Polish judicial reforms key to EU rule-of-law conditionality row
19 February 2022 | 6:35 am
On February 16, the European Union's top court rejected a legal challenge by Poland and Hungary to a conditionality mechanism that would link EU funds for member states to respect for the rule of law. The Polish government stands by its controversial judicial reforms, despite criticism from local judges. On the ground in Poland, many development projects that were counting on EU funding have already been halted. One example is in the town of Wieliczka, as our correspondent Gulliver Cragg reports.
An EU climate agency has said 2021 was the fifth-warmest year ever recorded globally. Greenhouse gas emissions have supercharged wildfires, heat waves and flooding, affecting every continent.
This week, we head to the Polish city of Poznan, where Breton culture is thriving. That's thanks to a strong bond created when people in the French region of Brittany set up humanitarian convoys to Poland during the dying days of Communism. Friendships and cultural exchanges continue to this day. In central Poznan, Dom Bretanii or the "House of Brittany" allows Polish people to discover and appreciate Breton dance, music and Celtic legends. FRANCE 24's Luke Brown and Isabelle Romero report.
As EU ally Ukraine reels from a massive cyberattack on government websites, the EU Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth tells FRANCE 24 that this kind of attack should not come as a surprise. "We should not be surprised but we have to be ready to act. That means more co-ordination and more joint actions between member states," Mariya Gabriel said.
With prices at the pump surging and a showdown looming with major gas supplier Russia, the French president addressed the European Parliament to mark France's rotating presidency of the bloc. We ask about what Emmanuel Macron said and didn't say about the highest fuel prices in seven years with some of Paris's petrol stations asking two euros a litre at the pump.
Belarusian activist calls on EU leaders to investigate Lukashenko
European Union interior ministers discussed border security and asylum at a meeting in Lithuania. The EU home affairs commissioner urged preemptive action outside the bloc and condemned the policy of pushbacks.
2022 is not yet one month old, but already around a thousand people have made "irregular" crossings from France to the United Kingdom – putting a spotlight back onto the issue of migration between the European Union and its former member state. Margaritis Schinas is European Commission Vice-President, and the Commissioner in charge of migration and asylum issues. He tells FRANCE 24 he wants "clarity" from the UK over how it wishes to proceed in tackling the issue of thousands of people risking their lives each year to cross the English Channel.
In a week when France has been at the forefront of EU news thanks to heated exchanges between President Macron and Members of the European Parliament, we speak to leading French MEP from the president's political group, Fabienne Keller. The former Strasbourg mayor tells FRANCE 24 Emmanuel Macron is "determined" to make progress on key issues including rule of law in the EU, and argues that he should be re-elected as French leader, saying "he needs five more years to finish the job".
EU top antitrust official Margrethe Vestager talks to DW
The EU has said it could withdraw financial aid from Burkina Faso and hit coup leaders with sanctions if "constitutional order" is not restored.
Poland plans to build a wall on its border with Belarus to prevent undocumented migrants from crossing into its territory illegally. But environmental campaigners warn a wall could have a dire impact on local wildlife. DW’s Jack Parrock reports.
The dispute surrounds a controversial disciplinary committee for judges set up by the government. Critics say the committee has become politicized and is being used to influence judges. DW met a judge who lost his job because of a ruling by the committee.
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