Wednesday, 10 October 2018: EU nations agree to CO2 cut on cars, British conservatives reject May’s Brexit plan, Bulgaria released suspect in journalist’s murder

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU nations agree to seek 35% CO2 cut on cars: EU countries have agreed to pursue a 35% cut in car emissions by 2030, as part of global efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The final details will be hashed out in talks beginning on Wednesday with the EU’s two other lawmaking bodies: the European Parliament, which is seeking a more ambitious climate target, and the European Commission, which proposed a lower one. Concern over a UN report on global warming released on Monday led EU environment ministers to meet in Luxembourg, where they talked for more than 13 hours in search for a compromise. A court in Berlin has sided with environmentalists and ordered a ban on diesel vehicles for several areas in the city’s centre. The court gave the Berlin Senate until 2020 to implement the ban, but city officials have already said that such a timeline was impossible. A court in The Hague has upheld a historic legal order on the Dutch government to accelerate carbon emissions cuts. The Dutch government must now decide whether to appeal to the Netherlands’ supreme court, or explain how it will nearly double the entire amount of greenhouse gas emission cuts it has made since 1990 within one year.
dw.com, reuters.com (Emissions), dw.com (Berlin), theguardian.com (Netherlands)

British conservatives reject May’s Brexit plan: Former Brexit minister Steve Baker, a leading Eurosceptic, has said he believes at least 40 Conservative MPs are prepared to vote against Prime Minister Theresa May in parliament if the EU agrees a deal similar to the Chequers proposal. The leader of Northern Ireland’s biggest party has warned she will not support any Brexit deal that could lead to new economic barriers between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. Arlene Foster was speaking after a meeting with the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels. She said the DUP would never accept the regulatory or customs controls that Barnier says are an essential backstop to avoid a hard land border with EU member Ireland after Britain leaves.
theguardian.com, bbc.com, reuters.com

Millions of suspect spending by EU asylum agency: More than a tenth of the payments made by the EU’s asylum agency last year, amounting to 7.7 million euros, involved non-compliance with EU financial rules, according to the European Court of Auditors. It pointed to „the critical situation in the human resources“ at the Malta-based European Asylum Support Office (EASO) as contributing to its budgetary malpractice — mainly relating to public procurement and recruitment. In general, however, the Luxembourg-based Court of Auditors gave the 41 EU agencies and other bodies a clean bill of health for their 2017 accounts, according to its annual report.
politico.eu

Timmermans to join race for Commission top job: Frans Timmermans, the first vice president of the EU Commission, is poised to put his name forward as a lead candidate for the Commission’s top job. Three EU Parliament officials said Timmermans has obtained enough support from other members of the pan-European PES to support a bid to be Spitzenkandidat under the party’s rules. If he puts his name forward, Timmermans will be the second candidate to seek the PES nomination ahead of next May’s election. Last month, Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic announced he would also run to be the centre left’s lead candidate.
politico.eu

EU Commission: Google appeals EU fine over Android zeit.de
Protests: Europe-wide call for protests against nationalism n-tv.de
United Nations: Nikki Haley resigns as Trump’s UN ambassador politico.eu

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

We report too much about Europe when things are going wrong or agreements fail, but too little about normal life in Europe, where much more works than most people want to or are able to know.
Germany’s President Frank-Walter Steinmeier has warned against only connecting the European Union with problems.
n-tv.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Bulgaria released suspect in journalist’s murder: Bulgarian authorities have released a man taken into custody in connection with the murder of Bulgarian journalist Viktoria Marinova, whose body was found after she highlighted possible government corruption. Bulgarian police on Tuesday arrested a Romanian citizen of Ukrainian descent in connection to the murder of the Bulgarian broadcast journalist, but later announced he would be released without charge. The Interior Ministry said late Monday that prosecutors had opened an investigation into GP Group, a large private Bulgarian building company alleged to have misused EU funds. From Berlin to Brussels, European governments have called for a thorough investigation into Marinova’s death.
time.com, dw.com

Germany extradites Iranian diplomat to Belgium: An Iranian diplomat linked to a planned terrorist attack against an Iranian opposition rally in France has been extradited to Belgium from Germany, prosecutors said on Tuesday. He will appear before the Belgian judge in charge of the case on Wednesday. The plan to target a gathering of the National Council of Resistance of Iran in Paris came to light a few days after the event in June. Six people were arrested afterwards in coordinated raids by European police forces, including the Iranian diplomat.
spiegel.de

Nationwide protests against Macron: French President Emmanuel Macron is facing a testing week, as hundreds of nationwide protests coincide with the recent resignation of interior minister Gerard Collomb. On Tuesday, trade unions launched nationwide strikes and called on workers, students and pensioners to unite in protest against Macron’s pro-business policies. Macron’s new wave of reforms aims to overhaul the current system and reorient it toward the individual, tying pensions to on-job performance and unemployment benefits to trying to find work.
newsweek.com

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Refugee NGOs among finalists for Sakharov Prize: NGOs saving the lives of migrants across the Mediterranean Sea were selected as one of three final nominees for the 2018 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian film director jailed for 20 years by a Russian court following the annexation of Crimea, and Nasser Zefzafi, a jailed Moroccan political activist leading protests in the Rif, were also shortlisted for the EU Parliament’s 2018 Sakharov Prize. The parliament’s president and political group leaders will select the final laureate. The „Aquarius“ rescue ship could soon set sail again under the Turkish flag.
europeaninterest.eu, euobserver.com, orf.at

Poisoning of Former GRU officer Sergei Skripal: Second suspect in Salisbury poisoning case was decorated by Putin bbc.com

⊂ 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 ⊃

Germany seeks to ban Turkish „Gray Wolves“ symbols: German politicians said on Tuesday that they would plan legislation to ban the symbols and gestures of the ultranationalist Turkish organisation „Gray Wolves“. Specifically, the „wolf“ hand salute that lawmakers say is reminiscent of the Nazi salute. In a rare moment of agreement with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s centre-right CDU, the Left party also expressed a desire to ban the group’s most obvious trappings.
dw.com

 

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