European Union

Politics • American • US
European Union condemns George Floyd murder as 'abuse of power'
Josep Borrell
Josep Borrell Credit: Pool Moncloa/JM Cuadrado

The European Union's top foreign policy official, Josep Borrell, said the bloc is "shocked and appalled" by the killing of George Floyd, describing his death as an "abuse of power."
"Like the people of the United States, we are shocked and appalled by the death of George Floyd ... all societies must remain vigilant against the excessive use of force," Borrell told reports.
Borrell also said: "All lives matter, black lives also matter."

Politics • European
Hitler's birthplace to be transformed into police station
Adolf Hitler's birthplace in Braunau, Austria
Adolf Hitler's birthplace in Braunau, Austria Credit: Thomas Ledl / CC BY-SA (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

Adolf Hitler's birthplace, a townhouse in Braunau, Austria, will be converted into a police station. Austrian Minister of the Interior Karl Nehammer announced the reconstruction plans in a press conference on Tuesday. Nehammer said the decision to transform "the birthplace of a mass murderer" was "a new chapter in the history of the Second Republic". Architecture firm Marte Marte won the competition which was open for submission to firms across the EU. The townhouse has been a place of pilgrimage for Neonazis.

Politics • European
Council of Europe: Security experts warn of bioterrorism

Security experts from the Council of Europe warn of a potential terrorism scenario that could come to the fore due to the social and economic effects of the corona crisis. Terrorist groups could be motivated to attack with biochemical weapons in the future, as Covid-19 has shown a global vulnerability to a pandemic according to them.
However, German security authorities had no information on an actual threat situation.

Politics • European
Charlemagne-Prize recipient President fuels tension against minorities in his own country

Romania's president, Klaus Iohannis, has mocked the minority Hungarian community and the Social-Democratic Party by accusing them of "giving away in secret" a piece of the state's territory to Hungary. The president had been nominated for the Charlemagne prize last autumn on the grounds of defending multiculturality, diversity, unity, and democracy, core values of the European Union, values that this statement of his contradicts according to political commentators. They speculate that it was probably just a political maneuver to rally the country's right-wing voters to his party for the upcoming municipal elections and that it shows the biggest flaw of Eastern European EU member states: sacrificing democratic values to strengthen the state, a leftover tradition from the Cold War.

Woman ordered by court to delete Facebook photos of her grandchildren
Facebook homepage
Facebook homepage Credit: Kon Karampelas

A court in the Netherlands ruled that a Grandmother must delete pictures of her three grandchildren that she posted on Facebook and Pinterest without their parents' permission.
The case that ended up in court after a falling-out between the woman and her daughter was within the scope of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Politics • European • European Union
Germany backs France in new EU recovery fund proposal

The Franco-German agreement supports a €500 billion recovery fund to be distributed as grants, not requiring direct repayment from the countries receiving the funds. Recognizing the exceptional nature of the challenges posed by the pandemic, this is the first time Berlin has agreed to a plan based on grants instead of loans. The proposal is now in the hands of the European Commission and would require approval from all EU member states.

Lifestyle • Travel
European Union pushes for a gradual reopening of internal borders to save summer tourist season.
White boat on the sea of Mallorca, Spain
White boat on the sea of Mallorca, Spain Credit: Jacob Meissner

With travel accounting for close to 10 per cent of the bloc, European Union executive Commission urged a return to “unrestricted free movement” within Europe, with plans that include requiring face masks on airplanes and social distancing on trains.
Europen Union's external borders would remain closed for non-essential travel at least until mid-June.

Politics • European
The new ESM's credit line for the covid-19 pandemic

As the Europe is in needing of liquid assets, many people went all-in with the ESM, unluckily the already two existing credit lines were not exactly what the states needed. The Eurogroup then decided to develop a new credit line exceptionally for the pandemic, last night it got definetly approved. This new credit line will be able to make a ten-year loan up to 2% of the state's GDP, with an interest fixed rate at 0,1%. This new credit line will be available from june 2020 until the end of 2022.

Transportation • Air Transportation & Traffic, Flying
Air France-KLM obtain European Union approval for a 7 billion euros bailout
Air France Airbus A380-800, landing on Washington Dulles International Airport
Air France Airbus A380-800, landing on Washington Dulles International Airport Credit: Joe Ravi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Union's competition watchdog on Monday approved French state aid worth 7 billion euros for Air France-KLM.
Conditions for the funding. Include the requirement for the company to be a “good customer” for European planemaker Airbus SE, which is also struggling, and a revamp of loss-making services within France.
“There will be an elimination of domestic routes,” Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said Monday on France-Inter radio, adding that the state aid is tied to “Air France becoming the company that most respects the environment.”

Politics • European • European Union
EU politicians deem Hungary's emergency law "incompatible with EU membership"

Politicians from the liberal group in the European parliament have claimed that the legislation that enables the Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban to rule by decree without time limits is incompatible with an active membership in the European Union. The chair of the European parliament's rule of law group, Sophie in’t Veld, who's a Dutch member of parliament and part of the liberal group in the MEP said in a statement that Orban has succeeded with "killing democracy and the rule of law in Hungary".

Politics • European • Germany
Seasonal and harvest workers no longer allowed to enter Germany

The German government is barring entry to seasonal workers from abroad, including other EU countries, in order to stem the coronavirus outbreak. Around 300,000 seasonal workers come to Germany each year to help with harvesting crops such as asparagus and strawberries.

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Fashion
H&M prepares to use its capacities to supply EU with protective gear for hospitals

According to Reuters, H&M has agreed to supply the EU with protective gear for hospitals with an emphasis on face masks. After an initial offer by H&M the company and EU representatives had agreed on using the companies global network of suppliers, mainly located in China, India, Bangladesh and Vietnam, to curb the evergrowing demand after protective gear for hospitals. This will in the initial phase come in the form of a donation by the company. Inditex, owner of the brand Zara and a main competitor of H&M, had before made a similiar offer to the country of Spain.