Pandemic review reveals Italy especially disillusioned with the EU

Pandemic review reveals Italy especially disillusioned with the EU

Opinions on how governments handled the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic varies hugely in Europe, a survey showed Thursday (17 September), with hard-hit Italians especially disillusioned with the EU. The poll was carried out on behalf of activist group “More in Common” in late June and July, but the data was made public on Thursday after being seen by top officials in Berlin, Paris, Brussels and London. The survey, covering the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Poland, hints at what helped bring about the…

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Energy firm turns to rocket science in bid to green transport

Energy firm turns to rocket science in bid to green transport

French energy company Engie is teaming up with aerospace firm the ArianeGroup to steal a march on its rivals in the hydrogen production business, by drawing on expertise gained through Europe’s space programme. Hydrogen is enjoying a purple patch of policy-maker focus in 2020, as governments are seduced by the potential for zero-carbon fuels for transport and industrial processes and mull large-scale investments in the sector. Everything from green steelmaking to pollution-free shipping is brought within reach by the promise of hydrogen, which was the focus of a long-term strategy…

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UK plans to break international law in a ‘very specific and limited way’

UK plans to break international law in a ‘very specific and limited way’

The UK is preparing to break the terms of its Withdrawal Agreement with the EU if it does not secure a new trade deal with the bloc before the end of 2020, a senior government minister confirmed on Tuesday (8 September). Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis told UK lawmakers that ministers are planning to override elements of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement in a new Internal Market bill that will be published on Wednesday. In particular, the bill appears likely to override requirements in the Protocol for new customs arrangements in…

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Europe must lead the way in electrifying urban mobility

Europe must lead the way in electrifying urban mobility

Without bold and fast action to transform the way we move around in our cities, we will be unable to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and air pollution, warn Anabel Diaz and William Todts, as ride-hailing firm Uber announces a new global zero-emission goal. Anabel Diaz is Regional General Manager, EMEA,  for Uber and William Todts is Executive Director of clean mobility group Transport & Environment (T&E). The pressing need to cut harmful transport emissions is one of the most urgent challenges of our era. It is both…

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Commission hopes for approval to sell COVID-19 vaccine in November

Commission hopes for approval to sell COVID-19 vaccine in November

The European Commission hopes for the first COVID-19 vaccine to have market authorisation in November, an EU official said yesterday (3 September). However, a timeline for its distribution is still unknown. The condition for the vaccine to be marketed is that it be deemed “safe and efficacious”, the official added. The EU Commission is negotiating advance purchases of COVID-19 vaccines with several drug manufacturers on behalf of the 27 EU states and has previously said that EU governments cannot buy vaccines through parallel procurement schemes. The EU executive has made…

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Ireland promises to nominate Commissioner candidates “as soon as possible”

Ireland promises to nominate Commissioner candidates “as soon as possible”

Ireland’s government on Friday nominated Mairead McGuinness and Andrew McDowell as candidates to be the country’s next European commissioner, following Phil Hogan’s resignation as EU trade chief last week. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen must now decide which candidate to accept and whether they will retain the trade portfolio. The alternative is for her to conduct a broader reshuffle that could mean an existing commissioner taking trade and Ireland being allocated a less prestigious area of responsibility. European Parliament First Vice President McGuinness is a member of Ireland’s…

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Greece Blood Center said it could no longer carry out tests on COVID-19

Greece Blood Center said it could no longer carry out tests on COVID-19

Greece’s national blood donation centre EKEA, which is also the main testing hub for coronavirus, has warned hospitals across the country that it can no longer perform COVID-19 tests due to their “irrational” use that has created a shortage of reagents. “We inform you that from today (1 September) the National Blood Donation Center cannot perform the molecular test of COVID-19 for your structures. Due to the irrational use of the tests, the limit of the possibility of supplying reagents was exceeded,” EKEA said. EKEA is the main centre that…

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Austria to file charges against Turkish government spy

Austria to file charges against Turkish government spy

Austria will file charges against a person who has confessed to spying for Turkey’s secret service, and authorities are investigating more suspected espionage activities, its interior minister said, warning Turkey this would not be tolerated. “This is about an exertion of influence by a foreign power in Austria and this will in no way be accepted,” Karl Nehammer told a news conference on Tuesday (1 September). Turkey rejected the espionage accusations as “baseless.” There were clear indications of Turkish influence in Austria, said the director general for public safety, Franz…

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The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are preparing for tough negotiations with the US

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are preparing for tough negotiations with the US

Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić is travelling to Washington this week for talks between Belgrade and Priština in the hope of discussing the economy while Kosovo Premier Avdullah Hoti insists that mutual recognition is the only topic he can discuss with Serbian officials. However, Vučić also says he expects the 4 September meeting in Washington to throw a surprise in the form of a demand for mutual recognition of Serbia and its former province, Kosovo. The meeting is organised by the US president’s special envoy for Belgrade-Priština dialogue, Richard Grenell. Vučić…

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France suspends scandalous capture of songbirds

France suspends scandalous capture of songbirds

France has suspended the glue-trapping of songbirds this year but stopped short of abolishing the controversial practice which is criticised as barbaric by bird lovers and banned under European Union regulations. President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement on Thursday that, following a meeting with environment minister Barbara Pompili and hunting federation president Willy Schraen, the quota for hunting thrushes and blackbirds with glue traps will be set to zero this year. France is the only country to still allow the catching of birds with glue traps – and other…

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