British MEP guiding airline security bill through European Parliament

March 24, 2016 10:33 AM
By Peter Morris, European Movement

If another example of the failure of European intelligence services to share and act on information about potential terrorists was needed, Wednesday's identification of the bombers in the deadly Brussels attacks the day before certainly provides it, says the New York Times:http://www.nytimes.com/…/as-terrorists-cross-borders-europe…

Europe needs "a security union" to effectively face the threat of terrorism, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday, reports Politico: http://www.politico.eu/…/jean-claude-juncker-eu-needs-a-se…/

Tuesday's deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels could help pull the fraying European Union closer together. At least that's the idea behind an Italian proposal for closer European security cooperation, says USA today:http://www.usatoday.com/…/italy-pushes-closer-eur…/82156314/

Timothy Kirkhope, the British MEP shepherding the controversial passenger name records (PNR) bill through the European Parliament, has named security as one of the main reasons for the UK to remain in the EU, reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/…/flight-data-deal-is-a-reason-for…/

White House hopeful Hillary Clinton on Wednesday (23 March) called on Europe to take more decisive steps to combat terrorism, including improving border controls and intelligence cooperation, reports EurActiv:http://www.euractiv.com/…/clinton-europe-must-do-more-to-s…/

Though many feared an attack like the one on Brussels Tuesday, Europeans increasingly feel they can cope - and that a sense of solidarity, rather than harsh reaction, should govern their response to terror, says the Christian Science Monitor: http://www.csmonitor.com/…/Belgium-bombings-Europeans-show-…

The Brussels terror attacks prompted Poland to rethink its already unenthusiastic position on accepting asylum seekers and stop resettlements, reports Politico. "I say very clearly that I see no possibility at this time of immigrants coming to Poland," Prime Minister Beata Szydło said on Wednesday: http://www.politico.eu/…/poland-slams-door-on-refugees-bea…/

Turkey forcibly returned some 30 asylum seekers to Afghanistan just hours after a migration deal with the EU came into force, Amnesty International says. The rights group urged the EU not to return migrants to Turkey, saying the idea that it was a "safe country" was a "sham". EUobserver reports: https://euobserver.com/tickers/132797

With thanks to Peter Morris, European Movement in the North East

EUobserver also reports that Hungary subjected asylum seekers and torture victims to "degrading treatment", rights groups have said:https://euobserver.com/tickers/132796

The EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini met with Syria's regime and opposition yesterday (23 March) to underscore the urgency of a political solution in the country, especially in the wake of the Brussels attacks, Euractiv reports: http://www.euractiv.com/…/mogherini-demands-progress-at-sy…/

International aid organisation Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said yesterday (23 March) it had suspended activities at a refugee centre on the Greek island of Lesbos to avoid being complicit in an "unfair and inhumane" EU deal to send newcomers back to Turkey, reports Euractiv:http://www.euractiv.com/…/msf-pulls-out-of-lesbos-hotspot-…/

EurActiv also reports that NGOs helping the Greek government cope with the refugee crisis have decided to cease operations for practical reasons, as well as in opposition to the "inhumane" EU-Turkey deal. EurActiv Greece reports: http://www.euractiv.com/…/ngos-abandon-greece-oppose-eu-tu…/

EUobserver reports that an increasing number of aid agencies in Greece are partially suspending operations in protest at the conditions of detained and stranded migrants seeking asylum:https://euobserver.com/migration/132798 EUobserver also reports that the International Rescue Committee, a US charity, has joined the UN and MSF in boycotting refugee facilities in Greece:https://euobserver.com/tickers/132788

The Council of Europe has published a series of guidelines on preventing and combatting hate speech. EurActiv Italy reports.:http://www.euractiv.com/…/hate-speech-targeted-by-council-…/

The lack of EU-wide action against organised crime and corruption costs the EU at least €71 billion each year, according to a study published by the European Parliament, reports EUobserver:https://euobserver.com/justice/132784

Britain's membership of the European Union helps secure the country's energy supply from any possible threat by Vladimir Putin's Russia to restrict gas flows, energy minister Amber Rudd will say today (24 March), according to EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/…/minister-uk-in-eu-diminishes-ris…/

The French-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has broken a taboo by inviting a National Front politician to be a guest speaker at an event in Moscow. Bernard Monot, a French National Front (NF) MEP, has been invited to give a speech today (23 March) at the French-Russian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCIFR) in Moscow, on the subject of economic patriotism. EurActiv France reports: http://www.euractiv.com/…/national-front-mep-to-speak-on-e…/

European regulators are considering how to tailor new rules on anything from capital buffers to trading and remuneration to smaller financial groups. The issue of "proportionality," as the initiated call it, is on the radar of both the European Banking Authority and the Commission, Politico Morning Exchange understands: https://dub111.mail.live.com/…

Firms dealing in commodities will not have to comply with tough capital rules designed for banks until December 31, 2020, the European Council agreed on Wednesday, reports Politico Morning Exchange. Without the extension, commodity firms would be forced to increase their capital buffers at the end of 2017. But the European Parliament has to approve the Council decision: https://dub111.mail.live.com/…

The European Union has not stopped trying to convince the United States that financial regulations should be covered under the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a senior European Commission official told POLITICO today. The statement was in response to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew's testimony at a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Tuesday, where he said the EU recognizes the U.S. does not want to cooperate on financial regulations under the trade deal:https://dub111.mail.live.com/…