High uncertainty clouds EU outlook
The European Commission has raised its outlook for the EU's economic growth, saying Europe's recovery remains on track but is vulnerable to the "exceptional risks" of Brexit and the new US administration.
Stricter shields against foreign fighters crossing EU borders
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Systematic checks against databases of lost and stolen documents will be introduced for each person that crosses external borders of the Union, including third country nationals.
EU urged to spend more on military
European NATO members must spend more on defence or risk losing US support. The ultimatum came last Wednesday during US Defence Secretary James Mattis's first visit to the NATO headquarters in Brussels since he was sworn in last month.
Brussels proposes changes to EU decision-making process
The Commission proposed last Tuesday changes to the EU's decision-making process, in a bid to increase transparency and accountability in procedures for implementing legislation, the EU press service reported.
Protect whistle-blowers across Europe, MEPs urge
An “effective and comprehensive European whistle-blower protection programme” should be proposed immediately by the Commission, Parliament urged in a resolution voted last Tuesday, the EP press service reported.
CorpBank Robbery II
Some BGN 33m worth of machinery of the Rousse shipyard have been acquired for chickenfeed by a newly founded firm. The scandalous case, one of the many machinations through which CorpBank is being robbed for the second time, is described in the analysis that the bankruptcy administrators of the failed bank published on 9 February.
Global Britain and EU's future
The initial impression that London has no idea how to go about its exit from the European Union, or at the very least what its consequences will be, is quickly being dispelled. According to diplomats, London has been devising a strategy and mobilising resources, both human and diplomatic, over the past few months in order to gain the upper hand in the divorce proceedings.
Ukraine's unimplemented anti-corruption reforms
Almost three years after the Euromaidan revolution, Ukraine's leadership has fallen woefully short in delivering on its promises to fight against corruption within the judiciary, clean up political party financing and decentralise government functions. The customs service has yet to be reformed, property rights are far from being ensured and state-owned enterprises have not been privatised. Major reforms aimed at combating corruption have consistently been resisted or appear on paper only. The country's elite must produce more tangible results in order to earn the trust of the citizens and ease the growing fatigue among Ukraine's international partners. Over the last decade, Ukraine has rarely had a problem with accepting and institutionalising European norms and rules.
New global order in sight
With the rise of populism threatening the current global order through a power vacuum caused by a possible US withdrawal from the global stage to the heightened threat of military escalation, the world is heading towards a post-Western age and is experiencing an “illiberal moment”. That is the essence of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) annual report published last Monday.
Timid optimism about Libyan unity
Controversial information arrived last week from Cairo where leaders of the two hostile camps were invited to find a solution to the turmoil in the country.
Trump appeases Canada on NAFTA
The future of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is not endangered, as it seemed during the presidential campaign of Donald Trump. Meeting last Monday in the White House with Canadian PM Justin Trudeau, the US President told him he wants relatively minor changes to the NAFTA, noting that most of the problems involve the deal's third partner Mexico.
Virtual currency invades new spaces
Austria’s capital Vienna has its first Bitcoin bank, located on the popular Mariahilfer Strasse shopping street, the Austrian media reported last week. The bank exchanges Bitcoin for euro, and vice versa.
Ford bets on self-driving cars future, invests $1bn
Ford is betting on the world's self-driving car future through a major investment of about $1bn in a small start-up company specialised in robotics, news wires reported.
Master of artistic unexpectedness
For over 40 years, Prof. Ivan Gazdov from the National Academy of Arts has been moulding the analytic and creative outlook of young poster-makers. Now, the esteemed Bulgarian master of etching is being presented at the halls of the National Art Gallery with over 100 works, including posters, drawings and metal sculptures in an array of themes. The exhibition is the artist’s way of celebrating the 35th anniversary of the “graphicature” genre, his trademark, born from the flight of his own imagination.
The violin took away my childhood
I have a lot of friends from the realm of classical music. I had the honour of knowing personally Alexis Weissenberg. From the world of folklore, I know Theodosii Spasov. Speaking of sports, everyone in Spain knows who Stoichkov is, and from the 1990s, I remember the Maleev sisters tennis players.
Queen of Trumpet competes in Sofia
The winners of the world’s largest brass instrument festivals will be sharing a stage in a spectacular music competition - Balkanitsa. The four best Serbian brass bands will show their unparalleled skills with the trumpet, baritone, tuba and drum.
The King's monastery over Sofia
Set deep into thick beech woods on the northern slope of Mount Vitosha, and yet only a half-hour drive from downtown Sofia, the Dormition of the Theotokos Dragalevtsi Monastery has been unofficially recognised as the principal monastery of the string of monasteries around Sofia better known as Sofia’s Mount Athos.