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EU values face scrutiny This WEEK

Rule of law, environmental protection, and minority rights will feature high on the agenda in Brussels and Strasbourg as 2019 comes to a close.

MEPs meeting in Strasbourg on Monday (16 December) will discuss whether to instigate sanctions procedures against Malta following revelations ...

yesterday 14:59 open_in_new
EU sighs relief after 'decisive' Johnson victory in UK

EU leaders have expressed hope on Friday (13 December) that British prime minister Boris Johnson's decisive electoral victory will bring clarity on the UK side on Brexit, and negotiations can start quickly on the future relations.

EU leaders sounded relieved that Johnson's success might ...

yesterday 14:59 open_in_new
Huge win for Conservatives in UK election

Britain is almost certain to leave the EU in January after a huge election win for Conservative prime minister Boris Johnson, but Scotland aims to break off and stay.

The result, in which Johnson's pro-Brexit Conservative party scored its biggest win since the 1980s with some 365 out of ...

yesterday 08:41 open_in_new
Behind bars: a visit to an imprisoned Catalan politician

Mas d'Enric prison, near Tarragona in Catalonia, does not look like an ugly place - for external visitors like us.

You might even think that it is a nice-looking building if you didn't know it was a prison.

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yesterday 08:41 open_in_new
Leaders agree 2050 climate neutrality - without Poland

EU leaders claimed to have reached a solid agreement on achieving climate-neutrality by 2050 early on Friday morning (13 December), but Poland refused to endorse the target - meaning there was no unanimous consensus at the crucial EU summit for climate action.

"We have reached an ...

yesterday 08:41 open_in_new
EU leaders cagey on 'Future of Europe' conference

EU leaders on Thursday (12 December) endorsed the idea of holding a two-year post-Brexit soul-searching exercise in the EU at their summit.

Heads of state and government gathering in Brussels - engulfed in a bigger battle over climate targets and budget - briefly discussed holding a ...

yesterday 23:14 open_in_new
Pressure mounts to grill Malta's Muscat at EU summit

Maltese prime minister Joseph Muscat's presence at the EU summit in Brussels is sharpening demands that other leaders discuss the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Several close aides to Muscat have been implicated in the crime, which saw the campaigning anti-corruption ...

2019-12-12 19:59 open_in_new
Leaders face crucial EU summit for climate action

Heads of government from each of the EU member states will gather at the EU summit starting on Thursday (12 December) at which leaders will try to agree on the EU's long-term budget and endorse the goal of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050.

EU leaders will meet in three different ...

2019-12-12 10:32 open_in_new
Revealed: little evidence to justify internal border checks

The European Commission says it carefully reviews notifications by countries when they reintroduce border checks at internal borders.

They say they weigh the balance between proportionality and the necessity.

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2019-12-12 10:32 open_in_new
Europe needs to make mind up on relations with Africa

As a new European Commission now takes over, there are some nuanced messages concerning the relations with Africa emerging from the statements of president Ursula Von der Leyen. She prioritises the development of a "comprehensive strategy for Africa".

The idea is not new. ...

2019-12-12 10:32 open_in_new
Leaders to battle on climate target and money at summit

EU leaders will attempt to agree on achieving climate neutrality by 2050 on Thursday evening (12 December) in Brussels, but some member states want more clarity on financial assistance on greening their economy, making the deal difficult to reach.

EU countries tried to reach a deal on ...

2019-12-11 19:50 open_in_new
Von der Leyen: 'Green Deal is our man-on-moon moment'

The European Commission presented the EU's new Green Deal to MEPs on Wednesday (11 December), vowing to "leave no-one behind" to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

"This is Europe's 'man on the moon' moment," said the commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, adding that this first ...

2019-12-11 18:47 open_in_new
North Atlantic mini states in geopolitical turbulence

When US president Donald Trump offered to buy Greenland in a tweet in August most people in Denmark and Greenland thought it was an April Fool joke at the wrong time of the year.

But half a year later it has become clear that Denmark's relations to Greenland and the Faroe Islands are ...

2019-12-11 14:35 open_in_new
Survey marks EU optimism on eve of UK's Brexit election

Most Europeans believe their country ought to stay in the EU, as British people prepare to vote in a Brexit-dominated election.

Some 59 percent of people told a European Commission poll, published on Tuesday (10 December), that EU membership was a "good thing".

Short-term ...

2019-12-11 10:23 open_in_new
Six priorities for human rights

The European Union has yet to ratify the European Convention on Human Rights - despite a treaty obligation to do so under Lisbon.

In his farewell speech in September, Thorbjorn Jagland, the now former secretary general of the Council of Europe, said it is still not possible to hold the ...

2019-12-11 10:23 open_in_new
European shipping's dirty secret

When I travel to Brussels to the European Parliament, I never fly, for the same reason that many others choose not to - frequent flying is a disaster for the planet.

Instead, I sometimes take the ferry, from Harwich in my East of England constituency to the Hook of Holland. ...

2019-12-11 10:23 open_in_new
Hungary quizzed over EU rules amid twitter row

Hungary was quizzed on Tuesday (10 December) by EU member states over the independence of the judiciary, media and academic freedom under the EU's sanctions procedure.

It was the second such hearing under the Article 7 procedure triggered over a year ago by the European Parliament after ...

2019-12-10 19:41 open_in_new
Spanish King meets party leaders to break deadlock

The Spanish King Felipe VI began on Tuesday (10 December) 48-hours of meetings with the political leaders to establish whether the caretaker prime minister Pedro Sánchez from the of the Socialist Party (PSOE) stands a chance to become the new head of government.

The discussions, ...

2019-12-10 17:35 open_in_new
EU alarmed by prospects of battle for Tripoli

The EU has raised concern on the prospect of a battle for the capital of Libya, as foreign actors jostle for influence in the strategic location.

"Tripoli has, I think, two million inhabitants and any fighting in the streets of Tripoli would be very problematic, very serious indeed," the ...

2019-12-10 11:17 open_in_new
Does Malta's Labour Party now belong in S&D?

The Maltese Labour Party is a curious creature.

It has a long and proud tradition of fighting for the rights of the working class and the poorer segments of Maltese society. In that respect, it forms part of the wider European social democratic history of the 20th century. ...

2019-12-10 10:14 open_in_new
EU must manage climate and industry together

Innovation, research, digitalisation, and infrastructure are set to be the main drivers of the European growth for the next decade.

The European parliament's committee on industry, research, and energy (ITRE) is one of the largest in the parliament, in terms of legislative footprint, ...

2019-12-10 10:14 open_in_new