Vlagyiszlav Makszimov

Digital 29-05-2020

Georgia targeted by fake stories of US secret labs spreading COVID-19

EU foreign ministers are discussing China on Friday (29 May), as the country started to back Russian narratives of Washington-led biological weapon development in Georgia and other post-Soviet countries. One widely circulating allegation in the internet during the pandemic claimed...

Hungary to end state of emergency as NGOs cry foul

As promised, the Hungarian government submitted two draft bills to end the state of emergency and terminate its controversial powers, but civil society organisations said on Wednesday (27 May) the moves are simple trickery.
Central Asia 25-05-2020

Kazakhstan approves new green projects in a bid to cut fossil fuels in half by 2050

Kazakhstan‘s new leadership, faced with concurrent challenges of volatile oil prices and the coronavirus pandemic, has approved nineteen new renewable energy projects worth $1.1 billion in the country’s latest effort to go green and diversify its energy supply. To date,...
Europe's East 22-05-2020

Former Ukrainian president in another round of questioning amid ‘geopolitical’ leaks

Former Ukrainian president Petro Poroshenko, now a lawmaker, has been called in for "urgent questioning" by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) in a case involving the smuggling of 43 valuable paintings out of Ukraine, the state's investigation service agency said on Friday (22 May).
Politics 18-05-2020

The Brief – Orbán’s (im)permanence

Object permanence: the ability to understand that things continue to exist even if we cannot see them, a capacity acquired as a crucial step during a child’s development. As the still new European Commission emerges from the acute stage of...
Politics 15-05-2020

Orbán says prepared to hand back emergency powers at the end of May

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán expects that his government will be able to give back to the national parliament at the end of May the sweeping powers enacted during the coronavirus crisis, state news agency MTI quoted him as saying during a visit to Serbia on Friday (15 May).

Jourová: Commission looking at Hungary’s emergency changes to labour code and GDPR

The European Commission is examining Hungary's emergency regime, including government decrees affecting the country's labour code and the application of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Vera Jourová told the European Parliament on Thursday (14 May).

Top EU court says Hungarian ‘transit zone’ amounts to detention

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on Thursday (14 May) that holding migrants and asylum seekers in a transit zone is detention, and challengers must have their day in court at least once. 
Freedom of thought 14-05-2020

Hungarian detentions evidence of government intimidation, say critics

Two men have been detained since Tuesday (12 May) on suspicion of ‘scaremongering’ after sharing posts critical of the government on Facebook, local media reported.
Europe's East 13-05-2020

Ukraine passes long-awaited banking law, clearing way for financial aid

Ukraine passed on Wednesday (13 May) a banking law that prevents the return of insolvent banks to previous owners, removing the last obstacle for getting aid from the EU and the International Monetary Fund, Interfax Ukraine reported.

Sassoli to Orbán: you are welcome to debate but come in person

European Parliament President David Sassoli has welcomed the Hungarian government's wish to present its point of view during a debate on Budapest's controversial coronavirus law but said Prime Minister Viktor Orbán should personally come to Brussels and take part in the discussions on Thursday (14 May).
Enlargement 07-05-2020

EU and Western Balkan leaders reaffirm ties in veiled response to China, Russia

EU leaders confirmed their "unequivocal support for the European perspective" to their Western Balkans counterparts during a video-summit on Wednesday (6 May). However, the final declaration doesn't make reference to a tangible time frame for the region's accession to the bloc.
Digital 06-05-2020

Hungarian government suspends EU data protection rights

The Hungarian government has announced plans to suspend its obligation to certain protections laid out in EU data protection law until the current 'state of emergency' period has been declared over.
Enlargement 05-05-2020

Western Balkans summit encourages ‘European perspective’ but omits enlargement

A virtual meeting of EU and Western Balkan leaders to discuss the future of the region on Wednesday (6 May) will produce a final declaration that is set to omit the word "enlargement" altogether, instead focusing on EU support during the COVID-19 pandemic and the importance of continued adherence to European value and reforms.
Future EU 05-05-2020

Hungarian PM Orbán accuses EPP of spreading fake news

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has sent a letter to the party leaders of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), accusing both political opponents and allies of spreading fake news about the Hungarian coronavirus law that enabled his government to rule by decree without set time limits.
Europe's East 28-04-2020

EU should consider ‘flexible’ Russia sanctions over Ukraine: report

The EU should reconsider its 'all or nothing' approach on sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as its annexation of Crimea, a new report from the International Crisis Group suggests.
Digital 23-04-2020

FinTech may bring solutions to refugees excluded from financial services, report says

Many refugees living in Europe are still struggling to access basic financial services leading to some choosing informal or illegal alternatives to take loans, transfer money internationally, or make online purchases, a new report has found.
Europe's East 23-04-2020

EU foreign affairs chief to turn to Europe’s East after COVID-19

The European Union's top diplomat, Josep Borrell, confirmed that his first visit following the easing of coronavirus-related restrictions will be to Ukraine, in a bid to affirm the EU's leadership in the region.
Europe's East 22-04-2020

Commission announces a 3 billion loan package for EU’s neighbours

The European Commission announced on Wednesday (22 April) a €3 billion loan package for ten enlargement and neighbourhood countries to limit the economic fallout of the pandemic.
Eastern Europe 21-04-2020

COVID-19 fight and borderisation: Georgia sets good example

While pro-Russian separatists in occupied Georgian territory are taking advantage of the COVID-19 outbreak to press on with illegal borderisation, the population of these areas puts hopes in the success of Tbilisi in fighting the pandemic.

EP condemns Hungary and Poland’s controversial coronavirus moves

The European Parliament passed a resolution on Friday (17 April) describing the recent Hungarian and Polish government actions during the coronavirus outbreak as "totally incompatible with European values."
Armenia 16-04-2020

COVID-19: Updates from the EU’s eastern neighbours

As EU countries begin mulling exit strategies, EURACTIV takes a look at the COVID-19 situation in EU's Eastern neighbourhood, including the spread of the virus and a short overview of containment measures.

80 organisations, politicians and journalists call for ‘swift actions’ on Hungary

Following the adoption of the controversial Hungarian coronavirus law, 30 MEPs and 50 journalists, academics and civiI society organisations call for "swift and decisive actions" to address "threats to the rule of law being carried out under the guise of emergency powers" in a letter addressed to the European Commission and Council presidents.
EU Priorities 2020 16-04-2020

EU to delay human and minority rights initiatives due to COVID-19

Despite warnings that COVID-19 may particularly affect the rights of already at-risk populations, the European Commission is looking into the possibility of delaying a host of initiatives intended to improve gender equality and protect human, sexual and ethnic minority rights, according to a draft internal working document seen by EURACTIV.
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