Tag Archives: Europe

EUCO: EU Summit conclusions on pandemic

Brussels 22.10.2021 European Council conclusions on COVID-19:
“Vaccination campaigns around Europe have brought about significant progress in the fight against COVID-19. Nevertheless the situation in some Member States remains very serious. In order to further increase vaccination rates throughout the Union, efforts to overcome vaccine hesitancy should be stepped up, including by tackling disinformation, notably on social media platforms. It is necessary to remain vigilant regarding the emergence and spread of possible new variants.

“In light of the development of the epidemiological situation, the European Council calls for further coordination to facilitate free movement within, and travel into, the EU, and for a revision of the two Council recommendations. It encourages the Commission to accelerate its work regarding mutual recognition of certificates with third countries.

“Based on the experiences of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU’s resilience to and horizontal preparedness for crises must be strengthened. To ensure better prevention of, preparedness for and response to future health emergencies in the EU, the European Council calls for the conclusion of the negotiations on the Health Union legislative package and for ensuring that Member States are adequately involved in the governance of the Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority (HERA). It recalls the need to swiftly take work forward on access to medicines across Member States.

“The European Council reiterates the EU’s continued commitment to contributing to the international response to the pandemic and to ensuring access to vaccines for all. It calls for the rapid removal of obstacles hampering the global roll-out of vaccines, and invites the Commission to further engage directly with manufacturers in this respect. This will allow Member States to speed up the delivery of vaccines to countries most in need. The EU will continue to support the production and uptake of vaccines in partner countries.

“In the context of the upcoming G20 meeting and in view of the special session of the World Health Assembly in November, the European Council underlines its support for a strong, central role of the World Health Organization in future global health governance and for the objective of agreeing an international treaty on pandemics”.

Antisemitic Prejudices in Europe report

Brussels 12.10.2021 A comprehensive picture of the anti-Semitic prejudice in 16 countries of the European Union has been revealed in the Report, presented in Brussels today by the Action and Protection League in alliance with the European Jewish Association in the Jewish House. The research seeks to explore the prevalence and intensity of anti-Jewish prejudices in the European societies. The intention of the engaged team has been to show how likely in times of crisis the societies are susceptible to use the antisemitic narrative to indulge themselves in illusions of solutions for a various range of problems.

The Report on “Antisemitic Prejudices in Europe” appeared in a specific context of concern about the rise of violence against Jews, which reflects in insecurities in Jewish communities across Europe.

In the report the cognitive antisemitism has been measured by a series of questions used several times in surveys in the last two decades. Based on support of rejection of the offered statements, measuring biased stereotyping there were tree major groups of the participants in the survey: non-antisemites, moderate antisemites, and strong antisemites.

The European Muslim are characterised by significantly stronger primary antisemitism than the non-Muslim population, however anti-semitism in Greece and several post-Soviet East European countries is “significantly stronger” than among European Muslims, the report discoveres.

Regarding Israel many European Muslims support anti-Jewish views, far more than proportion of non-Muslim population in any of the countries studies, the reports states.

During the research a group of latent anti-semites has been identified, which does not incline to the traditional anit-semitic views, but hostility towards Israel, but does not appear to be antisemitic in a traditional sense, getting the definition of latent anti-semitism.

Concerning the primary antisemitism there more than average antisemites in Greece (48%), Poland (42%), Hungary(42%), Slovkia (39%), the Czech Republic(36%), Romania (38%) and Austira (31%). The proportion of strong antisemites in Greece is almost three times the average – 35%, and is highest in Austria (21%) outside the former Soviet bloc.

In three Western European countries the proportion of those who accept traditional antisemitic prejudices and are also “averse” to Jews is negligible in Sweden, the Netherlands, and the UK representing from 3% to 6% of the adult population.

In spite of a grim landscape in some cases, there are also strong positive attitudes toward Jews and Israel, who are convinced that it is important for Europe to preserve Jewish traditions in their countries. The respondents are also friends of Israel, regarding Jewish state as a politically significant actor, and ally.

