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In today’s news from the Capitals:
While some EU countries hold onto pragmatic realities ahead of a vote that could see the suspension of about a third of Hungary’s cohesion funds, other member states are unlikely to support the measures the moment they are given an excuse not to, potentially pushing ‘rule of law’ defenders into a corner. Read more.
ECB boss Lagarde under fire from EU Parliament. Amid increasing prices and a quickly tightening monetary policy, members of the European Parliament criticised the president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, for the bank’s role in the fight against inflation, which some lawmakers called misguided and “behind the curve”. Read more.
Commission refutes EU farmers’ plight over influx of Ukrainian grain. Romanian grain producers warned that an influx of Ukrainian grain via the EU’s so-called ‘solidarity lanes’ is pushing them close to bankruptcy, but the European Commission insists this has no negative impact on the single market. Read more.
Slovakia, Europe’s next troublemaker? Having more than half of citizens reportedly rooting for Russia in Slovakia is scary, but what lies ahead for Slovakia may be even scarier. Read more.
Citizens, non-profits to sue Belgian state over nuclear reactor closure. Two non-profit organisations and hundreds of citizens are suing the Belgian State, nuclear operator Engie, and transmission system operator Elia in the name of security of energy supply. Read more.
Germany split on using IP data storage to fight online child abuse. The German coalition government remains divided on the contentious issue of storing IP addresses to combat online child abuse, while state ministers agreed to support it. Read more.
France backs Brussels’ winter proposals, hopeful of Macron’s Europe project. France is fully behind Brussels’ proposals, including diversifying supply and possibly limiting energy prices, that should help the continent get through the winter unscathed, the Secretary of State for European Affairs Laurence Boone told EURACTIV France in an interview. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
Labour will ‘make Brexit work’, says party leader Starmer. Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer insists he will seek to make Brexit work as the party hopes to take advantage of the governing Conservative party’s growing unpopularity. Read more.
Cost of living, energy focus in new Irish budget. Measures designed to offset the cost-of-living and energy crisis are the focus of this year’s budget, unveiled by Dublin on Tuesday. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Finland likely to decide on Russian border restrictions on Thursday. A decision on Russians entering Finland is expected on Thursday, but it will likely be a compromise between practical considerations, common sense, legal restrictions, and political differences. Read more.
STOCKHOLM | COPENHAGEN
Swedish police take action over Nord Stream blasts. Following reports of explosions and the discovery of suspicious leaks in the Nord Stream 1 and 2 pipelines, the Swedish police filed a criminal complaint related to damage south of Bornholm, radio Ekot reported. Read more.
Centre-left MEP: ‘Enslaved’ to extreme right, Forza Italia will back Orbán. Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right Forza Italia party is “completely enslaved” to the two far-right potential coalition partners (Brothers of Italy and Lega), who back Hungary and Poland, Italian centre-left MEP Brando Benifei told EURACTIV Italy in an interview. Read more.
Portugal to host dimly-lit Christmas. Portugal’s government will limit decorative lighting at Christmas, implement air conditioning controls, and suggest changes to teleworking arrangements to save energy. Read more.
Trade between areas of divided Cyprus doubles. Trade between the self-proclaimed Turkish republic and Republic of Cyprus is at their highest levels in 18 years, reaching €12 million, according to the Turkish Cypriot press. Read more.
PRAGUE | PRISTINA
Czech EU Presidency to discuss free visa for Kosovo. The Czech EU Presidency will reopen the discussion on visa liberalisation for Kosovo this autumn according to Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský (Pirates, Greens/EFA) and Kosovo’s foreign ministry. Read more.
Baltic Pipe gas pipeline opens, connects Norway and Poland. Leaders of Poland, Denmark, and Norway officially launched the Baltic Pipe gas pipeline as a key step on the way for Poland and the whole of Europe to cut energy dependency on Russia. Read more.
Slovak parliament overwhelmingly supports Finnish, Swedish NATO accession. Slovakia was one of the last countries which had not yet ratified the Finnish and Swedish accession into NATO, until Tuesday when members of the National Council changed that with an overwhelming majority. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Slovenia ready to nationalise energy firms if necessary. The Slovenian government will nationalise energy firms if necessary to guarantee supplies as Prime Minister Robert Golob announced on Tuesday that €750 million has been set aside for this purpose in 2022’s revised budget. Read more.
Bulgaria calls on citizens to leave Russia urgently. The Bulgarian foreign affairs ministry on Tuesday called for Bulgarians to refrain from travelling to the Russian Federation and those that are there to leave due to the worsening situation. Read more.
Russian embassy condemns US ambassador’s words on Serbian-Russian agreement. The US Ambassador to Serbia Christopher Hill’s statement that wants an explanation from Serbia regarding the document signed with Russia on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York was condemned by the Russian Embassy on Tuesday for being inappropriate. Read more.
2022 bumper year for foreign tourists, investment in Albania. 2022 has been a bumper year for tourism in Albania, with more than 5.7 million people entering the country between January to August, an all-time high according to data from INSTAT. Read more.
- EU: Meeting of the College of Commissioners;
- Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni participates via videoconference in the Frankfurt Forum on US-European GeoEconomics;
- Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski in Bali, Indonesia; participates in G20 Agriculture Ministers’ meeting;
- Switzerland: Preliminary data published on melting of Swiss glaciers;
- UK: EBRD regional economic forecasts;
- Spain: EU Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders visits Madrid;
- Greece: Athens Democracy Forum;
- Hungary: Protest against the tightening of abortion rules;
- Georgia: Protest against uncontrolled migration from Russia;
- US: Public hearing on the US Capitol assault;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]