The real-time complement to the TEE newsletter, Trans-Europe Express live is updated daily, focusing on new EURACTIV Network and Media Partner content, and commentary.
The Russian Front. The head of the powerful Senate Intelligence Committee warned on Thursday that Moscow is interfering in the French election just as it did in the US presidential campaign last year.
Send them to Afghanistan. Whether it’s the issue of an EU army or common security policy, Austria tends to refer back to its treasured Declaration of Neutrality. But critics are calling for a rethink.
Culture war. Hungary said it will not withdraw new legislation to regulate foreign universities that a Budapest school founded by American philanthropist George Soros says could force it out of the country.
Outsider pose. Martin Schulz is shying away from contact with Angela Merkel in order to fulfil his promise of a fresh start for the Bundesrepublik. The problem is that Schulz’ Social Democrats are part of a coalition government with his opponent.
Ignorant and dangerous. Speaking on Thursday at the annual congress of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Malta, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán fiercely attacked migration, calling it a “Trojan Horse of terrorism.” He also attacked the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
Cheap shot. Krystyna Pawlowicz, a Polish MP from the ruling Eurosceptic PiS party, has written a letter to Jean-Claude Juncker, accusing him of “alcohol dependency”
Driven by fear. Brexit was an extremely unlikely occurrence, Princeton’s Andrew Moravcsik told EURACTIV Slovakia.
Avoiding the problem. The German government on Tuesday endorsed Spain’s position on Catalonian sovereignty and avoided making any comparisons with Scotland’s own push for independence.
Oil or trees? Italy gave the green light for the construction of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), one of the core projects of the Southern Gas Corridor. But activists in the Puglia region protested and asked that the pipeline be moved further north.
Hoping for sponsors. France’s leading presidential candidates on Tuesday aimed to rally business leaders behind their programmes for social reform, increased competitiveness, education and globalisation.
Bought tickets to France. The EU gave Tunisia some €1.3bn in aid after the Arab Spring without properly checking how all of it was spent, according to a report published on Tuesday by the Court of Auditors.
Austerity fisherman. The killing of protected mammals in the Aegean Sea has raised eyebrows in Brussels, which called on the Greek government to punish the culprits.
Bibi doesn’t care. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini on Monday reiterated the EU’s commitment to a two-state solution and its opposition to Israel’s settlements in Palestine.
Populism is the new normal. Austria’s government will seek an exemption from having to accept more asylum-seekers under an EU relocation system, it said on Tuesday, arguing that it has already taken in its fair share during Europe’s migration crisis.
The blame game. On Saturday, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee issued a report on the UK’s relations with Turkey, in which the Erdoğan government’s claim that Gülenists masterminded the 15 July coup attempt is debunked.
No surprises here. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party easily won a reelection in the Saarland on Sunday, dealing an early blow to centre-left hopes of ending her more than decade-long reign.
Russians prefer democracy. Police detained hundreds of protesters across Russia on Sunday, including opposition leader Alexei Navalny, after thousands took to the streets to demonstrate against corruption and demand the resignation of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Wishful thinking.The European Union will disappear, French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen told a rally on Sunday, promising to shield France from globalisation as she sought to fire up her supporters in the final four weeks before the election begins.
Brussels 1, Moscow 0. Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov’s GERB party won 32.7% of the votes in the parliamentary election on Sunday, data from the central electoral commission showed today.
Otherwise AfD voters. On Saturday, members of the CDU’s right wing will seek to end what they see as a shift to the left in the German party. Their organisational platform: “Liberal-Conservative Awakening in the Union,” is designed to unite Merkel critics around the country.
Only the elderly need apply. Denmark’s government wants to be able to block unaccompanied refugee children from entering the country if borders are closed due to exceptional circumstances.
Party poopers. The EU has “lost impetus and inspiration”, Italian union leaders said at a Social Europe summit ahead of Saturday’s 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. “We must overcome glaring policy mistakes,” said CISL leader Anna Maria Furlan, also speaking for CGIL and UIL.
Bring back the smoking lounge. On Saturday, members of the CDU’s right wing will seek to end what they see as a shift to the left in the German party. Their organisational platform: “Liberal-Conservative Awakening in the Union,” is designed to unite Merkel critics around the country.
Soon to be accepting refugees department. Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło has indicated she will sign a key declaration on the bloc’s course after Brexit at this weekend’s EU summit in Rome.
Smoke and eat meat. On Saturday, members of the CDU’s right wing will seek to end what they see as a shift to the left in the German party. Their organisational platform: “Liberal-Conservative Awakening in the Union,” is designed to unite Merkel critics around the country.
Bullshit detector: Vladimir Putin has received Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin in a surprise move likely to reignite fears in Europe about Russian support for the European far right.
Good luck. No other illegal business is more lucrative: half a million people smugglers appear in Europol’s database and the number is only rising. The police are now counting on Africa to help.
How mainstream. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement, Italy’s most popular political party, said yesterday that a referendum on the euro was not its top priority and that it hoped Europe would reform before a ballot could be arranged.
Wishful thinking. The Rome Declaration will be balanced and contain strong references to social issues thanks to pressure exerted by the EU’s socialist leaders, Gianni Pittella told Sarantis Michalopolous.
Why don’t they just invade? Ukraine accused Moscow of “state terrorism” after a former Russian lawmaker and key witness in a treason case against former leader Viktor Yanukovich was shot dead in broad daylight outside a hotel in central Kyiv on Thursday.
Destination unknown. EU leaders are going to meet in Rome on Saturday (25 March) to discuss the future of European integration. The Czech Republic is still not sure what to do.
Our man in Belgrade. Serbian presidential candidates are criticising the EU, blaming it for tolerating the authoritarian leanings of the government’s candidate and current Prime Minister, Aleksandar Vučić, in exchange for stability and concessions over Kosovo.
Their own worst enemies. Don’t blame it on ISIS. The London attack was carried out by a British citizen, Prime Minister Theresa May told the House of Commons on Thursday.
The Southern Question (Brussels remix). Italy’s plans to bail out two regional banks pose a dilemma for European regulators, who are still considering whether Monte dei Paschi qualifies for state aid, three months after giving a preliminary green light.
Ireland is everywhere. The Irish government outlined details on Wednesday for a referendum that could give citizens abroad the right to vote in presidential elections, and possibly bring Ireland in line with 23 other EU countries.
Austria for Austrians. Austria’s parliament is set to decide on banning foreign politicians from campaigning on its territory. Under the pending legislation, Turkey’s ruling AKP party would be prohibited from mobilising its supporters in the alpine republic.
