Brussels: On May 30, the European Court of Auditors said that European Union missed its target to spend 20% of its pre-2020 budget on fighting climate change. It also added that the EU also overstated its green spending to claim that the goal had been met. "Not all the reported climate-related spending under the EU budget was actually relevant to climate action," said European Court of Auditors (ECA) member Joelle Elvinger.
Budapest: On March 22, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban asked the European Commission to disburse all EU funds allocated to the country under the 'Recovery and Resilience Facility' to help handle the Ukrainian refugee crisis, his press chief said. Orban stated that Hungary had received over 450,000 refugees from Ukraine so far and he cited "shared responsibility" amid the crisis. "To this end, Hungary only asks for immediate and effective access to EU funds allocated to it, and to be able to use them in a flexible way for the purposes best suited to dealing with the crisis," Orban wrote in the letter.
In response to the letter written by the European Union envoys in Pakistan, asking Islamabad to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Imran Khan asked the coalition where they were when India broke the international law in Kashmir. “When India broke international law in Kashmir and abrogated Kashmir’s autonomous status, did anyone of you break ties with India, end trade or criticize [New Delhi]?” asked PM Imran. PM Khan shared these views during a public rally in the Tehsil Mailsi of the Vehari District. He was accompanied by CM Punjab Usman Buzdar and other government members.
Brussels: On Feb 22, European Union sanctions on Russia could include putting hundreds of politicians and officials on black lists. This is a ban on trading in Russian state bonds and an import and export ban on separatist entities, EU diplomats and officials explained on Tuesday. The confederation's ambassadors agreed unanimously at a meeting in Brussels on the principle of inflicting sanctions after Russia formally recognized two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine.
Brussels: On Jan 27, the European Union's drug regulator gave the green light to Pfizer Inc's (PFE.N) antiviral COVID-19 pill for treating high-risk patients. EU health commissioner Stella Kyriakides said the bloc was now making good progress on lining up treatments, which she described as 'a second line of defense after vaccines'. "Paxlovid is the first oral antiviral for home use in our portfolio, and has the potential to make a real difference for persons at high risk of progression to severe COVID," she said.
Brussels: On Jan 21, European Union health ministers were told to be ready to deploy the fourth dose of COVID-19 vaccines as soon as needed. The EU drugs regulator explained this week that it would be reasonable to give the fourth dose to people with severely weakened immune systems, but more evidence was needed. "If we see data which is conclusive on whether a fourth dose is needed, we need to be ready to act," EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides notified EU ministers.
Brussels: On Dec 13, the European Union's top diplomat said that it was discussing a possible new round of economic sanctions against Russia with the United States and Britain. The EU with the United States put economic sanctions on Russia in July 2014 which mainly targeted its energy, banking and defence sectors. The bloc is considering further measures if Russia tries to invade Ukraine after a troop lineup on its boundaries.
Washington/Paris: It is reported that the United States mandated airlines to provide the names of passengers from southern African countries struck by the Omicron COVID-19 variant. The US along with other countries has tightened its borders as a European leader cautioned people to "prepare for the worst". 24 countries may have reported cases of the variant so far but that some of the early indications were that most were mild and none severe, World Health Organization (WHO) officials disclosed.
Deborah Lyons, the UN’s special representative for the country warned that war-ravaged Afghanistan was “on the brink of a humanitarian catastrophe” and its collapsing economy was exacerbating the risk of extremism. "The United Nations predicts that 60% of Afghanistan’s 38 million people face crisis levels of hunger in a food emergency that will likely worsen over the winter," she said. She also disclosed that the country’s GDP is estimated to have contracted by 40%.
Brussels: On Monday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg cautioned Russia of dire consequences for unusual concentration of Russian forces on Ukraine's borders. He added that the western military alliance would back Ukraine against Russia. He also urged Russia to be apparent about military activities, to curtail tensions and impede an escalation.
