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15th Apr 2024

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EU puts Sudan war and famine-risk back in spotlight

The EU, spearheaded by Germany and France, are hoping to put the international spotlight back on Sudan amid a war where half the population is at risk of famine. "Sudan is the largest displacement crisis in the world, there is not another as big," said ...

EU to blacklist Israeli settlers, after new sanctions on Hamas

EU states are planning to impose for the first time visa-bans and asset-freezes on six extremist settlers on Friday (19 April) in a bid to chill Israeli aggression. The decision is to be quietly adopted by a "written procedure" in the EU Council, ...

Opinion

Private fears of fairtrade activist for EU election campaign

I am not sleeping well. I am tossing and turning a lot at night — because I am obsessed about European Union elections campaign. I am worried by the geopolitical tensions, the prospects of a far-right European Parliament, and backlash on the Green Deal. I ...

Brussels venue ditches far-right conference after public pressure

The far-right National Conservatism conference, due to take place in Brussels on Tuesday and Wednesday (16-17 April), has been left searching for a new location after the Concert Noble venue decided to pull out — after public pressure. Edificio, the ...

Feature

How German police pulled the plug on a Gaza conference

On Friday (12th April), Berlin police stormed an officially-registered conference taking place at a private venue — cutting off electricity before ordering attendees to leave. In response, thousands protested over the weekend for the right to free ...

Agenda

EU special summit, MEPs prep work, social agenda This WEEK

EU leaders will gather again in Brussels for a special two-day summit on Wednesday and Thursday (17 and 18 April). As the draft report by the former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta on the single market is expected to be published on Thursday, the ...

EU leaders condemn Iran, urge Israeli restraint

Major Western nations have condemned Iran's retaliatory strike on Israel, with EU foreign ministers to hold snap talks on Tuesday (16 April) amid fears of escalation. The G7 group of Western leaders "unanimously condemned" Iran's air strike on Israel in ...

UK-EU deal on Gibraltar only 'weeks away'

EU and UK negotiators said that a new post-Brexit settlement for Gibraltar was just weeks away from completion following talks in Brussels on Friday (12 April). Speaking after a four-way meeting with UK foreign secretary David Cameron, Gibraltar chief ...

Belgium declares war on MEPs who took Russian 'cash'

Belgian spies have evidence MEPs took Russian money, Belgium's prime minister has said, while announcing a potentially explosive judicial inquiry. "Moscow approached MEPs, but also paid, to promote Russian propaganda here," said Belgian prime minister ...

Opinion

Brussels Dispatches: Foreign interference in the spotlight

Editor's note: After reading this first edition of the newsletter Brussels Dispatches, we decided to reach out to Wilf King and Pierre Minoves, respectively working for the European Parliament and Commission, who together started it. Their motivation, as ...

Opinion

Calling time on Amazon's monopolism and exploitation

As Amazon's founder Jeff Bezos just reclaimed the title of the richest person on Earth, its workers cannot even take a bathroom break under the pressure of meeting inhumane performance targets. At the hearing in the European Parliament in January, where ...

Resist backlash on deforestation law, green groups tell EU

European environmental groups have urged the EU Commission to stand firm on implementing the bloc's landmark anti-deforestation legislation — despite a backlash from governments in South America, Africa and some EU ministers. In a letter published on ...

Stakeholder

China's high-quality development brings opportunities to the world

China's Two Sessions, which were concluded not long ago, offer an important window for the world to observe and understand China. People both at home and abroad pay close attention to the Two Sessions, expecting that China's economic resilience and higher- ...

Ukraine tops aid list again, but EU spending slumps

Ukraine was the biggest single recipient of international aid in 2023 for the second year in a row, but EU aid spending dropped by nearly eight percent, according to new data published on Thursday (11 April). Kyiv received €18.5bn in Official Development ...

Who did Russia pay? MEPs urge spies to give names

MEPs have urged intelligence services to publish the names of who was paid by Russia, while pointing fingers at the EU's far right. Two French liberal MEPs led the calls for culprits' names in a plenary debate in Brussels late on Wednesday (10 April). "We ...

