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FRIDAY RECAP: What you may have missed this week - 17/04


Militante contre le projet de loi polonais, portant un masque de protection contre le Covid-19. Source : Amnesty International.

AVORTEMENT : MANIFESTATIONS EN POLOGNE CONTRE UNE LOI POLÉMIQUE


Cette semaine en Pologne, malgré le confinement, plusieurs manifestations se sont tenues dans plusieurs villes et sur internet, rassemblant des milliers de citoyens et des associations féministes contre un projet de loi controversé visant à interdire l’avortement en cas de malformation du foetus. Le parti Droit et Justice, au pouvoir, à déjà tenté à moult reprises de limiter l’accès à l’IVG, qui fait l’objet de lois figurant parmi les plus restrictives d’Europe, et est accusé de profiter de la pandémie pour légiférer de nouveau sur la question.

MIGRATION : GREECE RELOCATES CHILDREN REFUGEES TO EU COUNTRIES


On Wednesday (15), Greece transferred a dozen unaccompanied children, aged between 11 and 15, to Luxembourg, amid concerns over the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable migrants. They will spend their first couple of weeks in Luxembourg in quarantine. Currently, over 5,000 migrant children from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and African countries are stranded in squalid Greek camps, and Greece hopes to relocate over 1,500 minors in the coming months, with the next transfers being scheduled later this week to Germany and Switzerland.


M&A : EU MOVES TO BLOCK HOSTILE TAKEOVERS BIDS


On Thursday (16), EU trade ministers vowed to protect strategic COVID-19-stricken European companies from foreign takeovers. This could mean bringing forward the Foreign Direct Investment Regulation, which should normally enter into force in October this year. The companies concerned operate in COVID-19-relevant sectors such as health and medical research, and Chinese investors are regarded as the main source of concern. Such a move echoes the statement made by NATO defence ministers on Wednesday (15), who stressed the importance of shielding critical industries from predatory Chinese investments.


LE POINT BREXIT


On Thursday (16), despite the COVID-19 crisis, the UK reaffirmed that it would dismiss any proposal to extend the Brexit transition period to secure a trade deal with the EU. The UK’s Chief Negotiator, David Frost, argued that an extension would ‘simply prolong negotiations, create even more uncertainty, leave [the UK] liable to pay more to the EU in future, and keep [the UK] bound by evolving EU laws at a time when we need to control our own affairs’. This comment comes despite widespread support for such an extension, notably after the IMF director advised against the UK and EU ‘[adding] to uncertainty’ created by COVID-19, by refusing to prolong their talks.

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