From the capitals

Cybersecurity 27-07-2021

German county targeted by ransomware asks military for help

The entire IT infrastructure of the Anhalt-Bitterfeld district administration, which was paralysed after being targeted by a ransomware attack at the start of July, has requested assistance from the Bundeswehr, the German armed forces.
Global Europe 27-07-2021

The Brief – Don’t ignore your neighbours

It is a truism that Europe is unstable if its North African neighbours are unstable. That being so, it should be of some concern to EU leaders that, on the bloc’s south Mediterranean border, Tunisia’s ten-year-old democracy appears to be on life support.
Agrifood 27-07-2021

Commission moves against EU countries over unfair trading practices

The European Commission has opened infringement procedures against 12 member states after they failed to transpose EU rules banning unfair trading practices in the agri-food sector within the allotted time frame. 
Agrifood 27-07-2021

Animal feed spike worries EU countries

High feed costs are giving member states a cause for concern, while the European Commission is hopeful that feed prices are likely to go down in the near future.
copyright 27-07-2021

Facebook teams up with French anti-piracy association on copyright

Facebook has teamed up with French anti-piracy association ALPA up to protect content on its platforms from copyright infringement, the tech giant announced on Monday (26 July). EURACTIV France reports.
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Central Asia 27-07-2021

Connectivity at the core of a more stable Afghanistan

At a time when Taliban is likely to take over Afghanistan, the stakes could not have been higher for Uzbekistan’s reformist President Mirziyoyev who hosted the 15-16 July Central-South Asia Connectivity Conference in Tashkent.
Non-discrimination 27-07-2021

French equality body sounds alert about extension of COVID-19 pass

While the controversial extension of COVID-19 pass is still being discussed in the French Parliament, the country's equality agency, Défenseur des droits, published 10 points that need to be watched closely.
Transport 27-07-2021

Billionaires in space

For decades, those who dared venture beyond the realm of Earth held a romantic position in our minds – men and women that combined great knowledge with great courage. Today, however, the great mystery of space is commodified. We’re well on our way to space becoming a playground for billionaires. The final frontier is just another bucket list item for the rich.
Energy 27-07-2021

G20 climate and energy ministers split over coal exit

China, Russia and India are among countries resisting a timeline to phase out coal power generation, leaving it to leaders to resolve the impasse later this year. EURACTIV's media partner, Climate Home News, reports.
Economy & Jobs 27-07-2021

Critics warn carbon price proposal would exacerbate energy poverty

Energy poverty could be exacerbated ad prices rise under the European Commission's proposed revamped emissions trading scheme, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) has warned, with other stakeholders raising similar misgivings. 
Health 27-07-2021

Parliament draft report pushes for tax hike on all tobacco products

A draft of a new report from the European Parliament's beating cancer committee does not distinguish between cigarettes and novel tobacco products on key points, signalling a tighter position on tobacco control, but some EU lawmakers are already mobilising to challenge this.
Politics 27-07-2021

Austria opposes Turkey’s bid to join EU military project

In today's edition of The Capitals, find out more about Poland considering making the COVID-19 vaccine mandatory for healthcare workers, Macron discussing the Pegasus spyware case with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, and so much more.
Global Europe 27-07-2021

South, North Korea have restored hotlines as leaders seek to rebuild ties

South and North Korea have restored hotlines that Pyongyang severed a year ago when ties deteriorated sharply, with renewed efforts by the two countries' leaders to rebuild relations, the South's presidential Blue House said on Tuesday (27 July).
Agrifood 27-07-2021

Knives out in France for ‘ersatz’ lab-grown foie gras

The quintessential French pate delicacy of foie gras cannot be called as such if it is grown in a lab, an association said Monday (26 July), after a start-up launched a high-profile bid to grow the food from duck cells.
Arab Spring 27-07-2021

Tunisia president sacks defence minister amid political turmoil

Tunisian President Kais Saied sacked the defence minister Monday (26 July), a day after ousting the prime minister and suspending parliament, plunging the young democracy into constitutional crisis in the midst of a pandemic.
Digital & Media 27-07-2021

Facebook can lead users down vaccine misinformation rabbit hole 

New research into vaccine misinformation on Facebook shows that the platform’s content recommendation algorithm can lead users towards, rather than away from, harmful conspiratorial material. 
Arab Spring 27-07-2021

EU calls on Lebanon to form government quickly

The European Union on Monday (26 July) urged Lebanon's political elite to form a government without delay, following the nomination of Lebanese businessman Najib Mikati to be designated as prime minister.
Climate change 27-07-2021

Fires torch thousands of hectares of land in Spain

Thousands of hectares have been destroyed due to forest fires since last Saturday in Spain, prompting a "critical situation" in Catalonia, where people have been evacuated as the blazes advance. EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported on Monday 
Digital & Media 27-07-2021

EU gives Google 2 months to improve hotel, flight search results

Alphabet unit Google has two months to improve the way it presents internet search results for flights and hotels and explain how it ranks these or face possible sanctions, the European Commission and EU consumer authorities said.
Global Europe 27-07-2021

Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s website blocked by regulator before election

Russian authorities blocked access to jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny's website on Monday (26 July) in the run-up to a parliamentary election, their latest attempt to sideline his allies cast by the Kremlin as US-backed trouble-makers.
Climate change 27-07-2021

Southern Europe battles wildfires as north cleans up after floods

Wildfires burned in regions across southern Europe on Monday (26 July), fuelled by hot weather and strong winds, as some northern countries cleaned up after a weekend of torrential rain and flooding.
Economy & Jobs 26-07-2021

More than half of recovery plans approved, funds expected within days

EU finance ministers approved on Monday (26 July) the recovery plans of Croatia, Cyprus, Lithuania and Slovenia, bringing the total number of approvals to 16 out of the 27 member states.
Economy & Jobs 26-07-2021

Small businesses gain ground in sustainable recovery push

The EU’s recovery fund and new strategy on sustainable finance will expand the role small firms can play in building back the European economy in a sustainable manner, EU officials said.
Digital & Media 26-07-2021

Study warns of compliance costs for regulating Artificial Intelligence

The EU's forthcoming regulation on Artificial Intelligence could cost the bloc's economy up to €31 billion over the next 5 years and cause investments to shrink by as much as 20%, according to a study published on Monday (26 July).

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