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Before you start reading The Capitals take a look at the article “EU closes ranks on Ukraine, Moldova candidate status as decision looms“.
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
State company Bulgartransgaz is working on several projects to connect hydrogen networks between Bulgaria and Greece, explained Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz Vladimir Malinov during the Sofia Economic Forum III, adding that it is necessary for energy security. Read more.
Macron consults parties to avoid institutional crisis. After losing his majority in the National Assembly and refusing the prime minister’s resignation, French President Emmanuel Macron began consultations with parties on Tuesday. Read more.
German heavy weapon deliveries reach Ukraine. Tank howitzers from Germany have arrived and are in use in Ukraine, the country’s defence minister announced on Tuesday, after Berlin drew criticism for a delay in the delivery of weapons. Read more.
Austria does not want to change EU accession process, says foreign minister. Austria is not seeking a reform of the EU accession process, and the non-paper submitted by Vienna has led to “misunderstandings,” Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg has explained. Read more.
Dutch see rise in COVID-19 infections. The number of people with COVID-19 has increased by 70% over the past week, with 26 new cases in the ICU, marking the third week since numbers began to rise.
According to the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), this is due to the current spread of three new omicron variants, B.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5. Health Minister Ernst Kuipers told MPs that there is a “very real” risk of COVID-19 numbers rising again in the autumn season. (Sofia Stuart Leeson | EURACTIV.com)
NORDICS AND BALTICS
STOCKHOLM | COPENHAGEN
Sweden, Denmark face ‘serious’ gas shortages. Swedish and Danish energy authorities issued an ‘early warning’ over gas shortages due to the reduced supplies of Russian gas on the European market. Read more.
Finland to build world’s first factory producing regenerated fibre. Recycling and green transition took a step forward when a Finnish company announced its plans to build a factory re-using textile waste. Read more.
PM pledges Denmark’s support for Ukraine’s EU candidacy. Denmark supports Ukraine’s status as an EU candidate country, Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said during an address to the Ukrainian Rada on Tuesday. Read more.
Discussion over snap elections in Greece heats up. The idea of early elections in the autumn in Greece is increasingly gaining ground with the conservative government no longer ruling it out. Read more.
Draghi to continue supporting Ukraine, despite 5SM opposition. Prime Minister Mario Draghi confirmed Italy’s continued support for Ukraine in an address to the Senate on Tuesday, ignoring the 5 Stars Movement (5SM), which wants Italy to stop sending weapons. Read more.
Spain’s EasyJet cabin staff announce 9-day strike. A nine-day strike in July was organised after negotiations on salary conditions stalled, EasyJet’s Spain-based cabin crew announced on Tuesday, EFE reported. Read more.
NATO will show great demonstration of strength, says Portuguese admiral. The Atlantic Alliance will show a great demonstration of strength towards building an auspicious future, Portuguese Admiral and Chief of General Staff of the Portuguese Armed Forces Silva Ribeiro said on Tuesday. Read more.
Almost a third of Poles believe EU should not grant recovery money yet. Almost a third of Poles believe the European Commission should not grant the money from the EU Recovery Fund for Poland until the government fulfils the conditions regarding judicial independence, a survey has shown. Read more.
No EU country against Ukraine’s candidacy, says Czech EU minister. No EU country is against giving Ukraine candidacy status, European Affairs Minister Mikuláš Bek said after a General Affairs Council meeting on Tuesday. Read more.
Gas supplies key to lower inflation says Slovak Central Bank. Double-digit inflation will continue in Slovakia until next year if the government does not cap rising gas prices, and if Russia stops gas supplies, then inflation will increase even more, Slovak National Bank estimates in a new prognosis. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
PRISTINA | BELGRADE
EU welcomes the energy agreement between Kosovo and Serbia. An agreement signed between Kosovo and Serbia that will see Serbs in the north of Kosovo pay for electricity for the first time in 23 years has been welcomed by the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell and the Commission. Read more.
Croatian oil firm says no shortages expected, no Russian oil needed. Croatia’s oil and gas company INA, co-owned by the Croatian state and the Hungarian energy group MOL, denied media reports that the country is heading for petrol shortages due to the international sanctions against Russia. Read more.
Slovenia sends 35 infantry fighting vehicles to Ukraine. Ukraine has received a shipment of 35 Yugoslav-era infantry combat vehicles, Slovenia’s largest donation of weapons to Ukraine to date. Read more.
- EU: European Commission College meeting. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen attends.
- European Parliament Mini-Plenary Session. Vote on the carbon market and carbon tax.
- European Parliament President Roberta Metsola meets President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani-Sadriu, President of German Bundesrat Bodo Ramelow, President of Spanish Government Pedro Sánchez, and hosts Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.
- Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz gives a speech in parliament before the EU summit, G7 summit, and NATO summit.
- Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi hosts Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
- The first hearing of the appeal by the House of Savoy to recover jewels kept in the Bank of Italy.
- Poland: Parliament considers a draft bill by a coalition of rights groups allowing abortion up to the 12th week of pregnancy, signed by over 200,000 people.
- Serbia: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio to visit Serbia where he will meet with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić.
- Saudi Arabian Minister of Tourism Ahmed Al-Khateeb to visit Belgrade, where he will meet with President Aleksandar Vučić and Prime Minister Ana Brnabič.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]