Tuesday, July 9th 2019: Germany calls on EU to launch rescue missions, Russian MPs call for sanctions against Georgia after journalist’s comments, Zelenskiy proposes peace talks with Putin


Germany calls on EU to launch rescue missions: German Development Minister Gerd Müller has urged the EU to launch missions to rescue migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. He said the EU Commission should launch a new sea rescue program — if necessary without unanimous agreement from EU member states — saying that the EU had stopped paying attention to the situation since the end of Operation Sophia. Müller added that people held in Libyan camps faced the prospect of dying in the camps as a result of violence or hunger, dying of thirst in the desert on the way back or drowning in the Mediterranean. He also warned that climate change was exacerbating the migrant crisis and could lead to millions more Africans seeking to reach Europe. The Maltese government announced Sunday it would allow a German NGO ship to dock on the island, after the vessel became a flashpoint in a tug-of-war between Italy and Germany over who is responsible for taking in migrants rescued at sea.
politico.eu, telegraph.co.uk, politico.eu

EU finance ministers welcome Croatia’s bid to join euro: Croatia has submitted a formal bid to join the European Exchange Rate Mechanism ERM-2, an early stage on the path to membership of the euro currency. Commitments offered by Croatia in a letter were welcomed by the bloc’s finance ministers at a meeting on Monday, the chair of the meeting Mario Centeno told a news conference. The ECB and the EU Commission will monitor the application of these commitments in a process that is expected to last one year. EU Economics Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said Croatia’s move was a vote of confidence in the euro.

Local elections could undermine Albania’s EU prospects: At the end of June, the Albanian government decided to hold local elections even though the opposition boycotted them. Events like these controversial elections have only reinforced the conviction of some European states about Albania’s inability to meet the EU accession criteria. The EU Council is expected to make a decision on whether to open accession talks with Albania in October in line with the EU Commission’s recommendation.

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Facebook and activist face off in EU court hearing: Facebook will face Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems next week at Europe’s top court. At issue is standard contractual clauses used by Facebook and other companies to transfer personal data to the United States and other parts of the world and whether these violate Europeans’ fundamental right to privacy. It is a landmark case that could affect how hundreds of thousands of companies transfer personal data worldwide as well as Europeans’ privacy rights.

Conflict parties in Venezuela want to resume dialogue: Venezuela’s opposition will meet with representatives of President Nicolas Maduro in Barbados this week. The talks will again be mediated by Norway, after negotiations between the political rivals in May failed to resolve a deepening political crisis. Guaido, who declared himself acting president earlier this year, said the talks aimed to establish a negotiation on the end of the country’s dictatorship, referring to Maduro’s regime. Guaido is hoping the negotiations eventually lead to Maduro stepping down and free elections with international observers.
cnbc.com, dw.com

EU Commission: Council rebuffs Juncker’s plan to leave commissioner seats vacant politico.eu
Finnish EU Council Presidency: EU discusses “economy of well-being” de.euronews.com
International nuclear agreement: Iran’s breach of nuclear deal tests European resolve wsj.com


Russian MPs call for sanctions against Georgia after journalist’s comments: Russia has condemned an obscenity-laden tirade against Russian President Vladimir Putin on a Georgian TV station, calling it a shameful and unacceptable provocation by radical political forces intended to damage relations. The Rustavi 2 TV station on Sunday broadcast a program during which the host, Giorgi Gabunia, used offensive language to insult Putin and the Russian leader’s late parents. Russian MPs said on Monday they were considering further economic sanctions on Georgia. The head of the ruling United Russia faction said parliamentary leaders would discuss a ban on imports of Georgian wine and bottled water, as well as direct money transfers.
reuters.com, theguardian.com

Zelenskiy proposes peace talks with Putin: The recently elected president of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskiy has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to resume peace talks to solve the ongoing conflict between their respective countries. Zelenskiy was also clear about the topic of the meeting, saying he wanted to discuss who Crimea belonged to and who wasn’t in the Donbass region. Zelenskiy has previously said he was ready to negotiate with Russia to end the war in eastern Ukraine while sticking to Ukraine’s goal of one day joining the EU and Nato.
dw.com, reuters.com

Greek conservative Mitsotakis sworn in as prime minister: Greece’s New Democracy party leader Kyrikos Mitsotakis was sworn in as prime minister on Monday. EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker congratulated Mitsotakis and praised the Greek people for what they endured during the financial crisis. Eurogroup chief Mario Centeno urged the new Greek government to stick to the reforms and public spending commitments agreed by Athens with its eurozone creditors in return for the bailouts. Mitsotakis has already named a new cabinet: The vital post of finance minister went to former junior finance minister Christos Staikouras. Nikos Dendias, who has served as justice and defense minister in previous conservative governments, is to head the foreign ministry. The cabinet will be sworn in on Tuesday and will meet on Wednesday.
dw.com, zeit.de

German politician’s killing prompts call for tracking neo-Nazis: Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius has called for closer monitoring of people believed to be plotting acts of violence with racist, anti-immigrant or neo-Nazi motives. He announced that he and interior ministers from other Social Democrat-led states would discuss this week how to employ methods already used to keep tabs on suspected religious extremists. He suggested that an early warning system used to rate the potential danger posed by suspected extremists with religious motives could be adapted to turn a critical and early eye to the threat of neo-Nazi violence.

Germany rejects US demand for ground troops in Syria: Germany has rejected an American request for German ground troops to move into Syria. German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said on Monday that Germany would not increase its military presence in the country. He said the German government intended to continue with its ongoing measures in the framework of the anti-Isis coalition led by the United States, which meant no ground troops.

Spain: Judge reinstates Madrid’s low emissions zone theguardian.com
Latvia: Egils Levits is the new president de.euronews.com


politjobs.eu: Alfa Fellowship Program seeks Young German, British, and American Leaders *** FTA seeks Regulatory Affairs Advisor (m/f) *** Bayer seeks Trainee (m/f) *** ISN seeks Advocacy Officer (m/f) *** Politico seeks Lobbying Reporter (m/f) *** EGEC seeks Trainee (m/f) *** Facebook seeks Public Policy Manager (m/f) *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Manager (m/f) *** DEKRA offers Internship (m/f) *** European Friends of Amernia seeks Communications and Media Engagement Officer (m/f) *** International Crisis Group seeks Analyst (m/f)
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)


Climate protesters block entrances to Swiss banks: Environmental activists, seeking to pressure Swiss banks into halting the financing of fossil fuels, blocked entrances to two major banks in Switzerland on Monday. Around 70 people took part in the sit-in at Credit Suisse, barring the several of the bank’s entrances with bikes and large potted plants. Protesters also carried a banner reading: “Climate Emergency Sponsored by Credit Suisse.” A similar climate protest also took place outside the headquarters of Switzerland’s largest bank, UBS, in the city of Basel.
dw.com, reuters.com


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