Tag Archives: EU

EU-OSCE against Russia «foreign agent» law

“The State Duma of the Russian Federation this week passed, in the third and final reading, a legislative act widening the scope of the already existing “foreign agent” media law, under which also individuals may be recognised as “foreign agents” says the statement of the European External Action Service spokesperson.

“The European Union has repeatedly said that the existing Russian legislation on labelling both NGOs and media outlets as “foreign agents” imposes additional administrative and financial burden as well as stigmatises the media or NGO concerned, thus restricting the exercise of fundamental freedoms. This practice clearly goes against Russia’s human rights obligations and commitments.

“Taking into account the already limited space for free media in the country, a further extension of the scope of the legislation is yet another worrying step against free and independent media and access to information as well as further attempt to silence independent voices in Russia.

“We support the call by OSCE Representative for Freedom of the Media for Russian lawmakers to abandon the law”.

Image above: Moscow, Russia

EU measures against Turkey drilling

This week the European Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures in response to Turkey‘s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. The framework will make it possible to sanction individuals or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The sanctions will consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities. In addition, EU persons and entities will be forbidden from making funds available to those listed.

Chile: EU deplores loss of life

“The European Union recognises the relevance of the recent demonstrations in Chile and its people’s legitimate demands, noting also the latest decisions of the President on a social package and changes in his government, as well as the cancellation of the COP 25 and APEC Summits”reads the statement by the spokesperson of the European External Action Service on the latest developments in Chile.

“We deplore the loss of life and reject any violence. Human rights must be respected in all circumstances and any breach should be duly investigated. In this context, the decision of the Chilean government to request the presence of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and of other human rights organisations is important.

“The lifting of the state of emergency and the government’s intention to launch a broad dialogue with all Chileans could be conducive to effective responses to the expectations of the citizens.

“As a longstanding partner and friend of Chile, the European Union is ready to support the Chileans in their aspirations to move towards a more sustainable, equitable and inclusive development.”

Clashes at demonstrations in the capital of Santiago have left at least 20 people dead and led to the resignation of eight key ministers from Pinera’s cabinet.

The Chilean President has now canceled the hosting of the economic APEC forum and COP25 environmental summit, which were both due to take place later this year.

Uyghur economist wins Sakharov Prize

Ilham Tohti, an Uyghur economist fighting for the rights of China’s Uyghur minority, is the winner of the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2019.

The winner was chosen by Parliament’s political leaders on 24 October 2019.

I am very pleased to announce that the European Parliament has chosen Ilham Tohti as the winner of the 2019 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Tohti has dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of the Uyghur minority in China. Despite being a voice of moderation and reconciliation, he was sentenced to life in prison following a show trial in 2014” said parliament president David Sassoli, while announcing the winner.

By awarding this prize, we strongly urge the Chinese government to release Tohti and we call for the respect of minority rights in China.”

EU Council endorses Brexit Deal II

European Council President Donald Tusk said that the EU and the UK were “very close” to concluding Article 50 Agreement, often referred to as “Brexit Deal”. After the European Council Summit, endorsing the deal, the approval by Westminster and the European Parliament will be the final steps to seal it.

President Tusk was addressing the press corps at Brussels Brexit Summit after the 27 European Union member states agreed to approve of a deal, under which Britain will leave on October 31 in an orderly fashion.

However the experts say the Brexit deal is far from being sealed, while there is growing scepticism among British Members of Parliament, who oppose it, claiming that the second version of the Article 50 Agreement is worse than the forme Prime Minister May deal.

Since day one, the EU has been United. We negotiated with the #UK as one union, one family. We put peace and people above everything else. Now it’s time to turn a page and look towards our new partnership with the UK #Brexit”, the EU top negotiator Michel Barnier wrote on his Twitter micro blog.

EU Crimea sanctions prolongation

The Council has extended the restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine for a further six months, until 15 March 2020.”

 

The measures consist of an asset freeze and travel restrictions. They currently apply to 170 persons and 44 entities. The relevant information and statement of reasons for the listing of these persons and entities have been updated as necessary.

 

 

“Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include:

  • Economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, currently in place until 31 January 2020.
  • Restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until 23 June 2020.

The decision was adopted by the Council by written procedure. The legal acts will be published in the Official Journal on 13 September 2019.”

 

 

 

ESA Aschbacher calls for investing in space

At opening of the #PhiWeek2019 the Director of Earth Observation Programmes Josef Aschbacher called for investing in European space industries, ensuring the EU leadership in space.

The European Earth observation mission is a unique project, assembling the creative family of Space innovators, EU enthusiasts and Earth Science lovers, however it goes far beyond the fascination with starts, and space, it is enhancing progress, preserving planet, bestowing wealth to businesses and societies.

The #PhiWeek provides an excellent platform for exploration of the  latest applications of transformative technologies affecting Science Innovation and FutureEO missions and services; Connecting with innovation ecosystems and emerging EO players, including for example data scientists, deep tech innovators, large ICT corporates and startups; gather and foster emerging EO Open Science communities.

#PhiWeek2019 is also a momentum of inspiration of early career scientists, entrepreneurs, citizens and dreamers by showcasing the scientific and business opportunities related to Open Science and FutureEO.

 

 

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