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Travelling with #Pets - Rules to keep in mind

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Your pet can join you when you go on holiday to another EU country, but there are certain rules to bear in mind. Read on to find out more.

Thanks to EU rules on travelling with pets, people are free to move with their furry friend within the EU. Make sure your pet has the following before you leave on holiday:

  • Identification via a registered microchip or a readable tattoo, if applied before 3 July 2011.
  • A pet passport proving that they have been vaccinated against rabies and are fit to travel, issued by an authorized veterinarian.
  • Dogs travelling to Finland, Ireland, Malta, the UK or Norway must be treated against the Echinococcus multilocularis tapeworm.

In general you can travel with a maximum of five animals.

EU

European Parliament passes two Taiwan-friendly resolutions

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The European Parliament passed two resolutions, on 25-26 November, containing support for Taiwan’s participation in the World Health Organization (WHO) and for the commencement of negotiations on a Bilateral Investment Agreement (BIA) between the EU and Taiwan.

In the first of the two resolutions - 'Foreign policy consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak', Parliament noted its regret at Taiwan’s exclusion from the WHO and called on the member states of the EU to support Taiwan’s participation as an observer in the WHO and other international organizations.

Furthermore, in the second resolution - 'EU Trade Policy Review', the parliament explicitly calls on the European Commission to start the scoping exercise and impact assessment in order to formally commence negotiations on a BIA with Taiwan, as soon as possible.

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EU

MEPs to grill Frontex director on agency’s role in pushbacks of asylum-seekers

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The European Parliament will grill Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri on allegations of the involvement of the agency’s staff in illegal pushbacks of asylum-seekers by the Greek border guard will be the focus of a debate in the European Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee on Tuesday.

MEPs are set to demand answers from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency’s Executive Director regarding the incidents in which Greek coastguards are alleged to have stopped migrants trying to reach EU shores and sent them back to Turkish waters. They are likely to ask about the outcome of the internal inquiry carried out by the EU’s border agency and the board meeting called at the request of the European Commission.

Last October, ahead of media revelations, the Frontex consultative forum - which gathers, among others, representatives of the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), UNHCR, the Council of Europe and IOM- voiced concerns in its annual report. The forum pointed to the absence of an effective monitoring system of potential fundamental rights violations in the Agency’s activities.

On 6 July, in another Civil Liberties Committee meeting, Fabrice Leggeri assured MEPs that Frontex staff had not been involved in any pushbacks and described an incident with the Danish crew onboard one of the agency’s vessels as “a misunderstanding”.

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Economy

Soros calls for EU to issue ‘perpetual bonds’ through enhanced cooperation

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In an opinion piece in Project Syndicate, George Soros outlined his idea of how the current impasse with Poland and Hungary over rule of law conditionality can be surmounted. 

Soros attributes Hungary’s veto of the EU budget and COVID-19 recovery fund to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s concerns that the EU’s new rule of law conditionality linked to the budget would “impose practical limits on his personal and political corruption [...] He [Orbán] is so worried that he has concluded a binding cooperation agreement with Poland, dragging that country down with him”.

Soros says the “enhanced cooperation” procedure introduced in the Lisbon Treaty to “provide a legal basis for further eurozone integration” could be used. 

Enhanced cooperation allows a group of at least nine nations to implement measures if all member states fail to reach agreement, other countries can join later if they want. The procedure is designed to overcome paralysis. Soros argues that a “sub-group of member states” could set a budget and agree on a way to fund it – such as through a “joint bond”.

Soros has previously argued that the EU should issue perpetual bonds, but now regards this as impossible, “because of a lack of faith among investors that the EU will survive.” He says these bonds would be “readily accepted by long-term investors such as life-insurance companies”. 

Soros also places some of the blame at the door of the so-called Frugal Five (Austria, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden) who are “more interested in saving money than in contributing to the common good”. 

Italy, according to Soros, needs the benefits from perpetual bonds more than other countries, but “is not fortunate enough” to be able to issue them in its own name. It would be a “wonderful gesture of solidarity”, adding that Italy is also the EU’s third largest economy: “Where would the EU be without Italy?” 

Providing health care and resuscitating the economy, says Soros, will require much more than the €1.8 trillion ($2.2 trillion) earmarked in the new Next Generation EU budget and recovery fund.

George Soros is Chairman of Soros Fund Management and the Open Society Foundations. A pioneer of the hedge-fund industry, he is the author of The Alchemy of Finance, The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What it Means, and, most recently, In Defense of Open Society.

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