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28th May 2022

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Ticker

Dutch journalists sue EU over banned Russia TV channels

The Dutch journalists' trade union, the Nederlandse Vereniging van Journalisten (NVJ), has filed a lawsuit at the EU Court of Justice challenging EU sanctions against Russian propaganda outlets Russia Today and Sputnik, which were banned in Europe in March ...

Ticker

EU holding €23bn of Russian bank reserves

EU countries have frozen just €23bn of Russian Central Bank reserves, compared to some five times that by the US (and some €280bn in total by Western countries), EU justice commissioner Didier Reynders said Wednesday. The EU Commission the same day tabled ...

Exclusive

EU summit will be 'unwavering' on arms for Ukraine

EU leaders will shortly vow to continue arming and financing Ukraine in the face of "unspeakable" Russian "atrocities ... suffering and destruction". That is the thrust of a draft EU-Ukraine summit statement, dated 24 May and seen by EUobserver. "The ...

Ticker

Russia speeds up passport process in occupied Ukraine

Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a decree on Wednesday to accelerate the process of handing Russian citizenship to residents of Ukraine's Russian-occupied Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions, Reuters reported. This was already the case in the Russian- ...

Ticker

Palestinian civil society denounce Metsola's Israel visit

A handful of Palestinian civil society groups have denounced, in a letter , European Parliament president Roberta Metsola's visit with Israeli officials and MPs. They also accuse Metsola of being complicit "in the institutionalised domination and ...

Ticker

Johnson refuses to resign after Downing Street parties report

British prime minister Boris Johnson has rejected calls to resign, following the publication of an independent report into a string of parties held at Downing Street during the UK's Covid lockdowns — in breach of government guidance at the time. Johnson, ...

Ticker

EU border police has over 2,000 agents deployed

The EU's border guard, Frontex, says it has over 2,000 agents, 13 vessels and over 200 patrol cars deployed at Europe's external borders. The Warsaw-based agency is still looking for a new chief after Fabrice Leggeri resigned, following intense media and ...

Orbán's new state of emergency under fire

Hungary's government has declared a state of emergency and given itself sweeping new powers in the wake of the war in Ukraine, prime minister Viktor Orbán announced. The new authority allows the Budapest government to approve measures by decree, curb ...

EU parliament prevaricates on barring Russian lobbyists

Political pressure is mounting for the European Parliament to unilaterally strip Russian lobbyists of their access badges. "Accreditation of lobbyists for Gazprom and other Russian state-affiliated entities should be immediately revoked," said Pedro ...

Ukraine lawyer enlists EU watchdog against Russian oil

A Ukrainian environmental lawyer, backed by a group of climate activists, has filed a complaint with the European Ombudsman, arguing that imports of Russian fossil fuels breach EU law and violate international human rights. In a potential new line of ...

Letter

Right of Reply: Hungarian government

Dear Editor, While authors Emese Pásztor and Sanjay Sethi in EUobserver take a rather biased stance on Hungary's state of danger due to the Covid pandemic and now the war in Ukraine, in their attempt to paint prime minister Viktor Orbán and his government ...

Opinion

When Reagan met Gorbachev — a history lesson for Putin

At a speech to the American Bar Foundation in 1962, President John Kennedy's secretary of defense Robert McNamara unveiled a term Mutually Assured Destruction to incapacitate the Soviet Union in the event of a nuclear attack. Using a retaliatory strike, it ...

Ticker

Dutch tax authorities to admit to institutional racism

The Dutch government will recognise cases of institutional racism via its tax authority, secretary for tax affairs Marnix van Rij said. "We must not deny that this has happened and that we must do something about it," he told Dutch press on Wednesday. For ...

Ticker

Rutte calls for EU pension and labour reforms

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, speaking at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday, called on other EU members to "really start" reforming their pension, housing, and labour markets. His remarks came days after the EU Commission admonished the Netherlands ...

Orbán oil veto to deface EU summit on Ukraine

EU leaders will have no good news for Ukraine on the Russia oil ban next week, amid confusion on what Hungary really wants. "We should not stare at the summit," EU Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told press in Davos on Tuesday (24 May), referring ...

