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European Union (EU)

Farmers’ Protests Challenging EU Policies Spread To Eastern Europe

Farmers and their unions in Eastern and Central Europe, are mobilizing in large numbers against growing economic distress. They have expressed their rejection of provisions in the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and the Green Deal, and against the high cost of production and low incomes, import of tariff-free grains from Ukraine war efforts, and exhaustive bureaucratic procedures in farm-related laws and regulations. Farmers affiliated with the Agrarian Chamber of the Czech Republic (AKCR), Slovak Chamber of Agriculture and Food Industry, unions in Poland, and many others participated in rallies and road blocks on February 22, demanding concrete policy measures from their respective governments and the European Union (EU) in solving their grievances.

How Fake ‘Heavenly Hundred’ Was Used To Legitimize Bloodbath

The so-called “Heavenly Hundred” are individuals allegedly killed by law enforcement officers during the 2013-14 Euromaidan anti-government protests. More recent data shows that among the Heavenly Hundred were people who had nothing to do with snipers – or even the protests, who died, for example, of pneumonia, heart attack, or even allergy-related complications. Euromaidan, the wave of demonstrations and civil unrest in Ukraine, began on November 21, 2013 on Maidan Nezalezhnosti (Independence Square) in Kiev over President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to prioritize accords with Russia and the Eurasian Economic Union instead of signing the European Union-Ukraine Association Agreement.

Canada, Australia, New Zealand Urge Israel Against ‘Catastrophic’ Assault

Canada, Australia, and New Zealand issued a joint statement on 15 February expressing serious concern over Israel’s planned assault on Gaza’s southern city of Rafah. "We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah. A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic," the joint statement read. “We urge the Israeli government not to go down this path. There is simply nowhere else for civilians to go,” it added. The statement comes one day after Germany and France showed their concern over the planned attack. “One point three million people are waiting there in a very small space. They don’t really have anywhere else to go right now

Greek Farmers Continue Their Protest

The protesting farmers in Greece decided to continue their agitations across the country with demands such as duty-free agricultural diesel, reduced electricity costs, and subsidies on supplies and animal feed, as negotiations with the government on February 13 yielded no results. A week-long protest, including rallies and blockades in major motorways across Greece, forced the New Democracy (ND) government to call the farmers’ groups for negotiations on Tuesday. The farmer’s unions rejected the meager concessions on electricity prices offered by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. They demanded effective measures for renegotiating the EU’s new Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), full compensation for lost income during floods, and a cessation of labeling non-Greek produce as Greek.

Josep Borrell To World Leaders: ‘Cut Off Arms To Israel’

The European Union's top foreign policy official said Monday that the Biden administration and other governments professing concern about the grisly death toll in the Gaza Strip should stop supplying so much weaponry to the Israeli military as it carries out one of the most devastating bombing campaigns in modern history. Pointing to U.S. President Joe Biden's statement late last week that Israel's war on Gaza has been "over the top," E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell said during a press conference in Brussels, "Well, if you believe that too many people are being killed, maybe you should provide less arms in order to prevent so many people being killed."

In Europe, Platform Workers Are Winning Limited Protections

As the European Parliament heads toward fresh elections in June, there’s one unresolved file on the desk of Brussels’s politicians and technocrats. The European Union (EU) Platform Work Directive, an attempt to establish a unified set of labor standards for workers on digital platforms like Uber and Deliveroo, has turned out to be a thorny issue. The EU’s various institutions have been banging heads over platform work regulation for years now, unable to bridge conflicting interests and ideologies. If passed, the Platform Work Directive would establish a whole set of new rights relating to algorithmic management.

Climate Denial Network Behind ‘Classic Astroturf’ Farmers’ Campaign

A network of climate science deniers has been accused of “hijacking” rural concerns over a new social media campaign “to save the farming industry”. ‘No Farmers, No Food’ has gained over 50,000 followers on X in the fortnight since its launch, which was framed as a response to the widespread farmers’ protests sweeping across Europe. The campaign, which started in the UK, has rapidly won support from a number of international pundits, from Canadian climate science denier Jordan Peterson, to Fox News contributor and host Tomi Lahren, who has called climate change a “hoax”. Populist politicians in the UK and elsewhere have also declared their support.

