Challenges Facing the World

Climate change

Climate change, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, pandemics, and rising living costs are among the most important challenges facing the world today, according to a new wide-ranging citizen survey covering 22 countries around the world.  The polling revealed a high level of agreement regarding the most significant challenges facing the world today—and a common desire for bold…

Recovery and Resilience Facility

The Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) was established in 2021 to mitigate the economic and social impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  To receive a share of the more than €700 billion in EU financial support available under the RRF, Member States have to submit national recovery and resilience plans, which are examined by the European…

Resilience in the Face of the COVID-19 Pandemic

The EU institutions demonstrated considerable resilience in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, a report published today by the European Court of Auditors concludes.  The European Parliament, the Council, the European Commission and the Court of Justice of the EU all responded rapidly and flexibly, and benefited from previous investments they had made in digitalisation….

EU Report on Rule of Law

Terry Reintke

The European Commission has released its third annual Rule of Law Report. The report focuses on justice systems, anti-corruption frameworks, media freedom and pluralism, and institutional checks and balances. For the first time, the report contains country specific recommendations on the rule of law and suggests concrete actions to be taken by Member States. However,…

UN spotlight to be on Benin over imprisonment of political opponents

UN Universal Periodic Review

Due to the continued imprisonment of two prominent opposition leaders, the Brussels-based organisation Human Rights Without Frontiers (HRWF) has filed a report with the United Nations ‘Universal Periodic Review’ (UPR) for Benin, voicing concerns about human rights abuses in the country.  The report focuses on the situation of two opposition figures Reckya Madougou and Joël…

Kazakhstan Keeps a Seat at the Top Table, but Stays Off the Menu

John Hulsman

Central Asian countries like Kazakhstan have been urged to forge “ever closer” relations in order to see off the potential threat from “belligerent” neighbours. This was one of the messages from foreign policy expert John C. Hulsman who was speaking at a Brussels conference on Kazakhstan and Central Asia. Hulsman, a Board Member of the…

Europe Guilty of Severe Deforestation in West Africa for Commercial Rubber Plantations

Rubber Plantation

A new report says that industrial rubber plantations in West and Central Africa have been linked to an area of tropical deforestation 16 times the size of Brussels since 2000. This, it is claimed, establishes it as the leading European driver of deforestation in the region – despite being left out of proposed rules to…

Big Business Torpedoes Commission Draft Law on Human Rights Abuses

Human Rights abuses

The European Commission’s proposal on human rights obligations of companies bears damaging marks from a successful business campaign, a new report claims. A  report by lobby watchdog Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE) and Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND) has, they say, “uncovered the astonishing extent to which pro-corporate voices…

End the War, and Punish Russia

Mark Leonard

Most Europeans want an end to the war in Urkaine as soon as possible, even if it means territorial losses for Ukraine, says a major new survey. While Europeans are in solidarity with Ukraine, only in Poland it is the most popular view that punishing Russia for its aggression should be an immediate priority.  The survey…

Pesticide Glyphosate May Cause Cancer#HEAL,

Glyphosate

A new report shows that scientific evidence proving that glyphosate is carcinogenic has so far been dismissed in the EU scientific assessment that will form the basis for the re-approval discussion of its EU market license. The “serious scientific shortcomings and distortions in the interpretation of EU and international scientific standards” highlighted in the report…