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Eu - page 4

Russia is actively supllying tons of humanitarian aid in Syria

BreakingNews @en/Defence di

Moscow has blasted as “outrageous twisting of the facts” a statement by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who said the EU was the only party providing aid to Syria. The Russian Foreign Ministry also officially responded to Mogherini’s statement  and said that Russia, “unlike other international players, is actively supplying thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to various regions in Syria, including the liberated areas in eastern Aleppo, at the risk of Russian military lives.” Mogherini’s words aren’t the first aimed against the Russian humanitarian effort in Syria: last week, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s office said that the Syrian regime and their influencers are preventing aid from reaching Aleppo. In response, Russian Defence Ministry’s spokesperson, Major General Igor Konashenkov, said that  the UK government has lost an objective view of what is happening in Syria, including Aleppo, due to Russophobia, adding that the UK has not sent a single gram of flour, any medicine or blankets to help civilians in Aleppo during the whole Syrian conflict.

Resolution against Russian media ‘propaganda’ approved by EU Parliament

BreakingNews @en/Defence di

MEPs in Strasbourg have voted on a non-legislative resolution which calls the EU to respond to the information warfare by Russia. RT and Sputnik news agency are alleged to be among from the most dangerous tools of hostile propaganda.  Early in October, the European Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs approved a report on combating propaganda which named the Russian media one of the main threats. Commenting the news, Russian President Vladimir Putin affirmed that the European Parliament’s resolution on the Russian media’s activities proves the fact that the Western countries’ perception of democracy has been degrading. In the Wednesday vote, 304 MEPs supported the resolution based on the report ‘EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties’, with 179 voting against it and 208 abstaining. The report suggests that Moscow provides financial support to opposition parties and organizations in EU member states, causing disintegration within the bloc. At the same time, Russia is accused of “information warfare” with such entities as RT TV channel, Sputnik news agency, Rossotrudnichestvo federal agency and the Russkiy Mir (Russian World) fund alleged to be among its most threatening propaganda tools.

On Tuesday 45 EU envoys entered the blockaded Gaza Strip

BreakingNews @en di

45 European envoys, including 36 European Union consuls, entered the blockaded Gaza Strip on Tuesday morning via the Israeli-controlled Beit Hanun border-crossing. According to local sources the visit is the first of its kind in terms of the number of EU delegates who reached out to the blockaded coastal territory. The stopover involved diplomats from Sweden, Denmark, Malta, Slovenia, Ireland, Finland, Lithuania, Austria, Hungary, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Cyprus, Italy, Greece and Portugal. The local sources denied underway arrangements for meetings with political factions.

Two Malian civilians were killed in a attack

BreakingNews @en di

A peacekeeper from Togo and two Malian civilians were killed Sunday in an attack on a military convoy in Mali, rounding off a bloody week for foreign forces stationed there, a UN statement said. Seven other peacekeepers, also from Togo, were wounded in the attack in the central Mopti region, according to the statement by the UN mission, known by the acronym MINUSMA. After a mine or improvised explosive device was detonated, attackers opened fire on the convoy, the UN said, without identifying the assailants.

MK: stop the EU's illegal Palestinian buildings

BreakingNews @en di

MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beytenu) proposed a law to remove illegal building from the list of internationally immune activities, in an attempt to stop the EU’s illegal Palestinian buildings in Area C. The EU has been funding illegal Arab constructions in Area C against the signed Oslo Agreements, aiding local Arabs to slowly encroach upon land that is not theirs. Jewish Home Education Minister Naftali Bennett’s has proposed that Israel apply sovereignty over Area C and annex it. If Forer’s law passes, Israeli authorities would be able to sue the EU for illegally building Palestinian Arab structures in Area C. Forer is expected to submit his proposal in the near future.

Sea-Watch asks the EU to reflect upone the planned training of Libyan Coastguard

BreakingNews @en di

The migrant rescue from Sea-Watch has warned the EU to “reflect” on its planned training of Libyan coastguards following what it insists was a coastguard attack last week on one of its operations. This led to the drowning of up to 20 migrants from around 160 on an inflatable raft. Navy spokesman Colonel Ayyub Gassem has denied that any coastguard vessel was involved. Pictures published by Sea-Watch show the intruding vessel sporting a decal on the rear superstructure . It does not appear to be the normal design for the Libyan navy seal. Sea-Watch asserts that the attack was a blatant violation of international law, created danger and mass panic, and that the coastguard failed to carry out its search and rescue duty. “In light of this incident,” says Sea-Watch, “we demand the EU to reflect upon the planned training of the Libyan Coastguard, when this includes self-styled authorities operating in a manner that represents a blatant violation of international maritime and human rights law”.

