Sunday

9th Aug 2020

News in Brief

  1. Germany breached rights of Madeleine McCann suspect
  2. EU offers trade perks to Lebanon
  3. Germany charges ex-Audi chiefs on emissions cheating
  4. UK quarantines Belgium, as European infections climb
  5. Bulgaria's Borissov mulls resignation
  6. EU prolongs anti-dumping duties on Chinese steel
  7. Swedish economy contracted less during April to June
  8. EU offers help to Lebanon after port explosion

Opinion

Why so few women in EU missions?

Angela Merkel is only the seventh woman to chair the Council of the European Union's meetings. And in 2020 there is no woman leading any of the current 11 European civilian missions (let alone the six military operations).

Opinion

On toppling statues

The internationally-acclaimed author of King Leopold's Ghost, Adam Hochschild, writes on Belgium's problems with statues, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Black MEP: 'I have been a victim of police violence'

MEPs urged an end to structural racism and discrimination in Europe and the US, following the brutal killing of black American George Floyd by US police. Socialists and Green MEPs stressed the need to unblock the anti-discrimination directive.

Six 'LGBTI-free' Polish cities left out of EU funding

Six Polish cities that declared themselves as "LGBTI-free zones" have been denied funding under the EU's Town Twinning programme for failing to meet the standards of "equal access and non-discrimination".

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Coronavirus

EU secures remdesivir supplies for 30,000 patients

The European Commission signed this week a €63m contract with the US-based biopharmaceutical company Gilead to secure batches of remdesivir for 30,000 patients with "severe" Covid-19 symptoms - after the US left Europe and most of the world without supplies.

Opinion

Migrant healthcare must not be forgotten during Covid-19

Previous claims that migrants bring communicable diseases to host countries have been debunked by a review of the existing evidence carried out earlier this year. In fact, migrants are currently more at risk of contracting Covid-19 from Europeans.

Coronavirus

Spain fears tourism blow amid 'second wave' measures

Several European countries are now warning citizens not to visit Spain, after an increase in Covid-19 cases this month. However, Spanish foreign minister Arancha González Laya has insisted that Spain is still "a safe country".

EU states agree on corona hygiene standards for aviation

German transport minister, Andreas Scheuer, announced that EU member states have agreed on common hygiene standards on planes and airports - as major airlines are calling for a joint coronavirus-testing programme in order to resume trans-Atlantic travel.

Coronavirus

Summit cut health & research, despite second-wave fear

The new EU4Health programme was the EU's flagship scheme for research and innovation but was brutally cut by leaders during this week's summit - from €9.4bn proposed just two months ago, to €1.67bn.

Coronavirus

EU unveils plan to counter second Covid-19 wave

The EU Commission unveiled on Wednesday a set of guidelines to strengthen the bloc's response to a potential future surge of coronavirus infections - and warned a simultaneous seasonal-flu plus Covid-19 outbreak would place a considerable strain on health systems.

Coronavirus

'Passengers' became 'lenders' to airlines hit by pandemic

When airlines ignore refund claims, reject them or are only willing to offer vouchers or rebooking, they act against EU regulations. "In each of these cases airlines use their customers as lenders," warns one legal expert.

Opinion

Let's have positive discrimination for EU stagiaires

We call for applying positive discrimination to the 'Blue Book'. This would imply quotas to ensure the recruitment of people of colour including those from non-privileged backgrounds.

MEPs give green light to road transport sector reform

MEPs adopted on Thursday the Mobility Package covering truck drivers' working conditions - rejecting amendments pushed by central and eastern member states. However, the European Commission warned that two new rules might be not align with the Green Deal.

EUobserver under attack in wider battle for EU free press

If EU citizens want to know the truth, then journalists need protection from malicious litigation, as EUobserver joined the list of targets, over an article about the late Maltese journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Student unrest over Romania gender-studies ban

The amendment to the education law, approved by the Romanian parliament, is pushing the country closer to the authoritarian policies found in neighbouring Hungary and Poland, critics say.

Feature

Covid-19's impact on Spanish Roma

There has been a lack of food and of basic necessities in many Roma households, which were already living in a state of extreme poverty and vulnerability: more than 40 percent experienced difficulty in accessing food.

Opinion

EU budget: Don't repeat the austerity of 2008

European leaders have a historic choice on Friday when they dial-in to discuss how to stop a health crisis turning into a social one: will they learn the lessons of 2008, or opt again for austerity and short-term self-preservation?

Column

George Floyd: What US polarisation means for Europe

Practically nobody in Germany knows of Mercedes Kierpacz. The 35-year old mother of two was working in a kiosk in the German city of Hanau on the evening of 19 February when a man shot her dead.

Coronavirus

'Self-regulation not working' on fake news, EU warned

MEPs, journalists, publishers and broadcasters urge "much stronger measures" on the European Commission to tackle fake news related to the pandemic, including sanctions and the regulation of algorithms.

Opinion

The fate of Europe's elderly under Covid-19 lockdown

If half of European Covid-19-related deaths happened in care facilities, it is largely the result of a long-term suffocation of the sector and a lack of consideration from political leaders to design the world we want to age in.