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The Recap: Signatures, Support & ‘Sofagate’

Credit: Belga

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EU citizens asked for input about future of continent through digital platform: A new multilingual digital platform where citizens of the European Union can give their views on what they consider important for the future of the Union will be launched on 19 April in preparation for the conference on the future of Europe, on Europe Day, 9 May.

Germany will discuss Sputnik V vaccine purchase with Russia: Germany’s health minister announced that, if European authorities approve Sputnik V, he will hold talks with Russia on a possible purchase of the vaccine after the European Commission decided it would not negotiate a purchase on behalf of the 27 Member States.

‘Sofagate’: Wilmès calls Charles Michel a strong advocate for gender equality: Belgium’s Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès defended European Council President Charles Michel in the “Sofagate” controversy that arose when Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was not offered a chair during a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Elderly to expats: How Brussels vaccine invites work: As vaccinations in Belgium are picking up speed, many Brussels residents wonder how they can check if they are on the list to get vaccinated in Belgium. This is how it works.

Petition against the use of police horses and dogs gains 25,000 signatures: Incidents with mounted police at the illegal party in Bois de la Cambre on 1 April sparked a petition against the use of police horses and dogs. Videos of the event show a horse trampling a woman, injured horses and horses running back to their barracks alone.

Confusion over AstraZeneca dose undermines confidence in vaccines, Test Achats finds: Belgium’s decision to halt AstraZeneca vaccinations for people aged 55 and under might undermine Belgians’ confidence in vaccines more as a survey by consumer protection group Test Achats already found that the ongoing confusion on possible side effects negatively impacted people’s views on vaccines.

Extra support from Flanders for Brussels youth centres: The Flemish government will provide €5.175 million in extra support for youth hostels that are struggling because of the coronavirus measures in both Flanders and Brussels. In 2020, the government also supported youth hostels, many of which would not have survived without it.

Large increase in ‘no school’ students for next school year: With five months to go before the start of the new school year, 2,398 primary school students are on a waiting list for enrolment in their next secondary school. The situation is most tense in the Brussels-Capital Region, with 1,492 pupils said to be “without school.”

The US resumes aid to Palestinian refugees amid surge in Covid-19: The Biden administration will contribute $150 million to the United Nations aid agency for Palestinian refugees after the previous American administration cancelled funding. The aid comes amid a surge in Covid-19 cases.

The Brussels Times