EU adopts rules for more gender-balanced boards

The European Parliament has formally adopted the new EU law on gender balance on corporate boards. By 2026, companies will need to have 40% of the underrepresented sex among non-executive directors or 33% among all directors.

Source: European Commission


Slovenians back new law to prevent politicising public television

Slovenians have voted to prevent the government from appointing people to public television and news organisations. More than 62% of voters gave their approval in the referend. The vote came after complaints that Slovenia's press freedom rights had deteriorated under former populist prime minister Janez Janša.

Source: Euronews


France and UK to cooperate in preventing asylum-seekers crossing Channel

Under the agreement, signed by the British and French home affairs ministers, the British will pay France more than €72 million for the year 2022-2023 to fund increased security at ports. According to the joint statement, an investment will be made “in reception centres in the south of France to deter migrants entering France via the Mediterranean migration route from travelling to the Channel coastline […] and to offer them safe alternatives”. No details on these “safe alternatives” have been given at this stage.

Source: Euroactiv.com


European women hardest hit by energy price hike

Single mothers and single women are more likely to have problems paying their utility bills than any other group, according to a new Eurofound survey. It found almost half of single mothers (44%) and 31% of single women anticipate difficulties affording energy costs over the next three months. That compares to 26% of single men. The figures reveal the real impact on women of Europe’s 13% gender pay gap and highlight the need for urgent measures to be taken at a national and EU level to shield them from the crisis.

Source: ETUC 


Hungary will not support EU aid plan to Ukraine

Hungary will not support a European Union plan to provide Ukraine with billions in budget assistance next year, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said. Speaking at a conference in Budapest, Orban said that while Hungary condemns Russia’s aggression and supports the Ukrainian people, he is not willing to put Ukraine’s interests before those of his own country.

Source: AP


Dutch court sentences three to life in prison for 2014 downing of MH17

MH17 was a passenger flight that was shot down over eastern Ukraine on 17 July 2014, killing all 298 passengers and crew. The three men convicted were former Russian intelligence agents Igor Girkin and Sergey Dubinskiy, and Leonid Kharchenko, a Ukrainian separatist leader.

Source: Euractiv.com


Another EU country opposes Bulgaria, Croatia & Romania joining Schengen Area

The group of European Union Member States opposing the enlargement of the borderless Schengen Area has expanded, with Austria recently expressing its refusal to support the accession of Bulgaria, Croatia, and Romania into the Schengen Area. The Austrian Ministry of the Interior noted that due to “the current migration figures and the lack of border protection”, Austria rejects the expansion of the Schengen Area with these three countries.

Source: SchengenVisaInfo


Germany sued over air pollution levels

German citizens are suing their government over its failure to bring down air pollution levels to limits recommended by the world's leading scientists. They claim their right to breathe clean and healthy air is being violated, and that the government is failing to protect their health. It is the first time individuals in Germany have taken such action citing human rights legislation.

Source: euobserver


Right-wing victory in Italy expected to bring changes to migration

Giorgia Meloni's victory ushers in first far-right-led government in Italy since World War II. Meloni's victory sparked concern in countries south of the Mediterranean considering her hard-line anti-immigration agenda as she relentlessly fuelled the fears of non-European migration throughout her campaign. She insisted that the waves of illegal migrants breaking on the shores of Italy could pose an existential threat for the country's "Christian identity".

Source: The Washington Post


Emergency contraception and STI scans to be free for women of all age in France

French health minister announced that emergency contraception will become free for women of all ages and without any prescription. Until now, emergency contraception was only free for minors without a prescription and for women up to 26 years of age with a prescription. The minister also indicated that he wanted to make STI screening free of charge until the age of 26, as young people “are part of the population most affected by the STI infections”.

Source: Euroactiv


Putin signed amendments to strengthen criminal penalties during the period of mobilisation

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a law on tougher punishment for crimes against military service during the period of mobilisation and in armed conflict, as well as on the introduction of criminal penalties for voluntary surrender and looting. For refusal to participate in hostilities, the law provides for up to three years in prison, and if such a refusal entailed "serious consequences" - up to 10 years. The same penalty is provided for failure to comply with the order.

Source: Meduza


Head of the Investigation body says Russia committed war crimes in Ukraine

The head of the U.N.-mandated investigation body concluded war crimes including rape, torture, executions and confinement of children were committed by Russia in areas it occupied in Ukraine. According to him "a large number" had been committed by Russia and only two cases by Ukraine involving the ill-treatment of Russian soldiers.

Source: Reuters