All the latest news and developments in Western European countries. Our writers Jaella Brockmann, Helen You, and Rowena Henley produce weekly. Our section editor is Nicole Link.
On October 8, The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report about rapidly rising global temperatures. The report highlights devastating effects of a “global warming of 1.5ºC” and further warns of the catastrophic consequences of the Earth warming by 2.0ºC.
The results of the election in Germany’s southern state of Bavaria on Sunday, October 14 could mean trouble for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition. More than 600,000 first-time voters participated at polling stations, contributing to a total voter turnout of 72.5 percent.
The general elections in Sweden this year have been marked by the rise of far-right populism. One group in particular, the Sweden Democrats, has attracted a lot of attention for its “anti-establishment and anti-immigrant” stance. They can be compared to other populist, anti-immigrant, and Eurosceptic political parties in Europe such as the Five Star Movement in Italy or the Alternative für Deutschland party in Germany.
Because of the continuous failure by Britain and the European Union to reach an agreement, various voices are now calling for a second referendum regarding Brexit. The demands reveal the deep divide in British society regarding the economic and political future of the country.
However, even after the Pope’s statements at a press conference covering his four-day trip to Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia, there seems to be little, if any, increase in transparency. In addressing the abuses, he referred to the molestations as an event of another time in which “these things were covered up.”
May’s “Chequers” plan that she presented at a summit in Austria on Thursday caused significant indignation amongst EU leaders. Skeptics are now wondering whether the Brexit negotiations hit an impasse.
A new study that was commissioned by the Catholic Church itself revealed that more than 3,600 children in Germany were assaulted by Roman Catholic priests between 1946 and 2014. The report was planned to be published at the end of September but leaked earlier, forcing German clergyman to react fast to the new allegations.
The firm became widely known for its questionable contributions to the latest US elections.
The Trump Administration decided last-minute on Tuesday to delay punitive aluminum and steel tariffs in Europe by a month. This news annoyed European leaders, who view the act not as one of generosity or conciliation, but as another 30 days of uncertainty that will undermine supply networks and deter economic growth.
Member states voted to ban the outdoor use of neonicotinoid insecticides throughout the EU on Friday.
The case doesn’t only pose questions regarding the decision-making authority for a child, but also a question of judgment.
French President Emmanuel Macron became the first foreign leader to make a state visit under President Donald Trump this week in Washington, D.C. Although his relationship with the American president has earned him the nickname the “Trump whisperer,” Macron, alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel, will be visiting with the president this week in a last-minute lobbying effort to prevent him from walking away from the Iran nuclear deal, and discuss a variety of issues including climate change, counterterrorism, and Russian aggression.
UK Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt threatened to introduce news laws for social media firms if they do not introduce new measures to protect young people using their platforms.
The apology proceeded the Commonwealth leaders summit this week and is considered a response to the increasing pressure by more than 140 British MPs on Prime Minister Theresa May.
Following the aftermath of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica’s alleged misuse of 87 million user profiles for the Trump campaign during the 2016 election, the European Union plans to impose a strict set of data privacy rules.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May defended her decision to launch a coordinated airstrike in Syria this week, stating that there was no “alternative path” in stopping the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. May said that it was “moral and legal” to take military action to “alleviate further humanitarian suffering.”
Sara Danius, the head of the Swedish Academy that selects the Nobel Prize winner for literature, resigned on Friday amid the growing crisis surrounding a supporter of the institution charged with sexual harassment allegations.
Europe faced significant air travel disruption Tuesday as protests that began with French SNCF rail workers transitioned to Lufthansa and Air France, the biggest airlines in Europe.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition after being poisoned by a nerve agent four weeks ago in southern England.
Considered a hero by some, Falciani was sentenced by Swiss courts to five years in jail in absentia in 2015.
French and European rail networks will be severely disrupted after rail workers announced that they will be striking two out of five days for the next three months following President Macron's released plans to overhaul France’s rail road system and alter labor laws.
Over 100 Russian envoys have been expelled from 25 countries in the last two days, as a sign of solidarity with the U.K. Earlier this month, former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia Skripal, were found slumped on a beach and remain in critical condition at Salisbury District Hospital after being exposed to a poisonous nerve agent in the United Kingdom. While Russia denies involvement, the incident launched a massive attempted-murder investigation by London’s Metropolitan police and increased tensions between the European Union and Russia.
Germany, France and Poland expelled four Russia diplomats each. Lithuania, and Czech Republic expelled three. Denmark, Italy and the Netherland expelled two. Estonia, Latvia, Croatia, Finland, Hungry, Sweden and Romania expelled one each. All 25 countries believe that Russia was behind the poisoning of Skripal and his daughter.
EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová called on the U.S. to adopt more “robust and reliable” data protection legislation in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal.
While Macron is often viewed as a European defender of progressive democratic values abroad, his purposeful strengthening of governmental power has led to a different domestic reception.
Clocks across the European continent continue to run up to six minutes slow after a disruption to the electric power grid — and the dispute between Serbia and Kosovo is responsible.
French Equity Minister Marlène Schiappa supported the decision this week to change the legal age of sexual consent to 15. The decision comes after discussion of two cases involving sex with 11-year-old girls.
The European Union has said that they will respond “firmly” if President Trump goes ahead with planned tariffs for metal imports. Trump announced on March 1 that starting this week, the U.S. will be imposing tariffs on steel and aluminium imports, 25 percent and 10 percent, respectively.
Catalan independence movement leader Carles Puigdemont was not able to attend an official ceremony in Spain this Thursday, which led Spanish courts to rule his aspired presidency illegitimate.