Europe

The growing evidence that agroecology could and should replace intensive farming

International

The post-war development in Europe of productivity-driven intensive farming, with its environmentally harmful use of synthetic pesticides, vast fields of monoculture, and industrial animal-rearing, could be feasibly replaced by large-scale organic farming, capable of feeding the continent’s populations under an agricultural umbrella system called agroecology. That is the conclusion of a large and growing body of international scientific research, and the subject of several recent studies published in France. Amélie Poinssot examines the evidence.

Why SPD election victory in Germany is no new dawn for Europe’s social democrats

International— Analysis

Germany’s social democrat SPD party came first in the country’s parliamentary elections on September 26th, garnering just more than a quarter of votes cast. It places the centre-left party in prime position to form a new coalition government, which would see Olaf Scholz, the party’s candidate for chancellor, succeed the outgoing Angela Merkel. But, writes Fabien Escalona in this analysis of the wider implications of the election, the knife-edge victory of the once moribund SPD is very much a relative one, and is far from auguring a resurgence of the social democrat movement in Europe, despite similarly fragile recent wins in Nordic countries.

Hundreds arrested after French police crack criminals' chat network

International— Link

Police forces across Europe have carried out hundreds of arrests, seizing cash, drugs and weapons after listening in on an encrypted communications network used by criminal gangs which was cracked by French police in 2017.  

The rising threat of Europe’s ultra-right as it eyes military and police

International

The suspect arrested for the deadly attacks last Wednesday on a synagogue and Turkish restaurant in the German city of Halle has said his acts were driven by far-right ideology and a hatred of Jews. The shooting and bombing rampage followed a series of attacks around Europe by ultra-right groups, prompting the EU police agency Europol, in a recent confidential report, to urge increased cooperation to contain the problem. But Europol also gave a chilling warning that the extremists “are attempting to win over members from the military and security services” in order to build “combat skills”.

France vows to bar Facebook digital currency Libra in Europe

International— Link

French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire has said France will seek to prevent Facebook's digital currency Libra from rolling out in Europe, arguing that it represents 'risks of abuse of dominant position, risks to sovereignty and risks for consumers and for companies'.

France braced for week-long heatwave starting Monday

France— Link

A heatwave unusually intense for June is due to hit France next week, when temperatures across most of the country are forecast to reach up to 40° Celsius for several days, and when emergency services are to be placed on high alert.

EU must learn from Brexit and reform, says President Macron

France— Link

The French president has set out wide-ranging plans to overhaul the EU in response to UK’s vote to leave.

How a French radio station kept hidden files on listeners

France— Investigation

For nearly 20 years the privately-owned French radio station Europe 1 kept files and stored information on more than half a million listeners, sometimes with their details accompanied by insulting comments. This was detailed in a 2017 report by the French data watchdog the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) which has remained confidential but which has been seen by Mediapart. As a result of the report the radio station was given an official warning but the matter was never referred to the prosecution authorities, nor did Europe 1 have to pay a fine. Lou Syrah reports.

Macron hails German coalition vote as 'good news for Europe'

International— Link

French president congratulated Chancellor Angela Merkel and acting SPD leader Olaf Scholz after Social Democrats voted for new coalition.

The threat from Islamic State's 'fifth column' in Europe

France— Investigation

Jihadi veterans have been seeking to cause disarray among European intelligence agencies with hoax attacks that distract from real ones and attempts to infiltrate public agencies and companies. As a result security official are having huge difficulties in trying to measure the true scale of the terrorist threat that faces us. In the last of this lengthy series of investigations on Islamic State's intelligence operations, Matthieu Suc reports on the dangers still posed by jihadist agents operating within Europe despite Islamic State's major reverses in Iraq and Syria.

France hosts meeting to agree renewed push on migrant crisis

France— Link

Hosting the leaders of Germany, Italy, Spain, Chad, Niger and Libya in Paris, President Macron said it was time for greater coordination.

Migrants held 'secretly and illegally' in prefab huts in France

France

Migrant rights groups are taking legal action after discovering that migrants  are being secretly detained overnight in prefabricated huts in the French town of Menton on the border with Italy. The groups say the the French authorities' treatment of the refugees, many of whom are from Sudan and Eritrea and who include some children, is illegal. Carine Fouteau reports.

Marine Le Pen praises Brexit and Trump as heralding new 'order'

International— Link

The far-right Front National party leader, who is standing as candidate in this spring's presidential elections in France, met in Germany with far-right leaders from across Europe, claiming that Brexit would “set the dominos falling" across the continent.

French PM warns about risk of Europe 'falling apart'

International— Link

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, attending an aceonomic forum in Berlin on Thursday, said a far-right victory was possible in France's presidential elections next year and that 'Europe is in danger of falling apart', and called for strong leadership from France and Germany.

Le Pen vows to hold referendum on EU if elected

France— Link

The far-right National Front party leader, Marine Le Pen, made pledge to give French people the chance to vote on EU membership.