All posts tagged: Alexander De Croo

Brussels mayor gives Europe’s hard-right a free hit before EU election – POLITICO

Brussels mayor gives Europe’s hard-right a free hit before EU election – POLITICO

[ad_1] Israel’s Minister of Diaspora Affairs Amichai Chikli, from the hard-right governing Likud party, compared what he described as the tyrannical woke agenda as another kind of totalitarianism, sitting alongside jihadist terror. “They are hiding behind so-called liberal values but the nature of this movement is anti-liberal,” he told POLITICO.  Captive audience Over two days, the conference buzzed with phrases such as “nihilistic atheism,” the “globalist socialist agenda,” “gender ideology,” “Bolshewokeism,” and “activist judges in Strasbourg,” which flew from the stage around the cramped space. Farage, closely tailed by a security detail, raged against the U.K.’s new smoking ban, performed a few Donald Trump impressions, and on Wednesday stood in the wings chuckling along admiringly as Orbán explained why Central Europe is historically suspicious of supranational political structures.  “Mr. Orbán got a new subject for his campaign: Freedom. The city here was very stupid,” Attila K. Molnar, the director of the National University of Public Service in Budapest, said. On social media, Farage also blasted the mayor on Wednesday afternoon.  [ad_2] Source link

Cancel culture comes to Brussels – POLITICO

Cancel culture comes to Brussels – POLITICO

[ad_1] In other words, the mayor shamelessly boasted that a meeting attended by elected MEPs, prime ministers and leading officials who held “the wrong views” could be casually cancelled. However, we did find a third venue — the Claridge Event Hall — and managed to get our conference off the ground. But wait for it! This time, a third mayor, Emir Kir of Saint-Josse-Ten-Noode, issued an order to shut us down. The police were sent to the venue armed with a court order, threatening everyone in attendance with dire consequences. Suddenly, as police entered the premises, it felt as if we were in an Orwellian nightmare. They only left because news cameras were rolling, and it was evident to anyone watching that the conference was a civilized and serious intellectual event. Thankfully, the owner of the Claridge took free speech seriously and told the mayor, despite all the threats, that the conference would go ahead. However, we did find a third venue — the Claridge Event Hall — and managed to get our conference off …

‘Bad’ EU nature law needs to ‘go back to the drawing board,’ Belgian PM says – POLITICO

‘Bad’ EU nature law needs to ‘go back to the drawing board,’ Belgian PM says – POLITICO

[ad_1] But in an interview with De Zondag, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said the bill “may sound good, but it is a bad law.”  He added: “I am not against a law that protects our nature, on the contrary. I am against bad legislation. … This needs to go back to the drawing board. Let us find out carefully in the next legislature how we should approach this.” Alain Maron, the environment minister of the Brussels region, said De Croo’s comments were “unworthy of a President of the Council.”  Pointing out that the European Parliament and EU governments had reached an agreement on the law last year, Maron added: “The [law] deserves determination, not weakness.”  Maron, a Green politician, presided over last week’s environment ministers’ meeting where the bill was meant to be adopted. The Belgian presidency postponed the vote after it became clear that the law did not have the required majority.  Belgium was already planning to abstain in any vote on the law, as there was no consensus among its regional …

MEPs call for ‘urgent’ debate into Russian influence scandal – POLITICO

MEPs call for ‘urgent’ debate into Russian influence scandal – POLITICO

[ad_1] This debate should take place at the next plenary session, on April 10 in Brussels. “If sitting MEPs or candidates in the upcoming European elections have taken money from or been corrupted by the Russian Government or their proxies, they must be exposed,” Hayer wrote in the letter. Dutch Green EU lawmaker Bas Eickhout also called for an investigation into candidates standing for the European election. “The European elections are in 10 weeks’ time. We need to be sure that none of the candidates for these elections are being paid by Russians,” he said in a statement.  The Parliament’s two largest political groups, the European People’s Party and the Socialists and Democrats, have barely commented on the allegations. A spokesperson for Metsola, who hails from the EPP, said: “The president is aware of the allegations being made and is looking into specific allegations.” [ad_2] Source link

Russian influence scandal rocks EU – POLITICO

Russian influence scandal rocks EU – POLITICO

[ad_1] The new Russian influence campaign comes with less than three months to go before the European Parliament election on June 6-9. It echoes concerns of corruption and foreign meddling brought to the fore by the Qatargate corruption scandal that rocked the European Parliament less than two years ago. “We can’t afford to be one step behind Putin and his propaganda army on a chess board … We have to constantly bear in mind he will use the disinformation and foreign interference as a weapon to divide Europe,” Jourová said. The influence scandal revolved around the website Voice of Europe. The Czech foreign ministry sanctioned Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as Voice of Europe itself and a person called Artem Pavlovich Marchevskyi presumed to be involved in the operation. “The Kremlin is using dodgy outlets pretending to be media [and] using money to buy covert influence,” said European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová. | Ronald Wittek/EFE via EPA Medvedchuk was running a “Russian influence operation” from Russia on Czech territory …