Trump said spend the money on defence. Romania’s regional development minister has told the nation’s mayors that there is no more money left for co-financing European projects, since the limit has already been reached and the country is trying to keep its deficit under 3%.
Watch the AfD freak out. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet on Wednesday approved a measure to wipe the criminal records of gay men convicted under a Nazi-era law. The proposal would offer men convicted €3,000 as well as €1,500 for each year they spent in prison.
Capital of neoliberalism. France’s Socialist presidential candidate made the pilgrimage to Brussels on Tuesday to try and drum up support for his EU programme. But, according to Manon Flausch, the Commission remains unconvinced by Benoît Hamon’s plans to democratise eurozone governance.
Trump said spend the money on defence. Romania’s regional development minister has told the nation’s mayors that there is no more money left for co-financing European projects, since the limit has already been reached and the country is trying to keep its deficit under 3%.
Stop destabilising the Middle East. The first anniversary of the Brussels attacks provides a perfect opportunity to reflect on the challenges posed by jihadist radicalisation, according to Alexander Ritzmann and Andrea Frontini.
Get a clue. Macedonia just can’t figure out how to get into the EU or NATO. Whether it’s the conflict with Greece, which has a northern province also called Macedonia, or its inability to fully enfranchise its Albanian minority, the former Yugoslav republic is forever at the door.
Every day, hundreds of refugees enter Serbia. Most of them hope to cross to Hungary and eventually reach the West. But Syrians, Iraqis, and Afghans arrive only to get stuck at the border with Hungary. EURACTIV Romania reports.
Time to go vegan. The EU insisted Brazilian officials attend an emergency meeting on Monday to explain themselves regarding a scandal involving rotten meat and the country’s two largest exporters. Meat producers bribed health inspectors to certify tainted food as safe for consumption.
Ottoman Empire was here. The two main candidates in Bulgaria’s upcoming parliamentary election singled out Turkey on Monday in separate interviews with AFP for what they see as interference in the campaign. Bulgarians will vote in a snap parliamentary election on 26 March.
Heaven help them. A US-led battalion of more than 1,100 soldiers will be deployed in Poland from the start of April, a US commander said today, as the alliance sets up a new force in response to Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea.
Must be a Commie. A Czech think tank has slammed Federica Mogherini for spending two years avoiding taking the Russian disinformation threat seriously. The appeal has been signed by high-profile personalities such as Russia’s Gary Kasparov and a former president of Estonia.
Don’t stop believing. The head of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, Michael O’Flaherty, insists that the bloc has not given up on Poland and that Brussels is capable of dealing with the problems that currently face it.
Self-appointed religious leader, part II.Turkey’s president on Thursday accused the EU’s top court of starting a “crusade” against Islam after a ruling allowing European companies to ban employees from wearing religious or political symbols including the Islamic headscarf.
Ring the alarm. The European Commission is still concerned that Romania will go from registering the highest growth in the EU to racking up the biggest budget deficit. But Bucharest insists there is no cause for concern.
Safe European Home. Elias now lives in Sofia, the capital city of Bulgaria – a country that when it first greeted him was not at all prepared to receive and care for the Syrian Kurd and the many others like him.
Europe’s Grand Mufti. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan prompted a fresh outcry in The Netherlands yesterday with a jibe about the Srebrenica massacre, warning of retaliation in a spiralling diplomatic crisis.
Moscow will want a cut. The EU unveiled an ambitious plan on Tuesday to support the reconstruction of war-torn Syria, calling it a “dividend” to encourage warring parties to reach a peace deal.
I will survive. When things got out of hand, Elias left Syria, but not before making sure that his brother – close to enlisting – could also escape. Elias left Syria with only his backpack and set course for Europe. He dreamed of living in Germany or one the Scandinavian states.
Coke adds life. Bolivian President Evo Morales is confident of diffusing tensions with the EU after his country passed a law increasing the amount of coca plant that can be legally cultivated.
Bedtime for democracy. The European Commission highlighted the “serious concerns” expressed by the Council of Europe on Monday over the amendments to the Turkish constitution which are due to be voted on in the 16 April referendum.
Wilders hearts Erdogan. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte clashed with his main rival anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders on Monday, as they laid out starkly opposing visions of their country’s future in an election campaign now consumed by a diplomatic row with Turkey.
Iran circa 1979. Turkey on Monday said it was suspending top-level ties with The Netherlands and blocking the return of its ambassador in a spiralling crisis over the holding of rallies abroad ahead of a crucial referendum.
Working for Geert Wilders. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called the Netherlands a ‘Nazi remnant’ and said the country should face sanctions for barring Turkish ministers from speaking in Rotterdam, fuelling a row over Ankara’s political campaigning abroad.
Soon to join Turkey. Once staunchly pro-EU, Kosovars are losing patience with Brussels, which they accuse of prioritising Serbian accession over their own sovereignty, warns the mayor of Kosovo’s capital, Shpend Ahmeti.
As long as they bring hummus. A year after the borders were sealed, refugees are still using South East Europe to enter the EU. But now the journey is more difficult, expensive and brutal.
Hunter-gatherer society. A political crisis that has paralysed Macedonia for two years is sliding into an ethnic dispute, with nationalists taking to the streets over a series of demands by the country’s Albanians.
Back to the Cold War: Warsaw, which lost a diplomatic campaign to oust its former premier Donald Tusk from his post as European Council president, has now accused the EU of “cheating” and announced a “negative” policy towards Brussels.
Also called propaganda: In the last week, Czech site Aeronet published the following false stories, which went viral: The EU wants to make Le Pen a criminal; The UK will close its borders to EU citizens; and the Democrats are conspiring with Facebook to overthrow Trump by banning fake news.
Only in Italy. A new leftist party has been born. Movimento Arturo was set up by a satirical TV show. In the space of ten days, the ‘party’ has overtaken the Northern League on social media, gained coverage across Italy and set up branches around the country and the world.
Once a banker, always a banker. Benoît Hamon’s proposal of an international treaty between the eurozone countries to increase democratic control of the single currency has raised eyebrows on the left, where such sovereigntist manoeuvring is viewed with suspicion.
Held hostage. Angela Merkel yesterday (9 March) harshly criticised Turkey’s “misplaced Nazi comparisons” ahead of the EU summit but still insisted the refugee deal is important and must stay in place. Criticism is growing in both the German and European parliaments, though.
Falling on deaf ears. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel warned about the danger of a new arms race spiral with Russia on Thursday and called on all sides to work to end the violence in eastern Ukraine as a first step towards broader disarmament efforts.
Angry but powerless. Poland warned fellow European Union leaders on Thursday that their decision to reappoint former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to chair their summits was a step toward the disintegration of the 28-member bloc.
