A significant proportion of the guns and ammunition in "Islamic State's" (IS) cache were manufactured in the European Union, according to the study published Thursday by Conflict Armament Research (CAR). In its 200-page investigation, the weapons tracking organization claimed that more than 30 percent of the arms used by IS extremists on battlefields in Syria and Iraq originally came from factories in Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Germany. Russia and China produced more than half of the weapons held by the terror group, the report added. The study, Weapons of the Islamic State, is the result of three years of fieldwork carried out by CAR teams in Iraq and Syria. Between 2014 and 2017, researchers analyzed more than 40,000 items recovered from IS frontline positions, including guns, ammunition, and components used to make explosive devices. Read more: Germany demands explanation after Kurdish arms sales reports How do weapons reach IS? The report pointed out that most … [Read more...] about ‘Islamic State’ is fighting with weapons made in the EU: study
Hungary in the eu
A HUGE GAP has opened up between the "elite" and the rest of the public in the EU - who hold drastically different views on how the bloc should tackle key issues.A survey showed that an elite group were far more likely to think immigration had been good for them, that they had benefited from being a member of the EU, and that they were proud of both their national and European identity.Research for Chatham House by Kantar studied a group of 10,000 members of the public and 1,800 of Europe's political, business and media elite.It showed stark divides on traditional values, immigration and the welfare state.The results showed a "simmering discontent within the public", the report said, "large sections of whom view the EU in negative terms".More than 70 per cent of the elite felt they had benefited from being a member of the EU, compared to around 35 per cent of the publicJust under 60 per cent of elites said immigration was good for the country compared to around 26 per cent of the … [Read more...] about A ‘visible divide’ has opened up in the EU between the ‘elite’ and the general population which could affect the bloc’s future, according to major new survey
The European countries and institutions scored an average 31 out of 100 when measured against international lobbying standards, according to the Transparency International report published Wednesday in Brussels. "Unfair and opaque lobbying practices are one of the key corruption risks currently facing Europe," Elena Panfilova, vice chair of Transparency International, said in a statement . Out of 19 European Union members studied, Hungary and Cyprus came lowest in the ranking, scoring only 14, while Slovenia came out best with 55 points. The European powerhouse Germany only managed 23, placing it lower than Bulgaria, which has 25. Mandatory registers for lobbyists According to the watchdog, there are problems in dealing with pressures from many different industries, including the alcohol, tobacco, automobile, energy, financial and pharmaceutical sectors. "European countries and EU institutions must adopt robust lobbying regulations that cover the broad range of lobbyists who … [Read more...] about Watchdog calls for tough new rules on lobbies in the EU
The EU adventure started with a huge party. Laura Tatrelyte was 17 at the time and celebrated with her friends from school as crowds of thousands gathered in the center of Vilnius to celebrate Lithuania's EU accession . Poland, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, Malta and Cyprus joined the EU that same day. Since she was underage at the time, Tatrelyte was not allowed to take part in the Lithuanian referendum on EU accession. She was still at school, but she followed events with great interest and was happy when she found out that around 90 percent of Lithuanians gave the EU their yes vote in 2003.Living and working multinationally Another change was that, at his home university of Brünn, he also met more students from other European countries, for example those who had come to the Czech Republic for a semester on the "Erasmus" program.'With open arms' "When Poland became an EU member in 2004, I was very excited, but I was also worried about the … [Read more...] about Still believing in the EU
Blue tents, green tents, grey tents - Brussels' Parc Maximilien is full of tents. They are drenched from the pouring rain that has reduced the paths leading through the park to mud. These tents are now home to some 800 people from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Eritrea. Volunteers wearing rain capes and rubber boots navigate their way between the tents on wooden planks that have been laid down to prevent people from slipping in the mud. One of them is Elodie Francart, a 27-year old who functions as a spokesperson. "I came here two weeks ago to bring some stuff," she said, "and I noticed that nobody was coordinating efforts. So I started doing it." Standing outside the "office tent" in which flip charts detail what needs to be done, Francart gestures to the refugees making their way along the muddy paths. "None of the people in this camp have been able to register at the immigration office yet." No shelter without registered claim August saw 4,621 people apply for asylum in Belgium, … [Read more...] about A tent camp for refugees in the EU capital
For many Europeans it seems the European Union has been obeying two masters lately. Formerly led by one rotating president, the addition of a long-term European Council Presidency to the rotating presidency has left many unsure about who calls the shots in the EU. Before the Lisbon Treaty things were clearer: EU member states took turns holding the rotating presidency, hosting EU summits and chairing ministerial councils. For each country, the six-month presidency was a chance to help set the bloc's agenda. Here today...here to stay? The rotating presidency remains in place, though considerably modified. Among other reforms, the Lisbon Treaty introduced a standing European Council president in addition to the rotating president. Unanimously selected by EU heads of state, the former Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy has been in the position since December 1, 2009. As "permanent" EU Council President with a two-and-a-half-year term, Van Rompuy now has the power to … [Read more...] about Standing or rotating: Who’s calling the shots in the EU?
