Tuesday, 09 April 2019: Merkel and May talk about Brexit, EU fines General Electric, European nationalists form alliance for elections


Merkel and May talk about Brexit: German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host British Prime Minister Theresa May in Berlin on Tuesday as part of efforts to resolve the impasse over Britain’s exit from the EU. Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said the two leaders are set to discuss Brexit, but did not give any indication as to Germany’s stance regarding May’s proposal to delay Brexit until June. Later Tuesday, May is to travel to Paris to meet French President Emmanuel Macron, ahead of an emergency meeting of EU leaders in Brussels on Wednesday, which will determine the length and conditions of any extension to the Brexit process. The British government has laid groundwork that would enable it to participate in the European Parliament elections next month, should the UK still find itself in the EU by the time the vote takes place. The London Stock Exchange (LSE) said its pan-European platform Turquoise would shift trading in euro-denominated shares to its new Dutch hub if Britain leaves the EU at the end of the week without a deal.
politico.eu, dw.com (May); cnn.com (European election); reuters.com (LSE)

EU fines General Electric: EU antitrust regulators have fined US conglomerate General Electric 52 million euros for providing misleading information in its takeover of Danish rotor blade maker LM Wind two years ago. GE had told the EU Commission that it was not developing any other turbine apart from its 6 megawatt turbine when it sought EU approval to buy LM Wind. The EU later found that this was not true after a third party provided details. GE subsequently withdrew its request and resubmitted it a month later with more data on future projects. The deal was cleared in March 2017. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said the fine imposed on General Electric was proof that the Commission took breaches of the obligation for companies to provide correct information very seriously.
reuters.com, europa.eu

EU tests cyber resilience ahead of May elections: EU institutions have put their cyber systems to the test in a bid to assess the efficiency of responses to attacks against critical network infrastructure, ahead of European elections in May. Over 80 representatives from EU governments, together with observers from the EU Parliament, the EU Commission and the EU Agency for cybersecurity ENISA, participated in Friday’s exercise. It was the first test of its kind and also aimed to analyse the ways in which cybersecurity incidents could be prevented, detected and mitigated swiftly. When asked by „Euractiv“ a senior EU official confirmed that no testing of the electronic voting systems themselves took place, because election systems were an EU member state competence and it was rather the responsibility of states themselves to ensure that any electronic voting systems used in the upcoming EU elections were watertight.

Trade negotiations: US-China talks blocking concessions to EU, Brussels complains euractiv.com


The EU will stand fully behind Ireland.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has demonstrated solidarity with Ireland.


European nationalists form alliance for elections: European nationalist parties have announced an alliance, with the aim of changing the balance of power in the EU. Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini of the right-wing League party announced the venture on Monday at a news conference in Milan. He was joined by Germany’s far-right AfD, the Finns Party and the Danish People’s Party – fellow nationalists. Alternative for Germany (AfD) chairman Jörg Meuthen said at least ten parties would take part. The populists share common ground when it comes to strong borders against migration and an emphasis on traditional, national identities. The new alliance expands on the parliament’s four-year-old Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (ENF), which already includes France’s far-right National Rally, Austria’s Freedom Party and the Netherland’s Party for Freedom. Salvini said the participation of the other ENF parties was not planned for Monday. Instead, they were expected at a rally in Milan on 18 May.
bbc.com, nytimes.com, apnews.com, theguardian.com

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Calls for AfD lawmaker accused of Russia ties to resign: German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) have called for the resignation of far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) lawmaker Markus Frohnmaier following media reports that the Russian government exerts influence over his political actions. CDU Secretary General Paul Ziemiak said whoever made himself so dependent on other powers could not independently act in the interests of the German people in parliament. Frohnmaier vehemently denied the accusations against him. Merkel spokesman Stefan Siebert told DW on Monday that the government was aware of the accusations against Frohnmaier, but that an investigation into the legitimacy of claims that the Kremlin bolstered his 2017 election bid was ultimately a task for the German parliament.

France: Macron’s Great Debate shows need to cut taxes faster, says French PM uk.reuters.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)


EU sets strategy for ethical AI: Less than one week after Google scrapped its AI ethics council, the EU has set out its own guidelines for achieving trustworthy artificial intelligence. Building on the work of a group of independent experts appointed in June 2018, the EU Commission laid out seven key requirements for ethical AI, including maintaining human oversight of the technology, making procedures traceable and putting mechanisms in place to hold systems accountable. The EU’s guidelines are one of the first government-led efforts to address AI ethics, while companies are also taking their own initiatives. Two weeks ago, Google launched a board to discuss AI ethics issues, but the tech firm came under fire for the members it selected as part of the panel. It dissolved the effort after just one week.
cnbc.com, europa.eu


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