Wednesday, 17th May 2017: EU threat of legal action over relocation of refugees, Trade deal ratification needs member states, EU Commission investigates Fiat and Italy

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU threat of legal action over relocation of refugees: EU countries opposed to migrant resettlement quotas have been issued with a warning. Non-complying member states have until June to start accepting asylum seekers from Greece and Italy or face possible sanctions and infringements. EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said on Tuesday that a handful of member states have yet to take in any pre-screened and vetted asylum seekers under a legally-binding policy agreed almost two years ago. Avramopoulos said it was question of political and institutional credibility for the EU to take action if nothing is done.
euobserver.com, euronews.com

Trade deal ratification needs member states: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on Tuesday that Brussels must involve national and regional parliaments in the ratification of trade agreements that include investment protection. In a long-awaited decision, the ECJ ruled that EU’s trade deal with Singapore could not be ratified by EU governments meeting at Council-level in Brussels and the EU Parliament, but needed the approval of 38 national and regional assemblies across the EU as well. The ruling sets a precedent for similar trade deals.
politico.eu, euobserver.com

EU Commission investigates Fiat and Italy: The Commission has set its eyes on carmaker Fiat Chrysler and the Italian government in connection with unlawful emissions cheat devices, and will initiate proceedings against the government in Rome on Wednesday. Brussels accuses Italy of ignoring the installation of so-called cheat devices to manipulate emission levels in diesel cars at automaker Fiat. Similar proceedings were already kicked off in December, when the Commission launched an investigation into seven EU member states for failure to adequately punish Volkswagen for its diesel emissions scandal.
global.handelsblatt.com

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North Korea may be linked to WannaCry ransomware: The WannaCry ransomware that attacked computers in 150 countries has lines of code that are identical to work by hackers known as the Lazarus Group, according to security experts. The Lazarus hackers have been linked to North Korea, raising suspicions that the nation could be responsible for the attack. The connection was made by Google security researcher Neel Mehta, who pointed out similarities between WannaCry and malware used by Lazarus, the group that has been blamed for the Sony Pictures hack of 2014.
npr.org

Digital economy: Mariya Gabriel to be given Commission’s digital portfolio politico.eu
Schelling: Financial transaction tax could go into European budget reuters.com
Eurozone: Economy grows at unspectacular rate dw.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

We have invited our American friends to Brussels.
The USA could expand the lap top ban to flights from Europe. EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos announced that the EU has invited high ranking representatives of the US Department of Homeland Security.
tagesschau.de

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Austria set for snap election: Austria will hold a snap parliamentary election on October 15, after the country’s coalition government collapsed. The vote, announced Tuesday, could see the far-right Freedom Party forming part of a new coalition. Chancellor Christian Kern’s government has been blocked for months in disputes over reform policies between his Social Democratic Party (SPO) and its conservative People’s Party (OVP) coalition partner, which have been exacerbated by internal wrangling in the OVP.
cnn.com, reuters.com

Macron delays cabinet announcement: New French President Emmanuel Macron is spending Tuesday selecting his cabinet with new Prime Minister Edouard Philippe. The office of the presidency had earlier said that the cabinet picks would be made at the end of the day on Tuesday. Macron wanted extra time to vet his cabinet picks’ finances, which usually takes place after their nomination. The president also wanted to make sure the potential cabinet members did not have any conflicts of interest. A man linked to the Champs-Elysees attacker has been arrested by French police.
politico.eu, bloomberg.com

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EU pushes talk to deal with Poland: The EU on Tuesday opted to urge Poland to sit down for talks about its alleged breaches of the of law, rather than taking action against Warsaw. At a meeting of national ministers in Brussels at which the topic was high on the agenda, Frans Timmermans, the EU Commission’s first vice president, said dialogue was the only real constructive way. In January last year, the Commission announced it was starting a rule-of-law probe into whether legislation pushed through by the Polish government break EU rules.
politico.eu

Britain’s Labour launches election manifesto: Britain’s Labour Party made its case on Tuesday for voters to back its move to the left and throw out the Conservatives at next month’s election, promising renationalisation of some services, measures to curb corporate excess and end healthcare cuts. Labour said it was the only party that would make leaving the EU work for ordinary people but would not support a second independence vote for Scotland. The Conservatives said the numbers did not add up and that working families would pay the price for what they said were a series of unfunded spending commitments. MEPs will debate on Wednesday the guidelines for the EU negotiations with the UK.
reuters.com, bbc.com, europarl.europa.eu

Germany: Social Democrats rule out coalition with Merkel’s CDU in key state dw.com
Ukraine: Sanctions on Russian social media and web services dw.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: GIZ seeks Advisor (m/f) Economic Analysis and Policy *** IASS seeks Two Senior Research Associates (m/f) for the project “Co-Creation and Contemporary Policy Advice” *** Bayer seeks Government Relation Manager *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Analyst (Northern Europe) *** Lufthansa bietet Praktikum im Bereich Konzernpolitik *** NATO seeks Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges *** Copa-Cogeca seeks Policy Advisor Expert on Wine & Aquaculture
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Trump defends sharing information with Russia: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended his decision to share sensitive information about an “Islamic State” threat with Russian officials as the White House once again struggled to reconcile seemingly conflicting accounts of the president’s actions. A day after his advisers disputed a news article about the conversation, the president focused instead on justifying what he did and blaming those who disclosed it.
nytimes.com

 

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