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28th Jan 2021

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Ticker

Putin holds out olive branch to Europe

Russian leader Vladimir Putin told the 'virtual Davos' event Wednesday that: "Of course, Western Europe and Russia should be together." They should "get rid of the phobias of the past", he added. "We're ready for it, we want it," he said, amid potential, ...

Poland imposes anti-abortion law amid EU concern

Poland is bringing a divisive anti-abortion law into force, amid escalating EU doubt on the legality of its court system. The law, banning all terminations except for cases of rape and incest or if the mother's life was at risk, was to come into effect ...

Ticker

US snatched Russian anti-air system from Libya warlord

US operatives recently recovered a Russian 'Pantsir S-1' anti-aircraft rocket system from Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar and flew it intact to Germany to collect intelligence, British newspaper The Times reported Wednesday. Russia had sold it to the ...

Ticker

UK to extradite alleged trafficker to EU despite Brexit

The UK is to extradite 'Tai', a Vietnamese man allegedly involved in causing a human-trafficking tragedy, to Belgium on a Belgian European Arrest Warrant issued last month, before the UK's Brexit transition ended, in a test of post-Brexit cooperation. ...

Ticker

EU puts trust in Boeing 737s after post-crash ban

Boeing 737 Max planes were again permitted to fly, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (Easa) in Cologne, Germany, said Wednesday, lifting a 22-month ban after two air crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia in 2018. "We have every confidence that the ...

Ticker

EU animal-export trade under harsh spotlight

EU industry was responsible for almost 80 percent of the world's cross-border movements of 1.8bn live animals in 2019, according to UN statistics cited by The Guardian. EU subsidies promoted exports of European sheep to North Africa, despite there being ...

Ticker

City of London wants to set rules for EU

The City of London was so big a financial centre it should shape EU regulation in future, not the other way around, Catherine McGuinness, the head of the City of London Corporation, its historic governing body, told Reuters. "It's clear that we can't be ...

Analysis

The EU's vaccine strategy - the key points

Has the EU purchased enough vaccines? The European Commission, on behalf of member states, has sealed deals with six companies for up to 2.3 billion vaccine doses. The BioNTech-Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are so far the only jabs authorised in the EU, but ...

Coronavirus

EU-AstraZeneca row flares up after vaccines shortfall

The EU's standoff with vaccine-manufacturer AstraZeneca has intensified, after the company's CEO said the contract signed with the European Commission is on a "best-effort" basis - meaning that there is no legal obligation to fulfil the order set up by the ...

Opinion

First Covid, now McKinsey - how austerity hit EU healthcare

From hospitals to care homes, the outsourcing and privatisation of healthcare – in combination with various austerity policies promoted by the European Commission during the past decade – have significantly degraded EU member states' capacity to deal ...

Exclusive

Frontex suspends operations in Hungary

The EU's border agency, Frontex, is suspending operations in Hungary. "The head of Frontex has already made up his mind and will suspend all activities in Hungary," an EU official told EUobserver on Wednesday (27 January). A spokesperson from the Warsaw- ...

Ticker

MEPs want 2030 targets to reduce consumption footprint

The European Parliament environment committee on Wednesday called on the EU Commission to set binding targets for 2030 "to significantly reduce the EU material and consumption footprints" as part of their Circular Economy Action Plan. The report, to be ...

Ticker

Coronavirus cases worldwide pass 100m

Global coronavirus cases surpassed 100 million on Wednesday, according to a Reuters tally, as countries around the world struggled with new virus variants and vaccine shortfalls. Almost 1.3% of the world's population has now been infected with Covid-19, ...

Ticker

UK offers EU nationals money to go home

The UK has offered EU nationals living in the UK up to £2,000 (€1,650) plus the cost of flights home if they would rather undergo a "voluntary return" than apply for "settled status". "Some people may choose not to obtain [settled] status ... and may not ...

Ticker

IMF: Global economy to lose €18 trillion due to coronavirus

The global economy is set to lose over €18 trillion between 2020 and 2025, due to the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, the International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, Deutsche Welle writes. The economy will likely see a strong rebound this year, but ...

