Commission bid to ensure supply of personal protective equipment for the EU proves successful

The joint procurement of personal protective equipment launched by the European Commission to address the coronavirus crisis has proven successful. Producers made offers covering and in some cases even exceeding the quantities requested by the Member States that take part in the procurement, for every single item requested. The joint procurement covers masks type 2…

MEPs call on Russia to Stop Suppressing Civil Society

David McAllister MEP Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and Maria Arena Chairwoman of the Human Rights Sub-committee of the European Parliament have issued a joint statement condemning the listing by the authorities in Russia of the European Endowment for Democracy as an “undesirable organisation”. “We strongly condemn the listing by the authorities in Russia of…

EESC Urges Parliament To Push For Strong EU Budget

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) has forcefully reiterated its call for a Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) of 1.3% of EU-27 gross national income (GNI) for the period of 2021-2027. The Committee called on the European Parliament to insist on a strong budget in its negotiations with the Council. This call comes at a…

OLAF Busts Smugglers

One of the biggest seizures in the EU involving fake spirits took place just two days before Christmas, it has emerged. A well-coordinated action in the Netherlands between OLAF and the Dutch customs authorities led to the seizure of more than 147,000 bottles of counterfeit rum, an equivalent of 10 containers.  The final destination of…

Calls for More Efforts to Fight Corruption in France

 In a new report Greco, the Council of Europe’s anti-corruption body, calls on France to improve the effectiveness and practical application of the framework in place to prevent corruption within the executive (President of the Republic, ministers, private office members and senior civil servants) as well as in the National Police and the National Gendarmerie. While…

Galway and Rijeka Capitals of Culture 2020

Rijeka (Croatia) and Galway (Ireland) will hold the title of European Capital of Culture for one year from this month. “Thanks to their title of European Capital of Culture, Rijeka and Galway will be harnessing the full potential of culture to enrich our life experience and to bring our communities closer together”, stated Vice-President for Promoting…

Additional €8m EU Aid for Eastern Ukraine

The European Commission has announced an additional €8 million for the vulnerable people in Ukraine affected by the ongoing conflict in the east of the country.  This funding brings EU humanitarian allocation to Ukraine in 2019 to €23 million. Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “More than five years of ongoing conflict have exhausted people’s ability to…

Audit of Public Health Services in the EU

An overview of how auditors across the European Union scrutinise public health has been published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) on behalf of the Contact Committee of EU supreme audit institutions (SAIs). Altogether 24 SAIs have contributed to this second Audit Compendium of the Contact Committee. Public health is mainly the responsibility…

Busiest season of the year at Brussels Airport

With the start of the Christmas school holidays, yesterday saw 76,000 passengers coming through Brussels Airport, of which 41,000 travellers were flying out, making it the busiest day of the festive season. This year, Brussels Airport has pulled out all the stops to welcome its passengers eager to make their Christmas getaway on a relaxing…

Russia: EU prolongs economic sanctions by six months

Today, the Council prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2020. This decision follows an update by President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council on 12 December 2019 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the decision on maintaining sanctions is linked. Given that the…