NORMANDY FORMAT. Engaging with Ukraine and Russia and pursuing progress in the ‘Normandy format’ talks on resolving the Ukraine crisis will be a priority for Germany during its presidency of the EU Council, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told a meeting of the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET) while presenting Berlin’s EU Council presidency priorities.
ARMS EXPORTS. MEPs in the European Parliament’s subcommittee for security and defence (SEDE) adopted a report in support of the Council´s commitment to strengthen the control of EU arms exports, calling on the EU to play an active role in the areas of non-proliferation of arms and global disarmament. “With increasing EU cooperation and EU funding in arms production, EU oversight and regulations are needed more and more,“ rapporteur Hannah Neumann (Greens) said. Ahead of the debate, she spoke to EURACTIV about the lack of transparency and common arms export rules across the bloc.
‘FORGOTTEN’ CONFLICT. Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, whose collapsed health system is unable to cope with COVID-19, has been devastated by civil war, with no end in sight. But contrary to the wars in Syria and Libya, it makes fewer headlines. As COVID-19 and violence peak and humanitarian aid programs collapse due to a lack of funding, it has become the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world, according to the UN and the International Red Cross. But because only a few refugees come to Europe from there, the drama has been hardly noticed.
CONSTITUTIONAL PUSH. The Czech government has thrown its weight behind efforts to amend the country’s constitution and add the right to defend oneself and others with a firearm to the list of fundamental human rights and freedoms. EURACTIV.cz’s Aneta Zachová reports from Prague.
SATELLITE BUDGET. The budget of Luxembourg’s new military satellite project, LUXEOsys, which has troubled MPs for some time now, will be cut by €41 million, Defence Minister François Bausch announced. While Bausch’s Green Party had disapproved the project from the get-go, the current defence minister managed to reduce the budget increase to €139 million rather than the extra €170 million proposed by Schneider, writes EURACTIV’s Anne Damiani.