The formation of a European army has been seen as an objective to be realised by some Member States, such as France and Germany, though others disregard this project as being unnecessary. In a changing world order where long-time allies are not as trustworthy as they used to be, achieving military independence represents a key factor to guarantee the security of the bloc.
On Wednesday,15 September, Commission President von der Leyen held her State of the Union Speech. Key themes: COVID-19, the future of the youth, and climate action.
The Group of Seven, better known as the G7, held a special meeting on the 24th of August, to discuss the situation in Afghanistan. The G7 represents the most powerful world nations, including the United States (US), Canada, the United Kingdom (UK), Japan and three European countries – Germany, Italy and France.
ays EU High Representative Josep Borell in an interview with the AFP. He thinks the crisis created by the withdrawal of US and NATO troops from Afghanistan might create the necessary base of support.
The attack on Dutch journalist Willem Groeneveld is the second one in a short period of time. Over the past years, an increasing number of institutions and individuals have started to ring the alarm regarding the deteriorating state of press freedom in eastern European countries such as Hungary and Poland, and rightfully so. However, an increasingly unsteady media climate is a problem that also impacts Western European countries.
On the night of 15 August, the Taliban entered the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul after Western countries withdrew their military presence and President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, leaving Afghans in despair. With the Taliban taking over Kabul and seizing control over virtually all of the country, Western powers have been evacuating their citizens and staff from Afghanistan. The only countries willing to remain in Afghanistan are non-Western nations, such as Russia and China. What does this mean practically for the European Union (EU) and its member states? And where does the EU stand? Those are the questions that have been arising in the last couple of days, but before answering them, let’s first understand why Western forces were engaged in Afghanistan.
With the new Delta variant and others spreading around the world, European countries have adopted different approaches to limiting the proliferation of the Coronavirus. While France and Italy have undertaken strict policies by making the vaccination almost mandatory (not formally, but informally), other countries like Germany or the Netherlands are still reluctant.
It is official: the EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC) has arrived. You can finally know how to plan your trips – at least within the European Union and in the Schengen zone. The EUDCC, hitherto known as the Digital Green Certificate, is meant for all EU citizens who (1) have been vaccinated, (2) have tested negative, and/or (3) recovered from COVID-19. Whether an individual falls within one of the three categories is certified by a digital certificate that is issued by their national authorities.
Members of the European Parliament are threatening to take the European Commission to court with an article 265 procedure regarding a long expected mechanism that is supposed to link EU funds to the rule of law.
Stricter rules are going to apply to European vaccine exports. The European Commission, yesterday, added the principles of reciprocity and proportionality to the transparency and authorisation mechanism (a mechanism that allows Member States to stop vaccine exports under certain conditions). The two new principles allow countries to look at how much the destination country is exporting itself and if the conditions in that country are better or worse than the EU’s.