Bringing Europe’s Economy Back on Track

Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron  have proposed that the EU borrows on the financial markets in order to disperse some €500bn  through grants to European economies hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic. Under the Franco-German proposal the member states receiving the funds would not need to repay the cash. Liability for the debt would instead…

Russia Hit Hard by COVID-19 but Reports low Mortality

According to some reports, Russia hit a grim Covid-19 milestone this week – it now reportedly ranks second in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases. The Johns Hopkins University says the Russian capital has been hardest hit. Of Russia’s total of 281,752 confirmed cases, over half — 142,824 — are in Moscow.  Russia’s mortality figures have…

Coronavirus: EU channels assistance to Ukraine

In response to a request from Ukraine via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, Slovakia has offered protective facemasks, disinfectants, blankets, among other items to help the country tackle the coronavirus pandemic. The EU will coordinate and co-finance the delivery of this assistance to Ukraine. Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The coronavirus pandemic must be tackled…

Keeping Spirits High

Everyone is affected by coronavirus, and we have all have experienced some kind of loss, even if we’ve been fortunate enough not to lose someone close to us.  Loss of a rite of passage (no exams, end of school prom, final class photos – the list goes on). No proper goodbye to primary school life….

European Ombudswoman condemns appointment of Farkas to finance lobby

Emily O’Reilly, Europe’s Ombudswoman The European Ombudswoman has published her recommendation on Adam Farkas’ move from the European Banking Authority (EBA) to a financial lobby. Emily O’Reilly, the Ombudswoman, who is responsible for ethical issues in the EU institutions, comes to a crystal clear conclusion: this move to the investment banking lobby AFME should not…

Beating Cancer

Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan continues to disregard harm reduction tools, such as e-cigarettes, which, it is claimed, potentially meet the Commission’s objectives of eradicating smoking-related cancer.  That is one of the messages to emerge from public consultations on the plan. Another message is that the EU should not overlook the best practices on harm reduction…

Brussels Airport Freight Traffic at Full Capacity

Anyone living beneath the flight paths of Zaventem Airport will have noticed a massive decrease in air traffic last month. But whilst there was indeed a decrease of 99.3% in the number of passengers going through Brussels airport terminal in April, there was an increase of 52.1% in full cargo volume traffic. The Coronavirus crisis…

Hospitality and Tourism Businesses Struggle to Survive

The hospitality-tourism sector is one of the major players in the EU economy. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector is facing an unprecedented crisis which is putting the viability of companies and employment at risk. Thousands of companies are struggling to survive or face insolvency. Many workers are on temporary unemployment and have lost…

Open Communication and Overcoming Social Distancing – the role of Civil Society

Coronavirus response: let’s not forget civil society organisations and the role of communication Arno Metzler, the president of the Diversity Europe Group of the European Economic and Social Committee issued the following statement: “The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will continue changing our lives. It’s up to us to see this as an opportunity to make positive…

Healthcare Charities Need Time to Recover from the Current Crisis

Three independent British health and care charities have warned that it will take many more months before NHS and social care organisations are able to fully restart services following the Covid-19 outbreak.  At a UK Parliament Health and Social Care Select Committee evidence session yesterday (14 May), the Health Foundation, The King’s Fund and Nuffield Trust…