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EU right exposed after Berlusconi’s ‘sweet’ letters with Putin – EURACTIV.com

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

Silvio Berlusconi has once again caused turmoil in Italian politics after it was revealed that he exchanged “sweet” letters with his long-time “true” friend, Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The scandal has exposed the leadership of the EU centre-right, which guaranteed Berlusconi’s pro-European credentials just before the elections, while also causing new headaches for Giorgia Meloni, who is struggling to form a government. Read more.

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EU INSTITUTIONS

EU and Morocco sign green energy deal. The European Union and Morocco on Tuesday (18 October) signed a “green partnership” deal they hope will bolster cooperation on renewable energy. Read more.

Inflation, Green Deal put heavy strain on CAP budget, says report. Inflation, combined with the European Commission’s push to achieve ambitions laid out in the Green Deal, is threatening the budget for the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), according to a new report published by the think tank Farm Europe. Read more.

End ‘discrimination’ and admit Bulgaria and Romania to Schengen, MEPs demand. The European Parliament urged the Schengen member states on Tuesday (18 October) to allow Romania and Bulgaria to join the EU free movement area without further delay. Read more.

BERLIN

Pressure mounts on German Finance Minister as auditors deem energy shield unconstitutional’. Germany’s Federal Audit Office declared the government’s energy rescue package “unconstitutional” on Tuesday, adding to the repeated calls for Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP) to end the country’s debt-frenzy. Read more.

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PARIS

French strikes: risk of ‘significant consequences’ on nuclear availability this winter. A disruption of the French electricity supply, particularly nuclear power, is likely this winter due to ongoing industrial actors, according to RTE, the country’s transmission system operator, on Tuesday. Read more.

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BRUSSELS | SARAJEVO

Belgian-based company causes environmental uproar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The EU Delegation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has been urged to condemn SLAPP suits filed against local activists by a Belgian company over the environmental impact of their hydropower plant on the Kasindolska river. Read more.

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THE HAGUE

Dutch COVID numbers begin to drop. The number of positive COVID-19 cases has decreased for the first time in seven weeks. Read more.


UK AND IRELAND

DUBLIN 

Ireland to ban evictions until next March. A ban on evictions between November and the end of March 2023 was approved by the Irish government on Tuesday. Read more.


NORDICS AND BALTICS

STOCKHOLM

End of ‘feminist’ foreign policy as Turkey still blocks NATO accession. Newly-appointed  Moderate Foreign Minister Tobias Billström intends to end Sweden’s feminist foreign policy as the new government takes over amid stalling from Turkey on Swedish NATO accession. Read more. 

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HELSINKI

Finland and three other member states launch a forestry lobbying group. Finland, together with Sweden, Austria, and Slovenia, have formed an informal strategic partnership, ‘For Forest’, to deepen cooperation in forestry management and policies within the EU. Read more.


EUROPE’S SOUTH

VALLETTA

Maltese government’s own EU family to vote against them over media freedom. The Malta Labour Party’s own family in the European Parliament, the Socialists & Democrats, are set to vote in favour of a 23-point resolution slamming the rule of law and calling for the withdrawal of 40 vexatious legal suits against an independent media portal that continued the work of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. Read more.

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MADRID

Spain approves energy ‘social bonus’ to protect vulnerable families. A new category of social bonus, whereby low-income working households can get a 40% discount on electricity bills, was launched by the government on Tuesday as part of a new package of measures to benefit some 1.5 million vulnerable citizens. Read more.


VISEGRAD 

WARSAW

Polish new far-right leader wants Russian coal imports to resume. The embargo of Russian coal should be suspended, Sławomir Mentzen, the new leader of the far-right KORWiN party said, arguing that where it comes from does not matter to consumers. Read more.

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PRAGUE

Czech NGOs recorded enormous cancer-causing emissions in 2021. Czech green NGOs recorded a significant increase in carcinogen and mutagenic substances emissions in 2021, with a particular increase in greenhouse gas and mercury. Read more.

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BRATISLAVA

Bratislava requalifies queer bar killings as terrorism. The killing of two people outside a queer bar in Bratislava last week was requalified as an act of terrorism by the Slovak National Criminal Agency. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SOFIA

Borissov threatens Bulgaria with new elections. The leader of the GERB party and former prime minister Boyko Borissov threatened that Bulgaria would go to early elections for the fourth time in under two years. Read more.

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ZAGREB

Croatian president to block plans for training Ukrainian troops. Plans to provide military training for Ukrainian soldiers will be thwarted because it would involve Croatia in the war more than is necessary, Croatian President Zoran Milanović said on Tuesday. Read more.

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PRISTINA

Kosovo must step up human rights obligations, says Strasbourg human rights chief. Social cohesion is still hampered by impunity for war-related crimes, unresolved cases of missing persons, and lack of access to reparations for all war victims more than 20 years after the Kosovo war, said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović following a visit to Kosovo from 30 May to 3 June. Read more.

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TIRANA

Albanian government to formally withdraw controversial media law. While the controversial anti-defamation package has not been on the agenda of the Albanian parliament for just over a year it still needs to be formally withdrawn, which will now take place, said the government on Tuesday. Read more.

 

AGENDA

  • EU: European Parliament Plenary Session debates presentation of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022; Whitewashing of the anti-European extreme right in the EU; Outcome of the first meeting of the European Political Community; EU-Western Balkans relations in light of the new enlargement package; Lukashenka regime’s active role in the war against Ukraine; Global food security as follow-up to the G20 Agriculture Ministers meeting;
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen participates in the EP plenary debate on the preparation of the European Council meeting of 20-21 October 2022;
  • Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi participates in the EP plenary session; Meets with EPP Members of the Parliament for a working lunch; Holds a meeting with the Committee of the Ministers, in Strasbourg, France; Meets with the General Secretary of the Council of Europe;
  • EP Plenary Session votes on the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2023, all sections included; Draft amending budget 4/2022: update of revenue (own resources) and other technical adjustments; Sustainable maritime fuels and deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure;
  • EP President Roberta Metsola meets with Slovak Republic President Zuzana Čaputová; Attends the European Parliament’s Conference of Presidents; Addresses the seminar “Safeguarding media freedom: the role of the European Union”, and the Daphne Caruana Galizia Prize for Journalism Award Ceremony;
  • Sakharov Prize Winner 2022 is decided by EP President Roberta Metsola and the EP political group leaders;
  • The Tripartite Social Summit brings together EU institutions at the presidential level and the European social partners at the top management level to discuss the assessment of the impact of the war in Ukraine on the current socio-economic situation; Measures to tackle the energy crisis; Economic and social support measures to tackle the cost of living crisis;  The summit is co-chaired by the President of the European Council Charles Michel and the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen in Strasbourg, France; Commissioner for Trade Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit expected to participate;
  • The General Affairs Council continues preparations for the European Council meeting on 20-21 October by discussing draft conclusions; Holds a debate on the EP proposal for revising the EU rules regarding EP election; Discusses the Conference on the Future of Europe, and the Rule of Law in Poland;
  • Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson virtually addresses Europol Cybercrime Conference;
  • Switzerland: Air force holds live-fire exercise over the Axalp, Swiss Alps;
  • Poland: Constitutional Court examines the legality of fines imposed on Poland by EU Court of Justice;
  • Russia: President Vladimir Putin chairs Security Council meeting; Hearing seeking the dissolution of the Russian branch of non-profit Jewish Agency that promotes immigration to Israel expected to take place;

 

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

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