EURACTIV’s summer picks

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It’s been a very busy first half of this European election year and most of us are heading for a well-deserved break this summer. Meanwhile, if you do fire up your browser, here you can catch up on some of the stories that already made waves in 2019.

EURACTIV.com will keep ticking over during the break and normal service wil resume after 19 August, with more on the new European Commission taking office, Brexit (?) and other developments.

Those who laugh and those who cry this summer…

#EUelections2019: Winners and Losers

As EU leaders prepare for what is likely to be a protracted period of negotiating a majority in the fragmented new European Parliament,  EURACTIV looks at the winners and losers of the European elections held in the 28 member states.

Brace yourself for the new legislative term dynamics…

The balance of powers in the new European Parliament

With majorities in the European Parliament becoming more unstable, votes are becoming more unpredictable. The power structure has shifted considerably as a result of the European elections. While the liberal group Renew Europe will likely be decisive, German MEPs are set to be the most influential. EURACTIV Germany reports.

…the people who will shape the next five years…

Parliament's top jobs at a glance

All boxes of the European Parliament’s complex power-sharing puzzle have now been ticked, after last week’s appointment of Slovak conservative Lucia Ďuriš Nicholsonová as chairwomen of the Social Affairs Committee. EURACTIV brings you all chairs of the Parliament’s 22 committees at a glance.

…and those that will not.

Selmayr’s departure: Just in time for von der Leyen’s election?

European Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr, whose sudden promotion angered MEPs last year and earned a rebuke from the European Ombudsman, will step down from his post next week, a spokeswoman for the EU executive said on Tuesday (16 July).

There is much on the agenda for the next Commission cabinet…

EXCLUSIVE: What countries really think of the EU's strategic agenda

EU member states broadly supported priorities highlighted for the next five years, although they called for a more “positive” vision. Despite the demands made by the capitals, the latest version only included few changes, according to the latest draft and the minutes seen by EURACTIV.

…while EU also finally arrives in the 21st century.

Gender balance becomes paramount in race for top EU jobs

Initial battle lines were drawn between member states over who will replace Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission President on Tuesday (28 May) as EU leaders met to discuss “no names, just process”, in preparation for a decisive summit in June.

It’s a woman!

How EU capitals reacted to the new Commission chief's election

The European Parliament confirmed on 16 July conservative Ursula von der Leyen (VDL) by a paper-thin majority as the new European Commission president.

Speaking of power women…

Sturgeon: Hard Brexit makes Scottish independence 'more urgent'

The scenario of a hard Brexit would “increase the likelihood of Scotland becoming independent,” Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told EURACTIV in an exclusive interview. Her comments come as hard and soft Brexit Conservatives start jockeying for position in the race for the vacant UK prime minister role.

Seize the summer to gather strength for the looming 31 October deadline…

'Special place in hell' for Brexiteers with no plan, says Tusk

Brexiteers with no plan of how to deliver on their exit plans deserve a “special place in hell”, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Wednesday (6 February), sparking a new war of words with UK politicians bent on leaving the bloc this March.

… and the difficult EU budget battle in autumn.

Rutte: 'I will never support stabilisation mechanisms at euro level'

In an exclusive interview with EURACTIV.com after the European Council, Dutch Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, said on Friday (21 June) that he “will never support” new budgetary instruments to stabilise the euro area if an economic shock hits the region.

How about a trip into history?

The Irish Border and Brexit

The decision of the British people to leave the European Union will have important consequences both in Europe and in the UK, but Northern Ireland and the border counties of the Republic of Ireland will be the most heavily impacted by Brexit.

Or friendly Canada?

EU and Canada are the world's new best friends

The EU-Canada summit focused on the free trade agreement (CETA), saving the WTO and doubling investments in research and development for the energy transition. However, the meeting was more symbolic, confirming that Canada, rather than the US, is now the EU’s closest ally. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Will friends still be friends after summer?

One year after the US-EU joint statement, how are transatlantic trade relations doing?

In July 2018, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker travelled to the US to meet Donald Trump in a bid to ease trade tensions. A year on from the EU-US joint statement, commercial negotiations are at a stalemate.

Meanwhile, another market is opening up…

Central Asia ministerial welcomes the EU's new strategy for the region

Gathered in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, on Sunday (7 July), the Foreign Ministers of the five Central Asian countries welcomed the new EU Strategy on Central Asia recently adopted by the EU.

…while others are left waiting…

North Macedonia nears accession talks, Albania falling behind

Member states will on Tuesday (18 June) postpone a decision on opening accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania, most likely until September, as almost all capitals are prepared to green light Skopje while Tirana still remains a ‘no-go’ for a few, EU officials and diplomats told EURACTIV.

…and waiting.

In northwest Siberia, Russia's flagship gas project defies pipeline politics

Rarely has the construction of a gas pipeline in Europe caused such a heated dispute as Nord Stream 2. EURACTIV went to the source to explore the economic, political, legal and societal dimensions of Russia’s controversial pipeline project.

Up north, it’s also getting hot.

Fault-lines surface in Arctic as region turns into geopolitical hotspot

As the ice melts, a new ocean with new trade routes and untapped natural resources opens up in Europe’s High North, leaving the Arctic region caught between cooperation and militarization.

But that’s not the only hotspot this summer, though.

How vulnerable is Europe to conflict in the Strait of Hormuz?

NEWS ANALYSIS / The involvement of a British tanker in the latest military incident with Iran in the crucial oil shipment choke point has pulled Europe into the fray.

Some, meanwhile, might start to feel some heat very soon…

Finnish presidency commits to linking rule of law with EU funding

Finnish Prime Minister Antti Rinne told the European Parliament on Wednesday (17 July) that his country’s presidency of the Council of the EU would continue negotiations on how to link more closely the disbursement of EU funds with respect for the rule of law in member states.

 

Mind other monsters before flying out to your dream destination…

Eight EU airports among world’s ten worst

Eight of the world’s ten worst airports are located in the EU, according to a new survey released by a leading passenger rights group last week. Only three of the top ten airports are in EU countries.

(Humans are, by the way, not the only thing being moved across the bloc…)

Rome prepares to ship its rubbish across Europe, raising environmental concerns

The exit strategy from Rome’s current garbage crisis involves re-routing thousands of tonnes of junk to Sweden and other EU countries, with a huge financial and environmental cost in terms of CO2 emissions.

And if you’re too unnerved by tourists, you’re not the only one…

Trump blames ‘cheap’ euro for EU’s tourist overcrowding

US President Donald Trump blamed the European Central Bank’s loose monetary policy for the high number of tourists arriving to Europe, and attacked once again the US Federal Reserve for keeping “ridiculous” high interest rates.

Something to think about when taking pictures this vacation…

MEPs back historic plans to overhaul copyright law

The European Parliament backed historic measures to reform EU copyright law on Tuesday (26 March) in a move set to have a far-reaching impact on rights for content creators and artists across the continent. 

But maybe you should keep the fingers off your laptop for once…

Cat videos, online porn branded 'an ecological disaster'

Clicking through videos on YouTube, watching porn online or binge watching shows like Game of Thrones are growing threats to climate goals, according to a French study published today (11 July).

In any case, don”t get hit by one of those…

Paris loses patience with e-scooters

France’s capital city will make it illegal to park e-scooters on pavements and in parks. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has also ordered a speed limit cut to address the rising accident rate.

…and enjoy the summer break!

[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic]

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