Tag Archives: EU

International Cat Day: cats forever!

International Cat Day is a full 24 hours of across the world recognition and veneration of one of humanity’s oldest and most beloved pets. The festivities were put together for the first time in 2002 by, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), among other animal rights groups, to celebrate the most popular pet on the planet.

An estimated 500 million cats are thought to be frolicking in gardens of planet Earth, which is wonderful, because owing a cat has been shown to improve mental health and to relieve stress, anxiety and depression.

Cats are reigning in offices of Prime ministers, and in hearts of presidents, guarding Foreign offices, and Hermitage museums. Some of them have even blogs and press-secretaries.

However the cats are also victims of their own success, in Digital Age – the felines are confronted with new challenges as online sale:

“The EU Dog & Cat Alliance is calling for more attention to the rising issue of the online sale of pets.

“The vast majority of websites which sell pets in the EU are completely unregulated in more than three-quarters of Member States. 

“This trade poses risks to pets being traded and consumers, who have very little protection from rogue sellers. Animals which have been illegally bred and traded can carry diseases such as rabies or Echinococcus multilocularis, which can be passed on to humans, or have genetic disorders which consumers are not aware of at the time of purchase.”

Larry Obama

 

EU-UK Brexit deal stays intact

The European Commission is willing to discuss Brexit with the UK over the coming weeks, a spokeswoman said on August 6. However the decision of keeping intact the negotiated with Theresa May government  deal remains unchanged. The Commission expressed readiness to add “words” to it in forms of declarations.

The EU executives have been hoping to avoid a “no-deal” scenario, the bloc is prepared for such an outcome as well.

The Commission does remain available over the coming weeks should the United Kingdom wish to hold talks and clarify its position in more detail, whether by phone or in person,” the spokeswoman said during regular Midday briefing.

 

Licence to kill last wolf in Meurthe-et-Moselle

In in the coming weeks the prefecture of Meurthe-et-Moselle (France) will authorize  shooting of the wolf, accused of a multitude of herd attacks, especially in the south of the department. the decision announced on July 4th. The licence to kill the last surviving wolf is considered as pro-hunting lobby success, phrasing the understanding and sympathy of President Macron to their passion to spend free time killing wild animals. In March Emmanuel Macron announced that from 17% to 19% of the population of wolves can be slaughtered, while the scientific expertise, commissioned by the Ministry of Ecology, indicates that the permissions to hunt should not to exceed 10% of the estimated number so that the population presenting a numerical balance remains stable.

The wolf protection French NGO CAP Loup launched an appeal the state to abandon its plans to slaughter 500 wolves, and to prioritize the policy of protection of herds. They also insist on inclusion in the National Wolf Plan a precision that shooting a wolf should remain a justifiable exception, as provided for by the derogation rules of Annex IV of the Habitats Directive, and not a political solution of ease that becomes the rule.

French conservationists consider the extermination of 500 wolves is not a reasonable measure, pointing that  “France is increasingly  in contradiction with the international texts of the Bern Convention and especially the European Habitats Directive”. Limiting the wolf population in France to its current size means keeping it in a “vulnerablestatus quo, as defined by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which is “not a favorable conservation status”, CAP Loup underlines.

EU-Swiss investors at brink of separation

European Union and Swiss investors will lose direct access to each others’ stock exchanges from July 1 as a result of an argument over a partnership treaty.

European Commission will not opt for extending of the equivalence regime that allows EU investors trade on Swiss stock exchange, effectively ending it as of July 1. according to the European diplomats.

The deadline of June 21 for the Commission to make such a proposal is overdue, and there will be no last-minute fix, because Bern did not endorse a partnership treaty with the EU that had been negotiated for years, a European diplomat said.

The move by the EU,  its biggest trading partner, will prompt retaliation from Bern, which last year drew up contingency plans to block by decree trading of Swiss shares on EU-based exchanges.

“Should the EU not extend Swiss exchanges’ access to the EU market Switzerland would activate the protective measures decided on 8 June 2018 with effect from the end of June,” said government spokesperson.

Jagland raises concerns about journalist Golunov case

 

 

 

The Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Thorbjørn Jagland, has made the following statement with regard to the situation of investigative journalist Ivan Golunov in Russia:

I am very much concerned and saddened by reports coming from Moscow alleging that investigative journalist Ivan Golunov was subjected to violence and injured by police forces while in custody in a Moscow police station.

Violence by police during investigation procedures is absolutely prohibited by Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights, to which the Russian Federation is party.

Moreover, the fact that Mr Golunov claims that evidence against him was manipulated raises even greater suspicion over the current situation.

Taking into account the particular gravity of the alleged facts, I call on the Minister of Interior of the Russian Federation, Mr Kolokoltsev, to personally address this situation.

I also hope that Human Rights Commissioner Moskalkova will look into these allegations.

Freedom of expression and the right to security are fundamental in a democratic society and law enforcement bodies must also defend these values.”

Spokesperson of the European External Action Service also made a statement, underlining that the European Union relevant institutuios follows closely the case of journalist Godunov, arrested in Moscow.

AMENDMENT:

British Forign Secretary Jeremy Hunt made a statement via his Twitter microblog on the arrest of Ivan Golunov. He also mentioned “fear of retribution” among  negative effects on practice of investigative journalism in Russia in general.

AMENDEMNET:

According to Golunov’s lawyer Chikov claims his client suffered from police brutalty, being beaten at his arrival to custody. He added paramedics suspected Golunov had suffered broken ribs, bruising and a concussion, and that “police chiefs” were refusing his hospitalisation

AMENDEMENT

Today the international organisation Reporters without borders (RSF) launched  mobiliseation to manifest in front of Russian Embassy in Paris, demanding liberation of Golunov, and dropping all charges against him.

 

AMENDEMENT

Further Brexit delay?

The majority of the European Union governments will approve another Brexit delay regardless of who becomes the next British prime minister, ‘The Times’  newspaper reported on June 6 citing an unnamed senior European source.

As many as 25 European governments are prepared to give the Britons another extension, despite repeated statements from most British prime minister candidates that the UK will leave the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, the newspaper added.

In the end no one wants to be seen as the one who pulls the plug,” the source told ‘The Times’.

The EU and UK were working “very hard together” on Brexit deal, President Trump,  acknowledged and added: “It doesn’t seem to be working out. But, at some point, something will happen, one way or the other.

EU-UK visa free travel reciprocity

“The Council and the European Parliament have agreed that, following Brexit, UK citizens coming to the Schengen area for a short stay (90 days in any 180 days) should be granted visa free travel. This agreement was confirmed yesterday by EU ambassadors on behalf of the Council and by the European Parliament Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs committee today. The text now needs to be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council”  European Council announced.

“According to EU rules, visa exemption is granted on condition of reciprocity. The government of the United Kingdom has stated that it does not intend to require a visa from EU citizens travelling to the UK for short stays. In the event that the United Kingdom introduces a visa requirement for nationals of at least one member state in the future, the existing reciprocity mechanism would apply and the three EU institutions and the member states would undertake to act without delay in applying the mechanism. The Commission would monitor the respect of the principle of reciprocity on a continuous basis and immediately inform the European Parliament and the Council of any developments which could endanger the respect of this principle.”

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