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European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law

The European Commission has proposed a bill to protect whistleblowers almost five years after such a demand was first floated by the European Parliament.

The commission's proposal seeks to strengthen legal protection of whistleblowers regardless of their employment status in the public or ...

yesterday 17:29 open_in_new
Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack

Nora Koves takes her phone outside the room we sit in when she starts discussing her future plans. She does not want the Hungarian state security services to have a chance of listening in. She suspects her phone is being monitored. 

The 31-year-old works for the Eotvos Karoly ...

yesterday 17:29 open_in_new
Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP

The European Investment Bank's decision to keep secret the entire report on how it was misled into lending €400m to emissions-cheating Volkswagen is "not acceptable", according to Green MEP Heidi Hautala.

The Finnish deputy told EUobserver that she thought the whole report should be ...

yesterday 15:23 open_in_new
France tightens immigration law, sparking division

The National Assembly in France has passed new immigration laws that toughen up asylum rules by speeding up the application procedure and making it easier to deport people.

The controversial law has brought widespread criticism from human right defenders and sown rare divisions within ...

yesterday 09:05 open_in_new
'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly

An independent body investigating the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has concluded there was "strong suspicion" that some former and current members were engaged "in activity of a corruptive nature", related to Azerbaijan.

The damning report comes after ten months ...

yesterday 09:05 open_in_new
Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK

The European Commission will set the agenda this week with a series of propositions on the protection of whistleblowers, on the fight against fake news and digital issues such as artificial intelligence and e-health.

On Monday (23 April), justice commissioner Vera Jourova will present, ...

2018-04-20 19:02 open_in_new
ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga

Tobacco firm Swedish Match appears increasingly unlikely to be permitted to sell its 'snus' mouth tobacco product across the EU any time soon.

Almost ten years after it had sought out Malta's then European Commissioner for health to lift the ban, it suffered another blow on 12 April in its ...

2018-04-20 19:02 open_in_new
MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes

MEPs who want to circumvent public scrutiny when dealing with foreign regimes and governments are setting up so-called friendship groups.

These unregulated bodies have mushroomed over the years, causing headaches for official MEP delegations, while giving shady government figures a ...

2018-04-20 15:53 open_in_new
Macron and Merkel pledge euro reform

France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.

The French and German leaders made the pledge during French president Emmanuel Macron's brief visit to Berlin on Thursday (19 April).

Subscribe now ...

2018-04-20 10:38 open_in_new
Obscurity surrounds EU military fund's expert groups

The European Commission is having difficulty finding adequate military experts to sit on an advisory group - raising questions about the implementation of a controversial defence research programme.

In addition, the commission may be breaking its own transparency rules over a second expert ...

2018-04-19 18:53 open_in_new
New EU party finance rules short circuit accountability

The EU's response to weeding out corruption when it comes to financing European political parties is a lesson in how to short circuit accountability.

On Tuesday (17 April), EU lawmakers passed a raft of new rules that will make it a lot easier for parties and their think tanks to spend ...

2018-04-19 17:50 open_in_new
Bulgaria offers lesson in tackling radical-right populists

Left MEPs will be in Bulgaria this week to meet partners and representatives of progressive forces.

The aim is to gain a greater understanding of the issues affecting Bulgarian people in a broader context of the struggles against the backsliding on fundamental rights taking place across ...

2018-04-19 10:29 open_in_new
Draghi to stay part of secretive 'lobby' group

European Central Bank president Mario Draghi will stay part of an opaque "lobbyist" group despite transparency complaints.

His membership of the G30 group was "fully compatible with the independence, reputation and integrity" of the European Central Bank (ECB), the ECB said on Wednesday ...

2018-04-19 10:29 open_in_new
Getting secret EU trilogue documents: a case study

If there is one thing that those representing the EU say they want citizens to do, it is to be interested and get involved in EU lawmaking.

"Act, react, impact," is one of the European Parliament's slogans.

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

EUobserver is an ...

2018-04-19 09:26 open_in_new
Selmayr case scars Parliament and Commission

Martin Selmayr's job is safe, but the controversy over his appointment as European Commission secretary general - its most senior civil servant - has left frustrated MEPs and a bruised EU executive.

The European Parliament's plenary adopted on Wednesday (18 April) a resolution saying that ...

2018-04-18 19:47 open_in_new
Beyond macho: Turkish-EU ties

Turkey has belittled the EU in a week of macho posturing, but strategic and economic relations go beyond the current rhetoric.

Two Turkish jets harassed a Greek helicopter carrying Greek leader Alexis Tsipras over the Aegean on Tuesday (17 April), the Greek defence ministry said. ...

2018-04-18 16:38 open_in_new
'Flobert' guns - Europe's latest terror loophole

Murderer Amedy Coulibaly entered the kosher supermarket on the outskirts of Paris in 2015 carrying two Ceska Sa vz.58 automatic rifles manufactured in the 1960s. He also had two reactivated Tokarev TT33 pistols.

The guns had been decommissioned and legally bought in Slovakia, but then ...

2018-04-18 12:26 open_in_new
EU investment bank confirms secrecy of VW fraud report

The European Investment Bank (EIB) decided on Tuesday (17 April) that a report about how carmaker Volkswagen Group (VW) was able to acquire a €400m loan by deception should remain confidential in its entirety.

In a six-page letter, EIB secretary general Marjut Santoni said that he ...

2018-04-18 11:23 open_in_new
More commitment to renewables from Council, please

Perhaps a few EU ministers could do with a pep-talk at this week's informal Energy Council (19 April), as the EU enters its final set of talks to reform the EU's policy on renewables.

Back in 2016, the European Commission released a series of proposals entitled 'Clean Energy for All ...

2018-04-18 10:20 open_in_new
MEPs set limits to Macron's ambitions

French president Emmanuel Macron tried on Tuesday (17 April) to woo MEPs by presenting himself as a herald of European liberal democracy and inspirer of the EU's "renaissance". But he found that his quest for leadership will have to put up with the rules set by the European political ...

2018-04-17 21:44 open_in_new
Poland urged to settle EU rule of law concerns next month

Poland will have to do more to allay the European Commission's concerns over its domestic rule of law issues, but EU member states welcomed some progress between the EU executive and Warsaw at a meeting of EU affairs ministers on Tuesday (17 April).

"We are making progress, [...] we will ...

2018-04-17 20:41 open_in_new