Late to the game. EU leaders voiced concern yesterday (9 March) about “external influences” fueling division in the Western Balkans, as Britain announced a summit to focus efforts on stabilising a key region vulnerable to Russian meddling.
Democracy is so passé. Civil society is an essential part of any functioning democracy. While Budapest talks of dialogue and free debate, its actions speak of a slide towards authoritarianism, writes Neil Campbell.
Hard to stay excited. Support for EU accession among Serbians is falling, and it may be a result of a loss of confidence in the chances of being admitted, a recent poll by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) shows.
Told you so. Curbs on civil liberties, both online and in everyday life, prove to be a “recruiting tool for extremists”, MEPs heard on Wednesday night, at a debate on combatting violent extremism and restoring citizenship.
Gag order. European Parliament Vice-President Ramón Luis Valcárcel (EPP) wants to impose a “tough penalty” on Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke, whose repeated misogynistic tirades have become an embarrassment to the institution.
Plays well in Ankara.Turkey’s foreign minister accused Germany on Wednesday of hostility towards his country and Islam, while Berlin complained of increased Turkish espionage on German soil as acrimony between the two NATO allies showed no sign of abating.
Redistribute the foie gras. Food quality in Western Europe can differ greatly to what Central and Eastern European shops stock on their shelves. S&D MEP Daciana Sârbu spoke to EURACTIV Romania about the issue and promoting local produce.
So much for the Cold War. Poland’s mainstream parties are increasingly out of tune with voters, according to a new survey. Unsurprisingly, the most popular ones hail from the far right, and, unfortunately, own the youth vote, writes Karolina Zbytniewska.
They just want Russian money. Hungary does not care about the requirements imposed by the European Commission on Paks II, energy analyst András Deák told Pavol Szalai.
Never trust a superpower. The EU must counter the “big lies” coming from countries such as Russia and the United States, which “destabilise” the bloc, European Parliament Vice-President Ramon Luis Valcárcel Siso said in an interview with EURACTIV Spain.
Berlin does it better (at least it thinks so). The German government still wants to set up a European monetary fund but the European Commission does not want to surrender any responsibility for assessing eurozone finances. EURACTIV’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Blame the Russians. European Union foreign ministers on Monday approved the setting up of a central headquarters for joint EU military missions. As the EU contends with the refugee crisis and rising rightwing populism, the appetite for more defence at European level has escalated.
Long overdue. In an effort to lay the foundations for a progressive alliance, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) on Tuesday will hold a first ever bureau meeting with the Greens-European Free Alliance (Greens-EFA) group of the European Parliament.
Populist international. The right-wing spiral of Germany’s anti-EU Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD) has brought it shoulder to shoulder with France’s National Front. According to EURACTIV France, the two parties see eye-to-eye on a number of issues, including Russia.
‘Container’ is a curious choice of words. Hungary’s parliament on Tuesday approved the automatic detention of all asylum-seekers in container camps at its borders, sparking “deep concern” at the UN’s refugee agency.
Orbán would agree. The EU’s top court Tuesday ruled that states can deny visas to people trying to claim asylum, in a case related to a Syrian family trying to come to Belgium.
Hungary is glowing. The European Commission cleared the last hurdle on Monday (6 March) for the controversy-plagued Paks II nuclear plant project, despite outstanding concerns about the role of the national regulator and uncertainties over how spent fuel will be managed.
Restating the obvious. The EU warned that the Western Balkans risk becoming a “chessboard” in a game with Moscow, as Britain accused Russia of meddling in the region. Federica Mogherini said there was “profound” concern about a region where historic tensions were coming to a boil again.
Belgrade calling. Democracy is in crisis throughout the EU. But the version taking shape in south-eastern Europe is especially problematic, according to Deutsche Welle. A new form of authoritarianism, mixing nationalism and neoliberalism, is taking shape there, and the EU ought to take the lead in stopping it.
If only they were ISIS. Jordan’s execution of 15 prisoners has provoked “indignation” from Council of Europe leader Pedro Agramunt, who insisted the Arab kingdom remains committed to maintaining a moratorium on the death penalty.
The Kurds would agree. Turkish politicians should be banned from political campaigning across the European Union, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said on Sunday (5 March), supporting the decision by some German towns last week to cancel Turkish referendum campaign events.
Not quite, but what did they expect? Bulgarian MEP Peter Kouroumbashev (S&D) has compared ideas for a two-speed EU, advocated by the European Commission, to apartheid, arguing that such projects would ultimately destroy the Union.
So what else is new? Russia accused Albania, NATO and the European Union on Thursday of trying to impose a pro-Albanian government on Macedonia, which is gripped by political crisis.
They have a position. Well, several. In a statement ahead of the Rome Declaration, Strong Europe – Union of Action and Trust – the V4 voice their support for Schengen and the four freedoms, their preference for the EU Council over the Commission, stronger borders and defence, and object to a multi-speed Europe. And they still want German money, too, but not the same social standards.
Doomed to repeat itself. Ten years after the sub-prime mortgage crisis threatened to destroy the global financial system, according to Senator Pierre-Yves Collombat, conditions in France are ripe for another financial crash.
A call to arms. A constitutional amendment would enable Czechs to acquire and possess a gun for security purposes. This is a partial response to the proposed EU Firearms Directive, says EURACTIV Czech Republic’s Aneta Zachová.
She was better on refugees in 2015. Angela Merkel has called the arrest of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel “disappointing” but will still proceed cautiously in order to not jeopardise the EU-Turkey refugee deal.
Development aid only goes so far. According to EURACTIV Germany, Africa is using the internet more and more, but many governments are employing web blackouts to manipulate voters and silence critics.
No democracy here. The Macedonian crisis deepened this week, as opposition leader Zoran Zaev accused President Gjorge Ivanov of fomenting a “coup d’état” by refusing to allow him to form a new government. Zaev, leader of Macedonia’s Social Democrats, had forged an agreement with the biggest Albanian party over a law backing use of their language.
The Portuguese government is set to introduce new legislation that foresees fines for acts of racism, it announced on Wednesday. Individuals found guilty of racist practices will face a fine of just over 4200 euros, while groups, companies or organisations will be liable to pay damages twice as much.
A group of Danish parties plan to push for a parliamentary deal committing all the country’s pro-European Union parties never to put the country’s EU membership to an in-out referendum. The deal would prevent the eurosceptic Danish People’s Party demanding that either the Liberal or the Social Democrat party hold a referendum as the price of its support after the next election.
