Saturday

6th Jun 2020

News in Brief

  1. Poland accused of 'blatant violation' of EU court injunction
  2. EU concerned by US approach to Kosovo and Serbia
  3. City morgues cast doubt on Putin's virus data
  4. ECB increases pandemic stimulus to €1.35 trillion
  5. New EU cloud computing platform 'moonshot'
  6. City of Berlin passes anti-discrimination law
  7. Iran hits record corona cases in second wave
  8. EU job losses tell tale of pandemic damage

Column

Hawks to doves? Germany's new generation of economists

For many Europeans, Angela Merkel's change looked sudden. But the groundwork started two years ago. Germany slowly ripened for the Merkel-Macron plan. This explains why it didn't meet massive public resistance in Germany.

Is Russia manipulating food supplies during pandemic?

Russia already dominates global oil – letting them dominate global food during a pandemic would spell disaster for the EU. It would effectively mean the EU, not just depending on Russian energy, but increasingly also on Russian food supply.

Column

That German court ruling hurts EU rule-of-law fightback

The short-term damage to financial markets may be smaller than feared. The damage to democracy is considerable because it weakened the ECJ - the most effective institution to stop attacks against democracy and rule of law in EU member states.

Europe's last stand for the two-state solution?

European governments, despite their different policy sensibilities, are still united in their support for a two-state solution. This may be the last chance Europe has to defend this goal.

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Column

The slow death of EU Christian Democracy

Before World War Two, Christian parties' commitment to democracy was far from unequivocal. But after the war, Christian Democratic parties adopted a political formula that brought them political domination in much of western Europe for two decades.

Anti-Roma hatred on streets of Budapest

Remarkably, no national or EU leader has yet publicly condemned the aggressive and open dissemination of violent hate speech in Hungary's capital. Only Budapest's mayor Gergely Karácsony has raised his voice in protest.

China's cat-and mouse game blocking web content no model for EU

The angriest citizens can turn to protests or violence, leading governments to increase control and monitoring of platforms, reinforcing the problem. This painful point has to be made to stop the EU repeating China's mistake of top-down internet regulation.

Covid-19 in Europe's prisons - and the response

Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Sweden have taken no steps towards reducing the use of imprisonment and others, like Greece, appear to be waiting for Covid-19 to spread through prisons before acting.

Pandemic means EU needs to regionalise its Iran policy

The country has become a corona hotspot due to the clergy's stubborn refusal to impose social distancing and to close religious shrines, but also because US sanctions create severe shortages of a medical imports.

Column

Where will Europe's new mojo come from?

Europe today is the continent of the solid 15-20 percent party which means loads of energy gets absorbed just by keeping coalitions together and majorities stable.

EU can safely rescue summer season in Europe

Measures deemed necessary at the start of the epidemic in Europe to stop cross-border contagion are now becoming disproportionate in light of the lighter national internal measures in place, writes Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People's Party.

Stakeholder

Solidarity is the cure for post-pandemic Europe

It is crucial for European countries to mobilise all the necessary resources to strengthen public health systems, nationalising healthcare facilities if need be.

Letter

Right-of-reply from Chinese embassy to Belgium

Such claims, based on internal reports four years ago, fall far from the truth, and are mainly based on conjectures and presumptions. The so-called 'Chinese espionage menace' is nothing new and has time and again been proven fictitious.

Resources for Covid-19 abuse victims 'insufficient'

Support services for victims and witnesses, the police and other relevant authorities are stretched to the limits because of staff shortages, travel restrictions or other demands related to Covid-19.

Orban's risky bet in economic response to coronavirus

Two concerns loom large: a large part of the stimulus the Orbán government is offering is directed towards particular industries where oligarchs are particularly influential; and the response does not address the needs of large swathes of the population.

Some lessons from Ibsen's An Enemy of the People

Theatres are dusting off a 19th century play: Ibsen's An Enemy of the People. It is about truth, freedom and tyranny. It deals with the loner versus the group, the role of the elite and the power of the majority.

Covid-19: Low-paid workers risk lives, let's protect them

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, carers, cleaners, porters and ambulance drivers are at the sharp end of this pandemic. 8,000 Dutch healthcare workers have tested positive, with several in intensive care. Spain has 24,000 infected care-workers and Italy 16,950, with 150 dead.

Undocumented workers are Covid-19 'elephant in room'

There is a pan-European systemic issue: from Spain and Italy to France, Belgium, or Poland, harvests are under threat and Europeans are entirely dependent on the hard labour and sweat of foreign-born workers. The elephant in the room? Regularisation.