The Polish editorial office ‘Belsat TV’, based in Minsk, Belarus, was systematically raided by the Belarussian police on the 21st of May 2021. Belsat TV was the last standing independent platform in Belarus under the rule of President Alexander Lukashenko. This was due to the approximately 500 arrests of journalists and media professionals since August … Continue reading The situation in Belarus
On July 15th, 2021, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) reaffirmed the prohibition of wearing any visible form of expression of political, philosophical or religious beliefs in the workplace, thus supporting employers who restrict women from wearing Hijabs and other religious attires to their workplace, with the aim of maintaining a neutral … Continue reading The ban on Hijabs
Close to the end of June 2021, Hungary passed a law, imposing a ban on any LGBTIQ+ references for minors, which law led to several controversies in the EU. This implies that homosexual individuals are banned from appearing in educational matters or TV programmes in instances aimed for individuals under 18 years of age. This … Continue reading What actions can the EU take on Hungary’s situation?
Neil Agius, a 35 year old ex-Olympian broke the world record for the Longest Ocean Swim. This world record was previously held by the British Chloe McCardel with a distance of 124.4km. Neil Agius completed the 125.6km swim in 52 hours, which started from Linosa and ended in Gozo. The original route was from Tunisia … Continue reading Neil Agius breaks the world record!
The 24th of June 2021 marked another milestone for human rights. The European Parliament took a vote on a resolution that declares safe access to abortion as a human right. The resolution was passed with 378 votes in favour and 225 votes against. This resolution was proposed as a confrontation towards Member States that limit … Continue reading Abortion: A Human Right?
The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is known for being a global anti-money laundering watchdog, responsible for setting international standards to prevent illegal financial activities. After the vote taken yesterday among the FATF Task Force, the results showed a resounding agreement to list Malta on the Grey List of untrustworthy jurisdictions. The FATF updates two … Continue reading Malta Grey listed
The DB Group put forth a proposal to the Maltese Planning Authority consisting of a 31-storey tower and a 17-storey hotel located close to St George’s Bay in St Julians. Back in 2019, the approval of this project was halted by the Maltese Court as it was identified that one of the Planning Authority’s board … Continue reading The approval of DB Tower
As another term came to an end, on Monday 17th May 2021, ESO held its Annual General Meeting virtually on Zoom. AGM confirmed the President, Vice President, Secretary General, Public Relations Officer, Events Officer and International Office of the new executive team for the term 2021/2022. Furthermore, elections for Financial Officer, Media Officer, Social Policy … Continue reading Stqarrija: ESO AGM 2021
On Tuesday, the European Commission accepted the agreement which was concluded by the European Parliament and the Council on the revised rules of the Blue Card Directive. Amendments included more flexible admission conditions, enhanced rights and the possibility to move and work more easily between EU Member States. As stated by Ylva Johansson, the Commissioner … Continue reading A political agreement on new rules for EU Blue Card
On Thursday morning, it was announced that the European Parliament passed a motion in favour of a Commission proposal for the Digital Green Certificate, now renamed the EU COVID-19 Certificate. 540 MEPs voted in favour of the proposal, while 119 voted against, and a further 31 abstained from the vote. This digital certificate aims to … Continue reading European Parliament Approves EU COVID-19 Certificate for Travel
Last week, the President of Russia Vladimir Putin signed a handful of anti-LGBTIQ constitutional amendments. These include a ban on same-sex marriages because now according to the Russian constitution, marriage can only exist between a man and a woman. Another amendment prohibits transgender members of the LGBTIQ community from adopting children. These amendments were supported … Continue reading Russia bans Same-Sex Marriage and Transgender Adoption
Earlier today, the European Parliament passed a motion declaring the entirety of the EU's territory as an 'LGBTIQ Freedom Zone' with 72% of the Parliament voting in favour. This was part of a resolution created by the LGBTI parliamentary group, of which Maltese MEP Cyprus Engerer was a primary negotiator. In a speech made in … Continue reading EU is declared an LGBTIQ Freedom Zone