Some people believe this stuff. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán claims that “ethnic homogeneity” was vital to the country’s economic success, in a fresh tirade against importing workers to solve labour shortages.
Couldn’t happen to nicer people. Marine Le Pen and the German far-right are suddenly losing votes. But, according to Treffpunkteurope, it remains to be seen how long the strong socialist rise, led by Martin Schulz and Benoît Hamon, will last.
So what else is new? In the current negotiations over a new loan package for Greece, collective bargaining and worker rights have been in the spotlight. But expert opinion in favour of these tools is being ignored by Greece’s lenders, warn Jan Willem Goudriaan and Richard Pond.
Theresa May prefers The Troubles. The Republic of Ireland will suffer greatly from the establishment of a hard border with Ulster to the North. Already, the weak pound has cost its economy dearly.
Teach their children well. Despite threats of fines from the European Union, Slovakia still discriminates against Romani children by placing them in segregated schools.
The growth is real, albeit microscopic. Italy’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 0.9% in 2016 compared to the previous year, ISTAT said on Wednesday. The growth rate is a slight increase on the 0.8% registered in 2015. The GDP rise took it just above the level registered in 2000, the agency said.
Illiberal democracy in action: A Hungarian court upheld an earlier decision to convict ten immigrants of participating in a riot during clashes between police and immigrants at the Röszke border crossing in 2015. The court acknowledged that none of the 10 had been violent, but that their presence was enough to convict them.
War is their business. The conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has been going on for the past three years, according to New Eastern Europe, led to not only the creation of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, but above all to the development of a small group of political and military elites in the region.
Support for the far-right AfD party has slipped to single digits. Alternative for Germany has struggled to reunite after a hard-right member’s comments on Germany’s Holocaust guilt. The party has also bled support as the SPD’s Martin Schulz emerged with a bold pledge to defeat their declared enemy, Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the September elections.
File under the ‘Yet to get hit’ department: Even if the Islamic State suffers military defeat this year, Islamist terrorism remains a major threat for Italy, premier Paolo Gentiloni warned on Monday.
A right-wing Polish priest has complained he was “banned from defending Christian children”, after being turned away from the UK at the weekend. The 28-year old Jacek Miedlar was stopped by border officials after landing at Stansted airport, intending to speak at a meeting of the far-right “Britain First” organisation.
Bart Somers is an anomaly: A well-liked Belgian mayor of international standing, who built his reputation on promoting diversity. Somers told EURACTIV Slovakia the secrets of his success, and why tolerance is a positive social value.
A distinguished Arab diplomat remarked that EU politicians and think tank representatives did not make use of keywords such as “Iraq” or “Islam” while discussing the Union’s relations with its neighbours and the refugee crisis for several hours. Georgi Gotev reports from Malta.
A meeting between the Austrian and German foreign ministers in Vienna on Monday revealed where the two countries are aligned and where they aren’t on the same page. Refugees and borders, unsurprisingly, were at the top of the agenda.
The European Council yesterday (27 February) adopted a Commission proposal granting visa liberalisation for Georgia. EURACTIV Germany reports.
The EU on Monday extended its remaining sanctions on Belarus and warned Minsk it would have to make progress on fundamental freedoms to see them lifted. Brussels also piled more sanctions on North Korea after it carried out more missile tests.
Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta told an audience in Malta on Monday (27 February) that if the leader of the Front National wins the French elections, it would be “game over” for the EU. But there is a silver lining.
A ban on endocrine disruptors, the end of nuclear power and the suspension of the Lyon-Turin high-speed train line: this is Yannick Jadot’s price for supporting Socialist candidate for the French presidency Benoît Hamon. Euractiv France reports.
It is crucial to explain to voters what the populist agenda is, why it is misleading and how national governments and the EU can respond, writes Ifo President Clemens Fuest.
With the polls narrowing and one of her main rivals embroiled in an expenses scandal, far-right leader Marine Le Pen could feasibly become French president in May, senior politicians and commentators insist.”I think Madame Le Pen could be elected,” former conservative prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin said this month. Another former PM, Socialist Manuel Valls, has also warned of the “danger” of assuming that Le Pen cannot win.
Thousands protested in the Romanian capital Bucharest on Sunday against the Social Democrat government, which tried to weaken a crackdown on corruption earlier this month. An estimated 3,000 to 5,000 people gathered outside government headquarters last night demanding the resignation of a government they say they cannot trust.
Greece must not be granted a “bail in” that would involve creditors taking a loss on their loans, Germany’s deputy finance minister said on Sunday, as Athens announced how much gold it has in reserve. Sam Morgan reports.
NGO Reporters Without Borders (RWB) has called on the European Commission to defend press freedom in Poland, after the country fell 29 places in the RWB’s global ranking. EURACTIV’s partner Ouest-France reports.
After ten months, and no judicial progress, EURACTIV Serbia says lawmakers in the European Parliament are discussing the destruction of privately owned buildings in the centre of Belgrade last year.
Moldovan media reports that the country could take advantage of Transnistria’s uncertain future and bring the disputed territory back under its control. But, EURACTIV Romania says that Chișinău’s authorities insist that they would rather remain neutral.
The election of Donald Trump is posing new challenges to the Czech Republic. Local concerns are focused on security and defence, business, and political relations. EURACTIV.cz reports.
Despite signs of rapprochement between the Socialist Benoît Hamon and far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon in recent weeks, according to EURACTIV France, hopes of a political partnership between the two look increasingly fragile.
Corina Crețu is extremely dissatisfied with the performance of the Adriatic-Ionian Strategy. EURACTIV Greece’s Aria Koutra, on the Romanian Commissioner’s criticisms of its implementation, and why she’s not scheduled its next member meeting.
British multinational bank HSBC could transfer 1,000 of its employees from London to Paris within the next two years. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank’s bond-buying programmes continue to impress. EURACTIV’s partner Milano Finanza reports.
In the year since Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) submitted its formal application to join the European Union, little has gone according to plan for the fragile country, according to Sanford Henry.
The European Commission warned Italy on Wednesday it risked disciplinary action if it did not adopt promised measures to cut its deficit.
Fearing a populist surge in this year’s elections, France and Germany won backing from the European Union’s executive on Wednesday for proposals to tighten security across Europe, which include giving more powers to governments to monitor frontiers with other EU states.
According to EURACTIV Germany, many member states are too slow to implement socio-political reforms in crucial sectors like education, according to a new study. Migrants and refugees are particularly effected.
Dutch voters will go to the polls on 15 March to elect their new MPs, in what many observers see as a dry run for the French presidential election one month later. EURACTIV France reports.
