Elections In North Macedonia

Early parliamentary elections took place in North Macedonia on 15 July, in the challenging context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In a public statement Josep Borrell the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy has commended North Macedonia’s citizens for exercising their right to vote. The EEAS reported that according to the preliminary findings and…

Hand-wringing for Hong Kong: What else can the EU do?

By Ian Bond China’s decision to impose a new security law on Hong Kong has been driven off Europe’s front pages by racial tension and violence in America and elsewhere. Beijing may think that it has got away with curtailing Hong Kong’s autonomy. EU leaders may think that having (feebly) protested, they can focus again on…

Developing Europe’s Defence

The European Defence Agency’s (EDA) Steering Board in the composition of Defence Ministers discussed today how to sustain EU capability development in times of disruptive challenges. Defence Ministers pointed to the need for more collaborative projects, efficiency gains and economies of scale as the most effective way of navigating the current crisis while ensuring that…

#StandwithHongKong

Tomorrow, 11th June, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs will hold a closed consultation on EU-China Relations with Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the EEAS. In a statement last week, the ECR Group expressed its grave concerns about the unilateral introduction of national security legislation by Beijing against Hong…

Defending the EU against the Hybrid Warfare of China and Russia’s Disinformation Campaigns

Today, the Commission and the High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell are assessing their steps to fight disinformation around the coronavirus pandemic and are proposing a way forward in a Joint Communication. The communiqué analyses the immediate response and proposes concrete action that can be quickly set in motion. High Representative/Vice-President Josep Borrell said: “Disinformation in times of…

European Parliament to Debate Hong Kong in June Plenary

As expected, the China’s Peoples Representative Committee adopted on Thursday 28th May a draft Security Law for Hong Kong, which has been widely interpreted as a breach of the international treaty registered with the United Nations, “The Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong”, signed in 1984 between China and the United Kingdom. The…

Donor Conference for Venezuela

The European Union and the Spanish Government convened an International Donors’ Conference in solidarity with Venezuelan refugees and migrants and countries in the region, with the support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). International donors pledged a total of €2.544 billion (of which €595 million…

Keeping Hong Kong’s Freedoms Alive

As a young District Officer in 1984 I watched together with dignitaries from the New Territories of Hong Kong the UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher sign the Joint Declaration on the future of Hong Kong together with TENG Xiaoping, the architect of the “One Country Two Systems” mantra.  This international treaty paved the way for…

Risks To Media Freedom In Algeria

Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) lists Algeria as a country where the media struggle to fulfil their role due to judicial harassment. The unstable political environment is increasing threats to the freedom of information in Algeria, and the authorities continue to step up their harassment of journalists. Reporters covering the “Hirak” protests that began in February…