Tag Archives: Luxembourg

ECB: ECJ versus German judges

The European Court of Justice found itself in utmost controvericial situation in its 68-year history created by the German judges.

In a long-awaited ruling on the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing program, Germany’s constitutional court in Karlsruhe accused the EU Court of Justice of overstepping its powers when it backed the ECB’s controversial policy.

The EU chief spokesperson declined an immediate reaciton to this particular issue, promisiing to look into it in-depth in cominng days. However he underlined that European Union law has a primacy over the German constitution and the rulings of the European Union’s top court are binding for the German constitutional court.

Reminindg of the EU general legal framework has been the Commission responce to a German constitutional court ruling that the Bundesbank must stop buying government bonds under the European Central Bank’s long-running stimulus scheme within three months unless the ECB can prove the purchases are needed.

The German ruling has been announced in contradiction to the EU’s top court ruling in 2018 that the ECB bond buying programme was in line with EU law.

“Notwithstanding the analysis of the detail of the German Constitutional Court decision today We reaffirm the primacy of the EU law, and the fact that the rulings of the European Court of Justice are binding on all national courts,” the Commission spokesperson said.

COVID19: Luxembourg hosts migrant minors

A group of unaccompanied refugee children was relocated from Greek islands to Luxembourg, the European Commission said.

Twelve children between the ages of 11 and 15 were taken from Lesvos, Samos and Chios to Luxemburg, and 50 more will be transferred to Germany this coming weekend.

Greece says there are 42,000 asylum-seekers on its islands, of which 1,500 are children and minors.

To ease pressure on Greek authorities, the European Commission in early Mach opened a relocation program for minors who had been stranded in camps on the islands.

Ten EU members, and Switzerland, responded to the Commission’s call.

The eleven countries pledged to relocate 1,600 asylum seekers, including unaccompanied minors and families in a fragile situation.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic temporarily halted the program, but Luxemburg gave the green light last week after Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn and Greek Minister of Migration Policy Giorgos Koumoutsakos had a exchange of opinion via telephone.

The decision was intended to support Greek authorities “facing in particular the risk of the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic in overcrowded refugee camps,” the government of Luxembourg explained in a statement April 15.

In times where coronavirus is taking its toll on everyday life, it is commendable to see Member States honoring their commitments and working together to help vulnerable migrants on the Greek islands,” EU Commissioner for Promoting our European way of life Commissioner Margaritis Schinas said as 12 children arrived in Luxemburg.

Greece imposed a curfew on migrants living in Lesvos’ Moria refugee camp in March.

The Ritsona refugee camp near Athens was placed under lockdown two weeks ago after 20 cases of coronavirus infection were established.

Human Rights Watch launched a campaign April 14 to secure the release of hundreds of unaccompanied children seeking asylum in Greece.

According to the #FreeTheKids campaign, at least 331 children are under police custody waiting for transfer to a shelter.

Greek authorities call the measures protective custody.

COVID19: Eurparl to distribute meals

The European Parliament President outlines measures to help support the communities where parliament works

In a video message, European Parliament President David Sassoli today outlined measures Parliament is taking to support health workers and those in need in Brussels. The President said:

“Showing concrete solidarity with citizens. This is the line of the European Parliament. In agreement with the Brussels Capital Region, we have decided to make part of our building available to homeless people and the most vulnerable in society, during this serious health emergency.

“In addition, our kitchens will make more than 1000 meals a day to be distributed to those in need, as well as to health workers to help them do their jobs.

“We want to be close to those who suffer, to those who work tirelessly in our hospitals, to the city and people of Brussels, as well as those of Strasbourg and Luxembourg, who welcome us and who need our help today. Europe’s strength is in its ability to act in solidarity.”

Original VIDEO available on European Parliament site:

https://multimedia.europarl.europa.eu/en/statement-sassoli-measures-solidarity-brussels_I188710-V_v

Image below: archive: European Parliament, Strasbourg

Juncker and Johnson to meet in Luxembourg

EU and British negotiators will continue talks next week, a UK government spokeswoman said in conclusion of the latest round of talks in Brussels.

“The UK has presented some ideas on an all-island SPS (animals and food products) solution. Further discussions between teams will take place next week,” the spokesperson said.

