Friday, 9 October 2020: EU interior ministers disagree on asylum policy, EU seals supply deal for Covid vaccine, Spanish court overturns Madrid lockdown order


EU interior ministers disagree on asylum policy: EU governments began talks on Thursday on a proposed overhaul of migration rules to resolve years of bitter divisions. The video-conference of EU interior ministers was the first chance to exchange views on the scheme proposed by the European Commission last month, and especially on its most sensitive part which de facto obliges each EU country to host some refugees. Several Eastern European countries are dead set against that, even though under the Commission proposal the EU would pay a country 10,000 euros per adult taken in. Germany, chairing the discussions, expressed optimism a deal might be possible by December.

European Parliament rejects budget compromise: The EU Parliament has rejected a compromise proposal by the German EU Council Presidency on the EU budget and the coronavirus aid package. According to the proposal, an additional single-digit billion-euro amount could be earmarked for certain EU programmes over the next seven years, at the request of parliament. But the parliament’s negotiators said this compromise proposal was too vague. New negotiations are planned for next Wednesday, a spokesman for the EU Council Presidency tweeted.

EU seals supply deal for Covid vaccine: The EU Commission announced Thursday it has approved a contract to advance purchase 200 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson. The contract also allows the Commission to purchase an additional 200 million doses, as well as donate doses to low and middle income countries, according to a Commission press release. EU Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said more agreements would follow, and the EU remained determined in its search for a successful and safe vaccine to combat the pandemic. The Commission also signed a contract for 500,000 treatment doses of the drug Remdesivir., (Vaccine); (Remdesivir)

Greece and Turkey agree to talks: The foreign ministers of Turkey and Greece met on Thursday for the first time since their dispute over energy exploration and territorial rights in the eastern Mediterranean, and agreed to hold bilateral talks on the issue, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

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We need a lot more renewable energy sources. I am confident because we in the EU are world leaders in renewables.
EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson has welcomed the Commission’s new target of reducing greenhouse gases by 55 percent by 2030 instead of the previous 40 percent.


Pandemic is coming to a head in several European countries: Latvia, Portugal, Austria and the Netherlands registered new highs in daily infections on Thursday. In Slovakia, the number of new coronavirus infections rose above the 1,000 mark for the first time. France reported almost 19,000 positive Covid tests. France’s third-biggest city Lyon will have to close its bars in coming days as its infection rates are spiking and its hospital emergency beds are filling up quickly with Covid patients. Paris, Marseille and the overseas territory of Guadeloupe have been put on maximum alert in recent weeks, leading to the closure of local bars and cafés.,,

Spanish court overturns Madrid lockdown order: A Madrid court on Thursday struck down a federal government order that imposed a partial lockdown in the Spanish capital and its suburbs, siding with regional officials who had resisted stricter measures against one of Europe’s most worrying virus clusters. At five army bases in Madrid, 150 volunteer soldiers spend their days calling people who have been diagnosed with Covid-19, mapping recent social interactions, and asking those potentially infected to stay at home. Various European countries have used their armies for logistical support in tackling the virus, but hard-hit Spain is now bringing military discipline to a process that health experts say is key in stemming the spread of the pandemic: contact tracing.,

European top court upholds French ban on bee-harming pesticides: The European Court of Justice on Thursday found that France did not violate EU rules when it banned certain chemicals considered harmful to bees. The legal row between the French Crop Protection Association and France goes back to 2018, when the government banned some pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoid group. With those bans, France went further than the EU, which agreed to outlaw three in crop fields. The EU’s top court ruled that France’s initial ban had satisfactorily demonstrated the need to curb a serious risk to human or animal health or to the environment.

Bulgaria: EU Parliament chastises Bulgaria for rule of law deficiencies
Poland praises debate in Germany about Nord Stream 2
France: Brutal attack on police officers near Paris
Greece: New refugee camp on Lesbos not overcrowded, according to ministry
Dispute over ghost town in Cyprus: Erdogan’s election campaign aid fosters tensions


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EU Parliament president goes into coronavirus quarantine: European Parliament President David Sassoli has gone into quarantine after coming into contact with a member of his staff who tested positive for the virus. He tweeted that he was fine and had no symptoms, but would remain in self-isolation for the required period to carry out the necessary checks. According to a parliament official, Sassoli will be required to stay in self-isolation for eight to ten days.


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