From the capitals

Digital & Media 21-04-2021

EU launches AI blueprint in bid to become world leader

The European Commission has presented on Wednesday (21 April) a long-waiting ‘AI package’. The proposal is the first-ever attempt to regulate AI and has been developed as part of a broader ambition to make Europe a global leader in the field by being the first to set clear guidelines.
Agrifood 21-04-2021

The Brief, powered by VDMA – The Commission’s happy virtual reality

Europe’s transport decarbonisation has never been an easy task. Transport is responsible for as much as 27% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the EU and the European Commission admits that by 2030 things will not change dramatically. Several...
Non-discrimination 21-04-2021

EU will unveil anti-Semitism strategy as part of anti-racism programme, says Schinas

The EU will set out a comprehensive strategy to combat anti-Semitism this year as part of a €1.5 billion programme to support fundamental rights across the bloc, Commissioner Margaritis Schinas said on Tuesday (20 April).
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Putin warns the West not to cross the red line in relation to Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivered his annual State of the Union address on Wednesday (21 April), presenting a narrative according to which the West was playing a dangerous and hostile game against his country, which had no other choice but to defend itself.
Agrifood 21-04-2021

EU farmers at odds with agriculture Commissioner after controversial tweets

EU farmers have told EURACTIV they have been left feeling unrepresented by the EU Agricultural Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski after he posted a series of controversial tweets criticising industrial farming. 

MEP: EU corporate reporting blueprint should be basis of international rules

The European Commission’s plans for a Sustainability Reporting directive announced on Wednesday (21 April) provides “solid ground for discussion” and should allow EU standards to determine international rules, says Pascal Durand, the European Parliament’s rapporteur on the subject, as he...
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy-efficient buildings should be ‘new normal’, says EU’s Simson

The European commissioner for energy, Kadri Simson, on Tuesday (20 April) underlined the importance of the 'Renovation Wave' strategy in combating energy poverty in the European Union, saying that sustainable, energy-efficient buildings should be "the new normal".
OpinionStakeholder Opinion
Agrifood 21-04-2021

Plant breeding: 10,000 years of biodiversity threats?

The opposition to modern breeding technologies is strong in Europe; however, it is not based on scientific facts. As soon as a serious flaw in the arguments is exposed, activists are moving the goalposts. From non-existent health dangers, the focus...

The Green Brief: Europe’s green finance taxonomy wars, part 3

After a failed attempt last year, the European Commission is finally presenting today (21 April) its first batch of implementing rules under the EU’s sustainable finance taxonomy, laying down detailed technical criteria for what can be labelled a “green” investment in the EU.
Agrifood 21-04-2021

Policy Dialogue – Farming talks: Experiences from the field

The agricultural sector is faced with exponential population growth and is under pressure from different challenges, including climate change and changing socio-economic dynamics.
Energy 21-04-2021

Energy poverty ‘likely to increase’ once bank moratoriums are lifted

The President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on Tuesday (20 April) called for "coordinated action" across the European Union to tackle energy poverty, warning that poverty is "likely" to increase once bank moratoriums are lifted.
Politics 21-04-2021

Former diplomat: Germans know Nord Stream 2 is a ‘disgrace’

In today's edition of the Capitals, find out more about the German defence minister saying German-French cooperation is needed as security threats are increasing in Europe, US fighter planes being deployed in Poland, and so much more.
Climate change 21-04-2021

Breakthrough as EU negotiators clinch deal on European climate law

European Union negotiators reached a deal on the European Climate Law after fourteen hours of talks on Wednesday (21 April), allowing the EU to arrive at the US-hosted climate summit tomorrow with an agreement on the bloc’s 2030 target.
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Czechs urge allies to expel Russian intelligence officers in act of solidarity

The Czech Republic will ask European Union and NATO allies to take action in solidarity with Prague in its row with Moscow, including expelling Russian intelligence officers from their countries, acting Foreign Minister Jan Hamáček said on Tuesday (20 April).
Under the Portuguese chairmanship of the Council of the European Union (EU), Portugal will focus on adopting the first EU law on artificial intelligence, based on transparency and respect for users' rights, and also expects cooperation with the US administration.
Digital & Media 21-04-2021

AI rules must help increase public trust

EU regulation on artificial intelligence must be designed to increase user trust, while unlocking innovation, writes Guido Lobrano.
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Arab League, UN, EU and AU demand foreign forces leave Libya

The Arab League, United Nations, European Union and the African Union on Tuesday (20 April) demanded an immediate withdrawal of all foreign forces from Libya.
Agrifood 21-04-2021

Report warns EU about increased imports of palm oil in disguise

A new report has found that the imports of Used Cooking Oil (UCO) intended for the decarbonisation of EU transport are expected to significantly rise. However, the report also called on the EU to put limits on its use, considering its controversial origin and its hidden links to palm oil.
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Ukraine leader Zelenskiy urges Putin to meet on frontline

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Tuesday (20 April) invited Russian leader Vladimir Putin to meet in war-torn eastern Ukraine, stressing that millions of lives were at stake from fresh fighting in the separatist conflict.
Economy & Jobs 21-04-2021

No need to panic about the EU recovery fund

The EU recovery fund has been delayed by another court case in Germany. But there's no need to worry, writes Sony Kapoor.

Germany calls for closer cooperation with France over security threats

German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has called for closer bilateral cooperation with France in light of the tense security situation in Europe marked by the Russian "threat", the rise of China and spreading "Islamist terrorism" in the Sahel region. EURACTIV France reports.

Portugal to approve strategy for boosting inclusion of disabled 

Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa has announced that at the end of this month the government will approve a national strategy for the inclusion of people with disabilities, which will include measures to support employment and improve accessibility.
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Veteran Chad leader Deby dies, the military take over

Chad's President Idriss Deby Itno has died reportedly in combat just a day after securing re-election, opening a period of uncertainty in a country that is a key strategic ally of the West in a troubled region.
Economy & Jobs 21-04-2021

Spain makes plea for ‘flexibility’ in EU recovery plan

The Spanish government is seeking “flexibility” from Brussels on the sensitive topic of state aid to help battered companies hit by the COVID-19 crisis as the government will disclose next week details of its recovery plan (Plan de Recuperación), EURACTIV’s partner EFE reports.
Global Europe 21-04-2021

Mass pro-Navalny protests planned as Putin addresses Russia

Vladimir Putin delivers a state of the nation address on Wednesday (21 April) as Russia deals with a crisis in ties with the West and faces calls for mass protests in support of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

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