EPP takes the lead over Socialists
After weeks of slowly making up ground on the centre-left Socialists & Democrats Group, the centre-right Group of the European People's Party has now surged into the lead, according to the latest PollWatch 2014 forecast published on 16 April.
MEPs rein in polluting plastic bag madness
European countries would have to reduce the use of the most common and most polluting plastic bags by at least 80% by 2019, under draft rules backed by Parliament on 16 April.
Can ECI become part of mainstream EU policy
Maria Koleva, Brussels
European Citizens' Initiative Day 2014, on 15 April, was dedicated to reckoning the successes and the shortcomings of the work of the new democratic instrument that entitles EU citizens to initiate legislative changes and be more directly involved in the political agenda of Europe.
Strong action triggers steady progress on gender equality
In 2013, the Commission continued taking action to improve equality between women and men, including steps to close the gender gaps in employment, pay and pensions discrepancies, to combat violence and to promote equality in decision-making.
24 formations vie for European Parliament
A total of 24 formations will vie for Bulgaria's 17 seats in the European Parliament on 25 May, among them 18 parties, 6 coalitions and 8 independents, according to the Central Election Commission's list of approved candidates for the vote. Since the deadline for registering with the CEC was 9 April, one thing is for sure - the number will not grow. Political parties entering the election battle are almost half the number we saw in last year's general elections. The main reason for the significantly diminished interest is that elections for the European Parliament have no bearing on how state subsidies for parties are allocated.
One space soup please!
It costs an average of BGN350 (approximately 175 euros) to produce 15 kg of space food, or some BGN23 per kilogramme, according to Prof. Gabriela Marinova, director of the Institute of Cryobiology and Food Technology with the Agricultural Academy. In the 1970s, Bulgaria became the third country after the US and Russia to acquire the technology of making lyophilised, or freeze-dried, foods.
European insecurity on rise after Crimea
Francisco de Borja Lasheras
The 'express annexation' of Crimea, together with instability across eastern Ukraine, has raised an issue that West Europeans have forgotten after decades of comfortable security, but which is vital for the countries of the post-Soviet sphere that are knocking on our doors: the continuing need for security guarantees in Europe. The absence or violation of security guarantees is at the root of the main inter-state conflicts in modern Europe.
Investments in R&D can fuel economic growth in Europe
For more than a decade, there have been growing concerns about Europe's place in the global economy as it struggles to cope with the consequences of the worst financial and economic crisis of the past 80 years and return to robust economic growth. The crisis exposed deep weaknesses in Europe's financial sector and vulnerability in many countries' debt-fuelled growth strategies. What followed was the failure, bailing out or nationalisation of many banks, the tightening of credit markets and fears that the Eurozone may not continue as a single currency bloc. Faced with this instability, Europe's leaders have spent much of the last decade in crisis management mode, where urgent matters like keeping the euro afloat or negotiating the conditions of national bail-outs have been allowed to overshadow important long-term questions of how to reignite economic growth and job creation.
Syria torture photos stun UN
Members of the UN Security Council fell silent last Tuesday after viewing a series of ghastly photographs of dead Syrians, killed in the ongoing civil war, AP wired. The pictures showed people who were emaciated, with their bones protruding, and some bearing the marks of strangulation and beatings, and the eyes having been gouged out.
East Ukraine resists gov't anti-terrorist operation
The Ukrainian government started on 15 April an operation, called "anti-terrorist", to dislodge pro-Russian gunmen from local authority buildings in the eastern part of the country, but his forces met acute resistance.
World trade picture slightly improves
The World Trade Organization slightly raised its 2014 forecast for growth in global goods trade to 4.7% on 14 April, saying it did not expect a return to the historical trend level of 5.3% until 2015. "If GDP forecasts hold true, we expect a broad-based but modest upturn in the volume of world trade in 2014 and further consolidation of this growth in 2015," WTO Director General Roberto Azevedo told a news conference in Geneva.
Glaxo under bribery investigation in Poland
Britain's biggest drugmaker, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), is facing a criminal investigation in Poland for allegedly bribing doctors to promote its asthma drug Seretide. Eleven doctors and a GSK regional manager have been charged over alleged corruption between 2010 and 2012.
Total to invest $16bn in Angola's offshore oil
Total announced last Monday it had decided to go ahead with the Kaombo oil project offshore Angola after reducing its cost by $4bn to $16bn, news wires reported.
Life Sentences gets Objectif d'or
Maria Koleva, Brussels
This year's Millenium Film Festival, held in Brussels, proved to be a great success giving film lovers the opportunity to see 47 productions and co-productions from over 38 countries. The public had the privilege to meet many film makers from different corners of the world and also to experience the magic of making cinema.
Art is nothing without catharsis
Yordan Yordanov, Novinar Daily
I was invited by actor Teodor Petelov, artistic director of The WhiteListed Theatre Company.
A Guinness hat-trick-scoring Bulgarian - upon hearing the description, mime artist Alexander Iliev's face broadens into a grin. Used to the tag, he willingly gives an account of the facts without attaching unnecessary importance to them.