Tuesday, 02 July 2019: EU summit on top jobs suspended, Puigdemont’s request to claim EU Parliament seat rejected, Germany demands release of rescue ship captain


EU summit on top jobs suspended: The EU special summit in Brussels was suspended on Monday with the EU’s top jobs still undecided. Negotiations will start again this Tuesday morning. Up for grabs are the presidencies of the EU Commission, the EU Parliament, the European Council, and the European Central Bank, as well as the position of EU foreign policy chief. The emerging compromise on Monday was to name German lawmaker Manfred Weber as the EU Parliament President and to give the Commission job to Dutch Socialist politician Frans Timmermans, who France and Spain strongly support. But Timmermans is unpalatable to eastern EU states such as Hungary and Poland, due to his role in the EU’s rule of law probes against their governments.
euronews.com, theguardian.com

Puigdemont’s request to claim EU Parliament seat rejected: Former Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont will not be able to claim his parliament seat at the present time. The EU’s General Court denied Puigdemont’s request to order the EU Parliament to allow him to join other lawmakers when the new legislature meets for the first time this Tuesday. Puigdemont and MEP Toni Comin had appealed to the court, asking it to order the parliament to enable them to take their seats. But the court said there was no scope for the parliament to accord to the applicants, on a provisional basis, a seat until their credentials had been verified. The final judgement will come at a later date.

Eurozone unemployment at lowest rate since 2008: Unemployment in the eurozone dropped to 7.5% in May 2019, the lowest rate recorded since July 2008, the European statistic agency Eurostat reported Monday. The Czech Republic, Germany, and the Netherlands had the lowest unemployment rates in the EU. The highest unemployment rates were observed in Greece, Spain, and Italy.

Finland takes over EU presidency: Finland has taken over the presidency of the EU countries for half a year. The country in the north of the EU is facing some difficult issues, such as Brexit. The Brexit date already had to be delayed twice because Britain’s parliament rejected the deal negotiated by the EU and British Prime Minister Theresa May. The priorities for Finland’s EU presidency are to strengthen common values and the rule of law, to make the EU more competitive and socially inclusive, to promote action on climate change, and to protect the security of its citizens. Finland has chosen “A sustainable Europe – a sustainable future” as the motto of its presidency.
neweurope.eu, handelsblatt.com

Iran breaches nuclear deal: Iran has exceeded the limit under the 2015 nuclear deal for its stockpile of enriched uranium, the country’s first breach of the international agreement. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that the country now has more than 300 kg of low-enriched uranium, surpassing the deal’s 300-kg threshold. European leaders resisted calls to start reimposing sanctions on Iran. British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said he was very worried by the Iranian move, but he did not refer to any plan to activate the deal’s formal dispute resolution mechanism, a staged process that could end with EU sanctions being reimposed in as little as 65 days.
npr.org, theguardian.com

EU Commission: Juncker tries to block the replacement of commissioners elected as MEPs euractiv.com
Climate: Brussels ministerial shows US still isolated on climate change euractiv.com
Russia: Opposition politician Navalny jailed for ten days reuters.com
Hong Kong: Police fire tear gas in running battles after protesters enter legislature uk.reuters.com


Germany demands release of rescue ship captain: Carola Rackete, captain of the migrant rescue ship “Sea-Watch 3”, was arrested on Saturday by Italian authorities for resisting a warship after her ship hit a customs and border police motorboat in the Mediterranean port of Lampedusa. Sicilian prosecutors have also opened an investigation against Rackete for supporting human trafficking. If convicted, Rackete could face ten years in prison. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called on Italy to release Rackete, saying someone who saves lives could not be considered a criminal. He said saving lives was a humanitarian obligation, which must not be criminalised. Supporters of Rackete have raised over €1 million to cover legal costs for the German skipper.
dw.com, euractiv.com, politico.eu

Sweden to boost Gotland defence: Sweden’s military has announced that it will deploy an updated ground-to-air missile defence system on the Baltic Sea island of Gotland in another sign of tension in the region with Russia. Although it is not a Nato member, Sweden has close ties to the alliance and has been strengthening its armed forces after decades of neglect amid increased anxiety over Russian intimidation in the Baltic Sea region. Earlier this year, Sweden called in Russia’s ambassador after a Russian fighter buzzed a Swedish military plane in international air space over the Baltic, flying just 20 meters away. Russia’s decision to annex Crimea also influenced Sweden’s decision.

Italy cuts deficit target amid tensions with the EU: Italy cut its 2019 budget deficit target on Monday in an effort to avoid EU disciplinary action over its public finances. The Italian government said the revised data meant the country was fully compliant with EU rules. The EU Commission has threatened to move against Italy because it failed to reduce its large public debt in 2018 as promised.

Welted men’s footwear: Superior craftsmanship in shoemaking. Buy directly from our manufactures avoiding expensive middlemen. Experience true shoe freedom, handcrafted and custom made from the finest Italian leather. No matter the occasion; be it for the office, leisure or weddings – we have the appropriate pair of shoes

Greek conservatives lead the polls ahead of vote: Greece’s opposition conservatives are expected to ride a wave of anger over continuing austerity measures to seize power from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s leftist Syriza party in next Sunday’s election. Syriza stormed to power in 2015 on the back of a popular backlash against painful economic reforms in the crisis-hit country, which has required billions in bailouts from foreign lenders since 2010. But shortly after gaining power on an anti-austerity platform, Tsipras was forced to relent to a new unpopular bailout plan, and more austerity, to stave off bankruptcy.

Germany defends Iran nuclear deal: The leader of Germany’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, used a security conference in Israel to address tensions with Iran and urge for more defence spending in Germany. She defended the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, saying that the world has not yet found a more suitable way to curb Iran’s nuclear programme. Kramp-Karrenbauer also said that Germany should make more of an effort to improve its military equipment and meet its requirements as a Nato member.

Netherlands: Prosecutors investigate terrorist motive in Utrecht shooting dw.com
Sweden: Outdoor smoking now banned in certain places seattletimes.com
France: Police face probe over tear gas at climate protests dw.com
Germany 1: Bremen’s mayor Carsten Sieling steps down politico.eu
Germany 2: Military helicopter crash kills pilot dw.com


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)


White House press secretary in tussle with North Korean security: Stephanie Grisham, the new White House press secretary, got into a scuffle with North Korean security officers after they tried to block American reporters from accessing a meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. A video recording shows Grisham saying “Go, go”, as she pushes a North Korean official aside to try to create a path to let reporters into the meeting. Grisham was bruised a bit in the scuffle, according to CNN’s Jim Acosta.
politico.com, cnn.com


Newsletter subscription
Subscribe to our free daily newsletter with a compact overview of European topics:
Previous editions

Other political briefings

Our digital news briefings