Analysis

'PieperGate' crisis re-opens doubts on von der Leyen's future

The European Parliament on Thursday (11 April) called on the EU Commission to rescind Markus Pieper's controversial appointment as SME envoy — and launch a "truly transparent and open process" for the selection of a new candidate for the post. The ...

Opinion

The Bolsonaro-Orbán far-right nexus

On March 25, the New York Times had access to a security tape from the Hungarian embassy in Brasília, Brazil's capital, showing former far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro hiding for two days inside the building in early February, after having his ...

Stakeholder

Don't kill cohesion policy

Many think of Frankfurt as the financial centre of the EU and, therefore, as its economic beating heart. One can also say the same about our national capitals and two or three of the largest cities in every member state. Indeed, most Spanish wealth is ...

Investigation

Rural Europe's turn to far-right triggered by 'political neglect'

On the surface, São Vicente e Ventosa is an unlikely setting for political disruption. A sleepy village with whitewashed buildings and clay roofs, like much of rural Portugal it has an ageing population and an economy reliant on farming. Yet it has become ...

Interview

EU should use 'all means' to end war in Gaza: Belgian minister

The EU should use "all means" possible to end the violence in Gaza, including sanctions (if necessary), a peace conference, and a review of the EU-Israel Association Agreement, Belgian development minister Caroline Gennez (Vooruit/S&D) told EUobserver in ...

EU loses €33m an hour in super-rich's unpaid taxes

The European Parliament meets later on Thursday (11 April) for its second-last plenary session — but this time with a special guest waiting outside its Brussels building. While MEPs are expected to debate and vote on various energy market pieces of ...

Price-cap could slash 60 percent of Russian LNG earnings: report

Despite efforts by the EU to cut off Russian gas supply following the 2022 invasion of Ukraine, Russia remains heavily reliant on Europe and wealthy G7 countries for its overseas gas exports. In 2023, half of all Russian liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports ...

Migration pact hailed as 'huge' EU win, amid human-rights fears

MEPs gave their final approval on Wednesday (10 April) to the EU's long-delayed immigration and asylum pact, which European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen heralded as a "huge achievement for Europe". The package of 10 regulations and directives ...

Two Russian bankers left in EU limbo, despite court victory

Two Russian bankers have come closer to wriggling off the EU blacklist due to flimsy evidence, auguring badly for similar court rulings expected before summer. The EU's General Court in Luxembourg "annulled" the 2022 blacklisting of two Russian finance ...

Podcast

Polish elections, education in Africa, Germany's day in court

Editor's note: In the spirit of diversifying and experimentation, we've partnered with the reporters behind the Euroscopic podcast, who will be bringing a weekly conversational analysis of the top EU stories, coupled with interviews with some of EUobserver ...

Opinion

The problem of corruption in Ukraine — and a solution

As the war rages on in Ukraine, the country remains keen to progress in its bid to join the European Union. In mid-March, Ukrainian prime minister Denys Shmyhal even expressed the hope that accession negotiations could already start in the first half of ...

EU losing China tech-race, as Beijing prepares to host German CEOs

China's clean-tech hegemony posed a threat to Western security, the EU's anti-trust tsar has warned — in a dig at Germany. Margrethe Vestager, the EU's competition commissioner, spoke out on China at Princeton University in the United States on Tuesday (9 ...

Analysis

Economic plans of EU 'Big Three' are evidence of low ambition

It's always significant when the EU's 'Big Three' get together. Unlike the traditional Franco-German axis, France, Germany and Italy rarely attempt to jointly shape EU policy. The gathering of the 'Big Three's economy ministers in Meudon near Paris on ...

Ukraine's farmers slam EU import controls on food products

After weeks of intense negotiations, a consensus has been reached on implementing stricter EU import controls on Ukrainian agricultural products. But the decision, which appears somewhat paradoxical given the EU's vocal support for Kyiv, has drawn ...

Germany tells ICJ Gaza hearing arms sales to Israel 'defensive'

The International Court of Justice met for a second day on Tuesday (9 April) to hear Germany's rebuttal to Nicaragua's accusation that it is complicit in supporting potential genocide in Gaza by providing arms to Israel. On Monday, Nicaragua's lawyers ...

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