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'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women

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Latest News

Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers

Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers Swiss photographer not responsible for Hong Kong protest assault: lawyers
A Swiss photographer who closed a door on a Chinese mainlander moments before he was assaulted during last year's Hong Kong democracy protests...
Read More...

Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty

Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty Turkey debates dropping landmark women's treaty
Just as Turkey began debating leaving the world's first treaty prosecuting femicide and domestic abuse, a jealous killer set a woman's body...
Read More...

Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers

Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers Doors slamming shut in Hungary for asylum seekers
"It's difficult in a new way for us. There is hardly anyone left to talk to," Karzan Mohamed Sharif Amin, an Iraqi Kurd, told AFP at a government-run...
Read More...

Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe

Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe Mutating terror threat still looms over Europe
The terrorist threat against Europe has mutated in the last half-decade as jihadist groups have seen their Middle East sanctuaries eroded,...
Read More...

US, Slovenia to 'exclude untrusted vendors' from 5G

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The US and Slovenia signed a declaration Thursday to "exclude untrusted vendors" from 5G networks as the Trump administration continues its...
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Beleaguered Belarus opposition finds Baltic refuge

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Waves of repression in Belarus have turned its EU neighbours into places of refuge for pro-democracy Belarusians, with presidential challenger...
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EU, UK denounce Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's arrest

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The European Union on Monday (Aug 10) accused China of using Hong Kong's new security law to crack down on media freedom, after the arrest...
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Biden rules out in-person appearance at Democratic convention

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Joe Biden will not attend the Democratic convention to accept the party's nomination to be its presidential election candidate after the event...
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EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'

EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers' EU sanctions on Russian, Chinese 'cyber attackers'
The European Union imposed its first ever sanctions against alleged cyber attackers on Thursday, targeting Russian and Chinese individuals...
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'Alarm' at Poland's plan to leave treaty protecting women

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The EU risks trashing its credibility and destabilising the Balkans, senior officials warned Friday, after a handful of countries led by French President Emmanuel Macron again

blocked membership talks for North Macedonia and Albania.

There was widespread frustration and disappointment, particularly among eastern European countries keen to broaden the EU club, at the failure of the 28 leaders to agree to start formal accession negotiations with Skopje and Tirana.

Leaders were deadlocked after some seven hours of heated backroom wrangling at a Brussels summit, with France alone in rejecting North Macedonia but joined by Denmark and the Netherlands in refusing Albania.

Johannes Hahn, the European commissioner who has led efforts to push the two countries to reform to fit EU norms, said the leaders had damaged the bloc's credibility "not only in the Western Balkans but beyond".

"This is a matter of extreme disappointment," he tweeted.

"To refuse acknowledgement of proven progress will have negative consequences, including the risk of destabilisation of the Western Balkans, with full impact on the EU."

North Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov urged the EU to come clean about its true intentions.

"If there is no more consensus on the European future of the Western Balkans... the citizens deserve to know," he tweeted.

- Repeated delays -

The summit deadlock came days after EU ministers hit a similar impasse at talks in Luxembourg -- following two earlier delays by EU countries on making a decision.

Apart from France, all the other EU states accept that North Macedonia has made enough progress on reforms -- including changing its name from Macedonia to appease Greece -- to start talks.

But Albania has less support, with the Netherlands and Denmark joining France in voicing serious reservations about its efforts against corruption and organised crime.

Austrian Chancellor Brigitte Bierlein said the summit failure was "extremely regrettable".

"I have spoken to the two prime ministers to express my great disappointment, and they are also extremely disappointed," she told reporters in Brussels.

"This is not a good sign for the solidarity of the EU or the stability of the region."

The European Commission has said both countries have done enough to at least begin talks, but Macron now says this should not happen until the whole accession process has been reformed, arguing that it does not work properly.

But diplomats suspect the French are playing tough for domestic political reasons linked to immigration, and there is frustration that Macron appears to be trying to move the goalposts.

"These countries deserve it, they fulfil the criteria, the momentum is right," said one diplomatic source.

"It's not fair to change the rules of the game in the middle of the game."

Another said "there's no logic to it. It's incoherent -- an excuse."

After the earlier failure in Luxembourg another diplomat accused France of "repeating the same stupid arguments again and again", warning Paris would bear "responsibility for the consequences of this".afp

Politicians in North Macedonia and Albania have warned that their people's patience with the EU is not unlimited and repeated rejections risk emboldening nationalist and pro-Russian forces.

deneme