Ticker

NGOs urge EU to cut dependency on biomass

Civil society on Monday urged the European Commission to reduce its dependency on bioenergy, after a commissioned report revealed that biomass burning emits more greenhouse gasses than fossil fuels. In 23 out of the 24 scenarios examined by experts, ...

Cyprus: a heavy caseload for new EU prosecutors office

Around 10 percent of all pending fraud cases against the EU budget to be tackled by a new EU prosecutors office are linked to Cyprus. The figure was revealed on Tuesday (26 January) by Laura Kovesi, who leads the new European Public Prosecutors Office ( ...

Ticker

Norway watchdog fines Grindr €10m

The Norwegian data protection authority (DPA) said on Tuesday that it will fine the dating app Grindr nearly €10m for breaching the EU's data protection law (GDPR) over the exploitation of consumers' data by online advertising companies. This follows a ...

Ticker

Estonia's first female PM sworn in

Estonia's new government has been sworn in with the first female prime minister since its independence in 1991, the Guardian reports. The centre-right Reform party, chaired by Kaja Kallas, and the left-leaning Centre party, Estonia's two biggest political ...

MEPs: Portugal 'risks undermining' trust in EU prosecutor

MEPs quizzed the Portuguese justice minister on Tuesday (26 January) over Lisbon's push for a prosecutor to be appointed to the EU's prosecutor office (EPPO) contrary to the advice of a European expert panel. Lawmakers on the joint meeting of the civil ...

Coronavirus

EU to control vaccine exports in row over delays

The European Commission wants to control exports of coronavirus vaccines to outside the bloc, after manufacturers said EU countries will receive fewer jabs than ordered due to alleged production problems. "Europe invested billions to help develop the world ...

Ticker

Hungary announces plan to regulate 'Big Tech' companies

Hungary's justice minister will submit a bill in the spring to regulate 'Big Tech' companies. Judit Varga announced the plan on Facebook, saying Hungary will continue working on similar regulation at an EU-level but "recent events have shown that we need ...

Column

On Biden's China policy

President Joe Biden inherits a formidable challenge: an increasingly powerful and assertive China. He also inherits a handful of key officials that bears at least part of the responsibility of the immense failure to check China's rise, a failure that was ...

Analysis

Eastern Europe wakes up with Trump hangover

Four years of Donald Trump have not passed without a mark on eastern Europe and the western Balkans. From the funny to the serious, the former US president made headlines multiple times in dealing with a region often battered by local enmities and ...

Opinion

Why is Germany rushing a new Bosnia high representative?

With the nomination of Christian Schmidt to serve as the next international high representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the German government risks putting a personnel decision ahead of a policy debate. The Office of the High Representative (OHR), ...

Giuseppe Conte: scapegoat or Italy's most cunning politician?

The players of that tortuous and apparently incomprehensible game that is Italian politics are holding their breath. Especially Giuseppe Conte. After a half-hour meeting with the other ministers on Tuesday morning (26 January), the Italian prime minister ...

Ticker

Xi warns US on EU at 'virtual Davos'

Chinese president Xi Jinping urged the new US administration not to drag the EU into a Cold War with Beijing in his pre-recorded speech at 'virtual Davos' on Monday, an annual meeting put on by elite Swiss think-tank the World Economic Forum. "If we walk ...

Ticker

EU to treat UK traders like those in New York

An EU forum for discussing UK financial services will mirror one the bloc used already for relations with Wall Street in New York, EU financial affairs commissioner Mairead McGuinness told MEPs Monday, Reuters reports. "What we envisage for this framework ...

Ticker

EU upset by UK's 'unfriendly' treatment of ambassador

"It's not a friendly signal - the first one that the United Kingdom has sent to us immediately after leaving the European Union. If things continue like this there are no good prospects," EU foreign relations chief Josep Borrell said Monday, after the UK ...

Ticker

Italy PM to resign in order to form new government

Italy's prime minister Giuseppe Conte is to resign only to form a new government, reports the Reuters news agency. "My aim is to find an agreement that gives a clear political perspective to govern until the end of the legislation," he told La Repubblica ...

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