Tuesday

1st Dec 2020

Coronavirus

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.

News in Brief

  1. EU medical agency to decide on Pfizer and Moderna vaccines
  2. Euro-bailout fund to also help banks
  3. Trade unions urge date for pay transparency directive
  4. 33 governments must answer youth climate lawsuit
  5. US slams Hungarian article for Soros/Hitler comparison
  6. Sturgeon doesn't rule out 2021 Scottish independence vote
  7. Hungary's Orban and Poland's Morawiecki meet again
  8. Gran Canaria migrant camp dismantled

Pandemic exposed gulf in EU digital-schooling

EU states who invested in digital education were better able to protect students from the pandemic, a new report has said. Meanwhile, poor and rural pupils were worse off.

Coronavirus

EU seeks more health powers after dubious Covid-19 response

After the lack of coordination evidenced during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the European Commission put forward a set of proposals to strengthen the preparedness of members states in cross-border health threats.

Opinion

Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam fought Commission - and won

An outcry from major European city governments - including Amsterdam, Berlin, Madrid, Barcelona and Budapest - has helped shelve an EU Commission power grab over municipalities' services industries, such as in affordable housing, energy supply and waste management.

Coronavirus

Europe is back in (partial) lockdown

The burden on healthcare systems all across the bloc, as a result of the autumn surge in coronavirus infections, is triggering new nationwide lockdowns and restrictive measures in nearly every EU member state.

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.

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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.

Coronavirus

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.

EU pushes back against rising homophobia

The EU Commission plans a proposal to ensure recognition children-parent relations in cross border situations, and legislation to support the mutual recognition of parenthood between member states.

Gender equality still 60 years away, warns study

A new report on gender equality in the EU makes it clear: improved gender equality in decision-making is the main driver of progress in the EU. And most progress so far is due to outliers Sweden, Denmark and France.

Coronavirus

EU Commission's Covid-19 expert offers bleak outlook

Belgian microbiologist Peter Piot offered a bleak assessment of available options to rid the world of the pandemic caused by Covid-19. Aside from wishful thinking, millions of possible deaths, and crushing poverty, a vaccine appears to be the only solution.

EU Commission unveils 'adequate minimum wage' plan

The European Commission proposed minimum standards to ensure adequate minimum wages all across the EU. But the proposal does not oblige member states to harmonise their systems, nor does it set a common minimum wage level.

MEPs hear clash over occupied Hungarian drama school

The dispute over control of the film and theatre school has generated global support with dozens of internationally recognised artists - including actresses Cate Blanchett and Helen Mirren and author Salman Rushdie - supporting the school and its autonomy.

Podcast

Apostles of intersectionality challenge Europe

Intersectionality is the concept that overlapping identities - disability, gender, race and sexual-orientation for example - create forms of discrimination that can go unaddressed. But many EU leaders are wary of the kind of identity politics that intersectionality implies.

Polish court effectively bans legal abortions

The human rights commissioner of the Council of Europe said the ruling marked a "sad day for women's rights", adding that more women will seek abortions underground and abroad.

France vows tough retaliation for teacher's murder

Muslim NGOs targeted by the France's retaliatory response to the brutal murder of a schoolteacher claim the government is labelling "innocent Muslims as 'Islamists" just to be able to say that they are doing something".

Opinion

All eyes on EU court for decision on religious slaughter

The European Court of Justice is currently facing a major question: can religious freedom coexist with animal welfare? The decision of whether religious slaughter can continue is expected in a matter of weeks.

Coronavirus

EU's migrants more at risk from coronavirus

Europe's migrants - including EU nationals living in other states - are more at risk of catching coronavirus or suffering from corona-linked poverty, a new study says.

Coronavirus

EU outlines vaccine roll-out plan

The European Commission urged member states to scale up efforts to flatten the curve of the second wave of Covid-19 and recommended common measures for the roll-out of potential vaccines.

Opinion

When is a 'veggie burger' not a veggie burger? Ask MEPs

A ban on using meat names such as "burger" or "sausage" for vegetarian products goes against consumers' choices for more sustainable food. Plant-based foods usually have a significantly lower climate and environmental impact compared to animal-based foods, such as meat.

Podcast

Online violence: Stories from Bulgaria and Spain

Bigots and far-right extremists are using online violence to try to silence feminists and LGBT people. It's a cowardly tactic since perpetrators don't even have to meet their targets. We hear stories from two Europeans on the receiving end

Opinion

Shock of Covid-19 is catalyst to invest in mental health

According to the World Health Organisation, poor mental health claims the lives of 140,000 people per year by suicide in the European region. Their lives could be saved if mental health care and support were properly funded.

Opinion

Why EU's new Roma strategy is welcome, but toothless

How do we actually want to improve the precarious situation of millions of people with Romani background in Europe, when political leaders in the countries with some of the highest Romani populations openly nourish anti-gypsyist stereotypes, like in Hungary?

Opinion

Amazon's spying on EU workers just tip of iceberg

Amazon is leading an assault on workers' rights in Europe, using big data and surveillance to crush efforts by workers to improve their conditions. It's symptomatic of a climate of impunity around breaches of privacy that benefit corporations over workers.

Coronavirus

EU tries to avoid lockdowns as global death toll reaches 1m

Several member states are putting forward restrictive Covid-19-related measures to try to control the surge of numbers of coronavirus cases, trying to avoid a second lockdown. Meanwhile, the global death toll from the novel coronavirus has reached one million.

Opinion

Why no EU progress on Black Lives Matter?

Months after Black Lives Matter erupted, for many EU decision-makers the problems of racism in policing and criminal legal systems - the issues that sparked the George Floyd protests - are still 'over there', across the Atlantic.