⊂ EUROPE ⊃
EU to allow in visitors from 14 countries: The EU has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed safe to be let into Europe from 1 July. On the current safe list are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. The EU is ready to add China if the Chinese government offers a reciprocal deal for EU travellers, diplomats said. As had been widely expected, the United States, where the coronavirus is currently resurging, will not be on the list. The list will be updated every two weeks and is only advisory. But EU member states have been warned of the dangers if they go their own way and expand the number of countries from where travel is permitted.
bbc.com, cnn.com, theguardian.com
Merkel and Macron hope for EU summit deal on recovery fund: German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday held out hope that EU member states will overcome their differences on the recovery fund to help the EU rebound from the pandemic. Myriad talks remained to be held, Merkel told a joint news conference with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron, but added: “We hope we can find a solution, even if there is still a long way to go.” Macron reiterated his position that a deal on the EU budget and recovery fund could be found at the July summit. The French president also called for the introduction of a CO2 border tax, which would provide for the taxation of imports from third countries with low environmental standards. Merkel said she was ready to develop such an instrument in principle, but she made it clear that it must comply with the rules of the World Trade Organisation. Macron has also accused Turkey of bearing criminal responsibility for its actions in Libya. France and Turkey have been at loggerheads for months over their conflicting policies in Libya, the Eastern Mediterranean and Northeast Syria.
reuters.com, faz.net, politico.eu
German government endorses ECB bond-buying programme: Germany’s finance ministry has backed the European Central Bank’s disputed stimulus programme. New information shared by the ECB fully satisfied the demands made by Germany’s Constitutional Court, Finance Minister Olaf Scholz said in a letter to parliamentary speaker Wolfgang Schäuble. In a ruling last month, the court threatened to ban Germany’s central bank from taking part in the ECB bond-buying scheme. The Karlsruhe-based judges said ECB governors had failed to take sufficient account of the project’s side effects on banks, savers and other stakeholders. The court asked the ECB to demonstrate the proportionality of the scheme and its goals. Scholz said that, with this new information, the ECB had convincingly demonstrated its deliberations about proportionality.
Belgian police say MEP who accused them of racist violence insulted them: Belgian authorities have moved to open an investigation into allegations that German MEP Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana insulted police officers whom she has accused of using racist violence against her. Earlier this month, Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana took the floor in the EU Parliament to tell her colleagues that she had filed a legal complaint against several Belgian police officers who had brutally pressed her against a wall to search for documents. Belgian police denied the accusations of racism but have also launched an investigation into the incident. It has emerged that Herzberger-Fofana could herself be the subject of an investigation.
Europeans’ trust in US collapses: The pandemic has caused a dramatic deterioration in the European public perception of the United States, according to a survey commissioned by the Berlin-based European Council on Foreign Relations thinktank. More than 60% of respondents in Germany, France, Spain, Denmark and Portugal said they had lost trust in the US as a global leader. Many criticise the US response to the pandemic and its lack of leadership in tackling the coronavirus crisis at the global level – or even engagement with the issue beyond a war of words with the World Health Organisation.
AI&I vTalk with Luciano Floridi: The development of a corona tracing app is shaping the public debate. Aside from data protection, complex ethical questions arise from the use of such an app. On May 12th from 5 pm Luciano Floridi, Professor of Philosophy and Information Ethics at the University of Oxford, will speak about the trust of European citizens in the use of mobile tracing apps and the ethical principles of government, business and science in the second edition of the AI&I vTalk.
People interested in participating in the discussion and asking questions to Professor Floridi are invited to visit the Vodafone Institute’s YouTube channel.
Eurozone economic sentiment sees record gain marketwatch.com
Ukraine crisis: EU extends sanctions because of Russia’s destabilising actions against Ukraine consilium.europa.eu
Venezuela: EU adds eleven officials to sanctions list, Maduro gives EU ambassador 72 hours to leave the country consilium.europa.eu, france24.com
Civil war: EU mobilises aid for Syria de.euronews.com
Iran seeks Trump’s arrest over killing of general bbc.com
⊂ QUOTE OF THE DAY ⊃
“It is tragic that we are celebrating 20 years of the racial equality directive, and we still have structural problems.”
EU Commissioner Helena Dalli has pointed out that racism is still alive in Europe.
⊂ COUNTRIES ⊃
Former French PM Fillon sentenced to two years of prison: A Paris court has found former French Prime Minister François Fillon guilty of embezzlement of public funds and sentenced him to five years in prison, three of which are suspended. His wife Penelope was also found guilty and given a three-year suspended prison sentence, French media reported. They were both fined €375,000. The Fillons and François Fillon’s former deputy Marc Joulaud had been on trial for creating a job that paid Penelope Fillon over €1 million in public funds without her doing any work. She described her work as mostly writing reports about local issues, opening the mail, meeting with residents and helping to prepare speeches for local events.
Complicated entry procedure in Greece: On Monday, the Greek government issued a new protocol, requiring travellers to complete an online questionnaire 48 hours prior to their arrival in Greece. Travellers will have to provide detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece. They will then receive a personal QR code, based on the data provided, which will be checked on arrival. Travellers will only find out upon arrival whether they will have to be tested and isolated. On 1 July, all of Greece’s airports open for international flights. “With this new algorithm procedure, we will probably be able to detect most of the imported cases,” said Dimitris Paraskevis, a member of the committee of experts of the Greek Ministry of Health.
Czech coronavirus cases jump again: The Czech Republic reported 305 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, the highest daily tally since the beginning of April, which the government said was mainly the result of an outbreak in an eastern mining area rather than a nationwide second wave of infection. The new cases, the fourth highest daily total on record, result mostly from blanket testing of employees of coal mines operated by state-owned group OKD and of their family and other contacts, Health Minister Adam Vojtech said. Meanwhile, Czech airline Smartwings Group said on Monday that it may cut up to 600 jobs by February 2021 because of the coronavirus crisis.
nytimes.com (Infections), nytimes.com (Smartwings)
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Italy no longer among EU’s top 5 host countries for asylum seekers: For the first time since 2015, asylum applications in the EU started to rise again in 2019. However, Italy is no longer among the main host countries while Germany retains its top spot.
Belgium’s colonial past in court de.euronews.com
Greece: Refugees attacked in the Aegean dw.com
Poland: TV station with biased reporting on presidential election deutschlandfunk.de
Sweden registers the highest number of new infections within one week stern.de
Spain: Study suggests coronavirus emerged much earlier than thought nytimes.com
⊂ POLITJOBS ⊃
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 ⊃
Lithuania lawmakers vote to remove disputed artificial beach: Lithuanian lawmakers voted Monday to remove an artificial beach in the country’s capital Vilnius. Last week, Vilnius used approximately 300 cubic metres of sand to create the artificial beach on Lukiskes Square. It was fitted with sunbeds and parasols and was intended to give residents a taste of summer break in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. The beach, which sits in front of the former KGB headquarters where Lithuanians were detained, tortured and executed for decades, was criticised by lawmakers, including President Gitanas Nauseda who condemned the choice of the square for the beach. Opponents said the initiative was disrespectful to the memory of freedom fighters.