16/09/2019 AMENDED

None of the EU proposals on Irish border were accepted by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. According to the European Parliament representative to Brexit talks, Guy Verhofstadt all three EU proposals on Irish border made by the European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker did not get an approval from the UK government.

Juncker will not attend Biarritz G7

Urgent hospitalisation prevents Jean-Claude Juncker (64), the incumbent president of the European Commission from attending the G7 summit in Biarritz (France) on August 24-26, a spokesperson said. (Image: archive)

Jean-Claude Juncker a former Luxembourg Prime minister, and the chair of the Eurogroup, whose health has been the subject of widespread speculation for years, will conclude his mandate as head of the commission on October 31. He will be replaced by the German politician Ursula von der Leyen.

Juncker urgently hospitalised

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has interrupted his summer holiday in Austria to be urgently submitted to hospital to remove his gallbladder.

According to the press-release of the European Commission services, “had to shorten his holiday in Austria for medical reasons. He was taken back to Luxembourg where he will undergo an urgent cholecystectomy [surgical removal of the gallbladder].” 

Recovery from cholecystectomy might take from two up to eight weeks, dependent on the type of surgery performed in each specific case. In case of laparoscopic surgery with minor cuts, the period will take less time, than from a conventional open surgery.

Cholecystectomy removal is a relatively common and straightforward procedure. It is possible to live an active life without a gallbladder. However the multiple complications are also possible, depending to each individual situation.

The former Luxembourg Prime Minister, whose health has been a subject of numerous speculations for years, will conclude his mandate as the head of the European Commission and pass the responsibility to the German Ursula von der Leyen on October 31.

No military solution to Yemen conflict

On 25 June 2018 in Luxembourg EU foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in Yemen together with UN Special Envoy (UNSE) Martin Griffiths, who briefed them on his peace plan. Ministers exchanged views on ongoing EU efforts, including political outreach, and in particular the regional dialogue with Iran on Yemen, as well as humanitarian and development support. They explored ways to strengthen the UN-led process.

The Council adopted conclusions on Yemen  against the background  of the recent intensification of military operations in and around the port of Hodeidah, through which 70% of food imports to Yemen are shipped. More than 22 million people -80% of the population of the country – are in need of humanitarian or protection support.

The EU reiterated that there cannot be any military solution to the conflict and underlined its strong support for the UNSE Martin Griffiths, and his efforts to bring about an inclusive political solution.. The EU will maintain its engagement with all parties to the conflict and stands ready to increase its action in Yemen, including in delivering humanitarian aid across the country and in mobilising development assistance to fund projects in critical sectors.

The Council underlines that sustainable peace can only be achieved through negotiations with the meaningful participation of all relevant parties, including civil society, women and youth. The EU therefore supports the UNSE’s efforts to restart the political process, and in particular his intention to renew inclusive political negotiations as soon as possible.

ECJ: humanitarian visa is a national competence

The EU’s top court based in Luxembourg ruled Tuesday that states can deny short-term humanitarian visas to people trying to enter to claim asylum, in a case of a Syrian family trying to come to Belgium.

The decision by the  European Court of Justice in Kirchberg was seen as a test case for EU countries facing a surge in refugees in the past two years, mainly from Syria’s civil war.

In a surprise judgment, the court ruled against the family from the besieged city of Aleppo who had applied for the humanitarian visas at the Belgian embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut last October.

 

 

Luxembourg opens embassy in Brazil

brazil

Luxembourg declared its intention to open its own embassy in Brazil’s capital, Brasilia, this autumn.

The first head of mission will be the director for consular and international cultural relations in Luxembourg’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, Carlo Krieger.

Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn confirmed the posting on request.

Krieger, who has served as ambassador in Moscow and Beijing, will succeed Jean Olinger in the post.

Olinger had fulfilled his function as non-resident ambassador from Luxembourg.

'New London' in Dublin refused

  • city-of-london

“There is not going to be any new London in the EU 27. History happened in a certain way. You can’t just lift institutions and drop then somewhere else,” Philip Lane, the head of the Irish  central bank  at an event in London.

“You may well have this fragmented but integrated financial system so location X has a cluster of derivatives trading, location Z has a cluster of insurance etc.”

Lane, a member of the European Central Bank (ECB)  Governing Council, underlined that Europe’s future financial centres may be more fragmented geographically, even if they were integrated as part of a Single market.

Cities around Europe are eager to host the potential new business, including financial centres in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Ireland.