⊂ EUROPE ⊃
EU presents law for digital services: At the beginning of December, the EU Commission presents the „Digital Services Act“. The law is intended to modernize the 20-year-old legislation for digital services. In doing so, it will use a great deal of leverage. It aims to make large digital groups more transparent and to increase competition and regulation. Tech groups such as Facebook, for example, are to assume greater openness and responsibility for decisions and explain, why images are deleted from the platform. Besides, the preferential treatment of own content, such as on the Amazon platform, is to be prevented.
EU wants a global hydrogen market with the Euro as the lead currency: The EU aims at the development of green hydrogen and wants to develop internationally uniform standards for this. A hydrogen market with the Euro as the lead currency is the ideal vision of Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson. The current challenge is to produce green hydrogen, which is more expensive than blue hydrogen. This is produced from fossil energy sources. As part of the Green Deal, Europe wants to be the leader in green hydrogen and promote its expansion – the more produced, the cheaper the resource.
Politicians want to isolate Hungary and Poland: No progress is being made in the dispute between Poland and Hungary with the other EU member states. Both countries block the new EU budget with their veto. Without the unanimous approval, the EU would be without an official budget from January and would have to cope with an emergency budget. This would also affect Hungary and Poland – both countries are the largest net recipients of EU money. Politicians such as the Green Party member Franziska Brantner and the Social Democrat Martin Schulz are advocating a new mechanism that would bypass Poland and Hungary. However, this would significantly change the way the EU functions. The expectations of Germany, which holds the presidency, are high: a compromise solution with both countries is expected.
Closed ski resorts and relocation of the WEF? Switzerland has hosted the World Economic Forum (WEF) for 50 years, but due to the Corona Pandemic, the international conference could be relocated to Asia. Like most European countries, Switzerland is not managing to get the pandemic under control. Chancellor Angela Merkel therefore even called for the closure of ski resorts in Europe over the winter, which Switzerland and Austria, however, reject. However, the classification of the canton of Graubünden, where Davos is located, as a risk area is sufficient to deter entrepreneurs. Also because of its reputation. It would be difficult to convey the desire to act as a responsible employer and at the same time attend a potential superspreader event.
EU Commissioner warns against digital payment services: EU Finance Commissioner Mairead McGuinness is a thorn in the side of Apple Pay, Alipay, and Google Pay. The politician warns against their use, as the services are increasingly becoming a goldmine for siphoning off data. The Irishwoman, therefore, calls for better regulation of payment services, which are in direct competition with banks. However, the commissioner admits that Europe has not yet managed to counter the Asian and US-American competition with its own payment system.
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.
⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃
„If London does not make the necessary decisions quickly, a deal will become impossible.“
Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier expects quick agreements in the UK.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Riots in France due to police violence: 62 police officers were injured, 81 demonstrators were arrested. In France, more than 130,000 people protested over the weekend against a new law designed to prevent the publication of videos documenting police operations. The protests were fuelled by two videos: one showing the violent use of police against migrants, the other documenting the attack and the racist insult of a black music president. Under the new law, the publication of both videos would be prohibited. The demonstrators, therefore, see an attack on the freedom of the press around controversial Article 24.
Corona loosening in Italy despite rising death rates: Italy records over 800 deaths per day over the weekend due to the coronavirus. However, the situation is improving noticeably in some regions. Lombardia and Piedmont in the north and Calabria in the south are downgraded from red alert to orange. This will be accompanied by easing the situation for the inhabitants of these regions. The partial lockdown is lifted and stores are allowed to open again. The regions Liturgies and Sicily will become yellow zones. For all other red zones, the partial lockdown rules continue to apply.
Mink continues to cause concern in Denmark: After a mutation of the coronavirus was detected in Denmark, the government in Copenhagen ordered the culling of about 17 million animals. This caused a scandal because the legal basis for such a step was initially lacking. The Minister of Agriculture had to resign. However, the dead minks continue to cause concern even after they have died: on the one hand, the animals are driven back to the surface as a result of the development of putrefactive gases – they had only been buried with sand. On the other hand, citizens and local parties fear that the release of nitrogen and phosphates in high concentrations could pollute the groundwater. Now the minks could be dug up again.
Kurz predicts a return to normality in the summer of 2021: Austria’s Chancellor Kurz spoke to EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday about his country’s vaccination strategy. He was confident that vaccinations could begin as early as January, possibly even in December. Initially, Kurz said, there would be a shortage of vaccine doses, but he was confident that a return to normality would be possible from summer 2021. Austria will receive two percent of the EU’s vaccine doses. According to Kurz, the country of Austria would pay for the costs of logistics and vaccination, and for citizens, the vaccination would be free of charge.
Great Britain and the EU possibly in the final stages of the Brexit negotiations: British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said on Sunday that the negotiations for a Brexit agreement are in their final stages. On Saturday, personal talks were resumed with the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier after he had been in a precautionary quarantine. Deep trenches still existed in the conditions of competition and the regulations on fishing. While Great Britain has always been a net contributor to the EU, the region of Wales has always been a net recipient. The region’s fishing industry has been in a slump for decades.
Crisis: Spain’s health workers protest against health service cuts swissinfo.ch
Mobile: Huawei Fights Exclusion from Romania’s 5G Race balkaninsight.com
Conflict: Greece blasts Berlin for shunning plea for Turkey arms embargo politico.eu
⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃
+++EBS – European Business Summit seeks Research Hub Project Manager (m/f/d)+++CARE Global seeks Senior EU Advocacy Officer (m/f/d)+++AVAAZ seeks Social Media Campaigner (Consultant) (m/fd) Europe or USA+++ICF seeks Junior Consultant / Consultant / Senior Consultant (m/f/d) – European Policy Implementation+++ALLEA seeks Scientific Policy Officer (m/f/d)+++The Innovation in Politics Institute seeks Social Media Specialist (m/f/d)+++ Jobs at politjobs.eu +++ Don’t miss any jobs with the politjobs.eu job alert +++
⊂ AT LAST ⊃
1300 false coronate tests in Great Britain: 1300 people who had themselves tested for the coronavirus in 100 communities between November 19 and 23 received false results. There are said to have been problems with the chemicals used.