European Union

The tragic death of Zahra, a Moroccan migrant worker who came to pick strawberries in Spain

International — Report

On May 1st a bus overturned in the Huelva province of southern Spain. On board were Moroccan agricultural workers on their way to pick strawberries at one of the huge farms in the region. One of the workers, a woman with five young children, lost her life. Mediapart went to meet some of the crash survivors, who condemned the appalling working conditions they have to endure. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

France threatens to ban Twitter if it doesn’t follow EU rules

France — Link

Digital minister Jean-Noël Barrot  said that the US company would be banned from the EU if it refused to follow the incoming European Digital Services Act, which goes into effect throughout the EU at the end of August.

Retired French lieutenant general slams Europe’s ‘tragic’ military capacity

Défense et diplomatie — Interview

The war in Ukraine has both demonstrated and heightened the dependence of European countries on US military support, while also creating divisions in their defence strategies, notably between Germany and France. In this interview with Justine Brabant, retired French army lieutenant general Jean-Paul Perruche, who served at a senior level in NATO and as director general of the European Union military staff, offers his analysis of the challenges now facing Europe. He argues why it must build a structure to allow for common military autonomy with pragmatic plans to deal with future threats. “It’s really quite pitiful that we are incapable of doing anything, whereas we have four times the budget of the Russians,” he says. “It’s tragic.”

Fellow EU nations step in to help France combat wildfires

France — Link

Seven European Nations are sending help to south-west France where forest fires are raging. 

Macron backs Ukraine’s bid to join EU during trip to Kyiv

France — Link

French president joined Scholz and Draghi in trip to Ukrainian capital. 

France takes over EU presidency as national election looms

France — Link

President Emmanuel Macron has announced an ambitious agenda for the 27-member bloc that could also serve his domestic campaign for re-election.

Recovery, power, belonging: Macron's plan for France's EU presidency

France — Link

France’s aim is "to move towards a Europe that is powerful in the world, fully sovereign, free in its choices and in charge of its own destiny", Macron said. 

France kicks off Europe's vaccine donations to poorer states

France — Link

The French donation of an initial 100,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID vaccine this month, announced on Wednesday, is a boost for the international COVAX scheme.

‘The end of naivety’: Macron backs EU vaccine export curbs

France — Link

French president said the EU had been late in ramping up vaccine production and jabs, but was catching up and would become the world’s biggest producer of vaccines this summer.

Macron admits EU leaders didn't believe jabs would be ready so soon

France — Link

French president says Europe's sluggish rollout of vaccines againt Covid 'should be a lesson for all of us'.

France to close its borders to arrivals from outside EU

France — Link

Prime minister Jean Castex also said France will close all large shopping centres, in bid to prevent need for a third lockdown.

EU-Mercosur free trade deal under fire, but how hot might it get?

International — Interview

The French government has announced it will not sign “as it stands” a proposed free trade deal between the European Union (EU) and the Mercosur economic bloc of South American countries Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay, citing environmental concerns and notably the deforestation of swathes of the Amazon region for cattle farms. But while EU member countries appear increasingly divided over the terms of the trade agreement, French economist Mathilde Dupré, co-founder of the Paris-based Veblen Institute think tank on economic issues surrounding ecological transition, tells Mediapart why what she calls a “climaticidal” deal may yet go ahead.

France offers EU mediation in Belarus 'including Russia'

International — Link

Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also discussed growing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean and the coup in Mali, during talks at the French president's retreat in the south of France.

Macron and Merkel meet to chart Europe’s course

France — Link

Lebanon, anti-government protests in Belarus, the COVID-19 crisis, Mali’s coup d’état, and tensions between Greece and Turkey will also be discussed, according to a French official.

EU's free trade dogma remains immune to Covid-19 pandemic

International — Analysis

Trade officials working for the European Commission may be having to work from home because of the coronavirus pandemic but they are still busy negotiating free trade deals with countries around the world on behalf of the European Union. As Mediapart's Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports, these officials are behaving as if the Covid-19 outbreak has not had a dramatic effect on everything – including the way people regard world trade and globalisation.