⊂ UNITED KINGDOM ⊃
UK will honor passport promise to eligible Hong Kong residents: Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that up to three million Hong Kong residents will be offered the chance to settle in the UK and ultimately apply for citizenship. He said Hong Kong’s freedoms were being violated by China’s new security law and those affected would be offered a route out of the former UK colony. Under the government’s plans, all British Overseas Nationals and their dependants will be given right to remain in the UK, including the right to work and study, for five years. At this point, they will be able to apply for settled status, and after a further year, seek citizenship.
Johnson warns Israel against annexation plans: Prime Minister Boris Johnson cautioned Israel on Wednesday against annexation in the occupied West Bank, saying it would violate international law and harm its drive to improve relations with the Arab world. In an opinion piece for Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s top-selling daily, Johnson wrote that the UK would not recognise any changes to the pre-1967 borders in the West Bank that were not agreed by both Israelis and Palestinians.
MPs say Jenrick made serious mistakes in planning case: Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick made serious mistakes over the controversial Westferry planning application, MPs have said. The Commons housing committee has asked Jenrick for more details about his contacts with developer and Tory donor Richard Desmond. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the matter was closed after correspondence between the two men was released. But MPs said they respectfully disagreed with the PM’s assessment.
Coronavirus: UK travel quarantine rules not worth it, says Tory MP bbc.com
Loot boxes: Lords call for immediate gambling regulation bbc.com
Leicester: No 10 accused of sowing confusion over Leicester lockdown theguardian.com
⊂ POLITJOBS UNITED KINGDOM ⊃
Association 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 ⊃
France pulls out of Nato mission in the Mediterranean: France is temporarily pulling out of the Nato naval operation “Sea Guardian” in the Mediterranean Sea after a standoff with a Turkish warship. The French defence ministry said that the government sent a letter Tuesday to Nato saying it was temporarily halting its participation in the naval operation. It came after Nato investigators submitted their report into the incident. On 10 June, a French frigate attempted to inquire about the intended destination of a Tanzanian-flagged cargo ship, but was aggressively barred from doing so by three Turkish naval ships escorting the Cirkin, according to French officials. The Turkish ships went as far as flashing their radar lights three times in the space of a few seconds, a manoeuvre that usually precedes the firing of weapons.
politico.eu, france24.com, nytimes.com
Turkey asks EU to correct travel list mistake: Turkey said on Wednesday it was disappointed by the EU’s decision to exclude it from a list of countries recommended for non-essential travel. The Turkish government called on the EU to correct the “mistake” as soon as possible. The Turkish Foreign Ministry statement came after the EU excluded Turkey, along with the United States and other countries, from its initial travel safe list.
EU intensifies fight against youth unemployment: The coronavirus pandemic has emphasised the often difficult start many young people face in the labour market. The EU Commission is taking action to give young people all possible opportunities to develop their full potential to shape the future of the EU, and thrive in the green and digital transitions. The Youth Employment Support package is built around four strands: The EU’s Youth Guarantee covers people aged 15 – 29 and pledges that who sign up will receive an offer of employment, education, apprenticeship or training within four months. The Commission’s proposal for a Council Recommendation on vocational education and training aims to make systems more modern, attractive, flexible and fit for the digital and green economy. A renewed impetus for apprenticeships will benefit both employers and young people. Additional measures to support youth employment include employment and start-up incentives as well as young entrepreneur networks.
EU negotiating with manufacturer of Covid-19 drug after US buys up world stock: The EU is in negotiations with US pharmaceutical company Gilead, the manufacturer of remdesivir, after the United States brought nearly the entire world’s supply. Tests suggest remdesivir cuts recovery times, though it is not yet clear if it improves survival rates. The EU told “Euronews” that multiple discussions had been undertaken with Gilead which included production capacity. The EU Commission was currently in negotiations with Gilead to reserve doses of remdesivir for EU member states. Britain and Germany said they had sufficient reserves for now, though they were weighing options for when those might be exhausted. The US health department had announced on Tuesday it had agreed to buy 500,000 doses for use in American hospitals.
euronews.com, bbc.com, reuters.com
Thieves use lockdown as cover for EU Parliament burglaries: At least 50 MEPs have had computers, tablets and other items stolen from their European Parliament offices while they were away from Brussels during the coronavirus lockdown. Most of the burglaries appear to have taken place while the building was virtually empty, with thieves rifling through papers and breaking into secure cupboards in MEPs’ offices to take valuables.
