Wednesday, October 2nd 2019: Pompeo rebuffs demands in impeachment probe, Romania proposes new EU commissioner, Austria’s Strache suspended from Freedom Party

⊂ EUROPE ⊃

Pompeo rebuffs demands in impeachment probe: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has resisted the Democrats’ demands for documents and testimony related to their impeachment inquiry regarding US President Donald Trump’s phone call with Ukraine. Pompeo asserted that the Democrats‘ bid to swiftly schedule depositions did not allow enough time to properly respond. Meanwhile, conflict parties in eastern Ukraine have reached an agreement. Representatives of the Ukrainian government and the pro-Russian separatists agreed on a schedule under which elections will be held in the breakaway regions and a new law will be passed granting them special status. According to German media reports, Russia could be involved in the alleged contract murder of a Georgian in Berlin. French President Emmanuel Macron has advocated for Russia’s presence at the Council of Europe.
politico.eu, nytimes.com (Pompeo); bloomberg.com (Eastern Ukraine); n-tv.de (Berlin); washingtonpost.com (Macron)

Romania proposes new EU commissioner: The Romanian government will put forward two names for the new EU Commission. Romania’s choices are MEP Dan Nica and secretary of state for European affairs Melania-Gabriela Ciot. The original candidate Rovana Plumb was blocked by EU lawmakers. Hungary nominated career diplomat Oliver Varhelyi as its next commissioner after the EU Parliament rejected the country’s first candidate Laszlo Trocsanyi. Europe’s agriculture commissioner-designate, Janusz Wojciechowski, will face a second round of questions from MEPs after he struggled to give answers on topics such as big land investments, glyphosate and his own financial affairs. Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders faced new corruption allegations on Tuesday, which could complicate his candidacy as EU justice commissioner.
politico.eu (Romania); politico.eu (Hungary); politico.eu (Wojciechowski); reuters.com (Reynders)

EU rules to make household appliances more sustainable: The EU Commission has adopted new rules that will make home appliances easier to repair. Firms will have to make all TV screens, fridges, lighting products, dishwashers and washing machines placed on the EU market longer-lasting, and they will have to supply spare parts for machines for up to a decade. The Commission estimates that the measures will deliver 167 TWh of final energy savings per year by 2030, which corresponds to a reduction of over 46 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
ec.europa.eu, politico.eu

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Users must give consent for cookies: The storage of online cookies requires active consent from users, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Tuesday. The judges ruled it is not enough to flash a pre-ticked box in front of people to have them consent for their digital information to be collected. Instead, websites must ask users to actively opt in to sharing their data. Websites need explicit and specific consent under EU privacy laws.
euractiv.com, politico.eu, dw.com

Hong Kong protester shot by police: An 18-year-old Hong Kong protester was shot in the chest from close range amid clashes in Hong Kong on Tuesday. This was the first known instance of a protester being shot with live ammunition since demonstrations began in early June. Protest organizers wrote on Twitter that one police officer had fired live rounds on protesters, injuring at least one person. A spokesperson for the police said the officer who fired the shot had feared for his life. In the end, more than 180 people were arrested, 25 officers were injured and 74 people were hospitalized including two in critical condition, the authorities said. China held a military parade in Beijing on Tuesday to commemorate 70 years of Communist Party rule.
dw.com, euronews.com, nytimes.com (Hong Kong); nytimes.com (China)

United Nations: Refugee death toll in Mediterranean Sea tops 1,000 for 6th year reuters.com
MEPs: Post-2020 Common Agriculture Policy may start two years later euractiv.com
Mergers: EU Commission clears Novelis‘ acquisition of Aleris, subject to conditions europa.eu

⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃

Austria’s Strache suspended from Freedom Party: The Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) said Tuesday that it is suspending the membership of its former leader Heinz-Christian Strache amid an investigation into his expenses. Strache, who led the FPÖ for 14 years, also served as vice chancellor from 2017 to 2019, before he was forced out of the government in May when video footage emerged of him appearing to offer public contracts in exchange for campaign help from what turned out to be a fake Russian backer in Ibiza. He is also under investigation for the alleged misuse of party funds.
dw.com, washingtonpost.com

Sarkozy to face trial over campaign financing: French former President Nicolas Sarkozy will face trial for alleged campaign financing violations, a French court ruled on Tuesday. The court rejected an appeal by Sarkozy to avoid facing trial. Prosecutors claim that he spent nearly €43 million on his campaign, almost twice the spending limit. He risks up to a year in prison and a fine if found guilty on the charges. Former French Prime Minister Edouard Balladur is to face court over allegations that kickbacks from a submarine deal with Pakistan helped finance his 1995 presidential campaign.
dw.com, politico.eu (Sarkozy); dw.com (Balladur)

Romania’s opposition plans no-confidence vote: The Romanian opposition on Tuesday initiated a no confidence vote against the government under Prime Minister Viorica Dancila. A government can be toppled if a majority of Romania’s members of parliament, or 233 MPs, vote to back the no-confidence motion. While 237 senators and deputies signed the opposition’s document, the number of signatures gathered to launch the process is not a guarantee that lawmakers will turn their signature into a formal vote.
france24.com, reuters.com

Farmer protest in the Netherlands: Thousands of Dutch farmers staged a protest on Tuesday in support of their industry. They also sought to counter the negative image farming and farmers have in the Netherlands. Farmers slowed traffic for hundreds of miles while driving their tractors in a slow procession toward the country’s capital, The Hague. Police estimated that about 2,200 tractors were involved in the protest. Police said two farmers were detained, one who drove over a fence with his tractor and another who tried to stop police from detaining the first offender.
dw.com, npr.org

Finland: Suspect arrested after deadly attack dw.com
Portugal: Parliamentary election on October 6th de.euronews.com

⊂ JOB-BOARD ⊃

politjobs.eu: Alfa Fellowship Program seeks Young German, British, and American Leaders *** FTA seeks Regulatory Affairs Advisor (m/f) *** Bayer seeks Trainee (m/f) *** ISN seeks Advocacy Officer (m/f) *** Politico seeks Lobbying Reporter (m/f) *** EGEC seeks Trainee (m/f) *** Facebook seeks Public Policy Manager (m/f) *** Google seeks Public Policy and Government Relations Manager (m/f) *** DEKRA offers Internship (m/f) *** European Friends of Amernia seeks Communications and Media Engagement Officer (m/f) *** International Crisis Group seeks Analyst (m/f)
politjobs.eu, politjobs.eu/submit (Inserat schalten)

⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃

Misunderstanding between Merkel and Maxima: German Chancellor Angela Merkel made a small blunder as she spoke with Queen Maxima of the Netherlands on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York last month. As the Dutch sovereign discussed her talks with France, Merkel interrupted to ask „which Franz“ Maxima was referring to – thinking of the male first name rather than the country. After a couple of seconds of confusion, Queen Maxima laughed off the misunderstanding as she explained she had recently met with French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire and Emmanuel Macron.
express.co.uk

 

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