The Brief, powered by Eni – Softly trolling Trump

The Brief is EURACTIV's evening newsletter.

After three terrible meetings, NATO in Brussels, the G7 in Taormina and the G20 in Hamburg, the EU is fed up with the America’s rude and stubborn president. So why has Emmanuel Macron invited Trump back?

Meeting Trump in Paris, even for the 100th anniversary of the US army landing in France, could be seen by other European capitals as the first Macron faux-pas.

No one has seemed able to change Trump’s mind on the main issue obsessing the Old Continent: climate change.

Angela Merkel, who will also be in Paris tomorrow for a French-German summit, is not even bothering to stop by and have a cup of coffee with Trump.

But Macron won’t throw in the towel, particularly not on the first anniversary of his first ever political rally.

The plan is to focus on what works well between France and the United States: military cooperation on the ground and the fight against terror. But that’s not all.

As an Élysée Palace source highlighted: “Topics on which the presidents do not agree will be discussed, such as climate and trade.”

Macron has already said he would try again to convince Trump that the Paris Agreement is relevant.

But the programme planned for Trump tomorrow and Friday shows that the new French president is fast becoming an expert in the delicate art of trolling.

The presidents will first meet at the Invalides tomorrow afternoon, before having dinner with their wives in the Jules Vernes restaurant, in the Eiffel Tower.

“We want to show a postcard image of France,” the presidential source admitted.

During the landmark COP21 climate conference, François Hollande took Barack Obama to the delicate Ambroisie restaurant.

But a mere tourist cliché seems to be good enough for Trump.

The Jules Vernes restaurant and its location is a tourist trap. And with a five-course lunch starting at €190, it in comes cheaper than many high-end Parisian restaurants.

At least it will satisfy the eternally fretting European Commission and its fears that France is spending too much.

And maybe a night-time view of the City of Lights will make the Paris Agreement more palatable for Trump.

Click here to follow our Global Europe coverage.

This Brief is powered by Eni – Biofuels will be key in greening our transport. At Eni, we have turned two conventional refineries into biorefineries to produce high-quality bioproducts, and are gearing up to turn waste into fuel, moving to the frontline of fuel innovation. We look forward to a European policy that supports innovation and encourages all technologies greening up our transport.

The Roundup

The European Commission’s decision to lay off a number of British experts in key decision-making posts, in an attempt to avoid Brexit conflicts of interest, has provoked the ire of Westminster. Sarantis Michalopoulos and Jorge Valero have the story.

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Boris Johnson quipped that the EU can “go whistle” for its so-called divorce bill. The Commission’s Michel Barnier brilliantly replied: “I’m not hearing any whistling… just the clock ticking.”

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France’s electrical industry and NGOs want a clearer climate roadmap and a draft proposal on land use has received poor reviews after it was backed by MEPs.

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The Greek army is embracing e-mobility and the Commission says it’s time to close the excessive debt procedure for Athens.

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Everyone’s an expert in Euratom these days it seems. Have a read of this blog post and this breakdown by two people who actually know what they’re talking about. Parliament Brexit chief Guy Verhofstadt said the UK now has no choice but to leave.

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A German government spokesperson is facing a backlash after dozens of G20 press accreditations were withdrawn at the last moment.

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S&D group leader Gianni Pittella has called on the Council to hold an extraordinary summit on migration before the summer break. NGOs say a proposed code of conduct for rescue operations would threaten migrant lives.

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Germany and France are championing a joint project on Artificial Intelligence at EU-level. MEPs want the Commission to propose new cyber-crime laws ahead of a legal overhaul in September.

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Northern Ireland’s protestant Eleventh Night celebrations involved some spectacular bonfires last night.

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Are international events, work or Brussels weather stressing you out? Maybe the EU capital needs something like France’s new stress-relief workshops.

Roundup by Sam Morgan

Look out for…

Commission and Council Presidents Juncker and Tusk head to the EU-Ukraine summit. Brexit negotiator Barnier will meet with Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones, who recently said Welsh farming could not survive the process of leaving the EU.

Views are the author’s.

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