Italy makes constitution greener, environmentalists call for action

The constitutional law, approved by the Italian parliament, says the state must safeguard the environment, biodiversity and the ecosystem and that private economic initiative must not damage the environment. This has been defined "an essential step" to raise green investments to transform the economy under the EU post-coronavirus pandemic recovery fund.

Source: Reuters


French push for legal limbos on EU borders

As part of an ongoing crackdown on irregular migration, the EU French presidency is pressing to create legal limbos near its borders where existing human rights standards may be harder to enforce. A proposal would be to classify asylum-seekers arriving at EU borders as technically not yet legally inside the EU in a limbo that could last up to five days. Human rights campaigners warn it could lead to systematic detention of vulnerable migrants and creation of overcrowded ghettos.

Source: EUobserver


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