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In today’s news from the Capitals:
While leaders of both chambers of the Czech parliament decided to boycott an upcoming meeting with their Visegrád 4 counterparts over Hungary’s Russia policy, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala is going ahead with the summit of government chiefs of the embattled regional grouping. Read more.
EU heavyweight countries’ last-minute push for ex-ante checks on online marketplaces. A blocking minority of member states want to mandate online marketplaces to carry out random checks before products are launched, according to a non-paper dated 11 November and obtained by EURACTIV. Read more.
MEPs urge EU response over Algeria’s military ties to Moscow. A group of 17 MEPs urged European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen to re-open the EU’s association agreement with Algeria in a letter which expresses ‘deep concern’ at the North African country’s close political and economic ties to Russia. Read more.
Flanders points finger at federal government over Belgian refugee crisis. The federal government is responsible for the country’s struggle to provide accommodation to asylum seekers, Flemish Housing Minister Matthias Diependaele said on Thursday. Read more.
German experts do not recommend COVID-19 jab for small children. The government’s standing vaccine committee has decided not to recommend vaccinating small children against COVID-19, instead recommending it only for those with certain pre-existing conditions. Read more.
Macron against Fifa World Cup boycott. We must not politicise sports, said French President Emmanuel Macron, who will travel to Qatar to support the French team if it reaches the semi-final, the Elysée said earlier this week. Read more.
Climate activists occupy lecture halls in multiple Austrian cities. Student activists have occupied university lecture halls in Vienna, Salzburg, and Innsbruck amid rising discontent with the government’s handling of the climate crisis, the education system, and social injustice. Read more.
Dutch authorities expect follow-up investigation into MH17. Police and the Public Prosecution Service expect they will soon have more information on a potential follow-up investigation into the downing of flight MH17. Read more.
Finland should continue structural reforms, says IMF. The International Monetary Fund on Thursday recommended that Finland continue structural reforms to boost long-term growth in its concluding statement on the country’s economic outlook. Read more.
Maltese abortion law changes to be tabled in parliament next week. Legal amendments will be tabled in Maltese parliament next week to allow the legal termination of a pregnancy when the woman’s life is in danger, a first for the country with the strictest abortion rules in Europe. Read more.
Migrant smugglers intercepted in Italy. A gang of criminals who regularly transport migrants from Tunisia to Italy were intercepted by Italian authorities as they were leaving Sicily. Read more.
European Parliament gives €9.45 million to ease impact of La Palma volcano eruption. A €9.45 million grant to mitigate the impact on the local economy following the eruption of the La Palma volcano eruption in September 2021 was backed by the European Parliament’s Budgets Committee on Thursday. Read more.
Slovaks hit harder by inflation than most of Europe. As much as 88% of Slovaks said that inflation negatively affected their family budget, according to a new survey conducted by the Intrum agency, making Slovakia one of the worst-hit of the 24 countries surveyed. Read more.
Polish government confirms Ukrainian air defence origin of missile. A Ukrainian air defence missile, and not a stray Russian missile, fell on a village near the Polish-Ukrainian border, government spokesman Petr Müller confirmed. Read more.
EU risks losing Bulgarian citizens’ support for Schengen. Most Bulgarian citizens still support the country’s Schengen membership, but the numbers are decreasing a sociological survey conducted by the Open Society Institute in Sofia revealed. Read more.
European Commission approves Romanian company aid scheme. A €500 million scheme to support Romanian companies affected by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was approved by the European Commission. Read more.
Kurti: Final agreement with Serbia within two years; visa woes continue. Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, said he believes the normalisation of relations with Serbia, including recognition, will be complete within the next two years, while the visa liberalisation decision faces opposition and requests for clarification. Read more.
Eleven arrested in multi-million euro Albanian incinerator scandal. The Special Prosecution Against Corruption and Organised Crime, SPAK, announced the arrest of 11 people involved in the Fier incinerator scandal, but the names remain under wraps for now. Read more.
General Affairs Council starts preparations for the European Council meeting on December 15-16; Agenda highlights include EU-UK relations, and respect for EU acquis in Hungary; Vice President of the European Commission Maroš Šefčovič participates in the proceedings;
Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson participates in the G7 Interior and Security Ministers meeting, in Wiesbaden, Germany;
Vice President Frans Timmermans addresses the COP27 closing plenary, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt;
Financial Stability & Services, Capital Markets Union Commissioner Mairead McGuinness delivers a keynote speech at ‘A FinTech Future: Building on Ireland’s Potential’ event, hosted by MEP Colm Markey, in Dundalk, Ireland;
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola on an official visit to Barcelona, Spain delivers closing remarks at the European digital capital conference;
First European Defence Agency (EDA) high-level Symposium on Maritime Situational Awareness, supported by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU and Portugal, takes place to elaborate on further cooperation and synchronisation of existing and future activities; Germany
: ECB President Christine Lagarde speaks at banking forum; United Kingdom
: Heathrow Airport staff strike; Portugal
: Moody’s announces its updated rating for the country; Russia
: FM Sergei Lavrov hosts conference on international cooperation for Russian regions; Thailand
: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic (APEC) Leaders’ Meeting; Japan
: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) expert Gustavo Caruso speaks to the press after reviewing the Fukushima plant treated water release;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]