Observations on the Present State of the Nation

Northern Ireland

David Frost (Lord Frost), UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Minister for Brexit, delivered a speech in Portugal today outlining his proposals for Northern Ireland. We publish here without comment the text of his speech in full. Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen A year and a half ago, in the days immediately after the UK finally left…

EU Priority to Protect Rights of Citizens of Poland

von der lLeyen and Poland

Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has expressed “concern” at the latest situation in Poland. On Friday, she issued a statement which read, “I am deeply concerned by yesterday’s ruling of the Polish Constitutional Tribunal. I have instructed the Commission’s services to analyse it thoroughly and swiftly. On this basis, we will decide on next steps. …

Time for the EU to Embrace the Balkans

EU enlargement to Western Balkans

European Parliament president David Sassoli has written to Council President Charles Michel calling for “strong impetus” from the EU side just ahead of the EU – Western Balkans summit in Slovenia In a letter to Michel on the EU-Western Balkans summit that takes place in Slovenia on Wednesday, European Parliament President David Sassoli urges leaders…

Commission Grants €24.9 billion to Italy under NextGenerationEU

Next Generation EU

The European Commission has disbursed €24.9 billion to Italy in pre-financing, equivalent to 13% of the country’s grant and loan allocation for the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) under NextGenerationEU.  Italy is one of the first countries receiving a pre-financing payment under the RRF. The pre-financing will help to kick-start the implementation of the crucial…

Commission Approves €2.7 billion funds for React-EU

EU Regional Funds

The Commission has approved the modification of six Operational Programmes (OP) for the ERDF and the ESF in Spain, Bulgaria, Italy, Hungary and Germany under REACT-EU for a total of €2.7 billion.  In Italy, €1 billion has been added to the ERDF-ESF National Operational Programme for Metropolitan Cities.  These resources aim to strengthen the green and digital transition as well…

Confrontation in Czech politics marks start of parliamentary election campaigns.

Czech PM Babish

Summer is traditionally a calm time in the political life of states. While the world is recovering from the next wave of coronavirus, politicians in some countries seek to shift the news emphasis from the pandemic to their own personalities. Europe never tires of “delighting” its citizens with new events in political life. The diplomatic…

Recovery and resilience facility: local and regional governments must have a say

If the coronavirus pandemic has had a shocking impact on the health of citizens, their daily life and local economies, the EU’s recovery plan constitutes an historic act of solidarity for our continent and a turning point for our Union, writes Stefano Bonaccini.  Without this new financial windfall, we will not be able to overcome…

ECJ Rules Poland Out of Line

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has issued a ruling that Poland’s legislative amendments to the rules for appointing judges to the Supreme Court in 2018 and 2019 are in breach of EU law.  The ruling on Tuesday, which commands the Polish PiS-government to withdraw the changes, once again highlights the Polish Government’s unacceptable crackdown…

Kazakhstan Human Rights

The European Parliament has urged Kazakhstan’s Government to act in accordance with its international obligations and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as enshrined in its Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. In the resolution adopted today, MEPs noted that Kazakhstan’s parliamentary elections on 10 January this year were described by the…