Denmark now backs EU enlargement, says Macron’s plan still unclear

"It's clear that the work to do the reforms, and in parallel, rebuilding Ukraine will be a tremendous effort, and Denmark will be partnering Ukraine here," he added. [EPA-EFE/SEAN GALLUP]

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

Marking a change in tune, Copenhagen has now said it supports EU enlargement, particularly that of Ukraine as EU leaders are set to meet in Brussels to decide on the bloc’s future.

“We support the European Commission’s opinion on granting Ukraine candidacy status,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod told EURACTIV in Luxembourg. Read more.

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EU INSTITUTIONS

Czech presidency to allow treaty change if there is ‘strong will,’ says minister. The Czech Presidency will not prevent a call for a Convention to open the treaties if there is a strong will, EU affairs minister Mikuláš Bek said in a press conference on Monday. Read more.

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EU says Lithuania acted ‘by the book’ in Kaliningrad standoff with Russia. Lithuania was not acting unilaterally and was only applying EU sanctions when it decided to ban the transit of some goods to Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave, the EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said on Monday (20 June), backing up Vilnius in its new row with Moscow. Read more.

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PARIS

French parties reject proposal for united left-wing parliamentary group. The Socialist Party (PS), Europe Ecologie-Les Verts (EELV) and the French Communist Party (PCF) rejected Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s proposal to form a joint parliamentary group on Monday. Read more.

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BERLIN

Germany seizes property of Russian Duma member. Germany seized the property of a Russian Duma member and Putin supporter on Monday over violations of the EU sanction regime for the first time since the sanctions entered into effect. Read the full story here.

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VIENNA

Austria doubles speed of solar panel rollout. More than double the solar panel capacity of 2020 was installed in 2021, making the past year by far the Austrian solar industry’s best, the photovoltaic industry association said on Monday. Read more.

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BRUSSELS

Belgians strike against rising cost of living. The three largest trade unions organised a national strike in Brussels on Monday to protest against wage legislation and demand more purchasing power for workers, kicking off a series of nationwide strikes this week. Read more.

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THE HAGUE

Dutch to focus on coal to save gas for winter. The Netherlands will be using coal-fired power plants over the coming months to store gas for the upcoming winter, Dutch News reports. Read more.


NORDICS AND BALTICS

HELSINKI

Finland shuts down Confucius Institute amid censorship, espionage accusations. A cooperation contract between Helsinki University and the Confucius Institute will be terminated following accusations of spreading Chinese soft power, conducting espionage, and an attempt to block discussions on Tibet. Read more.

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STOCKHOLM

Sweden, Finland discuss NATO application with Turkey. Turkey’s security concerns were discussed with ministers from Sweden and Finland at a meeting organised by NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Monday. Read more.


EUROPE’S SOUTH

LISBON

Risk of financial crisis ‘cannot be taken off table’, says Bank of Portugal. The risk of the current economic crisis turning into a financial crisis can not be ruled out, and the ECB’s role is to ensure measures to ward it off, the Bank of Portugal governor said on Monday. Read more.

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ROME

Italian regions to declare state of calamity over drought. The Lazio region announced the forthcoming adoption of a drought state of calamity on Monday and the Po valley’s regions are considering doing the same as Italy faces its worst drought in 70 years. Read more.

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MADRID

Spain’s socialists on red alert following historic defeat in Andalusia election. Pedro Sánchez’s PSOE has launched an internal “red alert” after the centre-right PP’s absolute majority in Andalusia, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported. Read more.

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ATHENS

EU leaders to pull Erdogan’s ear over new escalation with Greece, again. EU leaders are expected to again condemn Turkey’s fresh escalation against Greece, according to the upcoming EU summit’s draft conclusions seen by EURACTIV. Read more.


VISEGRAD 

BRATISLAVA

Gazprom lowers gas exports to Slovakia despite roubles payment. Russian energy giant Gazprom cut gas exports to Slovakia by half over the weekend, with lower exports continuing on Monday, gas supplier SPP announced. Read more.

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WARSAW

Ukraine becomes ‘participating partner’ of Three Seas Initiative. The Three Seas Initiative’s (3SI) member states have granted Ukraine participating partner status to the group and supported its efforts to join the EU, Polish President Andrzej Duda announced at Monday’s 3SI summit in Riga. Read more.

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PRAGUE

Majority of disabled people face attacks in Czechia. Disabled people are frequent victims of violence in the Czech Republic and only a fraction of those attacked reported it to the police, according to a survey conducted by In IUSTITIA. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SOFIA

Sofia gives hope for lifting North Macedonia veto. With days to go before EU leaders discuss enlargement at the EU summit, Sofia has given a bit of hope that its veto over North Macedonia opening accession talks could be lifted. Read more.

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BUCHAREST

EU Commission approves Romania’s green scheme. The Commission approved a €500 million scheme to support the growth of new forest areas, a part of Romania’s strategy to ensure the protection of forests and biodiversity. Read more.

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ZAGREB

Croatia eyes major upgrade of Adriatic LNG terminal, PM says. Croatia plans to upgrade the capacity of its floating Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal from the current 2.9 billion cubic metres per year to 6.1 bcm, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković announced at Three Seas Initiative in Riga on Monday. Read more.

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LJUBLJANA 

Slovenian public broadcaster continues strike amid escalating tensions. Journalists at the broadcaster RTV Slovenija continued striking on Monday amid escalating tensions with the leaders they accused of destroying Slovenia’s largest public media outlet. Read more.

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BELGRADE 

COE observes series of flaws in Serbian electoral process. A series of irregularities and deficits across the electoral process was identified in the 3 April parliamentary and presidential elections in Serbia by a delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Read more

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PRISTINA

Kosovo cautiously hopeful for visa liberalisation. Kosovo has received signs there may be a reason to hope for visa liberalisation after all as European and Western Balkan leaders prepare for a busy week in Brussels. Read more.

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PRISTINA | TIRANA

Kosovo, Albania, sign 19 agreements at eighth bilateral meeting. The governments of Kosovo and Albania have signed 19 new agreements and memoranda concerning the free movement of people and goods, as well as matters of education, trade, and tourism. Read more.


Agenda:

  • EU: European affairs ministers meet ahead of EU Summit, General Affairs Council.
  • EU Chief Diplomat Josep Borrell holds a video conference call with G7 Foreign Ministers and participates in EU-Western Balkans leaders’ meetings.
  • Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson and Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders receive Bulgarian Minister of Justice Nadejda Iordanova.
  • Vice-President Věra Jourová meets Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova Sergiu Litvinenco.
  • European Parliament President Roberta Metsola meets Finnish President Sauli Niinistö, and a press conference will follow.
  • European Parliament Committee meetings.
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz hosts Lithuania’s PM Ingrida Simonyte.
  • France: Funeral of Frederic Leclerc-Imhoff, BFMTV journalist killed in Ukraine.
  • Austria: State parties to the treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons hold the first meeting.
  • Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi addresses parliament ahead of EU Summit.
  • Budapest: The parliament will start discussions on a no-confidence vote for the government of Kiril Petkov. It is still unclear whether the cabinet will gain 121 votes to stay in power.
  • Serbia: New round of Belgrade-Pristina dialogue at chief negotiator level, focusing on energy agreement.
  • Western Sahara: Morocco-Spain Business Forum.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]

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