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2nd Feb 2023

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Interview

MEPs launch anonymous drop-box for shady lobbying secrets

MEPs' assistants, EU Commission officials, and industry insiders should help drain the lobbyist swamp in Brussels by tipping off a new "early-alert" system, Dutch socialist MEP Paul Tang has said. He spoke after a secure drop-box for potential ...

Hawkish ECB rate-rise 'puts energy transition at risk'

The European Central Bank raised interest rates on Tuesday (2 February) by another 0.5 percent to a 14-year high — and expects to hike rates by another half-percent in March. Some have pointed out inflation has already peaked as energy prices have dropped ...

Analysis

MEPs push for greater powers for workers' councils

On Thursday (2 January), the European Parliament passed a report calling on the EU Commission for the revision of the European Works Councils (EWCs) directive. But what are they? EWCs are the first and only European institutions representing employees at ...

Opinion

How Pavel won big as new Czech president — and why it matters

The decisive victory over Andrej Babis in the run-off elections last weekend secured Petr Pavel — a retired army general and former chairman of the Nato military committee — the position of Czech president for the next five years. Strictly speaking, the ...

French official to take on Islamophobia in EU

The EU has appointed a new anti-Islamophobia coordinator after an 18-month long gap which attracted criticism from Muslim rights groups. Marion Lalisse, an EU official of French origin, said on Twitter she was "honoured" to take up the post dealing with an ...

EU green industry plan could spark 'dangerous subsidy race'

The European Union proposed a plan to counteract the US green subsidy bonanza on Wednesday (1 February). The plan, leaked on Monday, opens up room for individual member states to subsidise clean technology and, in emulation of the US plan, now also allows ...

Wolves should be defended, EU ministers urge

A dozen EU ministers in charge of biodiversity have urged the EU Commission to uphold the protection of wolves in Europe. The ministers in a letter sent to EU environment commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius on Wednesday (1 February) advocated for keeping ...

EU Commission wants drones for Bulgaria on Turkey border

The European Commission wants to shore up the land border between Bulgaria and Turkey with drones. "We can strengthen the border with management capabilities," European Commission president Von der Leyen told MEPs on Wednesday (1 February). "We can also ...

MEPs rally ahead of vote for gig-economy workers' rights

MEPs from The Left party and representatives of the La Maison des Livreurs [House of Deliveries] collective, plus other activists, delivery workers and allies, gathered in front of the European Parliament on Wednesday (1 February) to defend the rights of ...

Opinion

Europe is giving more aid to Ukraine than you think

Europeans need to pull their weight in Ukraine. They should pony up more funds. And most definitely, they should not fall behind the United States. Such has been the chorus since the start of the war, primarily on the other side of the Atlantic. The ...

Hungary blames conspiracy for EU corruption rating

Hungary has blamed a conspiracy for coming bottom in an EU corruption rating as it seeks to unfreeze European funding. "Transparency International [TI] is a member of the Soros Network," Hungarian government spokesman Zoltán Kovács tweeted on Tuesday ( 31 ...

Column

Democracy — is it in crisis or renaissance?

Nowadays you could be confused. On the one hand, the chorus of people declaring that democracy is in crisis is loud and growing, pointing to the dwindling number of democracies around the world. On the other hand, there is increasing talk about a rebirth ...

EU lobby register still riddled with errors

The EU's lobby register remains riddled with errors, as pro-transparency campaigners demand better data and mandatory oversight rules. The latest findings come amid a raft of proposals by the European Parliament president to weed out corruption in the wake ...

Polish backpedal on windfarms put EU funds at risk

Draft legislation in Poland aimed at relaxing some of Europe's strictest laws surrounding onshore wind-turbines has been derailed by a surprise last minute amendment, which could put Poland back on a collision course with the EU. The draft law had been ...

Opinion

More money, more problems in EU answer to US green subsidies

Money, yes, but any new European industry strategy must go beyond money alone. Europe is facing a turning point. After years of growth and success based on free trade, we are seeing the two of the world's largest economics setting out a vision based on ...

Study: EU electricity transition sped into high gear in 2022

Europe accelerated its electricity transition in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, according to a new study by Ember, a German energy think tank, in a report published on Tuesday (31 January). Wind and solar generated 22 percent of total ...

Russia and China weaponised pandemic to sow distrust, MEPs hear

Foreign regimes used the Covid-19 pandemic to undermine EU democracy, experts told a European Parliament special committee focusing on the pandemic and its consequences. "The pandemic was a key moment in this destabilisation effort," French centre-left MEP ...

Frontex to spend €100m on returning migrants this year

The EU's border agency Frontex will spend around €100m this year to return unwanted and rejected asylum seekers. "We are in a phase this year 2023, we will be spending around €100m for the return-related activities," Uku Särekanno, the agency's deputy ...

EU aims to simplify tax credits to counteract US green subsidies

The European Union is set to propose a plan to counteract the US $369bn [€339bn] Inflation Reduction Act on Wednesday (1 February), with looser state-aid rules for tax credits in green investments. The EU Commission has drafted plans to simplify and speed ...

Feature

No internet, light, heat: how war-hit Ukrainians remote-work

It was a Friday in mid-December when Anastasia and her husband woke up to the sound of explosions and ran for cover. There was no electricity or water. The last she heard from her father in Zaporiya, there had already been 12 shelling incidents. Friday was ...

Podcast

Mars, god of war, returns to Europe

Putin's barbarism is somehow felt by us all even though it can be hard to get to grips with the magnitude of what's at stake. One reason may be what writer and academic Tom Nichols calls normalcy bias, an inherent resistance to accepting that large changes ...

Agenda

Fears on migration plus Ukraine summit this WEEK

Former army chief and Nato official Petr Pavel won the Czech Republic's presidential election last Saturday, defeating billionaire ex-premier Andrej Babiš. Pavel pledged to keep the country firmly anchored in the West, ran as an independent and won 58.3 ...

Dutch set to agree to US-led chip controls to China

Japan and the Netherlands are set to agree to join the United States in restricting exports of semiconductor manufacturing equipment to China on Friday (27 January). Talks between the countries are expected to conclude as early as Friday, with the ...

Investigation

No record of Latvian MEP's 'official' Azerbaijan trip

Last June, a Latvian socialist MEP went to Azerbaijan and sang its praises — but the EU Parliament committee he claimed to represent had no idea he was there. The story of Andris Ameriks' freewheeling trip is the second in a series together with Swedish- ...

Opinion

Why the new ECHR Ukraine-Russia ruling matters

The European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) has made a landmark ruling recognising Russia's occupation of Eastern Ukraine since 2014. The finding, part of the Court's decision on the admissibility of Ukraine's case against Russia, has far-ranging ...

Analysis

Red tape border logjam for EU's 1.3m 'frontier workers'

Europe suffers from a shortage of workers, a mismatch between in-demand and available skills, and a growing ageing of its active working-age population. Given the context, and with the European Union looking for a solution from workers from outside its ...

Opinion

Greece's spy scandal must shake us out of complacency

A surveillance scandal that has smouldered for almost a year erupted this week after the leader of Greece's main opposition party filed a no-confidence motion against the government after a string of exposés that journalists and politicians were targeted ...

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