Germany eyes Africa’s ‘hearts and minds’

Germany eyes Africa’s ‘hearts and minds’ |

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


German Chancellor Olaf Scholz called for closer trade ties with African countries and announced new investment funds for the continent, as European leaders vied for Africa’s “hearts and minds” at the G20-led Summit for Africa in Berlin on Monday. Read more.



Palestinian state ‘best guarantee’ for Israel’s security, Borrell says. The creation of a Palestinian state would be the best way of ensuring Israel’s security, EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said after the bloc’s foreign ministers on Monday (20 November) met virtually on the current situation in Gaza. Read more.



China bets on France in relations with EU. France should play a key role within the EU to ensure well-functioning relations between the bloc and China, Chinese President Xi Jinping told French counterpart Emmanuel Macron in a phone call on Monday where he said China is willing to maintain high-level exchanges with France and welcome its products entering the Chinese market. Read more.



Austria’s ‘sticky’ climate activists draw ire of leaders as 57 arrested. Leading politicians have sharply criticised the Last Generation climate action group for their large-scale protest on Austrian motorways, which resulted in 57 arrests. Read more.



Sánchez, De Croo visit Israel and Palestine to pitch ‘de-escalation’. Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and his Belgian counterpart Alexander De Croo are keen to promote de-escalation in the Middle East, the two said ahead of their visits on Thursday for talks with their Israeli counterpart and the president of the Palestinian Authority. Read more.



Finnish commissioner bids for national politics despite discouraging polls. Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen has become the fourth commissioner to leave her post to focus on national politics as she announced her candidacy for the Finnish Social Democratic Party (SDP) presidency, despite polls showing little chance of victory. Read more. 



Swedish government will look into ankle monitors for criminal juveniles. The Swedish government wants to look into ankle monitors as a way of monitoring young people in care for crimes or links to serious criminal activity, Swedish Social Affairs Minister Camilla Waltersson Grönvall told a press conference on Monday, amid a continued rise in gang violence. Read more.



Sánchez recruits two MEPs to complete a ‘Europeanised’ government. Green EU lawmaker Ernest Urtasún has joined Spain’s new government as the minister of culture, and The Left’s MEP Sira Rego will be the new minister for youth and children, the new-old Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on Monday. Read more.

Sánchez forms ‘iron dome’ government to withstand stiff opposition from PP, Vox. Sánchez has added ‘core loyalist’ ministers to his new coalition government  – the ‘Sánchez III’ cabinet – that will fight to resist fierce opposition from the right (PP/EPP) and the far-right Vox, both of which are working to build resistance against Sánchez. Read more.



Greece adopts plan to prevent dementia ‘pandemic’. In what was described as a “legislative breakthrough”, the Greek government announced a comprehensive action plan to tackle dementia, considered by analysts as a significant challenge for the country’s ageing population. Read more.



Poland to help Finland counter Russia’s migration pressure. Poland is ready to support Finland in defending its borders against hybrid attacks by Russia, President Andrzej Duda said during the meeting with his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinistö on Monday, referring to the increased migration pressure on the Finnish border. Read more.



Czech official: No longer taboo that illegal migration managed by organised crime. The debate on undocumented migration into the EU has changed in recent years, and it is no longer taboo to talk about the fact that organised crime is mostly behind it, Pavla Novotná, Director of the Asylum and Migration Policy Department of the Czech Interior Ministry, said on Monday. Read more.



Slovak PM suspends ‘all communication’ with major media. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico decided on Monday to suspend “all communication” with TV Markíza, Denník N, SME and Aktuality for failing to provide “truthful, timely and comprehensive” reporting – a move that Denník N Editor-in-Chief Matúš Kostolný says violates the obligation of public officials to inform the media. Read more. 



Bulgaria seeks extradition of three spies from Russia in Novichok case. Bulgarian prosecutors are requesting that Russia extradite three of its GRU officers accused in Bulgaria of poisoning Bulgaria’s best-known arms manufacturer and dealer, Emilian Gebrev, his son and production director of Emko, Valentin Tahchiev, reported 24 Chasa. Read more.



German companies in Romania expect economic slowdown. German companies operating in Romania expect the country’s economy to slow down, according to a survey by the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday. Read more.



Serbia sees drop in professional drivers, numbers expected to plummet by 2030. Serbia lacks over 20,000 professional workers, as many are moving abroad or quitting because of working conditions, Goran Aleksić, the director of the Business Association of Road Traffic Serbia Transport, told Euractiv, adding that over 50% will be gone by 2030. Read more.


  • EU: Foreign Affairs Council, in its development configuration convenes to discuss Ukraine, aid to Palestine, Gender Action Plan III and follow-up to EU-CELAC Summit;
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen chairs College of Commissioners; Receives Chair of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats in the Parliament Iratxe García-Pérez, Chair of the European People’s Party Group in the Parliament Manfred Weber, Chair of the Renew Europe Group in the Parliament Stéphane Séjourné, Co-Chairs of the Greens/EFA Group in the Parliament Terry Reintke and Philippe Lamberts;
  • Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson participates in trilogue on Asylum Procedure Regulation (APR), Eurodac Regulation (EU’s asylum fingerprint database), Single permit Directive;
  • Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides participates in Parliament plenary session debate on sustainable use of pesticides;
  • Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit participates in trilogue on regulation of social security systems;
  • International Partnerships Commissioner Jutta Urpilainen participates in signing ceremony for El PAcCTO (Europe Latin America Programme of Assistance against Transnational Organised Crime) 2.0 programme;
  • Parliament President Roberta Metsola hosts Prime Minister of the Republic of France Élisabeth Borne; Hosts President of the Republic of Kenya William Samoei Ruto;
  • ECB President Christine Lagarde gives speech during debate on inflation, in Berlin, Germany;
  • Germany: President Frank-Walter Steinmeier hosts Montenegro’s President Jakov Milatovic;
  • Serbia, North Macedonia: NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on official visit;
  • OECD: Report on taxation of multinationals gets published;
  • UN: Security Council meets on Sahel;


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

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Germany eyes Africa’s ‘hearts and minds’ |

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