The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, through on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
The European news you deserve to read. Welcome to The Capitals by EURACTIV.
Today’s edition is powered by ECPC
We are the voice of Cancer Patients in Europe!
ECPC’s Action Plan 2023 showcases our upcoming projects, campaigns, planned activities and priorities. See how we are planning to achieve ECPC’s vision and mission and to forge even stronger cancer advocacy across patients in Europe and beyond.
In today’s news from the Capitals:
Europeans trail the pack in trusting their governments to take the necessary actions to fight climate change, while an overwhelming majority fears a climate catastrophe if they fail to step up, an EIB-BVA poll that compared responses from across the globe shows. Read more.
Germany sets out plans for cannabis legalisation amid EU law worries. German health minister Karl Lauterbach presented plans for legalising cannabis for recreational use – a key promise of the country’s “traffic light” government, although the project could still be halted by the EU Commission. Read the full story.
Accusations of far-right ‘cosying’ intensify after Macron-Meloni meet. Accusations of cosying up to the far-right are flying in France after Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National backed the Left’s no-confidence motion in the government on Monday and President Emmanuel Macron met with Italy’s new Prime Minister, Giorgia Meloni. Read more.
Austria arrest 500 people smugglers as part of special plan. Heavy patrolling at the Austrian borders has resulted in the arrest of 500 people smugglers as part of a special operation to deal with a significant increase in refugee flows. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
NATO’s Stoltenberg to take Sweden’s application into his own hands. Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he would persuade Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan to greenlight the NATO accession applications of Sweden and Finland, the NATO chief announced at a press conference Wednesday. Read more.
Exit tax bone of contention in Finnish government. With six months to go before the elections, the government’s exit tax proposal which could apply to non-Finnish residents who leave the country is facing strong political headwinds. Read more.
Lega Senator: Ukrainians won’t decide war’s handling alone. Ukrainians should not be left to make all the decisions about their future alone following Russia’s invasion, instead, the international community should have a role, taking into account the country’s interests, a Lega senator said. Read more. Read more.
Greeks seek ‘dynamic reset’ in German relations through Sholz’s visit. The Greek government views the visit of German chancellor Olaf Scholz in Athens as a chance for a “dynamic reset” of bilateral relations between Greece and Germany, also positively noting he will not visit Ankara after, as is usually the case with German chancellors. Read more.
Franco-Iberian ‘Green Energy Corridor’ of ‘dubious concreteness’, expert says. Plans to move on with “Green Energy Corridor”, which should connect Barcelona and Marseille, were criticised by the coordinator of the Iberian Energy Observatory. Read more.
Portuguese PM announces new measures amid rising costs. Prime Minister António Costa announced on Wednesday the government would push for legislation to protect households from rising mortgage rates, pointing to the €5.6 billion already invested in supporting families and controlling energy costs. Read more.
Spain’s Sánchez visits Kenya to explore business ties. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez’s official state visit to Kenya started on Wednesday, with the Spanish leader speaking to Spanish business representatives in the country to discuss opportunities regarding energy and agriculture. Read more.
Malta’s cash-for-passport scheme is on the rocks, government ploughs ahead. Malta’s cash-for-passport scheme is set to bring in €40 million less in 2023, according to the recently published state budget, meaning the government has no plans to drop it, despite EU pressure. Read more.
High energy prices lead to massive layoffs, Czech experts warn. Inflation and high energy prices will lead to further company redundancies, experts warned after 13 Czech companies announced mass layoffs in August and September. Read more.
Poland’s ruling PiS abandons controversial company board bill. The ruling Law and Justice party (PiS) has abandoned a bill that would have allowed its people to remain on the boards of state-owned companies even after a potential defeat in the elections next year. Read more.
Hungarian opposition filibusters state’s near-exit from social security. Hungarian green opposition MPs took the floor in the legislative for almost 24 hours to speak against proposed amendments to 1993 social law that would see the state retreat to a position of social security provider of last resort. Read more.
