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In today’s news from the Capitals:
BELGRADE | PRISTINA
NATO will send 700 more peacekeeping troops to north Kosovo and cancel the ongoing Defender 2023 exercise, as tensions between Belgrade and Pristina simmer and China and Russia voicing support for Serbia, while both Brussels and Washington keep their distance through repeated calls to de-escalate. Read more.
VIENNA | PARIS | THE HAGUE
Austria, France, Netherlands push for tighter grip on EU private jet flight rules. Austria, France and the Netherlands are calling for tighter regulation of fuel-guzzling private jet flights, the three said in a letter sent to the European Commission. Read more.
Germany to step up controls at Polish border. The German government will deploy additional police forces at the Polish border to crack down on increasing traffic from the Belarus route, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced. Read more.
France cracks down on ‘social fraud’, experts say it will hit poorest hard. France is set to crack down on social and welfare fraud, public accounts Minister Gabriel Attal announced on Tuesday, while experts claim this will hit the poorest, and the government should focus on tax evasion instead. Read more.
Belgium hit by forest fire, German firefighters help. On Monday evening, a wildfire broke out in the High Fens region, on the border with Germany, burning an area equivalent to 230 football pitches, with 140 firefighters from Belgium and Germany scrambling to control it. Read more.
Dutch solar panels vulnerable for hacking, study finds. Solar panel converters are vulnerable to hacking, the Dutch Government Inspectorate for Digital Infrastructure (RDI) warned in a study published on Tuesday, stating that many of them did not meet cybersecurity requirements. Read more.
UK & IRELAND
UK government cracks down on youth vaping. A loophole that allows the e-cigarette industry to give out free samples of vapes to children is set to be shut down after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak unveiled plans to clamp down on companies that target youth vaping. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Finnish defence forces want age limit for reservists raised. Finland’s Defence Forces have suggested raising the age limit for military reservists to 65 as the parties set to form the new Finnish government continue with their negotiations. Read more.
Spanish left-wing platform Sumar registers as party ahead of snap elections. Left-wing electoral platform Sumar has been formally registered as a party to bring together civil society, academia, and leftist political forces together, hoping to counterbalance the rise of the right in Spain’s snap elections scheduled for 23 July. Read more.
Catalan President calls for ‘democratic front’ to stop VOX. A united democratic front of all pro-independence parties in Catalonia is the only way to stop the surge of the right and far-right, and avoid a pact of all reactionary forces who oppose an independent Catalonia, the regional president, Pere Aragonès, warned Tuesday. Read more.
Former Portuguese minister: TAP privatisation biased in favour of private sector. When TAP was privatised, 100% of the profits went to the private sector, and all of the risks went to the state, said former Planning Minister Pedro Marques in parliament on Tuesday. Read more.
EU, US voice concern over Poland’s ‘Russian influence’ committee. The European Union and the US have harshly criticised a Polish bill that would create a panel investigating potential Russian influence in Polish politics. Read more.
Czech COVID misinformant sentenced after supporters storm court. Former journalist Jana Peterková received a two-year suspended sentence from the Prague City Court for spreading alarmist news during the pandemic, despite her supporters storming the courtroom. Read more.
Slovakia’s SAS party wary of children’s earnings in pensioners’ letters. The liberal SAS in Slovakia filed a complaint with Slovakia’s GDPR office, warning of the hundreds of thousands of letters being sent to pensioners that detail how much their children earn as part of the new parental pension scheme, which according to the party, could breach EU data protection law. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Bulgaria denies asylum to Russian who refused to fight against Ukraine. Bulgaria has refused political asylum to Russian citizen Alexander Stotzky, who participated in many protests against President Vladimir Putin and the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Read more.
BUCHAREST | CHISINAU
EU leaders tell Moldovans they are not alone against aggression. EU leaders are coming to tell Moldovan citizens that they are not alone in the face of aggression, Moldovan Foreign Minister Nicu Popescu told a press conference Tuesday, adding that the EU will send Moldova a strong support message on EU accession at the upcoming European Political Community Summit. Read more.
Delay in nuclear expansion expensive, study finds. Slovenia should build the second reactor at its existing nuclear power station in Krško as soon as possible since a delay of only four years would double the price of electricity, a study commissioned by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry found. Read more.
Bosnian Serb leader defiant as US bombers fly over in ‘show of support’. Two supersonic US B-1B bombers made a rare flyover over Bosnia-Herzegovina on Tuesday in what the US embassy called a demonstration of enduring partnership, while Bosnian Serb leader Milorad Dodik said it was not an act of partnership or friendship but quite the contrary. Read more.
- EU: Commission President Ursula von der Leyen delivers keynote speech at the GLOBSEC 2023 Bratislava Forum in Slovakia; Meets President of Moldova Maia Sandu in Chisinău;
- Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič participates in the 5th Annual Conference on Regulatory Scrutiny working lunch;
- Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski delivers opening speech at 2023 EU AgriResearch Conference, organised by the European Commission;
- Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni meets Governor of the Dutch Central Bank and Chair of the Financial Stability Board Klaas Knot;
- Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit participates in “Mobile and migrant workers: What’s the road ahead for their protection in Europe?” event at the European Economic and Social Committee;
- High Representative Josep Borrell in Chisinau, Moldova officially launches the European Union Partnership Mission – EUPM Moldova;
- Parliament President Roberta Metsola hosts President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili;
- Parliament holds plenary session; Agenda highlights include breaches of the rule of law and fundamental rights in Hungary & frozen EU funds, geographical Indications for wine, spirit drinks, agricultural products, and more;
- Slovakia: French President Emmanuel Macron on official visit delivers speech on future of Europe;
- Russia: Foreigners stand trial in absentia for fighting with Ukraine;
- NATO: Foreign affairs ministers meet in Oslo, Norway;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]
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EU leaders tell Moldovans they are not alone against aggression