Weekly News Review - European Union Security Watch spot

10.05.2021 – 16.05.2021

The E.U. High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission (HR/VP) Josep Borrell called for an immediate stop to the ongoing violence between Israel and Hamas, which affects the civilian populations on both sides. The E.U.’s second-highest court ruled in favor of litigants seeking to prohibit importing goods in the EU market produced by Israeli entities based or operating in Israeli settlements on occupied land or exporting products in the same territory, annulling the Union’s executive branch’s decision not to register a citizen-submitted petition in 2019.

The European Commission has launched legal proceedings against AstraZeneca to force it to deliver 90 million doses of its coronavirus vaccine, rather than the 70 million doses the company has planned.

During the launch of the Convention on the Future of Europe in Strasbourg, French President Emmanuel Macron prompted the development of a more swift E.U. concerning its democracy, which, according to him, can only be achieved through efficiency and rapid action. The European Council adopted a Regulation to strengthen the E.U. civil protection mechanism, which will allow the Union to better prepare for natural and human-made disasters and to react faster when they strike.

Following Czech Republic’s dispute with Russia over a deadly 2014 attack on a Czech ammunition storage facility, allegedly carried out by Russian agents, Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has requested that his European counterparts expel “at least one Russian diplomat.” The European Council has criticized Russia’s decision to designate the United States and the Czech Republic as “unfriendly”, with the Council’s president, Charles Michel, calling the Russian government’s action “another escalatory step” that “undermines diplomatic relations”.

As a result of the diplomatic crisis between the E.U. and China, plus the sanctions imposed by both parties, the prospects of the Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) ratification by the European Parliament have significantly diminished.

The European Council reaffirmed the E.U.’s commitment to reviving its partnership with the Horn of Africa and developing a new policy for the region, thus rendering Africa a geostrategic priority for the European Union.