Eurosphere agenda: biggest-ever Eurovision…”Juncker greets Orbán with ‘Hello dictator!”…

Sweden, Russia and Italy are among the favourites to win the 60th annual Eurovision Song Contest, which takes place in Vienna later.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker teased Hungarian Premier Viktor Orbán over his strongman reputation Friday, jokingly greeting him as “dictator” as he arrived at an EU summit in Riga.

In Greece for the first time the EU authorities demand a government complete a programme that it has neither designed nor has a democratic mandate to implement.

The number Europeans living with hepatitis B and C is growing, particularly in Eastern Europe. But access to treatments remains scarce, due to funding problems and a lack of awareness of the problem, say patient groups.

Scandal and silence in Lisboa

I am not an “austerity refugee”, the author tells our partners, Precarious Europe. In fact, my family has had a role to play in the suffering of millions of Portuguese workers.

The Spitzenkandidaten process was never going to be the magic wand, creating a new sense of engagement. But it will in 2019, if we are able to learn the lesson of 2014, said Julian Priestley and Nereo Peñalver Garcia, in an interview with EurActiv.

A Syrian’s view of Europe

Humam, fleeing his war-torn country, made the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe. He now reminds Precarious Europe how big and wonderful Europe can be.

Credit: Yana Zalesskaya. All rights reserved.Credit: Yana Zalesskaya. All rights reserved.I live in Germany now. I have a bicycle, an address and everything, and some wonderful neighbours. We talk in English and they teach me German words. On my first day here, my uncle, a German citizen, said to me, “look after this society, it will look after you in return”. He also said, “there is justice, you will take what it is rightfully yours, despite all the bureaucratic crap”.

The Tories and the police – who is playing who?

Sometimes it would be extremely helpful to the police for protesters to break windows at key sites…

Are The IMF and the EU at Loggerheads Over Greece?

Everything has a cost, or so the story goes, especially time. In the Greek case we now know an additional item on the mounting bill: the country is back in recession. The issue is who – apart of course from the long-suffering Greeks themselves – will pay the extra costs of  the latest imbroglio.

Finland instructs 900,000 reservists

Finland sends letters to nearly a million reservists to remind them of their duties in case of combat, officials tell the BBC.
Thousands of people in the North of England take to Twitter to ask Scotland to “take us with you”
Facebook’s Extremes

The European Union wants to ensure fairer distribution of refugees among EU member states in future. A provisional quota system is to be introduced by the end of May, the EU Commission announced on Wednesday. At last Europe will have an asylum system that doesn’t place the brunt of the burden on just a few states, some commentators write. Others predict that the quotas won’t work for several reasons.

Many companies have jumped on the bandwagon of supporting marriage equality, but only a select few of them are consistent, plausible, and authentic in their efforts, write Florian Wettstein and Dorothea Baur.


At the Riga summit yesterday (21 May) Slovakia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania signed a Joint Declaration backing the idea of building the Eastring gas pipeline, designed to link Central with Southeastern Europe. However the name Eastring doesn’t appear in the document.

EU asks UN for help with migrant crisis

Foreign policy chief tells Security Council that people intercepted at sea will not “be sent back against their will”.
Cyprus: dusting off the peace process

The rest of the world expects of Mustafa Akinci and Nikos Anastasiades to resolve a problem now fully 60 years old. How realistic are their chances of success?

U.N.-sponsored talks resumed on May 15 after an eight-month stalemate with Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders agreeing to adopt confidence-building measures, in a new drive to settle the island’s decades-old conflict
Greece says it faces bankruptcy in weeks

No firm agreement yet on critical rescue loans, but euro zone ministers keep tough line on final tranche.

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