Sunday

7th Mar 2021

Orbán leaves EPP group - the beginning of a long endgame

Aside from the EPP, Hungary was also protected - at a member states' level - by key bilateral partners; and not only illiberal countries like Poland, Bulgaria or recently Slovenia - but most importantly also by Germany.

Belarusian spring: finding hope in dark times

These are dark times in Belarus, with the government tightening the screws like never before. They are preparing for spring just as much as the opponents of the regime are.

What Estonia and Slovakia did to beat AstraZeneca 'hesitancy'

Slovakia has launched a mass vaccination programme aimed at teachers and childcare workers. Estonia, for its part, has begun inoculating frontline workers including teachers, police officers and members of the armed forces ahead of schedule.

The EU's perverse agenda in Bosnia

In its quest for a quick deliverable in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the European Union is trying to broker a deal that risks entrenching the power of Croat nationalists who are resisting moves to make the country more functional.

Letter

Ethiopia right of reply

The Embassy of Ethiopia would like to set the record straight to the esteemed readership by stating the following facts about the situation in Ethiopia particularly in Tigray.

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Time to choose on Russia: regime first or people first?

I hope that the sanctions from the Foreign Affairs Council will increase the likelihood of seeing Alexei Navalny and his supporters leaving Russian prisons alive, unharmed, and in the nearer future than otherwise.

Questions for Germany on EU's Russia strategy

Suspension or cancellation of Nord Stream 2 does not call for a drawn-out search for unanimity by the EU's foreign ministers, nor complex ratification procedures in the European Parliament or member states' parliaments, write three former EU prime ministers.

Column

Why is new EU trade policy using WTO as a figleaf?

While producers in Europe need to live up to demanding labour standards, the European Commission does not make the slightest move to protect them against competition from countries that use forced labour on a massive scale.

Georgia is facing the abyss, and calls on EU for help

Politically-motivated justice, the capture of state institutions by the private interests of oligarch Bidzina Ivanishvili, rapid socio-economic decline, and increased corruption, all are making Georgians hopeless about their future, writes former Georgian ambassador to the EU.

1914 vs 2021

Nobody says war will break out in Europe in 2021. But, just as in 1914, the imminent collapse of the multinational Habsburg Empire was the subject of much speculation, some now allude to the disintegration of the European Union.

Two lessons worth learning from the Catalan elections

The stubborn fact is that, election after election - and it's already three consecutive absolute majorities - anti-independence forces cannot convince the majority of Catalans that our democratic rights and a better future can be attained within the Spanish kingdom.

Myanmar: the EU needs to play the ASEAN card

The military coup seems to have inflamed and united a diverse and ostensibly depoliticised society. There seems to be an across the board rejection by the people of Myanmar of a return to military dictatorship.

The Visegrád dream deteriorates

Czech president Václav Havel hoped that the region, with its 40-year experience of communism, could play a major and audacious role in the future of a never-changing Europe. That isn't happening.

'Cultural Vetoes' - a new threat to EU accession

The current Bulgarian veto of North Macedonia's EU accession process partly focuses on 19th century rebels who fought Ottoman rule in the area then known as Macedonia, which included North Macedonia and parts of modern Bulgaria and Greece.

How Orbán killed a radio station

On Monday, yet another brick in the Hungary's democracy was removed, with the silencing of the Klubrádió station - with devastating implications for press freedom both in the country and the wider EU.

MEPs have one last chance to save Erasmus from Brexit

The UK may be leaving the EU, but it is not leaving Europe. British students have a moral right to connect with their home continent and European students should continue to feel welcomed in the UK.

Ukraine and EU - stitched together

It's more than geography. Ukraine and the European Union are "stitched" together with a common worldview and goals, with common values and future. And the best thing we can do – is to make these threads stronger.

Why a shortened 'Future Europe' conference suits France

Convening citizens' panels and conducting multi-level debates on various policy topics in the timespan of one year, and under social-distancing restrictions, will be either impossible, or will boil the Conference on the Future of Europe down to a mere window-dressing.

Countering Putin's strategy of disorder

Russia, a heavily-corrupted and bureaucratic country, can't meet the West's standards in terms of social, economic and political efficiency. The Kremlin's only chance to keep power is to mobilise its society in a forged confrontation with external and internal scapegoats.

EU should not be a judge of historical issues

Slovakia and Czechia were not in a position to support the draft Council conclusion on enlargement and, to our surprise, we were labelled as troublemakers. We therefore need to clarify our motivations, write the Czech and Slovak foreign ministers.

Covid-19 - why didn't Europe's tracing apps work?

To overcome fragmentation, the European Commission launched an interoperability gateway service, linking national apps across the EU. Unfortunately, only 11 of 27 member states have registered with the service.

An 'aide-mémoire' for the Moscow visit

Giving up the Nord Stream 2 project now would be the right message, demonstrating that EU member states are united in condemning violations of international laws and human rights by the Kremlin, writes the Polish permanent representative to the EU.

Here's what Borrell must say and do in Moscow

The Moscow visit of Borrell and efforts to test the ground for selective engagement seems ill-placed and timed. But the trip might at least have some value if approached wisely and turned into a clear manifestation of the EU's position.

First Covid, now McKinsey - how austerity hit EU healthcare

The marketisation of health and long-term care, the push for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), and the public spending cuts encouraged by EU economic governance processes all contributed to the increased commercialisation, privatisation, and reduction of health and long-term care services.