Europe signs off on a new privacy pact that allows people's data to keep flowing to US
The European Union has signed off on a new agreement over the privacy of people’s personal information that gets pinged across the Atlantic, aiming to ease concerns about electronic spying by American intelligence agencies.
EU takes Poland to court over judicial independence concerns
FILE - In this file photo taken on Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 a woman walks by the entrance to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. The European Union is referring Poland to Europes top court over long-standing concerns about respect for the rule of law and the independence of the countrys Supreme Court judges. (Geert Vanden Wijngaert, File)BRUSSELS – The European Union is referring Poland to Europe's top court over long-standing concerns about respect for the rule of law and the independence of the country's Supreme Court judges, EU officials said Wednesday. “It's a crucial step in the infraction procedure," EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders said of the court referral. Tuleya, who was critical of the changes to the justice system, has become the symbol of the struggle for judicial independence in Poland.
EU tightens vaccine export rules, creates post-Brexit outcry
Under the post-Brexit deal, EU products should still be able to travel unhindered from the bloc to Northern Ireland. The “vaccine export transparency mechanism″ will be used at least until the end of March to control shipments to non-EU countries. The “advanced purchasing agreement” with the EU was signed in August, before the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine had been properly tested. The European Medicines Agency approved the vaccine on Friday, making it the third authorized for use by EU nations. The U.K. is thought to be paying far more for the vaccine than EU countries.
EU proposes more travel restrictions to stop virus variants
(AP Photo/Bob Edme, File)BRUSSELS – The European Union's executive body proposed Monday that the bloc's 27 nations impose more travel restrictions to counter the worrying spread of new coronavirus variants but make sure to keep goods and workers moving across EU borders. More than 400,000 EU citizens have already died from the virus since the pandemic first hit Europe last year. “The start of the EU vaccination campaign kicked off the beginning of the end of the pandemic," EU Justice commissioner Didier Reynders said. “At the same time, new, more transmissible variants of the virus have surfaced. Since the discovery of the new virus variants, several EU countries have already reinforced their lockdown measures.
France relaxes its ban on trucks entering from Britain
Quick tests will be accepted if they are able to detect the new virus variant, Djebbari said. The problem, he explained, is that the empty trucks sitting in England can’t reach the continent to pick up deliveries for Britain. The virus is blamed for 1.7 million deaths worldwide, including more than 68,000 in Britain, the second-highest death toll in Europe, behind Italy’s 69,000. Switzerland was one of the 40-odd countries to ban flights from Britain over the new variant. ___Angela Charlton in Paris, Jo Kearney in Dover, England, Lorne Cook in Brussels and Frank Jordans in Berlin contributed to this report.