Sunday

13th Jun 2021

What the EU public think of EU pesticide regulation

The EU is committed to reduce "the risk and use of pesticides by 50 percent" by 2030. However, given the level of controversy and public distrust surrounding EU pesticides regulation over the last decade, which reforms could garner public support?

The EU's social housing crisis

In Hungary, a proposed amendment of the housing law insists municipalities sell their housing units to inhabitants at 10-30 percent of the market price, a decision that would "further deepen the current urban housing crisis and increase existing housing inequalities".

EU's 'green mining' concept? - there's no such thing

The mining industry is working hard to ensure communities in Europe (and worldwide) have no real power to reject mining projects, using the industry-coined concept of 'social licence to operate' - with as little community input and dissent as possible.

Why is Serbia not going to join EU sanctions on Belarus?

As a membership candidate, Serbia is expected to join foreign policy declarations and restrictive measures of the EU. However, Serbia is unlikely to join the EU measures against Belarus for both international and domestic reasons.

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The glowing embers of Nagorno Karabakh

Our investigation reveals war crimes were committed by all parties to the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Thousands of civilians have borne the brunt of the conflict. None of the key decision-makers are being held to account.

Covid-19 pandemic - why was the ECDC so ineffective?

The Covid-19 crisis has revealed that the current European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has neither the funding, the staff or – perhaps most importantly – the authority to lead an effective response to a pandemic in Europe.

Catalonia's fiscal feud with Spain

It's not uncommon to hear accusations of Catalan financial greed as a motivation for independence. But in reality, the economic relationship between Spain and Catalonia is a nuanced one, which many Catalans believe is historically, and now, based on domination.

Union for Mediterranean scorecard? - 'must do better'

Progress at the Union for the Mediterranean has been slow and remains below its potential. The EU is still responsible for over 95 percent of the region's internal merchandise exports and 93 percent of the external merchandise exports.

Column

'Deepfakes' - a political problem already hitting the EU

Last month, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Dutch Parliament had an online call with Russian dissident Alexi Navalny's chief of staff. Or so the parliamentarians thought. It turned out that they may have been talking to a deepfake.

EU cultural differences - and the next euro crisis

Trust in government bodies tends to be higher in the Germanic cultural region than in the Latin one. Differences in basic values, and emotional and behavioural differences, have been causing problems for the EU since it was established in 1952.

If EU blocks vaccine waivers, it can drop 'solidarity' talk

Workers such as United Nurses Association of India are furious that the EU is undermining their best efforts and exacerbating the crisis by continuing to put big-pharma profits ahead of Covid vaccine patent-waivers. Is this what solidarity looks like?

Column

Israel/Palestine: how victims became aggressors

The relationship between Israel and the Palestinians is actually an oversized Stanford Prison Experiment. That 1970s experiment showed that if you give people power, they start to abuse that power very quickly.

We Palestinians are looking to the EU to uphold our rights

As European foreign ministers meet to talk about Israel and Palestine, Palestinians from both sides of the Green Line will be looking to the EU, Israel's main trade partner, to take the moral, legal and political steps required.

Has Albania really met the 15 tests to join the EU? No

While I welcome Albania's EU integration, it is questionable whether they have fulfilled all the conditions. It surprises me that the commission claims that Albania already has; to whitewash inconvenient facts will not help neither Albania, nor the EU.

The Porto EU-India summit - let's not forget south Asia

Will this weekend's EU-India summit help translate the recently approved Council conclusions on the Indo-Pacific strategy into more pragmatic set of actions able to elevate Europe in the Asia-Pacific region?

Why Europe should stop worrying about 'sportswashing'

The UAE's international reputation is steadily being shredded by its own leadership, in moves so blatant that no amount of sporting spin can hide them. Like the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Russia, China will also discover that sportswashing never works.

Conference on Future of Europe must listen to local voices

The Conference on the Future of Europe must concretely involve our local communities, regions, cities and villages. This is key to avoid a top-down exercise that would only feed the demagogic and anti-European false narrative of populists and eurosceptics.

Is Turkey's crackdown on journalists starting to crack?

With the Biden administration and EU leaders both pressing the reset button on relations with Turkey, could press freedom begin to be restored? Ankara is currently one of the world's biggest jailers of journalists.

Column

'Sofagate' was more about power than sexism

Sexism may have played a role, but the deeper meaning of Ursula von der Leyen's humiliation in the palace of Turkish president Erdoğan is political and geopolitical.

The 'non-paper' carving up Balkans and undermining Europe

In spite of all the denials, it seems clear the non-paper "Western Balkans – a way forward" – which explicitly proposes the redrawing of borders in the region according to ethno-national/territorial groupings – exists, though its origins remain in doubt.