Category Archives: EU

Tusk considers no-deal scenario

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the 27 member-states must be ready for a no-deal Brexit, a scenario he said was “more likely than ever before.”

With less than six months to go before the UK departure, talks stalled at the weekend over establishment of a  border between the British province of Northern Ireland and EU-member Ireland.

 

EU to strengthen border controls

Home affairs ministers discussed a Commission proposal on the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (EBCG). They expressed their general wish to strengthen the mandate of the EBCG, in particular on returns and cooperation with third countries. They also shared their views on the size, composition, tasks and powers of the EBCG standing corps, as well as on the timeframe needed to fully establish the corps.

On the basis of this discussion, work will continue at technical level.

There was a general agreement at the meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg that the supporting role of Frontex  (pictured), including on returns and cooperation with third countries, needs to be further strengthened. Today we have made good progress on our way to get there by discussing a number of practical aspects, in particular the future mandate of Frontex, member states’ responsibility and the resources of the agency.

“There was a general agreement at the meeting of EU leaders in Salzburg that the supporting role of Frontex, including on returns and cooperation with third countries, needs to be further strengthened. Today we have made good progress on our way to get there by discussing a number of practical aspects, in particular the future mandate of Frontex, member states’ responsibility and the resources of the agency” Herbert Kickl, Minister for Interior of Austria.
Ministers discussed a Commission proposal reforming the return directive. They focused, in particular, on one of the new elements introduced by the proposal: the border procedure for returns, including its links with the asylum border procedure.

On the basis of political guidance provided by ministers, work will continue at technical level.

IMAGE above Marina Militare:  Frontex vessel  transporting illegal migrants to Italy

Rutte lures Macron to join European Liberals

The EU politicians discuss the decision of French President Emmanuel Macron to join Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) in upcoming European elections. (Image: illustration).

A game-changing alliance led by French President Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Rutte is aiming to redraw the European political map to unite the liberal camp for next year’s European Parliament elections” – says Alfons Lopez Tena in his micro blog.

However not everyone understand the move. “I wouldn’t consider Mr. Macron a free market liberal when it comes to EU policy”, writes Pieter Cleppe from ALDE, who assesses the alliance as “wired‘, but nevertheless is “happy to meet” the French ruling party in the ranks of Liberals ahead of elections campaign.

 

Italy to close airports for illegal migrants returns

Italy will close its airports to unauthorised planes carrying migrants from Germany, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said, stirring up a dispute between the EU members over responsibility for illegals, who apply for asylum.

The two countries have been working on a deal under which Germany would send back to Italy migrants who have already applied for asylum there, but the accord has yet to be signed.

Italian daily La Repubblica reported Germany‘s refugee agency had sent “dozens of letters” to migrants advising them of a planned transfer back to Italy, possibly via charter flights. The first transfer is planned for October, 9.

If someone, in Berlin or Brussels, thinks of dumping dozens of immigrants in Italy via unauthorized charter flights, they should know that there is not and there will be no airport available,Salvini said in a statement published on his Twitter microblog.

Salvini blames Juncker for “ruining” Europe

Italian Deputy Premier Matteo Salvini  accused the EU unelected burocrats  of “ruining Europe“. He assessed actions of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici  after they criticised the Italian government’s budget plans: “The EU said yes to budgets that impoverished Italy and made its situation precarious,” Salvini said, while visiting a fair of agriculture association Coldiretti in Rome, ANSA agency reports. “So I don’t get up in the morning thinking about the judgement of people like Juncker and Moscovici, who have ruined Europe and Italy, have of the government and of Italy.
“They can say what they want. We’ll keep going straight on with peace of mind“, Salvini  concluded.

Salvini also said he will not accept further EU budget agricultural cuts.

World animal day: MEPs to End Cage Age

Today is the World animal day, intending to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe. Building the celebration of World Animal Day unites the animal welfare movement it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals.  It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology.  Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognized as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

At hearing  during the  European Parliament plenary  in Strasbourg  MEPs of animal welfare group confirmed their determination to make the Citizens initiative to end cage for all animals, starting with agricultural sector.

MEP cage age

The chair of the meeting MEP Stefan Eck has underlined that the campaign is supported by more than 130 European NGOs, reflecting predominant opinion of the EU citizens.

MEPs vote cutting Turkey accession funds

This week the European Parliament decided to cancel €70 million in pre-accession funds earmarked for Turkey, as conditions to improve the rule of law were not met.

Last November, during the budgetary negotiations, Parliament and Council intended to place in reserve €70 million in pre-accession funds for Turkey (€70m in commitments and €35m in payments), under the condition that “Turkey makes measurable, sufficient improvements in the fields of rule of law, democracy, human rights and press freedom, according to the annual report of the Commission.”

However, the European Commission annual report on Turkey published on 17 April 2018, concluded that “Turkey has been significantly moving away from the European Union, in particular in the areas of the rule of law and fundamental rights and through the weakening of effective checks and balances in the political system”.

The condition set by the budgetary authority has therefore not been met, MEPs underline.

They accordingly support the draft amending budget 5/2018, in which the Commission proposes transferring the €70 million earmarked for Turkey to reinforce the European Neighbourhood Instrument. This would be done through commitments– to cover actions linked to the Central Mediterranean migratory route and to fulfil part of the EU pledge for Syria – and to boost Humanitarian Aid by €35 million.

The report by Siegfried Muresan (EPP, RO) has been adopted with 544 votes, 28 against and 74 abstentions.

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