Tuesday, November 26th 2019: Germany calls for UN access to Chinese camps, France wants to stop violence against women, Uber loses licence to operate in London


Germany calls for UN access to Chinese camps: Germany has called on the Chinese government to give UN human rights officials unhindered access to camps in China’s western region of Xinjiang, after leaked documents indicated they are used to forcibly reeducate minorities. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Germany had previously joined other countries in calling for UN experts to be allowed to visit the camps and produce an independent assessment of the situation there. A foreign ministry spokesman said Germany was following with great concern recent news reports about the camps, where about one million people are being held. Meanwhile, Australia’s intelligence agency has said it is investigating reports that China tried to plant a spy in the country’s parliament. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the allegations were deeply disturbing.
nytimes.com (China); dw.com, bbc.com (Australia)

Council adopts new list of Commissioner candidates: The EU Council has adopted the list of commissioners for the new European Commission, paving the way for the vote of consent in the EU Parliament on the Commission as a whole – even without a British commissioner-designate. The UK did not meet the deadline to respond to the infringement procedure for its failure to name a candidate for the EU Commission. However, this will not affect the plans of the new Commission.
consilium.europa.eu, euobserver.com

EU Council backs budget plan for 2020: The Council of the EU has approved the deal reached with the EU Parliament on the 2020 EU budget. If the agreement is also confirmed by the parliament on Wednesday, the EU budget for 2020 is adopted. Next year’s budget will continue to support growth and the competitiveness of the European economy, as well as other EU priorities, such as security and management of migration. Total commitments are set at 168.7 billion euros. It is still unclear when an agreement on the future EU budgetary framework for the period between 2021 and 2027 will be reached. The EU Parliament will not accept a “take it or leave it” agreement on the EU’s next long term budget, co-rapporteurs Jan Olbrytch and Margarida Marques told “Euractiv”.
consilium.europa.eu, euractiv.com

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Coal regions want more EU funding for energy transition: Europe’s coal regions have asked for more help from the new EU Commission for long-term structural changes in coal mining regions. The Deputy Director General for Energy of the European Commission, Klaus-Dieter Borchardt, said the transformation process in coal regions was one of the priorities of the new Commission. Meanwhile, a new study shows that electricity production from coal is on track to fall by around 3% globally in 2019 – the largest drop on record – with Western European countries leading the charge.
handelsblatt.com (Coal regions), euractiv.com (Study)

Europol attacks Isis’ online presence: Europol announced that a significant blow has been dealt to the presence of Isis on the internet when European police agencies knocked out several servers used by the terrorist group. The operation closed accounts associated with the group’s news outlet after an examination of propaganda videos, publications and social media accounts supporting terrorism and violent extremism. Europol had confirmed in an earlier statement that a large swathe of propaganda material had been found on the Telegram app.
uk.reuters.com, euronews.com

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: Minute of silence in the EU Parliament europarl.europa.eu
5G: EU says security is not the only concern when it comes to 5G cnbc.com
Romania: EU congratulates Iohannis on his reelection as Romanian president consilium.europa.eu
Migration: Alliance of organizations calls for change to European migration policy welt.de
Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought: Oleg Sentsov to receive his 2018 Sakharov Prize europarl.europa.eu
World Meteorological Organization (WMO): Greenhouse gases accelerate to new peak in 2018 nytimes.com


It is also a very important message to the rest of the world: We, in Europe, declare a state of climate and environmental emergency. The fact that Europe is the first continent to declare a climate emergency, seems to me very important as a geopolitical response to Trump’s announcements.
The chairman of the EU Parliament’s environment committee, Pascal Canfin, has called on the parliament to declare a climate emergency at the next plenary session in November.


France wants to stop violence against women: The French government wants to tackle domestic violence. Among the measures announced by French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is a plan to staff a domestic abuse hotline 24 hours a day. Rules covering doctor-patient confidentiality will be lifted so health professionals can report suspected cases of abuse that are extremely urgent or suggest a risk of violence being repeated. A new clause covering harassment and psychological control is to be written into law, as this can also lead to violence. Philippe admitted the authorities had not understood the scale of the problem until now but he said he hoped the measures being introduced would produce a jolt. France’s National Observatory of Violence Against Women has estimated that at least 220,000 adult women suffer domestic violence every year. In Germany, at least one woman is physically injured every hour on average at the hands of their partner.
theguardian.com, france24.com (France); dw.com (Germany)

Uber loses licence to operate in London: The ride-share operator will not be granted a new licence to operate in the British capital after repeated safety failures, Transport for London has said. London’s regulator of taxi and private hire services cited several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk. The regulator highlighted how Uber’s systems allowed unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts, allowing them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver. Such cases occurred in at least 14,000 trips. London Mayor Sadiq Khan backed the decision and said the regulator had identified a pattern of failure by Uber that had directly put passengers’ safety at risk.
bbc.com, dw.com

Aid groups criticize Greek migrant camps: Aid groups have condemned Greece’s plans to overhaul refugee reception centers on Aegean outposts facing Turkey. Under the new scheme, closed installations will replace vastly overcrowded camps. Land and sea borders will be reinforced with about 1,200 more guards and extra patrol vessels and deportations stepped up. Syriza-EU parliamentarian Kostas Arvanitis criticized the government’s plans, saying new camps would not solve problems but create new ones. Meanwhile, migrants continue to travel from Turkey to the islands in the Aegean Sea. 2,793 migrants arrived in Lesvos, Chios and Samos over the course of seven days, Greek state television reported. Two rescue ships with migrants on board have been given permission to board and disembark their passengers in Italian ports. A boat with migrants has capsized off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa.
theguardian.com, dw.com (Greece); derstandard.at (Aegean); de.euronews.com (Rescue ships); de.euronews.com (Lampedusa)

Austria: Failed referendum on basic income tagesspiegel.de
Greece: Government concludes early repayment of IMF loans reuters.com
Italy: Opposition leader Salvini responds with kitten photos to sardines protest 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)


Huge haul of treasure stolen in German castle vault heist: Thieves have stolen around one hundred pieces of priceless treasure in a heist from a castle vault in the German city of Dresden. Security camera footage showed two men breaking in through a grilled window, police said. Officers arrived five minutes after the alarm sounded, but the burglars had escaped. Saxony’s interior minister Roland Wöller said police had already set up a special team of investigators to pursue the case. He said the thieves had stolen cultural treasures of immeasurable worth.
cnn.com, reuters.com


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