An Austrian court on Tuesday approved the extradition of Ukrainian businessman Dmytro Firtash to the United States in a bribery case, overturning an earlier ruling that had said the US request was politically motivated.
The Irish government is scrambling to protect its agriculture industry, which exports almost half its goods to the UK, from the threat of Brexit.
Gerry Adams, leader of Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, told EURACTIV that any customs posts set up at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland would mark a return to a hard border 12 years after military checkpoints disappeared between the two countries.
ClientEarth launched legal action against Lombardy, Italy’s most polluted region, today (22 February). The NGO says this could be the first of several Italian suits.
Europe’s top economy Germany should help its EU partners out, the European Commission said on Wednesday, after the Trump Administration attacked Berlin for using the bloc to boost exports unfairly.
Michele Emiliano, the leftist president of the southern region of Puglia, said on Tuesday he would challenge former Prime Minister Matteo Renzi for the leadership of Italy’s ruling Democratic Party (PD), which faces a damaging split.
German officials have proposed that the European Union relax some human rights safeguards so that more asylum seekers can be deported while awaiting the outcome of their cases, according to a working paper seen by Reuters.
Nobody knows who released the substance, but radioactive iodine has been detected across Europe in recent weeks. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.
Martin Schulz has a real chance of becoming Germany’s next chancellor, political consultant Michael Spreng told EURACTIV partner WirtschaftsWoche, as Angela Merkel struggles to inspire her own voters.
According to EURACTIV Germany, the global arms race grew significantly in 2016. Sales shot up by 8.4%, according to a study by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) that compared the last five years with the 2007-2011 period. It called it the highest level since the end of the Cold War.
Turkey’s main pro-Kurdish opposition party said on Monday that it had appealed to the European Court of Human Rights over what it claimed is the unlawful imprisonment of its two leaders on terrorism-related charges.
Poland dismissed on Monday demands that it implement judiciary reforms deemed essential by the European Commission to uphold the rule of law. Poland risks being stripped of its voting rights in the 28-member bloc, while Hungary said it would not support sanctions.
The Eurogroup took a small step on Monday towards the completion of the second review of Greece’s €86 billion rescue programme, placing the emphasis on reforms over austerity to reduce the country’s huge debt pile.
Too long under British rule. Several thousand people took to the streets of Malta on Sunday to protest against a new bill that is expected to force online news sites to register with the government.
Rights are determined by gender. MEPs from the Socialist & Democrats are pushing back against the latest attempts by the right-wing government in Warsaw to clamp down on access to contraception, calling it an “attack on women”.
Making friends everywhere. After meeting with US Vice-President Mike Pence on Sunday, the Belgian prime minister said in a veiled criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments that Belgium, like other countries, would not allow the fragmentation of the European Union.
Bullshit detector. “I never made any (‘Grexit’) threats,” Schäuble told ARD’s Bericht aus Berlin programme just before the network played recent comments in which he said Greece was “not yet over the hill” and the “pressure needed to stay on” Greece or it “couldn’t stay in the currency union”.
The AfD could inadvertently trigger a Schulz victory. Germany’s centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) have moved ahead of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) in an opinion poll by the Emnid institute for the first time since 2006, Bild am Sonntag said on Sunday.
Far be it for Le Pen defend a fellow French candidate from foreign subversion. Suspected Russian cyber attacks on the French presidential campaign are “unacceptable”, France’s foreign minister said on Sunday, adding it was clear that pro-Europe candidate Emmanuel Macron was being targeted.
Lawmakers strongly voted in favour of new anti-terror legislation on Thursday, in a move to prevent further attacks as the ones carried out in Paris and Brussels in the past two years
Bulgaria’s new interim government has found that over half the defence procurement contracts signed last year were irregular and is examining nine of them on suspicion of fraud, its prime minister said Friday.
France and Germany consider the US position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict confusing. It risks ending the prospect of a two-state solution and fueling conflict in the region, the two leading EU countries said Thursday.
The European Commission on Thursday welcomed as a “very good step” the decision of the Romanian government to repeal a decree that would have decriminalised graft, and offered Bucharest assistance and funds to improve the country’s prisons.
German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said on Friday the European Union must take on a bigger international role, saying the answer to crises from security to climate change was to stop relying on the United States.
European Commission Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis is wary of US moves to deregulate the banking sector. But he was positive about Greece’s fiscal adjustment, and called on Athens and its lenders to break the stalemate on the country’s bailout programme.
The United States and Russia may be on the verge of a new arms race in Europe, decades after the missile crisis that shook the continent in the waning years of the Soviet Union.
There is hope, yet. According to the Budapest Beacon, the Hungarian Socialist Party’s presumptive nominee for prime minister, László Botka, is within two points of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in a poll published on Thursday. The poll found that Botka is viewed favourably by 44% of Hungarians compared to 46% for Orbán.
You can just feel the love. Geert Wilders kicked off his election campaign with a predictably anti-immigrant message. Debuting a new campaign advert on Thursday, the video warns of the dangers of Muslim immigration, and concludes with the slogan “The Netherlands is ours again.”
The war was awful and France lost. Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron described colonisation as a “crime against humanity” during a visit to Algeria this week, sparking outrage among conservative and far-right parties. Macron was promptly condemned by the Nation Front VP Florian Philippot, and the scandal-wracked François Fillon.
On his first visit to Brussels, newly-elected Prime Minister of Lithuania Saulius Skvernelis shared his fears with Euractiv.com about the building of a nuclear plant in Belarus, 40 km from Vilnius and of the hybrid war waged by Russia against the former Soviet republic.
In the Visegrád Group, there is a desire to both strengthen the powers of member states, but also defend the Schengen area, and the four freedoms. Unsurprisingly, talk of treaty change is in the air. Euractiv’s Central European partners report.
On Wednesday, Montenegro’s chief prosecutor instructed his special prosecutor not to arrest two opposition MPs, although the parliament stripped them of their immunity on charges of having participated in the plotting of a coup d’état. The move seems to be intended to defuse an explosive situation that may turn into civil war, writes Georgi Gotev.
Burning the EU flag not a crime. A court in Bratislava acquitted extremist Marián Mišún of charges in the case of burning a flag of the European Union in front of the Bratislava Castle in 2012, claiming he did not commit a crime. The deed can be qualified only as an offence.
A school in Rome has rescinded its plans to hold a fascist era-themed ball after parents complained. “It was a terrible idea,” said Fabrizio de Sanctis, president of Rome’s branch of Anpi, the national partisans’ association. Flyers for the ‘Grand Fascist-Era Ball’ promised music from the period of Benito Mussolini’s rule, as well as decorations and photos from the time.
