Tuesday, 3 July 2018: EU warns US of boomerang effect if Trump imposes car levies, EU opens legal case against Poland, EU students get post-Brexit fees promise


EU warns US of boomerang effect if Trump imposes car levies: The European Union has warned the United States that imposing import tariffs on cars and car parts would harm its own automotive industry and likely lead to counter-measures by its trading partners on 294 billion dollars of US exports. In a 10-page submission to the US Commerce Department sent last Friday, the EU said tariffs on cars and car parts were unjustifiable and did not make economic sense. US President Donald Trump would put a „tax on the American people“ if he goes ahead with a threat to hit European carmakers with punitive tariffs, the EU warned. The warning comes in the EU Commission’s first detailed response to the US department of commerce following Trump’s threat to hit imports of European cars with tariffs. The EU imposes a 10 percent tariff on US-built cars, while the US levies a 2.5 percent tariff on cars assembled in Europe and a 25 percent tariff on European-built vans and pick-up trucks. Trump on Monday said US officials would meet soon with European counterparts to discuss the spate over trade tariffs, saying the EU wanted to „work something out“.
reuters.com, theguardian.com, euronews.com

EU opens legal case against Poland: The EU Commission has launched legal proceedings against the Polish government, a day before many of the country’s Supreme Court judges are being forced into early retirement due to a controversial new law. Brussels and Warsaw have been at odds over the judicial reforms for two and a half years. The EU’s executive has accused the Polish authorities of bringing in laws that interfere significantly with the judiciary. On Monday, the EU gave Warsaw a one-month deadline to answer its concerns. Poland insists its reforms, which have already come into effect, are aimed at updating an inefficient system and replacing judges who date back to a communist era that collapsed in 1989. The rule-of-law procedure opened on Monday was part of a broader investigation into the Polish government that could potentially lead to sanctions from Brussels. However, any such sanctions would have to be unanimously agreed upon and Poland’s close ally Hungary is likely to veto such a measure.
dw.com, bbc.com

EU students get post-Brexit fees promise: European students applying to universities in England next year – after Britain’s formal exit from the EU – will be eligible for student loans and tuition fees at the same rate as domestic students, the British government has announced. Education Secretary Damian Hinds said EU students starting in autumn 2019 will pay the same tuition fees as English students and their access to support will be unchanged. This status will last for the duration of their degree courses. The government’s decision to extend the current arrangements on loans and tuition fees to the 2019-20 academic year means EU students will continue to enrol on the same basis as British students despite the formal March 2019 Brexit date having passed. A record 75 percent of major British companies are now pessimistic about Brexit, a survey showed on Monday, adding to signs of anxiety around the economy as Brexit draws near. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will meet with her cabinet at her country estate Friday, when ministers are due to agree Britain’s blueprint for its future relationship with the EU.
theguardian.com, bbc.com, cnbc.com (Survey), bloomberg.com

Ship captain rejects guilt over migrant rescue operation: The German captain of a charity-run ship that rescued more than 200 migrants in the Mediterranean in late June has dismissed any wrongdoing after Malta opened legal proceedings against him on Monday. „Our mission was to save 234 people,“ Claus-Peter Reisch said as he was due to face court on charges of ignoring official Maltese orders and breaking international law. „I’m not aware of having committed any crime.“ Reisch was in command of the Lifeline when it saved 234 migrants near the Libyan coast on June 21. The vessel, operated by the German charity Mission Lifeline, was able to dock in Malta on June 27 after the Maltese government initially refused to grant it entry. More than 200 migrants have drowned in the Mediterranean in the past three days, bringing the overall death toll so far this year to more than 1,000, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) reported on Monday.
dw.com, news.un.org

Presidential election in Mexico: Mexican populist Lopez Obrador triumphs in presidential race politico.eu
Baltic nations: EU, Baltics, Poland target Russia grid separation by 2025 euractiv.com
EU Presidency: Debates with Bulgarian PM Borissov and Austrian Chancellor Kurz europarl.europa.eu


We would like to be more ambitious, but this is the communitarian reality we have.
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, who had attended his first EU summit, has complained that the conclusions lacked ambition.


