Round-up of news stories from across the EU 22.2.16

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Bulgarian premier: Greece is not a functioning state (EurActiv, link): "Exasperated by the continued blockade of his country by Greek farmers, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said at the EU summit yesterday (18 February) that Greece was not a functioning state.


Greek farmers protesting the pension report of leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras have been blocking Bulgaria’s border with Greece for several weeks now."

EU: 5,000 jihadists could be at large in Europe (New Europe, link): "Up to 5,000 EU citizens, trained in Syria and Iraq by the Islamic State (IS), have returned in Europe, Europol chief Rob Wainwright said in an interview with Germany’s Neue Osnabrucker Zeitung newspaper.

On 20 February, Wainwright told the German daily that “Europe is currently facing the highest terror threat in more than 10 years.” He said that the EU Member States can expect by the so-called Islamic State (IS) or other religious terror groups to stage an attack somewhere in Europe “with the aim of achieving mass casualties among the civilian population.” Wainwright added that the estimated thousands of returned jihadists “presents EU member states with completely new challenges.”"

EU: Fundamental Rights Forum: connect.reflect.act (EU Fundamental Rights Agency, link): "People from all walks of life will come together in FRA’s inclusive, innovative and forward-looking Fundamental Rights Forum in Vienna from 20-23 June 2016 under the banner of Rights, Respect, Reality: the Europe of Values in Today’s World. "

EU: Hearing on respect for fundamental rights and rule of law (European Parliament, link): "Fundamental rights, democracy and the rule of law in EU will be at the core of a hearing hosted by civil liberties and constitutional affairs' committees on Monday afternoon, at 16:30. Invited guests are senior lawyers from the EU Court of Justice, the European Court of Human Rights and from Belgium, Hungary and Poland."

UK-EU: Scotland would be better off as an 'independent' EU member, Nicola Sturgeon says (The Telegraph, link): "Scotland would be better off as an “independent” member of the European Union, Nicola Sturgeon has suggested.

The Scottish First Minister said that the EU is “not a perfect institution” but that it “it is better for us in all circumstances to stay in”.

Repeating her calls for Scottish independence, she said that she believes her country would be best served as an “independent member state” of the bloc."

UK: The Tory Trade Union Bill breaches international law (Morning Star, link): "The International Labour Organisation has taken the government to task over its vicious plans to curb the trade union movement – but CAROLYN JONES doubts whether courtroom decisions will be enough to stop the Tories in their tracks"

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