The European Commission has launched three new infringement proceedings against Germany for failing to correctly implement EU law. This brings the total of such proceedings against Germany to 76, making the country the fifth worst offender in the EU, behind Spain (93 proceedings), Greece (89), Italy (82) and Poland (78).
A nationwide vote is going to be held in Russia, perhaps on April 22, following Russian president Vladimir Putin’s proposal last month of important constitutional changes. In an unprecedented move, voters will be allowed to vote from home or, in select locations, from their workplace.
The reserve around Mont Blanc, which will be created by the end of 2020, will have rules restricting the number of visitors, especially during the summer. Other new environmental measures, announced by France, include the creation of the French Office of Biodiversity and stopping the government’s purchase of single-use plastics from July.
The ECHR has ruled that Spain did not violate the European convention on human rights six years ago when it deported two men who tried to climb the fence separating Morocco and Spain. Human rights groups now accuse the ECHR of “ignoring the reality” on the ground, and they worry that the ruling will set a dangerous precedent in the European Union.
The State Duma deputies and Federation Council senators included in the Russian government’s working group for constitutional amendments have proposed giving the country’s former presidents the right to join the Federation Council for life.
A lucrative citizenship for investment scheme run by Cyprus has been under scrutiny both in Cyprus and abroad after the disclosure that some of the beneficiaries were high-ranking officials from foreign countries. In recent years, more than 3,500 people have gained citizenship under this scheme.
Polish President Andrzej Duda has signed into law divisive legislation that allows judges to be punished for questioning and criticising the national judicial system. Judges can now be made to pay fines, be demoted or fired if they go against the authority of other judges or courts. The European Commission is going to analyse whether the Polish law complies with EU law.
The new government in Finland has announced a reform of family benefits that aims to give all parents the same parental leave, in an attempt to get fathers to spend more time with their children. Paid allowance would be increased to a combined 14 months, meaning 164 days of parental leave for each parent, and pregnant women would receive an additional month’s allowance.