Wednesday, 26 July 2017: EU extends anti-trafficking naval mission, EU-Turkey talks fail to ease friction, More EU fines against Google may be coming

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

EU extends anti-trafficking naval mission: The EU’s Operation Sophia, aimed at combating human and arms trafficking in the central Mediterranean, has been extended until the end of 2018, the Council of the EU said Tuesday. The renewal was approved unanimously, the EU’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement. The operation also trains the Libyan coastguard and navy, and helps implement a UN arms embargo off the coast of Libya. Italy had earlier blocked the extension of the mission.
politico.eu

EU-Turkey talks fail to ease friction: High-level talks that EU officials had with Turkey’s foreign minister Tuesday did not appear to ease tensions between the 28-nation bloc and Ankara over a wave of detentions of human rights defenders, journalists and others. After the meeting in Brussels, European Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn expressed strong concern about the detentions, while Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu defended them as a necessary part of his country’s fight against extremism. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, said that it was important to keep a dialogue open with Ankara. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continued to pour oil on a flaming diplomatic dispute on Tuesday, saying that Turkey would no longer be submissive and cede to every Western whim.
washingtonpost.com, theguardian.com, dw.com

More EU fines against Google may be coming: Alphabet warned in its quarterly securities filing that it could face future fines from the European Union for two investigations that are still underway. Based on previous cases, investors might expect these fines to land in 2018. In June, an EU Commission ruling slapped down Google for abusing its market dominance in search by unfairly directing visitors to its comparison shopping service, Google Shopping, to the detriment of its rivals. The regulators not only imposed a huge fine, they also insisted that Google change the way it provides search results in Europe.
cnbc.com, cbsnews.com

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Trump says EU is very protectionist: US President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed the EU for being very protectionist with the US and demanded that this had to stop. The president also praised preparatory work on post-Brexit relations with the UK that began Monday with a trade and investment working group in Washington. Trump said that he is working on a major trade deal with the UK which will create jobs.
politico.eu

Syria: Trump ends CIA arms support for anti-Assad rebels reuters.com
Joint interests: EU and Egypt adopt their partnership priorities consilium.europa.eu
South American trade bloc: Mercosur nations prioritise end-of-year EU trade deal euractiv.com

⊂ QUOTES ⊃

As European standards in food quality and safety are the highest in the world we were able to achieve full protection for our high-value EU geographical indication products as well as full or improved market access for numerous key sectors.
The EU recently signed a political agreement with Japan to accelerate a trade deal by the end of the year. Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan stressed that the EU negotiators managed to protect more than 200 geographical indications.
euractiv.com

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Libya rivals agree to ceasefire and elections: Leaders of the two main factions in war-torn Libya have agreed to implement a ceasefire and to hold elections next year after French-brokered talks which Emmanuel Macron hailed as historic. Fayez al-Sarraj, the head of Libya’s UN-backed government in western Libya, and General Khalifa Haftar, a military strongman in the country’s east, shook hands and pledged to try to work together after talks outside Paris. The UN-backed government in Tripoli and General Haftar’s army in the east are the biggest factions in the country’s power struggle, but they are also competing with a myriad of militias.
telegraph.co.uk

Polish president signs bill: Andrzej Duda, Poland’s president, signed a bill on Tuesday that would allow the country’s justice minister to hire and fire the heads of local courts. Duda signed the bill one day after he defied Poland’s de facto leader, conservative Law and Justice party head Jarosław Kaczyński, by pledging to veto two other controversial bills. All three pieces of legislation were part of a controversial judicial reform package that would have given the government greater control over the judiciary, including the Supreme Court.
politico.eu

Greece is selling bonds again: Greece successfully returned to the bond market Tuesday after a three-year absence with the sale of a five-year bond. Analysts have applauded the timing but caution the country is still in the hands of international creditors. The Greek Debt Agency issued a 3 billion euro five-year bond maturing in 2022 with a yield of 4.625 percent. The bond was oversubscribed with orders of 6.5 billion euros. Tuesday’s bond sale is a key milestone for the troubled Greek economy, which has been under economic surveillance since 2010.
cnbc.com

Populism has no chance in German election: A significant number of Germans support populist ideas, according to a new survey, but their views are moderate and most are pro-EU and pro-democracy. Around 1,600 German voters were asked to answer multiple-choice questions as part of a Bertelsmann Foundation study. Almost 30 percent were found to have populist views and 34 percent partial populist views. Although a slight majority of Germans were frustrated with the way democracy works in practice, there was overwhelming support even among hard-core populists for democracy as a political system.
politico.eu, dw.com

Germany: David Davis to meet Bavaria’s Horst Seehofer politico.eu
Special envoy: US may send arms to Ukraine politico.eu
France: Jobless total eases in June nasdaq.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 ⊃

German conservatives ordered to remove fake Schulz tweet: A German court said it had ordered the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats to remove a fake tweet issued in the name of top Social Democrat Martin Schulz or face a fine of up to 250,000 euros. A court spokesman said Schulz had asked for an injunction after the CSU youth wing sent out a tweet under the fake account „@therealMartinSchulfter“ following clashes between militant leftists and police at the recent G20 summit in Hamburg.
reuters.com

 

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