Short News

Politics 29-06-2022

EU representative’s visit to Pristina draws a blank

Nothing new came out of the meeting between EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak and Prime Minister Albin Kurti where the two discussed the EU-facilitated dialogue and a recent energy agreement between Serbia and Kosovo. Lajcak’s visit to Pristina comes a...
Politics 29-06-2022

Albania seventh globally for cannabis cultivation and distribution

Albania is the seventh leading cultivator of cannabis in the world, according to the World Drug Report 2022 from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The report looks at the state of drug cultivation in countries worldwide and...
Politics 29-06-2022

EU official urges Serbia to join bloc stance on Russia

The European Union wants Western Balkan countries to join its unified stance on Russian aggression, including with regard to sanctions, said Emanuele Giauffret, the EU Delegation chief to Serbia, on Tuesday, adding that the war in Ukraine had made the...
Politics 29-06-2022

Bulgaria increases pensions amid political crisis

Parliament adopted a proposal of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov’s ousted government to increase pensions by 10% as Bulgaria heads for its fourth snap election in less than two years. The proposal to increase pensions for about a third of the...
Politics 29-06-2022

Council of Europe calls on Bosnia to step up justice access for trafficking victims

Bosnia-Herzegovina should improve the implementation of the anti-human trafficking framework, particularly concerning victims’ access to justice and effective remedies, the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Human Beings (GRETA) said in its third-evaluation report published Tuesday, where...
Politics 29-06-2022

Corruption reigns supreme in Western Balkan EU hopefuls

Countries in the EU waiting room such as Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have mainly failed to register any real progress in reducing corruption and improving democracy over the last four years, fundamental pre-requisites for EU accession. The plight...
Politics 29-06-2022

Commission backs Italian LGBTQI bill proposal sunk by parliament

The European Commission has given its support to Alessandro Zan’s anti-homophobia bill that was sunk by the Italian parliament in October, EU Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli announced on Twitter after she met with the lawmaker in Brussels on Tuesday. The...
Politics 29-06-2022

UK will not join Macron’s ‘political community’

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday ruled out the prospect of the UK being part of a ‘European political community’ proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron after it was suggested that Prime Minister Boris Johnson was interested in joining. Speaking...
Politics 29-06-2022

Austria to ease labour market access for third-country nationals

Faced with stark shortages of skilled workers, Austria will ease access to the labour market for third-country nationals through revamping the so-called “red-white-red-card” residence scheme. Vienna has historically been more opposed to migration than some of its EU counterparts, partly...
Politics 29-06-2022

Croatian Commissioner admits inflation ‘likely’ means less COVID recovery projects

While the size of EU COVID recovery support will probably stay the same despite inflation, rising prices are likely to lead to fewer projects than initially planned, Croatian Commissioner Dubravka Šuica said. Croatian Commissioner Dubravka Šuica said Croatia had received...
Politics 29-06-2022

Finland to broaden abortion rights in wake of Roe v Wade

An initiative pushing for loosening abortion requirements in Finland gathers steam as the Nordic country gains cross-party support to change its abortion law from the early 1970s. Parliament’s decision comes in response to a recent citizen’s initiative dubbed “The OwnWill2020”...
Politics 29-06-2022

Court condemns French state for poor COVID management

The Paris administrative court condemned the government on Tuesday for not having prepared sufficient stocks of facemasks and for the contradictory statements it issued about the virus at the start of the pandemic. The Paris court handed down its decision on Tuesday...
Politics 28-06-2022

France to elect first female president of legislature’s lower-house

Yaël Braun-Pivet is expected to be the first woman to head France’s National Assembly in a vote scheduled for Tuesday. Braun-Pivet was chosen by the coalition supporting French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne following a primary election....
Politics 28-06-2022

Austrian presidential candidate pool offers establishment alternatives

Of the parliamentary parties, only formerly right-wing FPÖ has announced its intention to field a candidate against incumbent Alexander Van der Bellen in the upcoming October presidential, leaving the pool open to a host of alternative candidates. One of them...
Politics 28-06-2022

Kaczyński’s transgender comments prompt outrage

LGBT rights groups and the opposition have slammed the leader of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party Jarosław Kaczyński for his statements about transgender people at a party rally. During the weekend’s public meetings in Grudziądz and Włocławek in...
Politics 28-06-2022

Slovakia to revise national recovery plan due to changed conditions

Slovakia will revise its national recovery and resilience plan, Lívia Vašákiová, director of the recovery plan department, announced after she said earlier that new conditions made it impossible to implement the plan as initially intended. The statement came after Vašáková admitted to...
Politics 28-06-2022

Romania delays 5G auction due to lack of legislation

Romania cannot launch procedures to auction off the 5G frequencies until the Communications Code gets the green light, Digital Minister Sebastian Burduja has said. The auction for the 5G spectrum represents one of the targets that needs to be completed...
Politics 28-06-2022

Slovenia gears up for presidential race

Slovenia is already gearing up for the presidential elections set for autumn as three candidates, including one of the ruling Freedom Movement, have already announced their plans to run. The presidential elections in Slovenia are scheduled for October, and candidates...
Politics 28-06-2022

EU funds help reopening of Serbia-Bosnia border crossing

The Kotroman crossing on the border between Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina re-opened on Sunday following the completion of renovations worth over €4.6 million, of which close to half came from EU pre-accession funds. The project, part of broader Serbia-EU cooperation in...
Politics 28-06-2022

Former Montenegrin ministers set up new movement, run for election

The former ministers of finance and economic development, Milojko Spajić and Jakov Milatović, have launched a new movement called Europe Now and are planning to participate in the local elections in Montenegrin capital Podgorica and another 13 municipalities in October....
Politics 28-06-2022

Albania gears up for monkeypox testing as fears over COVID surge emerge

Albania has received its first tests for monkeypox despite not confirming any cases to date, meanwhile, fears are increasing over new waves of COVID-19 come the autumn. As of 24 June, there were over 2,000 confirmed cases of the virus...
Politics 28-06-2022

European NATO allies harden China stance but cracks remain

European NATO members will commit to a tougher stance towards China, but scepticism over the Anglo-Saxon push to put Beijing in the alliance’s crosshairs remains. NATO members last year took a more moderate approach, toning down the need to focus too...
Politics 28-06-2022

Most Bulgarians do not want new general elections

Bulgaria should not hold its fourth general election in 18 months, and a new government should instead be formed from within the current parliament, say nearly 58% of Bulgarians, a survey conducted from 23-25 June by the Gallup International Balkan...
Politics 28-06-2022

Czech agrifood associations awarded EU funds without tenders, auditors say

Czechia’s Supreme Audit Office found “serious errors” in EU co-financed programmes aiming to promote agricultural products and foodstuffs under the tenure of the former government led by agri-tycoon Andrej Babiš. According to auditors, beneficiaries of the funding – including the...