Category Archives: EU

Joint Statement On The Occasion Of The International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia And Biphobia In Romania

On the occasion of the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, we express our support for, and solidarity with, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities in Romania

Parliament Street

Parliament Street

On the occasion of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia (IDAHOBIT), we express our solidarity with all marginalized groups in Romania, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity and sexual characteristics.

LGBTI persons continue to face discrimination. Our countries seek to combat such discrimination by promoting human rights for everyone. This respect for fundamental human rights and dignity obliges governments to protect all citizens from violence and discrimination and to ensure that all people enjoy equal treatment and equal opportunities. We believe that only when diversity is appreciated and supported can a country achieve its full potential.

The 2019 Bucharest Pride March will take place on 22 June, while the third edition of Cluj Pride March will be held on 15 June and Timisoara Pride Festival on June 3-9. In this context, we support all the lawful and peaceful manifestations to enhance the importance of the International Day of Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Romania.

The joint statement is issued by the embassies of: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and the Representation of the European Commission.

The Lawfare Project Announces New Case Against Kuwait Airways In Germany

The Lawfare Project

The Lawfare Project

The Lawfare Project has announced that it has filed a new case against Kuwait Airways in Germany, over the airline’s policy of antisemitic discrimination on its flights. The case is being brought by a Frankfurt based Israeli businessman who booked a flight from Munich to Sri Lanka in November last year, only to be denied the right to travel.

This is the second case in which The Lawfare Project has represented Israelis barred from traveling in Germany by Kuwait Airways. A previous case originally brought in 2017 involving the same discriminatory policy triggered outcry in Germany and remains under review by Germany’s Constitutional High Court.

The plaintiff in the new case, known as Shmuel M, booked business class tickets from Munich to Colombo, which was the quickest flight to Sri Lanka available from that airport. When Shmuel M asked about the availability of kosher food on the flight, the airline asked whether he held an Israeli passport. When he confirmed that he did, he was told that he would be unable to travel and would need to speak to the airline’s lawyers for further information.

As a result, Shmuel M is suing Kuwait Airways with The Lawfare Project providing his legal representation. The case has been filed at the Landshut District Court, which has jurisdiction over Munich International Airport. Kuwait Airways is yet to reply to the claims writ. It is likely that a hearing will take place later this year.

Kuwait Airways has previously justified its discrimination by citing a decades-old Kuwaiti law that bans all Kuwaiti citizens and companies from doing any business with citizens of the Jewish state.

On past occasions, legal pressure from The Lawfare Project against Kuwait Airways in the U.S. and Switzerland led to the airline canceling its NYC-London flights, and all its inter-European flights, rather than compromise its discriminatory practices.

Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, the legal think tank and litigation fund representing the plaintiff, said:

“Time and again Kuwait Airways has shown itself to be a bigoted airline with a bigoted policy that should have no place in a modern liberal democracy. An airline that kicks Israelis off planes should be kicked out of Germany.

When a Jewish passenger is denied the right to travel after requesting a kosher meal, in Germany of all places, then anyone who respects the values of equality, fairness, and the rule of law should be appalled.”

Nathan Gelbart, The Lawfare Project’s German counsel, said:

“If Kuwait Airways wishes to continue operating in Germany then the message should be clear: carry everyone or carry no one. There can be no discrimination against Jews on German soil. As long as we permit an airline to advertise flights for everyone except Israelis it is a stain on the moral fabric of our country.”

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About The Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of Jewish communities around the world. To learn more, please visit www.thelawfareproject.org.

Hearing Takes Place At European Court Of Justice In Landmark Case Against Discriminatory Labeling Of Israeli Products

The Lawfare Project

The Lawfare Project

A hearing took place yesterday at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in a landmark case against the discriminatory labeling of Israeli products. The case was referred to the ECJ by the French Conseil d’État. It was brought by Psâgot Winery Ltd, an Israeli wine producer and exporter, together with The Lawfare Project, a U.S.-based think tank and litigation fund that files cases against anti-Semitic discrimination around the world.

Psâgot and The Lawfare Project, represented by French Supreme Court law firm Cabinet Briard, challenged an opinion published by the French Minister of Economics and Finance in November 2016. The Minister’s opinion stated that products from the Golan Heights or West Bank have to be labeled as coming from Israeli settlements (“colonies Israéliennes”) or equivalent terms.

At yesterday’s hearing, counsel for Psâgot—François-Henri Briard, Supreme Court Attorney of France—strongly argued that the insistence on applying the label of “colonies Israéliennes” goes beyond the law. The law was not designed for such political labeling but to provide fair and clear information for consumers. Polling carried out last year among French consumers revealed that they had very little interest in the politicized labeling of products.

Furthermore, argued Briard, applying the law in such a way would open a “Pandora’s Box,” requiring extremely complex labeling for products from over 100 different territories around the world where there are territorial disputes.

The three-hour hearing was presided over by President of the European Court, Koen Lenaerts, who also heard from representatives of Sweden, Ireland, and France. These three countries’ governments argued strongly in favor of discriminatory labeling, falsely implying that Israel does not exercise authority over these territories in the context of trade.

The ECJ Advocate General will publish his opinion on June 14, 2019. A decision from the Court is expected a few weeks after that, which would interpret EU law on the issue for all EU member states, including France, which referred the case. As a result, the Court’s decision will have landmark implications across the EU regarding the discriminatory labeling of Israeli products.

Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project, said:

Of the hundreds of territorial disputes around the world, it is Israeli businesses alone that find themselves targeted by these unnecessary and politicized labeling requirements. The importance of the Court’s decision shouldn’t be overstated: it will either end this double standard against Israel or legitimize it across Europe. I hope the Court grasps this opportunity to end the double standard.

François-Henri Briard, attorney before the French Supreme Courts and counsel for Psâgot, said:

I am confident that the ECJ will be very careful to keep its interpretation of EU law within a legal framework, without making foreign policy. The purpose of the EU rules is to protect health for consumers and to provide fair information on food products; they have nothing to do with political geography. The attempts of the European Commission to justify the use of the word “colony,” using an argument based on social and ethical consumer information, goes beyond EU text and looks like an awkward legal framework; I do not think the ECJ will follow such poor and political argument.

About The Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of Jewish communities around the world. To learn more, please visit www.thelawfareproject.org.

Belgium’s Constitutional Court Refers Appeal Against Kosher Slaughter Ban For Additional Review By European Court Of Justice, CCOJB And The Lawfare Project To Continue Legal Fight

The Lawfare Project

The Lawfare Project

Belgium’s Constitutional Court ruled today that it needed to suspend the legal process in order to check the legality of the bans on religious slaughter passed in 2017 by the parliaments of Flanders and Wallonia. Following the passing of the discriminatory legislation, the Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations in Belgium (CCOJB) filed a lawsuit against the ban with support from The Lawfare Project, a legal think tank and litigation fund that files legal cases against anti-Jewish discrimination around the world.

The Court decided that it needs to check whether the bans on religious slaughter are compatible with European law. European legislation allows for religious slaughter as an exception to the rule of prior stunning, provided that religious slaughter is operated in an approved slaughterhouse.

The CCOJB and The Lawfare Project maintain that, while the ban was implemented with the stated purpose of animal welfare, that argument is flawed because animal welfare has always been central to the laws of kosher practice.

“We have been involved in this case since the start,” said Brooke Goldstein, Executive Director of The Lawfare Project. “We will continue to work to ensure kosher slaughter is not banned.”

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About The Lawfare Project: Headquartered in New York, The Lawfare Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is a legal think tank and litigation fund committed to protecting the civil and human rights of Jewish communities around the world. To learn more, please visit www.thelawfareproject.org.

EU Exit Guidance For Food, Drink And Farming Sector Stakeholders

The Agri-Food chain stakeholder team at Defra has shared guidance to ensure that businesses are ready for a potential ‘no deal’ scenario

Stakeholders in the food, drink and farming sectors need to be prepared for EU exit

Stakeholders in the food, drink and farming sectors need to be prepared for EU exit

Background

As part of preparations for exiting the EU, Defra are continuing to create guidance to ensure that businesses are aware of forthcoming changes and ready for day one in a potential ‘no deal’ scenario. The Agri-Food Chain Stakeholder Engagement team has shared seven key food, drink and agriculture related government communications that have been released in recent days and weeks.

How to import organic produce if the UK leaves the EU with no deal – Certificate of Inspection

If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the way in which we import organic produce will change as we will lose access to TRACES NT. Imports from third countries (excluding the EU, EEA and Switzerland until 31 December 2020) will still require a Certificate of Inspection (CoI). This will be a UK CoI and will be a manual system for an interim period until an electronic replacement is available. This system mirrors the system that was in place 17 months ago.

Defra have circulated the CoI template, guidance and resources to a number of stakeholders and are working on updating their webpages.

For any questions contact megan.young@defra.gov.uk

Please find information that the food and drink sector need to know before we leave the EU. This is a helpful tool that can be shared with your members and supply chains. Included are social media assets, flyers, animations and posters.

Nutrition and health claims on foods if there’s no EU Exit deal

The UK nutrition and health claims register sets out all authorised and rejected nutrition and health claims. In the event of a no-deal EU Exit, only authorised claims in the register may be used in the UK. Find more information from Department for Health and Social Care.

Vitamins and minerals in foods if there’s no EU Exit deal

Department for Health and Social Care have also released the UK register and associated guidance which specifies which vitamins and minerals may be added to foods, and any substances that are banned or restricted, in the event of a no-deal EU Exit.

VAT on goods you move from Ireland to Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

HMRC have released information and guidance for UK businesses who move goods from Ireland to Northern Ireland. If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, import VAT will be due on goods that are moved from Ireland to Northern Ireland at the relevant rate. If you move goods into Northern Ireland from any other country, or from Ireland directly to Great Britain, you should follow the relevant customs procedures.

Customs procedures for goods moving between Ireland and Northern Ireland if the UK leaves the EU without a deal

There is HMRC guidance for businesses who move goods between Ireland and Northern Ireland. These goods will face different procedures compared to other UK-EU trade if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

UK signs trade continuity agreement with Caribbean countries

Department for International Trade have published a press releasehighlighting that the UK has signed a trade continuity agreement with a series of countries in the Caribbean.

Food and Drink and Farming landing pages

We recommend that stakeholders continue to check for updated no deal guidance on our dedicated landing page for the food and drink sector. There is also a farming sector landing page. These pages have been created to ensure that EU Exit guidance is easy to find. The landing pages combine all relevant EU Exit guidance in the case of a no deal scenario for the Food and Drink and farming sector stakeholders and are updated regularly with new no deal communications as they become live.

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