Future of Europe plenary, migration, biodiversity

Future of Europe plenary, migration, biodiversity

MEPs will participate in the inaugural plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe and discuss migration and development issues. The inaugural plenary of the Conference on the Future of Europe takes place on Saturday, 19 June in Strasbourg. The Conference Plenary gathers representatives from EU institutions, and national parliaments together with citizens and will develop people’s proposals into recommendations for EU action. All Europeans can participate in the Conference by sharing their ideas on the multilingual digital platform, EU affairs. Following the approval of the EU Digital COVID…

Read More

German nuclear waste to remain in France after years of talks

German nuclear waste to remain in France after years of talks

Germany and France have agreed that 152 containers of nuclear waste from Germany are to be treated in La Hague in northwestern France, while only three to five containers will return to Germany as the country is contractually obligated to take back its nuclear waste reprocessed abroad. According to a joint information paper by German economy and environment ministries, three to five containers with highly radioactive nuclear waste are to be returned from La Hague in France to the interim storage facility in the southwestern German state of Baden-Württemberg by…

Read More

Portugal’s ‘Golden Passports’

Portugal’s ‘Golden Passports’

Portugal is seen as being one of the market leaders in the highly controversial so-called ‘Golden Passport’ business, writes Colin Stevens. This is a lucrative scheme started by several countries as a relatively easy way to attract foreign money after the 2008 financial crisis but criticized by many for attracting criminals and money laundering to the EU. It is believed that Portugal has so far issued golden visas to more than 25,000 people, earning more than €5.5 billion, with Henley Partners as the agency mandated by the Portuguese government to…

Read More

Germany to speed up wind and solar energy expansion

Germany to speed up wind and solar energy expansion

The German government plans to speed up the expansion of wind and solar energy by 2030 as part of its climate protection programme, a draft law seen by Reuters showed on Wednesday (2 June). The new plan aims to expand installed production capacity of onshore wind energy to 95 gigawatts by 2030 from a previous target of 71 GW, and of solar energy to 150 GW from 100 GW, the draft showed. Germany’s installed capacity of onshore wind power stood at of 54.4 GW and of solar energy at 52…

Read More

Tax policy: EU solutions to prevent tax fraud and avoidance

Tax policy: EU solutions to prevent tax fraud and avoidance

Fair taxation is a priority for the European Parliament. Find out how it wants to tackle issues such as tax avoidance, tax fraud and more, Economy. Tax policy, including the fight against tax fraud, has become a hot topic over the past decade due to journalistic investigations such as LuxLeaks, the Panama Papers, Football Leaks, Bahamas Leaks and the Paradise Papers, which revealed tax leaks and tax havens. They led to increasing unhappiness about damaging tax practices, particularly after the recession and the resulting budget constraints. Unpaid taxes result in…

Read More

Recovery fund faces new hurdles with first disbursements

Recovery fund faces new hurdles with first disbursements

The European Commission could find it difficult to transfer the first tranche of the recovery funds to all member states according to its calendar, as most plans are expected to be approved at the same time and there will be limited capacity to borrow from the markets. Last July, the EU’s € 800 billion recovery fund was greeted as a historic deal. But its slow implementation, doubts about its size, problems with its ratification in some member states, especially Germany and Poland, and difficulties in drawing up national recovery plans…

Read More

EU countries squabble over 10 million extra doses of Pfizer vaccine

EU countries squabble over 10 million extra doses of Pfizer vaccine

EU nations fell out Thursday (1 April) over how to divide up 10 million extra doses of coronavirus vaccine, with Austria, Slovenia and the Czech Republic refusing to help five struggling countries. A deal was agreed late in the day to distribute nearly three million doses to “those most in need”, said Portugal, which holds the rotating European Union presidency. But Austria, Slovenia and the Czechs had insisted on receiving their full quota of vaccines under the general shareout system according to population, said a statement from the presidency. A…

Read More

Commission seeks to calm fears over Europol’s decryption platform

Commission seeks to calm fears over Europol’s decryption platform

The European Commission has issued assurances to MEPs that Europol’s new decryption platform will not be used to abuse data protection standards and will maintain closely guarded access rights over the data retrieved. However, some MEPs remain unconvinced that the operation of Europol’s technology will be completely free from abuse, particularly in countries where the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary has been called into question. Since Europol launched its decryption platform in December last year, MEPs in Brussels have been seeking clarification on whether the technology…

Read More

EU to step up pressure on Belgium to end travel ban

EU to step up pressure on Belgium to end travel ban

The European Commission is stepping up the pressure on the Belgian authorities to end the ban on non-essential travel currently in force until after the Easter holidays. On Twitter, European Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said that in a conversation with Interior Minister Annelies Verlinden, he insisted that Belgium must respect the principle of free movement of persons in the EU. “The Commission expects an end date for the ban on non-essential travel, and other less restrictive measures, such as testing and quarantines,” he said. Belgium was criticised for its travel…

Read More

Netherlands to stop use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after reports of side effects

Netherlands to stop use of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after reports of side effects

The Netherlands has joined other countries in temporarily stopping the administration of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine after the country’s Medicines Evaluation Board expressed concerns about possible side effects. The country will not carry out new vaccination with this vaccine for the next two weeks, until Sunday 28 March, in light of more information being reported about the possible side effects, the Dutch Ministry of Health announced. “Only over the weekend did more become known from Denmark about the patients and what was going on. It turned out that there was…

Read More