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When the Nazis grabbed power in Germany, they had clear ideas about what art is. The persecution of Jews allowed them to seize Jewish property, forbid Jews from running art galleries, push them out of their countries to exile, and send them to camps and death. All this enabled some prominent Nazis to start their own art collections. However, most of the looted valuable classical artworks were destined for existing or planned museums. Nazis and their collaborators looted art collections and moved ...

This year marks the 50th anniversary of accession to the former European Communities by Ireland and Denmark. The path to membership was not smooth for either country, with their first two applications made in 1961 and 1967, together with the United Kingdom, effectively blocked by French opposition. With a change of government in France, the six members of the European Communities reaffirmed their agreement to the enlargement of the Communities, and negotiations on membership began with Denmark, Ireland ...

Yiddish is a language once spoken by Jews in an area spreading from Alsace to the Urals, influenced by and influencing local languages and cultures. It neared extinction in the 20th century when it lost the majority of its speakers, mostly – but not only – through the Holocaust. Yiddish is part of European folk culture, contributing to the works of great writers and musicians and broadening European culture more generally. Successive waves of Jewish migration provoked by poverty, persecution, pogroms ...

The revision of the Energy Taxation Directive (ETD) is part of the 'fit for 55' package. The current ETD (Directive 2003/96/EC) is outdated and out of sync with the EU's climate and energy objectives. It favours the use of fossil fuels and no longer contributes to the proper functioning of the internal market. The aspects of energy taxation requiring most urgent revision are the level and structure of minimum rates, replacement of the volume-based approach to energy taxation with one based on energy ...

The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020 presented parliamentary institutions around the world with a new and unprecedented scenario. Parliamentary rules of procedure in representative democracies are commonly built upon the principles of pluralism, deliberation and transparency, aiming to provide an arena in which representatives of the people have the opportunity to publicly confront each other's points of view in a free and fair setting. It is, therefore, safe to say that ordinary ...

On 10 January 2022, Parliament's Committee on Budgetary Control (CONT) held a hearing on the partial renewal of members of the European Court of Auditors (ECA). Subsequently, CONT gave a favourable opinion on three candidates: Czech nominee Jan Gregor (renewal), Latvian nominee Mihails Kozlovs (renewal) and Slovenian nominee Kristijan Petrovič (new candidate). CONT gave an unfavourable opinion, however, on the renewal of Polish nominee Marek Opioła's mandate. A plenary vote is scheduled for the January ...

Spain’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP) is one of the biggest financed by the Next Generation EU (NGEU) recovery instrument. It contains the largest amount, in terms of grants, under the unprecedented EU response to the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. For the time being, Spain has decided to use its national allocation for grants under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF). The proposed and approved amount (€69.5 billion) represents 9.6 % of the entire RRF, equal to 5.6 ...

As part of building a European Health Union, as well as in response to the Covid 19 pandemic, the European Commission proposed in November 2020 to reinforce the European Medicines Agency's role in crisis preparedness and the management of medicines and medical devices. The proposed regulation seeks to better anticipate possible shortages and to ensure timely development of high-quality medicinal solutions, to allow the EU to react to health crises more quickly, efficiently, and in a coordinated manner ...

In December 2020, the European Commission published a proposal for a digital services act (DSA) designed to define clear responsibilities and accountability for digital service providers and promote a transparent and safer online environment. New rules are proposed to address emerging societal challenges such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. The new rules, once adopted, will re-shape the rights and obligations of digital service providers, online users, customers ...

Protests erupted in Kazakhstan on 2 January 2022 and quickly span out of control, resulting in multiple deaths and several days of chaos. Although initially triggered by a fuel price hike, the unrest points to deeper causes of discontent, including poverty, inequality and frustration at the lack of political change. A Russia-led peacekeeping mission has helped to restore order, but could also compromise Kazakh independence.