Almost two-thirds of MEPs do not report lobby meetings: Almost two-thirds of EU lawmakers do not report meetings with lobbyists, according to a Transparency International analysis of collected data on lobby meetings published by MEPs on the European Parliament website.
AI&I vTalk with Luciano Floridi: The development of a corona tracing app is shaping the public debate. Aside from data protection, complex ethical questions arise from the use of such an app. On May 12th from 5 pm Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Information Ethics at the University of Oxford, will speak about the trust of European citizens in the use of mobile tracing apps and the ethical principles of government, business and science in the second edition of the AI&I vTalk.
People interested in participating in the discussion and asking questions to Professor Floridi are invited to visit the Vodafone Institute’s YouTube channel.
Brexit: EU must prepare for no-deal, German Chancellor Merkel warns independent.co.uk
Pharmaceutical company: EU Commission drops allegations against Merck in Sigma-Aldrich merger nasdaq.com
Facial recognition: EU data watchdog to convince Commission to ban automated recognition tech euractiv.com
Russia: Putin wins right to extend his rule until 2036 in landslide vote politico.eu
⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃
“The progress made during the negotiations has been, to put it mildly, minimal.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has warned that the Brexit talks between the EU and UK could still fail.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Government crisis in Slovenia: Slovenia is being shaken by a scandal over the purchase of ventilators for coronavirus patients. Slovenian police detained the economy minister responsible for the purchases, Zdravko Pocivalsek, for several hours on Tuesday. Immediately afterwards, Interior Minister Ales Hojs and State Police Chief Anton Travner resigned from their posts. Hojs criticised the Pocivalsek investigation as politically motivated. According to the prosecutors’ allegations, Pocivalsek’s ministry purchased overpriced ventilators. The accusations are based on statements by a whistleblower from the responsible trading company. Pocivalsek denies the allegations. He said he wanted to cooperate with the authorities after being released on Tuesday evening.
Austria issues travel warning for six Balkan states: Austria has issued travel warnings for the whole of the Western Balkans. Austria said its highest travel warning was now in place for the region, which includes Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Albania, Montenegro and Serbia. The category-six warning affects all travel to the Western Balkans and recommends that Austrians return from the countries involved immediately. Those coming back will either face a 14-day quarantine or must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test.
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Czech Republic ends face mask rule, masks mandatory on Swiss public transport: The Czech Republic has lifted a strict face mask rule credited with limiting the spread of coronavirus in the country. People in the Czech capital Prague built a 1,600-foot table and held a massive public dinner party on Tuesday, to celebrate the end of the country’s coronavirus lockdown. Meanwhile, the Swiss government announced that passengers on Swiss public transport will have to wear face masks starting on Monday.
theguardian.com, cnn.com (Czech Republic); nau.ch (Switzerland)
Netherlands: Coalition parties call for formal apology for slave trade history politico.eu
Catalonia’s President Torra uses pandemic as argument for independence nzz.ch
Sweden: Central bank boosts QE programme to fight pandemic downturn reuters.com
North Macedonia: General election to take place despite pandemic de.euronews.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 ⊃
Activists protest German coal plans at Merkel party HQ: Environmental activists scaled the headquarters of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s party in Berlin and covered the building in black drapes to protest parts of the government’s plan to close coal-fired power stations by 2038. They also hung a banner with a picture of Economy Minister Peter Altmaier and the slogan “CDU: Shady deals with the coal industry” on the facade. The protest comes as Germany’s parliament prepares to vote Friday on legislation codifying plans to phase out the burning of coal by 2038. Critics contend that the government plan isn’t ambitious enough.