The indicator directs to 22% of the total population in the 16 countries as “strongly philosemitic”, 35% “moderately”, and 44% as non-philosemtic. The philosemitism is strong in Austria, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Greece. The results might seem contradictory at times, and the report needs further analysis and understanding of the social psychological theories dealing with prejudice in its cognitive, effective, and conative dimension.

Europe biodiversity threatened

“In its conclusions , the Council reaffirms that the EU and its member states will lead and step up efforts to halt biodiversity loss and restore ecosystems. The conclusions provide political guidance for the work towards a post-2020 global biodiversity framework. The Council also calls upon the Commission to develop without delay an ambitious, realistic and coherent 2030 EU biodiversity strategy as a central element of the European Green Deal.

“Member states unanimously stress the need for urgent global action at all levels to halt biodiversity loss. The Council notes with serious concern the alarming state of nature, with around one million species at risk of extinction, and the severe implications of unabated climate change. The Council underlines the importance for the EU and its member states to develop and adopt national biodiversity strategies and action plans (NBSAPs) for achieving the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

https://twitter.com/a_perrodet/status/1202654329993228288?s=21

“The Council is committed to leading by example and making a robust contribution to the adoption of an ambitious and realistic post-2020 global biodiversity framework to halt the loss of and restore biodiversity by 2030. It is also committed to mainstreaming biodiversity into all relevant EU policies such as the new common agricultural policy (CAP). Member states unanimously underline the need to eliminate subsidies harmful to biodiversity and to enhance the review of the implementation and accountability of nature and biodiversity policies, actions and commitments, with the aim of stepping up actions on all levels.

“In addition, the Council calls for the full, effective and coherent integration of biodiversity into the design and implementation of the EU’s multiannual financial framework (MFF) 2021-2027 as well as in future policies such as the common fisheries policy and the circular economy action plan. Member states will accelerate the transition towards a resource-efficient, safe, circular and climate-neutral economy that also protects and restores biodiversity and ecosystem services.

“Member states underline the importance of making domestic and international financial flows, including in public procurement, consistent with the post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

“The Council will revert to this issue in order to adopt a mandate for the EU position in the negotiations at the UN biodiversity conference (CBD COP15) in October 2020 in Kunming, China. The landmark conference is due to agree a post-2020 global biodiversity framework.”

NATO extends Stoltenberg mandate

NATO Allies agreed on March 28, 2019 to extend the mandate of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg (60) by a further two years, until 30 September 2022.

Jens StoltenbergNorwegian politician, who served twice as Prime minister. During his mandates the defence spending increased substantially, resulting in Norway becoming one of the highest per capita defence contributors among allies of NATO. He has been enhancing  modernisation of the Norwegian armed forces, and conducted policies contributing troops to various NATO operations.

Trump points at Europe illegal immigration “mess”

While a flow of migrants in two ‘caravans’ is moving through Central America in hope to settle in the United States, President Trump  has issued a number of messages in his Twitter micro blog. The latest one is addressed to “advocates” of illegal immigration referring to European experience as a negative example. “…Take a good look at what happened to Europe over the last 5 years. A total mess! They only wish they has that decision to make over again”.

The population  left the crime-ridden city of San Pedro Sula in Honduras on 13 October. From there, the migrants walked on foot to Nueva Ocotepeque, and then crossed into Guatemala.

Their aim is to reach the United States where they say they want to start a new life away from the criminal gangs which control parts of Honduras.

But US President Donald Trump, who campaigned on a promise to curb illegal immigration to the US, said he would not let the caravan  cross into the US.

Keeping the promise is essential for reputation of his Republican Party at stake in the forthcoming midterm elections on 6 November.

 

Kurz welcomes plans for refugee centres outside EU

I am glad that it has come to one in the European . For the first time, there is approval for refugee centres outside the so-called #Anladeplattformen“, Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz said at arrival for the second day of the EU Summit on migration (#EUCO).

European leaders called on the Council and the Commission to swiftly explore the concept of regional “disembarkation platforms” in close cooperation with relevant third countries, UNHCR and IOM. Such platforms should operate, regarding individual situations in “full respect of international law and without creating a pull factor“,  EU Council final document says.

