Sunday

19th Jan 2020

Focus

North Atlantic mini states in geopolitical turbulence

Donald Trump wanted to buy Greenland, while the Faroe Islands have come under pressure to ditch China's Huawei for its 5G network. Both incidents reflect growing geopolitical interest for the North Atlantic countries sharing foreign and security policy with Denmark.

News in Brief

  1. 'No objection in principle' on Huawei cooperation, EU says
  2. French aircraft carrier goes to Middle East amid tensions
  3. EU suggests temporary ban on facial recognition
  4. EU industry cries foul on Chinese restrictions
  5. 'Devil in detail', EU warns on US-China trade deal
  6. Trump threatened EU-tariffs over Iran, Germany confirms
  7. EU trade commissioner warns UK of 'brinkmanship'
  8. Germany strikes coal phase-out deal

Germany adopts blockchain strategy and says no to Libra

The German federal government has passed a blockchain strategy designed to unlock the potential of this new technology, in both Germany and Europe, and prevent the risks associated with its implementation.

Investigation

MEPs slam Commission over common charger delay

Citing an EUobserver investigation, MEPs on the consumer protection committee have slammed the EU Commission for allowing Apple to get away with refusing to comply with a common smartphone charger for over a decade.

EU parliament quietly keeps visitors' wi-fi data

The European Parliament is retaining the data of everyone who uses their wi-fi network, including journalists and visitors, and providing access to police in case of investigations.

EU states given right to police Facebook worldwide

National courts in EU states can order Facebook to delete content "worldwide", Europe's top tribunal has ruled, in what the US social media giant called an attack on free speech.

Investigation

Pesticide chlorpyrifos banned by EU

EU member states have voted to ban from the market chlorpyrifos, a pesticide which is toxic to the brain in both its forms, and has been the subject of a long-running Le Monde and EUobserver investigation.

Magazine

EU must manage climate and industry together

For Romanian centre-right MEP Adina-Ioana Valean, the previous chair of environment committee and current chair of industry, research and energy (ITRE), climate and industrial policy-making must go hand-in-hand to bring sustainability and prosperity to Europe.

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Investigation

Data watchdog raps EU asylum body for snooping

The European Asylum Support Office combed through social media to monitor refugee routes to Europe for three years. The agency sent weekly reports on its findings to member states, the EU Commission and institutions such as UNHCR and Interpol.

Magazine

AI's ethical dilemma for EU

Last year, the European Commission presented a strategy paper on how the EU should take the lead shaping the ethics of Artificial Intelligence. It is a challenge the JURI committee has tasked itself to complete over the next five years.

EU warned over fast-tracking facial recognition

A new report of the European Agency for Fundamental Rights calls for "a clear legal framework" to regulate facial recognition technologies, saying that collecting facial images of individuals without their consent can harm people's dignity.

AI skewed to young, male, and western EU, report warns

A new study reveals the current market ecosystem for artificial intelligence (AI) in Europe is uneven across both gender and demographic lines - raising new demographic concerns for the incoming AI legislation of the new commission.

Automation threat to jobs will hit EU unevenly

New technologies, such as artificial intelligence and robotics, have the potential "to displace some workers from their tasks, even causing some jobs to disappear entirely", affecting the work nature of millions of jobs in Europe, according to a new report.

France urges EU virtual currency rules amid Libra risk

France has urged the EU to introduce a framework for the regulation of cryptocurrencies, after the introduction of the new Facebook virtual money 'Libra' threatens the financial stability of the EU.

EU experts agree pesticide may damage unborn children

There are no safe levels for exposure to the pesticides chlorpyrifos and chlorpyrifos-methyl, EU experts have said in a preliminary-finding into the pesticide - suggesting an EU-wide ban is a step closer.

Bienkowska bows out, with no EU 'Space Force' in sight

EU commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska said back in January the EU should consider setting up its own space army - in response to Donald Trump's similar plan. Bar two speeches, not much has happened.

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Eight EU states miss artificial intelligence deadline

Pan-European strategy "encouraged" member states to publish national artificial intelligence strategies by mid-2019. Germany, France and the UK have already done so - others are lagging behind.

EU hesitates to back France over US tariff threat

France has passed a new tax on tech companies that will affect US global giants like Facebook. Donald Trump has threatened retaliatory tariffs over it. The EU commission says it will "coordinate closely with French" on the next steps.

EU defends US data pact, as Facebook court case opens

An Austrian privacy campaigner vs Facebook over the future of data transfers to the US case opened at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday. The European Commission, meanwhile, says the Privacy Shield pact is working fine.

Opinion

Facebook has to answer some tough questions about Libra

German MEP and member of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, Markus Ferber, warns of four separate threats from Facebook's Libra. A good moment to kick off the debate would be this week's G20 summit.

Investigation

How Apple lobbied EU to delay common smartphone charger

iPhones and Android products don't use the same charger. This is annoying for consumers and harmful for the environment. Old chargers produce more than 51,000 tons of electronic waste per year.

EU want Facebook pan-EU advert fix for May elections

EU institutions want Facebook to relax its rules, to allow pan-European political groups to carry out EU-wide campaigns. Facebook has yet to implement the demands - posing questions on the extent to which Europe relies on the US tech firm.

Single EU railway signalling system faces delays

'A reality check shows that we are already falling a little bit behind in the first few years,' said the new coordinator for the European rail traffic management system (ERTMS).

EU lawmakers pass contentious copyright law

The European Parliament backed a law on copyrighted content online. Defenders says it will safeguard right holders from being exploited by big tech firms. Critics say it spells the end of internet freedoms and curtails expression.

Stakeholder

Digital 'Iron Curtain' makes no sense in 5G era

5G technology is a product of global innovation and cooperation. Drawing an Iron Curtain would therefore have an impact on all: Chinese, Europeans, Americans, and others alike.

Interview

EU should clarify rules for plant burgers and lab meat

Chatham House research fellow Laura Wellesley discusses her new report, which looked at how alternative meat products are regulated. 'It's not about everybody becoming vegan,' she said.

British MPs condemn Facebook CEO's misrule

Cambridge Analytica scandal exposed "profound failure of governance within Facebook", British MPs said, while blaming Zuckerberg for his contempt for democratic scrutiny.

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