Post–Brexit United Kingdom has only very limited room to diverge from EU regulation, according to the ‘UK regulation after Brexit’ report, published on Friday (26 February) by the UK in a Changing Europe academic think tank.
Speaking on Friday, Professor Hussein Kassim, one of the report’s authors, said the EU’s status as a “standard-setter”, and the fact that businesses are already “invested in existing regulatory systems” were several of the reasons why the UK faced a “formidable challenge”.
Although Boris Johnson’s government repeatedly stressed the importance of UK sovereignty and the need to “take back control” during the talks on the Withdrawal Agreement and subsequent trade pact, there is little sign in many sectors that regulation will diverge from EU standards.
Europe’s current economic model “has no future” and does not respond to “major environmental challenges”, Portugal’s prime minister António Costa said on Friday, calling for the adoption of new models such as the circular economy and sustainable bioeconomy.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to “redesign” the economic development of the EU, which recently committed itself to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, said Costa who was addressing the opening session of a high-level conference ‘Climate Change – New Economic Models‘.
“The economic model that has led us to this point has no future and does not allow us to respond to the major environmental challenges: combating climate change, reducing pollution and reversing the loss of biodiversity,” said Costa, whose country currently holds the six-month rotating presidency of the EU.
Polish President Andrzej Duda held a phone call on Monday with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss the possibility of cooperating on vaccines. However, the call prompted a reaction from Poland’s former prime minister Donald Tusk, the current chief of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), who called on Poles and Europeans not to be “naive” about the intentions of Moscow and Beijing.
“I warn against such a naive approach to these very cynical players. I am talking about the Chinese and Russian authorities. And above all, I would warn the Polish authorities, and also other European countries, against buying and trying to vaccinate their citizens with a vaccine that has not been tested,” Tusk said.
Judges applying to join Poland’s Supreme Court should have the right to appeal against the opinions of a body which reviews candidates, the EU’s top court said on Tuesday (2 March), underlining a rift over the rule of law between Warsaw and Brussels.
While Tuesday’s verdict by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) said the final decision in such cases rested with a Polish court, the judgement touches on a public body that critics say has become a tool to politicize the judiciary.
Poland is caught in a long-running row with the EU over reforms that the bloc says hurt court independence by increasing political control over judges. The conservative ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party says the reforms are necessary to make courts more efficient and purge the judiciary system of relics of the country’s Communist era.
The demand for more European sovereignty within the EU is strong despite disparities between member states, according to a study published on Tuesday (2 March). EURACTIV France reports.
European sovereignty is not dead: 73% of people polled in eight EU countries, including the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia, would like to strengthen EU sovereignty, according to the new study by the Jean Jaurès Foundation and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, in partnership with Ipsos.
Among those surveyed, the French, Swedes, and Italians are bucking the trend as only 66%, 64%, and 60% of the respondents from these respective countries are in favor of more EU sovereignty. The study also shows that these three EU countries have the lowest levels of support for the bloc.
As the European Commission is about to unveil the EU’s new Strategy on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the next decade, Krzysztof Pater writes about one of the areas where discrimination is still acutely felt – the right to vote, effectively denied to many persons with disabilities across Europe.
Krzysztof Pater is a Polish member of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC).
It seems unbelievable and outrageous that within present-day EU territory, the last ban on women’s right to vote was lifted as late as 1976, exactly 70 years after Finland became the first among today’s member states to admit women to its polling stations.
Yet few seem to bat an eyelid that this same right is now denied to millions of EU citizens simply because they have some sort of disability.
Slovakia faces a political crisis after two junior coalition parties spoke about leaving the governing coalition over the purchase of two million doses of the Russian vaccine negotiated by Prime Minister Igor Matovič. Marián Koreň has more.
Germany’s domestic intelligence agency on Wednesday (3 March) classified the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) as a suspected extremist movement, meaning the party can now be subjected to state surveillance, EURACTIV Germany reports.
The categorization by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) makes it possible for all party members to be subject to state surveillance, including phone-tapping or the use of informants.
This had previously only applied to some AfD groupings, such as the party’s chapter in the eastern state of Brandenburg or the now-dissolved “Wing” faction in Thuringia.
The European Union has accused the UK government of breaking international law after it moved to unilaterally extend grace periods for Irish Sea border checks.
On Wednesday (3 March), Boris Johnson’s government stated that “the current Scheme for Temporary Agri-food Movements to Northern Ireland will continue until 1 October” in order to allow continued deliveries to “supermarkets and their suppliers, as part of the operational plan the UK committed to at the UK-EU Joint Committee on 24 February”.
“Certification requirements will then be introduced in phases alongside the roll out of the Digital Assistance Scheme,” it added.
The move follows complaints from businesses in the province about the prospects of onerous new bureaucratic requirements for trade to the rest of the UK. The Northern Ireland Protocol keeps the province in the EU single market for goods, establishing a trade border with Great Britain.
Bill Kalogeros, a 25-year sales veteran in the government market, has joined archTIS as director of federal and defense industry base.
His appointment coincides with the launch of the Australian security technology provider’s sales and channel practice that will focus on insider threat protection and sensitive data protection offerings for the U.S. federal and defense market, archTIS said Tuesday.
ArchTIS and its Nucleus Cyber subsidiary maintain a portfolio of products designed to help organizations secure access and sharing of information.
Products include the cloud-based Kojensi collaboration platform and the NC Protect system used to facilitate document exchange via Dropbox, Microsoft 365, Windows and Nutanix applications.