Terror attack in France thwarted: Belgian authorities arrested a married couple on Monday and accused them of preparing a bomb attack in France during a rally of an Iranian opposition group last weekend. The rally was being hosted by Iranian opposition group, the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, in the French town of Villepinte, which is close to Paris and included a number of American speakers including Rudy Giuliani, US President Donald Trump’s attorney. Another person arrested in Germany was a diplomat at the Iranian embassy in the Austrian capital Vienna, the Belgian statement said. Mujahedin-e-Khalq, a fringe organisation loathed by Iran’s establishment, accused leaders in Tehran of planning the suspected attack. The federal prosecutor’s office said Monday that the two Belgian citizens of Iranian heritage were charged with attempt at terrorist murder and preparing a terrorist crime against the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. However, Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, rejected claims of Iran’s involvement and described the accusations as a „sinister false flag ploy“.
nbcnews.com, theguardian.com, telegraph.co.uk

Macron replaces Hungary ambassador after pro-Orban memo leaked: France’s President Emmanuel Macron replaced the French ambassador to Hungary over the weekend after a confidential memo in which the envoy praised Hungarian leader Viktor Orban’s migrant policy was leaked to the press. Pascale Andreani was named as the new ambassador to Budapest to replace Eric Fournier, who will take on other functions, a decree published in the official gazette on Saturday showed. In the confidential note dated June 18, which was addressed to Macron’s office and was published by investigative website Mediapart, Fournier said Hungary was a model for dealing with migrants and that accusations of populism against Orban were media fabrications. Asked about the note on Friday, Macron said he did not share the ambassador’s views and that the confidential note did not represent official French policy.

Merkel and Seehofer make fragile peace: German Chancellor Angela Merkel secured a compromise with her Bavarian partners over refugee policy late Monday, ending a weeks-long standoff that threatened to bring down her government and fracture her conservative bloc. Under the terms of the deal, negotiated between Merkel and Horst Seehofer, interior minister and leader of the Bavarian Christian Social Union, Berlin will establish so-called transit zones along Germany’s southern border to allow for accelerated deportations of refugees who are not entitled to seek asylum in the country. The accord, if accepted by the Social Democrats, who form a grand coalition with Merkel’s Christian Democrats and the CSU, should resolve a long-simmering conflict over refugees that posed the greatest challenge to the chancellor’s authority since she took office in 2005. The head of the Social Democrats, Andrea Nahles, said many issues still needed to be clarified before the SPD could approve the CDU/CSU deal.
politico.eu, dw.com

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EU steps up emergency assistance to Spain and Greece: The EU Commission has awarded an additional 45.6 million euros in emergency assistance to support Spain and Greece respond to the migratory challenges they face. In view of increased arrivals, Spain will receive 25.6 million euros to improve the reception capacity for arrivals at its southern coast and in Ceuta and Melilla as well as to help increase returns. Another 20 million euros has been awarded to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to improve reception conditions in Greece, notably on the island of Lesvos. With the new funding decisions an important milestone has been reached: In total, the Commission has now mobilised over 1 billion euros in emergency assistance to help manage migration under the current financial framework.

Independence: Spain to move jailed separatists to Catalan prisons politico.eu
Ukraine: EU Parliament mourns attacks on Roma in Ukraine europarl.europa.eu
World affairs: Crans Montana Forum turns spotlight on globalisation euronews.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 parliament orders Le Pen group to reimburse over 500,000 euros: The EU Parliament on Monday ordered the political group of French far-right leader and former presidential candidate Marine Le Pen to reimburse more than 500,000 euros claimed in unjustified expenses, including pricey champagne and dinners. The political group Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) to which Le Pen’s party belongs, had claimed 477,780 euros in expenses in 2016 that the Parliament’s Budgetary Control Committee deemed unjustified or non-compliant. The audit report for 2016 seen by AFP showed claims for about one hundred Christmas presents worth more than 100 euros each, 230 bottles of champagne, and a Christmas meal for 140 people with a tab of more than 13,500 euros.



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