BRUSSELS/ANKARA: On Nov 12, it emerged that Turkey had banned Syrian, Yemeni and Iraqi residents from flights to Minsk. The decision potentially closes off one of the main routes that Belarus has used to fly in migrants by the thousand to plan a humanitarian catastrophe on its border, according to the EU. EU officials have welcomed the announcement by Turkey's Civil Aviation General Directorate that Syrians, Yemenis, and Iraqis would not be authorized to purchase tickets to Belarus or board flights there from Turkish territory.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said that Poland would not bow to EU's " blackmail " but would intend to decipher ongoing differences with EU. There have been long-running tensions between nd the bloc's liberal majority and Poland's ruling nationalists. "We will not act under the pressure of blackmail, we are ready for dialogue, we do not agree to the ever-expanding competences (of EU institutions), but we will of course talk about how to resolve the current disputes in dialogue," he declared.
Brussels: On Wednesday, it was reported that many European Union leaders seek to discuss the rule of law in Poland at the EU summit in Brussels on Oct 21. Before this, the Polish constitutional court had ruled on Oct 7 about the incompatibility of fractions of the EU treaty with the country's law.
Brussels: On Oct 19, the EU's chief executive warned Warsaw of punishment for challenging the supremacy of the EU. Poland's prime minister was repeatedly criticized during a serious debate in the European Parliament. "Your arguments are not getting better. You're just avoiding the debate," said EC President Ursula von der Leyen.
Moscow: On Oct 13, Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear that Russia was not using gas as a weapon and was ready to help ease Europe's energy crunch. The gas market was not balanced or predictable, particularly in Europe, but Russia was fulfilling its contractual commitments to supply clients and was ready to increase supplies if pleaded, he said during the emergency summit.
On Tuesday, The European Union (EU) has approved a one billion euro aid for Afghanistan. The relief fund is released to stave off a major humanitarian and socio-economic disaster, said the EU's chief, Ursula von der Leyen said. She announced the sum at the G20 summit hosted by Italy to specifically discuss the alarming situation of Afghanistan.
A senior official has announced that the European Union's medicines watchdog stated that it could start an examination of the oral Covid-19 drug manufactured by the US pharmaceutical company Merck in coming days. "We will be considering whether to start a rolling review for this compound in the next days,” said Marco Cavaleri, head of the vaccine strategy at the European Medicines Agency.
Islamabad: Jeppe Kofod, Danish Minister for Foreign Affairs, held a press conference with FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi, after delegation-level talks. He stated that Denmark would support the European Union's and the United Nations' stance about endorsing peaceful and diplomatic talks for the Kashmir dispute resolution.
President of the EU Commission, Ursula von der Leyen took to Twitter and announced that a humanitarian aid of 300 million Euros had been allotted to war-torn Afghanistan. She also noted that almost 32 tonnes of life-saving goods' shipment was also sent to Afghanistan on Wednesday.
ISTANBUL, Oct 23 (AA/APP): The European Union's laptop imports reached an all-time high in April due to work or study from home amid the coronavirus pandemic, the 27-member bloc's statistical department announced on Friday. People also rely on virtual meetings and video talks with their friends and families during the period, Eurostat said.
Frankfurt am Main, Oct 21 (AFP/APP): Frankfurt's banking sector is set to lose thousands of jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic even as it tries to attract bankers fleeing Brexit, a study said Wednesday. Frankfurt-based Helaba bank said that it expects there will be some 62,700 bank employees in Frankfurt at the end of 2022, down 2,000 or about three percent from before the pandemic outbreak.
London, Oct 19 (AFP/APP): Britain and the EU held fresh meetings on Monday to try to unlock their Brexit impasse after London threatened to walk out and go its own way next year despite warnings of further damage to the COVID-hit economy. The government launched an information campaign advising businesses that "time is running out" to be ready for a complex new trading chapter with a post-Brexit transition period.
London, Oct 16 (AFP/APP): Britain on Friday said there’s no point in holding more Brexit talks without a dramatic softening of the EU's position, bringing a potentially nasty divorce at the end of the year a step closer. PM Boris Johnson responded after a EU summit Thursday proposed a fresh round of talks next week in London, while demanding Britain give ground on key stumbling blocks.
Brussels, Oct 16 (AFP/APP): German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday cancelled an EU leaders' summit in Berlin that was to have discussed relations with China set for November 16 due to the coronavirus. "In the context of the pandemic, we have made it clear that we will not allow the informal summit to take place. We must do without it", Merkel told reporters after a summit in Brussels.