Stories in this section cover the EU-27 countries plus the UK, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and the Balkan Countries (Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia).
Josep Borrell, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, will visit Niger on 5 and 6 July, the European Union has announced. He is due to have bilateral meetings with the EU civilian mission EUCAP Sahel Niger.
In a press release, the EU's External Action Service wrote that "the visit will offer an opportunity to further strengthen the EU-Niger partnership and to engage on a variety of bilateral, regional and global issues."
Dozens of protesters stormed the Swedish embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Thursday (29 June) after Salwan Momika - an Iraqi living in Sweden - burned a Quran in protest in front of Stockholm's central mosque on Wednesday.
In accordance with free speech laws, the Swedish police had given Momika a permit for the protest but the police later released a statement saying that it would investigate the issue over potential incitement of hatred. Momika conducted his protest amid a heavy police presence.
"There are some misconceptions that Georgia can be transformed into some kind of Eastern European, especially Ukraine. This is more of a pipe dream rather than possible reality. Georgia will not be turned into a South Caucasian variation of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania or Estonia, built on pro-Western Georgian nationalistic sentiments and highly anti-Russian attitudes," writes Archil Sikharulidze for in this op-ed for commonspace.eu.
The Greek centre-right New Democracy party has convincingly won the second national election in a month in a result that will see the new far-right Spartans party enter parliament for the first time. The vote took place on Sunday (25 June).
"Even if the government is indeed being sincere in their desire to protect the rights of unborn children by restricting access to contraception, by their own admission low birth rates in Italy persist," writes Arianna Belluardo in this op-ed for commonspace.eu. "Meanwhile, evidence thus far shows that improving access to contraception would not depress birth rates, but contrarily, reduce the rate of practised abortions, which remain in some cases physically and emotionally draining for women.
The British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced $3bn of funding over the next three years for Ukraine's reconstruction on Tuesday (20 June).
The announcement came one day before the International Ukraine Recovery Conference 2023 taking place in London on Wednesday and Thursday (21-22 June). The total cost of Ukraine's post-war reconstruction is understood to be approximately $411bn, although this figure will increase as Russia's invasion and occupation continues.