SUBSCRIBER EXCLUSIVE LETTER – The European press review, by Édouard de Mareschal.
It has been a busy week on the European front, between the virtual summit of heads of state and the continuation of the vaccination race. I suggest you come back to the most notable information.
- The Twenty-Seven closed a virtual European Council on Friday where it was obviously a question of the pandemic, but also of the difficult strengthening of European strategic autonomy. EU member countries facing Russia fear the weakening of NATO, which Emmanuel Macron once again called for reform in an interview with the Financial Times last week. «A strong partnership requires strong partners», Declared for his part the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, welcoming the Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. But the maxim applies equally to Europe; in terms of defense, several concrete projects such as the scaf (air combat system of the future) and the MGCS (main land combat system) are promising. But they skate for lack of agreement within the famous Franco-German couple.
- On the vaccine front, Charles Michel promised more “difficult” weeks, even if Pfizer and AstraZeneca now seem able to absorb their delivery delays by the end of March. Ursula von der Leyen was optimistic about the stated goal of vaccinating 70% of the adult population by the end of the summer.
- There is still the question of setting up a “health passport” at European level. This cannot be solely linked to vaccination as long as it has not been opened to the youngest, insists Emmanuel Macron. But Greece, Spain and Italy are pressing for a quick solution allowing the reopening of the borders. They don’t want a new white tourist season.
- France will provide Prague with 100,000 doses of Pfizer / BioNTech vaccine by mid-March. The announcement was made Thursday by Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis, as the country has so far registered only 600,000 injections for 10.7 million inhabitants. However, he did not say whether the supply of these vaccines was a donation (like the 5,000 Moderna doses provided by Israel), or whether it was subject to a counterpart.
- Hungary, for its part, is turning to China and Russia: faced with the European Union’s supply problems, Budapest is the only government to free itself from the rule enacted by Brussels to form a common front in orders. vaccines. But the Sputnik V and Sinopharm vaccines are shunned by many Hungarians, according to polls cited by AFP. They prefer those of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca, validated by the European Medicines Agency.
- Hungary also risks a conviction by the Court of Justice of the European Union on the issue of migrants. On Thursday, the Court’s Advocate General ruled against European law the 2018 law prohibiting NGOs from helping migrants who do not meet national admission criteria. After the adoption of this text, the Open Society of George Soros had left the country denouncing “an increasingly repressive political and legal environment“. The Court of Justice has yet to deliver its decision, which is not required to comply with the opinion of the Advocate General.
Let’s continue this new European press review with a fascinating article by The world on the impossibility of carrying out a real policy of return of rejected asylum seekers when the countries of departure refuse to play the game.
The unsuccessful president
Adama Barrow has his revenge. At 56, he is probably the most successful asylum claimant, writes The world. Now president of The Gambia, the smallest country on the African continent and one of the poorest in the world, Adama Barrow knows eviction procedures better than any German politician. He had applied for asylum in Germany in 1988, without success.
Since then, his country has systematically torpedoed Berlin’s attempts to repatriate rejected asylum seekers. On January 27, the plane
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