Saturday

10th Apr 2021

News in Brief

  1. Turkey blames EU for sexist protocol fiasco
  2. France to close elite civil-service academy
  3. Covid-19 cases in UK drop 60%, study finds
  4. White House urges 'calm' after Northern Ireland riots
  5. Italy's Draghi calls Turkey's Erdoğan a 'dictator'
  6. Slovakia told to return Sputnik V amid quality row
  7. EU risks €87bn in stranded fossil fuel assets
  8. Obligatory vaccination not against human rights, European court says

The ICC probe into Palestine: where is the EU?

In the eyes of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, there are grounds to believe that war crimes were committed by the Israel Defense Forces in occupied Palestine.

Column

Why Germans understand the EU best

In Germany, there is commotion about a new book in which two journalists describe meetings held during the corona crisis between federal chancellor Angela Merkel, and the 16 prime ministers of its federal constituent states.

Why Iceland isn't the gender paradise you think

Iceland's international reputation masks two blunt realities that face the country's women - the disproportionate levels of gender-based violence that they experience, and a justice system that is frequently suspicious and hostile towards victims of this violence.

Column

What if Covid-19 had happened under Jean Monnet?

Jean Monnet went from his father's Cognac business, to masterminding the First World War shipping channels, to founding the EU. The bloc could do with some of his business acumen right now.

After 50 years, where do Roma rights stand now?

Beatings, forced sterilisation, police violence and fire bombings by right-wing extremists against Romani communities are still a reality in Europe. The corona pandemic only worsened this situation.

Does new EU-ACP deal really 'decolonise' aid?

Since 2018, when the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries started negotiations on the deal that would replace the Cotonou Partnership Agreement, calls for "de-colonising aid" and a strong role for local actors in development have grown.

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A German judge: my fears on rule of law in EU

As a German national, I see German history as a constant warning to defend the rule of law - and to be vigilant to detect even the slightest beginnings of its erosion.

The EU's under-reported pre-trial detention problem

At any one time, there are over 100,000 people in prison waiting for a trial - one-in-five of the total EU prison population. These numbers have consistently grown over the past few years and are fuelling Europe's prison overcrowding crisis.

Europe should not delude itself on Libya

European leaders always fail to mention the Turkish military intervention that led to the end of Khalifa Haftar's infamous military operation initiated in April 2019, and the end of the warlord's ambition to become Libya's 'new Gadaffi'.

A new antisemitism definition to ease IHRA confusion

The EU's good intention behind endorsing the IHRA definition has been to introduce one clear and uniform standard for data about antisemitic incidents. In practice, however, the IHRA definition has turned into a source of confusion and contention.

Column

EU's peddler politics

The sanctions announced against Chinese officials are another example of European peddler politics: offering a little tasting of this and a little of that - without impact.

How the EU can better pursue peace in Yemen

The EU is keen to display its capacity as a global actor: it has leverage in Yemen to be a force for peace-driven change, and to support Yemenis who are already pursuing peace, despite the horrific risks of doing so.

The Left: No more 'sorry', we want vaccine-fiasco inquiry

The Left won't let this pass. The European Parliament must establish a Committee of Inquiry to investigate the EU Commission for illegal conduct, maladministration and negligence, and to make sure these mistakes don't happen again.

How Le Pen may beat Macron

Studies show that accommodation of the radical-right by mainstream parties leads to increasing vote share - for the radical-right. This is precisely what Emmanuel Macron is doing - and Marine Le Pen is gaining in the polls.

Column

Meghan Markle, royal racism and the 'European Way of Life'

For years, the EU's "united in diversity" motto has allowed policymakers to claim that conversations on race, religion, colour and ethnicity are foreign to European culture. But a colour-blind Europe is a fairy tale.

'Future EU' conference: good idea, bad timing

Listening to European citizens should be a permanent and continuous process - not merely limited to one event which starts on 9 May 2021 and is to finish before the presidential elections in France in the spring of 2022.

Stakeholder

Vaccine certificates are a way to reopen Europe, not close it

A common vaccination certificate – instead of 27 individual initiatives - can form part of the solution, together with other sanitary measures already in place, to resume travel and tourism and reduce current travel restrictions.

Column

Why people want to be fooled

The charlatan is "like a doctor who brings relief from suffering and pain". The word charlatan comes from the Italian 'ciarlatano': someone selling herbal brews and rejuvenating waters at street markets, often also pulling teeth and doing magic tricks.

Time for dither and delay with Ankara's rights record is over

I know first-hand how difficult it is to take a firm stance against Turkey. As Council of Europe's commissioner for human rights, I engaged in tough discussions with Ankara, wrote highly-critical reports, and tried to rally member states.

Africa and Arab world still in vaccine race starting blocks

The US has enough doses to fully-vaccinate the region twice while other countries have ordered enough doses to vaccinate their populations four or five times over, which many have condemned as "vaccine hoarding", writes the speaker of the Tunisian parliament.

Covid-19 recovery: How to miss the target even with a bazooka

Nicknamed the "European bazooka", the €672.5bn coronavirus recovery fund gives EU states €312.5bn in grants and €350bn in loans - but some countries have already said they won't use these long-term loans, at very low-interest rates. Why not?

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.

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.

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.