HiveToday: Ukraine’s EU membership has been pre-approved, Parliamentary elections in Bulgaria, UK sending immigrants to Rwanda, New update on twitter
Today we’ll be discussing some of the biggest stories including the toppling of Bulgaria’s government and an outbreak of polio as well as discussing the UK’s plan for human rights, but first Ukraine gets one step closer to joining the EU.
Following weeks of discussions at a truly record pace, Ukraine is set to be formally given candidate status. The European commission, the executive arm of the EU, recommended that Ukraine be given candidate status last week after commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced that good work had been done by Ukraine. Getting designated as a formal candidate is a highly significant and necessary step to joining the EU, but doesn’t mean that it’s all plain sailing after getting the designation. The accession process for candidates can take years if not decades, with five other nations currently having candidate status; Albania, North Macedonia Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Despite the commission’s recommendation, the final decision to award status rests with the European council. The leaders of the 27 member states who must agree unanimously a decision set to be signed off later today.
Bulgaria’s government was toppled yesterday in a vote of no confidence, raising the prospect of the country’s fourth parliamentary election since April 2021. The no confidence vote came about after a party withdrew from the governing coalition over budget disagreements and a dispute on whether to lift the country’s veto on north Macedonian accession to the EU. prime minister Kiril Petkov came to power just six months ago after a series of elections in 2021. Running on an anti-corruption platform and adopting strong Pro-Eu and Pro-Nato stance. He’ll now have the opportunity to try and form a new cabinet, if he fails the conservative GERP party led by ex-prime minister Boyko Borisov will be able to try and form a cabinet before a third party does the same if these three attempts fail Bulgaria is heading for another election.
Boris Johnson faces a potentially awkward cup of tea and catch-up with Prince Charles in Rwanda later after the Prince of Wales reportedly described the government’s policy of deporting some asylum seekers to the small East African country as appalling. The Prince of Wales and the prime minister are in Rwanda for the commonwealth head of government meeting, where dozens of leaders from the commonwealth member states are gathering for the summit. Prince Charles’s private comments on the policy were reported a few weeks ago, before a last-minute intervention by the European court of human rights successfully took the last remaining asylum seekers off the plane, which never took off. Johnson told reporters that he was conscious of the fact that he was arriving in Rwanda before any of the government’s flights of asylum seekers had made it.
While the UK is still trying to get over the coronavirus pandemic, the last thing anyone needs is another virus to worry about. Luckily despite polio being back in the news it actually isn’t as worrying as it may first seem, the UK’s health security agency or UK HSA confirmed that following routine sewage testing vaccine-derived poliovirus was detected. They claim that this testing demonstrated that there was community transmission of Polio, although it’s worth mentioning that there are as yet no actual cases of polio and the risks to the general public remains low. The disease can still cause symptoms such as paralysis in those that aren’t fully vaccinated, as such the UK HSA advises parents to ensure that their children are up-to-date on their vaccines. As a result of the tests, the UK HSA has declared a national incident.
As someone who tweets a lot fully aware of the sometimes infuriating 240-character limit this is what leads us to having to write 20 tweet long threads explaining what’s going on in prime minister’s questions, this quirk of the platform though may be addressed soon. Twitter is trialing a new feature that allows users to share what they’re calling “notes” which can be up to 2500. Words long twitter claims they have done this in response to people posting images of key announcements on Twitter or just linking to external sites, Twitter hopes this will keep people on the platform. We should make clear that this is only a trial and will run for only two months in Canada, Ghana, UK and US. The trial is only available to a small group of writers.