⊂ EUROPE ⊃
Visegrad states push back on new EU migration plan: Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia criticised proposals for an overhaul of the EU’s asylum rules that will be discussed by European leaders at a summit next week. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban said the basic approach was still unchanged, because the EU still wanted to manage migration instead of stopping migrants. He said a breakthrough could have come in the form of hotspots outside the EU to handle asylum seekers. Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis said the EU needed to stop migration, quotas and relocation: “The strategy should be that these people really should stay and live in their home countries,” he said. Babis added the EU should negotiate with North African countries and have a long-term strategy on Syria and Libya.
EU needs to step up coronavirus response: The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has updated its risk assessment regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. Notification rates have increased steadily across the EU and the UK since August, and the measures taken have not always been sufficient to reduce or control exposure. While in some countries, the increase affects mainly younger people resulting in mild and asymptomatic cases, in other countries the rise leads to more deaths among the elderly. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides spoke of a last chance to prevent a repeat of last spring. She warned that autumn and winter were the time of year for more respiratory illnesses, including seasonal influenza.
EU rejects Lukashenko inauguration as illegitimate: President Alexander Lukashenko is not the legitimate leader of Belarus, the European Union said on Thursday. The bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that the EU does not recognise the falsified election results. On this basis, the so-called inauguration of 23 September and the new mandate claimed by Lukashenko lacked any democratic legitimacy. The UK has announced it will move alone in imposing sanctions against Belarusian officials — thus bypassing an EU deadlock caused by Cyprus’s refusal to sign off on new restrictions.
dw.com, bbc.com, independent.co.uk
Navalny has bank accounts frozen and flat seized: Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny’s bank accounts were frozen and his Moscow apartment seized as part of a lawsuit while he was recovering from a suspected poisoning in a Berlin hospital, his spokeswoman said on Thursday. His assets were seized on 27 August in connection with a lawsuit filed by the Moscow Schoolchild catering company, spokeswoman Kira Yarmysh said in a video posted on Twitter.
Prospects for EU reform and strategies for a new progressive agenda 2022+: Cerstin Gammelin in conversation with Wolfgang Schmidt. 2020 Progressive Governance Digital Summit with more than 2,800 fellow progressives from 70+ countries, 114 speakers, 25 partner organisations.
Middle East: EU, Jordan and Egypt want to advance peace process nau.ch
European Central Bank: Euro zone banks borrow 174.5 billion euros from ECB uk.reuters.com
Brexit: Wealthy Britons step up citizenship shopping to thwart Brexit reuters.com
China: Chinese business wants less EU red tape euractiv.com
⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃
“Today the situation in Italy is certainly better than in other European countries, and we are better prepared – even as a health system – to face a possible resurgence of the spread of the virus.”
Italy may apply well-targeted closures where necessary to contain the spread of the new coronavirus while another general lockdown is unlikely, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Protest against Covid measures in France: Civic leaders and business owners in Marseille reacted angrily on Thursday to the closure of bars and restaurants, saying they had not been consulted by the French government which ordered the measures to contain an upsurge in Covid-19 cases. Local politicians say the new restrictions are out of proportion to the risks and will devastate businesses already battered by a two-month nationwide lockdown earlier this year. Industry workers plan to march in protest this Friday and several eateries have already stated that they will not comply with the order to close.
Number of new infections increasing in many EU countries: Poland was hit by a record daily rise in coronavirus cases on Thursday attributable to increased direct contact between people after a lifting of restrictions, the health ministry said. In the Netherlands, the number of infections hit a daily record at 2,544 on Thursday. Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said on Thursday that Swedes had recently become too relaxed about heeding anti-Covid guidelines. He warned that some areas of Sweden were seeing a worrying resurgence of infections.
reuters.com (Poland), reuters.com (Netherlands), reuters.com (Sweden)
Austria bans apres-ski parties due to coronavirus fears: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz has announced new anti-coronavirus measures ahead of the next skiing season. Visitors will not be able to take part in the popular apres-ski parties, which involve dancing, drinking, and socialising after the skiing is done. Kurz warned of rising infection numbers in the European country.
Italy to take back draconian penalties for sea rescuers: A new Italian law would end draconian penalties for foreign private groups rescuing migrants and refugees at sea as well as deportation bans, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica. Meanwhile, Italy on Thursday allowed a rescue ship with 125 migrants aboard to dock in Sardinia to escape rough seas and said the migrants could eventually disembark in Italy before being sent to other European countries.
zeit.de (Law), washingtonpost.com (Rescue ship)
⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃
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⊂ MALFUNCTION ⊃
EU announces plan to regulate cryptocurrencies: The EU Commission has put forward plans to regulate crypto assets to reduce risks for investors, while also giving legal certainty to those issuing these assets. The new plan will mean that crypto-asset companies authorized by one of the 27 EU countries will be able to provide its services across all the other member states.