European Commission Executive Vice-President Valdis Dombrovskis, United States Trade Representative Katherine Tai, and U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina M. Raimondo today announced the start of discussions to address global steel and aluminum excess capacity. During a virtual meeting last week, the leaders acknowledged the need for effective solutions that preserve our critical industries, and agreed to chart a path that ends the WTO disputes following the U.S. application of tariffs on imports from the EU under section 232.
Everyone is born free and equal in dignity and rights. On the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOT), the European Union reaffirms its strong commitment to respect, protect and promote the full and equal enjoyment of human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons.
Another year of quasi-confinement did not stop the EU and all its offices around the world from marking Europe Day in all its glory with several innovative activities online to touch all our senses! Shades of blue and yellow adorned landmarks worldwide, the sound of music filled our homes, and our eyes feasted on an array of photographic exhibitions and movie screenings. Our brains were also put to the test with a number of quizzes, and kids enjoyed online games to their hearts’ content. Our taste buds also thanked the chefs who offered online cooking classes, and we even got to go on a trip to space!
Over the past year, there was a “dramatic deterioration in people's access to information and an increase in obstacles to news coverage”, according to Reporters Without Borders. 78 journalists have been killed since 2020. World Press Freedom Day pays tribute
02/05/2021 – HR/VP Blog - On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, I want to reaffirm my commitment and that of the EU to media freedom, which has unfortunately declined in many countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having grown up in a dictatorship, I know how fragile and precious open access to information and freedom of speech is for democracy.
At a time when independent and free media reporting is more essential than ever, press freedom continues to be under threat. Journalists continue to experience harsh working conditions with increasing financial and political pressure, surveillance, arbitrary prison sentences or violence for doing their work. According to the UNESCO Observatory, 76 journalists were killed since 2020, while many more were arrested, harassed or threatened worldwide. Of particular concern is gender-based violence targeting women journalists.
In a landmark ruling on 28 April 2021, Malawi's Supreme Court declared the death penalty unconstitutional. With this decision, Malawi joined the large and growing majority of countries in Africa and in the world having abolished the death penalty in law or de facto.
This action is confirming the trend to abandon this inhumane punishment: over the last 10 years no executions took place in 163 Member States of the United Nations, which represents 84% of their total number.
25/04/2021 – Blog du HR/VP – Je me suis rendu cette semaine en Mauritanie, au Tchad et au Mali pour rencontrer les autorités, les assurer de l’engagement sans faille de l’Europe mais aussi souligner le besoin de davantage de résultats concrets en matière de sécurité comme de retour de l’état de droit et des services publics.
With 897 million school children around the world affected by disruptions to their education, senior officials from UNICEF and the European Union reiterated their support to ensure the right to education for all.
Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Australian wild fires, heat records, oceans filling with plastic and the worst locust invasion in Kenya, as well as a record-breaking Atlantic hurricane season. Now we face COVID -19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.