France aims for EU minimum-tax deal in June

The global deal to increase tax paid by multinational companies is being pushed back with the EU aiming to secure an accord in June, hoping to overcome opposition by Poland by then. The landmark deal, signed by 140 countries in 2021, would ensure ...

'No progress in years' in Libya, says UN migration body

An UN-affiliated body working in Libya has offered a bleak outlook of a country that remains gripped by armed militias. Federico Soda, who heads the Libya mission for the International Organization for Migration (IOM), described a vicious cycle of abuse in ...

Toxic pesticide residue in EU fruit up 53% in a decade

Fruits and vegetables produced in the EU are still contaminated with hazardous chemicals, despite years-old promises by EU member states to phase them out. Nearly a third of apples and half of all blackberries analysed in a major study had traces of ...

Opinion

Orbán's overtures to Moscow are distasteful and detrimental

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán's overtures to Moscow and Beijing are as distasteful as they are detrimental to Hungary's national interest. The most recent case in point? Hungary's veto of the proposed embargo on the EU's imports of Russian oil. ...

Column

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth is back

Among the many unforeseen consequences of Russia´s attempted invasion of Ukraine on 24 February, Europe's mental map is shifting. Since the fall of communism, countries like Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova were perceived as lingering in a twilight zone ...

Ticker

France 'convinced' Ukraine will join EU

France says Ukraine will eventually join the European Union, even if takes 20 years. "I am convinced that Ukraine will be part of the European Union," said Clement Beaune, France's minister of state for European affairs. The comment follows a proposal ...

EU aims to seize Russian assets amid legal unclarity

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said on Tuesday (24 May) the EU could support a push to confiscate Russian central bank assets to help rebuild Ukraine post-war. "We should leave no stone unturned, including, if possible, Russian assets," ...

Close ties with autocrats means security risk, Nato chief warns

Extensive economic ties with autocratic regimes, such as Russia and China, carry a security risk, Jens Stoltenberg, Nato secretary-general said on Tuesday (24 May), telling the global business and political elite in Davos that protecting values is more ...

Ticker

Von der Leyen: Russia hoarding food as 'blackmail'

Russia is using food security as blackmail, the European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen said in Davos on Tuesday. "Russia is now hoarding its own food exports as a form of blackmail — holding back supplies to increase global prices, or trading ...

Ticker

Legal action launched against KLM over 'greenwashing'

Environmental groups on Tuesday launched legal action against Dutch aviation giant KLM for their 2019 "Fly Responsibly" campaign, regarded by campaigners as greenwashing. The NGOs argued that the campaign falsely promotes the sustainability of flying and ...

Ticker

Orbán refuses to discuss Russia oil embargo at EU summit

Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán has ruled out discussing the EU's proposed oil embargo of Russia at next week's summit of leaders. In a letter seen by the Financial times addressed to the European Council's president, Charles Michel, he said his ...

Ticker

Turkey's Erdogan snubs Greek PM

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he no longer recognises the prime minister of Greece— Nato ally and neighbour — Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whom he accused of seeking to block the sale of American F-16 jets to Turkey. "There's no longer anyone called ...

Ticker

ECB: Crypto may pose a risk to financial stability

The European Central Bank (ECB) said on Tuesday cryptocurrencies may pose a risk to financial stability if the market maintains its rapid growth of the last two years and financial institutions become increasingly involved with crypto-assets. The ...

Ticker

UK PM Johnson faces renewed questions over Covid party

British prime minister Boris Johnson is facing renewed questions after photos showing him drinking at an event during a Covid-19 lockdown in November 2020 were released by ITV News. BBC reported that at least one person who attended was fined, but the ...

Ticker

Sweden gives 5th Covid shot to people over 65, pregnant women

Sweden is recommending a fifth Covid-19 vaccine dose for people with an increased risk of becoming seriously ill, including pregnant women and anyone aged 65 and over, authorities said Tuesday. Officials said the country must "be prepared for an increased ...

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