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7th Mar 2021

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Ticker

MEPs urged to keep immunity of Catalan colleagues

A cross-European group of 52 former MEPs on Friday urged EU lawmakers to vote against a report that recommends lifting the immunity of current MEPs Carles Puigdemont, Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí. The vote will take place on 8 March. The Catalan ...

Ticker

EU accused of plundering tuna in Indian Ocean

The EU has been accused of "hypocrisy and neocolonialism" by a former Seychelles official, among others, for proposing insufficient measures to tackle overfishing of yellowfin tuna, while being the largest fisher of the prized species in the Indian Ocean, ...

Ticker

Italy blocks vaccine shipment to Australia

Italy has blocked a shipment of 250,000 doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine due to go to Australia, invoking an EU export authorisation scheme. Australia was not "a vulnerable country", Italy said, and its decision was due to a "persistence ...

Ticker

EU preparing legal action on Brexit violations

The EU will launch legal action against the UK over its decision, on Wednesday, to unilaterally suspend parts of the Brexit agreement dealing with Northern Ireland customs, European Commission vice-president Maroš Šefčovič has said. "We are currently ...

China and Russia abusing corona for geopolitics, Lithuania says

China and Russia are using the pandemic to increase their authority in new ways at home and abroad, Lithuanian intelligence services have warned. But old-fashioned spy-craft, such as 'honey traps', also pose a threat to EU citizens from hostile services, ...

Ticker

US and UK agree to suspend tariffs to settle row

The United States has agreed to a four-month suspension of retaliatory tariffs imposed on British goods such as Scotch whisky over a long-running aircraft subsidy row, with both sides pledging to use the time to resolve the dispute, Reuters reports. Former ...

Ticker

Russia asks France, Germany to help ease tensions in Ukraine

The Kremlin urged France and Germany to use their influence with the Ukrainian government to make sure that events in the part of eastern Ukraine controlled by Russian-backed rebels did not "cross a dangerous line", Reuters reports. Kremlin spokesman ...

Ticker

Germany and Sweden permit AstraZeneca jab for over-65s

Sweden and Germany extended on Thursday their recommendation for the AstraZeneca/Oxford Covid-19 vaccine to cover people aged over 65, The Guardian reported. Berlin previously said available data was insufficient to approve the jab for the elderly, but it ...

Coronavirus

Worries on Europe's infection surge, after six-week drop

The World Health Organization (WHO) warned on Thursday (4 March) of a surge in the number of new coronavirus infections across Europe - after six consecutive weeks of decline. Over one million new cases have been reported in the 53-country region of Europe ...

EU wants large firms to report on gender pay-gap or face fines

Larger EU companies may face fines if they don't provide data on how they pay women and men, under a new EU Commission proposal aimed at providing better pay transparency. The draft proposal, unveiled on Thursday (4 March) wants to expose gaps in pay and ...

EU Commission cannot hold Frontex to account

The European Commission cannot instruct the EU's border agency Frontex and its executive director, Fabrice Leggeri. The point was driven home repeatedly by EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson on Thursday (4 March). "It is an independent body," she ...

Opinion

Orbán leaves EPP group - the beginning of a long endgame

The saga between the centre-right political family the European People's Party (EPP) and Hungary's Fidesz is one of the most captivating soap operas EU politics ever produced. This season's finale may now be in touching distance, but it will not ...

Stakeholder

'Corporate due diligence'? - a reality check before EP votes

The European Parliament is going to vote on its report on corporate due diligence next week, calling on the EU Commission to propose a mandatory code-of-conduct for businesses. It would mean that every company active in the single market, regardless of its ...

Ticker

EU court: UK exceeded legal limits on air pollution

The EU Court of Justice ruled on Thursday the UK has failed to adopt timely measures to tackle air pollution, shortly after officials found that the country's illegal levels of air pollution contributed to the death of 9-year-old Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. ...

Ticker

European Parliament backs 'Future EU' conference format

The European Parliament approved on Thursday the joint declaration launching Conference on the Future of Europe. The text establishes the structure, scope and timing of the event. "The European Parliament endorses the joint declaration because we want the ...

