The EU has agreed on a law that would ban single-use plastic products starting 2021. Negotiators from the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the EU states have agreed on the details of the legislation with the help of which cotton buds, plastic utensils and straws are to be banned. For commentators the law is a step in the right direction.
On December 19, the State Duma adopted a law that will partially decriminalize the controversial Criminal Code Article 282, which courts have increasingly used to prosecute Internet users for “reposts.”
This week a draft law was presented to the Russian Duma that would make derogatory statements about the state and its representatives and the deliberate spreading of socially relevant fake news punishable offences. Russian commentators discuss what goals the government is pursuing with this legislation.
The UN migration pact has been passed in Marrakesh with the votes of roughly 150 countries. The vote was preceded by intense debate in many places, and Belgium's government collapsed as a result. The document establishes international rules on how migration is to be dealt with, but is not legally binding. Even now that it has been signed the pact remains controversial among Europe's commentators.
A new law in Hungary will allow employers to raise the amount of overtime they can demand from their employees to 400 hours per year and give them up to three years to pay for it. The opposition is calling the new regulation a slave law and tried to prevent the parliamentary vote on it. Trade unions are demonstrating against the legislation in Budapest. Commentators also fail to see anything good about it.
On orders from Russia’s federal censor, Internet service providers across the country started blocking Alexey Navalny’s “Smart Vote” project on Friday, three days after Moscow’s Tagansky District Court ruled that the site’s domain name registrar, the French company “Gandi SAS,” violates privacy protection laws.
Belgium's cabinet decided not to index excise duties on gasoline and diesel in 2019, saving about 1.5 cents per liter, Flemish broadcaster VRT reported, a step that removes one of the main public grievances of Belgium's Yellow Jackets protest movement. Protesters are expected to gather in the EU district and block traffic across the city.