Tuesday, 07 May 2019: EU will investigate Apple, Orban rejects Weber as EU Commission president, One million species at risk of extinction


EU will investigate Apple: Apple will reportedly be hit with a formal EU investigation in the next few weeks over Spotify’s antitrust complaint. Spotify had filed a complaint with the European Commission’s antitrust regulators earlier this year, alleging Apple Music gives the US tech giant an unfair advantage over rivals. The claim centres around Apple charging a 30% fee on developers for in-app subscription purchases made through the App Store. Spotify said those fees make it nigh impossible to keep its prices competitive with Apple Music. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek said in a blog post back in March that if the company had to continue to pay this tax, it would be forced to artificially inflate the price of its premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. An Apple spokesman has denied Spotify’s claims, adding that the company only charged apps that were not free to use.
cnbc.com, theguardian.com

Orban rejects Weber as EU Commission president: Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban no longer supports Manfred Weber’s bid to be European Commission president. Speaking in Budapest alongside Austrian Vice Chancellor Heinz-Christian Strache, Orban criticised Weber’s pledge not to accept the position of Commission president if his success depended on the support of Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party. Orban described Weber’s remarks as an insult to Hungarian voters. Weber is the lead candidate of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), which suspended Orban’s Fidesz party over rule-of-law concerns in March.
politico.eu, reuters.com

Turkish authorities cancel Istanbul mayoral election: Turkey’s election authorities on Monday annulled the Istanbul municipal vote more than a month after CHP opposition candidate Ekrem Imamoglu was elected as the city’s mayor. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) had challenged the results in Istanbul, maintaining that alleged irregularities had affected the outcome. Markets saw it as further confirmation of the country’s slide into one-man rule, with the lira dropping against the US dollar. The Council of Europe warned that the decision could severely damage Turkish voters’ trust. The leader of Turkey’s militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), Abdullah Ocalan, has met his lawyers for the first time in eight years, one of them announced on Monday. The US and EU have expressed deep concern over Turkey’s plans for offshore drilling operations in an area claimed by Cyprus as its exclusive economic zone. Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg was in Ankara on Monday for a final push to persuade Turkey to abandon its plan to buy Russian missiles by backing negotiations on an alternative US-made air-defence system.
politico.eu, pbs.org, euobserver.com (Istanbul); france24.com (Ocalan); reuters.com (Cyprus); bloomberg.com (Nato)

European Parliament election on 23 May: EU industrial policy under spotlight as elections loom euractiv.com
European Central Bank: Tiered ECB rate needs monetary policy case, says Praet euronews.com


I hope that we don’t have to impose tariffs on each other.
EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has said the European Union and the United States should sit down and find a negotiated solution instead of imposing tariffs on each other.


One million species at risk of extinction: A million animal and plant species are at imminent risk of extinction due to humankind’s relentless pursuit of economic growth, scientists said on Monday in a landmark report on the devastating impact of modern civilisation on the natural world. Three years in the making, the global assessment of nature found that up to one million of Earth’s estimated eight million plant, insect and animal species is at risk of extinction, many within decades. Climate change caused by burning the coal, oil and gas produced by the fossil fuel industry is exacerbating the losses. Scientists made an impassioned appeal to governments and businesses worldwide to confront vested interests they said were blocking reforms in farming, energy and mining needed to save the Earth’s ecosystems. A Eurobarometer survey has revealed awareness is generally increasing on the meaning of biodiversity, its importance, threats and measures to protect it.
reuters.com, bbc.com, europa.eu

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German president calls out toxic social media debates: Germany’s President Frank Walter Steinmeier gave an impassioned speech at the “re:publica” internet conference in Berlin on Monday, calling for a more civilised culture of debate on the internet and wondering why political debates so often tended to be toxic. He also called on social media platforms to take more responsibility for democracy. The most urgent task, he said, was not the digitalisation of democracy, but the democratisation of digital space. Steinmeier said it was time for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others to finally take more responsibility for democracy after many announcements, rounds of talks, and photo opportunities. The president called for democratic regulations and concrete measures, as well as crystal clear seals of origin for information, especially when it comes to political advertising.

France: Government challenged over refusal to allow jihadist’s children home france24.com
Italy: Five Star movement wants Armando Siri, undersecretary and adviser to League chief Salvini, to quit bloomberg.com
Spain: Maritime rescue service rescues over 416 migrants at sea in 3 days apnews.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)


Facebook CEO Zuckerberg to meet Macron: French President Emmanuel Macron will meet with Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Friday in Paris, according to an Elysee palace official. They will talk about Facebook’s partnership with the French government on tackling hate speech online. Launched in November last year, the experiment gives French authorities insight into Facebook’s processes to remove harmful content on its platform.


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