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The regular European Council meeting of 24-25 June 2021 was noteworthy on several fronts. First, there was an extensive discussion on the rule of law and European values, a topic rarely discussed at the level of EU leaders. It took place in the context of a new Hungarian law on child protection, which includes provisions considered by many as discriminatory against LGBTQI+ people. Second, following a Franco-German proposal, there was an intense debate about the EU approach to relations with Russia ...

This analysis, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Special Committee on Foreign Interference in all Democratic Processes in the European Union, including Disinformation (INGE), aims to explore the impact of disinformation activity originated or amplified from abroad targeting minorities in the EU over the years 2018-2021. While disinformation has become all-pervasive, it can be considered as yet another tool being used to target vulnerable groups in society. Looking at recent disinformation ...

At its meeting on 24-25 June 2021, the European Council will pursue its coordination efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, discuss the situation on the various migration routes, return to the strategic debate on relations with Russia, revert to their discussions on Turkey and assess progress in the EU’s economic recovery. In the Euro summit, EU leaders will discuss the economic challenges for the euro area in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis and review progress on the banking union ...

Serbia: EU accession progress stalled

Sracfhéachaint 07-06-2021

The EU opened accession negotiations with Serbia, a country with a population of 6.7 million, in 2013. Serbia got off to a strong start, but progress has stalled in recent years. Unresolved regional issues, in particular the stalemate of the political dialogue with Pristina, as well as lukewarm progress in rule-of-law reforms, are blocking accession negotiations. Parliamentary elections held in June 2020 have not yet provided the expected momentum, and the risk is that the country will progressively ...

An in-person NATO summit of heads of state or government is scheduled to take place in Brussels on 14 June 2021. Highly anticipated, as part of United States President Joe Biden's first overseas visit, the summit is expected to outline NATO's strategic direction in the decade ahead. The NATO 2030 agenda will be debated, and forward-looking discussions about long-term threats and challenges to Euro-Atlantic security and defence are expected.

In mid-June 2021, United States (US) President Joe Biden is due to visit Europe for his first overseas trip since taking office in January. He will attend the Group of Seven (G7) summit from 11 to 13 June in Cornwall (United Kingdom), a NATO leaders' summit in Brussels on 14 June, followed by an EU-US summit on 15 June, and, on 16 June, a summit in Geneva (Switzerland) with Russian President Vladimir Putin. President Biden's arrival in Europe will mark almost five months in office, providing an opportunity ...

Following the forced landing of a Ryanair flight by Belarusian authorities on 23 May, Belarus became the central topic on the first day of the special European Council meeting of 24-25 May 2021. EU leaders strongly condemned the 'unprecedented and unacceptable incident', and were united in imposing further sanctions on Belarus. As regards Russia, the European Council reconfirmed the five principles guiding the EU's policy since 2016 and asked the High Representative and the European Commission to ...

Georgia is often considered a frontrunner among Eastern Partnership countries. Despite Russia's continued de facto occupation of one-fifth of the country's territory, until recently Georgia performed relatively well in terms of political stability, pluralism and economic growth. The country is staunchly pro-Western, with aspirations to join both the EU and NATO. Like Ukraine and Moldova, Georgia signed an association agreement with the EU in 2014. The agreement envisages a free trade area, as well ...

The coronavirus pandemic has accentuated the call for global solidarity and increased the need for health care and social support in the Western Balkans. The EU's response has included the 'Team Europe' facility, but also specific initiatives for the Western Balkans. In addition to the EU co-funded Covax facility, the most recent proposal by the European Commission and Austria, announced in April 2021, confirmed the delivery of some 651 000 vaccines to the region, where the EU is competing with other ...

Critical Infrastructures (CIs) provide vital economic and social functions to European Union (EU) citizens. However, they are challenged by a diverse range of threats, not only natural and accidental but also intentional. CIs’ increasing reliance on technological advancements adds another element of complexity and vulnerability. Whilst their protection to date has been regulated by Directive 2008/114/EC, its scope of application has proved to be inadequate against an evolving landscape of security ...