Last week on the 23rd of February 2021, Maltese MEP and first vice-President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola, will be in charge of leading an investigation regarding charges of corruption levelled against the European Union's border agency, Frontex. https://twitter.com/RobertaMetsola/status/1364127428520607746?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1364127428520607746%7Ctwgr%5E%7Ctwcon%5Es1_c10&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Ftimesofmalta.com%2Farticles%2Fview%2Froberta-metsola-to-lead-mep-investigation-of-frontex-abuse-claims.853565 Frontex is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. It is a critical component of … Continue reading European Parliament Vice-President Roberta Metsola to investigate Frontex violation
ESO is extremely grateful to Ms. Roberta Zahra, Assistant Director Consular Services and Maltese Living Abroad, for providing valuable information contributing to the writing of this article. 1. How can the Foreign Affairs Ministry help students while abroad? 1.1 In case of theft or loss of money and official documentation: The family of the student … Continue reading Students who Travel to Study
Earlier today, the European Medicines Agency gave the go-ahead for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to adults over the age of 18, as it was deemed effective and safe enough. The European Commission is set to formally give its approval for a conditional market authorization later today. This makes the Oxford vaccine the third … Continue reading Third COVID-19 Vaccine Approved by EMA
Last Thursday, the European Parliament approved the Maltese MEP Alex Agius Saliba’s resolution of the ‘Right of Disconnect’. A total of 472 MEPs from 681 voted in favour of this proposal. https://twitter.com/TheProgressives/status/1352278709756194817?s=20 The Right to Disconnect refers to legal provisions allowing workers to not answer work-related emails or phone calls during their free time. This … Continue reading MEP Alex Agius Saliba’s proposal ‘Right to Disconnect’ approved by the European Parliament
Today, Joe Biden was officially inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States of America. Alongside him, Kamala Harris was also sworn in as America's first female, African American and South Asian Vice-President. Biden vowed to assemble national unity to lead America through one of the most critical chapters in its history. https://twitter.com/eucopresident/status/1351935935945060352 The … Continue reading Joe Biden Sworn In as the 46th President of the USA
On 21st December 2020, many Europeans woke up to the news that many features in Messenger and Instagram apps have been removed due to the new privacy rules in the European Union (EU). Messaging apps will comprise EU rules known as the ‘ePrivacy Directive’. In respond to this Facebook had to deactivate several features. A … Continue reading New EU Privacy Regulations’ effect on Social Media
In collaboration with the Malta Medical Students' Association (MMSA) Trust is at the centre of a doctor-patient relationship: trust in the practitioner’s capabilitiesbut also trusting that the patient will follow the famed ‘doctor’s orders’. In a world reelingdue to a destructive pandemic which has lead to healthcare workers taking on a heroicimage, surely the level … Continue reading The European Union’s impact on a trusted healthcare system
Earlier today, the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte presented his resignation to King Willem-Alexander van Oranje, along with that of his entire cabinet. This came after a report exposed his government's failure to defend over 20,000 families from overeager tax inspectors. https://twitter.com/DarrenEuronews/status/1350063454908985347 The tax office in the Netherlands had accused thousands of families of fraud … Continue reading The Netherlands’ PM Rutte Resigns with Cabinet over Child Benefits Scandal
On Wednesday 6th January 2021, the European Medicines Agency, EMA recommended Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine for conditional market authorisation. https://twitter.com/EMA_News/status/1346793570334867457 This was done following an extraordinary meeting, which at first was scheduled on the 12th of January, but due to the pressure done by the EU member states, the agency met on Wednesday 6th January. Later … Continue reading Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Authorised by EMA
On December 30th 2020, EU leaders Ursula von der Leyen and Charles Michel signed the Brexit trade deal and soon after Boris Johnson also put his name to the documents after the UK Parliament approved this deal in the context of a looming deadline. https://twitter.com/vonderleyen/status/1344205436384374785 As agreed, the UK left the EU single market and … Continue reading What are the new changes for Malta and the EU post-Brexit?