Sharing gas to ensure it for all
An EU country facing urgent or unexpected gas shortages can trigger cross-border assistance from its neighbours, under new cooperation rules approved last Tuesday by Parliament. The rules establish four risk groups of Member States, which will take part in “risk associated cooperation” and undertake joint risk assessments and joint preventive and emergency measures.
EU repeal bill wins first vote challenge
The British government's bid to lead the UK out of the EU has passed yet another parliamentary test, news wires reported. Last Monday, MPs backed the EU Withdrawal Bill by 326 votes to 290 despite critics warning that it represented a “power grab” by ministers, according to the BBC.
Parliament adopted EU-wide free WiFi hotspots scheme
Maria Koleva, Brussels
In a few months, municipalities and other public sector bodies from across the Union will be able to apply for EU-funded WiFi hotspots scheme, the so called WiFi4EU initiative. High-quality internet can be provided by 2020 to main public places such as town halls, museums, stations, libraries, hospitals and parks, covering about 6,000-8,000 local communities. The total budget of the programme will be €120m.
MEPs unravel egg scandal across EU
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A criminal act resulting in food fraud, but the risk to human health remains very low. In such a way named Vytenis Andriukaitis, EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, during a debate at a plenary in Strasbourg on 12 September, the scandalous contamination of eggs with the insecticide fipronil that was revealed last month.
Engaging more in healthcare
Patients should not pay the cost of non-Europe in healthcare, a group of over 70 lawmakers from the main political families in the European Parliament warned in a statement sent to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker a day before he delivered the State of the Union address at the European Parliament in Brussels.
Juncker: It is time to accept Bulgaria to Schengen
We need to open the Schengen area of free movement to Bulgaria and Romania immediately, said President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in his State of the Union Address. Juncker mentioned Bulgaria multiple times in his speech before the EP in Strasbourg. The EC president called for all Member States to shoulder some of the responsibility for the protection of the bloc’s external borders. Bulgaria, Italy and Spain cannot be left alone in providing border security, he noted.
Brexit reveals EU's value
EU policymakers and officials are returning to their desks with a spring in their step. This summer has seen the ‘Brexit effect’ quietly gathering momentum, so much so that it's shaping into one of the most spectacular own-goals of European history, on a par with Germany's Third Reich or the Russian Revolution. Thanks to Brexit, the value of the European project is now coming into full view. For the average European, the technical details of economic integration have been invisible to the naked eye. But now, with Brexit under way, the European Union's many virtues are being laid bare for all to see.
Catching wind in our sails
When I stood before you this time last year, I had a somewhat easier speech to give. It was plain for all to see that our Union was not in a good state. Europe was battered and bruised by a year that shook our very foundation. We only had two choices. Either come together around a positive European agenda or each retreat into our own corners.
Aurora 17 rises Russia tension
Non-allied Sweden launched last week its largest military exercise in over two decades, in cooperation with several NATO members, prompting criticism that such drills could lead to tension with Russia, news wires reported. The three-week-long war games, dubbed Aurora 17, involve a simulated attack from a foreign power. It is carried out in the Stockholm region in eastern Sweden, in Gothenburg on the west coast and on the Baltic island of Gotland, according to the Swedish Armed Forces' website.
North Korea defies new UN sanctions
North Korea waited just days to defy new UN sanctions by sending early on Friday morning a missile over Japan, where millions of people watching breakfast television saw their screens suddenly turn black aside from two ominous words in white: “Missile Launch.”
Turnover tax for digital giants sought
The EU’s major economies are calling for tax reform across the bloc that responds to where tech platforms generate revenue, not just where they book profit - arguing that the current system allows digital giants to minimize tax liabilities by using subsidiaries in low-tax countries such as Ireland. According to Reuters, finance ministers in France, Germany, Spain and Italy have written a joint letter calling for digital multinationals such as Amazon and Google to be taxed in Europe based on their revenues.
Experts find it difficult to calculate hurricanes costs
For the first time the US was hit simultaneously by two extremely strong hurricanes, which made it difficult for experts to calculate the real economic costs. As Irma continued to rumble last week in Florida, the various specialised companies competed in their preliminary assessments of the consequences.
Carmakers go electric at Frankfurt auto show
Major car makers from around the world gathered last week in Germany for the Frankfurt Motor Show, running from 14 to 24 September, with focus on the future of the automotive industry - electric cars.
Wagner's Parsifal opens Sofia Opera season
Richard Wagner’s famous opera Parsifal is kicking off the Sofia Opera and Ballet’s season on 1 October. The choice is no coincidence after the German composer’s last work was put on for the first time in Bulgaria in July to rave reviews. Opera connoisseurs from across the world flocked to Sofia to watch the show produced by maestro Plamen Kartaloff.
I choose fame before money
I found out the same day that the news broke, I was on vacation. Bulgarian music is very popular - not only the folk genre but the classical too. Foreigners are typically more impressed with our authentic songs because they represent something unusual.
Muhammad Ali revived at One Dance Week
The unforgettable Muhammad Ali will be brought back to life on 8 October with the Spitfire Company’s champion’s show One Step before the Fall, part of the 10th edition of One Dance Week in Plovdiv.
Vacationing among a sea of sculptures
Are you a fan of late-summer sea holidays? You know, when the weather is pleasantly warm instead of stifling hot, the sea water is the temperature of lukewarm tea and the throngs of tourists have waned a bit. Well, then Art Complex Anel is just the place for you.