Sunday

25th Jul 2021

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

Ukraine - Zelensky's authoritarian turn?

President Volodymyr Zelensky has begun his third year mired in mid-term unpopularity with a poll showing only 21.8 percent of Ukrainians would vote to re-elect him. More than half would prefer him not even to run for a second term.

Why the EU delay on supply chains? Corporate lobbying

EU legislation to clean up supply chains and corporate governance has been delayed after fierce industry lobbying. Voluntary commitments have repeatedly failed, now it is time for decisive regulatory action.

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The Polish government wants EU money - but not EU law

The concern of Germany's Constitutional Court was that the European Court of Justice did not sufficiently check the action of other EU branches of power. The Polish situation is the exact reverse: the government is taking control of the courts.

New Israeli government's land seizure - where's the EU?

Why should any Israeli politician view this lack of commitment to the EU's human rights principles as anything other than a licence to continue sending bulldozers to remove Palestinians from land the EU deems part of a future viable Palestine?

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How to make 'Fit for 55' fit for citizens

The first battle of the 'Fit for 55' package has to be fought on the home front. Europe will also have to win the battle for the hearts and minds of citizens, mindful of the 'yellow vests'-style protests.

Why aren't EU's CSDP missions working?

The EU deploys thousands of advisers to its missions abroad. Without addressing reform as a profoundly political struggle, however, the EU will remain successful only in operational advisory and trainings.

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The chance for peace in Yemen

To have a real chance for peace, the negative attitude and actions of the Houthi militia towards peace must change. And this change also requires, in particular, a new European approach to help solve the Yemeni crisis.

The EU and WTO: rethinking trade matters

The EU must differentiate between temporary and Covid-19-related action from permanent changes before making any final decisions based on the new EU trade policy strategy.

Use the summer to prepare for a safe return to school

If we are to prevent the pandemic from having a life-long impact on an entire generation of children and young people - especially the most marginalised - we must ensure that schools reopen and stay open safely.

How Slovenia is undermining EU's environmental ambitions

Thee international community needs to act to prevent the environmental destruction being orchestrated by Slovenia's populist prime minister, Janez Janša - especially now his country has the EU's rotating presidency.

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Values? EU leaders must 'float like a butterfly, sting like a bee'

Neither Commission nor EU leaders have reacted to the Austrian government's amorphous fight against "political Islam". Their silence is deafening over French president Emmanuel Macron's controversial draft 'separatism' bill. Or Social Democrat-led Denmark's legislation relocating asylum seekers to third countries.

Why the EU now needs a 'Green Prosecutor'

Could the Green Deal, the European Climate Law, the Just Transition Fund tackle illegal deforestation, arsons, water, air and soil pollution, traffic of ozone-depleting substances and protected species, poaching, overfishing etc.? The answer is clearly 'no', we need a prosecutor.

Spain's Court of Auditors vs Catalan independence

Only days after what some considered to be a detente between the Spanish government and pro-independence Catalans, ex-Catalan politicians and their associates tied to the independence movement have been charged millions of euros for the misuse of public funds.

Pro-Europeans also culpable for new far-right alliance

Two years on from the European Parliament elections, in which the populist rightwing failed to deliver the earthquake some predicted, the parliament will likely soon become the home of a new Frankenstein far-right alliance of illiberal populists.

EUobserved

Why not recreate the European Community?

The revival of a European Community might not be a solution that solves all problems, but it could be a positive way out of several deadlocks in which the EU finds itself.

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Orbán versus the Zoomers

'Zoomers' are young Europeans, born between roughly 1995 and 2005. Most are highly-educated, grew up with multiple crises, and a strong belief that the state (not markets) must intervene. Zoomers are hyper-individualistic, and allergic to injustice.

The Nordics unite to support the Council of Europe and ECHR

The foreign ministers of the five Nordic nations – Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – express deep concern that Europe's common core principles of human rights, democracy and the rule of law are increasingly contested.

Big corporations' fresh lobbying push for a new EU legal regime

Under the influence of another intense lobby campaign, EU civil servants are drafting policy options which would grant big business new legal privileges, a push that would enable industry to bypass national courts when settling disputes with EU member states.

'Discriminated, dehumanised' - Denmark's Syrian refugees

Syrian refugees lives were never easy and now with the Danish government's decision to revoke more than 200 residency permits and shift asylum responsibility to third countries, their prospects of living in peace here are bleaker than ever.

How NOT to frame debate about Hungary's toxic anti-gay law

Politicians use clever framing of issues to convince voters to support laws that harm their own interests. Viktor Orban's new hate law vilifies people for who they love. But its opponents may have unwittingly helped by repeating its framing.

What a post-Netanyahu Israel means for EU

Under Benjamin Netanyahu, the EU-Israel Association Council meetings, supposed to be held at regular intervals and set the tone for progress on political and economic issues, have not convened since 2013.

What's missing from agenda for Berlin's Libya conference?

There is an eagerness to move towards what Heiko Maas, the German foreign minister, has called the "sustainable stabilisation" of Libya. And yet the essential elements needed for such stability are not on the agenda of Wednesday's conference in Berlin.

Next week is time for EU to finally lead on rule of law

The EU Commission still has to prove they are ready to stand up for the rights of every citizen in the EU. Throwing the towel in would send a terrible signal to European leaders tempted to emulate Hungary and Poland.

Why the EU renewables target needs to be (a lot) higher

The revamped Renewable Energy Directive next month should set an EU binding renewable energy target of at least 50% by 2030, paving the way towards transition to a 100 percent renewable-energy based system by 2040.

EU must treat homeless as rights-holders, not criminals

The gap between EU resources available on the one hand, and the persistence of poverty and homelessness on the other hand, is what makes these figures more than an embarrassment: it raises them to the level of a human-rights crisis.

Biden in Brussels - what's in the 'in-tray'?

As president Joe Biden, EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and EU Council president Charles Michel meet today, more than seven years have passed since the last opportunity for leaders from both sides of the Atlantic to engage face-to-face.