European Parliament must stop Amazon and climate destruction

European Parliament must stop Amazon and climate destruction

EU lawmakers should show global leadership by legislating to ensure that companies’ supply chains and investments are not linked to deforestation, environmental harm and human rights abuses, writes Giulia Bondi. Giulia Bondi is an EU Campaigner for Global Witness The stakes are high for the new European Parliament and team of Commissioners. Not only do they face a challenging welcome, with issues on EU borders, protecting European democracy from disinformation and interference, and digital security landing on their desks, they also face pressing global questions on the future of our…

Read More

The path to pure mobility

The path to pure mobility

As European cities hold Mobility Week events across the continent, this special report looks at some of the challenges facing the sustainability drive. New emission targets, shifting social patterns and advances in technology are set to drastically change the drivers behind the EU’s current mobility system. Along with measures to increase the use of public transport and alter travel habits, established manufacturers and industry are starting to plan wholesale changes to the products they put on the market. Incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has also offered up clues…

Read More

Three valuable lessons from the Brexit tragedy that Europe must learn

Three valuable lessons from the Brexit tragedy that Europe must learn

The sight of Boris Johnson’s government ‘going rogue’ is a reminder that EU institutions offer citizens a place to go when domestic governments deny their rights, argues Roger Casale. Roger Casale is the founder and secretary general of New Europeans The British have fallen deeper into the elephant trap of Brexit. Meanwhile in continental Europe, patience is starting to wear thin. There is sympathy for the 5 million EU citizens in the UK and Britons in the EU whose lives have been left in limbo. But why should we Europeans…

Read More

Romania dismisses deputy commissioner after pressure

Romania dismisses deputy commissioner after pressure

Romania has dropped its insistence on having a replacement Commissioner join Jean-Claude Juncker’s outgoing administration for the final two months of its mandate. After regional policy chief Corina Crețu was elected as an MEP in May, Romania decided to nominate European Parliament Vice-President Ioan Mircea Pașcu as her replacement. But after Juncker decided not to assign specific jobs to Romania’s new pick and a confirmation hearing at the Parliament was delayed, pressure built and eventually told on Budapest to withdraw Pașcu’s candidacy. In a Facebook post on Wednesday morning (11…

Read More

Estonia loses its place in the outgoing commission of Junker

Estonia loses its place in the outgoing commission of Junker

Estonia has decided not to retain a European Commissioner for the rest of the current EU executive’s mandate, instead allowing nominee Kadri Simson to prepare for her duties under President-elect Ursula von der Leyen. Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas announced on Monday (9 September) that his country will make do with no representation in Jean-Claude Juncker’s outgoing Commission, which ends its mandate on 31 October. Ratas had initially proposed former economy minister Kadri Simson for the interim role, following Andrus Ansip’s decision to up sticks from the Berlaymont and serve…

Read More

Ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Gahariya becomes Prime Minister of Georgia

Ex-Minister of Internal Affairs Gahariya becomes Prime Minister of Georgia

Georgia’s parliament on Sunday (8 September) confirmed an ex-interior minister accused of cracking down on protesters as the country’s new prime minister, fuelling political tensions in the ex-Soviet nation. Georgian former Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze announced his resignation on 2 September after little more than a year in the job and said the country must not be riven by political divisions that could play into Russia’s hands. Lawmakers voted 98-0 to confirm Giorgi Gakharia as premier in a vote boycotted by the opposition. Gakharia, 44, is deeply hated by Georgia’s…

Read More

New Italian coalition sworn in, promises ‘not to quarrel with Brussels’

New Italian coalition sworn in, promises ‘not to quarrel with Brussels’

Italy’s new government, combining the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement and centre-left Democratic Party (PD), was sworn into office on Thursday (5 September), promising to reset Rome’s often fraught relations with Brussels. Once bitter rivals, the two parties agreed to join forces after the far-right League walked out of the previous coalition with 5-Star in a failed effort to trigger early elections. The eurosceptic League constantly railed against EU budget and migration rules, but the new EU affairs minister promised a more harmonious future, pointing out that both the PD and 5-Star…

Read More

Ignoring Poland, Italy’s agricultural sector fights for work in EU

Ignoring Poland, Italy’s agricultural sector fights for work in EU

The agri-food supply chain in Italy, one of the biggest food producers in the EU, is determined to make a case for the next national Commissioner to land the EU’s agriculture portfolio, a position the sector has coveted for almost 50 years. Italy is the only remaining member state not to have named a candidate yet for the next European Commission and is unlikely to make a nomination until a new government is up and running. But the name of the new Commissioner is part of the top government jobs…

Read More

Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries: It’s time for us to sit down at the table

Iceland’s Minister of Fisheries: It’s time for us to sit down at the table

Iceland, a nation with a long heritage of sustainable fishing, places great value on working with our European neighbours and friends to ensure the careful management of the shared North East Atlantic fisheries stocks. However, input must be sought from every country to lead us to a workable, long-term solution. Sadly, for several years there has been no comprehensive management arrangement in place for mackerel, Atlanto-Scandian herring or blue whiting which has led to the total catch from these stocks exceeding scientific advice. The absence of agreement threatens the future…

Read More

EU Ambassador calls tension on Georgia’s occupation line “unacceptable”

EU Ambassador calls tension on Georgia’s occupation line “unacceptable”

The ambassador of the EU to Georgia called “unacceptable” on Friday (30 August) the tensions and confrontational language at the “border” between Georgia and its occupied territory of South Ossetia. Ambassador Carl Hartzell twitted that he expects that “all sides” would show maximum restraint and use their influence to ensure that the situation doesn’t escalate. At the same time, the Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed concern over what it said were “provocations” of the Russia-sponsored occupation regime in South Ossetia, including mobilisation of military equipment and personnel. Following the…

Read More