The Bulgarian Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) has finally decided that Sara, born in Spain and raised by two mothers, does not have the right to receive a Bulgarian birth certificate and citizenship. The case involves three European countries – Bulgaria, Spain and the UK, and soon it may be brought before EU institutions. The child was born in 2019 in Spain to a family of two mothers – Kalina and Jane. Same-sex marriages are allowed in Spain but not in Bulgaria.
Germany's centre-left government on Wednesday announced new feminist guidelines to shape its diplomacy and development work including the creation of a new role for an "ambassador for feminist foreign policy". Germany will lobby to ensure women's concerns are more in focus worldwide, that women are better represented and that the country's generous development funds are allocated more to projects that tackle gender inequality, according to the guidelines.
Rail workers, MEPs, and trade unions rallied on Tuesday (28 February) in Brussels to stop the EU Commission's attempt to further privatise public transport across the EU. "No to Privatisation" was the most-common shout during the afternoon under the banners of around 10 national trade unions gathered in front of the European Parliament to demand "respect for EU democracy" and "affordable public services" for all citizens.
Source: EU Observer
A Belarusian court has sentenced human rights defender, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ales Bialiatski to ten years of imprisonment in a strict-regime penal colony, correspondent for Russia’s state news agency TASS reports. The prosecutor previously requested 12 years in a colony for Bialiatski. The Viasna Human Rights Centre states that the other defendants, human rights defenders Valentin Stefanovich and Vladimir Labkovich, have been sentenced to nine and seven years behind bars respectively.
Source: Novaya Gazeta EU
The Russian Prosecutor General’s Office has declared Transparency International, a Berlin-based anti-corruption NGO, “undesirable” in the country, the agency reported. The undesirable status bans organisations from working in Russia and shuts down Russians branches of international NGOs and NPOs. The Prosecutor General’s Office stressed that Transparency International is run by “citizens of foreign countries”.
Source: Novaya Gazeta EU
Rishi Sunak is reported to be considering the controversial move as he prepares to set out new legislation to curb migration, which will ban anybody who comes to the UK irregularly from applying for asylum and then deport them as soon as possible. A new immigration bill is expected to be introduced within weeks.
Source: The Guardian
The European Union leaders struck a hard-line tone on migration policy, threatening to use visa permits, trade flows and development aid as leverages to crack down on irregular border crossings and speed up the return of unsuccessful asylum-seekers. Nevertheless, heads of state and government urged "reinforced cooperation" on search-and-rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean.
The Labour Party’s (PvdA) request to relax visa policy for Turkish and Syrian earthquake victims, is something the cabinet can get behind, Foreign Minister Wopke Hoekstra said on WNL’s Sunday broadcast. PvdA wants the government to relax visa rules for Turkish and Syrian victims of the earthquake to ensure they can temporarily travel to stay with their family members in the Netherlands.
The intentional spreading of disinformation could find its way into the Czech criminal code, according to a new action plan currently being discussed by the government. The contents of the draft plan, which has not yet been made public, have recently been reported in the media, which points to plans to clarify the legal status of disinformation and adapt the criminal law.
A draft law has been prepared for submission to the State Duma which significantly increases the amount of accompanying information when transferring funds, not only about the sender, but also about the recipient. According to market participants, the document's provisions conflict with the law on personal data and in some cases are simply impossible to implement.
Source: The Komersant
A European Commission threat to take Greece to court over asylum violations may involve EU-funded centres. Although details of the individual cases remains under wraps, Greek media is reporting that the violations deal with detention at those centres, as well as access to social benefits for recognised refugees. The European Commission declined to provide any insights into the cases, when pressed. But five of the centres are located on the Greek islands, while another three are on the Greek mainland, including one near the Evros land border with Turkey.
Source: EU Observer
Coalition partners at odds over law that has resulted in more than 200 convicted sex offenders having their sentences reduced. The Guarantee of Sexual Freedom law — also known as the “Only yes means yes law” — means that it is no longer necessary to show that violence or intimidation were used in a sexual assault. Introduced in October, it aims to favor victims of such attacks and ensure consent in sexual relations. However, the legislation has led to more than 200 convicted sex offenders having their jail sentences reduced, and many of them being released, because a broader definition of sexual assault introduced in the law has meant that minimum sentences have been lowered.