Wednesday, 13 November 2019: Erdogan threatens Europe with release of Isis prisoners, Spain’s Socialists strike deal with leftists, Moldova’s coalition government falls


Erdogan threatens Europe with release of Isis prisoners: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday the EU decision to sanction Turkey over drilling off the coast of Cyprus could disrupt talks with the bloc, and he warned that Turkey could send captured “Islamic State” fighters to Europe. He called for the EU to revise its stance toward Turkey, which held many Isis fighters in prison and controlled them in Syria. Erdogan also warned that Turkey would allow refugees to travel to Europe unless the country received aid from European countries. The Turkish leader’s remarks came in the wake of a fresh push to repatriate some of the 1,200 foreign Isis fighters in Turkish detention centres and 287 captured recently in Syria, including those who have been stripped of western citizenship in an attempt to prevent them returning home. Erdogan will meet US President Donald Trump at the White House this Wednesday.,,,

New Commission candidates clear first hurdle: Three new proposed candidates for the EU Commission from France, Hungary and Romania have cleared a first hurdle in their nomination process after lawmakers who scrutinised possible conflicts of interest gave their go-ahead for their nominations. After lawmakers on the legal affairs committee looked into the candidates’ declarations of interests Tuesday, Thierry Breton, Oliver Varhelyi, and Adina Valean will face formal hearings later this week before the full Commission can be voted in. The EU pressed Britain on Tuesday to name a representative for the new EU Commission despite the country’s planned departure from the EU. The EU is keen to press ahead with the launch of its new Commission on 1 December, which will be headed by Ursula von der Leyen.,

Macron rejects backlash over his Nato criticism: French President Emmanuel Macron has challenged the backlash to comments he made last week when he described Nato as being in a state of brain death, especially for its lack of response to the American withdrawal from northern Syria and subsequent Turkish incursion. Macron criticised the idleness of those who closed their eyes to the inefficiency of global institutions in tackling the world’s problems. Making an impassioned plea for multilateralism in his opening address at the Paris Peace Forum, Macron called on all delegates to come together to fight climate change, economic inequalities, terrorism, disinformation and cybercrime. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he understood Macron’s criticism of Nato, saying there was indeed a need to improve co-operation within the alliance.,,

EU signs off on new joint defence projects: EU defence ministers gave the green light on Tuesday for thirteen new defence projects in a step to develop more firepower independently of the United States. Nations will develop a wide range of capabilities as well as facilities including everything from a medical training centre for special forces, cyber training centres and a new warship. France will head plans to better track ballistic missiles in space, and develop an electronic jamming weapon with Spain and Sweden for European combat aircraft to overcome enemy air defences. With Italy, France will develop a prototype for a new class of military ship. France, Portugal, Spain and Sweden also aim to deliver a new anti-submarine system to protect sea lanes and communication.,

EU court rules Israeli settlement products must be labelled: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that EU countries must identify products made in Israeli settlements on their labels. Simply indicating that goods originated in the state of Israel, as opposed to occupied territory, could mislead consumers about the fact that Israel was present in the territories concerned as an occupying power and not as a sovereign entity. The court said product information must allow consumers to make informed choices relating not only to health, economic, environmental and social considerations, but also to ethical considerations, as well as the observance of international law. Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz said Israel strongly rejected the ruling, which he said served as a tool in the political campaign against Israel. He said he would work with foreign ministers of EU countries to prevent the ruling’s implementation. Rocket fire rained from the sky across the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, leaving at least seven people dead in Gaza and dozens more injured on either side Tuesday.,, (Court ruling); (Gaza)

Schengen: Border checks in EU countries challenge Schengen Agreement
ECJ ruling on refugees: Even violent persons are worthy of protection


The barriers they have up are terrible, in many ways worse than China.
US President Donald Trump has accused the European Union of unfair trade practices.


Spain’s Socialists strike deal with leftists: The Spanish Socialists (PSOE) and the far-left Unidas Podemos (UP) have reached a preliminary coalition deal to form a government. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez of the PSOE and UP leader Pablo Iglesias struck a deal on Tuesday to form a minority coalition. The agreement raises the prospect of an end to Spain’s political deadlock. However, even with a deal, the two parties still need to find more allies. PSOE and UP count on only 155 seats in parliament, 21 seats short of a majority. Although in minority, this could be the first coalition executive in the history of the country’s democracy, if it gets the support of parliament.,,

Moldova’s coalition government falls: A no-confidence vote brought down Moldova’s government on Tuesday. Pro-Western Prime Minister Maia Sandu had formed an uneasy coalition with the Russian-backed Socialist Party, but relations broke down over a proposed reform of how the top prosecutor is appointed. The Socialists put forward a no-confidence motion which passed with support from the Democrat Party (led until June by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc, who has since fled the country amid criminal investigations into his businesses). The next move will depend on the Socialists and President Igor Dodon, but Sandu said she will not take part in fresh negotiations.,,

Catalan protest on Spain-France highway continues: Police carried out an operation to break up a protest by Catalan pro-independence activists on Tuesday, but the highway blockade reformed just hours later. Hundreds of Catalan pro-independence protesters have been blocking a border point on a highway that connects Catalonia with France since Monday, stopping traffic in both directions the day after a parliamentary election in Spain. The campaign for Catalan independence has been mostly peaceful for years, but some protests turned violent last month.,

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Netherlands to cut speed limit to reduce emissions: The daytime speed limit on Dutch roads is to be cut to 100km/h in a bid to tackle a nitrogen oxide pollution crisis. According to several media reports citing a measure to be revealed this Wednesday, the existing limit of up to 130km/h would still be permitted at night. Ministers have been grappling with ways of responding to the emissions problem. The crisis is so severe that big infrastructure projects have been put on hold.

Austria: Belarus President Lukashenko visits Vienna
Germany: Police arrest three over terror attack plan
France: Student sets himself on fire over struggle of living on £388 a month

⊂ 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)


British Labour Party targeted by cyberattack: The UK Labour Party announced Tuesday it had experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyberattack to its digital platforms. Labour has not said who it suspects is behind the attacks, but said it was confident its security systems ensured there was no data breach. Party officials reported the initial attack, which took place on Monday, to the National Cyber Security Centre. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said that attacks against a political party made him very nervous about the upcoming election, adding that the timing of it was suspicious and something to be very worried about.,,


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