Russia doesn’t want to weaken EU

BreakingNews @en di

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said that it is baseless to believe that Moscow is willing to weaken the EU in response to “Russophobic” claims recently made by the European Council’s president. In a speech delivered at the European Council meeting last Friday, Tusk said that “Russia’s strategy is to weaken the EU,” citing airspace violations, disinformation campaigns, cyber-attacks, interference into the political processes in the EU and beyond and developments in the MH17 investigation as a confirm to his claim. During a meeting of European Business Association, Lavrov added that Moscow wants the EU to be a strong, united and independent partner. Lavrov also said that he believes that the position voiced by Tusk will not get enough support inside the EU as it has a negative impact on trade and investments between Russia and Europe.

EU security expert: Europe must prepare for jihadist fleeing Mosul

BreakingNews @en di

Europe must be prepared for an influx of Islamic State militants if Iraqi forces retake control of Mosul, the EU’s security commissioner has warned. Thousands of Europeans have gone to Iraq and Syria over the past two years to fight with Isis, but the Islamist extremists have suffered a string of defeats in recent months in both countries. Those defeats have prompted some of its fighters to begin returning to the continent, but about 2,500 European fighters remain in the conflict zones, King told the German newspaper Die Welt.

German divisions over immigration

Politics di

“A difficult day” for the party said German Chancellor Angela Merkel after the state election held last Sunday. The CDU (Christlich Demokratische Union) lost the majority in two out of three federal states, Baden – Wuttemberg and Rhineland- Palatinate. A remarkable result: although the CDU remains the main political force, we clearly see the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD)party, led by Frauke Petry, gaining increasing support. Key issue: immigration policies.


In response to the Syrian and Middle Eastern refugee crisis, Chancellor Merkel has been promoting an open-door policy, according to which Germany grants asylum to refugees and migrants coming from war zones. In 2015, more than a million people crossed the German border. A “humanitarian” policy, which distances itself from the position taken by other European countries. For instance, Slovenia has opted for closing the borders, while Austria has imposed stricter controls at the borders and a ceiling of refugees to be accepted.

Very different the approach presented by the AfD, which stands for securing the borders. “Asylchaos beenden” – the party’s motto- clearly shows the concern for national internal stability. The right-wing party supports a conservative political line, aimed to protect the traditional Christian values. The constant influx of Muslim immigrants is perceived as a threat to these values​​: a xenophobic attitude, then, that seems to get more support among the German population.

The AfD, in fact, is gaining votes also outside the traditional far-right supporters. Many conservatives, usually closer to the positions of the CDU but disillusioned by the centrist policies promoted by Merkel, have given their preference to the far-right. The alternative offered by Petry’s populist party, indeed, seems to get closer to their needs and ideas.

We are seeing a strongly polarized electorate. On the one hand, those who has supported and continues to support the open policies promoted by Merkel, whose real fear is not the influx of refugees , but the closure of borders . Doing so would endanger the European Union’s fundamental principles, such as the free movement of persons, free trade and the single currency. On the other hand, the far-right xenophobic party bets on a more radical approach, which aims to defend the national integrity and security at the expense of community values, indeed, the freedom of movement.

Nothing new nor surprising. We have already seen the same process in France with the rise of Le Pen’s xenophobic far-right party and now in the US with Trump’s successes. It seems that in Western countries the intolerance towards permissive policies on refugees and foreigners is sharply growing. And the sense of insecurity due to ongoing threats and attacks carried out in various European capitals certainly does not facilitate an opener position.

In the background of this internal conflict there are also the negotiation leading by the Bundeskanzlerin within the EU with Turkey, in order to sign an agreement on migrants. Erdogan has recently requested an extra 3bn Euros (on top of the 3bn Euros already made available), while proposing an exchange mechanism according to which for every Syrian refugee readmitted in Turkey, the EU would resettle one Syrian refugee from Turkey to other EU Member States. “Understandable” demands, according to Germany; different reaction from other European leaders, such as the Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel that defines the agreement as a sort of blackmail.

