Wednesday

26th Sep 2018

Vatican seeks to join Schengen borderless zone

A top official from the Vatican announced on Friday (13 January) that it wants to join the European border-free Schengen zone, in a bid to prevent international terrorism crossing its borders.

The Vatican's signing up to the Schengen agreement, which replaces internal border checkpoints between member states by reinforced external borders, is meant to boost cooperation with EU authorities.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

Nicola Picardi, the Vatican's "procurer of justice", said that the Schengen agreement was about more than allowing people to travel without passports, according to media reports.

"This agreement allows for us to intensify exchange of information, joint operations, repressive and preventive measures, to ensure the security of all people," Picardi said during a ceremony marking the opening of the Vatican's judicial year.

"International terrorism obliges new forms of communication, with the aim of uniting free movement of persons with perfect measures of fomenting security," the Vatican's top official said.

At the moment, the Schengen border free area includes 15 states: 13 EU members (all old member states except for the UK and Ireland) plus Iceland and Norway.

The ten countries which joined the EU in 2004 are planning to enter the area in 2007.

Zero crime rate at pope's funeral

The procurer explained that the amount of registered legal procedures taken in the Vatican last year amounted to 486 civil- and 472 penal-infractions, with the state having less than 1000 permanent residents, mostly clerics, nuns and diplomats.

Mr Picardi said that the 18 million tourists and believers who visit the mini-state, completely surrounded by the Italian capital of Rome, were behind the disproportionate crime statistics.

He said however that during the funeral of the late Pope John Paul II in last spring, when 6 million grieving Catholics from the whole world camped in the city for a few intense and crowded days; not a single crime had been reported.

Not a single purse or wallet robbery had occurred, he noted.

EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses

The General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg argued that disclosure of how MEPs use their monthly €4,400 expenses allowance risks violating an MEP's data protection rights. Journalists behind the case will appeal.

Investigation

Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?

Five years and €10bn after its EU bailout, Cyprus is a weak link in Europe's banking system - amid renewed fears on Russia money-laundering.

Feature

Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline

A joint declaration on the Southern Gas Corridor project, which should deliver Azerbaijani gas to Europe by 2020, will remain secret - because the Turkish energy minister left before signing.

Visual Data

Every major city in Europe is getting warmer

An exclusive analysis of over 100 million meteorological data points shows that every major city in Europe is warmer in the 21s​t​ century than it was in the 20t​h​. Northern regions, Andalusia and southern Romania are most affected.

Opinion

No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected

Following the 2030 renewable target of 32 percent, chair of the European Parliament's environment committee Adina Valean argues in order to reach our climate and energy goals, we need both public and private investment over the next decade and beyond.

News in Brief

  1. UN chief: World suffering from 'trust deficit disorder'
  2. Stalemate in Sweden as parliament ousts prime minister
  3. Migrant rescue ship heading to French port
  4. EU angry at British tabloids on Brexit
  5. UK to allow EU flights in no-deal Brexit
  6. Greek reporters arrested after story on 'mishandled' EU funds
  7. Austrian minister urges police to out foreign sex offenders
  8. ECB's Draghi set to clarify role in secretive G30 group

EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses

The General Court of the European Union in Luxembourg argued that disclosure of how MEPs use their monthly €4,400 expenses allowance risks violating an MEP's data protection rights. Journalists behind the case will appeal.

Agenda

Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK

The EU will be watching closely how the political dynamics of Theresa May's Conservative party conference starting next week will influence Brexit negotiations. MEPs might also be forced to release their office expenses.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  2. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  5. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  6. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  7. IPHRCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  8. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  9. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All
  10. IPHRCivil society asks PACE to appoint Rapporteur to probe issue of political prisoners in Azerbaijan
  11. ACCASocial Mobility – How Can We Increase Opportunities Through Training and Education?
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersEnergy Solutions for a Greener Tomorrow

Latest News

  1. EU court delivers transparency blow on MEP expenses
  2. Russian with Malta passport in money-laundering probe
  3. Cyprus: Russia's EU weak link?
  4. Missing signature gaffe for Azerbaijan gas pipeline
  5. Every major city in Europe is getting warmer
  6. No chance of meeting EU renewable goals if infrastructure neglected
  7. Brexit and MEPs expenses in the spotlight This WEEK
  8. Wake-up call on European Day Against Islamophobia

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us