New phone app reminds people to ‘mind the gap’ and socially distance

A new COVID-19 safety app developed in the UK uses ultrasound to monitor the distance between devices and help users maintain social distancing. The app is currently in a trial period with over 1,000 workers at one of the UK’s biggest rail firms testing the device. It works by emitting a distinctive beep when a […]

EU Cohesion policy: study calls for a strategic focus on quality projects and on removing administrative barriers to investments

The Commission published a study that aims to enhance the understanding of the Technical Assistance (TA) at the initiative of Member States during the 2014-2020 period. The report assesses the capacity of the public administrations to prepare, manage and implement EU Cohesion policy projects as well as to remove important barriers to investment. It calls on […]

Agriculture: the Commission approves new geographical indication from Hungary

The Commission has approved the addition of ‘Akasztói szikiponty’ from Hungary in the register of Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). ‘Akasztói szikiponty’ is a variety of carp with a light greyish golden-yello colour. They are reared in the municipalities of Akasztó and Dunatetétlen, in Southern Hungary. The quality of ‘Akasztói szikiponty’ is due not only to […]

Emmanuel Macron criticises Lebanese leaders’ ‘betrayal’ after PM steps down

French President Emmanuel Macron attacked Lebanese leaders and Hezbollah on Sunday, sharply criticising their failure to form a new government. He called the failure a “collective betrayal” and said that he was “ashamed” of Lebanon’s leaders. His criticism comes after Lebanon’s designated prime minister Mustapha Adib stepped down on Saturday citing a failure to develop […]

Libya: EU imposes additional sanctions for human rights abuses and arms embargo violations

The Council decided to impose targeted restrictive measures on two persons responsible for human rights abuses in Libya and three entities involved in violating the UN arms embargo in place for Libya. They will be added to the EU’s list of persons and entities subject to restrictive measures related to the Libyan conflict. The sanctions imposed comprise a travel ban and an asset freeze for […]

France racism: Paris to commemorate slave rebellion figure

Paris is to put up a statue of a black woman involved in a 1802 rebellion against slavery on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The woman, named only Solitude, was captured and possibly executed. Opening a public garden in her honour on Saturday, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called Solitude a “heroine” and a “strong […]

Azerbaijan and Armenia clash over disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region

Clashes have broken out between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, with at least one Azerbaijani helicopter shot down. Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan said Azerbaijan had launched an air and artillery attack. Azerbaijan said it was responding to shelling along the whole front, and that civilians were killed and wounded. The long-running […]

Europe has ‘a lot of work to do’ to prevent COVID-19 transmission, WHO expert warns

Europe has “a lot of work to do right now” to bring down increasing COVID-19 cases, a World Health Organization expert said, stating that deaths in older people would likely increase in the region soon. “We’re starting to see a small uptick in deaths in older people and that will inevitably become more,” said Dr […]

‘Stop using so much English’, French journalists tell EU Commission

French journalists covering the European Union have complained to the bloc’s chiefs about the increasing use of English in their communication which they say gives un “competitive advantage” to the anglophone press. The French section of the Association of European Journalists reminded Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Council President Charles Michel in a letter […]