Nikolaj Nielsen, EUobserver

Nikolaj Nielsen



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Past articles by Nikolaj:

EU says Libya needs more boats after latest drowning tragedy

The European Commission is promising more support for Libya, after some 30 people drowned in Mediterranean Sea — in a response that mirrors Brussels' reaction after 76 died off the Italian coast two weeks ago. → Read More

559 Belgian ex-workers to tap EU job fund

Hundreds of Belgian workers laid off last year are set to benefit from an EU job funding scheme after TNT, a logistics firm, made Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport their primary hub of operations. → Read More

MEPs press EU Commission over Qatari-paid business-class flights

Pro-transparency MEPs are asking probing questions into possible conflict of interest between a senior EU commission official and Qatar, following revelations his business class trips were paid by Doha while negotiating a market access deal for its nation... → Read More

EU Commission wants drones for Bulgaria on Turkey border

The European Commission wants to shore up the land border between Bulgaria and Turkey with drones. "We can strengthen the border with management capabilities," European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs. → Read More

Boom in software spying on remote workers, MEPs hear

Companies are increasingly using software to spy on employees working remotely, said Polish computer forensics analyst Maciej Broniarz. "The market for highly intrusive spyware is snowballing," Broniarz told MEPs. → Read More

MEP pension fund invested in oil giants behind eco-disasters

An MEP voluntary pension fund held millions of euros in shares in petrochemical companies at a time when a UN climate change treaty, backed by the European Parliament, was demanding a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions. → Read More

Greece seeking possible jail for aid workers in flawed case

Some 24 are facing trial in Mytilene, on the island of Lesbos, on charges related to Emergency Response Center International (ERCI), a registered NGO that had in the past assisted the Greek Coast Guard in rescue operations. → Read More

Frontex leadership candidates grilled by MEPs

Terezija Gras from Croatia, Dutchman Hans Leijtens, and Frontex's current interim executive director Aija Kalnaja, are all competing for a job left vacant by the resignation of Fabrice Leggeri. → Read More

EU states want to keep hoarding passenger data, despite ECJ ruling

Member states are looking at circumventing an EU court ruling on hoovering up people's personal data. The data vacuum is part of an EU law known as the passenger name record (PNR) directive, aimed help track and prevent terrorist attacks. → Read More

NGOs tell Athens that Turkey is not safe for refugees

NGOs say Athens should no longer consider Turkey as a safe place to return asylum seekers, citing a European Commission report that highlights likely abuse and violations. → Read More

Czech EU presidency proposes annual asylum relocation figure

The Czech EU presidency is proposing an annual minimum on the number of asylum seekers EU states are willing to relocate. The idea is part of bigger discussion on solidarity sharing, a concept that has long eluded member states. → Read More

Turkey beating Syrian refugees back to Syria, says rights NGO

Turkey has beaten and forced hundreds of recognised Syrian refugees back into Syria, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. "We wrote hundreds but I imagine it's maybe the tip of the iceberg," said one of its researchers. → Read More

Ukrainians to get EU protection until March 2024

The EU has extended by one year the special protection status for Ukrainian refugees, as Russia carries out country-wide rocket attacks. → Read More

Czech EU presidency wants asylum pledges to be secret

The Czech concept comprises an annual migration management report, a permanent EU migration support toolbox, an annual solidarity pool, and an EU migration forum. → Read More

EU mulls more police powers for west Africa missions

The concept paper includes getting EU missions to seal cooperation deals between EU member state intelligence and security services with the host governments. → Read More

EU seeks to ease Ukraine export woes

The EU wants to expand its so-called 'solidarity lanes' to help Ukraine exports its goods towards member states. EU officials briefing reporters say around 2.6 million tonnes of Ukrainian agricultural goods were exported via such lanes in August. → Read More

Striking EU parliament interpreters want president to weigh in

Negotiations to resolve a strike between European Parliament staff interpreters and its administration have collapsed amid renewed efforts to elevate the dispute to the political level. → Read More

MEPs demand Serbia not cancel Pride march

Scores of European lawmakers from all major parties are demanding Serbia allow an LGBTI march to take place in Belgrade — after Serbia's president Aleksandar Vučić said the September the event would be "cancelled or postponed". → Read More

France, Germany, UK and US discuss Ukraine nuclear plant

The leaders of the United States, Germany, France and the UK held a conference call on Sunday, where they discussed Ukraine's Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant, amid an evacuation of some 1,000 nearby residents. → Read More

Serbia expects difficult talks with Kosovo at EU meeting

The leaders of Serbia and Kosovo are meeting in Brussels Thursday (18 August) in the hopes of resolving a spike in tensions over border issues. → Read More