Slovakia to step up the fight against extremism following queer bar killings. Interior Minister Roman Mikulec has promised to intensify the fight against hate speech and extremism following the terrorist attack outside a queer bar in Bratislava in mid-October that left two LGBTIQ+ people dead. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
No candidate status for Bosnia in December? Despite a recent European Commission proposal to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina the status of an EU candidate country, this is unlikely to happen at a key EU summit in December, despite lobbying by Austria and Slovenia, Klix.ba website reported. Read more.
Bulgaria announces end of fuel rebate scheme. The fuel rebate scheme that currently gives Bulgarians 12.5 euro cents for every litre of fuel filled at the petrol station will stop from 1 December, Finance Minister Rositsa Velkova announced. Read more.
Serbian president convenes national security council over Kosovo number plates. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić called a session of the national security council for 10am on Thursday to discuss the approaching deadline for removing Serbian plates from cars in Kosovo, Klix.ba reported. Read more.
Romanian PM optimistic about “Schengen objective”. Romania is prepared for Schengen accession as attested by “the very good conclusions of the recent evaluation mission,” Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca said following recent talks with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels. Read more.
Slovenia inadvertently dragged into Russian ‘dirty bomb’ campaign. Slovenia has become inadvertently involved in a Russian claim that Ukraine is building a “dirty bomb,” forcing the government to issue a statement stressing that nuclear waste is being stored safely. Read more.
Rape used as weapon of war in Kosovo, calls for justice intensify. Rape and sexual violence were used as weapons of war by Serbs against ethnic Albanian men and women during the 1998-1999 Kosovo War, the Kosovo Rehabilitation Centre for Torture Victims wrote in a new report which it says survivors can use for justice access. Read more.
Albanian asylum applications in EU soar amid calls to clamp down. Asylum applications of Albanian citizens in the EU increased by 68% over the summer compared to the same period last year, bringing the total to 6,860, despite international calls to clamp down on the issue. Read more.
AGENDA EU: Ministers of foreign affairs from the EU and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) meet in Buenos Aires, to discuss inclusive and sustainable post pandemic economic recovery, climate crisis, disaster risk management and cooperation in the field of security and governance, among other topics; “Conference on Accountability, Transparency and Trust” organized by the Czech Presidency of the Council of the EU continues for the second day in Prague; European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on official visits in Pristina, Kosovo and Tirana, Albania; Commission Vice- President Dubravka Šuica goes on mission in Croatia; Ukraine’s first deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Economy Yulia Anatoliivna Svyrydenko meets consecutively with Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit and then Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski; Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager hosts conference titled “Making Markets Work For People”; Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni receives Managing Director of International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva; Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders holds a conference on Rule of Law in Berlin, Germany; European Parliament President Roberta Metsola goes on official visit to Latvia; Parliament’s Special Committee on foreign interference in all democratic processes in the European Union, including disinformation holds a meeting; EU Ombudsman participates in panel discussing “Revolving doors – how to ensure the independence of key staff in the interest of citizens” during virtual event on “Sound financial management in EU Agencies”; European Central Bank (ECB) Governing Council holds monetary policy meeting in Frankfurt; Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis expected to participate via videoconference; ECB President Christine Lagarde to present the latest monetary policy decisions in the ECB podcast; France: International Energy Agency (IEA) publishes its World Energy Outlook 2022 Luxembourg: First European conference on community disaster preparedness to take place; United Kingdom: Northern Ireland assembly sits for last ditch bid to restore powersharing or risk fresh elections; Greece: Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis holds meeting with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz; Turkey: Defence Minister Hulusi Akar hosts Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz; Indonesia: G20 Health ministers hold meeting; Russia: State Duma considers a bill to ban LGBT promotion; United Nations: Security Council meets to discuss Russian accusations of biological weapons in Ukraine;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]