Vienna (APA) – On Thursday, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has spoken out in favour of diversity and against centralism in the European Union. The European founding fathers were aware “that Europe means diversity,” said Nehammer at the ceremony “Europe – Together for Democracy, Peace and Sovereignty” in Parliament in Vienna on the occasion of Europe Day next Tuesday.

According to Nehammer, every state has a particular history. “We’ll never fit together in a template-like system like the United States.” It was important to look at diversity within the EU and to be considerate, the chancellor from the conservative People’s Party (ÖVP) said, describing himself as an “ardent European.”

At the same time, Nehammer stated that he was also a “passionate fighter” for subsidiarity and diversity rather than centralism. This needed to be emphasised, Nehammer added. “In doing so, I am giving Europe a chance” to grow. According to Nehammer, the struggle for consensus was difficult in the EU. However, this was “the added value of democracy and diversity.” The chancellor also spoke out against replacing this quest for consensus with more majority decisions in the EU Council.

Nehammer: “Europe is actually good. It is much more than a word, than a contract.” The European Union was proof that people could actually learn from history. (May 4)

EU wants a “black list” sanctioning corruption in the world

Brussels (AFP) – The European Union announced on Wednesday that it wanted to harmonise anti-corruption criminal provisions across the bloc and add perpetrators of acts of corruption, wherever they were committed in the world, to the “black list” of European sanctions.

“Corruption can threaten international peace and security, fuel organised crime, terrorism, and other crimes. That is why we are expanding our scope of action to fight corruption around the world,” said the head of European diplomacy, Josep Borrell.

Under the legislative framework proposed by the European Commission, which still has to be approved by the 27 Member States, people considered to be involved in “serious corrupt activities”, regardless of their nationality, could have their assets frozen in the EU, be banned from staying on European soil and be deprived of access to financial resources based in Europe. (May 3)

European Commission and NGO Ecologists without Borders sign zero waste commitment

Ljubljana (STA) – The Head of the European Commission Representation in Slovenia, Jerneja Jug Jerše, and the president of the environmental NGO Ecologists Without Borders, Katja Sreš, signed a zero waste commitment ahead of Europe Day on 9 May. By doing so, they committed themselves to ensure that as little waste as possible will be generated in the country during the events of this year’s European Day.

The events will be marked by green transformation, sustainable practices and the European Year of Skills. The central ceremony will be held in Ljubljana and will be opened by Slovenian President Nataša Pirc Musar and European Commissioner Janez Lenarčič. (May 3)

Serbia and Kosovo agree to move forward in resolving missing persons cases

Brussels (EFE) – The President of Serbia, Aleksandar Vučić, and the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, approved a joint statement to advance the resolution of cases of missing persons on Tuesday. The statement was made in a meeting within the framework of the dialogue sponsored by the European Union (EU) to normalise their relations.

“Both parties have recognized the humanitarian nature of the issue of missing persons and have pointed out the urgent need for additional joint efforts to alleviate the situation of affected families and the community in general,” said the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Josep Borrell, who organised the meeting together with the European mediator in the dialogue, Miroslav Lajcak.

The agenda of Tuesday’s meeting in Brussels included the search for people still missing after the 1998/1999 war between Serbian forces and the Albanian-Kosovar separatist guerrilla. Also on the agenda was the creation of the association of municipalities with a Serbian majority in Kosovo, one of the major obstacles in the dialogue. (May 2)

This is a compilation of the European coverage of enr news agencies. It is published Tuesdays and Fridays. The content is an editorial selection based on news by the respective agency.