Thursday, 11 July 2019: Darroch resigns after leak of Trump memos, Greens reject German defence minister as EU Commission president, EU considers imposing sanctions on Turkey for drilling off Cyprus, Bank stress test was too mild

⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

Darroch resigns after leak of Trump memos: Sir Kim Darroch has resigned as UK ambassador to the US following a leak of his candid observations on the Trump administration. US President Donald Trump had said on Monday that the White House would no longer deal with Darroch after the leak of confidential emails written by the ambassador that described the Trump administration as clumsy and inept. In a letter to the Foreign Office, Darroch said he wanted to end speculation about his position: The current situation made it impossible for him to carry out his role as he would like. The ambassador made his decision to step down after seeing that Boris Johnson, the current frontrunner to replace Theresa May as prime minister, had refused to support him during Tuesday night’s leadership debate, a British government official confirmed to CNN.
bbc.com, nytimes.com, cnn.com

Labour leaders accused of undermining fight against antisemitism: The BBC reported on Wednesday that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s office interfered in independent party discipline processes aimed at rooting out antisemitism. A BBC investigation spoke to former Labour officials who said top party figures, including Corbyn’s communications director Seumas Milne and general secretary Jennie Formby, had minimised complaints of antisemitism against party members. Four of the whistleblowers, including former Labour general secretary Iain McNicol, who left his post last year, have broken non-disclosure agreements to come forward. The party’s deputy leader Tom Watson said he was shocked, chilled and appalled by the allegations and the party had serious questions to answer.
uk.reuters.com, theguardian.com, bbc.com

Nominee to head EU hopes UK abandons Brexit: German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee to become the next European Commission chief, has told MEPs she hopes the UK abandons its plans for Brexit. Von der Leyen was speaking at an EU Parliament hearing ahead of a vote on her nomination next week. She said she still hoped the UK would remain in the EU, while indicating she had no intention to renegotiate the withdrawal deal agreed by Prime Minister Theresa May and EU leaders. Von der Leyen warned the two men vying to replace May as leader, Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, that the tone and attitude of Brexit was vital for setting out future relations between both sides.
bbc.com, theguardian.com

Inquiry: House of Lords staff bullied and harassed, report finds bbc.com
Investigation: Home Office not that bothered over English tests scandal, MP says theguardian.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD UNITED KINGDOM ⊃

politjobs.ukAssociation of Directors of Children’s Services seeks Policy Officer *** The Royal Society seeks Senior Policy Adviser (Education) *** ITV Cymru Wales seeks Public Affairs Manager *** Independent Age seeks Public Affairs Officer *** Dogs Trust seeks European Policy Advisor (Publish your job ad)

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Greens reject German defence minister as EU Commission president: Green MEPs will oppose Ursula von der Leyen’s nomination to be the next EU Commission President in a vote next week, the group said Wednesday evening. A meeting with von der Leyen had failed to allay their concerns that she isn’t strongly committed to action on climate change. In deciding to oppose the nomination, the Greens also took aim at von der Leyen’s answers on the rule of law — saying she evaded questions on the topic. Earlier on Wednesday, von der Leyen said during a meeting with MEPs from the Socialists & Democrats group that the EU should boost its 2030 emissions reduction target to 50%, up from a current 40% goal.
politico.eu

EU considers imposing sanctions on Turkey for drilling off Cyprus: EU diplomats have discussed which sanctions to slap on Turkey over gas drilling in Cypriot waters. Turkey said on Wednesday it rejected Greek and EU assertions that Turkish drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus was illegitimate, and said they showed the EU could not be an impartial mediator on the Cyprus problem. Cyprus says Turkey’s actions are contrary to international law. Turkey and the internationally-recognised government of the divided island have overlapping claims in that part of the Mediterranean.
euobserver.com, reuters.com

EU lowers eurozone growth forecast: The European economy continues to grow at a moderate pace and there is no acceleration any time soon. There is no change regarding this year: the EU is expected to expand by 1.4% and the euro area by 1.2%. Risks for the bloc have increased, the EU Commission said, and mostly come from the elevated uncertainty around United States’ trade policy, as Washington keeps threatening punitive tariffs on a broad range of EU products. Fears of increased trade tensions could also trigger a shift in global risk sentiment at times when valuations appear stretched across many asset classes, said EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici.
euronews.com, reuters.com

Bank stress test was too mild: The European Court of Auditors joined regulators in questioning the value of the EU’s bank stress test, saying last year’s exercise should have been tougher and more consistently applied across the bloc. The European Court of Auditors warned that the European Banking Authority may have been too soft in assessing banks’ health, raising concerns about the way lenders’ risks are monitored by EU supervisors. The auditors said last year’s test was based on scenarios that were less serious than the 2008 financial crisis and was also milder for countries with weaker economies.
bloomberg.com, reuters.com

EU budget: Council agrees its position consilium.europa.eu
Eurostat: EU population rose to over 513 million last year zeit.de
EU Court of Justice: Three judges appointed consilium.europa.eu
Africa: EU foreign policy chief Mogherini in the Sahel zone de.euronews.com
Rare earth metals: Europe takes on China’s global dominance of rare earth metals euractiv.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Salvini denies receiving Russian oil money: According to a leaked tape revealed by „Buzzfeed“, the League party of Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini sought tens of millions of euros in funding from Russian investors during European election campaigning. It is the latest evidence of high-level collusion between far-right European populist movements and Russia. Salvini denied Wednesday receiving any money for his party from Russian investors, following allegations that one of his close aides had held secret meetings in Moscow to that end.
telegraph.co.uk, france24.com

French missiles found on pro-Haftar base in Libya: France has said some of its missiles were found at a Libyan base used by forces loyal to the military strongman Khalifa Haftar – an admission that raises new questions about the country’s role in the conflict in Libya. The French defence ministry denied supplying the US-made Javelin missiles to Haftar, which would have been in breach of a UN arms embargo, saying French forces operating in Libya lost track of them after they were judged to be defective. The four missiles were discovered in June when forces loyal to the UN-backed Libyan government overran the camp, prompting an investigation in Washington.
theguardian.com, bbc.com

Merkel suffers another bout of shaking: German Chancellor Angela Merkel appeared to shake uncontrollably for the third time in a month during Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne’s visit to Berlin Wednesday. Footage shows Merkel trembling through the German national anthem during a welcome ceremony for her Finnish counterpart. Merkel later insisted that she was fine, adding that she was still in a processing phase after her first shaking spell in mid-June during a visit from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy.
politico.eu, dw.com

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German parliament report on WWII reparations: A report by Germany’s parliament has questioned the response the German government has so far given Greece over World War II compensations. Berlin has so far said it will not pay and refused to even get to a negotiating table with Greece. But a report by parliament expert may force Angela Merkel’s government to reconsider its position.
express.co.uk

France 1: US begins inquiry into French digital services tax nytimes.com
France 2: Government wants to ban the destruction of consumer goods nau.ch
Greece: Germany sees no reason for debt relief de.reuters.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 ⊃

French minister under fire over fancy dinners: France’s Environment Minister Francois de Rugy is under pressure after a report claimed he had hosted luxury dinners while parliament speaker with allegedly little connection to his position. De Rugy did not deny hosting the dinners, but vigorously rejected the claim they had been purely social events not linked to his job at the National Assembly.
france24.com

 

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