Monday, 8 June 2020: Anti-racism protesters rally around the world, EU calls for greater regulation of US tech companies, France increases fines for littering amid coronavirus waste

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Anti-racism protesters rally around the world: Thousands of people took to the streets of European cities Sunday to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement after the death of George Floyd in Minnesota on 25 May. There were protests against racism and police violence in Rome, Madrid, Barcelona, Copenhagen, Brussels, Budapest, Glasgow and many other cities. In Germany, protests in cities like Cologne and Berlin were more subdued after tens of thousands turned out on Saturday. Some 93 people were arrested on Saturday night in Berlin after the rally officially ended, but Sunday’s protests saw people peacefully gathering at the US embassy. In London, the day’s demonstration began around the US embassy, where thousands congregated to protest Floyd’s brutal death and to shine a light on racial inequalities at home. Despite French authorities banning people from gathering in front of the US embassy in Paris, thousands showed up anyway during the afternoon, as well as near the Eiffel Tower. Crowds also turned out to demonstrate in other French cities, including Bordeaux, Lyon, Lille, Rennes and Marseille – where some skirmishes were reported. Meanwhile, a new police reform bill being drafted by US Democrats would ban chokeholds, limit qualified immunity for police officers, create a national misconduct registry, end the use of no-knock warrants in drug cases and make lynching a federal crime among other dramatic changes, according to an outline being circulated on Capitol Hill. US President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that he has ordered for the National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, DC, after days of peaceful protests.
apnews.com, dw.com, forbes.com, euronews.com (Europe); politico.com, cnn.com (US)

EU calls for greater regulation of US tech companies: The rush for US internet services during the coronavirus crisis showed the urgent need for the EU to proceed with its planned Digital Services Act, EU Competitions Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told the German newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”. She said Europe was determined to avert repeats of monopoly-like situations involving the likes of Amazon, Google and Facebook. “In the past few weeks we have all been fascinated by what is possible digitally. But the coronavirus showed how dependent we are on US corporations, and that was a wake-up call,” said Vestager. Last week, the EU Commission began seeking public feedback before it unveils draft law to be known as its Digital Services Act.
dw.com

EU wants to combat child abuse: The EU Commission will shortly present a package of measures for better prevention and law enforcement in the fight against child sexual abuse. In addition to legislative measures, there are plans to build a new EU centre for better protection of children, EU Interior Commissioner Ylva Johansson said. She pointed out that cooperation in the fight against child abuse needed to be improved within the EU and at a global level. The Swedish politician called for closer cooperation with internet companies. She said the internet was unfortunately often used by perpetrators to search for new victims.
rnd.de

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Travel restrictions: Europe borders shut until 1 July, but EU travel ban will end forbes.com
EU Economic Commissioner Gentiloni praises German stimulus plan reuters.com

⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃

It is said that this can be achieved by the end of the year. I hope that maybe it will be faster. And I am convinced that the vast majority of citizens want to be vaccinated.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer expects that a coronavirus vaccine will be developed before the end of this year.
rnd.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

France increases fines for littering amid coronavirus waste: France will fine people €135 for discarding protective plastic face masks and gloves. Currently, the fine for dropping any kind of rubbish in public areas is €68 but the French government has decided to double it due to concern over the rising tide of disposable protective equipment left in streets and in the countryside. Brune Poirson, a junior environment minister, said there had been an increase in the number of new types of dumped rubbish linked to the health crisis. Meanwhile, a contact-tracing application launched last week in France already has over one million users, the French Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, Cedric O, announced on Saturday. According to a report by business newspaper “Les Echos”, the French government plans to present a €10 billion emergency plan for the aviation industry on Tuesday.
telegraph.co.uk, independent.co.uk (Trash); brusselstimes.com (App); lesechos.fr (Aviation)

Kosovo removes trade barriers on Serbia to allow talks: Kosovo’s newly elected government has removed all trade barriers for goods produced in Serbia, paving the way for a resumption of talks with Belgrade. After just three days in office, Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti said his country had acted in accordance with demands from the US and the EU. Hoti said he expected Serbia to stop its campaign against Kosovar independence, which is focused on convincing various countries to withdraw recognition of Kosovo and block its membership of international organisations.
euractiv.com

Malta allows detained migrants to land: Malta reluctantly allowed 425 migrants held offshore for more than a month to disembark on Sunday after a group of them threatened to kidnap the crew of the chartered boats where they were being held, authorities said. Prime Minister Robert Abela said the government had been forced to act after the crew of one of the boats called him directly for help. Malta’s government started putting rescued migrants on chartered tourist boats at the end of April after insisting that Malta’s harbours were closed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. In Greece, tens of thousands of refugees still have to adhere to strict exit restrictions for two more weeks. The government expanded the rules after it eased restrictions for tourism.
af.reuters.com (Malta), spiegel.de (Greece)

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Warsaw hopes some US troops based in Germany will be moved to Poland: Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said on Saturday he hoped that some of the US troops that are set to be removed from Germany will be reassigned to Poland. US President Donald Trump has ordered the Pentagon to cut the number of US troops stationed in Germany, a US official said on Friday. The move would reduce the US troop presence in Germany by 9,500 troops from the 34,500 troops that are currently permanently assigned there. “I deeply hope that as a result of the many talks that we had … part of the troops based today in Germany which are being removed by the United States … will indeed come to Poland,” Morawiecki told private radio RMF24. “The decision is now on the U.S. side.”
reuters.com

German foreign minister laments decline of US ties: Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas on Sunday gave a muted response to days of speculation that US President Donald Trump might slash US troop stationing in Germany. “Should it come to the withdrawal of some of the US troops, we take note of this,” Mass told Germany’s “Bild am Sonntag” newspaper. He exclaimed that decades of close US-German partnership post-war had become complicated since Donald Trump became president. Cooperation with US armed forces had been in the interest of both countries, said Maas. The minister had previously criticised Trump over his response to mass protests in the US following the killing of George Floyd.
dw.com, politico.eu

Italy: Far-right Rome protest turns briefly violent bbc.com
Spain: 255,000 citizens to receive basic income in June spiegel.de
Denmark opens gyms and swimming pools n-tv.de
North Macedonia: New coronavirus outbreak paralyzes the country handelsblatt.com

⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃

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 ⊃

Lufthansa CEO offers homecoming guarantee for passengers: Passengers returning to Germany from abroad amid the coronavirus pandemic will have a homecoming guarantee if they fly with Lufthansa, the company’s CEO Carsten Spohr said. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that the government would not be able to send planes to repatriate holidaymakers over the summer, as Berlin did when the pandemic first began.
politico.eu

 

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