Ticker

EU regulator reviewing Russia's Covid-19 vaccine data

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has begun a rolling review of data from studies of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, it announced on Thursday. The process is aimed at speeding up regulatory approval, if the vaccine-producers apply for conditional ...

Ticker

Northern Irish paramilitaries pressure UK and EU on Brexit

The Loyalist Communities Council, which represents Northern Ireland's unionist paramilitary groups, has "temporarily" withdrawn its backing for the 1998 'Good Friday' peace accord in order to pressure the UK and EU to change the Brexit deal, which left ...

Ticker

Man injures 8 people with axe in Sweden in possible terrorist act

A man armed with an axe has attacked and injured eight people in a southern Swedish town in what authorities called a suspected terrorist crime, The Guardian writes. The attack happened in the small town of Vetlanda, about 190 km southeast of Göteborg, ...

Ticker

France bans far-right vigilante group

France has outlawed a far-right group called Génération Identitaire, for "promoting hate speech inciting discrimination or violence against individuals because of their origin, race, or religion". The group, which trained members in martial arts and ...

Ticker

EU dismayed as Lukashenko jails doctor over his diagnosis

The EU has condemned Belarus' jailing, for two years, of a doctor, Artsiom Sarokin, who disclosed the true cause of death of a Belarusian protester, Raman Bandarenka, last year. Bandarenka "was shamefully beaten to death" by plain clothes police, the EU ...

Austrian ex-minister joins list of EU's pro-Kremlin lobbyists

Austria's ex-foreign minister Karin Kneissl has joined an ever-expanding list of senior Austrian and German politicians working as Kremlin lobbyists. The 56-year old, who led Austria's diplomacy between 2017 and 2019, is to become a board member of Russian ...

Internal Frontex probe to deliver final report this week

An internal probe at EU border agency Frontex is set to give its final verdict this week. The report will be delivered to the Frontex management board on Friday, announced a senior European Commission official on Wednesday (3 March). The probe on ...

Ticker

Brussels proposes EU-wide 'disabled status' card by 2023

The European Commission presented on Wednesday a strategy to strengthen the rights of people with disabilities for the period 2021-2030. Brussels will propose a EU disability card to ensure the mutual recognition of disability status between member states ...

Ticker

Czechs seek outside help to treat Covid-19 patients

Germany, Poland, and Switzerland offered help with treating Covid-19 patients in the Czech Republic, after a surge in infections. Czech interior minister Jan Hamacek said Germany has offered dozens of beds in its hospitals. Poland is to provide around 200 ...

Analysis

Relief in EPP group, as Orbán's party finally leaves

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orbán on Wednesday (3 March) announced his Fidesz party's MEPs are leaving their centre-right faction in the European Parliament, marking a major breaking point in the more than two-year-long saga between Europe's largest ...

Green Deal

EU capitals water down MEPs' ambition in climate law

National governments, led by the Portuguese presidency, have watered down provisions that MEPs are trying to introduce to raise the bar of the first-ever EU climate law. The European Climate Law aims to make the bloc's goal of reaching climate-neutrality ...

Ticker

German intelligence to spy on far-right AfD party

German intelligence is to do surveillance, using informants and wire-taps, on the far-right AfD party, the third-largest in parliament, amid fears its extremist wing, which was already being spied on, was gaining influence. AfD candidates taking part in ...

Ticker

Russia belittles latest EU and US sanctions

EU and US visa-bans and asset-freezes imposed Tuesday on Russian officials over the mistreatment of opposition figure Alexei Navalny had no meaning because they did not go abroad or hold assets there due to their sensitive positions, Kremlin spokesman ...

Opinion

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. There is a growing ...

Ticker

MEPs' inquiry into Frontex will now be public

MEPs will hold a public cross-examination with the head of the EU's border agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, on Thursday (4 March) as part of a wider European Parliament probe known as the Frontex Scrutiny Working Group. An initial draft agenda, seen by ...

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