The European Parliament established the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in September 2020, in order to explore how the EU should deal with AI technology. On Tuesday, 22 March, the committee adopted its final report.
The ongoing conflict in Ukraine and Russian aggression have brought into question the EU’s energy security. This has led to thoughts over what measures might need to be taken to ensure the EU’s gas supply in the coming years, given the energy dependency on Russia.
In order to be able to act rapidly and robustly, the Council of the European Union wants to establish an EU Rapid Response Force of 5000 troops. EU ministers approved the Strategic Compass, containing plans to make the EU a stronger and more capable security provider.
According to a draft document by the General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union, seen by Speaking of Europe, EU leaders will be announcing a shift in its strategy on three vital themes : defence, energy and economy.
Recent years have seen a slow increase in Euroscepticism and mistrust in EU institutions. Except for policymakers themselves and political science students, Brussels politics often seems too complicated and dry to understand. Anti-EU and pro-nationalist parties are on the rise again and are in particular targeting the people that feel disconnected and far away. Does that leave any hope for the future of the EU?
The European Commission is launching an EU sanctions whistleblower tool that should increase the effectiveness of the sanctions imposed on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. People that are aware of possible violations of any EU sanctions can use the tool to anonymously report them.
A few days after Russia invaded Ukraine, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen claimed ‘Ukraine is one of us and we want them in the European Union’ during an interview with Euronews on Sunday, 27 February.
More than 5,000 people gathered in front of the Permanent Mission of Russia to the EU in Brussels on Saturday, 26th of February, to protest against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. People remained there for part of the afternoon as they were singing Ukrainian songs, giving speeches. They were shouting “Protect our sky!” or “NATO act now” together, hoping that their message would pass through the Avenue des Arts and reach the doors of the Russian representation.
In an extraordinary summit in the evening of Thursday 24 February, EU leaders met to discuss what Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called a ‘package of massive and targeted sanctions’. Earlier that day, Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba pleaded to ban Russia from the European payment system SWIFT. In the end, the ban did not happen.
While Estonia is celebrating its Independence Day, many fear an escalation of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. While usually the day is celebrated with a parade, a speech by the president and a lot of potato salad and vodka, this time young people in the Baltic country are jokingly saying: ‘happy last Independence Day’.