Latest news from EUobserver. Making sense of the EU.
Updated: 2 hours 50 min ago
Turkish prime minister Erdogan has offended EU feeling by saying, at an Istanbul seminar: "You can’t make women equal to men ... our religion upheld a status for women: motherhood". Former EU commissioner Androulla Vassiliou said it shows Erdogan is not pro-European. MEP Marietje Schaake called it a "lightbulb moment".
The European Parliament's centre-right EPP group backs a possible future agreement with Canada on sharing air passenger data details known as PNR. The assembly is set to vote on Tuesday on whether the European Court of Justice should issue an opinion on the proposed agreement, given its data privacy implications.
"If Finland joins Nato, that would undoubtedly harm our relations [with Russia]", Finland's president Sauli Niinistoe said in a Washington Post interview. “You have to keep in mind that 1,300 kilometres is a long, long border, and you just don’t keep it closed. On the contrary, it’s a living border".
Russia backs a trade agreement between the EU and the Moscow-dominated Eurasian Economic Union, foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday. The Kremlin would not "shoot itself in the foot and reject co-operation with Europe,” added Lavrov. Russia and the EU have imposed tit-for-tat trade sanctions following the Ukraine crisis.
A European Parliament vote to recognise a Palestinian state would be seen as "anti Israel", Israel's EU ambassador, David Walzer, has warned, according to Arutz Sheva. Walzer added that the vote would not encourage the re-opening of talks between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the Israeli publication said.
Police arrested Portugal's former prime minister Jose Socrates on Friday for his alleged role in money-laundering and tax fraud, reports the BBC. His arrest follows the resignation of Portugal's minister of interior in a separate corruption case dealing with residence permits for wealthy foreigners.