Monday, 15th of June: Juncker abandons negotiations with Greece, USA wants to station soldiers in Eastern Europe, 30 years Schengen

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Juncker abandons negotiations with Greece: EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has stopped talks with Athens, criticizing a distinct difference between the reform plans of the creditors and those of the Greek government. This Thursday the Eurogroup finance ministers will continue to search for a solution. Instead of a pension reform as demanded by the creditors, Athens proposes to cut its relatively high defense budget. Analysts have warned that Greece is four to six weeks away from imposing capital controls to prevent bank runs.
reuters.com, bloomberg.com, euobserver.com

USA wants to station soldiers in Eastern Europe: In a move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and other heavy weapons for as many as 5,000 American troops in several Baltic and Eastern European countries. The proposal specifies enough heavy equipment to support about 150 soldiers in each of the Baltic states (Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia) and enough for another 750 soldiers per country in Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and possibly Hungary.
nytimes.com, npr.org

Child labour in Europe: In the most recent child labour report by the International Labor Organisation (ILO) from the year 2013, there is hardly any data available for Europe. Experts estimate however that the problem is especially severe in Eastern Europe. According to figures by the United Nations, around 30 percent of minors in Georgia work in small factories or in the agricultural sector. The main cause is considered to be poverty. In Italy, six percent of kids under the age of 16 work. Since the financial crisis, the situation in Portugal has worsened as well.
europa.eu, treffpunkteuropa.de

Approach to TTIP: On Monday, the negotiators of all parties represented in the European Parliament will meet to discuss their further course of action. At the end of May, the recommendations to the Commission negotiators on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership were approved in committee by 28 votes to 13 with no abstentions. Social democrats in particular have criticized the trade deal and have proposed amendments, whereupon the debate was postponed.
eppgroup.eu, europarl.europa.eu

Action against smugglers: EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini is against limiting the planned EU marine mission to breaking down networks of traffickers, calling for robust action against smuggling operations in the Mediterranean. Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has said that he had a Plan B ready if the EU doesn’t show solidarity on migrants, which would first and foremost “hurt Europe“. He didn’t give details.
euractiv.com, euobserver.com

30 years Schengen: Thirty years ago, the Schengen agreement made the free movement of people in the European Union a reality, making a decade-old dream come true and traveling a lot easier. Traffic jams near border crossing became a thing of the past. The cooperation of countries near the border was easier. Now, members of the German CSU party are attacking Schengen. Bavaria’s Finance Minister Markus Söder called for a “time out” for security reasons.
youtube.com, facebook.com/CSU

Travelling in Europe: The EU Commission’s new brochure answers questions on border controls, insurance, payment transactions, and more europa.eu
Elections Board PES: Achim Post stays Secretary General of the European Socialists and Social Democrats pes.eu
EU-CELAC summit: EU, Latin American-Caribbean group seek common ground euractiv.com
European Investment Fund: China to pledge a multi-billion dollar investment to EU reuters.com
European Council: Ministers discuss status of negotiations in regards to roaming and Digital Single Market consilium.europe.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

Greece should not be allowed to simply declare itself insolvent and at the same time remain part of the euro club. Instead, the creditors should ‘buy’ the voluntary Greek exit from the euro.
The President of the Kiel Institute for World Economy, Dennis J. Snower, demands that the ECB cancel its aid for Greek banks.
faz.net

If one is constantly busy dealing with a country that represents one percent of the economic output, then it’s difficult to successfully steer the remaining 99 percent.
Henkel CEO Kasper Rorsted criticizes the European focus on Greece.
welt.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Turkish soldiers turn away Syrian refugees: Hundreds of Syrian refugees attempting to flee fighting have been caught at the border crossing with Turkey. Turkish troops used water cannon and fired warning shots from behind barbed wire fences to push back the refugees. Some 13,000 refugees have already crossed into Turkey in the last 10 days, according to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Hundreds more could be seen Saturday on the Syrian side of the Akcakale border crossing, waiting to cross into Turkey.
huffingtonpost.com, independent.co.uk

France to strengthen middle class: Prime Minister Manuel Valls has outlined 18 measures to eliminate obstacles and uncertainty and to streamline procedures for Very Small Entities (VSEs) and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), with a view to encouraging hiring. The programme is set to be implemented on July 1st and promises to bolster the Government’s pro-business economic initiatives that favour VSEs and SMEs.
gouvernement.fr

European Games open in Baku: The cost of the opening ceremony was 84.4 billion euros, twice and a half times as much as the 2012 Olympia ceremony in London. The sporting event is being criticized because of the human right situation in Azerbaijan and because many members of the opposition were arrested ahead of time. It is also a difficult situation for many athletes who have to travel to Baku to participate in their sport at the season’s highlight.
bbc.com, zeit.de

Protests in Skopje: On Saturday, thousands of ethnic Albanians protested in Skopje, calling for the scandal-tainted Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to resign and for the Albanian DUI party to quit his coalition. The EU and US are trying to broker a deal for early elections in April. But if the DUI quits, elections would come earlier.
euobserver.com

New mayor for Madrid: After 24 years of city rule by the conservative Popular Party, Madrid and Barcelona has pulled off one of Spain’s most significant political upheavals in recent memory, swearing in far-left mayors who stridently oppose the country’s governing party. In Madrid, 71-year-old retired judge Manuela Carmena was sworn in to cheers from jubilant leftists who crowded the streets outside city hall.
yahoonews.com

EU action plan for Bosnia failed: In the first week of July, the European Parliment will vote on a resolution on Srebrenica, the only proven case of genocide in Europe after World War II. In Bosnia, the parliament failed to adopt a similar resolution on Srebrenica when MPs from Republika Srpska (the Serbian entity in Bosnia) blocked the vote. Milorad Dodik, the prime minister of RS, claims it was just a simple war crime, not a genocide.
euobserver.com

Switzerland: reject inheritance tax of 20 percent wsj.com
Finland: slashes development aid by 43 percent euractiv.com
Moldova: Pro-European forces win local elections derstandard.at

⊂ DATA ⊃

1,250,000,000 journeys are taken by Europeans within the Schengen area each year.
facebook.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Fundació Barcelona Promoció seeks Brussels Liaison Officer (German Speaker) *** Verband öffentlicher Versicherer sucht Policy Advisor (m/w) *** Kellen AGEP seeks Stagiaire Consultant *** Inclusion Europe seeks an Executive Director *** VDMA sucht Referent (m/w) Handelspolitik/Wirtschaftsrecht *** Bayer seeks EU Policy Manager *** POLITICO seeks Policy editor/Account Manager *** RISE Foundation seeks Researcher *** ECDHR offers Advocacy & EU Public Affairs Internship
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Zoo Animals on the loose in Tbilisi: Residents of Tbilisi, Georgia, were warned to stay off the streets on Sunday lest they encounter one of the lions, tigers, bears or other beasts set free from the city zoo after floodwaters devastated the center of the capital. The surging floodwater destroyed enclosures at the zoo, killing some animals and letting loose others. Six wolves werde found on the grounds of a children’s hospital as well as a bear and a hyena.
nytimes.com, nbcnews.com

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