Welcome to the Black & Asian News, European Edition!
Several news stories surprised me this week. Did you know that the Académie Française (the French language guardian) has threatened legal action against the French government for including English translations of information fields on national identity cards?
It has also been reported that efforts are made by the EU to draw up a list of anti-racist actions and recommendations; the EU Observer’s article “Faux woke wars must not derail EU anti-racism plans” is insightful and worth reading. Similarly, the EU Reporter says that MEPs want to fight against structural racism in “culture, education, media and sport” and want member states to agree on the ‘Anti-discrimination‘ directive that has been blocked in the Council since 2008.
A press release by People’s Vaccines revealed that the EU is set to bin 25 million more vaccine doses than it has donated to Africa this year.
If you have missed the UK Edition, you can find it below in the United Kingdom section.
Keep Well and Stay Safe,
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GENERAL EUROPEAN NEWS
Africa-EU summit: Neo-colonialism or justice?, Euractiv, 17 February 2022
“To fix the climate crisis, Europe needs to look beyond its borders and recognise the neocolonialist, historical and oppressive systems that continue to contribute to environmental damage and human rights abuses…”
Long-term refugee targets ‘would help west regain moral purpose’, The Guardian, 15 February 2022
“Under former Tory MP Rory Stewart’s plans, countries would take in an agreed number of refugees annually”
Faux woke wars must not derail EU anti-racism plans, EUObserver, 15 February 2022
“Their efforts to draw up a list of anti-racist actions and recommendations that EU home affairs ministers can sign off on 3-4 March are commendable…This means a balanced agenda which covers anti-Semitism as well as Islamophobia, anti-gypsyism, Afrophobia, anti-Asian discrimination and also focuses on the rights of Europe’s indigenous people. It means appointing a new anti-Muslim coordinator who can work side by side with colleagues working on anti-Semitism and anti-racism. It also means acknowledging and eliminating structural and institutional forms of racism and collecting equality data on the basis of race and ethnicity.”
Culture, education, media and sport must fight structural racism, say MEPs, EU Reporter, 15 February 2022
“In a resolution adopted by 21 votes in favour, three against and four abstentions, MEPs call on EU countries to take measures to address the structural roots of racism and discrimination in the EU. They also call on the member states to agree on the ‘Anti-discrimination‘ directive that has been blocked in the Council since 2008.”
EU set to bin 25 million more vaccine doses than it has donated to Africa this year, People’s Vaccines, 16 February 2022
“Europe has betrayed Africa by blocking proposals which would allow manufacturers on the continent to make their own COVID-19 vaccines while hoarding millions of doses which are set to expire at the end of the month…It is estimated that a quarter of a million people have died as a result of COVID-19 in Africa since the beginning of the year, almost 7,000 people a day. Due to very low vaccine supplies, just 11 per cent of people on the continent have received their first two COVID vaccines to date. The number of people who have had a booster jab in the EU outnumber those in Africa who have had two doses by more than a third.”
EU lawmakers propose ban on golden passports for investors, Post Online Media, 16 February 2022
“Noting the difference in the severity of the risks posed by ‘residence by investment’ schemes – that give foreigners residence rights in exchange for a financial contribution – the draft report asks for common EU rules to harmonise standards and strengthen the fight against money laundering, corruption, and tax evasion…At least 130,000 persons have taken advantage of CBI and RBI schemes in the EU between 2011 and 2019, which have generated over €21.8 billion in revenue for the countries concerned.”
Belgium to give workers right to request four-day week, The Guardian, 15 February 2022
“De Croo said his administration needed to encourage more people into work, with only 71.4% of people aged 20 to 64 in a job – 10percentage points lower than in the Netherlands and Germany… Deliveroo couriers or Uber drivers will also be granted employee rights more quickly under a new approach to self-employment based in part on European Commission guidance on so-called platform or gig work.”
Académie Française denounces rise of English words in public life, The Guardian, 16 February 2022
“The French language guardian warns an explosion in the use of anglicisms by organisations risks social division…The Académie Française has become more assertive under permanent secretary, Hélène Carrère d’Encausse, about its mission to protect French. In January, it threatened legal action against the government for including English translations of information fields on national identity cards.”
French reporter infiltrates campaign of far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour, The Guardian, 17 February 2022
“A reporter who infiltrated Éric Zemmour’s presidential election team has claimed he witnessed a culture of casual racism and a covert online campaign involving a “shadow Facebook army” and repeated rewrites of the far-right polemicist’s Wikipedia page, the most viewed in France.”
In France, a Racist Conspiracy Theory Edges Into the Mainstream, New York Times, 15 February 2022
“Valérie Pécresse, the center-right presidential candidate, used the phrase ‘great replacement’ in a speech punctuated with coded attacks on immigrants and Muslims…“By using the ‘great replacement,’ she gave it legitimacy and put the ideas of the extreme right at the heart of the debate of the presidential race,” said Philippe Corcuff, an expert on the far right who teaches at the Institute of Political Studies in Lyon. “When she talks of ‘French of papers,’ she’s saying that distinctions will be made between French people according to ethnic criteria…Ms. Le Pen had expressly rejected the slogan, criticizing it as a conspiracy theory.”
French far-right contender Zemmour: Trump told me to stay true to myself, Swissinfo, 15 February 2022
“Zemmour, 63, has said France needs saving from a downward spiral he blames largely on what he describes as unfettered immigration and the increasing influence of Islam on French society. He holds several convictions for inciting racial hate. Zemmour said he told Trump that both their countries faced a “battle of civilisation”…Opinion polls show Zemmour closing the gap on Conservative challenger Valerie Pecresse and Marine Le Pen, leader of the traditional far-right Rassemblement National party, for a place in April’s run-off vote.”
Anti-racists mobilise in France before presidential election, Socialist Worker, 15 February 2022
“At the Saulieu protest hundreds of anti-racists mobilised against a meeting featuring the far right Islamophobe Eric Zemmour—a presidential candidate. Police using tear gas attacked protesters. “He’s holding his meeting, but we’re holding our meeting too. He has billionaire financing.”
German far-right ‘NSU 2.0 trial’ starts in Frankfurt, Deutsche Welle, 16 February 2022
“A 54-year-old man is facing trial for sending dozens of death threats to prominent politicians and lawyers. But some believe the investigation should be much wider — and should examine police circles…There were references to racist conspiracy theories about the supposed “genocide” and “replacement” of the German population, and predictions of a “Day X” — a term often used by the German far-right to refer to a “day of reckoning” when violent conflict will supposedly break out in the country. The letters were often signed “Heil Hitler”…”
Worker shortage jeopardises Spain’s EU-funded recovery plan, Reuters, 17 February 2022
“As elsewhere around the continent, Spain is short of at least half a million building workers, according to unions and companies. Firms are training new staff round the clock, paying better, and leaning on migrants from Africa and Latin America…Spain is second only to Greece for unemployment in Europe, with nearly one in three young people out of work. A survey of those aged 15-29 in work last year found that 11% were working on building sites.”
State funding for Switzerland’s private media flops at ballot box, Swissinfo, 13 February 2022
“Voters have rejected a decision by parliament to increase public funding for Swiss media, primarily for print and online products.”
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