FREE news: 27th May 2015

AFSJ (Migration): “Mediterranean in ‘perfect storm’ on migration” (EuObserver): “The head of the Geneva-based International Organisation for Migration has said the Mediterranean is facing “a perfect storm.” Speaking to EUobserver on Tuesday (26 May), William Lacy Swing said the EU should be more open to people fleeing persecution and conflict.“Migration, whether it is regular or irregular, migration is not a problem to be solved. It is a human reality to be managed. By that we mean having in place policies that are humane, responsible, and dignified,” said the former US ambassador.”  Read more here

AFSJ (Sexual minorities): “Gay rights caught up in EU-Russia geopolitics” (EuObserver): “The idea is that being gay isn’t patriotic. If you’re gay, then you’re a foreign agent, a Western agent, and you’re here to spread Western values,” Pavel Loparev, a Russian film-maker, told EUobserver. Nvard Margaryan, an Armenian gay rights activist, noted: “They [pro-Russia NGOs] say people will take children from ‘normal’ families and give them to gay families … They say Europe doesn’t care about people’s rights, only gay rights. They call it ‘gayeuropa’.” Protection of sexual minorities used to be a human rights issue. But Russia, in its propaganda war against the EU and the US, has made it geopolitical.” Read full article

See also: “Irish referendum stirs up same-sex marriage debate in Germany” (EurActiv): “Conservative opposition to same-sex unions in Germany is beginning to crumble after a referendum over the weekend legalised gay marriage in ultra-Catholic Ireland.” Read more here

UK in Europe: Queen to unveil EU referendum plan at parliament opening” (EurActiv): “Britain’s Queen Elizabeth will set out the government’s plans for a European Union membership referendum on Wednesday (27 May) as Prime Minister David Cameron faces pressure to explain when it will be held and what changes to the EU he wants before then.” Read more here

See also: “Franco-German eurozone blueprint rattles Cameron” (EurActiv): “Franco-German attempts to secure changes within the Eurozone without treaty changes threaten to undermine UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s EU reform efforts.” Read more here

 Elections in Denmark: Danish PM calls a general election for June 18” (Euractiv): “Denmark’s Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Wednesday (27 May) called a general election, to be held on 18 June. Recent polls suggest that the election could become a true thriller.” Read the article

“EU ministers abandon 0.7% target to uncertain future” (EurActiv): “EU foreign ministers who met Tuesday (26 May) in Brussels, to prepare for the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa next July, failed to agree on binding dates to reach the spending target of 0.7% of their GNI on aid.” Read the article

“Address by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and debate on G7” (European Parliament news): “UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will deliver a formal address to Parliament at 15.15 today. He is expected to address the recent refugee tragedies in the Mediterranean and to support the EU Agenda on Migration.” Read full article

Foreign affairs: “Still much to be done, CAR president tells foreign affairs committee” (European Parliament news): “The Central African Republic is doing much better. There is a clear improvement even if it is still very fragile,” CAR’s interim president, Catherine Samba-Panza, told foreign affairs MEPs on Tuesday. CAR still needs the EU’s “multi-dimensional aid”, she stressed, calling on member states to redouble their efforts to help the CAR meet its electoral, budgetary and security challenges.” Read more here

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