However, neither the outcome of the election, nor the conflicting opinions within the EU have changed Merkel’s plan: no U-turn in the open-door policy, while the agreement with Turkey still remains the only possible way to solve the crisis.

Likely, there will be consequences both at national and European level. In Germany, the CDU is not only facilitating the growth of far-right parties, but it is endangering the internal stability of its own party. Horst Seehofer, leader of the CSU, sister party of the CDU in Bavaria, has heavily criticized Merkel’s decisions, saying that after similar electoral results the only acceptable response is a policy change. At European level, the distance between an EU-leading Germany and other Member States once again questions the credibility and stability of the institution as well as the effectiveness of any agreement achieved with Turkey. As there are many European countries to have interests at stake, an EU response must take into account these different needs. And if Merkel wants to maintain her leadership, she cannot close her eyes on other countries’ positions.


Paola Fratantoni


Eu: Dutch Presidency

Policy di

The Nederlands have strated their Presidency of the Council of EU. As you all may know, by 1st January the Presidency of the EU Council has changed. Luxembourg has given his witness to the Netherlands. As stated by the country of tulips and windmills, the Presidency will aim at an EU concentrated on the really important issues for citizens and businesses, being capable of delivering growth and jobs through innovation, and closely to civil society. The Presidency will promote initiatives at EU level only if considered more effective than the national policies.


Over the next six months, the Presidency will focus on four key areas:

 migration and international security

 public finances and stronger euro zone

 Europe as an innovative and job creator entity

 a forward-looking policy on climate and energy.

The Netherlands will play the role until June 30th, followed by Slovakia and Malta.

As mentioned, the Presidency of the Council shall alternate EU Member States every six months. During each semester, it chairs the meetings at all levels within the Council, helping to ensure continuity in the work of the EU in this institution.

Member States holding the Presidency cooperate closely in groups of three, and because of it are calle trio. This system was introduced by the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009. The Trio sets long-term goals and prepares a joint program, which will provide the main themes and issues that will be discussed by the Council for a period of 18 months. Under this program, each of the three countries prepare its own more detailed six-month program.

The current Trio Presidency, as mentioned, consists of the Dutch Presidency, followed by the Slovak and Maltese one and, for example, Slovakia is already sending its general understandings about …

Every Presidency has the duty to carry on the work of the Regulation for the Council of the European Union, ensuring the continuity of the EU, the proper conduct of the legislative processes and cooperation between Member States. For this purpose, the presidency must act as an honest and neutral broker.

The Presidency has also the burden of planning and conducting Council meetings and the meetings of its preparatory bodies, coordinating the the various Council configurations for each level (except for the “Foreign Affairs” Council), which include the permanent committees, such as the Committee of Permanent Representatives (better known as COREPER), and the groups and committees that deal with specific issues(such as the JHA Council).

All just be done ensuring the smooth running of the debates and the correct application of the rules of procedure and working methods of the Council, and spacing out meetings with formal and informal ones, that can be kept in Brussels and in the country holding the rotating presidency.

Another task of the presidency is to represent the Council in relations with other EU institutions, in particular with the Commission and the European Parliament. Its role is to work towards an agreement on legislative files through the so-called “trilogue”, namely informal negotiation meetings and meetings of the Conciliation Committee, where the three main EU institutions agree on the legal texts and agree compromises on the several instances represented .

The Presidency is working in close coordination with the President of the European and with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy , a position currently held by Miss Mogherini.

In respect of that institution, the presidency is called to support its work and to carry out certain duties on behalf of the High Representative, as representing the “Foreign Affairs” Council in the European Parliament or the “Foreign Affairs” Council when this last discusses trade policy issues.

The Dutch presidency is obviously beginning to take its first steps since these days. So much clicked are its reference websites.

Among all the initiatives disclosed, in addition to the publication of the calendar of the semester, the first cultural program stands out: the opening of a visitors center in Amsterdam. Just on January 4th, in fact, the Dutch Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bert Koenders has officially opened “The wall of life” in Amsterdam. This interactive art installation, located near the building that will be dedicated to EU events, is a place where citizens and artists can exchange ideas on Europe in a free and creativeway, in order to better involve citizens and public about the work of Europe and, more specifically, the Dutch Presidency in the various policy areas.

We will follow the work of the presidency step by step, specially as part of our area of interests, with the hope to see resolved as soon as possible the problems relating to internal security and migration.

Domenico Martinelli


Domenico Martinelli
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