Jennifer Rankin
Jennifer Rankin
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EU Belarus sanctions in doubt as Cyprus demands action against Turkey

EU Belarus sanctions in doubt as Cyprus demands action against Turkey

Veto threat from EU member threatens to derail plans to sanction Belarusian officials in Brussels and Thu 17 Sep 2020 12.20 EDTLast modified on Thu 17 Sep 2020 12.38 EDTCyprus is threatening to block sanctions on Belarus because the bloc has declined to levy similar measures against Turkey over a long-simmering dispute about maritime rights in the eastern Mediterranean.The collision between two unrelated foreign policy crises on the EU’s doorstep – the standoff between Belarus’s leader Alexander Lukashenko and the people, and – has dismayed EU diplomats.Now the veto threat from one of the...

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Jennifer Rankin
Sep 17
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Belarus crisis: EU says it does not recognise election results

Belarus crisis: EU says it does not recognise election results

The EU has said it does not recognise as Belarus’s president and vowed to press ahead with sanctions on his regime, following an emergency summit in response to 10 days of protests that have shaken the autocrat’s 26-year grip on power.“The stands in solidarity with the people of Belarus,” said Charles Michel, the European council president, who convened the last-minute meeting of the EU’s 27 leaders. Belarus’s presidential elections had been “neither free nor fair and did not meet international standards”, he said. “We don’t recognise the results presented by the Belarus authorities.”Angela...

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Jennifer Rankin
Aug 19
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'The law is equal for everyone': Laura Codruța Kövesi, Europe's first public prosecutor

'The law is equal for everyone': Laura Codruța Kövesi, Europe's first public prosecutor

Laura Codruța Kövesi made her name as the head of Romania’s respected anti-corruption agency, the DNA. She went after government ministers and mayors, fast becoming a favourite of the European parliament and anti-corruption campaigners.Kövesi was popular with many governments – but not her own, who her successful campaign to become Europe’s first public prosecutor.Eighteen months later, that Romanian government has fallen and Kövesi is preparing to launch the European public prosecutor’s office (EPPO), the first EU body to handle criminal investigations.The new office will result in more...

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Jennifer Rankin
Aug 3
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Bitter coronavirus summit exposes trust deficit among EU leaders

Bitter coronavirus summit exposes trust deficit among EU leaders

Bad-tempered, late-running EU summits have hardly been unusual over the last decade of eurozone crisis and endless fights over migration. But the latest three-day gathering of EU leaders, with a €1.8tn (£1.6tn) financial plan at stake, may be one of the most acrimonious yet.After a friendly start, where EU leaders , the temperature plummeted. Dinner on the first evening was “a bit surly” according to Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, after other leaders rounded on him over his insistence on being able to veto others’ access to a €750bn coronavirus recovery fund, if their economic reforms...

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Jennifer Rankin
July 19, 2020
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Brussels to name public square after Brontë sisters

Brussels to name public square after Brontë sisters

A square in Brussels will be named after the Brontë sisters, the first tribute of its kind in the Belgian capital, more than 178 years after Charlotte and Emily arrived in the city to study French.Councillors in the north-west district of Koekelberg voted to name a square “Place des Sœurs Brontë” in French, or “Zusters Brontë plein” in Dutch, as part of a wider plan for the “feminisation” of public places. The local authority found that the vast majority of its streets and squares named after a person commemorated men.The resolution in favour of renaming the square describes the three...

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Jennifer Rankin
July 2, 2020
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Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for brutal colonial rule

Belgian king expresses 'deepest regrets' for brutal colonial rule

Letter to Democratic Republic of the Congo president hailed as historic by Belgian media in Brussels and Africa correspondentTue 30 Jun 2020 07.22 EDTKing Philippe of Belgium has expressed his “deepest regrets” for acts of violence and brutality inflicted during his country’s rule of Congo, as the Democratic Republic of the Congo marks the 60th anniversary of its independence.The letter – to the DRC president, Félix Tshisekedi – has been described as historic in the Belgian media, as it is the first time a Belgian king has expressed regret for the country’s colonial past, although it stops...

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Jennifer Rankin
June 30, 2020
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Brexit: EU may veto UK trade deal lacking safeguards, leaked report reveals

Brexit: EU may veto UK trade deal lacking safeguards, leaked report reveals

The European parliament could veto any trade deal between the UK and the that lacks “robust” safeguards to ensure fair competition and strong standards on the environment and workers’ rights, according to a leaked document.A draft resolution, seen by the Guardian, which will be put to a vote on Friday, underlines the implicit threat to block the EU-UK trade deal. Urging the British government to “revise its negotiation position”, the text states that a level playing field is the “necessary condition for the European parliament to give its consent to a trade agreement with the UK”. The level...

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Jennifer Rankin
June 10, 2020
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EU says China behind 'huge wave' of Covid-19 disinformation

EU says China behind 'huge wave' of Covid-19 disinformation

China has been accused by Brussels of running disinformation campaigns inside the , as the bloc set out a plan to tackle a “huge wave” of false facts about the coronavirus pandemic. The said Russia and China were running “targeted influence operations and disinformation campaigns in the EU, its neighbourhood, and globally”. While the charge against Russia has been levelled on many occasions, this is the first time the EU executive has publicly named China as a source of disinformation. French politicians were furious when a Chinese embassy website claimed in mid-April, at the height of...

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Jennifer Rankin
June 10, 2020
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Refugees told 'Europe is closed' as tensions rise at Greece-Turkey border

Refugees told 'Europe is closed' as tensions rise at Greece-Turkey border

The EU has told migrants in that Europe’s doors are closedas Greek and Turkish police fired teargas at their shared border amid growing tensions over the plight of Syria’s refugees.In a blunt message, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, said: “Don’t go to the border. The border is not open. If someone tells you that you can go because the border is open … that is not true.“Avoid the situation in which you could be in danger … Avoid moving to a closed door,” he said. “And please don’t tell people that they can go because it’s not true.”Borrell was speaking after a hastily convened...

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Jennifer Rankin
March 10, 2020
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EU plans 'right to repair' rules for phones and tablets

EU plans 'right to repair' rules for phones and tablets

European commission says linear growth model of ‘take, make, use, discard’ has reached limit in BrusselsWed 11 Mar 2020 09.33 EDTManufacturers of phones, tablets and laptops will face legal obligations to make their products easier to repair and reuse, under a far-reaching recycling plan from the European Union executive.The European commission wants to drastically increase recycling of electronic goods, which are often difficult to repair, replace batteries or upgrade. Less than 40% of electronic waste in the EU is thought to be recycled.Billed as “the right to repair”, the European...

theguardian.com
Jennifer Rankin
March 11, 2020
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