Austria opposes ‘decoupling’ EU trajectory between Albania and North Macedonia – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from capitals:
EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi’s proposal to advance accession negotiations with Albania, but to exclude North Macedonia for the time being, has drawn criticism in Austria, the Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg describing the decision as “absurd”. Read more.
Portuguese PM: “unfair” to blame Germany for its position on vaccine patents. The Portuguese prime minister said he considered arguments blaming Germany for the EU’s skepticism about waiving patents on COVID-19 vaccines as “unfair”, stressing that most member states are following the same line. After.
German Greens: the ‘X’ factor in the EU debate on new genomic techniques. With the Greens increasingly likely to dominate the future German government after the September 26 elections, EURACTIV provided an update on the party’s position on gene editing, which could prove to be a turning point for the position. of Germany and the ongoing debate in the EU. Read the full story.
Separately, the far left Die Linke appointed party chairperson Janine Wissler and parliamentary group leader Dietmar Bartsch as main candidates for the September election. The two main candidates cited as their most important issues the commitment to workers in low-paid sectors, disarmament, raising taxes and the fight against old age and child poverty.
Macron can drop the referendum on including environmental preservation in the constitution. French President Emmanuel Macron may well have to renounce the commitment he made at the Citizen’s Climate Convention in December to organize a referendum on the advisability of including the preservation of the environment in article 1 of the French Constitution, as senators failed to agree on an appropriate wording, French weekly Sunday Newspaper reported. Read more.
The Belgian Advisory Committee meets on the “Freedom Plan”. Belgian leaders are expected to meet on Tuesday to discuss a timetable for further easing of coronavirus restrictions in the coming months. Further relaxations in the hospitality sector, loosening of limits on gatherings and a renewal of measures for teleworking and summer tourism are on the agenda. (Alexandra Brzozowski, EURACTIV.com)
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Hugs are back on the menu in the UK. Hugging is expected to return to English life next week as part of the next step in easing coronavirus restrictions. Read more.
DUBLIN | BELFAST
DUP Leader: Social media giants allow ‘lynch mobs’ to harass women online. Former DUP leader Arlene Foster has slammed US giants Twitter, Facebook and Google for “washing their hands” of “mobs of lynchs” harassing women in public roles online. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Estonia wants to spend EU funds according to its ‘own model’. Estonia should spend EU funds, especially on digital and green transition, according to its “own Estonian model” and without being influenced by other countries, said Finance Minister Keit Pentus on Thursday. Rosimannus in the country’s parliament. Read more.
Tensions are mounting as migrants arrive on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The arrival of some 2,148 migrants between Sunday and Monday on the Italian island of Lampedusa, as well as the interception by the Libyan coast guard of 700 migrants and the death of five due to the capsizing of a boat, caused a lively controversy in Italy. Read more.
The Spanish auto industry is considering an extension of leave programs to save jobs. The Spanish auto industry is considering expanding the temporary layoff programs known as ERTE, which currently expire at the end of the month until at least next September to mitigate the negative impact of the pandemic on the sector. Read the full story.
Greek court: State compensation for damage after vaccination. Citizens have the right to receive compensation from the Greek state for any damage caused after vaccination, according to the Council of State. After
WARSAW | BUCHAREST
Eastern European leaders condemn Russia’s acts of sabotage in NATO territory. The leaders of the Bucharest Nine Group (B9) condemned the acts of sabotage committed by Russia on NATO territory and expressed their view that members of the Atlantic alliance must jointly address the security implications of the global rise of China. Read more.
The EU will not expel Russian diplomats despite the Czech Republic’s appeal for solidarity. The EU does not want to escalate tensions with Russia by expelling Russian diplomats, EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday after a meeting of EU foreign ministers . Read more.
Hungarian police confirm COVID-19 government websites are under cyber attack. Hungarian police maintained claims that the country’s COVID-19-related websites had been targeted by a cyberattack, but declined to give further details to Telex. Read more.
The Slovak government is again divided over the ouster of the Minister of Justice. A proposal put forward by the opposition to oust Slovak Justice Minister Mária Kolíková from the Za ľudí coalition party due to a conflict of interest was rejected by members of the government. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
European police officers help patrol the Slovenian border. A group of 21 Police officers from Estonia, Lithuania and Poland are to join their Slovenian colleagues to help patrol the border with Croatia for at least next month in a bid to prevent migrants from crossing the border. Read more.
The former Bulgarian Prime Minister returns to politics in alliance with the Communists. Former Bulgarian Prime Minister Jan Videnov announced he was returning to politics, founding a new left-wing alternative party, adding that he planned to run in the next snap elections with the “For a Clean and Holy Republic” coalition, part of which is the Union of Communists in Bulgaria. Read more.
Borrell: The Western Balkans is a geopolitical issue, the EU should get involved. EU High Representative Josep Borrell said the Western Balkans was a geopolitical issue of paramount importance for the European Union, so the EU should engage politically in the region. Read more.
In other news, On May 10, Serbian Finance Minister Siniša Mali signed two loan contracts worth a total of 234.6 million euros, a program loan for public policy on climate change and a loan for the railway sector modernization project in Serbia using a phased program approach. Read more.
- Italy: The National Institute of Statistics (Istat) will release industrial production data for March 2021, as well as its monthly note on economic trends in April this year.
- Spain: Complex political negotiations to form a pro-independence government in Catalonia continue as the deadline draws near.
- Belgium: The Belgian Advisory Committee meets to clarify the relaxations for the culture and events sector and a “summer plan”.
- Poland: The second day of President Andrzej Duda’s visit to Romania will begin.
- Czech Republic: Foreign Minister Jakub Kulhánek will travel to Budapest to meet his Hungarian counterpart Péter Szijjártó.
- Hungary: JFormer Minister Judit Varga will meet EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders on Tuesday to discuss the Commission’s next rule of law report.
- Slovakia: President Zuzana Čaputová will meet Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen as part of her visit to Denmark.
- Sofia: President Rumen Radev will recall parliament on Tuesday and appoint an interim government that will be in charge until the elections scheduled for July 11 due to the failure of parties elected to parliament in April to form a government.
- Romania: Prime Minister Florin Citu will meet the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, in Brussels.
- Croatia: The President of the Parliament, Gordan Jandroković, will launch Tuesday at 10 am “the Conference on the future of Europe – vision of Croatia”.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Paula Kenny, Zoran Radosavljevic, Josie Le Blond]