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.
In what is set to be a landmark agreement for gender equality, the EU is to vote on legislation where companies will face mandatory quotas to ensure women have at least 40 percent of seats on corporate boards. Annette Young talks to Carlien Scheele from the European Institute for Gender Studies on what it means for businesses across the European bloc. Also as the Taliban continues to ban schooling for girls aged over 11, we meet the Afghan people risking all to ensure girls receive an education. Plus the story of Viola Smith, the first female professional jazz drummer who fought for greater recognition of women in the industry.
The European Union has reached a deal on anti-monkeypox vaccines, with first jabs expected to arrive within weeks. The agreement was made through a new bloc-wide authority formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"What a special moment," European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen said after signing the gas memorandum. Europe is looking for alternate sources of energy since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, along with Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, French President Emmanuel Macron and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, decried Russia's attacks during their joint trip to Ukraine.
Since the start of the war in Ukraine, over 7 million people have fled the country. Multiple reports have outlined the specific difficulties that African refugees faced as they attempted to cross the Polish border and enter the European Union. Georgina Robertson and Sophie Samaille take a look at a Facebook post falsely claiming that refugees from Africa were shot at by Polish police.
The executive body of the European Union has recommended that Ukraine be granted EU candidate status. Kyiv has sought candidate status since 2014.
The Cypriot government says the vast majority of migrants enter the island's breakaway north via Turkey and then seek asylum in the EU-backed south. Arrivals doubled to about 10,000 in the first five months of this year.
The European Commission has recommended candidate status for Ukraine. Just over three months after being invaded by Russia, Kyiv has cleared the first hurdle on the road to membership.
Josep Borrell, the EU's foreign policy chief has called for Russia to end its blockade of Ukrainian ports. His comments come ahead of a meeting of the bloc's 27 foreign ministers.
Albania, Serbia and North Macedonia have criticized the slow progress on their EU membership bids. With Ukraine on the fast track, Western Balkan leaders are meeting with their EU counterparts — but hold out little hope.
EU leaders are in Brussels to discuss the membership bids of Ukraine and Moldova. Meanwhile, the European Parliament has voted heavily in favor of the two countries' getting candidate status.
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