⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Nato recognises China challenges for the first time: Nato leaders gathered in London on Tuesday to commemorate the alliance’s 70th anniversary. For the first time in Nato’s history, leaders recognised the challenges posed by China’s rise in a summit declaration. Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg warned that China’s growing military capabilities had implications for all allies. US President Donald Trump has defended Nato against criticism from France, saying French President Emmanuel Macron’s description of Nato as brain dead was insulting. Macron said he stood by his comments. He asserted that the alliance needed clarifications from Turkey on key defence issues – such as the purchase of a Russian-made air defence missile system and Turkey’s categorisation of several Kurdish groups in Syria, including those once supported by the US, as terrorists. Macron believes Turkey’s invasion in Northern Syria has undermined the fight against Isis. Trump announced Tuesday the United States and Russia want to reach a new treaty agreement on nuclear weapons.
dw.com, theguardian.com, cnn.com, nytimes.com
EU supports France in tax dispute with US: France and the EU have warned they are ready to retaliate if US President Donald Trump acted on a threat to impose tariffs of up to 100% on imports of champagne, handbags and other French products. The threat of punitive tariffs followed a US government investigation that found a new digital tax in France would harm US technology companies. French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the American proposal to enforce additional duties on French products was unacceptable. Any retaliatory action from France would have to be taken at an EU-wide level because the bloc is a customs union which applies duties at its border.
EU warns Malta against interference in murder investigation: The EU Commission has warned the Maltese government against any political interference in the investigation of the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia. The head of an EU Parliament delegation, dispatched to Malta to review the rule of law on the island, said Prime Minister Joseph Muscat should step aside immediately. Around 4,000 protesters gathered outside the Maltese parliament on Monday to call for Muscat’s resignation.
zeit.de, nytimes.com, euronews.com
Democrats conclude that Trump abused power of presidency: US President Donald Trump abused the power of his office by pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political rivals, House Democrats concluded in a report released Tuesday. The House Intelligence Committee report also accuses Trump of engaging in an extensive effort to obstruct the House’s impeachment inquiry and deprive investigators of key witnesses and documents. The report is a summary of weeks of testimonies from top government officials and was approved by the intelligence panel on a partisan vote. It is expected to form the basis of articles of impeachment. Meanwhile, a federal appeals court ruled that Deutsche Bank and Capital One must hand over years of Trump’s financial records in compliance with House Democrats’ subpoenas.
politico.eu, dw.com (Impeachment); cnbc.com (Deutsche Bank)
Russia: Putin speaks by phone with EU Commission President von der Leyen politico.eu
Council of the EU: Significance and security risks of 5G technology consilium.europa.eu
European Court of Justice: ECJ upholds strict gun law in the EU de.euronews.com
⊂ QUOTES ⊃
“We cannot rely on the Americans to take charge in conflicts dealing much more with European interests.”
German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer has called on European countries to form strong ties within Nato.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Finnish Prime Minister Rinne resigns: Antti Rinne resigned on Tuesday after a member of the ruling coalition said it had lost confidence in him. The Finnish Centre Party, part of the country’s five-party ruling coalition, had asked Rinne to step down after a more than two-week strike at Finland’s state postal service, Posti, spread to the national airline, Finnair, and to other industries before being settled last week. The party questioned Rinne’s role in handling the strike but said it wanted the same five-member coalition to continue under an unspecified new prime minister. Rinne said losing the backing of Finland’s Center Party led to his decision to resign.
Spanish parliament convenes: Lawmakers who won seats in Spain’s November election, the fourth in as many years, entered the national parliament Tuesday, but there is still no clear sign that a government can be formed soon and fresh elections avoided. King Felipe VI will begin meeting party leaders over the coming weeks in the hope of choosing a candidate he deems capable of forming a government. Acting Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tempered expectations that Spain could have a government in place by December.
Germany insists Afghan government must be involved in Taliban talks: German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said during a visit to Kabul that the Afghan government should not be left out of efforts to forge peace with Taliban insurgents. The Taliban have refused to hold direct talks with the Afghan government. Instead, the Islamist group has been mediating with US officials. Kramp-Karrenbauer told reporters that Berlin and Kabul both wanted the same thing, namely for people in Afghanistan to live in peace and safety.
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German integration commissioner urges language tests for preschoolers: The German government’s integration commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz, has appealed for action against discrimination and more efforts to improve German language-learning. She suggested closing language gaps by having all children in the country take mandatory German language tests two years before entering elementary school. She also urged for mandatory intercultural training for teachers.
Italy: Government calls for Europe-wide code of conduct for migrant rescue ships orf.at
Netherlands: Companies to have more women on boards euronews.com
Denmark: Government classifies 28 neighbourhoods as ghettos tagesspiegel.de
⊂ 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 ⊃
Greta Thunberg arrives in Portugal: The catamaran carrying Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg arrived in Lisbon on Tuesday. Thunberg, who avoids air travel as a means of protecting the environment, has inspired the global “Fridays for Future” protest movement. She was greeted by Lisbon Mayor Fernando Medina upon arrival at the Doca de Santo Amaro port.