Philipp Grüll

Data protection 26-05-2020

Irish data protection authority under fire over Facebook case

In an open letter, online privacy activist Max Schrems has criticised the Irish data protection commission's handling of a complaint against social media giant Facebook and called on the European Union to step in. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 25-05-2020

‘Frugal Four’ present counter-plan to Macron-Merkel EU recovery scheme

The "Frugal Four" (Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden) presented their own draft for an EU recovery fund in a 'non-paper' sent to the EU capitals on Saturday (23 May). The most important point: aid money must be repaid. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 20-05-2020

‘Frugal Four’ working on counter-proposal to Franco-German recovery fund

The €500 billion Franco-German EU recovery plan, presented on Monday (18 May), is too generous, according to the "Frugal Four" countries, who are working on a counter-proposal insisting on loans instead of grants and subsidies, diplomatic circles confirmed to EURACTIV Germany.
Economy & Jobs 15-05-2020

With almost €100 billion in tax losses, Scholz announces another stimulus package

For the German budget, the pandemic means greater expenditures and less income. For the first time since the financial crisis, tax revenues are falling but Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) is not thinking about austerity. On the contrary, another economic stimulus package is planned in June to help boost the economy, EURACTIV Germany reports.
Politics 14-05-2020

EU files charges against Austria: Minister calls family benefits indexing a ‘question of justice’

The European Commission opened an infringement procedure against Austria in January 2019, and now a lawsuit is following after the government failed to allay Commission concerns that the indexation of family benefits are discriminatory. EURACTIV Germany reports.
5G 14-05-2020

In Germany’s new 5G security criteria, SPD sees a “blunt sword”

The German Interior Ministry wants to check whether manufacturers of 5G components are trustworthy. For SPD digital politician Falko Mohrs, this does not go far enough. He demands a political security check, fed with secret service information. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Data protection 14-05-2020

Austrian ministry could face GDPR penalty after publishing personal data online

Austrians' personal data has been publicly accessible on the Ministry of Economy's website since 2009. The liberal party NEOS and NGO epicenter.works call it the "biggest data protection scandal of the Second Republic." NEOS is considering legal action and a GDPR expert told EURACTIV Germany it could be successful.

Growing resistance in Germany against quarantine for returnees from abroad

There is growing resistance in German politics and the judiciary against the quarantine obligation for returnees from abroad. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 12-05-2020

MEP Giegold on infringement: Germans in top positions must show the way

Commission boss Ursula von der Leyen may have to be tough on Germany and possibly launch infringement procedures to avoid accusations of being soft on her home country, particularly ahead of Berlin's upcoming EU presidency, according to Green MEP Sven Giegold, who had demanded explanations on the issue. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Broadband 11-05-2020

German-German dispute over fibre optic funding to be decided in Brussels

The European Commission is examining German plans to support the fibre optic industry. The Christian Democrat (CDU/CSU) parliamentary group asked for early approval, while the fixed network industry association BREKO is opposed to the measures. EURACTIV Germany has seen both letters.
Digital 07-05-2020

German EPP delegation want special treatment for app users

MEPs belonging to Germany's CDU/CSU outfit have published a wish list for a European digital response to the corona pandemic, featuring recommendations for the lifting of quarantine restrictions for people who install contact tracing apps.   
Coronavirus 06-05-2020

Germany eases restrictions further, with an emergency brake

After negotiations with regional prime ministers, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced that contact restrictions in Germany would be extended until 5 June, but in a relaxed form. States will have more authority in loosening restrictions, but an emergency brake could be activated at any time, if necessary.
Aviation 30-04-2020

Austria’s Greens defend airline bailout climate-strings against EU Commissioner

A state aid request by Austrian Airlines could be an opportunity to make the carrier more sustainable. But climate conditioning bailouts was recently given short shrift by the EU's transport Commissioner, who is "undermining the Green Deal", according to Austria's Greens. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Competition 23-04-2020

Austria demands ‘greater flexibility’ of EU state aid law in letter to Vestager

While EU member states are hardly allowed to support their companies financially in normal times, the coronavirus crisis has made state aid essential for the survival of most businesses. In a letter to Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, Austria's government called for the suspension of state aid law in sensitive areas. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 21-04-2020

‘Coronabonds’ vs ‘Recovery bonds’: Where does Germany stand?

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel has opposed the idea of 'coronabonds', German MEPs from her own political faction have spoken out in favour of 'recovery bonds', a position that could weigh heavily on the EU summit next Thursday. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Digital 20-04-2020

One year of EU copyright reform: Is the Internet still working?

A year ago, EU copyright law was reformed under strong protest and with a narrow majority in the EU Parliament. Germany is still working on implementation, but civil society is already preparing to fight the directive in court. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Future EU 08-04-2020

Coronavirus to weigh on every aspect of Germany’s EU presidency

The coronavirus crisis comes just as Germany was about to finalise its rotating EU presidency programme, which begins on 1 July. EURACTIV Germany obtained a draft of the programme, which shows how much of a role the virus is set to play during the six month stint in charge.
Economy & Jobs 08-04-2020

Germany’s post-virus forecast better than expected, say top economists

Germany's five most important economic institutes insist an economic upturn is on the horizon, as part of their biannual spring forecast published on Wednesday (8 April). EURACTIV Germany reports.
Coronavirus 08-04-2020

Austria says it still prefers dialogue with Hungary

After the Hungarian parliament adopted an emergency law that gave Prime Minister Viktor Orbán extensive powers on 30 March, 13 EU member states issued a joint statement on the need to protect rule of law. Austria, however, did not join as it prefers to seek dialogue, the country's EU minister, Karoline Edtstadler, told EURACTIV Germany.
Coronavirus 06-04-2020

Austria’s government presents COVID-19 exit schedule

While small shops in Austria will be allowed to reopen on 14 April and all trade will be permitted from 1 May onwards, gastronomy and hotels will follow in mid-May at the earliest, with current initial restrictions extended until the end of April. According to Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the aim is "to get out of the crisis faster than others".
Economy & Jobs 03-04-2020

Limitations of economic forecasting during coronavirus pandemic

Germany's economy has gone into artificial hibernation to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Initial forecasts suggest this will be expensive but opinions about the extent vary widely. In an interview with EURACTIV Germany, the head of the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW), Marcel Fratzscher, explains the limitations of economic forecasts.
Coronavirus 30-03-2020

Austria announces new COVID-19 restrictions

From Wednesday (1 April) at the latest, mouth and nose protection masks will be obligatory in Austria's supermarkets. People in COVID-19 risk groups are no longer allowed to go to work, and hotels are closed to tourists. Random sample tests are set to bring clarity to the country's unrecorded cases. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Data protection 26-03-2020

Privacy activists on COVID-19 surveillance: Either ineffective or questionable

In Germany and Austria, there are concrete ideas to monitor their citizens using Big Data, but to be truly effective, the methods would have to be deeply invasive. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 24-03-2020

German economy minister: Help is on the way

The first payments from the 'coronavirus aid package' are to be made to small and micro enterprises this week, Economy Minister Peter Altmaier announced on Tuesday but rejected once again the idea of European coronabonds. Meanwhile, the country's top economic expert expects a single-digit percentage GDP decline. EURACTIV Germany reports.
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