Monday

30th Nov 2020

The human cost of whistleblowing

The fate of Jonathan Taylor, a British whistleblower stuck in legal limbo in Croatia, is a test of European laws designed to protect those who put themselves at risk for the common good.

EU vs US tech agenda under Biden

What will the new Joe Biden administration bring to the realm of digital policy, and how will it affect the relationship with the EU?

Time for EU to help free Saharawi people

Time the for EU to help free the Saharawi people after 45 years of Moroccan occupation in the scorching desert because Spain once swapped them for a school of fish.

The under-reported power struggle at the top of the OSCE

An internal power struggle has undermined the world's leading international security body since the summer. The OSCE is due to finally get new leaders in December but the unprecedented power vacuum has hit at a crunch time for hotspots worldwide.

EU corporate due diligence: new rules, or businesses rule?

The Brussels rumour mill has it that the EU Commission is being pressured to put forward a weaker proposal than what civil society organisations, trade unions, and the European Economic and Social Committee say is needed.

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China's supply chains and 're-shoring' under Covid-19?

Some in Europe are calling for re-shoring or near-shoring supply and industrial chains of such critical sectors as medicine and pharmaceuticals, to reduce dependence on China's supply chains and market. Minister Xia Xiang sets out the opposite case.

Column

US economic nationalism will be subtler - but it will persist

The more the US comes to face economic headwinds, because of the corona pandemic, but also because of the stagnating productivity, growing external debt, and an increasingly unbalanced growth model, the more the tendency of economic nationalism will become manifest.

Georgia's 'rigged' elections? Takeaways for the EU

The parliamentary elections took place amid the Covid-19 pandemic but sparked hopes among Georgia's western allies that the electoral deal reached with the help of US and EU officials could pacify the deeply-polarised political actors. But actually the opposite happened.

Letter

'We call on the EU to appoint a Horn of Africa envoy'

The UNESCO world heritage site in Aksum, Ethiopia, other heritage sites and religious centres are now under threat. This tragedy is compounded by a terrible loss of innocent lives, sexual violence and a destabilising refugee crisis.

EU minimum wage directive undercuts Scandinavian model

Imposing minimum wages and interfering in collective bargaining through binding legislation, not only means breaching EU treaties - there is also a serious risk that this will undermine successful labour market models that have delivered real wage increases for decades.

Buyer beware! Online pet sales in EU need better regulation

While online is becoming the main method for buying pets, the lack of rules on the responsibilities of platforms regarding pet advertising has severely compromised consumer protection, fair competition, and animal health and welfare.

We need to call Orbán's bluff by going ahead without him

You hear voices already calling for the European Council to give in to the Hungarian and Polish demands, by coming up with supposedly 'technical' solutions allowing them to veto any corruption case or breaches of the rule of law .

Three EU exits from Poland and Hungary 'hostage crisis'

The EU institutions and member states have hardly more than two fully-fledged and one half-baked strategic option to solve this institutional crisis - that may have more far reaching consequences for the EU than Brexit.

German presidency's broken promises on 'fair tax'

At the start of the German presidency of the EU Council it committed itself to a "fair taxation" agenda. But as we enter the final leg of its six-month term, time is running out to make good on this promise.

Column

Last chance for the West

In the coming weeks and months we will find out to what extent president-elect Joe Biden is willing to consider the transatlantic relationship as a vital US interest again, and put it at the heart of US policy.

Rule-of-law deal: major step for Europe of values

At the very moment when an incumbent president across the Atlantic was carrying out staggering attacks on the foundations of democracy, the European Parliament obtained a historic agreement to protect the rule of law in Europe.

Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam fought Commission - and won

An outcry from major European city governments - including Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and Budapest - has helped shelve an EU Commission power grab over municipalities' services industries, such as in affordable housing, energy supply and waste management.

Column

Biden's 'democracy summit' would be good for US - and EU

The EU is not a club of democracies anymore. The Hungarian and Polish governments provide real-life lessons on how to destroy democracy's institutions, and they have plenty of eager students. Any attempt to paint a different picture would be hypocritical.

Uzbekistan not even close to meriting EU's trade scheme

Uzbekistan applied for the EU's highly-prized 'Generalised Scheme of Preferences' trade tool in June this year - but despite some improvements the central Asian country still falls woefully short of these requirements.

If Biden wins tonight, this is what EU can expect

If Joe Biden is elected tonight, there will be a sigh of relief in most European capitals. However, that should not blind us to the fact that the Biden presidency will not be a walk in the park for Europeans.

I'm an 'election observer' - but what do we actually do?

There is a persistent problem of 'fake observers.' Often the government of the country they are observing, or even the election management body itself, pays for these observers, holds fancy dinners, and puts them in five-star hotels.

Belarus - dictators win when democracies appease

The sincere and simple personality of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, currently the most famous Belarusian opposition leader in the world, is truly fascinating, writes Lithuania's minister of foreign affairs, Linas Linkevičius.

Column

What American decline means for Europe

The decline of the US and the rise of China have immense consequences for Europe. Above all, it means that all member states must be committed to making enormous efforts to close ranks in terms of trade and security.

Post-Brexit UK vs EU on Ukraine's future

Boris Johnson hopes that the new partnership demonstrates to his counterparts on the continent that, despite quitting the EU, Britain will remain a key player in European security affairs via a commitment to upholding Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.