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In today’s news from the Capitals:
Emergency measures proposed by Brussels to tackle the energy crisis are likely to become a patchwork solution with EU capitals pushing for more exemptions and flexibility – precisely what the Commission warned against. Read more.
The European paradox of Italy’s right-wing victory. In 2018, 54.2% of Italians voted for anti-European political forces, while in 2022, only 36.8%. But the political offer does not reflect this change, with a nationalist government the likely result of Sunday’s general elections. Read more.
EU’s cybersecurity agency chief warns to keep guard up. While there has been no radical change in cyber threats since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, attacks have become more intense and sophisticated, said Juhan Lepassaar, executive director of the EU cybersecurity agency, ENISA, on Monday (26 September). Read more.
EU-Israel Council to take place despite ongoing settlement expansion. The EU-Israel Association Council is preparing to meet for the first time in a decade, just before general elections in Israel in November, with Palestinian rights groups contending that Israel has entrenched its control of the occupied Palestinian territories through continued settlement construction and the activities of its security forces. Read more.
EPP ‘very divided’ on abortion, MEP Arba Kokalari says. While the centre-right European People’s Party is ‘very divided’ on abortion issues, pro-choice Swedish MEP Arba Kokalari says movement to include the right to terminate pregnancy in EU’s fundamental rights treaty is gaining momentum. Watch video.
Germany worried about election result in Italy. The victory of far-right leader Giorgia Meloni in the Italian election has triggered strong reactions in Germany, with key politicians of multiple parties calling the outcome worrying. Read more.
French 2023 budget tackles inflation but faces uncertainty in assembly. The French budget for 2023 presented on Monday increases spending by €7.5 billion compared to 2021, but with a lack of majority in the assembly, passing the bill could be tough and risk a government-toppling no-confidence vote. Read more.
Vienna braces for darker winter to save energy. The Austrian capital is preparing to reduce energy consumption this winter, announcing an early light shut-off in low-traffic areas, leading to concerns over upcoming festive celebrations. Read more.
Another cruise ship for asylum seekers docks in Amsterdam. A cruise ship that will accommodate 1,000 asylum seekers docked in Amsterdam’s western harbour on Monday, the second in a month. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
UK’s Truss faces currency crisis as markets revolt. Prime Minister Liz Truss’s new government is facing a sterling crisis after financial markets reacted to her tax-cutting plans by sending the currency to its lowest value against the dollar in a generation. Read more.
Less Irish SMEs paid ransoms to cybercriminals than 2021, study finds. A third of Irish small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have paid ransoms to cybercriminals this year, a significant decrease on the half that did so in 2021, research by cyber-security company Typtec found. Read more.
Meloni’s tough EU path to ‘legitimise’ herself. Giorgia Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party has clearly won the Italian elections, and observers already project a shift in the EU political balances but whether she will seek closer ties with the traditional EU right (EPP) to ‘legitimise’ her party or get closer to the anti-EU front (ID) remains to be seen, analysts say. Read more.
ECB VP confident Meloni’s victory won’t change Italy’s economic policy. Italy will continue its current economic path despite far-right Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni being set to form the new government after Sunday’s election win, Luis de Guindos, the Spanish Vice-President of the European Central Bank (ECB), said on Monday. Read more.
Brits in Portugal are set to have new post-Brexit residence cards by year’s end. The 36,000 British citizens living in Portugal are expected to have the new post-Brexit residence card by the end of the year, Interior Minister José Luís Carneiro said on Monday. Read more.
What the parties in Greece say about Meloni’s victory in Italy. Representatives of political parties in Greece have expressed concern following the victory of the far-right coalition in Italy under Giorgia Meloni, both clearly and covertly warning of the dangers of a rise in the far-right in the EU. Read more.
Czechia imposes border controls with Slovakia to prevent irregular migration. The Czech government has imposed temporary controls on its borders with Slovakia to prevent irregular migrants from entering the country. Read more.
Poland threatens to sue Commission over recovery money block. Poland will file a complaint against the European Commission before the EU Court in Luxembourg if it continues to block funds from the Recovery and Resilience Facility, announced Deputy Foreign Minister Marcin Przydacz. Read more.
Slovakia and Hungary to discuss protection of Slovak airspace. Slovakia and Hungary will discuss the possible involvement of Budapest in protecting Slovak airspace, Hungarian Defence Minister Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky confirmed to his Slovak counterpart, Jaroslav Naď, on Monday in Bratislava. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Brussels warns Serbia not to reinforce ties with Russia. As a state negotiating EU membership, Serbia cannot strengthen relations with Russia, European Commission spokesman Peter Stano said on Monday in Brussels, noting that the recent signing of an agreement on foreign policy between Russia and Serbia was a cause for concern. Read more.
Serbia slammed on media pluralism after Pink TV incident. After Serbia’s Electronic Media Regulatory Agency (REM) allocated four national TV frequencies to pro-government channels, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) slammed them for non-compliance with the law and asked they respect the right to pluralistic news when allocating a new, fifth frequency. Read more.
Very poor yields expected as Serbia starts corn harvest. As the corn harvesting season gets underway in Serbia’s northern breadbasket region of Vojvodina, agricultural experts warn that yields could be up to 90% lower than in previous years, the Vreme newspaper reported. Read more.
Bulgaria is lagging in accumulation of gas reserves. Bulgaria will not achieve the EU’s minimum goal of filling up to 80% of its gas storage by the start of the heating season, which in the EU begins on 1 October, EURACTIV’s partner Dnevnik reported. Read more.
Romania’s budget deficit at 2.4% of GDP after eight months. Romania posted a budget deficit of almost €6.7 billion in the first eight months, down from nearly €8 billion in 2021. Read more.
Slovenian government projects €5 billion for 2023 to combat the energy crisis. The government is planning measures worth nearly €5 billion to fight the energy crisis in 2023, Prime Minister Robert Golob announced in parliament on Monday. Read more.
Energy body agrees to higher energy tariffs for big Albanian consumers. In line with the government’s announcement earlier this month, the Energy Regulatory Body has decided to increase the cost of electricity for households that use more than 800kilowatt hours (kWh) per month, a decision that could impact up to 72,000 homes. Read more.
- EU: Innovation, Culture and Yout Commissioner Mariya Gabriel in Prague, Czechia: participates in the European Cultural Heritage Summit – European Heritage Policy Agora;
- European Commission Vice-President dealing with climate issues Frans Timmermans participates in a roundtable discussion with selected stakeholders of the environment, climate, energy and agriculture sectors;
- EU Commission Vice-President for Values and Transparency Vĕra Jourová speaks at the conference A European Perspective: The Future of News and Debate in the EU;
- Poland: Inauguration of the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline, which will transport Norwegian gas to Poland;
- Sweden: New parliament meets for its first plenary session;
- UK: Port workers strike over pay;
- Ireland: Irish budget for 2023 announced;
- US: Launch of Artemis 1, NASA uncrewed mission to the moon (date subject to change);
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Maksimov, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]