both political and economic nativism divides far-right MEPs across Europe, casting doubt on a possible future alliance - as proposed by Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán.

Experts threaten to quit over new EU 'green finance' rules

Nine members of the expert group advising the European Commission on sustainable finance rules say criteria for gas, forestry and bioenergy are "a clear contradiction to climate science" - threatening to step down if lobbying and politics prevail over science.

Opinion

The EU's under-reported pre-trial detention problem

At any one time, there are over 100,000 people in prison waiting for a trial - one-in-five of the total EU prison population. These numbers have consistently grown over the past few years and are fuelling Europe's prison overcrowding crisis.

EU institutions brace for impact of Slovenia's Janša

The Slovenian prime minister recently lashed out against both journalists and MEPs. His country will soon take over the presidency. In Brussels, there is concern - but also faith that Janez Janša cannot have much impact on the EU machinery.

Doubts over EU Parliament's new 'fingerprint' plan

The European Parliament's plans to replace the current paper-based MEPs attendance control system with a digital register, based on a fingerprint scanner, raises "critical concerns", the EU data protection watchdog has warned.

Opinion

Europe should not delude itself on Libya

European leaders always fail to mention the Turkish military intervention that led to the end of Khalifa Haftar's infamous military operation initiated in April 2019, and the end of the warlord's ambition to become Libya's 'new Gadaffi'.

World leaders urge readiness for next pandemic: 'Time to act'

The World Health Organization and 25 countries have backed a call for an international treaty on pandemics - first announced by the European Council president Charles Michel. "The next pandemic is not a question of 'if', but 'when'," he said.

Column

What if Covid-19 had happened under Jean Monnet?

Jean Monnet went from his father's Cognac business, to masterminding the First World War shipping channels, to founding the EU. The bloc could do with some of his business acumen right now.