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13th Jun 2021

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Ticker

EU top court fast-tracks rule-of-law case to October

The European Court of Justice president on Friday decided to use an expedited procedure in a case where Poland and Hungary are challenging the legality of the EU's new rule-of-law mechanism, linking EU funds to respect for the rule of law. The hearing will ...

Ticker

Hungary's Fidesz wants to ban LGBTIQ content for under-18s

Hungary's ruling nationalist party has submitted legislation to ban content it sees as promoting homosexuality and gender-change to minors, Reuters reported. The draft law would ban LGBTIQ literature for under-18s, including educational material, and ...

Ticker

MEPs join EU citizens on farm-animal cage ban

The European Parliament has lent political weight to an EU citizens' petition to end farming of caged animals and force-feeding of ducks and geese to make fois gras pâté, putting pressure on the European Commission to table legislation. Forced-feeding was ...

Ticker

Council of Europe urges Russia to release Navalny 'immediately'

The committee of ministers of pan-European rights body the Council of Europe has strongly urged Russia to "immediately" release jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, in line with a previous ruling by the European Court of Human Rights, The Moscow Times ...

Ticker

China's anti-sanctions law alarms EU businesses

China passed a law Thursday saying foreign nationals involved in drawing up sanctions against it can be denied entry, or expelled from the country, and have their assets seized. "Such action is not conducive to attracting foreign investment or reassuring ...

EU urges Poland to step back from 'legal primacy' clash

The European Commission has asked Poland not to question the primacy of EU over national law, eliciting furious rebukes from the Polish government. EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders issues the request in a formal letter to Warsaw this week, his ...

Ticker

Airlines seek to water down EU passengers' rights

EU flight passengers should have fewer rights to compensation for delayed or cancelled flights, the pandemic has showed, according to European airlines. "When events like mass cancellations get put in place this [EU] law is not flexible enough to handle ...

Ticker

EU leaders join call for further probe into Covid origins

EU leaders on Thursday called for an investigation on the origins of the Covid-19 pandemic, after the World Health Organization probe ended without conclusions earlier this year, Reuters reported. "Investigators need complete access to whatever is ...

Ticker

Liberal MEPs under fire over Babiš abstention

MEPs from the liberal Renew Europe group came under fire on Thursday for abstaining on the resolution pointing to the conflicts of interest of the Czech prime minister Andrej Babiš. The resolution calls for reinforced measures to protect the EU budget and ...

Ticker

Spain backtracks on Covid nightlife rules after complaints

Spain's health ministry has scrapped a nationwide plan to gradually reopen nightlife, just a week after introducing it, following widespread complaints from regional authorities, who dismissed it as either too strict or too loose, Reuters reports. The plan ...

Ticker

Amnesty: Uighurs living in a 'dystopian hellscape'

Amnesty International has collected new evidence of human rights abuses in the Xinjiang region of China, which it says has become a "dystopian hellscape" for hundreds of thousands of Muslims subjected to mass internment and torture, The Guardian writes. ...

Pressure builds on EU to back WTO vaccine-patent waiver

MEPs have backed a motion demanding the temporary lifting of intellectual properties rights for Covid-19 vaccines - a symbolic move that puts pressure on the European Commission to change its position on the issue of global access to vaccines. EU lawmakers ...

EU anti-fraud agency cracked down on fake pandemic supplies

The EU's anti-fraud agency helped seized millions of counterfeit masks, testing-kits, and hand-sanitisers over the past year, as the pandemic opened up a major business opportunity for fraudsters, the agency, OLAF's report published on Thursday (10 June) ...

Exclusive

MEP office expenses kept secret on dubious evidence

The European Parliament is using seven-year old data, based on guesswork, as an excuse not to audit how MEPs spend their €4,500 monthly office allowances. Each MEP gets that lump sum every month to cover office expenses - totalling some €40m a year in ...

Opinion

What the EU public think of EU pesticide regulation

Glyphosate, the active substance in Bayer/Monsanto's Roundup and the world's most widely-used herbicide, was classified in 2015 as a "probable human carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), leading to large numbers of lawsuits ...

