Wednesday, 11 September 2019: Von der Leyen presents new EU Commission, Britain accuses Iran of selling oil to Syria, Italian government wins vote in senate


Von der Leyen presents new EU Commission: EU Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled her Commissioner picks. She will have three senior executive vice-presidents, with Dutch commissioner Frans Timmermans taking on senior responsibility for climate change policy and enacting Von der Leyen’s plans for a green new deal. Danish politician Margrethe Vestager will stay in charge of Europe’s competition rules and take charge of EU digital policy. Latvia’s Valdis Dombrovskis, the current commissioner in charge of the euro, has been elected as vice-president for Financial Services and the Economy. Irish former agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan will be trade commissioner. France’s Sylvie Goulard will take charge of the EU’s internal market policy. Goulard was interviewed Tuesday by French police as part of an ongoing investigation over alleged misuse of EU funds.,, (Commission); (Goulard)

Two EU countries take in “Alan Kurdi” migrants: The Maltese government announced on Tuesday that two EU countries will be taking in the migrants on the German rescue ship “Alan Kurdi”. It is still unclear which countries will be receiving the migrants. Meanwhile, the Norwegian-flagged rescue ship “Ocean Viking” has saved a total of 84 people. At the moment, the ship has not yet asked for a safe haven to disembark passengers. Hundreds of African refugees trapped in Libyan detention centres will be evacuated to Rwanda. (“Alan Kurdi”); (“Ocean Viking”); (Rwanda)

France to win Britain’s finance crown in EU after Brexit: France will likely win Britain’s financial services crown in the EU after Brexit. Britain’s exit from the EU will most likely lead to a shift in the tone and direction of policy on EU capital markets and the loss to the EU of much of the markets and regulatory expertise that has built up in the UK over many decades, the research institute New Financial said in a report. Britain’s departure from the EU will mean the bloc losing its biggest financial centre, though over 300 asset managers, trading platforms, banks and insurers operating in Britain have already opened hubs in the EU to cope with any form of Brexit.

Britain accuses Iran of selling oil to Syria: Britain’s foreign ministry on Tuesday said Iranian tanker “Adrian Darya-1” had sold its crude oil to the Assad regime in Syria, breaking assurances it had given not to sell crude to the country. This sale of oil to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was part of a pattern of behaviour by Iran designed to disrupt regional security, the UK said. Iran acknowledged at the weekend that the oil had been sold but did not formally confirm the customer was Syria. Britain said it had summoned the Iranian ambassador to condemn Iran’s actions and would raise the issue at the United Nations later this month. A woman protesting against Iran’s ban on women being allowed in soccer stadiums died of her injuries after setting herself on fire., (Tanker); (Protest)

Russian gas: EU’s top court overrules decision on Gazprom’s access to Opal pipeline
European Investment Bank: EIB begins metamorphosis into climate bank
Study: EU should chart its own course in world affairs, Europeans say
Israel: Prime Minister Netanyahu vows to annex part of West Bank after election


Italian government wins vote in senate: Italy’s new government won a confidence vote in the upper house Senate on Tuesday allowing it to take office. Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte used debates in the two houses of parliament to lay out his policy programme, promising measures to boost the economy and pledging to bring in tax cuts for households, rather than companies. Five Star’s political leader Luigi Di Maio was named foreign minister in the new cabinet. The key economy minister role went to Roberto Gualtieri, a European parliamentarian with the PD. The hardline immigration policy of League leader Matteo Salvini, who served as deputy prime minister and interior minister in the last administration, is expected to be revised under the new interior minister Luciana Lamorgese.,,

Election looms in Spain: The country stood on the brink of a repeat election on Tuesday after the Socialists and far-left Unidas Podemos said they had made no progress in a new round of talks. The Socialists want Podemos to back them without being in the cabinet, which the latter refuses. The phone company Telefonica aims to cut about 5,000 jobs in Spain through a voluntary retirement plan, according to media reports. Spain’s Supreme Court said Tuesday it will announce on 24 September its ruling on the government’s plans to remove the remains of dictator Francisco Franco from a state mausoleum. (Elections); (Telefonica); (Franco)

Netherlands to halt gas production in the north: The Dutch government announced Tuesday that it expects to stop extracting gas from a vast underground field in the country’s north by mid-2022. An unusually strong earthquake in January 2018 prompted the government last year to promise to end production by 2030.,

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German bank offices raided in tax scandal: Prosecutors on Tuesday raided offices of Germany’s Commerzbank as part of a broader investigation into a fraudulent share-trading scheme. The investigations focus on a practice, known as cum-ex, which involves cross-border trading of company shares around a syndicate of banks, investors and hedge funds to create the impression of numerous owners, with each entitled to a tax rebate.

Sweden: Ann Linde named foreign minister
Germany and Hungary: Meeting of foreign ministers Maas and Szijjarto
Germany: Social Democrat leader to resign after breast cancer diagnosis
France: EDF warns that some of its nuclear plants have substandard welding
Netherlands: Protest against 5G
Denmark: Aarhus airport open again after evacuation

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃ 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, (Inserat schalten)


Jack Ma steps down as Alibaba chairman: Jack Ma, the billionaire who ushered e-commerce into China, is officially stepping down as Alibaba’s executive chairman on Tuesday. After two decades building Alibaba into a $460 billion business, Ma is now pivoting full time to philanthropy. Ma, who is one of the world’s richest men and arguably China’s most famous entrepreneur, announced his intention to resign a year ago. Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang will take on the role of chairman from Ma.,


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