EU stands aside as Hungary detains migrants

The European Commission is sending experts to Hungary to address concerns about the country’s new asylum law that allows blanket detention of asylum seekers, but it will not launch any probes for now, it emerged on Tuesday (28 March).

The controversial legislation, which the ...

yesterday 18:41 open_in_new
Austria wants out of EU migrant relocation scheme

Austria wants to prolong an expired exemption in an EU-wide plan on relocating refugees and asylum seekers from Greece and Italy.

On Tuesday (28 March), Austria's socialist-democratic chancellor, Christian Kern, said he would send the European Commission a letter with the demand and the ...

yesterday 15:23 open_in_new
Uber: It is not necessarily a farewell to Denmark

Ride-sharing service Uber has announced that it will shut down activities in Denmark in protest over a new law introducing the same requirements for Uber as for other taxi services.

The Uber app will be defunct from 18 April, Uber's spokesman in Denmark, Kristian Agerbo, said at a press ...

yesterday 14:17 open_in_new
Fake news debunkers prepare for French and German votes

The offices of Correctiv, a German journalists' collective, seem a bit crowded already.

Its East Berlin newsroom has a stage area where a photo shoot recently ended. There are piles of books and a British telephone box, amid second-hand furniture and bits of modern graphic design. ...

yesterday 13:11 open_in_new
Kofi Annan implies EU farm subsidies are unfair

Former secretary general of the United Nations Kofi Annan indirectly criticised the European Union's farming subsidies, in a conversation with journalists in Brussels on Tuesday (28 March).

After his tenure as head of the UN (1997-2006), Annan set up a foundation that carries his name, ...

yesterday 12:05 open_in_new
Trump and Merkel flirt with better relations

Donald Trump has congratulated Angela Merkel on a regional poll, while Merkel invited his daughter to Berlin as the US and Germany mend ties.

The US president’s spokesman told press in Washington on Monday (27 March) that Trump had phoned Merkel to “congratulate” her ...

yesterday 08:47 open_in_new
LuxLeaks forces discussion on EU-wide protections

Justice ministers are meeting over lunch in Brussels on Tuesday (28 March) to discuss possible whistleblower protection rules at EU level.

But talks are likely to encounter obstacles given the broader resistance at member state level towards any meaningful rules. "The idea is to generate a ...

yesterday 08:47 open_in_new
Lukashenka: End of an era?

It is ironic that the political spring in Belarus ended just as the actual season sets in.

The break from repressions that the country had enjoyed since summer 2015 is now over. In a wry twist, it ended with mass arrests on Freedom Day on 25 March, but people are desperate enough to keep ...

2017-03-27 20:29 open_in_new
EU at odds on meaning of migrant 'solidarity'

Europe's display of unity in Rome over the weekend came under pressure as EU interior ministers gathered to discuss migration on Monday (27 March).

The talks held in Brussels were billed as an "exchange of views" and "stock taking" exercise.

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2017-03-27 20:29 open_in_new
May says No to Scottish referendum, urges unity

British prime minister Theresa May traveled to Scotland on Monday (27 March) to dissuade Scottish leaders from pushing for an independence referendum from London two days before Brexit is triggered.

May’s turbulent week, that will reach its climax on Wednesday when she formally ...

2017-03-27 19:23 open_in_new
French and German votes 'crucial' to Putin's agenda

Weakening the EU by meddling in French and German elections will be a big feature of Russian foreign policy this year, a Russian opposition leader has warned.

“The main purpose of Mr Putin is to divide and weaken Europe”, Mikhail Kasyanov, a Russian opposition leader and ...

2017-03-27 19:23 open_in_new
EU transport sector has a CO2 problem

It was a bit of a stain on the reputation of the German energy transition, celebrated at a conference in Berlin last week.

As praise was given to Germany's unprecedented increase in renewable energies, the German Environment Agency reported that CO2 emissions, contributing to possibly ...

2017-03-27 18:17 open_in_new
Malta's fight against childhood obesity

Malta, long known as Europe's fattest nation, could finally shake this unenviable position.

While it is still leading in rankings for the overall population, recent data from the World Health Organisation (WHO) shows Malta has fallen back to better positions in ratings on the share of ...

2017-03-27 17:11 open_in_new
How the Italian mafia is at home in the Netherlands

In the centre of The Hague, with low-rise red brick buildings and trees lining Loggerstraat, a welcoming street just a stroll away from the sea. A waiter in his fifties is relaxing outside an Italian restaurant, in front of him a Dutch newspaper.

His long-time boss is no ordinary ...

2017-03-27 13:53 open_in_new
From Bratislava to Rome: Little more than a show of unity

With the ceremonial signing of the Rome Declaration on Saturday (25 March), the so-called Bratislava process designed to rethink the EU after the shocking Brexit vote last year has come to an end.

The result is a fragile display of unity, with simmering tensions and deep divisions on ...

2017-03-27 10:35 open_in_new
Borisov wins Bulgarian elections

Bulgaria's centre-right leader, Boyko Borisov, could become prime minister for the third time after his party came first in elections on Sunday (26 March) but without a clear majority.

Borisov's Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB) party won 32.63 percent of votes, ...

2017-03-27 10:35 open_in_new
European banks stashing billions in tax havens

Europe's largest banks are draining public coffers by stashing billions of profits offshore.

A 52-page report, by international aid agency Oxfam out on Monday (27 March), estimates €25 billion of banker money ended up in tax havens in 2015.

It means fewer funds are going into ...

2017-03-27 10:35 open_in_new
Tens of thousands challenge Putin's authority

The EU has called on Russia to release "without delay the peaceful demonstrators that have been detained" after a protest in Moscow.

Tens of thousands of people protested against corruption in Russia on Sunday (26 March) in the biggest challenge to Kremlin authority in five years. ...

2017-03-27 10:35 open_in_new
UK to file EU divorce This WEEK

The European People's Party (EPP) will hold its annual party congress on Wednesday (29 March), and a dedicated website is counting down to the day the EU's centre-right party meets in Malta.

Incidentally, the online counter is also counting down to the day when the United Kingdom will ...

2017-03-27 10:35 open_in_new
Where agriculture trumps the environment

This week in Brussels, the who’s who of industrial agriculture meet for their annual bean-feast, sponsored by the agri-business' finest chemical and machinery companies.

This is apparently where “agriculture and environment meet”.

It’s unlikely they will ...

2017-03-27 10:35 open_in_new
Rome summit tries to restart EU momentum

The EU 27 leaders recommitted their vows to European integration in Rome on Saturday (25 March) amid warnings that the bloc's unity remains fragile.

The heads of state and government met in the same Renaissance-era palace where the six founding countries signed the Treaty of Rome on 25 ...

2017-03-25 15:43 open_in_new