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In today’s news from the Capitals:
Germany will likely continue down the path of intensified relations with Italy that started under the previous administration, even if a Georgia Meloni-led government is formed after the elections on Sunday. Read more.
EU foreign ministers agree to prepare new Russia sanctions amid recent escalation. A new round of sanctions against Russia is set to be prepared after an emergency late-night meeting between EU foreign ministers on Wednesday (21 September) in New York, following Moscow’s latest escalation in the war against Ukraine. Read more.
MEPs seek to streamline enforcement in EU’s political ads rulebook. The MEPs from the leading parliamentary committee have tabled a series of amendments on the upcoming rules for political advertising, notably on the implementation, sanction regime, definition and public ad repositories. Read more.
Germany pushes for permanent membership in UN Security Council. Germany will apply to become a permanent member of the main executive organ of the United Nations – the Security Council, said Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday in New York. Read more.
France’s energy bill to exceed €100 billion this year. France’s fossil fuel import bill is expected double from 2021, reaching €100 billion as energy bills skyrocket across Europe, the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN) told a Parliamentary hearing on Wednesday. Read more.
Austria in violation of EU labour market laws. The European Commission has notified the Austrian government of its failure to signal the transposition of new EU labour market directives, kickstarting the bloc’s infringement procedure that could end at the European Court of Justice. Read more.
Belgian PM reacts to Putin’s partial mobilisation, threats against West. Prime Minister Alexander De Croo called for continued support for Ukraine in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threats against the West on Wednesday. Read more.
Asylum ship arrives in North Holland. Silja Europa, a cruise ship that will accommodate 1,000 asylum seekers between now and February, arrived in Velsen-Noord, in the north Holland province, on Wednesday. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Abolish border controls, Brussels tells Stockholm. The new executive must respond to Brussels’ demand to scrap border controls with Denmark as soon as possible, Swedish Home Affairs European Commissioner Ylva Johansson declared on Tuesday as political parties continue talks to form a new government. Read more.
Finland: Uniper’s nationalisation a ‘regrettable’ necessity, relief. The long-anticipated announcement that the German State will take full control of the Finnish energy company Fortum’s subsidiary Uniper was seen in Finland mostly as an unavoidable measure and a relief despite the heavy losses. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
Truss sets April 2023 deadline for NI protocol settlement. UK Prime Minister Liz Truss has set an April 2023 deadline for negotiating a settlement with the EU on the Northern Ireland protocol following talks with US President Joe Biden. Read more.
Concern about Meloni at political, not market level, analyst says. Fratelli d’Italia leader Giorgia Meloni’s attempts to convince international audiences of being a reliable partner is directed toward politicians rather than market participants, political analyst Lorenzo Pregliasco told EURACTIV.
Find out more in this week’s edition of the Beyond the Byline podcast: Italian elections: What are the possible scenarios?
Domestic ‘disinfluencers’ dominate Italy’s electoral disinformation. Disinformation ahead of Italy’s snap parliamentary election on 25 September is mostly spread by domestic actors with a self-interested agenda. Along with disinformation, independent fact-checkers have also questioned the feasibility of most electoral programmes. Read more.
Spain fines delivery app Glovo €79 million for labour law breaches. Delivery company Glovo was fined €79 million by Spain’s labour ministry for violating a law that requires food delivery platforms to hire employees formally. Read more.
Uncertainty provokes constant updates to Portugal’s 2023 budget. The government is working on the macroeconomic scenario of the state budget for 2023 in a context of uncertainty and volatility, which leads to permanent updates, Finance Minister Fernando Medina said on Wednesday. Read more.
Czech MEP: EU-Azerbaijan gas deal was mistake. Pirate party MEP Markéta Gregorová is doubtful about the gas imports memorandum signed between the EU and Azerbaijan as, according to her, the EU should learn from its previous experience with Russia and not increase its dependence on dictatorships. Read more.
Polish politicians, experts speak out on Russian mobilisation. Poles, whose country borders Russia, have reacted with concern over Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement he will mobilise 300,000 reservists, although they agree the war is not going the Kremlin’s way. Read more.
Commission should not accept Orbán’s move to unblock EU cash, Budapest mayor. The Commission should not approve Hungary’s remedial measures to reverse the EU’s decision to suspend funds over corruption concerns, according to the mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony. Read more.
Slovak Defence Minister Naď: Mobilisation will bring end to Putin. The government confirmed Slovakia would continue supporting Ukraine diplomatically, economically, politically and militarily to the maximum extent possible, despite general support for Russia among the Slovak population. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Bulgaria approves deal for eight more F-16s. The Bulgarian caretaker government will buy eight more US F-16 fighter jets, totalling almost $1.3 billion, due for delivery in 2027, bringing the total to 16 American F-16 fighters of the latest Block 70/72 modification. Read more.
Romanian parliament raises MPs’ salaries, claims only mayors targeted. The Romanian senate adopted a law that raises the wages of public officials as of 1 November but some say it will only apply to low-paid mayors. Read more.
Serbia added to human rights watch list over Europride, freedom of assembly. Serbia was added on Thursday to the CIVICUS Monitor’s International Human Rights Watch List with the rating of ‘obstructed’ due to the prohibition of EuroPride by the police with the backing of President Aleksander Vucic and other human rights violations. Read more.
Minister: EU funds were used for over 1,000 programs in Serbia. From 2004 to the end of 2020, the Union invested more than €400 million in cross-border and transnational cooperation programs in which Serbia also participated, the Serbian minister in charge of the country’s accession to the EU, Jadranka Joksimovic, said on Wednesday. Read more.
Albanian’s trust in EU took hit in 2021. Albanian confidence in the EU fell by four percentage points in 2021, from 75% in 2020, according to the Trust in Governance poll conducted by the Institute of Democracy and Mediation. Read more.
- EU: Josep Borrell in New York, United States (until 23/09): participates in different high-level events related to the 77th session of the UN General Assembly and holds a number of bilateral meetings with international counterparts;
- Commissioner Mariya Gabriel participates, via videoconference call, in the Global Leadership Council Meeting: Unlocking Opportunities for a Youth-Powered Green Transition;
- Vice President Margaritis Schinas participates in the debate of the EESC plenary session ‘Health Workforce and Care Strategy for the future of Europe’ & ‘Health Data Space’;
- Informal meeting of consumer protection ministers, 22-23 September 2022;
- Germany: Defence Minister Christine Lambrecht and French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu hold a press conference;
- France: President Emmanuel Macron visits offshore wind farm in Saint-Nazaire;
- Greece: Trial of ex-minister Dimitris Papangelopoulos, accused of ‘dereliction of duty’ over graft investigation into Swiss firm Novartis;
- Norway: Rafto Prize for human rights awarded;
- UK: House of Commons Treasury Committee hearings on energy price freeze;
- Hong Kong: Hong Kong Journalists Association chairman Ronson Chan appears in court;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]