Wednesday, 24 June 2020: France criticises Turkish intervention in Libya, Europol warns that lockdowns could fuel radicalisation, US Republicans urge Trump against drawing down US troops in Germany


France criticises Turkish intervention in Libya: Turkey is playing a dangerous game with its military intervention in Libya that will not be tolerated by France, French President Emmanuel Macron has warned. Macron said Turkey’s actions went against commitments it made during Berlin peace talks in January. Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy shot back at Macron and blamed France for allegedly dragging Libya into chaos. He accused Macron of losing reason and of making unfounded accusations against Turkey. Air support and weapons from Turkey over recent months have helped change the tide in Libya’s civil war. Turkey backs the United Nations-recognised government in Tripoli. The Tripoli administration’s forces, with Turkish military support, gained the upper hand in the war this month after retaking the capital’s airport, all main entrance and exit points to the city and a string of key nearby towns. France has previously given military support to General Khalifa Hifter’s eastern-based forces to fight Islamist militants. Meanwhile, research by Report Munich and the “Stern” newspaper shows that both sides in the Libyan civil war use military equipment from German manufacturers – despite a United Nations arms embargo. (Macron), (Aksoy), (Foreign weapons)

EU leaders will meet in person to discuss virus recovery package: The leaders of the 27 EU member states will meet in Brussels on 17 and 18 July, their first physical summit since the coronavirus lockdown began, to discuss an economic recovery package and the EU’s next seven-year budget. The two-day meeting — which will unusually run into a Saturday — was confirmed by a spokesman for European Council President and summit host Charles Michel, while capitals wrangle over the terms of the huge rescue plan.

EU countries agree deal on class action lawsuits: The European Parliament and the 27 EU countries have reached a deal on the first EU-wide rules on collective redress. The new rules introduce a harmonised model for representative action in all member states that guarantees consumers are well protected against mass harm, while at the same time ensuring appropriate safeguards from abusive lawsuits. “We have sought to strike a balance between the legitimate protection of consumer interests and the need for legal certainty for businesses,” lawmaker Geoffroy Didier said in a statement. The move to boost consumers’ rights gained pace following Volkswagen’s diesel cheating scandal which has led to thousands of regulatory investigations and lawsuits.,

Europol warns that lockdowns could fuel radicalisation: Coronavirus lockdowns could radicalise more terror suspects, the EU’s police agency has warned, saying both right- and left-wing violence were on the rise. The pandemic’s worldwide economic and social impacts could escalate existing discontents, Europol said. These developments had the potential to further fuel the radicalisation of some individuals, regardless of their ideological persuasion. Activists both on the extreme left and right, and those involved in jihadist terrorism, attempt to seize the opportunity the pandemic has created to further propagate their aims.

Europe is violating international law: For years, Europe has been violating international law, international treaties signed by the community or its members and even its own rules in the Mediterranean Sea. This is the conclusion drawn by Nora Markard, a professor of international law, in an assessment of sea rescue in the Mediterranean since 2015. Markard cited, among other things, the violation of the 1980 UN Law of the Sea Convention and the International Convention on Maritime Search and Rescue (SAR). EU regulations such as the Frontex regulation and the Sea External Borders Regulation were also not being complied with. Markard points out that there is an obligation to report emergencies, intervene and take in rescued people.,

German EU Presidency: Influenced by lobbyists? Large lobbying associations have a strong influence on the German government and there are concerns that this might impact its EU Council presidency, which starts on 1 July, warned a study conducted by NGOs LobbyControl and Corporate Europe Observatory. The study highlighted the influence of lobbyists on the work of the German government. It is based on a series of case studies which range from legislation for the financial markets to fisheries, the chemical and pharmaceutical industries and more.

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Borders opening: EU may bar American travellers
Brexit talks hit by row over EU subsidies for farmers
General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR): EU pushes UK for high degree of convergence in GDPR review
European car sales forecast to drop by record 25% this year
European Central Bank: Pandemic creates room for mergers between euro zone banks
Social media companies are better managing hate speech, EU says


It is not possible to shape the world of tomorrow without a strong EU-China partnership.
EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has stressed it was time to accelerate negotiations on several areas of the EU’s relationship with China.


US Republicans urge Trump against drawing down US troops in Germany: A group of House Republicans is urging US President Donald Trump against drawing down the number of US troops in Germany. In a letter, they argue that reducing the number of US troops in Germany will negatively impact Nato’s ability to deter Russian aggression. The lawmakers go on to express concern about the lack of coordination with key US allies about the decision to implement a substantial reduction of US military personnel stationed in Germany. The letter follows a similar request from more than 20 Republicans on the House Armed Services Committee earlier this month asking the White House to reconsider its plan to withdraw troops from Germany.

Germany bans neo-Nazi group „Nordadler“: A neo-Nazi group called „Nordadler“ („Northern Eagles“) was banned by Germany’s interior ministry on Tuesday. Police made four raids targeting the group in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony, Brandenburg and Lower Saxony. The ministry said the group pursued a national socialist ideology and operated mainly online. Members of the right-wing extremist group professed their allegiance to Adolf Hitler and other representatives of the Nazi regime and used the symbols and language of the Nazi regime. Interior Ministry spokesman Steve Alter announced the ban on Twitter. „Right-wing extremism and anti-Semitism have no place on the internet either,“ he said.

France’s coronavirus app fails to engage: France’s new phone app for tracking coronavirus cases has only alerted 14 people that they were at risk of infection since its launch three weeks ago, Digital Affairs Minister Cédric O said Tuesday, while almost half a million chose to uninstall the app. The minister nevertheless defended the usefulness of the app, arguing that the numbers reflected a decrease in the virus‘ prevalence. But he admitted the number of downloads in France paled in comparison with Germany, where 10 million people downloaded the app versus almost 2 million in France. This probably had more to do with cultural differences and differing attitudes to the coronavirus, he said. It could also be linked to a difference in perspective towards respective governments‘ behaviour during the pandemic.

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Finland to open for some travellers: The Finnish government announced plans on Tuesday to scrap a 14-day quarantine period for leisure travellers arriving from most other European countries from 13 July, provided Covid-19 infection rates do not rise. Countries that qualify for the easing of restrictions will be those where infections do not pass a maximum of eight cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a period of two weeks, Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo said.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Wilmès says probe underway into claim of police violence against black MEP
France: Police officer sentenced for beating 62-year-old woman
Germany: Finance minister Scholz slams Wirecard oversight
Austria: Chancellor Kurz to face „Ibiza“ investigation committee this Wednesday


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, (Inserat schalten)


Boris Johnson’s father applies for French passport: The father of the British prime minister is in the process of applying for a French passport to maintain his ties with Europe after Brexit. Stanley Johnson, a former MEP who voted Remain in the referendum, has requested to become a French citizen as his mother Irene was born in Versailles.


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