Read the fine print. One in three Slovaks knew that the country held its first rotating presidency in the Council last fall. But, according to a survey, the rest were either unclear, or didn’t know about it. Euractiv Slovakia reports.
Condoms are for everybody. The medical community is concerned about the growing number of abortions in Greece, as well as a lack of sex education among teenagers.
Serbia’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) decided on Tuesday to nominate Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić as its candidate for the country’s presidency. The election is expected to take place in April, and the results are unlikely to be surprising.
He just might win. Campaigning for the Dutch election kicked off today with xenophobic leader Geert Wilders frontrunner in a vote that will test the strength of the populist sentiment that helped push Britain out of the European Union, and usher in Donald Trump to the White House.
Relations between Serbia and Kosovo may seem tense. But, according to Euractiv Serbia, a new poll by an NGO shows that an overwhelming majority of Serbians wouldn’t support armed conflict in order to reclaim the province, which unilaterally declared independence in 2008.
The ‘No’ vote in the Swiss referendum on tax reform was a big defeat for the government. Pressure from trading partners and big businesses will force Bern to come up with a new proposal, and fast. Euractiv’s partner La Tribune reports.
Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for a leadership contest in his ruling Democratic Party on Monday, opening the way for a showdown with his many enemies in the PD ahead of approaching national elections.
French presidential favourite Emmanuel Macron is being targeted by Russian media and internet attacks from within Russia with the goal of helping the election campaigns of his pro-Moscow rivals, Macron’s party chief said on Monday.
Washington’s annual message to Serbia to mark its national day made no mention of the country’s bid to join the EU, which the US has previously supported. The wording of the statement underlines the extent to which the Trump Administration has moved on from its predecessor’s support for the European Union.
A Montenegro prosecutor received approval on Monday to strip two opposition leaders of parliamentary immunity who are targeted in the investigation of an alleged coup attempt on 16 October, when general elections were held in the Balkan country.
Germany will move forward this week with plans to set up a joint fleet of Lockheed Martin C-130J transport planes with France and join a Netherlands-led fleet of Airbus A330 tanker planes, defence ministry sources said on Monday.
Chancellor Christian Kern defended Austria’s push for a law to prevent social dumping from poorer EU countries after a meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker where Austria’s demand for childcare benefit cuts for EU foreigners took centre stage. Catherine Stoop reports from Brussels.
On New Year’s Eve, police were bolstered in Cologne and more than one hundred North African men were rounded up, in an effort to prevent a repeat of the 2015 attacks in the citiy. Critics say this was nothing short of racial profiling, reports Euractiv Germany.
President of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani (EPP) told Euractiv Spain that austerity policies must go hand-in-hand with growth and that the United Kingdom will not be “an enemy” of the EU after Brexit.
Just call it anti-Semitism. In the annual State of the Union address on Friday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán listed among those who “attacked” his country billionaire George Soros and the European Union.
Racist Dutch politician Geert Wilders said on Sunday that promises by other parties not to work with him would be quickly forgotten if, as expected, his far-right Party of Freedom gets more than 30 parliamentary seats in next month’s election.
More obstacles to Kosovo’s accession: Calling their dead “second-class victims”, Serbian families of civilians killed by Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian rebels in the late 1990s hope a new court at The Hague will finally bring them justice.
AfD, watch out. Billed as Germany’s “anti-Trump”, former foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was elected on Sunday as the new head of state, vowing to stand up to simplistic populist rhetoric.
It really is a revolution. Tens of thousands of Romanians braved the cold and returned to the streets in protest on Sunday, calling on the government to resign as they accused it of attempting to water down anti-corruption laws.
In a carefully-worded rebuke to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Jarosław Kaczyński, the powerful head of Poland’s far-right ruling party, warned that any moves toward a two-speed European Union would lead to the bloc falling apart.
Spain’s prime minister told US President Donald Trump that he would be the ideal point of contact for the United States in Europe and Latin America, as well as for providing a bridge between the US and North Africa, as well as the Middle East. Euractiv Spain reports.
Bulgarians will vote on 26 March in snap general elections. Georgi Gotev unpacks the poll through the eyes of a party leader who is hoping to pass the 4% threshold and win seats in the 240-member National Assembly.
Romanian President Klaus Iohannis yesterday (7 February) rebuked the government for doing “too little” to resolve the crisis rocking the country over a corruption decree, but stopped short of calling for its resignation.
Visiting Warsaw on Tuesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is said to have won promises of closer cooperation from Poland’s Eurosceptic leaders, to discuss reforms essential for the EU to tackle mounting divisions over its future role.
Pro-Russian President of Moldova Igor Dodon yesterday (7 February) warned NATO that the closer ties it seeks with his strategically placed country could undermine its neutrality and threaten its security.
Britain’s exit from the EU could slow down Europe’s economic growth. However, according to Aktuálně, unemployment forecasts remain positive. The latest Eurostat figures show that the number of jobless has been steadily declining.
Russia and Belarus remained allies after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but their relationship has soured lately. The main point of contention appears to be energy supply and a border dispute. Euractiv Germany reports.
Buoyed by a bump in the polls, Martin Schulz will run against Angela Merkel in the fall. Do Germans think his increase in popularity is for real? Euractiv’s partner Der Tagesspiegel weighs his chances.
Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the two front-runners in the French presidential race, both chose Lyon to officially launch their presidential campaigns at the weekend (4 February). Europe emerged as the central issue in the race to the Elysée Palace. Euractiv France reports.
The mass demonstrations that have swept Romania since 29 January have kicked off a social insurrection, the likes of which has not been seen since the overthrow of communism in Eastern Europe in 1989, Octavian Milewski told Euractiv Poland.
Six of Germany’s 16 Bundesländer have suspended deportations of failed asylum seekers to Afghanistan, according to media reports. Recently declared a “safe” country by the federal government, the message being sent to Berlin is loud and clear.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is in Warsaw today (7 February) in a bid to reignite Berlin’s ties with Poland, which have been frayed in recent months as Poland’s far-right government has pursued a populist political program, comparable to that of Hungary.
EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels on Monday agreed to improve conditions for migrants stuck in detention centres in strife-torn Libya, in the wake of last week’s Valletta summit. According to Matthew Tempest, the ministers made a point of condemning the abuse of migrants.
Compared to 2015, the number of refugees who tried to enter the European Union last year decreased significantly. Aktuálně reports.
Despite a wave of similar grassroots anti-government protests elsewhere, particularly in the US, the roots of the present wave of protests in Romania lie in the political and economic failures of the country’s post-communist transition, writes Bogdan Enache.
