Sunday

25th Jul 2021

News in Brief

  1. Macron changes phone after Pegasus spyware revelations
  2. Italy to impose 'vaccinated-only' entry on indoor entertainment
  3. EU 'will not renegotiate' Irish protocol
  4. Brussels migrants end hunger strike
  5. Elderly EU nationals in UK-status limbo after missed deadline
  6. WHO: 11bn doses needed to reach global vaccination target
  7. EU to share 200m Covid vaccine doses by end of 2021
  8. Spain ends outdoor mask-wearing despite surge

Opinion

Sweden's non-lockdown didn't work - why not?

The Swedish king would have been better advised to use his annual Christmas interview to call for unity of purpose and shed light on the political roots of the country's response.

Column

BioNTech: Stop talking about their 'migration background'

I understand that the German-Turkish community - often subjected to condescension in Germany - celebrated the story. Uğur Şahin and Özlem Türecki represent scientific excellence and business success at the highest level.

First look at EU's new '21st Century Bauhaus' project

The European Commission unveiled its plans for the 'New European Bauhaus' initiative - an environmental, economic and cultural project whose aim is to design "future ways of living" in a sustainable manner.

State oil-firm buyout of media group sparks Polish fears

The Polish government has praised the move as the beginning of long-awaited "re-Polonisation" of media markets - but journalists, media experts and opposition parties see it as an attack on press freedom, and preparation for local elections.

'Difficult weeks' ahead as EU deaths and infections soar

National authorities have warned citizens about "difficult" weeks ahead, as more than a quarter of EU countries are seeing strained health systems - amid a blame-game over the slow rollout of the vaccine in some member states.

Letter

Poland on brink of having no independent media

The time for euphemisms is over. The attack on media freedom in Poland clears the way for an all-out assault on fundamental EU values. You need to protect them, writes the editor of Poland's Gazeta Wyborcza.

Women hit 'disproportionately' hard by Covid-19, report finds

The pandemic has proven to be a major challenge for gender equality across Europe, where domestic violence and existing inequalities have exacerbated, a report has found. Meanwhile, domestic violence spiked during the spring of 2020 across Europe.

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Stakeholder

Who cares? Precarious situation facing 21st century heroines

In 2019, of all part-time jobs in the EU, 73.8 percent were held by women. Without a clear policy on flexible career development, women always end up sacrificing their career with knock on effects for the quality of female employment.

LGBTI fears over new Polish member at EU institution

A letter sent to the European Economic and Social Committee by a group of cross-party MEPs fighting for LGBTi rights expresses fears that a recently-appointed Polish member may try to undermine those rights.

Feature

Can Eastern European countries lead way for female politicians?

From Estonia to Moldova and from Slovakia to Georgia, the wider region of eastern Europe is increasing its number of female heads of state and prime ministers, seeing more women occupying the highest echelons of national politics.

Opinion

MEPs have one last chance to save Erasmus from Brexit

The UK may be leaving the EU, but it is not leaving Europe. British students have a moral right to connect with their home continent and European students should continue to feel welcomed in the UK.

MEPs seek to hold firms liable for supply-chain abuses

MEPs on the legal affairs committee are calling on the European Commission to urgently propose a new law that holds companies accountable for human rights or environmental abuses that happen across their supply chains.

Opinion

First Covid, now McKinsey - how austerity hit EU healthcare

The marketisation of health and long-term care, the push for Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), and the public spending cuts encouraged by EU economic governance processes all contributed to the increased commercialisation, privatisation, and reduction of health and long-term care services.

MEPs call for workers to have 'right to disconnect'

MEPs called for a new law guaranteeing workers can 'disconnect' outside work hours, without repercussion. But they also passed a last-minute amendment, calling on the commission to delay any legislation for three years.

EU rolls out vaccine, as UK-variant spreads

Most EU member states began rolling out the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against Covid-19 on Sunday, as a more contagious variant from the UK begins to spread on the continent.

Feature

Covid-hit homeless find Xmas relief at Brussels food centre

The Kamiano food distribution centre in Brussels is expecting 20 people every half hour on Christmas Day. For many, Kamiano is also more than that - a support system for those made homeless or impoverished.

Poland and Hungary battle to eradicate 'gender' in EU policies

The efforts by the two nationalist-conservative governments, which have both attacked LGBTIQ-rights and women' rights at home, is causing angst among several member states, who see it as a possible roll-back on gender rights.

Revealed: Hit to EU mental health services during Covid-19

The pandemic has both hampered access to mental health services, while increasing demand for psychological support, particularly in countries with the most severe coronavirus lockdowns. Meanwhile, experts warn that 'teletherapy' is not a universal fix.

Opinion

Nationwide protests reveal awakening of Poland's youth

The impact of Covid-19 on the scale, demography and length of current protests cannot be underestimated. Newspapers have hailed them "the biggest demonstrations since the fall of communism in 1989".

Amnesty exposes Amazon staff conditions on 'Black Friday'

Attempts by Amazon staff to unionise were met with court action in Poland, while in the UK the online giant checked workers' Facebook profiles for union activity. Meanwhile, extra coronavirus risk-pay for staff ended in May in most countries.

Opinion

EU corporate due diligence: new rules, or businesses rule?

The Brussels rumour mill has it that the EU Commission is being pressured to put forward a weaker proposal than what civil society organisations, trade unions, and the European Economic and Social Committee say is needed.

Opinion

EU minimum wage directive undercuts Scandinavian model

Imposing minimum wages and interfering in collective bargaining through binding legislation, not only means breaching EU treaties - there is also a serious risk that this will undermine successful labour market models that have delivered real wage increases for decades.

Opinion

Buyer beware! Online pet sales in EU need better regulation

While online is becoming the main method for buying pets, the lack of rules on the responsibilities of platforms regarding pet advertising has severely compromised consumer protection, fair competition, and animal health and welfare.

EU urges rollout of rapid coronavirus tests

The European Commission recommended a slew of anti-corona measures, urging member states scale up testing capacity, by increasing the use of rapid antigen tests, in order to help ease travel restrictions and prevent laboratory collapses.