Sunday

7th Jun 2020

News in Brief

  1. Poland accused of 'blatant violation' of EU court injunction
  2. EU concerned by US approach to Kosovo and Serbia
  3. City morgues cast doubt on Putin's virus data
  4. ECB increases pandemic stimulus to €1.35 trillion
  5. New EU cloud computing platform 'moonshot'
  6. City of Berlin passes anti-discrimination law
  7. Iran hits record corona cases in second wave
  8. EU job losses tell tale of pandemic damage

Feature

How West learnt from East to wear face masks

For Asian observers, not wearing face masks represents the lack of social cohesion, failure of effective government prevention strategies and comprehensive solidarity.

Coronavirus

Commission suspends mask deliveries over defects

The European Commission suspended future deliveries of masks for member states - after some countries reported that the masks did not meet EU's standards. Earlier this month, the commission started sending 1.5m masks to 17 EU countries and the UK.

Future of Europe Conference: Council urged to move now

MEPs want to launch the delayed two-year event in September, which would require a joint position of the three main EU institutions before summer. EU commissioner Maroš Šefčovič is optimistic about reaching an EU Council's position under the Croatian presidency.

Coronavirus

Officials: Health should become EU 'critical infrastructure'

"The pandemic should be a wake-up call that the EU is facing collective risks requiring not just collective answers, but also the acknowledgement of the already existing interdependencies [of its health systems]," said one expert.

Coronavirus

'Worrying' increase in online child abuse, Europol says

Child sexual abuse online is more sought-after by criminals as more children are online at home, the EU's law enforcement agency warns. And a post-pandemic economic slump might make matters worse.

Coronavirus

Commission plans strategy to 'maximise' vaccine access

The EU Commission plans a vaccine stategy to make sure all citizens have access to it once it is ready, while it is also seeking to negotiate with pharmaceutical companies on securing the vaccine.

Coronavirus

EU Commission slammed for Covid-19 'mid-threat' ranking

The European Commission classified on Wednesday the coronavirus as a "mid-level" threat to workers, drawing criticism from socialist lawmakers and trade unions because the decision allows businesses to apply less stringent safety measures in the workplace.

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Opinion

Anti-Roma hatred on streets of Budapest

Remarkably, no national or EU leader has yet publicly condemned the aggressive and open dissemination of violent hate speech in Hungary's capital. Only Budapest's mayor Gergely Karácsony has raised his voice in protest.

Coronavirus

Spain takes 'giant step' on guaranteed minimum income

The minimum income guarantee was a condition included in the coalition agreement between the Socialists and the leftist group Unidas Podemos, after the indecisive results of the November national elections.

Coronavirus

EU to unveil summer holiday plans amid Schengen fears

The European Commission is set to announce a three-phase approach on Wednesday to gradually reopen internal borders. However, concerns over how the principle of free movement in the EU will be affected is growing - as countries announce different approaches.

Opinion

Resources for Covid-19 abuse victims 'insufficient'

Support services for victims and witnesses, the police and other relevant authorities are stretched to the limits because of staff shortages, travel restrictions or other demands related to Covid-19.

Coronavirus

Tech giants must stop Covid-19 'infodemic', say doctors

Doctors and nurses around the world are asking tech giants to correct the record on health misinformation and tweak their algorithms which decide what people get to see on social media platforms.

Coronavirus

Conflicting signs ahead of EU summer holiday 'roadmap'

France will not make a decision on holidays until early June - while Germany is warning against a "race to allow tourism first", and some smaller EU states, such as Greece, Denmark and Austria, are considering allowing foreign holidays.

Feature

Pandemic: Roma at receiving end of racist policing

The reports we have received at the European Roma Rights Centre of extreme hardship, police violence, ethnic profiling and hate speech against Roma since the pandemic hit Europe, highlight the need for extra vigilance when governments adopt emergency powers.

Coronavirus

Coronavirus exposes increase in violence targeting women

Coronavirus lockdowns have triggered a spike in domestic, sexual and gender-based violence across Europe. However, experts stressed that the end of lockdowns will bring additional challenges, such as economic uncertainty or job losses, which can lead to more abuse.

Coronavirus

Firms in EU tax havens cannot be denied Covid bailouts

Denmark, France and Poland are refusing to provide bailouts to companies that are registered in tax havens like Panama. But campaigners point out that the EU's Luxembourg and Netherlands are also home to firms avoiding paying billions into national coffers.

Opinion

Covid-19: Low-paid workers risk lives, let's protect them

Doctors, nurses, paramedics, carers, cleaners, porters and ambulance drivers are at the sharp end of this pandemic. 8,000 Dutch healthcare workers have tested positive, with several in intensive care. Spain has 24,000 infected care-workers and Italy 16,950, with 150 dead.

Coronavirus

Women hit hardest by corona economic crisis

While women are in the frontline on fighting the pandemic, they are also exposed more to the economic crisis that will follow. The pay gap could also grow. More security for flexible jobs, and investment in care work, could help.

Coronavirus

Europe's dilemma: to follow Asian 'exit strategies' or not?

Several Asian countries have seen the coronavirus surge back after easing restrictions - despite their initial success in restraining the outbreak. As a result, EU member states maybe starting to loosen restrictions without having a 'concrete' example to learn from.

Press freedom in Balkans better than some EU states

EU candidate countries such as Albania, Montenegro and Serbia have relatively poor press freedoms - but still fare much better than Bulgaria, an EU state whose ranking in the World Press Freedom index has plummeted.

Feature

Italy: After the balcony-singing stopped ...

After more than 22,000 coronavirus-related deaths and over a month of lockdown, Italy's health emergency is taking its toll from the social point of view too. Stress is skyrocketing.

Opinion

The plight of Europe's disabled under coronavirus

'As a single mother, I am now caring for my severely disabled son alone, 24/7, without any assistance, without rest, with more demand for shopping, cooking, feeding and intensive care.'

Visual Data

Why coronavirus numbers tell complex stories

Numbers appear precise, but can also be unintentionally misleading when it comes to the pandemic, as experts warned that worldwide data is difficult to compare.

Coronavirus

WHO urges caution as EU states soften lockdowns

Even though some countries in Europe are considering to ease lockdowns and restrictive measures, the European branch of the World Health Organization warns that the number of infections and death for coronavirus keeps growing in the region.

Coronavirus

Facebook to retroactively alert users of bogus content

US social media giant Facebook announced new measures to tackle the 'infodemic' triggered by bogus content on the coronavirus. The move coincides with a study by activists showing how Facebook had so far failed to curtail virus-related disinformation.

Coronavirus

Education in coronavirus times: trial and error

Most EU countries are organising distance e-learning to support students amid the coronavirus pandemic, but skills and opportunities are not the same among member states.

Coronavirus

Roma 'at heightened risk' from corona crisis

The EU's Agency for Fundamental Rights has warned that Roma inequality and discrimination is growing due to the coronavirus outbreak. Meanwhile, the EU Commission will present a strategy for Roma equality to tackle discrimination.