Connect with us

EU

#Romania has a lot of work to do at home and in Brussels say #Greens

Published

on

At the start of the Romanian Presidency of the EU Council, Philippe Lamberts (pictured), president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament said:  "There is little time left in this legislature but a lot of work to do. Dublin reform, climate protection, CO2 emissions from cars and trucks, the protection of whistleblowers, tax justice, fair wages and working conditions and a social Europe are all now under the stewardship of the Romanian Presidency. The Greens/EFA expect the Romanian Presidency to make the European Union more climate-friendly, fairer and more social. Improving people's lives is the best way to take the wind out of right-wing populists' sails ahead of the European elections.

"For all its pro-European spin, the Austrian Council Presidency really dropped the ball on tax justice, which is a key issue for EU citizens and for building trust in Europe. The Romanian Presidency should show European leadership by working quickly towards fairer taxes for companies and tax transparency for multinationals."

Ska Keller, president of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament said: "The nature of the EU Council Presidency means that an additional focus is given to the member state holding the reigns, and right now there has never been more international scrutiny on the rampant corruption of the Romanian elite and efforts by the government to roll back on gains in the fight against corruption in the country. The dismissal of anti-corruption prosecutor Laura Codruța Kövesi as well as the recent resignation of her replacement, brutality shown towards peaceful protestors marching against corruption, and efforts to hold an amnesty for corruption offences for officials all seriously undermine Romania's commitment to the rule of law, civil rights and the fight against graft.

"In a country where just under €40 billion a year is lost to corruption, the Romanian government should take the opportunity of the Presidency to prove its commitment to the fight against corruption, the rule of law and European values. The rest of Europe is watching."

Afghanistan

2020 Afghanistan Conference: Sustainable peace, anti-corruption and aid effectiveness on the agenda

Published

on

The 2020 Afghanistan Conference kicks begins today (23 November) with the EU co-organizing and participating in number of events taking place ahead of tomorrow's (24 November) plenary session. Crisis Management Commissioner  Janez Lenarčič will co-chair, together with the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar an event on sustainable peace (livestream available), with a focus on promoting human rights and empowering women, and also on refugees and returnees.

International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen will deliver a speech at an event on anti-corruption and good governance, and in doing so will emphasize the EU's expectation that the Afghan government delivers on its reform agenda. EU officials will also participate in a third side event taking place ahead of the conference, on aid effectiveness.

Tomorrow, EU High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell will deliver a speech at the opening session of the conference, when he will outline the EU's position on the ongoing intra-Afghan peace negotiations, as well as the conditions for the EU's support, which were presented in a recent paper co-authored with key international donors.

Later, Commissioner Urpilainen will deliver the EU's financial assistance pledge at the conference. Both interventions will be available on EbS. More information on EU-Afghanistan relations is available in a dedicated factsheet and on the website of the EU Delegation in Kabul.

Continue Reading

EU

Stop violence against women: Statement by the European Commission and the High Representative

Published

on

Ahead of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November, the European Commission and High Representative/Vice President Josep Borrell (pictured) issued the following statement: “Violence against women and girls is a violation of human rights, and has no place in the European Union, or anywhere else in the world. The scale of the problem remains alarming: one in three women in the European Union have experienced physical and/or sexual violence. Violence against women exists in every country, culture and community.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has shown once more that for some women not even their home is a safe place. Change is possible, but it requires action, commitment and determination. The EU is committed to continue to work tirelessly with its partners to investigate and punish acts of violence, ensure support for victims, and at the same time to address the root causes and reinforce the legal framework.

"Through our Spotlight Initiative we are already fighting violence against women and girls, in 26 countries across the globe. This week we will present a new Action Plan on gender equality and women and girl's empowerment in our external actions. We also call on member states to ratify the Istanbul Convention - the first legally binding instrument at the international level to combat violence against women and domestic violence. Our goal is very clear: to end all forms of violence against women and girls. We owe it to all the victims.”

The full statement and the factsheet are available online.

Continue Reading

coronavirus

Coronavirus: Commission to provide 200 disinfection robots to European hospitals

Published

on

As part of its continued efforts to tackle the spread of coronavirus and provide member states with necessary equipment, the Commission launched the purchase of 200 disinfection robots that will be delivered to hospitals across Europe. Overall, a dedicated budget of up to €12 million is available from the Emergency Support Instrument (ESI). Hospitals from most Member States expressed a need and interest in receiving these robots, which can disinfect standard patient rooms, using ultraviolet light, in as quickly as 15 minutes, and thus help prevent and reduce the spread of the virus. The process is controlled by an operator, who will be located outside of the space to be disinfected, in order to avoid any exposure to the UV light.

Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager said: “Developing technologies can set up forces of change and we see a good example of this in the disinfection robots. I welcome this action to help our hospitals in Europe reduce the risk of infection – an important step in containing the spread of coronavirus.” Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, added: “Europe has remained resilient and solidary during the current crisis. From repatriating EU citizens stranded abroad to increasing the production of masks and ensuring that medical equipment reaches those who need it within the single market, we are acting to protect our citizens. Now we are deploying disinfection robots in hospitals so that our citizens can benefit from this potentially life-saving technology.”

The robots are expected to be delivered in the coming weeks.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Twitter

Trending