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EU to withhold funds from Poland over unpaid fine

To recover money Warsaw has refused to pay after ECJ ruling on coal mine, the EU will cut Poland’s funds by €15m. The case was brought by Czech Republic, alleging that the Turów open-pit mine near the Polish-Czech-German border broke EU environmental law, causing dangerous levels of air and water pollution and depleting groundwater supplies.

Source:  The Guardian


EU countries split over Commission’s plan to give parents cross-border rights

The initiative, according to which parentage links established in one EU country would be acknowledged in all member states could create divisions across the bloc due to the inclusion of rainbow families. Commissioner for Justice Didier Reynders asks member states “to have the interest of the child as their concern” to prevent unfair consequences for children in terms of free movement, healthcare, and education.

Source: Euractiv


Latvian police given right to separate aggressor without victim’s report

New amendments to the Latvian Law on Police have been made that will allow the State Police to separate aggressors from their victims in case of violent incidents even if the victim refuses to submit a report against the aggressor.

Source: bnn-news


UK wildlife campaigners call for legal right to access nature for all

Wildlife and Countryside Link is launching a petition to urge the government to guarantee people´s access to natural spaces near their homes. They argue that one in three people in England cannot access nature at a reasonable distance from where they live despite evidence that accessible natural spaces boost our physical and mental wellbeing and reduce mortality.

Source: Guardian


MEPs push for game-changer rules for pan-European civil society

Recommendations to harmonise the status of non-profits throughout the EU and establish a statute for European association have been adopted by the European Parliament. The objective is to put NPOs on an equal footing with their for-profit counterparts, given their importance in maintaining the health of European democracy, effective policymaking, and the rule of law.

Source: eureporter


In blow for cannabis advocates, Italy’s high court blocks referendum

The Italian Constitutional Court has blocked a referendum on making growing cannabis legal, stating the law would force Italy to violate its international obligations to prevent drug trafficking. Critics said the court had stifled the democratic process as the petition had gained enough signatures to trigger a referendum. The decision comes some weeks after Malta became the first European country to legalise the possession of small amounts of cannabis and the cultivation of up to four plants at home.

Source: Euronews


St Petersburg City Court removed “Humanitarian Action” foundation from the register of foreign agents

St Petersburg City Court overturned the decision of the Ministry of Justice to include the “Humanitarian Action” foundation in the register of foreign agents. This is the first time in Russia that an NGO has been removed from the register by court decision. “Humanitarian Action” is one of Russia's oldest HIV service organisations, and it was included in the register of foreign agents in December 2020.

Source: Kommersant


ICC prosecutor to investigate possible war crimes in Ukraine

The intention to investigate possible war crimes or crimes against humanity in Ukraine has been announced by the prosecutor of the international criminal court (ICC) in The Hague. This would be possible even if Ukraine is not a member of the ICC.

Source: The Guardian


Council of Europe suspends Russia

On February 25, the Council of Europe has suspended all representatives of Russia from participation in the Committee of Ministers and its parliament as a consequence of Moscow's attack on Ukraine. Emphasis has been placed on the fact that “Suspension is not a final measure but a temporary one, leaving channels of communication open”. This decision will not affect the ECHR and applications against Russia will continue to be examined by the court.