Category Archives: News

EU politicians react on Halle Synagogue Attack

President of the European Parliament David Sassoli led a minute of silence to remember the victims of the attacks in Halle, migrants who drowned off Lampedusa and the late Jacques Chirac.

The President expressed his condolences to the people of Halle, adding that his thoughts are with the families of the victims.

Shocked and saddened by the tragic events in #Halle, Germany, the members of the European Parliament stood for a minute of silence today. We send our deepest condolences to the families of the victims and hope that the police will be able to catch the suspects quickly’, Sassoli wrote in his Twitter micor blog.

Jewish community representatives said the synagogue in Hale was targeted by the gunman who tried to enter the building but he was stopped by security guards.

Another two people suffer injuries in a deadly shooting, the hospital said. Initially the shooter targeted a synagogue and a Turkish restaurant, killing two people in the street, and injuring the other two.

AMENDED

Tusk congratulates Kurz with spectacular victory

On behalf of the European Council I would like to congratulate you on your spectacular victory in the recent election. Your official tasking today to form a new government is a reflection of the victory and I wish you every success in this endeavour.

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“Your past contributions to our work in the European Council have been much appreciated and I trust that the future Austrian government will continue to play an important and constructive role in the European Union.

Josep Borrell faces MEPs scrutiny

The MEPS of Foreign Affairs Committee questioned Josep Borrell, Spanish candidate for High Representative/Vice-President for foreign affairs and security policy.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Josep Borrell, candidate EU top diplomat job.

During his introductory speech  Borrell stressed his intention to engage in reforms in the Western Balkans, support democracy and the integrity of Ukraine, address the challenges in the southern neighbourhood, develop a new strategy towards Africa, work on political relations with Asia, step up cooperation with Latin America and reinstate transatlantic relations (US-EU). “The world has changed for the worse…There are few agreements, more vetoes”, he said.

MEPs enquired how he intends to reach consensus among member states on decisions regarding e.g. Russia or generally related to security and defence. “We need shared strategic culture and empathy to understand the different points of view”, he replied. MEPs also asked about the role the EU could play in creating global security, when non-proliferation agreements are being breached. They also raised the issue of protecting EU maritime interests worldwide.

Asked about Kosovo-Serbia negotiations, Borrell replied that negotiations have lasted too long and Europe has to engage in helping Kosovo and Serbia out of the deadlock. His first visit as High Representative/Vice-President would be to Pristina, Commissioner-designate announced.

MEPs also asked how he intends to achieve a more strategic and coherent union, as announced in the Mission letter of the Commission President Borrell said that the EU has tools for foreign policy, such as a powerful common trade policy or diplomatic power. “The EU has to learn to use the language of power”, he stressed.

World Animal Day

World Animal Day raises 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, mobilising it into a global force to make the world a better place for all animals. 

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It’s celebrated in different ways in every country, irrespective of nationality, religion, faith or political ideology. 

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Through increased awareness and education we can create a world where animals are always recognised as sentient beings and full regard is always paid to their welfare.

Finnish Jutta Urpilainen for EU development cooperation job

The Development Committee questioned  the candidate Jutta Urpilainen for the international partnerships portfolio on future development cooperation and respect of EU values.

Political groups’ coordinators from the committee will meet within 24 hours to assess the performance of Commissioner-designate Urpilainen.

During her introductory speech, Jutta Urpilainen said that the 2030 agenda for sustainable development goals is “a golden opportunity for the European Union” to continue to play a leadership role in supporting partner countries to eradicate poverty worldwide, whilst also “promoting values, including empowering women and girls as a precondition for inclusive societies”.

 

Gender equality should be a top priority and mainstreamed in all policies and programmes, she added.

MEPs put forward several questions on the ongoing negotiations on the proposed Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument, the post-Cotonou agreement with countries from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, calling for greater transparency to keep the European Parliament and the public informed.

Members also questioned the Commissioner-designate on how she would ensure that EU values are respected, particularly on gender equality and women’s empowerment, which are a priority in international cooperation. Later in the hearing, MEPs raised the issue of linking development to migration challenges and the Paris Agreement on climate action.

The full hearing link below:

Russia launches Oniks missile

Oniks missile was launched the Chukotka Peninsula, Russian TASS news agency reported. It’s 350 km trajectory included 200 km over land, which is an achievement for this type of missiles, military experts said.

In the statement Russian Defense Ministry announced that “for the first time in history, the crew of a Bastion coastal defense system of the Pacific Fleet launched an Oniks cruise missile from the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Region.”

According to the ministry’s data, the missile struck a target vessel at a distance of over 200 km in the Sea.

The Oniks missile was fired in accordance with the combat training plan. About 10 warships and support vessels of the Pacific Fleet and naval aviation provided for the safe missile launch.

The P-800 Oniks supersonic missile has a maximum range of about 500 km. Therefore, Bastion coastal defense systems deployed on the Chukotka Peninsula are capable of striking targets along the entire eastern part of the Northern Sea Route, from the De Long to the Bering Straits.

Barnier waits for UK proposals

European Union top Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier (pictured) said that the UK has yet to provide “legal and operational” proposals that could lead out of Brexit deadlock.

“We are still ready to work on any new legal and operational proposal from the UK,” Barnier said. He aslo added Tweet to his micro blog, underlining that there is a need of legally operative solution in the Withdrawal Agreement  to address the problems created by Brexit on island of Ireland.  He aslo added that the EU27 are firmly united. Barnier  underlined importance of avoiding hard border, protection of Good Friday Agreement, all-island economy & integrity of Single Market.

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Tanaiste Simon Coveney,  said “significant gaps” remain between the two sides.

However, he added that Barnier and his team are “available 24/7 to negotiate to try and get a deal done”.

Image: Berlaymont building, European Commission

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