Russia puts spy behind bars for 13 years

Lithuania kaliningrad
Russia has jailed Yevgeny Mataitis, a former naval officer to 13 years behind bars in Kalingrad. The Federal Security Service (FSB) of Russia stated on April 13 that Mataitis, was apprehended in Kaliningrad last year for allegedly sharing military intelligence with Lithuania. Mataitis holds dual citizenship in Russia and Lithuania, and the verdict comes after a Lithuanian security report described Russian intelligence interference. A court in...

Russian helicopters reportedly violate Polish airspace near Kaliningrad

Russia Air Force
Russian helicopters allegedly violated Polish airspace last week, according to a Polish publication. The incident occurred near the exclave of Kaliningrad on the Baltic sea. According to Gazeta Polska Codziennie, a Polish official saw the helicopters, flying in formation, flew across the border, but returned after several minutes. The Polish government has not yet commented. Read more: Russia puts spy behind bars for 13...

Europe warns Turkey of “serious backsliding on fundamental freedoms”

Turkey EU flags
MEPs slammed Turkey on human rights progress in a report on Thursday, 14th of May. The resolution, passed by 375 votes, criticised Turkey’s compliance with the Copenhagen Criteria, the set of rules that govern entry into the European Union. The report harshly criticised Turkey for “backsliding on respect for democracy and rule of law” and worried the situation had gotten...

MEPs scold Poland over constitutional crisis

Poland EU parliament
MEPs have voted on a non-binding resolution criticising the ruling Law and Justice Party for interfering with Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal. The resolution passed 513 to 142, with 30 abstentions. Previously, the EU Commission launched discussions into Poland’s affairs under the Rule of Law Framework. The framework was introduced in 2014 to deal with “with systemic threats to the rule of law.” It...

2016 EU Justice Scorecard shows sharp contrasts in members’ legal systems

EU legal report
The European Commission has published its fourth Justice Scorecard, which ranks member states’ legal systems. Criteria include efficiency, ease of access, and time need to resolve cases. The report also included Eurobarometer Surveys results that reveal the perceived effectiveness of judicial systems among the public. Almost all EU members have made efforts to improve their legal systems. Changes include updating procedural...

Surging in popularity, what is the Iceland Pirate Party?

Icelandic Pirate Party
After the Panama Papers revelations, Icelandic prime minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson became embroiled in a scandal that quickly led to him stepping down. The massive leak, it seems, has claimed its first victim. At the same time, the Icelandic Pirate Party (Píratar) has seen surging popularity, with a current poll suggesting the party would receive 43% of the vote if...

EU Commission mulls European asylum reform

EU asylum proposals
Against the backdrop of the refugee influx into Europe, the EU Commission has offered several options for reforming the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). Speaking on the CEAS, First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: "The refugee crisis has shown the weaknesses in our Common European Asylum System. Let there be no doubt: those who need protection must continue to receive it,...

Report: Europe’s €24 billion drugs habit

Europe drugs
A report from the the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) has provided insight into the European drug market, finding Europeans spend over €24 billion a year on illicit substances. Based on data from 2013, the EMCDDA said cannabis accounts for around 38% the market, with an estimated worth of €9.3 billion annually and around 22 million...

IMF fears Greece “disaster” in leaked meeting transcript

IMF international monetary fund
Wikileaks has published an meeting transcript from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) between two top officials over the state of Greece, causing the Greek government to demand an explanation. The transcript of an exchange between Poul Thomsen, the head of the IMF's European Department, and Delia Velkouleskou, the IMF Mission Chief for Greece, suggests that organisation wants to consider debt relief for...

Panama Papers: Iceland PM implicated in massive tax avoidance scheme

panama papers iceland sigmundur davíð gunnlaugsson
Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson has been called to resign as his links to a tax avoidance scheme have been revealed in the Panama Papers leak. German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung has obtained more than 2.4 terabytes of data concerning the activity of Panama firm Mossack Fonseca from an unnamed source, including emails and documents that implicate many high-ranking officials and celebrities across the globe in tax...