The Brussels Brief


Rumourmill in Brussels is already making the rounds raising the spectre of whether Poland would be the next to leave the European Union, or be kicked-out. On Thursday Poland’s Constitutional Court ruled that the measures imposed by the European Court of Justice on Poland’s decision to lift judges’ immunity and other judicial reforms are unconstitutional, triggering another backlash between Warsaw and Brussels. In a statement on Thursday, the European Commission stated that it “will not hesitate to make use of its powers under the Treaties to safeguard the uniform application and integrity of Union law”. It reiterated its position regarding the supremacy of EU law and that all ECJ rulings are binding across the bloc and to be acted upon by national courts in all Member States.

Bulgaria Political Instability to continue

After the latest re-run of national elections in Bulgaria last weekend failed to produce a strong winner with a commanding majority, political observers in Brussels are predicting that Bulgaria’s political instability is likely to continue. The Anti-Establishment Party There is Such a People (ITN) of former TV Entertainer Slavi Trifonov garnered over 24% of the vote, while the GERB party of former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov garnered around 23.51% of the vote.  Slavi Trifonov must now form a coalition, even though two parties have already refused his offer.

EU launches infringement procedures against Hungary

The European Commission has launched infringement procedures against Hungary and Poland regarding the protection of LGBTIQ people’s rights. Hungary has recently banned LGBTIQ people from appearing in school books and on adverts, a few weeks after LGBTIQ free zones were declared in Poland.  

France’s Macron tightens COVID19 rules

In a televised address to the nation French President Emmanuel Macron announced new measures to incentivise the French to take-up the COVID19 vaccine. Among the measures are new rules for unvaccinated healthcare workers, who will not be receiving their salaries after September 15th. A vaccine certificate will also be required from August, to enter restaurants, bars, and other leisure venues. Soon after the announcement, the French website for vaccination appointments received over 1 million requests while others took to the streets across all France to protest against the “attack on individual liberties”.

More on this here.

Are we Fit455?

The European Commission has published a raft of proposals on the European Green Deal, also known as the EU Fit for 55 Package. The proposals will be implementing the EU’s decision to cut by 55% its carbon emissions by 2030 and to become carbon neutral by 2050. Discussions on these proposals will commence within the Council of the EU structures, where Member States would be stating their positions on each of the proposals, aiming at reaching a compromise agreement.

Read our review here.

FRONTEX in the hot seat

A new report by the European Parliament on FRONTEX the EU border agency headquartered in Warsaw has shed light on how the agency turned the other way while some EU Member States were pushing back migrants. The investigation was triggered by the news that its resources were involved in pushing back migrants in Greece from Turkey. While no hard evidence was found on this issue, despite existing videos showing otherwise, doubts are swirling nonetheless, which might cost the job of its director Fabrice Leggeri.

Read more here.

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