Monday, April 15, 2024

Putin sped up EU green transition – Euractiv

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In today’s news from The Capitals:


Speaking at the 50th anniversary of the International Energy Agency (IEA) at the OECD on Tuesday, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine had forced the EU to speed up its energy transition. Read more.



German SPD’s lead EU candidate sparks debate on EU nuclear warheads. The lead candidate for Germany’s Social Democratic Party in the EU elections and European Parliament Vice-President Katarina Barley has sparked a debate at a national level about the EU building its own nuclear arsenal after former US president Donald Trump said NATO allies did not deserve protection if they failed to live up to their spending commitments. Read more.

Germany’s Baerbock voices ‘concern’ about Israel’s looming military operation in Rafah. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said on Tuesday ahead of her trip to Israel that she is concerned about Tel Aviv’s looming military offensive in the Palestinian city of Rafah, striking a more critical tone towards the country than before. Read more.



ECR vice-president wants EU membership axed from Swedish Constitution. Reference to the European Union should be removed from the Swedish Constitution, according to the powerful far-right Sweden Democrats’ new EU strategy presented in a joint article by party leader Jimmie Åkesson and European Conservatives and Reformists Vice-President Charlie Weimers. Read more.



Spain’s PP looks to bury controversy of Feijóo mulling pardon for Catalan separatists. The conservative Spanish People’s Party (Partido Popular – EPP) sought on Tuesday to quell the fallout caused by media reports that its conservative leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo would be willing to grant conditional pardons to several Catalan separatist leaders. Read more.



Slovakia’s credit rating drops over access to EU funds concern. Investors are taking the changes to Bratislava’s criminal legislation that was approved last week seriously, as Scope Ratings – a European credit rating agency – downgraded the country’s credit rating from A+ to A, citing the risk of losing access to EU funds as one of the reasons, Denník N reported. Read more.



Polish government refuses to punish farmers despite calls from Kyiv. After a group of Polish farmers blocked three Ukrainian grain lorries from crossing the border, spilling some of the grain on the road, Kyiv appealed to Warsaw to investigate the “shameful crime”, but Polish Agriculture Minister Czeslaw Siekierski said he would not take action. Read more.



Eastern European farmers to jointly protest against EU agricultural policy. Representatives of agricultural organisations from Central and Eastern European countries met in Poland on Tuesday to agree on the organisation of joint protests against EU agricultural policy, which is set to take place on 22 February. Read more.



Bulgaria’s two US nuclear reactors to cost under $14 billion. Bulgaria is insisting on a fixed price for constructing two new Westinghouse AR-1000 nuclear reactors, which should not exceed $14 billion, according to an intergovernmental agreement on nuclear cooperation between Bulgaria and the US signed in Sofia on Monday night. Read more.

Bulgaria proposes Christian symbols to feature prominently on its euro coins. Christian symbols could feature prominently on the one- and two-euro coins that will enter circulation after Bulgaria joins the eurozone, according to a proposal yet to be agreed at the EU level, where some countries have opposed similar attempts in the past. Read more.



Ciolacu denies proposing NATO deputy secretary general as presidential candidate. Mircea Geoană, NATO deputy secretary general, has said that social democrats (PSD), including party leader and Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu, have suggested his candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections as an independent backed by PSD,  something Ciolacu denies. Read more.



Croatia to face increased protests ahead of elections. Politicians and union leaders are no longer hiding their dissatisfaction regarding the current leadership in the country, with calls for protest expected to increase exponentially as the country gears up for a “super election year”. Read more.


  • EU: Informal meeting of competitiveness ministers (research and innovation) expected to discuss decarbonising industries, collaborating across sectors and disciplines, and more;
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen chairs College of Commissioners meeting; Receives Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Prime Minister of North Macedonia Talat Xhaferi;
  • Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders delivers opening remarks via videoconference at Consumer dialogue in Malta;
  • Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski receives representatives from Portuguese Confederation of Farmers;
  • Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius meets “The Bureau” representing 145 EU Head of Delegations around the world; Holds meeting with UN Under Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Tatiana Molcean;
  • Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton meets high-level representatives of Automotive supply chain;
  • Parliament’s President Roberta Metsola on official visit to Prague, Czech Republic: holds meetings with President of the Chamber of Deputies Markéta Pekarova Adamová, President of the Senate Miloš Vystrčil, President Petr Pavel, Prime Minister Petr Fiala;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

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