Tuesday, 26 June 2018: EU states sign off on joint military intervention force, EU imposes sanctions on more Venezuelan officials, EU and China discuss economic and trade relations


EU states sign off on joint military intervention force: Nine EU member states have agreed to establish a European military force for rapid deployment in times of crisis. Spearheaded by French president Emmanuel Macron, the joint enterprise will allow national armed forces across Europe to coordinate and react swiftly together. After months of negotiations with Germany, which France also wants at the centre of the force, the so-called European Intervention Initiative aims to bring together a coalition of willing militaries ready to react to crises near Europe’s borders without Nato or the United States. France’s Defence Minister Florence Parly held a ceremony in Luxembourg at which Germany, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, Estonia, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal signed a letter of intent. Italy was also set to be involved, Parly said, but dropped out following the election of a new government of anti-establishment left and far right parties.
theguardian.com, uk.reuters.com

EU imposes sanctions on more Venezuelan officials: The EU imposed economic sanctions on 11 senior Venezuelan officials on Monday in protest at President Nicolas Maduro’s re-election, which the bloc says was not free or fair, and over his government’s alleged rights abuses. The new travel bans and asset freezes follow EU moves against seven other senior officials in January. Those blacklisted include Venezuela’s industry minister and former vice president Tareck El Aissami, already sanctioned by the United States for drug trafficking. The EU also targeted Delcy Rodriguez, who became vice president when Maduro reshuffled his cabinet after his widely-condemned re-election in May. President Nicolas Maduro’s government denounced the new sanctions, which it said infringed international law by violating Venezuela´s sovereignty.

EU and China discuss economic and trade relations: On Monday, the EU and China held the seventh annual EU-China High-level Economic and Trade Dialogue in Beijing. Topics included global economic governance, support for the multilateral trading system, trade and investment questions – notably negotiations on an investment agreement and on geographical indications – as well as the digital economy, climate and environmental cooperation, and connectivity. China told France on Monday it would buy more of its farm produce, hinted at future Airbus purchases and pledged to work on market access, shoring up its trade ties with Europe amid the increasing danger of a tariff war with the United States. Round two of US President Donald Trump’s trade assault on Beijing is expected by the end of this week, when the Treasury Department rolls out new restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States and on the technologies that can be sold to China.
europa.eu, reuters.com, politico.eu

European MPs spend night on migrant ship: A group of five European politicians spent Sunday night on a rescue ship stranded in the Mediterranean with hundreds of migrants on board, in a bid to secure a port for the vessel to dock. The lawmakers – three Germans, one Portuguese and one Spaniard – spent four hours on board the rescue ship Lifeline, as they negotiated with Italian and Maltese authorities for permission to dock, according to the vessel’s German operator, a non-governmental organisation also called „Lifeline“. Spanish Economic Development Minister Jose Luis Abalos said on Monday that his country would not offer docking to a NGO boat carrying some 230 migrants rescued at sea, saying Spain could not „become the sea rescue organisation for all of Europe.“ Libya’s coastguard said on Monday nearly a thousand people were rescued off its shores on Sunday. Spanish authorities said 600 people had been picked up in coastal waters on Monday. EU Parliament President Antonio Tajani has called for bigger investment in Africa to avoid that „hundreds of thousands of immigrants will turn into millions, with devastating consequences for Europe“.
cnn.com, dw.com, euobserver.com

European Central Bank: ECB ups trading fees by half as its platform is shunned reuters.com


If some countries had issues with North Macedonia and Albania, they should have notified them before. Now, we have the Commission’s report and the proposal to look at the opening of the negotiations.
EU capitals should keep their word and open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at the 28-29 June summit, Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias has said.


MEPs back process that could strip Hungary of EU voting rights: A key committee in the EU Parliament voted by a large majority in favour of triggering the EU’s so-called Article 7 process against Hungary, which could ultimately lead to EU sanctions for failing to uphold the bloc’s core values. MEPs from the Justice and Home Affairs Committee voted by 37 votes to 19 to back a resolution, drafted by Dutch Green MEP Judith Sargentini, which says the situation in Hungary exposes a clear risk of a serious breach of the values referred to in Article 2 of the Treaties and calls on the Article 7(1) procedure. Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s government has been accused by critics at home and abroad of putting Hungary on the road to autocracy and reintroducing undemocratic practices. German Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet with Orban next Thursday in Berlin.
politico.eu, tagesspiegel.de

Reactions to presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she wants Turkey to be a stable and diverse country it can partner with to tackle the flow of migrants to Europe. Congratulating Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on his election victory, Merkel said Monday the two countries are bound by „many years of friendship“ and close personal ties between its citizens. German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he hopes the president succeeds in reuniting Turkish society, according to a presidential spokesperson. The EU refused to congratulate Erdogan and said campaign conditions had not been equal. The Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said Monday that Edrogan’s opponents were denied equal conditions for campaigning in the election, and he enjoyed undue advantages because of his extensive control over Turkish media. Excessive media coverage and emergency measures tilted the playing field in favour of Erdogan. The OSCE also pointed to the relocation of polling stations on security grounds as a concern, an issue that opposition parties said were attempts to make voting more difficult in their strongholds.
kpvi.com, yahoo.com, nbcnews.com, dw.com, cnn.com

Give Merkel more time to set up EU migrant deals, say allies: Allies of German Chancellor Angela Merkel have called for the German leader to be given more time to set up new bilateral migration deals with other European countries, as she returned empty-handed from an emergency mini-summit in Brussels. Sunday’s gathering of 16 European leaders had been hastily assembled to offer a lifeline to the German chancellor, as her interior minister, Horst Seehofer, is threatening to unilaterally turn away migrants already registered in another EU country at German borders unless the chancellor can come up with a European solution to the problem by 1 July. But with the unorthodox meeting failing to reach concrete conclusions, senior members of Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union have rallied around their party leader and called on its sister party, the Bavarian CSU, to adjust their expectations.

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Salvini pitches migrant centres in North Africa: Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini has proposed on a visit to Libya setting up migrant reception centres at the north African country’s southern borders. In a bid to stem the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean into Italy, the immigration hardliner wants to cut them off before they reach the coast, but did not say in which countries such centres would be located. The news comes at a time when two rescue boats laiden with migrants, the Lifeline and Alexander Maersk, are stranded in the Mediterranean with nowhere to dock. Over 11,000 migrants have arrived in Italy so far this year.

France/Spain: Macron’s En Marche, Spain’s Ciudadanos working on joint 2019 platform politico.eu


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)


Prince William continues Middle East tour: Prince William, the second in line to the British throne, began on Sunday what is being called a historic five-day tour of the Middle East. William landed in Jordan on Sunday and will also visit Israel and the Palestinian territories — places that Britain controlled for decades after World War I. The trip comes as Israel celebrates the 70th anniversary of its founding, and amid a rise in tensions between Palestinians and Israelis. On Sunday Prince William spent time with Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II in Amman, with whom he watched England’s World Cup match against Panama.
nytimes.com, bbc.com



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