Western Officials Warn Of War-Crimes Complicity

More than 800 government officials in the United States and Europe released a letter Friday criticizing their countries’ leaders for providing unconditional military and diplomatic support to Israel as it inflicts disaster on Gaza’s population. The authors of the letter, who remain anonymous, wrote that their attempts to voice concerns internally about their governments’ support for Israel’s assault on Gaza “were overruled by political and ideological considerations.” “We are obliged to do everything in our power on behalf of our countries and ourselves to not be complicit in one of the worst human catastrophes of this century,” the letter reads.

Workers’ Party Demands Respect For Farmers Across Europe

All across Europe, farmers are making their voices heard. In Belgium too, actions and blockages have been taking place across the country. The movement, which started from the base, is supported by agricultural unions, both in the south and the north of the country. “It is not normal that farmers cannot make a living from their work, we support their mobilization,” declares PTB president Raoul Hedebouw. For the agricultural world, the cup is full and the anger is deep. The reasons for this are numerous. Production costs have increased sharply for farmers in recent years, as have prices for the consumer. However, farmers do not sell their products more expensively.

Palestinian-Led Initiative Warns European Officials Of Intention To Prosecute Over Complicity With Israel

The Justice and Accountability for Palestine Initiative has issued a stark warning to European public officials of the Austrian, French, German and Dutch governments that they could be individually liable for their role in aiding and abetting Israeli war crimes, crimes against humanity and the crime of Genocide through their involvement in providing military, economic, and political support to Israel.  Sustaining such assistance implicates European public officials in the perpetration of war crimes and crimes against humanity as well as failure to prevent the crime of genocide. This may render officials criminally liable for violating international law by ‘aiding and abetting’  Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people. 

EU Approves Law To Ban Greenwashing On Product Labels

The European Parliament has voted to adopt a law regulating sustainability claims on product labels. The law will prohibit retailers from making general environmental claims and sustainability claims without evidence. The law bans the use of terms including “eco,” “biodegradable,” “environmentally friendly,” “natural” and “climate neutral” without evidence. The EU will now require sustainability labels to be linked to official certifications or those established by public authorities, such as the the EU Ecolabel, the European Environmental Bureau reported. Further, the law addresses carbon offsetting, banning labels from noting that products have a “neutral, reduced or positive impact on the environment” because of companies’ participation in carbon offsetting programs.

Red Sea Politics: Ethiopia, Somalia, And The US/EU/NATO

The world’s eyes are now on the geostrategic Red Sea waterways where Yemen’s Ansar Allah fighters have stopped Israeli and Israel-bound ships from passing. Other regional tensions have come into play since Ethiopia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Somaliland, a secessionist state within Somalia that has claimed its independence since 1991. Given the geostrategic importance of the Red Sea, the US/EU/NATO are no doubt involved behind the scenes. I spoke to Somali Kenyan scholar Abdiwahab Sheikh Abdisamad about Red Sea politics and the MOU.

Biden Tries To Rein In Spain After Veto Of EU Entry In Anti-Yemen Taskforce

US President Joe Biden spoke with his Spanish counterpart Pedro Sanchez on 22 December to discuss bilateral relations and the “dramatic situation” in Gaza. The NATO partners “stressed the importance of ensuring the conflict does not expand in the region, to include condemning ongoing [Yemeni] attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea,” the White House readout of the call highlights. However, the official readouts do not mention Spain's role in the recently announced Operation Prosperity Guardian, as reports in Spanish media have revealed that Sanchez's office ordered Madrid's mission in Brussels to veto the participation of EU naval forces in the anti-Yemen coalition.

European Trade Unions March To Protest The EU-Imposed Austerity

On December 12, trade unionists, political parties, and other working-class sections from around 30 countries participated in a major demonstration led by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) protesting the EU-imposed austerity in the region. The march was organized against the backdrop of the summit of EU leaders in Brussels on December 14 and 15 to find a consensus over a controversial reform of the EU’s economic governance rules called the ‘Stability and Growth Pact.’ Around 15,000 people marched in Brussels behind the banner Together Against Austerity sending a clear message to leaders that there must be no return to austerity.

NATO/West Or Global Majority?

Political economists Radhika Desai and Michael Hudson discuss the fracturing international order between the NATO/West bloc and the Global Majority, analyzing Israel, Gaza, Ukraine, Russia, Argentina, and Europe.
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