Tuesday

17th Sep 2019

Brussels to reveal secret list of items banned on planes

The European Commission is facing pressure to publish a list of items banned from being carried on board airplanes, with the EU's top court adviser describing Brussels' secretive attitude as "fundamentally absurd".

The case was triggered by a German traveller, Gottfried Heinrich, in 2005.

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Mr Gottfried was ordered to leave the aircraft before its take off from Vienna because he was carrying some tennis rackets. The security staff argued the rackets could be used as a weapon, but did not allow Mr Heinrich to see the official list of banned items.

On Thursday (10 April), Eleanor Sharpston, an advocate general and a legal adviser to the Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice, issued a strongly-worded opinion slamming the EU executive's stance.

She pointed out that if it is obliged to keep the list secret then the fact that it issued a press release on the topic in 2002 was a "flagrant violation" and that the current situation cannot be tolerated.

The European Commission, for its part, announced that the list of objects banned from aeroplane cabins would soon be available to the public. However, its spokesperson added that certain elements should not be communicated to those who would want to smuggle weapons onto planes.

"We're talking about measures that sometimes cannot be published ... we want to protect citizens," the commission spokesperson argued.

Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs

European People's Party group leader Manfred Weber defended Ursula von der Leyen's decision to rename a commission portfolio, partly dealing with migration, "protecting the European way of life". He said it means rescuing people in the Mediterranean.

Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing

Hungary was quizzed by EU ministers over its domestic crackdown on media, judges, academia and NGOs. Hungary's minister responded by saying the country had defended "the European way of life" for centuries, and it should be respected.

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How EU firms and banks help fund Amazon fires

Deutsche Bank, BNP Paribas, Blackrock, and Vanguard collectively own more than $1.1bn in debt in the three largest soy, and the three largest cattle companies, and own $6bn worth of shares in these companies.

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Amazon fires mean EP must rethink Mercosur trade deal

The European parliament debates on Tuesday the fires in the Amazon region. "It goes without saying that, in light of the gravity of the situation, Europe will need to renegotiate the Mercosur agreement", writes MEP Kathleen Van Brempt.

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EU must give full support to Ukraine to dissuade Kremlin

With Donald Trump unable to fill the US's traditional role of standing up to authoritarian regimes - and his inner circle even putting pressure on Kiev to investigate the Democratic frontrunner, Joe Biden - Europe should take a harder line.

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  1. Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs
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  6. EU must give full support to Ukraine to dissuade Kremlin
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