Ticker

EU keen to send top officials on Hong Kong mission

"A visit of high-level EU officials will be considered" to Hong Kong to deter Chinese authorities from electoral law reform, EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday, in a move that comes amid high tension, after Europe and China launched ...

Ticker

Biden lands in Europe, talks tough on Putin

Russia will face "robust" consequences for "harmful activities," US president Joe Biden said after landing at an air-force base in the UK Thursday to start an eight-day European tour, which will climax in a summit with Russian president Vladimir Putin in ...

Ticker

EU citizens getting high in lockdown, report says

Use of party drug MDMA fell in Europe during last year's lockdown, while use of psychedelics, such as LSD, and anti-anxiety drugs, such as Valium and Xanax, increased according to the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, an EU agency in ...

Ticker

Kosovar and Serbian leaders to meet in Brussels next week

Serbian president Aleksandar Vučić is to meet Kosovar prime minister Albin Kurti in Brussels on 15 June to resume talks on normalising relations, the EU foreign service said Wednesday. The meeting, chaired by EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell, is the ...

Ticker

Report: Macron slap suspect had copy of Mein Kampf

One of the two suspects arrested for slapping French president Emmanuel Macron was reportedly in the possession of Mein Kampf and weapons. Investigators found the possessions in the home of the suspect who filmed the slap. Both men are aged 28 and were ...

Ticker

MEPs back EU Covid travel pass

The European Parliament on Wednesday approved the EU's Covid travel pass, set for a 1 July launch, as the holiday season gears up. The vote passed with 546 in favour, 93 against and 51 abstentions. "The EU digital Covid certificate will function from 1 ...

Ticker

Talks break down in EU-UK 'sausage war' spat

Talks have broken down between the EU and the UK on post-Brexit trade with Northern Ireland. Dubbed the 'sausage war', the spat deals with the movement of chilled meats from Britain to Northern Ireland. European Commission vice-president, Maroš Šefčovič ...

Ticker

Commissioner calls Greek anti-migrant sound weapons 'odd'

European commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson described Greece's use of sound cannons to deter migrant entries as strange. "This is an odd way to protect your borders. This is nothing that has been funded by the European Commission. And I do hope ...

MEPs set to take EU Commission to court on rule-of-law

MEPs voted on Wednesday (9 June) on taking the EU Commission to the bloc's highest court - unless it moves to use its new mechanism linking paying out EU funds to member states' respect for the rule of law. MEPs pledged to take the commission to the ...

EU takes legal action against Germany on bonds ruling

The European Commission on Wednesday (9 June) launched legal action against Germany, after determining that last year's controversial ruling on bond-buying by the country's Constitutional Court "constitutes a serious precedent" that puts at risk the EU's ...

MEPs demand new EU biodiversity law by next year

The European Parliament has called on the Commission to put forward an unprecedented European biodiversity law next year, similar to the EU climate law - with binding targets for the protection of ecosystems. Last year, the commission published a plan to ...

Feature

How Italy's passion for fish is destroying its seas

The Mediterranean is the world's most overfished sea. According to the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 75 percent of its fish stocks are exploited in an unsustainable way. This is bad news for all countries in the area, ...

Ticker

Activists launch campaign to end Frontex

A coalition of some 45 groups and NGOs, including front-Lex, Sea-Watch, Open Arms and others, have launched a campaign to end the EU's border agency Frontex. The activists plan 'actions' in Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Morocco. " ...

EU to extend sanctions on Russia-occupied Crimea

The EU is to extend sanctions on Russia-occupied Crimea, amid a history of patchy implementation. EU ambassadors, meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (9 June), were expected to agree a year-long extension without much ado, three EU diplomats told EUobserver. ...

EU sends mixed message on Turkey as 'safe' haven

The European Commission says Greece will still be required to assess individual claims after Athens declared Turkey a safe country for refugees. "I think it is not something very strange with this decision," EU home affairs commissioner Ylva Johansson, ...

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