Friday, 24 May 2019: Dutch Labour party wins in European vote, Germany to mediate in Iran, Hong Kong activists get asylum in Germany

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Dutch Labour party wins in European vote: Polls have closed in the Netherlands and the UK — the first two countries to vote in the European Parliamentary elections. In the Netherlands, the Labour party of European Commissioner Frans Timmermans has won a surprise victory, taking more than 18% of the vote, an exit poll showed. The upstart far right Forum for Democracy of nationalist Thierry Baudet, which had been neck and neck in polls alongside Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte’s conservatives, finished third at 11%. In Britain, the Brexit party led by Nigel Farage has appeared to gain strength in recent voter surveys. British voters are expected to deliver a humiliating defeat to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party. As British voters went to the polls Thursday, there have been dozens of reports of EU citizens being turned away because of incorrect paperwork.
reuters.com, apnews.com, npr.org, politico.eu

Germany to mediate in Iran: In light of the tensions between the United States and Iran, a senior German diplomat headed to Tehran on Thursday to press Iran to continue to respect the international nuclear agreement, despite the unilateral withdrawal of the US and increasing pressure from Washington. At the centre of the visit by the policy director of Germany’s Foreign Ministry, Jens Plötner, was the preservation of the Vienna nuclear accord (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action). A German diplomatic source said the situation in the Persian Gulf and the region, and the situation around the Vienna nuclear accord was extremely serious. There was a real risk of escalation. In this situation, dialogue was very important.
dw.com, apnews.com

EU Parliament election: European Elections 2019 Campaign Tracker europarl.europa.eu
Eastern European states: The EU eastward enlargement is a success – despite growing doubts handelsblatt.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

With all freedom and in the heat of conflict, something must be retained that can be summed up in two concepts: decency and reason.
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has issued a call for civility in public debate.
dw.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Hong Kong activists get asylum in Germany: Germany has granted refugee status to two Hong Kong activists facing rioting charges at home. It is apparently the first time that a European country has acknowledged such status for democracy campaigners from the Chinese-ruled city. Ray Wong and Alan Li, former members of Hong Kong Indigenous – a group advocating Hong Kong’s independence from China – were charged for rioting linked to a protest that turned violent in 2016. The pair later skipped bail and fled to Germany in 2017. The German consulate in Hong Kong said it was aware that the two Hong Kong residents were staying in Germany, although it could not provide details on individual cases. China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said matters related to Hong Kong were Beijing’s internal affairs.
reuters.com

Prosecutors fine Bosch 90 million euros: Automotive supplier Bosch has agreed to pay a 90 million euro fine over its role supplying components in the „Dieselgate“ emissions cheating scandal. German investigators levied a fine against Robert Bosch GmbH for negligently infringing its quality control obligations, they said in a statement, adding that the company had agreed not to contest the fine. While prosecutors are still probing whether employees were involved in criminal actions, authorities believe the initiative for the integration and form of the illegal strategies both came from employees at the car manufacturers rather than suppliers like Bosch.
dw.com, reuters.com

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EU fines Marine Le Pen: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) confirmed French far-right leader Marine Le Pen will have to reimburse 300,000 euros to the EU Parliament on the grounds that she did not prove the effectiveness of her parliamentary assistant’s work. Marine Le Pen was appealing a previous ruling by the General Court of the European Union of June 2018, sentencing her to pay back the sum for parliamentary assistance to the Strasbourg institution.
euronews.com

Ukraine: New president Zelenskiy shocked by the workload stern.de
Slovakia: Former minister Rusko faces trial orf.at
Bulgaria: Corruption scandals shake up politics de.euronews.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Bitkom sucht Referent europäische Digitalpolitik (w/m) *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Innovation Project Manager *** Int. Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory seeks Project Assistant for EU Funded Projects *** PwC seeks Public Affairs Senior Manager Belgium *** Johnson & Johnson seeks Policy Assistant, Government Affairs & Policy EMEA *** Public Policy Manager, Connectivity *** Ryanair offers Public Affairs internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Call to join global climate strike: Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and leading youth protesters for climate action from across the world have called for all adults to join a global general strike. They are asking citizens to walk out of work just before a crucial UN summit at which nations are being urged to declare much stronger ambitions to tackle the climate emergency. This Friday, children will walk out of class in cities around the world in a fresh wave of strikes called by young people who fear adults are sleepwalking toward a collapse in the global climate system.
theguardian.com, reuters.com

 

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