The report says that the EU cyber defense “at the limit” on the background of coronavirus

The report says that the EU cyber defense “at the limit” on the background of coronavirus

The European Union’s cybersecurity resilience has been pushed to the limit of its capacities as an indirect result of the ongoing public health crisis, warned a new report from the EU’s cybersecurity agency ENISA, published on Tuesday (19 October). The agency’s 2020 Threat Landscape report surveys the landscape of the bloc’s cyber resilience in the unprecedented context of the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a profound impact on cybersecurity formalities. The crisis, the report states, has presented new challenges to EU cybersecurity but at the same time has afforded various…

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EU leaders set tougher climate target in December

EU leaders set tougher climate target in December

EU leaders on Thursday (15 October) said they will decide on a more stringent climate target for 2030 at a summit in December, leaving more time to forge a united European response to climate change. Ambitious climate goals are backed by big EU powers including France and Germany, as well as many major businesses, but face resistance from eastern member states still dependent on coal for energy. The 27 leaders meeting in Brussels said they will return to the issue “with the aim of agreeing on a new emission reduction…

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Europol assesses “data access value” in encrypted cybercrime

Europol assesses “data access value” in encrypted cybercrime

The EU agency for law enforcement has recognised the increasing difficulty of police authorities in Europe to access data stored on encrypted networks, as the EU itself attempts to find legal solutions that will facilitate police access to protected communications. In Europol’s 2020 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment published on Monday (5 October), the agency surveyed the latest trends in cybercrime, highlighting one issue that has for a number of years frustrated police investigations: encrypted communications. “For several years now, the advancement and increased implementation of certain technological developments have…

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Commissioner Schmitt: EU must stop the growth of substandard jobs after the pandemic

Commissioner Schmitt: EU must stop the growth of substandard jobs after the pandemic

While impacting all parts of the economy, COVID-19 has hit young people particularly hard. Commissioner Nicolas Schmit spoke about the EU executive’s efforts to address these challenges and avert the prospect of another ‘lost generation.’ Nicolas Schmit is the European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights. High levels of youth unemployment could lead to more people taking on underpaying jobs with no benefits or internships just to have some type of employment. How does the Commission intend to address this problem? For now, what we are seeing is that people in…

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EU to start revising state aid rules in early 2021

EU to start revising state aid rules in early 2021

The European Commission will launch a ‘comprehensive review’ of EU competition rules in early 2021, Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday (2 October). Speaking after the EU summit in Brussels, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen emphasised the “need to ensure a proper level playing field” in the EU’s single market. She added that the EU executive was planning to launch a comprehensive review of EU competition rules and on legislative proposals on foreign subsidies from third countries in the first half of 2021. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic,…

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EU leaders unblock sanctions against Belarus and warn Turkey about “carrot and stick”

EU leaders unblock sanctions against Belarus and warn Turkey about “carrot and stick”

After weeks of bickering, EU leaders broke a longstanding deadlock to impose sanctions against members of the Belarus regime on Friday night (2 October) and fired a warning at Turkey over its gas drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean. The biggest challenge at the extraordinary in-person EU summit was the bloc’s own unanimity rule, which had made it difficult to reach decisions among the 27 member states on Belarus and Turkey sanctions in the past month, exposing once again the shortcomings of EU foreign policymaking. The first day of summit…

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Making European elections really European

Making European elections really European

Instead of transnational lists leaving our European election in the hands of national parties, we must reform European parties, place them at the heart of European elections, and rewrite our electoral law to bring MEPs closer to citizens, writes Louis Drounau. On 24 September, the European Parliament’s committee for constitutional affairs held a hearing on transnational lists and the Spitzenkandidaten system. Both had been hinted at by Ursula von der Leyen in her initial address to Parliament in 2019 as topics for discussion by the Conference on the Future of…

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In Vilnius, Macron promised “pragmatic” European support to the Belarusian people

In Vilnius, Macron promised “pragmatic” European support to the Belarusian people

French President Emmanuel Macron met Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya in Vilnius on Tuesday (29 September), the second day of a visit to Baltic countries meant to reassure them about French commitment to their security. In a private meeting that lasted over half an hour, Tsikhanouskaya said Macron had pledged her to help negotiate with the Belarus authorities and secure the release of political prisoners. “He promised us to do everything to help with negotiations, (during) this political crisis in our country … and he will do everything to help…

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EU teams up with South-East Asia in the fight against counterfeit medicines

EU teams up with South-East Asia in the fight against counterfeit medicines

Launched on social media in September, the #YourHealthIsPriceless campaign aims to raise awareness of the harms that counterfeit pharmaceutical and healthcare products can cause. The campaign, part of the EU-funded project Intellectual Property Key South-East Asia (IP Key SEA), constitutes a call for the public to share their experiences with counterfeit medicines on social media. The IP Key SEA is a four-year seven million euro programme implemented by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO). The programme’s main objective is to support intellectual properties (IP) right protection and enforcement across…

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Chinese business group responds to EU plan for government-backed foreign buyers

Chinese business group responds to EU plan for government-backed foreign buyers

The European Commission’s plan to fence off the EU’s industrial crown jewels from state-backed foreign buyers may breach WTO rules, while its ambiguous standards create legal uncertainties, lobbying group the China Chamber of Commerce to the EU said in its feedback on the proposal. The European Union’s executive laid out its plan in June, saying new measures were needed because existing foreign direct investment screening rules and trade defence measures were not enough to ward off a potential post-coronavirus buying spree of cheap assets. It subsequently gave companies and other…

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