Tuesday, 16 July 2019: EU imposes sanctions on Turkey over gas drilling off Cyprus, Von der Leyen makes final pledges to secure EU Commission presidency, Macron visits Serbia

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU imposes sanctions on Turkey over gas drilling off Cyprus: The EU has decided to suspend contacts between high-level officials, as well as to pull financial aid, in response to Turkey’s gas exploration in Cypriot national waters. EU foreign ministers said at a meeting in Brussels on Monday in light of Turkey’s continued and new illegal drilling activities, the EU is suspending talks on an air transport agreement and will call on the European Investment Bank to review its lending to the country. Italy’s Foreign Minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi has unveiled several proposals for the EU to cope with the influx of migrants, but Germany has rejected most of them. German European Affairs Minister Micheal Roth said he was grateful for the very constructive and responsible role of the Italian foreign minister, but he had the impression that solutions that could not be immediately implemented did not substantially bring the EU much forward. French President Emmanuel Macron announced that he will speak to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russia’s Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump this week as part of a French initiative to prevent an escalation of tensions in the Middle East.
nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com (Turkey); european-views.com, ansamed.info (Migrants); reuters.com (Iran)

Von der Leyen makes final pledges to secure EU Commission presidency: German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen, who is seeking to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President, has made last-minute pledges on the climate crisis, Brexit, an EU minimum wage, and gender quotas for company boards as she faces a vote on her candidacy on Tuesday. On climate change, Von der Leyen has said the EU needs to be more ambitious on its 2030 target to cut emissions within the bloc by at least 40% compared with 1990 levels, by raising the aim to at least 50% and providing a plan for a 55% cut. Von der Leyen announced on Monday she was resigning from her post of German defence minister regardless of whether she was appointed as Commission head.
theguardian.com, reuters.com

Council of the EU discussed Iraq: The Foreign Affairs Council discussed Iraq and adopted conclusions on Monday. The council reiterated the EU’s steadfast support for Iraq’s unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, and the importance of Iraqi ownership of the country’s internal political and economic reform processes. It underlined the EU’s continued commitment to the preservation of the multi-ethnic and multi-religious nature of Iraqi society. The council also welcomed the formation of a federal government, including recent ministerial appointments. EU relations with Iraq are focused on the implementation of the EU-Iraq Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, including enhanced political cooperation.
consilium.europa.eu

Satellite navigation: Galileo satellite navigation system out of action dw.com
International Monetary Fund: Former Eurogroup head Dijsselbloem could be next IMF chief cnbc.com
China: German ambassador to the EU calls for strategy in competition with Beijing euractiv.com
North Korea: EU renews its autonomous sanctions on individuals and entities consilium.europa.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

Many people in the EU are totally exhausted, confronted by so many crises: Brexit, transatlantic relations totally under pressure, migration, the rise of nationalism and populism.
Germany’s minister of state for Europe, Michael Roth, has warned of an enlargement fatigue currently felt in the EU.
euractiv.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Macron visits Serbia: French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Monday to help jumpstart stalled negotiations to resolve Serbia’s independence dispute with former province Kosovo. The EU has led talks between the two countries since 2011 which resulted in several technical agreements including the Brussels agreement which aimed to normalise relations and integrate the Serb minority in northern Kosovo. Macron, making the first visit to Serbia by a French president since 2001, also expressed support for the country’s stated goal of joining the EU even as he reiterated his belief that the EU must adopt reforms before adding more members.
washingtonpost.com, euronews.com

Italian police discover war weapons in raids on far right: Italy’s police have seized a large cache of combat weapons, including an air-to-air missile, in raids on far-right extremist groups. The raids were part of an investigation into Italian far-right members who participated in the Russian-backed insurgency in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region. Three men were arrested, including a customs officer who has previously stood for parliament for an extreme right party.
politico.eu, reuters.com

Siemens to invest in Görlitz site: Technology firm Siemens, the German state of Saxony, and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft are investing roughly 30 million euros at the Siemens site in Görlitz, eastern Germany. The partners are establishing an innovation campus and a company start-up accelerator. The aim is to encourage other technology and industrial companies as well as startups and research institutes to establish operations in the region close to the border with Poland.
reuters.com

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Greece wants to be the EU’s most business-friendly country: Greece will become the most business-friendly country of the European Union, new Minister for Growth and Investments Adonis Georgiadis told „Euronews“ on Monday. In order to do so, the Greek government plans to reduce taxation and bureaucracy. Georgiadis said there would be reforms in August that would change almost all legislation, in order to make doing business in the country very easy.
euronews.com

Romania: Prime Minister Dancila dismisses interior minister Dan and foreign minister Melescanu zeit.de
France: French-Iranian academic Adelkhah arrested in Iran bbc.com
Italy: Rome prepares to ship its rubbish across Europe, raising environmental concerns euractiv.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

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)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

British Prime Minister May condemns Trump tweets: Theresa May has criticised US President Donald Trump for racist tweets about several Democratic congresswomen with a migration background. The outgoing UK prime minister called Trump’s words completely unacceptable, according to her spokesperson. Trump did not explicitly name the women, but the context – and references to Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi – made a clear link. He said Pelosi would happily organise for them to leave the country.
bbc.com

 

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