Seven Days in Europe

A report issued by the Commission on Tuesday named and shamed member states that have not been complying with the EU landfill directive. The worst offenders for poor municipal waste management are: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. The directive aims to prevent biodegradable waste from reaching landfill sites and promote recycling. By burying biodegradable and recyclable waste, states are wasting valuable resources and increasing methane emissions. The report names the worst overall offender as Greece, which has 71 landfills for non-hazardous waste and only one of them complies with the directive. Bulgaria does not recycle municipal waste at all.

However, the top performing countries have waste management systems that ensure less than 5% of all waste ends up as landfill. The Commission is now looking into utilising EU structural funds for better waste management practice.

Diplomats expect the outcome of a meeting today to involve a mass withdrawal of EU ambassadors from Belarus in the wake of the country’s diplomatic dispute with Sweden. The Swedish ambassador has been expelled after a Swedish advertising agency was involved in dropping hundreds of teddy bears in Belarusian airspace carrying humanitarian messages calling for free speech.

French police have raided a makeshift Romany settlement, evicting its 200 residents. Manuel Valls, the French interior minister, defended the raid as being necessary for public health reasons, but rights groups have criticised the move as a continuation of the previous administration’s policy of removing illegal immigrants with no arrangements made for temporary housing.

Threats have been made against the judges who sit on Romania’s constitutional court ahead of its ruling on whether the recent referendum on ousting unpopular President Traian Basescu was valid. Death threats targeting a judge and his family have caused the Commission to express concern about the independence of the court, and will issue an updated progress report on Romania by the end of the year.

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