Russian propaganda network paid MEPs, Belgian PM says – POLITICO

Russian propaganda network paid MEPs, Belgian PM says – POLITICO

[ad_1] De Croo’s spokesperson told POLITICO the prime minister was referring in his remarks to the Czech government’s decision to sanction the news site Voice of Europe, which Prague said was part of a pro-Russian influence operation. The Czech foreign ministry announced Wednesday it had sanctioned Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Medvedchuk, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The press release said Medvedchuk ran a “Russian influence operation” from Russia on Czech territory using Voice of Europe. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said Wednesday authorities had “hit a pro-Russian network” that attempted to set up an influence operation with security consequences for the Czech Republic and the EU. “This decision is in the security interest of the Czech Republic, as well as contributing to the protection of the democratic nature of the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament,” the Czech foreign ministry added. Voice of Europe’s site is currently unavailable and its account on X (formerly Twitter) hasn’t posted since Wednesday. European Parliament deputy spokesperson Delphine Colard said the Parliament is currently “looking into the findings” …

Belgium will not legalize drugs, says prime minister – POLITICO

Belgium will not legalize drugs, says prime minister – POLITICO

[ad_1] “This is one of the reasons we have increased [penalties for drug use] … think about all the blood that is attached to it,” De Croo said, flanked by his ministers of the interior, justice and defense.  The European Union has become the global capital of cocaine use in recent years, as record production in South America has matched with roaring demand across Europe. Belgium is a key gateway, with the port city of Antwerp registering as both the continent’s largest seizer and consumer of the narcotic. This has led to a surge in criminal violence, as gangs compete for access to the port and retail spots in cities like Brussels. Authorities have mostly been left flat-footed, either pushing for technical adjustments to port security or advocating for harsher drug laws.  De Croo has so far continued in that vein, doubling down on prohibition. During the press conference, he promised to increase the number of police and customs agents, and to better target users and dealers in marginalized neighborhoods of Brussels.  “Using drugs is …

EU leaders flock to Egypt to ink €7.4B economic aid, migration deal – POLITICO

EU leaders flock to Egypt to ink €7.4B economic aid, migration deal – POLITICO

[ad_1] The EU-Egypt deal coincides with an uptick in irregular migration to the bloc of wealthy countries. Following a lull in 2022, the EU faced a surge in migrants arriving via the Mediterranean Sea during 2023 and numbers are climbing again in 2024, according to the EU official. A deal inked with Tunisia last July and the one due to be signed Sunday are aimed, in part, to limit access to Libya, where many migrants fall prey to human traffickers, the official added. Growing controversy The €7.4 billion for Egypt marks the latest payout for countries in Europe’s periphery following similar deals also with Turkey, Mauritania and, likely in coming months, Morocco. In addition, the EU has increased resources for border agency Frontex, which now counts more than 10,000 agents under its flag. the EU faced a surge in migrants arriving via the Mediterranean Sea during 2023 and numbers are climbing again in 2024 | Dan Kitwood/Getty Images Even so, right-wing and conservative EU parties want to go further. In its election manifesto, the conservative …

Belgian PM warns Israel against using hunger as ‘weapon of war’ in Gaza – POLITICO

Belgian PM warns Israel against using hunger as ‘weapon of war’ in Gaza – POLITICO

[ad_1] Along with Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, Belgium’s De Croo — who faces elections in June — is among Europe’s most outspoken supporters of the Palestinian cause, a credential he repeatedly touted on the first day of his Mideast trip. “Belgium has a very clear position. We are part of a core of countries, with Spain and Ireland, that have been calling for a cease-fire,” De Croo said. After a morning huddle with Kaag, De Croo spent more than an hour chatting with Belgian air force troops at a Jordanian airfield that is a staging ground for airdrops into the Gaza Strip. Standing under the wing of a military transport plane being loaded with aid pallets, he said Belgium’s efforts to champion the Palestinian cause and deliver aid had raised Belgium’s standing in the Arab world — even if relations between Israel and Belgium have rarely been frostier. With Belgium holding the rotating presidency of the European Union, De Croo is expected to press EU leaders to focus …

Von der Leyen in Kyiv to mark Ukraine war anniversary – POLITICO

Von der Leyen in Kyiv to mark Ukraine war anniversary – POLITICO

[ad_1] Von der Leyen is accompanied other officials, including Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, whose country currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also is in Kyiv and she will conduct a G7 videoconference from there later Saturday. The G7 call is to include G7 leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden, as well as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The G7 leaders are expected to agree on a joint statement advocating their continued support for Ukraine. The visit comes amid Ukraine’s military and economic struggles at the two-year mark of Moscow’s full-scale invasion, with Russia winning ground on the battlefield and Ukraine hampered by a shortage of Western-supplied ammunition. Von der Leyen is set to stress the EU’s continued support, as the bloc earlier this month agreed to provide €50 billion in aid to Ukraine and is working toward using the profits generated by confiscated Russian assets to finance Ukraine’s reconstruction. The EU also agreed on a new package of sanctions against Russia, which adds around 200 names to the …