Leuven, European Capital of Innovation 2020

Leuven, Belgium, has been named the 2020 European Capital of Innovation for its use of innovation to improve residents’ lives. The €1 million cash prize, which every year recognises cities’ innovative solutions to social challenges that empower its citizenswas awarded to Leuven in a ceremony with EU Commissioner Mariya Gabriel during the EU Research and Innovation Days in…

Putin’s Meeting with Lukashenko

The personal meeting of the presidents of Russia and Belarus in Sochi on September 14 showed that the Russian authorities were ready to provide Lukashenko with assistance in order to rapidly replace him with a more acceptable candidate for Moscow within the framework of the “Union State of Russia and Belarus”. The only public signal…

Vladimir Putin’s address to the United Nations General Assembly

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered a pre-recorded video address to the 75th anniversary session of the United Nations General Assembly earlier this week.  The main focus of his address was on the global challenge that COVID-19 is posing. But he kept silent about the challenges Russia is presenting to the international community in a time…

PKK’s Involvement in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Conflict would Jeopardise European Security

The alarming reports that Armenia has been relocating Kurdistan Working Party (PKK) terrorists from Syria and Iraq to the occupied territories of Nagorno-Karabakh to prepare for future hostilities and train Armenian militias is news of the sort that should keep you awake at night, not only in Azerbaijan but also in Europe. Changing the demographics…

More Transparency Needed for Vaccine Trials

Memes like this have started to pop up on social media reflecting public anxiety about vaccines. AstraZeneca issued a press release announcing that clinical trials for their coronavirus vaccine, AZD1222, under development resumed last week in the UK. The vaccine AZD1222 was co-invented by the University of Oxford and its spin-off company, Vaccitech. It uses…

EU-Mercosur Trade Causing Amazon Deforestation

A new report commissioned by the French government on the EU-Mercosur trade agreement, to be presented to French Prime Minister today shows that solely the expansion of beef production in the Mercosur region as a result of the deal would accelerate deforestation by at least 25% annually and destroy 36,000 km2 of forest per year, which…

Ideas for a New World

On 23 September at 16.00, the second virtual meeting in a series of public dialogues – ideas for a new world – will take place. The initiative, promoted by the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli, brings together philosophers, writers, economists, representatives from European civil society and the world of work.  The aim of the dialogues…

Anti-Racism Action Plan

The Commission has presented today (Friday 18th September) a new EU anti-racism action plan that sets out a series of measures for the next 5 years. Inter alia, the Commission will ensure that Member States fully implement relevant EU law and further strengthen the legal framework, if needed. This could happen in particular in the areas…

EP Support for the Opposition Council of Belarus

Backing Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the EPP Group joined with other political forces in the European Parliament in a virtual event with her to show their support.  The EPP Group and other MEPs have now called for an end to the crackdown by the government of Aleksander Lukashenko, who sparked more than a month…