The biggest stories in politics
from Pan European Networks
The following stories all appeared on our website:paneuropeannetworks.com
ASTRONAUT MAKES UK’S
ajor Tim Peake has become the first
United Kingdom astronaut to undertake
Peake has described the spacewalk – also known as Extra-Vehicular
Activity – as both “the pinnacle of an astronaut’s career” and “a
privilege” to be part of, while the European Space Agency (ESA) has
labelled it ‘exciting’.
Accompanying Peake is NASA flight engineer Tim Kopra. The pair are
tasked with spending what could be up to six and a half hours replacing a
faulty electrical box known as a ‘sequential shunt unit’ situated on the
starboard side of the space support truss, which controls power from the
ISS’s solar panels.
ESA have said that the operation
carries with it a ‘risk of high-
voltage sparks’, which means
that the task can only be
performed whilst in the Earth’s
shadow since the faulty unit
may have an electrical current
flowing through it whilst the ISS
passes through daylight.
“Additional tasks,” ESA continued, “include deploying cables for the future
installation of an international docking adapter and retrieving a broken light
from a truss camera.”
Dr Michael Foale, a British-American astronaut, represented NASA as he
performed a spacewalk in 1995.
15 January 2016
proposal to establish a permanent
EU external border force is to be
presented to MEPs.
Speaking at the European Parliament’s plenary session in Strasbourg on
Tuesday, European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans
will also outline arrangements to set up a European border and coastguard
that could be deployed in urgent cases without the approval of the country
concerned. Plans to reinforce EU external border management rules and
resources were announced by the Commission in the European Agenda
on Migration in May.
Earlier this month, MEPs also asked the Commission to include provisions
on a mechanism to process individual complaints about alleged breaches
of the fundamental
rights of migrants and
asylum seekers in the
upcoming review of the
The Commission’s plans
are expected to call for
Frontex to become a
permanent EU border and coastguard agency with up to 2,000 of its
own staff and equipment. In addition, the Commission would decide on
the deployment of agents in urgent cases after consulting with EU
Parliamentarians had previously called on the Council and Commission
to consider establishing an EU coastguard in a 2013 resolution on
migratory flows in the Mediterranean.
15 December 2015
The past few months have seen a number of major events making the front pages of
European newspapers and websites, shaking international politics. The terrorist attacks
on Paris killed 130 and saw EU parliamentarians and politicians commemorate the
victims during a ceremony in Brussels.
Just weeks later, the international community came together in the French capital to
agree a new, binding deal to combat climate change. The deal has been hailed as an
‘historic’ agreement by the press and will see signatories review the progress made at
the end of the decade.
David Cameron has also delivered his demands regarding the renegotiation of the UK’s
membership of the EU. The British prime minister outlined details of a ‘new settlement’ in
a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk, before addressing policy makers and
the press at a major speech at Chatham House, London.
Other key developments include the first spacewalk by a UK astronaut and the European
Commission setting out proposals to reform the Frontex border force.
Pan European Networks: Government