On 2 February, the European Parliament approved measures to protect European banana producers against increasing competition from imports from Ecuador; a result of the country’s accession to the EU’s trade deal with Colombia and Peru. Euractiv Spain reports.
In Romania, politicians were preparing to legalise political corruption, and elsewhere the misuse of EU funds makes headlines every day. Sandor Lederer asks why the Commission decided not to release an in-depth anti-corruption report.
Lasting peace is nearly within striking distance in Colombia. But now, according to Euractiv Spain, the question about what to do with the former child soldiers of the FARC guerrilla group has been raised. The EU thinks it should be a priority.
The hashtag sendherbackwhereyougotherfrom was trending on Twitter Friday, as Italy’s Five Star Movement reeled from a fresh scandal to hit Rome Mayor, Virginia Raggi. On Thursday, Raggi denied knowing that her former cabinet chief, Salvatore Romeo, took out a 30,000 euro insurance policy in her name 6 months before she hired him and tripled his salary.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel paid a visit to Turkey today, where President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan admonished about using the expression “Islamist terror.” “The ‘Islamist terror’ expression gravely saddens us as Muslims,” said Erdoğan. “Such an expression cannot be used; it is not right because Islam and terror don’t go side by side.” Tell that ISIS, not Merkel.
Poland is being made great again, rising from its knees. America first, Poland second. So, logically, it needs a great capital city. And as its government moves effectively from word to deeds, a proper legal act has been proposed by the Law and Justice (PiS) party, writes Karolina Zbytniewska.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán cemented closer ties at talks yesterday (2 February), amid growing EU rifts over sanctions against Moscow because of its meddling in Ukraine. Experts said Trump’s ascendancy and the wave of populism sweeping across Europe is emboldening the two strongmen to push harder against the EU.
The Austrian government’s planned ban on full-face veils has naturally encountered resistance. But it’s not the only religious symbol that is coming under scrutiny, as the display of crucifixes in kindergartens and schools also faces fresh debate. Euractiv Germany reports.
Marine Le Pen just got the biggest shot in the arm yet. As the investigation continues into allegations that François Fillon fraudulently employed his wife and children, the French presidential candidate is choosing to brush the issue aside and continue his campaign.
Putin couldn’t have scripted it better. Twenty-seven years after the end of communism, Romanians had taken to the streets again, this time, to protest against a democratically elected government in the European Union. Friday (3 February), in the second edition of the Trans-Europe Express newsletter.
The Russians will fire a few more missiles (so to speak) at the Ukraine, and Syria, for this. On Thursday, the European Parliament decided to lift the visa regime with Georgia, which means that Georgians will be able to enter Schengen without a visa for short stays.
It’d be a populist dream come true. On Thursday, Economy Minister Pier Carlo Padoan told the Senate that if the Commission opens an infringement procedure against Italy, it’d entail a reduction of sovereignty in economic policy, higher costs for public finances, and an increase in interest rates. If elections are held this summer, 5 Star is guaranteed its first government.
The European Commission thinks Serbia is doing an excellent job taking care of the 7000 or so migrants and refugees currently on its territory. But, as EURACTIV Serbia reports, the asylum seekers aren’t exactly living a life of luxury.
Not everyone in Europe hates Donald Trump. The Poles sort of like him, the Slovaks think he’s allright, and the Czechs and Hungarians are positively enthusiastic. EURACTIV’s Central European partners report.
The Russians are determined to go recover their pre-’89 properties. President Vladimir Putin will hold talks with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán in Budapest on Thursday, as the Kremlin looks to widen cracks in the EU over sanctions.
Will the government respond like Ceaucescu? Hundreds of thousands of people hit the streets across Romania on Wednesday to protest the government’s decriminalising of a string of corruption offences, the largest demonstrations since the fall of communism in 1989.
Czech and Slovak delegations to the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) recently presented a joint opinion on the future of cohesion policy after 2020, in which they set out seven common principles and priorities for the next programming period. Their message is simple: regions bind Europe together.
The lure of authoritarianism is still strong: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and First Vice-President Frans Timmermans issued a stern warning on Wednesday after the Romanian government issued an emergency decree reducing penalties for corruption, allowing several politicians to avoid criminal prosecution.
Romanian businessman and one-time MP Sebastian Ghita has been named on Europol’s most wanted fugitive list in relation to a number of high-profile corruption cases, one of which involves former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair. EURACTIV Romania reports.
Ecuador has long been a beacon of hope for leftists in Latin America, disenchanted with the decline of democracy in Venezuela, and the corruption scandals which brought down Lula’s government in Brasil. Longtime leader Rafael Correa tells EFE that despite such disappointments, nevertheless, leftist politics will soon “sweep across the continent”.
As if cruise control isn’t enough, according to EURACTIV Germany, the European Commission is considering introducing automatic braking systems on all new cars in an effort to reduce the number of road deaths. The problem is, of course, like its predecessor, using it is optional.
A French tax credit, the CICE, is boosting competitiveness at a crucial time for the country’s economy, as businesses have begun to reclaim their profit margins for the first time in years. But France continues to see its share of the eurozone market decline, according to EURACTIV’s media partner, La Tribune.
If only Macedonia could get its (democratic) act together. Plagued by corruption, nationalism, and the authoritarian tendencies typical of post-Communist states, it also wants to be a part of the EU. But it can’t even recognise the linguistic rights of its Albanian population, which makes up over a quarter of the country.
Afflicted by earthquakes and the ongoing refugee crisis, the European Commission wants the Italian government to reduce its deficit, which currently stands at 2.3% of GDP, by 0.2% (€3.4 billion). But Rome wants to increase its deficit 0.4% in order to pay for emergency measures and reconstruction projects. Milano Finanza reports.
Even the populist-leaning Danish government has its limits. “The US decision not to allow entry of people from certain countries is NOT fair. Meet every man/woman as an individual,” the country’s Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen tweeted on Sunday.
By emphasising stability above all else, the EU risks aligning itself with increasingly illiberal and authoritarian regimes in the Western Balkans, argues Arlind Puka.
After a surprise first-round victory, Benoît Hamon took the second round of France’s Socialist primary by a comfortable margin. According to EURACTIV.fr’s Adrien Valbray, the leftist rebel and former minister for education beat ex-premier Manuel Valls in Sunday’s run-off by 58% to 41%.
No surprises here: Czech President Miloš Zeman has come out in support of Donald Trump’s refugee policy. EURACTIV Germany reports.
“Bulgaria’s choice of the EU and NATO is strategic and should not be called into question,” the country’s new President, Rumen Radev, told EURACTIV.com’s Georgi Gotev in an exclusive interview as he arrives in Brussels today for his first visit abroad.
