Italy forms coalition against wine ‘health labels’ in Ireland
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
The Italian government is working to block Ireland’s new law requiring health labels on alcoholic products such as wine, a move that, according to one of the governing parties Forza Italia (EPP), breaks the internal market and generates unfounded alarm among consumers. Read more.
Franco-German friendship meeting overshadowed by nuclear divide. The Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly on Monday, where 50 French National Assembly members and 50 Bundestag members meet bi-annually to foster cooperation between the countries, was overshadowed by their divides on nuclear energy. Read more.
French government presents its decarbonisation plan to meet EU targets. On Monday, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne unveiled France’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets to meet the EU’s 55% reduction target by 2030. Read more.
Migration hardliner poised to lead Austria’s Social Democrats. The current governor of the Austrian state of Burgenland, Hans Peter Doskozil – a known hardliner on migration matters – is in the pole position to become the new leader of the Social Democrat Party (SP?), with over 33% of party members backing him. Read more.
Belgium’s De Croo slams degrowth, joins call for a regulatory break. Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo criticised the idea of not growing the economy for environmental reasons at a business congress in Berlin on Monday, joining calls to stop environmental and health-related regulation to prevent overburdening companies. Read more.
Dutch may not reach housing construction goals due to migration, minister says. The Netherlands may not reach their housing construction goals due to migration, rising construction costs and a lack of available land, Housing and Spatial Planning Minister Hugo De Jonge (CDA/EPP) said in a progress report in parliament Monday. Read more.
UK & IRELAND
UK to establish child sexual abuse compensation scheme. To acknowledge the institutional failures that allowed children to suffer, a redress scheme for survivors of child sexual abuse will be launched, the Home Office announced on Monday. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Finland divided over keeping public broadcasting tax. Finland’s population is divided on whether to keep the annual tax that pays for the country’s public broadcaster, the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE, according to a recent study that comes as negotiations for a possible four-party government focus on ways to reduce public debt. Read more.
Greek progressives bicker over who will be main opposition. One week ago, Greek socialists (Pasok) and leftist Syriza were bickering over whether a progressive government between them could work, but after the sweeping victory of the centre-right in the 21 May elections, the topic has shifted to who will be the main opposition in the second round. Read more.
Spain’s election will have over 1.5 million new eligible voters. More than 1.5 million Spanish citizens are eligible to vote in the upcoming regional and municipal elections on Sunday and in the general election due in December, making it a highly coveted vote for all political parties. Read more.
Portugal offers Ukrainian F-16 fighter pilots training, no jets. Portugal can train Ukrainian pilots to use F-16 fighter jets but cannot send its aircraft for the time being, Foreign Minister Jo?o Gomes Cravinho said on Monday. Read more.
Czech-led coalition of eight countries opposes Euro 7 cars emissions standards. A coalition of eight countries, led by Czechia, has come together to voice strong criticism against the proposed Euro 7 car emission standards. Read more.
Poland replies to Russian parliament speaker’s appeal for sanctions. Russian State Duma Speaker Vyacheslav Volodin’s appeal to impose sanctions on Poland and demand Warsaw repay for post-war Soviet investments are typical propaganda, Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Monday. Read more.
Slovak businesses turn to India to plug worker shortages. Slovakia has seen a rapid increase in employees coming from India in 2022, with numbers quadrupling to 1,350 as the IT and automotive sectors, particularly, are struggling with staff shortages. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Besieged Bulgarian chief prosecutor fights back. Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor Ivan Geshev complained on Monday of intense political pressure for his resignation, while his office announced they were starting investigations against former Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and ex-European Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, who is on the verge of forming a government. Read more.
Romanian labour minister wants the retirement age raised to 65. Every person working in Romania will have to retire at age 65 at the latest, Romanina Labour Minister Marius Budai announced Monday following his return from EU recovery plan discussions in Brussels. Read more.
Slovenian central bank’s board member charged over bank bailout again. The National Bureau of Investigation has filed criminal complaints against the Slovenian central bank’s governing board members, including former governor Bo?tjan Jazbec, who were involved in the 2013 bank bailout. Read more.
Serbian farmers find agreement with government, ending five-day protests. Farmers signed a deal with the Serbian government representatives on Saturday, agreeing to higher subsidies, a milk premium, and a levy on imports, among other things, ending five days of road blockades and protests across the country. Read more.
Greek, Albanian FMs meet in Brussels, vote buying suspect mayor remains in prison. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias brought up the issue of the arrest of the winning candidate of the “Together We Win” coalition for Himara, Fredi Beleri at the EU Foreign Council in Brussels, also meeting with Albanian counterpart Olta Xhacka, as a Tirana court ruled to keep Beleri in prison before trial. Read more.
EU: Foreign Affairs Council in its defence configuration convenes to discuss EU support to Ukraine, rapid deployment capacity, ongoing missions/operations in Africa and more;
Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans attends Captains of Innovation event on “Bringing consumption within planetary boundaries” in Utrecht, Netherlands;
Vice President Dubravka ?uica participates in the European Parliament conference on “The role of Ukrainian Women in the Russian war of aggression”;
Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni hosts President of the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Odile Renaud-Basso;
Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders participates in the 5th anniversary event of EDPS (European Data Protection Supervisor); Joins via videoconference the 45th anniversary of French data watchdog CNIL event;
Neighbourhood and Enlargement Commissioner Oliv?r V?rhelyi participates in “Minority rights in the EU enlargement process” conference; Hosts former President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko; Hosts Minister of Communications and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina Edin Forto;
Financial services, financial stability and Capital Markets Union Commissioner Mairead McGuinness meets with Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt and Economy Secretary to the Treasury Andrew Griffith in London, UK; Holds meeting with Governor of the Bank of England Andrew Bailey;
Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski hosts Administrator of the Economic Research Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Spiro Stefanou;
President Roberta Metsola gives opening address at the 5th European Parliament of Persons with Disabilities: “Building an inclusive future for persons with disabilities in the EU”; Commission Vice President V?ra Jourov?, Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli deliver speeches;
Parliament subcommittee on Security and Defence debates chemical weapons current challenges and outcome of the 5th Review Conference of the Chemical Weapons Convention;
Parliament committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs votes on automated data exchange for police cooperation, protecting persons who engage in public participation from manifestly unfounded or abusive court proceedings (Strategic lawsuits against public participation – SLAPPs), and more;
Germany: European Trade Union Confederation Congress takes place until May 26;
France: European conference on energy transition;
Portugal: Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on official visit;
Hungary: Parliament votes on controversial whistle-blower law;
China: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on official visit;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]
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