"The crises we have will remain and new ones will come," the EU Commission president has predicted for the coming year. Jean-Claude Juncker is a seasoned navigator of European policy. He does not need to prove anything to anyone. Weariness prevails It was the twelfth summit this year, and government leaders were not able to summon up much energy. In all likelihood, they urgently need a break from each other. It must be tiring and demoralizing to listen to the same arguments over and over again and realize that the entire system is barely moving. EU systems are overwhelmed As a result, all the resolutions read like a bad report card that Europeans have given themselves. "At least we were able to implement what we decided upon long ago" – no joking, that's really what is written in black and white. If the European Union had just implemented the measures that have already been agreed for dealing with the refugee crisis, such as relocation, registration and border patrols, then … [Read more...] about Opinion: Old and new crises in the EU
The summit was intended to spread a bit of optimism. The professionals, it was announced, would now take care of Brexit negotiations, and the British government even promised to protect EU citizens' rights in the United Kingdom after withdrawal. Although that proposal is now being criticized as inadequate and vague, it is still being touted as a sign of progress. After that, the remaining 27 member states sought to create momentum for new projects. The joint press conference held by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron was then appropriately symbolic. Merkel described the mood of the two-day summit, which ended on Friday, as "optimistic and dynamic." Such words are more easily uttered in the knowledge that economies in almost all member states, even those which were heretofore weak, are starting to grow again. The eurozone has just completed its best quarter in almost six years, which, however, isn't saying much considering the crisis that has been … [Read more...] about The east-west divide in the EU deepens
The European Union has had the goal of achieving a common asylum policy for the last 13 years - ever since 1999, when its then 15 heads of government were confronted with the influx of refugees from the Yugoslav wars. Some countries, like Germany and Austria, were seriously affected, while others were scarcely troubled by the conflict. Now it's Greece that has to receive the largest number of refugees, although Malta and Cyprus also complain that they have to bear too large a share of the burden. The distribution of refugees remains very uneven. In 1999, the heads of government agreed that all the member states had a common responsibility for refugees. But a common asylum policy has still not been achieved - the latest deadline for doing so, December 2012, has come and gone. Very uneven distribution At the last attempt, in October 2012, the Swedish interior minister, Tobias Billström, said that the issue was very important for his country because of the large number of refugees … [Read more...] about Still no sign of a common asylum policy in the EU
When Cedric Hocepied, 26, thinks back to the time he was in high school, his eyes darken. Situations would often end with the same conclusion, he recalls. "They never thought I could make it." "Making it" for Cedric meant finishing high school, carving out a career, finding a good job. Today, Cedric holds a LL.M. degree in International Legal Studies from the New York City University and a Master's degree in International Humanitarian Law from the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Brussels. He is a Fulbright scholar, was a trainee with NATO and UN. He is fluent in French and English. But he consistently gets rejected when applying for jobs in his field. Cedric is deaf. Many are unemployed Only every second person with a disability in the EU has a job - compare that to 70 percent of people who are not disabled. The legal situation differs within the EU which makes it complicated for companies which operate internationally. In Germany companies with more than 20 employees … [Read more...] about No jobs for the disabled in the EU?