Thursday

28th May 2020

Five new post-Brexit MEPs to watch

Five MEPs to keep an eye on from the 27 new members who are joining the European Parliament this week, following the UK's departure from the EU.

Belgium's political deadlock is complete

After 163 days the Belgian government formation is not going anywhere. The King needs to be more creative than ever in trying to find a way out.

This is the (finally) approved European Commission

MEPs gave the green light to the entire new European Commission during the plenary session in Strasbourg - but with the abstention of the Greens and a rejection by the leftist group GUE/NGL.

Coronavirus

Mix of loans and grants in Commission €750bn package

Italy and Spain, the worst-hit EU countries by the coronavirus pandemic, will get much of the new money under the European Commission's recovery plans - that mark a turning point for the bloc in moving towards joint debt.

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Coronavirus

EU scolds Trump on his WHO 'finger-pointing'

EU commission has accused US leader of undermining multilateral cooperation, after his latest threat to permanently cut off World Health Organization funding.

Column

That German court ruling hurts EU rule-of-law fightback

The short-term damage to financial markets may be smaller than feared. The damage to democracy is considerable because it weakened the ECJ - the most effective institution to stop attacks against democracy and rule of law in EU member states.

Jourova: Ease emergency powers - especially Hungary

The EU commission vice-president said that as member states relax lockdwon measures, it is time to roll back the state of emergencies that affect democracy and fundamental rights. Hungary said it might end extra powers in June.

Opinion

EU can safely rescue summer season in Europe

Measures deemed necessary at the start of the epidemic in Europe to stop cross-border contagion are now becoming disproportionate in light of the lighter national internal measures in place, writes Manfred Weber, chairman of the European People's Party.

Commission struggles with German court challenge

While the EU commission has suggested there could be EU probes becasue of the German consitutional court's decision, chancellor Angela Merkel argued to her party that a clash is avoidable.

Romania abused rights of EU's top prosecutor, court finds

Romania violated the rights of its former anti-corruption chief Laura Codruta Kovesi when they fired hire. The judgement issued by the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg follows a long catalogue of high-level corruption in Romania.

Bucharest and Budapest in 'autonomy' region row

Budapest and Bucharest are engaged in a war of words over the heavily-Hungarian region of Szeklerland, part of Romania's Transylvania. But is a row over autonomy just cover to overshadow the corona virus crisis?

Hungary and Poland in spotlight for lockdown moves

The EU commission is double-checking emergency measures in every member state, as fundamental rights have been temporarily abrogated. But Hungary and Poland are problematic, yet no actions are planned.

Opinion

Stopping the authoritarian rot in Europe

A few weeks ago, the European Union underwent a fundamental change: it ceased being a bloc of exclusively democratic states. Even worse - leaders across Europe barely flinched.

Press freedom in Balkans better than some EU states

EU candidate countries such as Albania, Montenegro and Serbia have relatively poor press freedoms - but still fare much better than Bulgaria, an EU state whose ranking in the World Press Freedom index has plummeted.

Opinion

Race to the bottom: all Polish election outcomes are bad

Covid-19 is no excuse to allow authoritarian minds more leeway. While Polish government uses the pandemic to conduct unfair elections, EU countries must see it as an existential political threat alongside the health and economic crisis.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Italians compared with Germans

If the new challenge for democracies at the time of Covid-19 is to avoid mass surveillance and authoritarianism, Rome seems to be much less equipped than Berlin.

Opinion

Coronavirus sees approval-rating soar for EU leaders

The rise in support for mainstream parties has been paired with stagnation or decline for far-right populist parties and figures - the AfD has dropped to 10 percent in Germany and Marine Le Pen and Matteo Salvini are treading water.

New push to kick Orban's party out of centre-right EPP

Member parties from the largest European political family have called for the expulsion of their Hungarian partner - again. This time, two prime ministers joined, but so far the heavyweights have again stayed away.

Coronavirus

Orban granted indefinite 'authoritarian' power

Ushering in a new era for Hungary - and for the EU - the central European country becomes the first to be ruled by decree, after Orban's party forced virus emergency laws through parliament.

Coronavirus

EU states urged to share sick patients

EU states should take in sick people from Italy and Spain in a show of solidarity amid foreign propaganda attacks, MEPs have said.

Feature

How Hungary's Orban blamed migrants for coronavirus

Viktor Orban's government was quick to blame an Iranian legally studying in Hungary as his country's first coronavirus case. In fact, it was a Hungarian woman, who probably caught it in Italy.

Already doubts over Belgium's new 'anti-corona government'

Belgium's King Philippe has given interim prime minister Sophie Wilmès the task of forming a government, after seven opposition parties agreed to support it. The agreement came after a political drama - and there are doubts if it will hold.

EU declares Africa 'most important' global partner

The European Commission has a new strategy for Africa. The proposal, whose details have yet to be worked out, spans broad issues like climate, energy, digital transformation, jobs, peace, governance, and migration.

Green Deal

ExxonMobil lobbyists pushed for weaker EU Green Deal

ExxonMobil lobbyists pushed the EU commission to weaken climate regulation for the transport sector with a two-pronged strategy: supporting the Paris Agreement, while dwelling on long-term technical solutions and promoting oil and gas usage in the green transition.