Fine Gael TD Neale Richmond:  “One of the stated aims of this commission is the maintenance of the rule of law.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

European Court of Justice rules Hungary, Poland and Czech Republic broke EU law by refusing refugees

Hungarian parliament votes through a law granting the government special powers ostensibly to combat coronavirus crisis. Photograph: MTI Zoltan Mathe/Pool via Reuters

East-west split in European Parliament could again scupper sanctions against Orban

A woman walks past a portrait of Chinese president Xi Jinping in Shanghai. Photograph: Aly Song/File Photo/Reuters

Europe Letter: With the West in decline and China rising, old certainties are crumbling

Italian fashion company Miroglio has a new item on its production line: face masks. Photograph: Miroglio

Increasing number of European countries making public wearing of masks compulsory

Farming, food production and distribution industries in the EU are heavily reliant on cross-border labour. File photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters

European Commission president appeals to EU member countries to ease restrictions

Wopke Hoekstra sits behind Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte. Mr Hoekstra wrote that issuing joint debt via bonds risked undermining ‘incentives for sensible policy’. Photograph: EPA

Portugese PM describes Dutch finance minister’s dismissal of eurobonds as ‘repugnant’

This handout picture released  by the Groningen Museum shows Vincent van Gogh’s 1884 painting Lentetuin, or Spring Garden. Photograph: Marten de Leeuw/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Dutch master’s 1884 work Spring Garden taken from museum near Amsterdam

Web Summit chief executive Paddy Cosgrave. File photograph: Antonio Cotrim/EPA

Post violated social media platorms’s ban on promoted political content

FFP2 face masks advertised at a closed shop in Berlin. The Netherlands found flaws in a shipment from China that prevented the masks acting as effective barriers against coronavirus. Photograph: David Gannon/AFP via Getty Images

Netherlands recalls hundreds of thousands of face masks after Spain returned testing kits

A patient with Covid-19 wears a transparent plastic helmet filled with oxygen at a hospital in Bergamo, Italy. Photograph: Fabio Bucciarelli/The New York Times

Supplier cites recent Italian law that domestic need take precedence over exports

Members of the medical staff in protective suits treat a patient suffering from coronavirus  in an intensive care unit at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, Italy. Photograph:  Flavio Lo Scalzo/Reuters

Authorities warn country yet to reach outbreak peak as Spain reports surge in deaths

 A quiet Wicklow Street in Dublin city centre on Thursday, closed due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

World leaders wrestle to contain pandemic’s economic fallout

A nurse dressed in personal protective equipment  prepares to give a coronavirus swab test at a drive-through testing station  in Stamford, Connecticut. Criminals across Europe are exploiting shortages of masks, respirators, and other essential medical equipment for illicit profit. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Dutch police arrest two after attempt to defraud hospitals while Interpol warns of fake shops and websites

People wear face masks as  they walk past shops in Dublin on Wednesday. Photograph: Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

EU warning comes as two more patients with Covid-19 die, and 235 new cases reported

Freight lorries queue at the Port of Dover on March 20th as EU leaders agreed to restrict most travel into the continent. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

Freight truckers are increasingly the only people who can travel across Europe

The finance ministers said the “major economic shock” caused by Covid-19 justified the triggering of the “general escape clause” from EU budget rules

Finance ministers agree to suspend restrictions on borrowing and spending to deal with Covid-19

Police and military checks at central station during the coronavirus emergency lockdown, in Milan, Italy. Photograph: EPA

In Italy death toll rises 627 over 24 hours while virus fatalities crest 1,000 in Spain

The sudden imposition of identity checks on Poland’s border with Germany caused a traffic jam of 60km along one of Europe’s major trade arteries.  Photograph: Rolf Schulten/Bloomberg

Covid-19 threatens to undermine the very foundations of the EU – freedom of movement and free movement of goods

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who has tested positive the Covid-19 coronavirus. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

EU chief Brexit negotiator tweets that he is ‘doing well and in good spirits’

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and the British prime minister’s Europe adviser David Frost in Brussels on March 2nd. Photograph: Oliver Hoslet/Reuters

Document on future EU-UK relationship crosses several British red lines

 Italian foreign minister Luigi Di Maio  holding a press conference with a limited number  of reporters  at the Farnesina Palace in Rome. Photograph:  EPA/Ettore Ferrari

Europe Letter: Italian ambassador to the EU sees the crisis as a test of the union’s cohesiveness and solidarity

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel: “We have to be very careful with our single market,” says Ms von der Leyen. “In the economy it’s the most precious instrument we have.” Photograph: Olivier Matthys

Free trade and movement between member states hampered by closures and traffic jams

A coronavirus  warning notice  at the European Council, in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Sides examining possibility of negotiating via video-conferencing or conference calls

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen holds a news conference on Monday. The commission has proposed barring travel from the rest of the world to the EU for at least 30 days. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

European countries close borders to each other and rest of world as Macron declares total lockdown

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte during a televised address on the outbreak of coronavirus. Photograph:  Robin Van Lonkhuijsen/ANP/AFP via Getty

Prime minister Mark Rutte says ‘large part’ of population will be infected

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen speaking in Brussels on Monday. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

