Monday

3rd Oct 2022

EU leaders have until Friday for refugee resettlement pledges

EU commissioner Ylva Johansson's words on refugee protection were welcome. But, worryingly, the commitments made by EU leaders at the forum have not translated into action. There is still time for them to save face — but it's running out.

News in Brief

  1. Czechs warn joint-nationality citizens in Russia on mobilisation
  2. Greece to unveil proposal for capping EU gas prices
  3. Four dead, 29 missing, after dinghy found off Canary Islands
  4. Orbán: German €200bn shield is start of 'cannibalism in EU'
  5. Lithuania expels top Russian diplomat
  6. Poland insists on German WW2 reparations
  7. Russia halts gas supplies to Italy
  8. Bulgaria risks hung parliament after inconclusive vote
How US tech giants play EU states off against each other

Some have tried to justify Big Tech's meagre tax payments in EU states with heavier tax burdens by emphasising the fact that these companies create jobs and invest in next-generation technologies. However, their market dominance comes at a steep cost.

Can King Charles III reset the broken Brexit relationship?

The Queen's funeral was an impressive demonstration of solidarity from the EU towards a country that left the Union in 2020, and with whom the EU's relations have never recovered. Can the new King Charles III build bridges to Brussels?

Column

EU should admonish less, and listen more, to the Global South

Whether on Russia, or gas, or climate change, or food security, the EU's constant finger-wagging and moralising is becoming unbearably repetitive and self-defeating. Most countries in the Global South view it as eurocentric and neo-colonial.

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How to apply the Nuremberg model for Russian war crimes

A Special Tribunal on Russian war crimes in Ukraine must be convened, because no permanent or existing international judicial institution is endowed with jurisdiction over Russian high-ranking officials, writes the head of the Ukraine delegation to the Council of Europe.

Losing on the Ukrainian battlefield will not unseat Putin

Notwithstanding the remarkable Ukrainian advances, a Russian defeat would not necessarily translate into regime change in Moscow. It is likely Putin will try to spin his military setbacks as evidence of the existential threat facing Russia.

Column

'Emancipatory catastrophism' — why being scared works wonders

The current energy crisis is a good example of "emancipatory catastrophism" — the idea that humanity only moves forward out of fear for a catastrophe. Sometimes one needs a looming disaster to change what should have been changed long ago.

Why Islamophobia in Europe is getting worse

The European Commission has not taken any initiative to restaff the position of a coordinator on combating anti-Muslim hatred, which has been void since July 2021 and starved of resources and a clear mandate.

Column

How to respond, if Moscow now offers peace talks

It is difficult to see how Vladimir Putin can survive more major setbacks or outright defeat. Should this happen, Russia will find itself in a major political crisis. But offering him negotiations now would help him, by easing domestic pressure.

Von Der Leyen must shield Europe from a social tsunami

Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures. It is time for Ursula von der Leyen to rise to the challenge. Better late than never, writes the opposition Socialists & Democrats' vice-president ahead of the State of the Union speech.

Why Yemen deserves our support

My key goal as UNHCR representative in Yemen is to enhance collaboration with and support to authorities to fulfil their primary responsibilities to displaced Yemenis and refugees to ensure they are protected, assisted and able to rebuild their dignified lives.

Brussels 'becoming like Washington' for revolving-doors

'A slow build-up of weak or unethical decision making leads over time to crises that can inflict an enormous human and financial cost', warns the EU Ombudsman writing for EUobserver ahead of Ursula von der Leyen's State of Union speech.

How can Serbia ban EuroPride yet still hope to join EU?

Bowing to pressure from radical-nationalist groups and the deeply-conservative Orthodox Church, Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić announced last week EuroPride 2022 would be cancelled –– even though he legally lacks the authority to do so.

The Greek Watergate

In the European Parliament hearing into espionage against Greek politicians and reporters, the spied-upon journalists recounted their experiences — but the non-answers provided by the Greek government official were embarrassing, confrontative, and institutionally vacant.

The emperor has no clothes, why won't the EU see it?

Instead of programming structural investments to achieve energy independence and shatter the oligopoly of big energy companies, the EU delayed any kind of statement or intervention that could reveal that the Emperor — the market — has no clothes.

Poland's Law & Justice party are playing politics with history

Poland's ruling nationalist Law & Justice government (PiS) have demanded a staggering €1.3trillion in reparations from Germany for damages from the second world war, but what they really want is domestic approval, as the opinion-poll lead droops.

Flooded Pakistan needs climate reparations, not EU charity

So far rich countries have pledged pitiful amounts of aid to Pakistan. The EU, responsible for 23.2 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, has allocated a mere €1.8 million for humanitarian assistance — less than five cents per person.

Stop the visas — EU is not a Russia holiday destination

So-called Russian tourists should not be able to travel to the EU and Schengen countries. Tourist visas already issued should be suspended — and stop issuing new ones, says Urmas Paet, vice-chair of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee.

EU needs to act on the science to preserve oceans

As a Green MEP, ex-environment minister and former vice prime-minister of Sweden, Isabella Lovin spent many years advocating for ocean conservation and the welfare of fisheries dependent communities. The UN Ocean Conference in Lisbon was all words, no action.

Why the EU is not an 'Empire'

The vision of the founding fathers was to curb the absolute sovereignty of the bellicose European states rather than to vest absolute sovereignty in a new overarching European empire.

The 'digital euro' — will it happen, and if so, when?

A recent consultation, which ended in June, constituted the first step toward legislation from Brussels on a digital euro. From a legislative standpoint, adoption of a digital euro will particularly require laws in areas such as privacy and anti-money laundering.

Does EU's post-Ukraine dash-for-gas square with green goals?

This winter's gas squeeze will pit affordable energy against longer-term climate and democracy policies. European leaders should not buckle to short-term energy fixes but maintain policy coherence that marries all three areas — or lose support both citizens and allies.