Sunday

29th Mar 2020

Poland's sham presidential election in a pandemic

Declaring a state of emergency is not even an option on the table for Poland's Law and Justice (PiS) chairman Jarosław Kaczyński - as it would render the 10 May election impossible.

News in Brief

  1. UK health minister tests positive for coronavirus
  2. Orban: coronavirus exposes EU 'weaknesses'
  3. Court orders Netherlands to pay colonial victims
  4. Belgian cat 'infected by coronavirus'
  5. UK PM Johnson tests positive for coronavirus
  6. EU agrees Libya naval mission after Greek solution
  7. US to upgrade its nuclear bombs in Europe
  8. US surpasses China and Italy with 82,404 corona cases

Column

Only democracy can fight epidemics

As Li Wenliang, the deceased Chinese doctor who was reprimanded for reporting on the virus, said: "There should be more openness and transparency".

Beijing using lack of EU 'solidarity' to seize leadership

Italy is not the only European country turning to China for help in fighting the crisis, and the Chinese authorities consistently use European requests for self-aggrandisement. Europe should be wary of being used to advance an authoritarian state's propaganda.

Letter

Dear EU Leaders, stand up for Europeans, now!

At the moment, Europe clearly lacks a true moral leadership and coordination to deal with this emergency. We, members of Volt Belgium, call on you to stand up and show more solidarity and unity across the EU.

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How reliable is WHO coronavirus data?

The numbers that the World Health Organisation publishes, the numbers that journalists and governments around the world refer to, are contaminated with politics. They are not useless, they tell us something, but they paint a skewed picture. How so?

Coronavirus

Inequality, anti-Roma racism, and the coronavirus

As citizens are urged to self-quarantine and wash their hands with soap and warm water, what if there's nowhere to hide, if you live in an overcrowded site or shanty-town, and don't have access to clean water and sanitation?

What does coronavirus 'Black Swan' mean for markets?

Falling demand and prices for oil and raw materials will revive the risk of deflation. The collapse in international trade and long-term rethinking of China's role as the major hub for the production of consumer goods and electronics is inevitable.

Is Hogan about to let Trump's GM exports into EU?

By 18 March, trade commissioner Phil Hogan wants to sign a deal with the Trump administration which, to add a bit of spice, includes fast-tracking GMO imports in an attempt to please the US farming industry.

Von der Leyen's Greek 'shield' will not work

The EU's only response so far is to work with Greece to strengthen the border into south-east Europe - a short-term measure which fails to deal with Turkey's intention to pressure the EU into supporting its wider agenda in Syria.

EU's new Africa strategy misses the mark

The EU's new Africa strategy promises relentless support for "a comprehensive continent-to-continent free trade area" - and ignores the risks posed by trade liberalisation where labour, fiscal and social regulation is immensely diverse and sometimes weak.

New EU migration pact must dust off fundamental rights

The EU's new Pact on Migration and Asylum is an opportunity to take a different approach. To take a breath, to remember the values that the European project was founded upon, and to dust off the good old fundamental rights.

Threat to EU on Greece-Turkey border is EU-made

Despite the escalating bloodshed in Idlib, the EU had made no evident plans to continue funding Syrian refugees in Turkey with the impending expiration of the so-called EU-Turkey statement.

Now in EU interest to work with Turkey on migration

The EU's reluctance to take in hundreds of thousands more refugees means the bloc's best option is to try to renew migration co-operation with Turkey - even if this leaves a bitter taste in its mouth.

Column

And what if Brexit becomes a success?

In some parts of the world people are used to unpredictability. Europeans are not. Brexit has made them aware of the importance to stay together, especially in an increasingly-hostile environemnt with powers like Russia, Turkey, China and the US.

An EU migration policy revolution from the courts?

Critics misread the public mood when they claim that migration restrictions are a sign of creeping authoritarianism. More restrictive court judgements would result in broader support for common migration policies across the EU.

EU minimum wage - a view from Poland

An EU minimum wage would vary between member states, at 60 percent of their respective average or median national wages. Six countries would be obliged to introduce a minimum wage. Is this a whim or a necessity?

EU development policy needs a fresh start

As the European Commission meets the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday, prior to a new EU-Africa strategy, the obsolete donor-recipient mentality must be junked, writes European Parliament development committee chairman Tomas Tobé MEP.

Roll out red carpet - or recycle it? Green Deal's EU blindspot

In Europe the rate of recycling carpet is shockingly low at 1-3 percent. Recyclers stay away from old carpets because they don't know which (potentially dangerous) chemicals they contain, or because they are very complex due to multiple materials used.

Stakeholder

Our summit can re-boot Africa's relations with Europe

Our keynote speaker is the president of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, His policies have included the introduction of free secondary education across Ghana, which he rightly calls "necessary investment" in the nation's future workforce.

Belgium's Aalst carnival - no easy fix to anti-semitism

This year's carnival saw Jews portrayed as insects, people wearing fake ultra-Orthodox costumes, crass comments about circumcision and the Wailing Wall, uniforms resembling Nazi attire labelled Unestapo - a play on the word 'Gestapo'.

Polish rule of law crisis at point of no return

Modelled in many respects on the same blueprint for democratic decline followed in Hungary by strongman Viktor Orbán and his ruling Fidesz party, the government in Poland has sought to fuse the ruling party and the state.

Why Miroslav Lajčák is the wrong choice for EU envoy

The EU could blow up the Kosovo-Serbia negotiations' reset. Should Miroslav Lajčák indeed be appointed, the two senior EU diplomats dealing with Kosovo would both come from the small minority of member states that do not recognise Kosovo.

Only EU can tame Zuckerberg's Facebook

When the EU speaks, Silicon Valley listens. The tech titans know that the EU matters. Which is why it's so crucial that following the lobbying from Zuckerberg, on disinformation, the EU gets regulation right.