Spain and Portugal top the list as holidaymakers seek safety

The Iberian peninsula, Malta and Greece have been the beneficiaries of tourists’ changed travel plans

 

MAIN FOCUS: Macedonia urged to protect EU external borders | 20/01/2016

In view of the consistently high number of refugees who arrive in Europe via the Balkan route, EU politicians are calling on Macedonia to play a more active role in border control. At last effective border protection is becoming a reality, some commentators write in delight. Others find it absurd that a non-EU member is supposed to provide the solution to the refugee crisis.

The 62 richest people in the world are exactly as wealthy as the poorest half of the global population. This is the result of a study put out by the British aid organisation Oxfam. Some commentators call for more stringent taxation and an end to tax havens. Others believe the economic system is too complex to be made more fair.

If the EU is to reap the benefits that the northern seas have to offer, a concerted effort is required both by the European institutions and the member states, write Claude Turmes, Theresa Griffin, Jeppe Kofod and 17 other MEPs.

 

MAIN FOCUS: EU examines rule of law in Poland | 14/01/2016

The EU Commission launched a probe on Wednesday to examine whether Poland’s recent reforms are undermining the rule of law and democracy in the country. The EU should beware of imposing sanctions on Warsaw, some commentators admonish. Others call on the Polish government to take Brussels’ warning shot seriously.

In his Chatham House speech setting out the UK’s demands for a renegotiated relationship, David Cameron argued Britain’s EU membership is not merely a question of jobs and trade but of national security. Eurosceptics argue Britain’s leaders have too often allowed such foreign policy concerns to be put before domestic priorities, especially economic and democratic needs. Recent events in Paris and Brussels have raised questions about the vulnerability of EU member states, not least over the practicality of Schengen. As the UK’s new Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) made clear, traditional state-based threats and renewed challenges posed by terrorist organisations do not recognise national borders.

Employees in Europe should think carefully about using the Internet to send private messages at work. Europe’s top rights court ruled Tuesday (12 January) that companies could monitor workers’ online communications.

The creation of an informal “Friends of Macedonia” group in the European Parliament has triggered strong reactions among Greek MEPs, who said that the EU’s door was closed for Skopje.

Cultural figures who have come under fire recently include Elfriede Jelinek, Jan Klata (Łukasz Giza / Agencja Gazeta), and Krzysztof Mieszkowski (Kornelia Glowacka-Wolf / Agencja Gazeta)

Cultural figures who have come under fire recently include Elfriede Jelinek, Jan Klata (Łukasz Giza / Agencja Gazeta), and Krzysztof Mieszkowski (Kornelia Glowacka-Wolf / Agencja Gazeta)

EU migration crisis: will refugees acquire full free movement rights?

France in ‘state of economic emergency’

President Francois Hollande sets out €2bn (£1.5bn) job creation plan in a bid to lift France out of what he calls a state of economic emergency.

hebdo

Charlie Hebdo has everyone up in arms with their latest cartoon. People have variously said they are enraged, that it is racist, that it is disgusting. For me it most definitely is not funny, but it encompasses such complicated contradictions in one image, in such a painful way, that I see it as masterful provocation.

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