⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Von der Leyen wants one trillion euros to fight climate change: The European Parliament confirmed the new EU Commission on Wednesday. Incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stressed the existential challenge of climate change, putting this at the forefront of the Commission’s new agenda. She said massive investments were needed to tackle the issue, estimating the cost of combating climate change during her term at one trillion euros. The money will come from the EU budget, EU member states and the private sector. Von der Leyen also said she would work on a “European Green Deal” so the EU can continue to be a global leader on the climate change issue. On a personal note, von der Leyen, whose sister died of cancer at the age of 11, said her Commission would seek to lead in the fight against cancer across the EU.
dw.com, tagesspiegel.de, nytimes.com, theguardian.com
Germany to increase Nato military spending in 2021: Germany will start to pay as much into Nato as the United States do, according to media reports. German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday underscored her commitment to Nato, pledging to raise Germany’s defense spending to the alliance’s 2% target by the early 2030s. At the moment, Europe would be unable to defend itself, she said, urging the bloc to stay together. Merkel said Nato had been a bulwark for peace and freedom and was even more in Europe’s interests today than it was in the Cold War.
Environment tops public concerns in Europe: A survey by Germany’s Bertelsmann Foundation on Wednesday found that environmental protection is the most pressing issue among people polled across 27 EU member states. Environmental protection was followed by job protection at 34% and social security with 23%. Some 12,123 people were surveyed in every EU state except the UK.
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Benin orders EU ambassador to leave: Benin ordered EU ambassador Oliver Nette to leave the country on Wednesday, diplomatic sources told AFP news agency. The Beninese government accused the ambassador of the European Union mission of interfering in domestic political affairs. A government spokesman said Nette had constantly called on civil society to protest against the government. The government reportedly gave the German-born diplomat until December 1st to leave the country.
EU budget: European Parliament approves annual budget 2020 faz.net
European Stability Mechanism (ESM): Rescue fund reform will likely happen in February nytimes.com
Mediterranean Sea: Four dead and 16 missing sn.at
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“That would be disastrous not for China but for us in Europe.”
German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on European countries to agree a common approach towards China and the rollout of the next generation 5G mobile network. She said one of the biggest dangers was that individual countries in Europe would have their own policies towards China, resulting in mixed signals.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Malta ex-chief of staff under arrest: Keith Schembri, the Maltese government’s former chief of staff, was arrested Wednesday as part of an investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, the “Times of Malta” newspaper reported. Schembri, a close friend of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, resigned on Tuesday after he was named by businessman Yorgen Fenech as a person of interest in the investigation. Fenech is the suspected middleman in the 2017 murder of Caruana Galizia. For nearly four years, Schembri has been at the center of a political scandal triggered by Caruana Galizia’s investigations. Using a leak of offshore information known as the “Panama Papers”, she reported that Schembri and fellow minister Konrad Mizzi became the beneficiaries of secretive offshore companies soon after entering office.
French farmers protest in Paris: Hundreds of French farmers drove tractors along the main highways into Paris on Wednesday to protest international trade deals and government policies, such as the phasing out of the weedkiller glyphosate. Resentment among farmers has been growing at what they call “agri-bashing”, or criticism of agriculture over issues ranging from pesticide use to animal welfare. A food law passed by the government, which aimed to give farmers a fairer share of profits, has failed to dispel discontent over modest revenues.
UN urge Greece to improve refugee camp conditions: The United Nations have urged the Greek government to improve living conditions in migrant camps. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi also said Europe must do more to protect unaccompanied children. Arrivals of migrants from neighboring Turkey have risen again in recent months, with more than 37,000 people crammed into facilities on eastern Aegean islands that operate far beyond their capacity.
Swedish bank suspected of ties to money laundering: Swedish state broadcaster SVT said Wednesday that about 194 clients at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB) are suspected of using the bank to launder money through Swedish and Baltic accounts. SVT’s report said transactions through the SEB accounts included around 475 million Swedish crowns connected to the so-called Magnitsky affair. Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 after accusing Russian officials of large-scale tax fraud. He died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after complaining of mistreatment.
Romania: Disabled people isolated in Romanian institutions zeit.de
France 1: President Macron meets Putin halfway on nuclear missiles faz.net
France 2: Unions call for protests against Macron’s reforms handelsblatt.com
Germany: First arrest in Cum-Ex tax probe news.bloombergtax.com
⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃
politjobs.eu: Alfa Fellowship Program seeks Young German, British, and American Leaders *** FTA seeks Regulatory Affairs Advisor (m/f) *** Bayer seeks Trainee (m/f) *** ISN seeks Advocacy Officer (m/f) *** Politico seeks Lobbying Reporter (m/f) *** EGEC seeks Trainee (m/f) *** Facebook seeks Public Policy Manager (m/f) *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Manager (m/f) *** DEKRA offers Internship (m/f) *** European Friends of Amernia seeks Communications and Media Engagement Officer (m/f) *** International Crisis Group seeks Analyst (m/f)
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)
⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
Apple changes Crimea map to meet Russian demands: Apple appears to have complied with Russian demands to show the annexed Ukrainian Crimea peninsula as part of Russian territory on its apps. Crimea is shown as Russian territory on Apple Maps and its Weather app when viewed from Russia. The apps do not show it as part of any country when viewed elsewhere. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko denounced Apple’s decision and called on the US company to stick with what it knows, saying global politics was clearly not Apple’s strong point.