Ban on all non-essential travel into bloc proposed by European Commission

A healthcare worker at  Shamrock Rovers’ Tallaght Stadium in Dublin which is being used as a testing centre for Covid-19 (Coronavirus). Photograph: Collins

Rise in cases cannot be stopped’ as restrictions set to be extended beyond March 29th

French police officers carry out checks at the border between Italy and France in Menton, southern France, on Sunday. Photograph: Sebastien Nogier/EPA

France, Spain and Netherlands shut down all but essential services

A woman sings from her balcony in Rome. Photograph: Reuters

‘From the point of view of solidarity, beautiful things are happening ... I feel proud to be Italian’

The Spanish Steps at a deserted Piazza di Spagna in central Rome on Thursday. Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

Shutdowns to fight pandemic as disease control centre warns outbreaks may worsen

Morena Colombi is recovering in total isolation in her home close to Milan.

Follow quarantine instructions and avoid hospitals unless absolutely necessary

Michel Barnier, Brexit chief negotiator for the European Union. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

Negotiators say they are looking for alternative ways to continue discussions

Rome’s Termini central rail station in Rome on Wednesday. Photograph: Massimo Percossi/EPA

Europe Letter: Other countries urged to act promptly and communicate clearly

Deserted Via del Corso in Rome: Austria banned entry to people from Italy on Tuesday, introducing checks on its border.  Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Citizens’ movements severely curtailed as cases exceed 10,000 and economy stalls

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte gives Bruno Bruins, minister for medical care, an elbow greeting. Photograph: Remko De Waal/EPA

Flawed advice that only those with symptoms can spread virus contributes to slow response

Police officers and soldiers check passengers leaving from Milan main train station, Italy. Photograph: Antonio Calanni/AP Photo

EU disease prevention agency to tighten advice on coronavirus transmission

EU Council president Charles Michel (centre) and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (right) welcome Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan (left) before their meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on Monday. Photograph: John Thys/Pool via Reuters

Turkish president seeking to secure more support in Syrian war and migration crisis

An emergency department nurse during a demonstration of the Coronavirus pod and COVID-19 virus testing procedures set-up beside the Emergency Department of Antrim Area Hospital, Co Antrim in Northern Ireland. Photograph: Michael Cooper/PA Wire

National Maternity Hospital annouces visitor restriction in effort to curb spread of Covid-19

Minister for Health Simon Harris: ‘Let me be very clear, we’re going to see many many more cases in Ireland, we’re going to see many more cases in Europe.’ Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Health minister says he expects to see ‘many, many more cases in Ireland’

Signs at the entrance to Cork University Hospital. Photograph Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

Number of cases rises to four in the North; hospitals impose visiting restrictions

Michel Barnier: “An agreement is possible, even if difficult,” he said in Brussels. Photograph: Francois Walschaerts/AFP via Getty Images

Agreement possible but there are ‘very serious divergences’, says EU negotiator Barnier

Migrants carry belongings towards the Pazarkule border gate in Edirne in northwest Turkey as they try to enter Europe. Photograph: Ozan Kose/AFP

Europe Letter: Greek-Turkish border crisis couched in talk of ‘shields’ and ‘protection’

European Commission president Ursula Von der Leyen with Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg,  and commission vice-president Frans Timmermans in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

Target of legally binding net zero emissions by 2050 ‘means giving up’, says activist

Photograph: iStock

Internet giant had challenged fines imposed for non-payment of a national tax on advertising

EU commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic (right), gives a press conference flanked by  European Commission  president Ursula von der Leyen (left), held at the Emergency Response Coordination Centre in Brussels, on the EU response to Covid-19 on Monday. Photograph: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Dedicated European task force announced as Italy plans €3.6 billion business aid package

Refugees and migrants land ashore the Greek island of Lesbos on Monday. Photograph: Aris Messinis/AFP via Getty Images

Open border sees Greece struggle with thousands of migrants

Chief Brexit negotiators Michel Barnier (right) with David Frost at the start of post-Brexit trade talks. Photograph: AP

UK targets free-trade deal with EU but bloc sticks on close alignment to rules, standards

A group of migrants  in Edirne wait to cross into Greece at the Turkish-Greek border. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA

Ankara reneging on deal to restrict movement towards EU in wake of Syrian air strike

Dublin Port: under World Trade Organisation rules and tariffs, meat exports to the UK would be taxed at close to 50 per cent and dairy products at over 30 per cent. Photograph: Stephen Collins/Collins

High stakes for Ireland as teams for UK and EU meet to formulate post-exit relationship

Hand gel: Hand-shaking is something of an occupational health risk. File photograph: EPA

Europe Letter: ‘When confronted with a crisis, the commission retreats into technicalities’

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gives a press conference in Brussels on Tuesday. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

Barnier thumps podium while warning UK that deal will not be agreed ‘at any price’

Women wearing protective facemasks  in central Milan on Monday. ‘Viruses know no borders,’ said Stella Kyriakides, European commissioner for health and food safety. Photograph:  Miguel Medina/AFP via Getty Images

EU pledges €232m to fight outbreak as seventh person dies in Northern Italy

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who has received a mandate from the member states for the next stage of talks with the UK. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

European member states approve common negotiating guidelines for next stage of talks with UK

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