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‘Turbinegate’ shakes Polish politics, puts Tusk to first test

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

WARSAW

Poland’s centre-right leader, Donald Tusk, who is expected to become prime minister next week after the recent elections, is already facing a problem: The likely-outgoing conservative PiS party have accused their successors of serving lobbyists with its new wind energy bill.

Described as “turbinegate” it is the first alleged scandal of Tusk’s third government, breaking out before the government has even been formed. Read more.

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EU INSTITUTIONS

Greens warn EPP, liberals mimicking far-right will ‘backfire’. Amidst major far-right gains across the EU, liberal and conservative parties must stop “running after far-right narratives” to win voters as it will backfire because “at the end, people vote for the original,” co-president of the Greens Terry Reintke told Euractiv while laying out her vision for the future of EU policymaking. Read more.

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BERLIN

Intel stands by record semiconductor investment despite German budget problems. Intel is sticking to its plans to build a €30 billion chip factory in Germany, despite some uncertainty over state subsidies for the project after the Constitutional Court ‘threw a spanner in the works’ of the government’s budget plans. Read more.

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VIENNA

Austria pushes to speed up EU accession for Western Balkans, especially Bosnia. Austria insists on speeding up the EU accession process for Western Balkan states, particularly Bosnia-Herzegovina, to ensure the region’s stability and protection from foreign influence as Brussels focuses on Ukraine’s EU bid. Read more.

NORDICS AND BALTICS

STOCKHOLM

Far-right party making inroads in Sweden. Far-right Sweden Democrats leader Jimmie Åkesson has overtaken incumbent centre-right Moderate Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson in a new opinion poll published on Monday, with an increasing number of Swedes wanting him to join the government. Read more.

 EUROPE’S SOUTH

ATHENS

Greece, Turkey target migrant smugglers to revive ties. In another effort to turn the page in their troubled bilateral ties, Greece and Turkey are expected to take a first step at a high-level meeting in Athens on Thursday with a new agreement to tackle migrant smuggling. Read more.

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MADRID

Spain’s right-wing could govern if elections were held today: poll. For the first time since July’s snap elections, the centre-right Partido Popular (EPP) could govern Spain with an absolute majority if new elections were held today, a poll by 40dB for El País and private radio station Cadena SER revealed on Monday. Read more.

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LISBON

Portugal backs EU accession for Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro. Portugal backs the EU accession bids of Albania, North Macedonia, and Montenegro, the office of outgoing Prime Minister António Costa stated on Monday following his three-country tour. Read more.

EASTERN EUROPE

PRAGUE

Czech PM says EU far from tackling causes of irregular migration. Europe is “unfortunately far from” solving the causes of irregular migration, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (ODS, ECR) said in Vienna on Monday as he met with Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, a minister who keeps reiterating the need to curb irregular migration to the European Union. Read more.

Czechia initiates prostate cancer screening programme. Czechia will launch a new prostate cancer screening program in January 2024 to ensure early detection and treatment of the disease. Read more.

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BRATISLAVA

Slovak reform ‘posing rule of law threat’ now under EU Commission review. According to a leaked document, the European Commission has received a reform proposal from the government of new and controversial Prime Minister Robert Fico, which aims to dismantle the Special Prosecutor’s Office – a move the opposition says poses a “direct threat” to the rule of law there. Read more.

NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SOFIA

The export of dual-use goods to Russia via Bulgaria is increasing. Exports of dual-use goods from the EU to Russia via Bulgaria, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan have increased significantly, Bulgarian Finance Minister Asen Vassilev said on Monday after meeting EU Financial Stability and Capital Markets Commissioner Mairead McGuinness. Read more.

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BUCHAREST

Romania has not imported Ukrainian farm products in the past six months. Romania has not imported agricultural products, including wheat, maise, rapeseed and sunflower, from Ukraine in the last six months, data on registered customs operations from the Romanian Customs Authority shows. Read more

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BELGRADE | ROME

Meloni confirms Italy’s strong support of Serbia’s EU path. Italy backs Serbia’s EU accession bid, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni endorsed after her one-on-one meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučićv in Serbia. Read more.

AGENDA:

EU: Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council convenes to discuss digital networks and infrastructure, cyber security, and more;
Commission Vice President
Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič attends COP28, in United Arab Emirates; Meets with Vice President of the European Investment Bank Ambroise Fayolle; Participates in high level event on “Ukraine’s path to net zero”; Delivers keynote speech at the Global Initiative for Nature, Grids and Renewables launch event; Participates in the GIB Gotion InnoBat Batteries launch;
Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson attends COP28, in United Arab Emirates; Delivers opening speech at Renewables and Energy Efficiency ministerial roundtable on the global pledges, organised by the COP Presidency; Holds meeting with Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources of Egypt Tarek El-Molla; Gives opening speech at the launch of EIB’s Global Approach to Just Transition and Just Resilience; Participates at anel discussion “Is the European Green Deal delivering – and what’s next?”; Delivers keynote speech at Global Offshore Wind Alliance (GOWA) hosted ministerial meeting; Participates at EU Energy Days’ closed door roundtable: exchange with Energy Community ministers and representatives, and more;
Commission Vice President Dubravka Šuica delivers keynote speech for the opening of International Democracy Union Forum; Meets with IDU Chairman and 22nd Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper; Meets with President of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo;
Vice President Margaritis Schinas delivers closing remarks at Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority 2023 conference;
Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides gives opening speech at Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Authority 2023 conference on “Is the EU prepared?”; Meets Ukrainian First Deputy Minister of Health Serhii Dubrov;
Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi hosts Minister of Communnication and Transport of Bosnia and Herzegovina Edin Forto; Hosts Vice President of Libyan Presidency Council Mossa Al-Koni;
Parliament President Roberta Metsola attends simulation of Emergency System 112 together with Deputy Prime Minister of Italy and Minister for Foreign Affairs Antonio Tajani, President of the Region of Calabria Roberto Occhiuto, followed by a joint press point, in Catanzaro, Italy;

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara] 

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