‘Coalitions of will’, disappointment in the Balkans and ‘openness to the East’ of Hungary – EURACTIV.com
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The Global Europe Brief is taking a little break this week.
We’re back with our regular edition next week.
THE EU IN THE WORLD
VACCINE EXCHANGES? When the EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) was concluded “in principle” last December, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron were quite satisfied. But things have deteriorated since. Some insiders say the Franco-German efforts to close the deal have been bigger than what has been reported.
BELARUS SANCTIONS. The EU is preparing a fourth round of sanctions against top Belarusian officials in response to last year’s disputed presidential election and could target up to 50 people from June, four diplomats said.
Migration pact. EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson acknowledged that progress on the new migration and asylum pact, proposed by the European Commission in September, has been “slow”.
DELAYED PARTNERSHIP. Discussions on an EU-Africa partnership may have only emerged in the last two years, but the promise of better trade and political relations with its southern “sister continent” has come from Jean-Claude Juncker, who presented plans for a continent to – continent trade deal and a change of speech in 2018.
But EU and AU officials are adamant that the pandemic has not derailed the “partnership strategy”. Instead, they say, one of the consequences of COVID will likely be to focus on greater cooperation on healthcare and other political matters. To find out more, read our briefing note here.
EU-UK DISCRIMINATION. There has been confusion over whether EU citizens with preinstalled status enjoy the same rights to social benefits in the UK, such as universal credit and housing benefits, as established nationals. and British nationals.
A quarter of EU citizens living in the UK do not feel treated the same as UK citizens, according to the first survey of EU citizens by the watchdog charged with protecting their rights released Thursday.
CLIMATE TALK. Putting in place a border tax to price carbon-intensive imports and protect European industries will be “extremely complicated,” warned Jonathan Pershing, a member of the US climate envoy’s team. But despite reservations about the European carbon tax at the border, the United States is also considering the idea.
‘COALITIONS OF THE WILL’. There is a ‘clarity of understanding’ that the circumstances of European defense have changed and there is an increased recognition that Europe cannot be geopolitically relevant without having a military dimension, said the Portuguese minister of the Defense, João Gomes Cravinho, in an interview.
WITHDRAWAL OF KFOR? An anonymous big power is launching a request to withdraw the NATO Force in Kosovo (KFOR) and the United Nations Mission (UNMIK) from Kosovo, Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić said on Thursday, adding that he would ask the secretary NATO General Jens Stoltenberg to intervene.
CIVIL PROTECTION. EU member states this week approved a strengthened European Civil Protection Mechanism, with new rules to better prepare for emergencies such as forest fires, and more resources to enable a faster response to new threats such as pandemics.
GERMAN DEFENSE. German defense projects worth a total of several billion euros risk being scrapped because the necessary budget has not yet been obtained, according to a confidential document from the Defense Ministry in Berlin.
GROUP B9. 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.
“DEEP DECEPTION”. The EU faces persistent nationalism, a weak economy and widespread disappointment that its prospects for EU membership have faded due to a phased enlargement process in the Western Balkans region , according to a preparatory working document, seen by EURACTIV.
At the same time, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olivér Várhelyi’s proposal to advance accession negotiations with Albania but to exclude North Macedonia, for now, has raised concerns. reviews in Austria and beyond.
PHOTO-OPS. Janez Janša surprised everyone by deciding to unveil the priorities of the Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU during a trip to Greece this week. If that sounds familiar, that’s because it is – we’ve seen Western Balkan peaks come and go, which usually amounts to little more than photo opportunities, writes Zoran Radosavljevic.
VETO SUITE. Faced with pressure from EU members, Bulgarian Ambassador to the EU explained to EU ministers his country’s decision to oppose the opening of Macedonian accession negotiations from the neighboring north. Spoiler alert: The change of government in Bulgaria is unlikely to change the country’s position vis-à-vis Skopje, in the absence of tangible progress bilaterally.
BOSNIA GAME. EU leaders should reject any new rhetoric on ethnic division and secession in the Western Balkans and finally keep their promises to the nations of the region, MEPs Tineke Strik and Viola von Cramon-Taubadel write in EURACTIV.
“EAST OPENING”. The Hungarian government is bragging about the success of its trade policy in the East, but data shows that the country’s economic dependence on the EU has not changed since 2010 and the opportunities promised to the Hungarian Is did not materialize, the media partner of EURACTIV Telex reports.
REBALANCED RELATIONSHIPS. Portuguese Foreign Minister Augusto Santos Silva said he wanted the Portuguese EU Presidency to be remembered as “the one that rebalanced relations with Asia”.
LIBERATION OF GEORGIA. Georgia this week released jailed opposition leader Nika Melia on EU bail, in a move that is expected to defuse a political crisis in the Caucasus country.
EU-KAZAKHSTAN. Former European Commission Vice-President Günther Oettinger called for raising EU-Kazakhstan relations to “a new level”, urging European companies to invest more in value-added products made in the Asian country central.
WHAT ELSE WE READ
ON OUR RADAR FOR THE NEXT DAYS…
Day-to-day affairs in Europe are still stuck in the reality of the lockdown, until further notice. We will keep you up to date with all relevant news from EU foreign affairs as Europe slowly moves towards opening up after the pandemic.
- Annual meeting of Western Balkan leaders on EU membership
| Monday May 17, 2021 | Kranj, Slovenia
- Plenary session of the European Parliament
| Mo-Thu, 17-20 May 2021 | Brussels, Belgium
- US envoy to Afghanistan tells Congress about troop withdrawal countdown
| Tuesday May 18, 2021 | Washington, United States
- Russian Duma debates end Open Skies security treaty with the United States
| Wednesday 19 May 2021 | Moscow, Russia
- Ministerial meeting of the Arctic Council
| Wednesday 19 May 2021 | Reykjavik, Iceland
- EU trade ministers meet
| Thursday 20 May 2021 | Brussels, Belgium
- G20 World Health Summit
| Friday May 21, 2021 | Rome, Italy
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