Ursula von der Leyen is a German politician and President of the European Commission.
The European Union gave its blessing yesterday for Ukraine and its neighbour Moldova to become candidates to join the bloc, reaching out deep into the former Soviet Union for what would be a major geopolitical shift following Russia’s Ukraine invasion.
Austria’s chancellor last night defended his visit to Vladimir Putin, insisting the meeting was “not friendly”, after he was criticised for becoming the first European leader to visit Moscow since its invasion of Ukraine.
How many more Mariupols before we decide saving lives is more important than saving energy supplies? How many more Buchas before our reliance on creature comforts begins to matter less than the Ukrainian people’s right to peace?
Solemn proclamations about net-zero emissions are to be found everywhere these days. The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, even claims that climate neutrality is “our European destiny”. Then last month, EU commissioner Mairead McGuinness put the cat among the eco-pigeons by reclassifying nuclear power and natural gas as ‘green’.
IT IS one thing to send warm, fuzzy messages to Ukrainians assuring them about their efforts to join the European Union. In fact there is an argument that the need for continued solidarity across Europe with these embattled people requires such gestures of goodwill.
Frosty the ‘No Man’ has gone. It ought to be no great surprise, though it’s a punchy story and adds to the sense of an administration disintegrating before our very eyes. As my colleague John Rentoul has pointed out, there was plenty of uncoded criticism of Boris Johnson’s policies in David Frost’s last speech, and Frost can’t be alone in his despair at how the UK prime minister is running the country.
Ursula von der Leyen set out plans yesterday to make the European Union more independent in areas from defence to global trade, and urged other countries to join it in accelerating the fight against climate change.
Ireland’s Covid-19 vaccination roll-out has been given a boost after Europe’s drug regulator extended the storage time for the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 jab at normal fridge temperatures from five days to a month.
The European Commission is unlikely to renew its order of AstraZeneca vaccines when it expires this summer, amid legal disputes over supply issues and a pivot towards the Pfizer jab.
The European Union's first female chief executive vowed on Monday to fight for women's rights after she was denied a chair during a meeting in Ankara with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan two weeks ago.
Italy has reached a deal with the European Commission over its recovery plan, Prime Minister Mario Draghi told his cabinet late on Saturday, after days of intense talks, paving the way for it to be submitted to Brussels by the end of April.
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