 

UK and Ireland face similar Brexit trade challenges

he United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland face similar trade-related exposures to Brexit a new report by academic think tank The UK in a Changing Europe finds.

The report – Brexit and the island of Ireland – finds Brexit trade-related exposure of the UK varies between 9.8% to 16.3%; in the Republic of Ireland it is 10.12-10.13%. UK is 4.6 times more exposed to Brexit than the rest of the EU; the Republic of Ireland is 3.8 times more exposed to Brexit than the EU; and Northern Ireland is 4.4 times more exposed than the rest of the EU.

 The 10 chapter report is being launched on the day of The UK in a Changing Europe’s Brexit and the island of Ireland conference in which keynote speakers are Rt Hon Owen Paterson MP and The Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP. Other speakers include the former prime minster of Ireland John Bruton, Lord Bew, Gerald Angley from the Embassy of Ireland, Great Britain, Catherine Moroney, head of business banking at AIB and Lord Paddy Ashdown.

The report finds the peace process and Good Friday Agreement are absolutely critical in the Brexit negotiations. Brexit will unsettle many of the assumptions of the peace process around British and Irish identity and may exacerbate divisions. National identity may become a signifier not only of national difference but also of those who are EU citizens and those who are not.

 One of the report’s authors argues that the UK can deliver on the promise of no hard border in Ireland without remaining in the EU customs union or inventing new and complex schemes involving the tracking of individual consignments to their final destination.

 Using a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, the report finds the proportion of people in Northern Ireland wanting to Remain has risen since the 2016 referendum. 69% would vote Remain if there was another referendum compared to the 56% who voted Remain at the time of the referendum.

 Professor Anand Menon (pictured), director The UK in a Changing Europe, said: “This report shows that, whatever the outcome of Brexit, it will impact significantly, and in a number of different ways, on the island of Ireland. It is therefore incumbent upon all parties in the negotiations to deal with the issues with the due care, attention, sensitivity, respect and honesty.”

Russians refuse to appoint ambassador to NATO

Russian Federation will not appoint Permanent Representative to NATO unless and until it sees that the alliance is ready for “serious work”, Andrei Kelin, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s European Cooperation Department, said, according to TASS news agency reports.
“This position will remain vacant until we see the actual readiness on the part of NATO to work seriously,Kelin told while exchanging with presse.

The diplomat pointed that the political and military situation in Europe continues to be complex, and measures are required to ease tensions. “However, we see no willingness to conduct a serious dialogue,” the diplomat continued. “Therefore, against this background, one can safely say that our mission cannot function there to the full extent due to objective circumstances.”

The position of Russian Permanent Representative to NATO has remained vacant after Alexander Grushko who earlier served as Russia’s envoy to NATO was appointed Russian Deputy Foreign Minister at the end of 2017.

 

 

Russia considers removal from ECHR

Reportedly the authorities of the Russian Federation are examining the possibility of denunciation of the European Convention on Human Rights and termination of cooperation with the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Russian Federation is ready to resort to such measures, if what they call ‘anti-Russian line’ of court decisions is not corrected, RIA Novosti agency informed with reference to sources in relevant Russian departments. The chairman of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alekseeva has already called this step “careless and awful”.

“When considering complaints against Russia, the politicization of the position of the European Court of Human Rights increases,” the interlocutors of the RIA agency said, no arguments of the Russian side are not taken into account.”The court refuses to take into account the peculiarities of the Russian legal system and the norms of international law and often resorts to the practice of double standards,” unnamed governmental source said.

There is no solution in view for deep crisis between Russia and CoR, caused by two major reasons – the PACE sanctions and ECHR policy, tweeted Russian senator Alexey Pushkov.

 

Frontex warns about migrant pressure

The European Union’s Mediterranean countries will remain under increasing pressure from African migrants attempting to reach Europe, the head of the EU’s border agency Frontex said on Tuesday (20/02/2017).

The EU Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos reminded about the EU efforts to protect Mediterranean borders in his tweet.

However Commissioner’s efforts have not convinced critics of migrant crisis resolution, MEP Diane James is not short of words about flaws of EU deals with African governments.

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