The refugee problem won’t go away. No matter how hard populists try to put up walls and seal off borders, they keep on coming. The surge is understandable after nearly two decades of non-stop war in the Middle East and West Asia. It seems half the world is looking for a new home. Friday, in the first official edition of the Trans-Europe Express newsletter.
From Syria to an integration centre and finally to a new home in Prague – that’s what a story of a refugee may look like. But life for Arabs in the central European country also has its dark sides. EURACTIV Czech Republic reports.
The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo agreed to continue talking at a 24 January meeting in Brussels hosted by Federica Mogherini. The EU foreign policy chief said that the normalisation of relations was vital for the two countries. But, reports EURACTIV Serbia, her guests only succeeded in antagonising each other.
Martin Schulz is known in Germany mainly as a European politician and an ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel. But, later this year, they will face off in a national leadership race. EURACTIV’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Greek politicians reacted strongly to a video published on Wednesday showing the newly-elected President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, calling the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia “Macedonia.” The outrage is understandable, writes EURACTIV Greece.
Extreme climate events cost Europe €400 billion between 1980 and 2013, a report by the European Environment Agency has found. And the cost is rising. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement reports.
Could Irish voters block a future deal to withdraw Britain from the EU in a referendum? With the clock counting down to the commencement of the two-year Brexit process, according to the IrishTimes, the project could be derailed, by a vote of the Irish people.
The European Commission has released its latest report on Romania’s progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism, which puts its judicial system under close surveillance for potential corruption and organised crime. The executive is encouraged, writes EURACTIV Romania.
As France’s presidential election gets closer, EURACTIV France writes that NGOs have asked the candidates to put development policies at the heart of their foreign policy proposals.
According to Radio Poland, President Andrzej Duda has said that the country’s constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman and that his hard right Law and Justice party is unlikely to change that. Poland’s constitution is one of seven in the EU to ban gay marriage, and the country is one of six in the bloc not to allow same-sex civil unions.
Rome mayor Virginia Raggi said on Tuesday she had been summoned for questioning by anti-corruption prosecutors. Last month, Raggi’s Five Star Movement (M5S) stripped her of the power to make “important decisions”. Once considered a potential party leader, Raggi’s days are numbered. The Local.it reports.
Instead of punishing member states that refuse to accept refugees, there could be improved compensation for those that accept them, and manage their resettlement, Dr Giacomo Benedetto told EURACTIV Slovakia in a wide-ranging interview.
Benoît Hamon’s late entry into the French presidential race has added another intriguing player to the equation. EURACTIV’s partner Journal de l’Environnement takes a look at Hamon and fellow Socialist candidate Manuel Valls, in terms of their environmental credentials.
According to EURACTIV Germany, the European Commission has remained silent over the rearing of pregnant horses for their blood, to harvest a hormone used in veterinary products.
An ALDE MEP has accused Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont of using “lies” and “propaganda” to organise a conference at the European Parliament on Tuesday, on the planned independence referendum. EURACTIV Spain reports.
Over a two week period, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) seized 113 million antimalarial, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic tablets bound for Africa. According to EURACTIV France, the actual extent of the problem remains unknown.
A new development fund in northern Greece aims to boost SMEs’ role in the local economy, and ensure greater transparency, the governor of Western Macedonia told EURACTIV Greece.
On Sunday, Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) will nominate its candidate to face Angela Merkel in the September election. EURACTIV’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
If Berlin wants to meet its Paris Agreement obligations, it must start phasing out coal by the end of the decade, according to a major new study by the WWF. EURACTIV Germany reports.
The Russians are everywhere, or so the Americans would have you believe, in the aftermath of their controversial 2016 presidential elections. Not just in the US, of course, but Europe, although perhaps a little more obviously.
Never mind the reception centres. Refugees need to be brought in from the cold, and the EU must follow through with its redistribution programme, according to Luxembourg’s foreign minister, Jean Asselborn. EURACTIV’s partner Der Tagesspiegel reports.
Washington introduced sanctions against Republika Srpska President Milorad Dodik on Tuesday. The nationalist called the Obama initiative vindictive, while the US said that Dodik has been obstructing the Dayton Accords, according to EURACTIV Serbia.
In another expression of German dissatisfaction with the IMF, SPD Deputy Chairman Carsten Schneider told the Suddeutsche Zeitung that the International Monetary Fund’s participation in the Greek bailout is not necessary. EURACTIV Greece reports.
No SNP fans here: Baroness Dianne Hayter, the UK Labour Party’s Shadow Brexit spokeswoman, told EURACTIV Slovakia that Nicola Sturgeon is playing “an irresponsible game, asking the impossible to get the excuse to have another referendum,” to protest Brexit.
Is Momentum Hungary’s next opposition? It’s not a political party – yet – but it is beginning to resemble one. Hungarian Spectrum talks to two of its founders, András Fekete-Győr and Anna Orosz, about the group, and its progressive agenda.
Social equality is the new black, according to Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, who made the remark at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday where she spoke alongside Swedish PM Stefan Löfven. The Local.se reports.
Guy Verhofstadt’s support dragged Italian conservative Antonio Tajani over the line in the European Parliament’s presidential election on Wednesday. This is a dark signal for a Europe in crisis. EURACTIV’s partner La Tribune reports.
Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev, whose term expires on Sunday, warned in his last speech this week that the country may lose its EU presidency “if it contributes to the division of the Union”. EURACTIV.com reports, in partnership with Dnevnik.
Are the Baltics next? On Tuesday, the United States and Lithuania signed a mutual defence pact, making permanent the stationing of US forces in the country, who will serve as a deterrent against a potential Russian invasion. The Baltic Times reports.
In November, the European Commission launched legal proceedings against Germany, accusing it of elevated nitrate levels. It’s not the first time that the German government has been at odds with the EU about its agricultural policy. Introducing EURACTIV.de’s new Vice-Versa series.
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has told the presidents of Spain’s autonomous communities that improving the country’s welfare state could be possible but will depend entirely on getting back to pre-crisis levels. EURACTIV Spain reports.
Moldova is plagued by corruption and bad governance. Economic growth has logically inhibited by the constraints this places on public finances. The European Commission announced on Monday that it will give Chisinau €100 million get things right, according to EURACTIV Romania.
If the next French president does not give the French people a firm view of France’s position in Europe, and shape the Europe that they want, history will pass France by, Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told EURACTIV partner Ouest-France.
Günther Oettinger is leading the EU’s copyright reform efforts. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda warned this would threaten online news publications and benefit fake news sites at the expense of journalists and indie publishers.