The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, through on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
PRAGUE | BRATISLAVA
A boom in demand for heat pumps and solar panels combined with supply-chain disruptions is starting to cause severe material shortages in Czechia as producers focus on western European markets where consumers can pay more. Experts warn the problem is likely to spill over to other countries in Central and Eastern Europe, spelling possible trouble for the transition to a greener way of producing energy. Read more.
The European news you deserve to read. Welcome to The Capitals by EURACTIV.
In today’s news from the Capitals:
German opposition leader visits Kyiv before Scholz. Friedrich Merz, the head of Germany’s biggest opposition party CDU, travelled to Kyiv on Monday, the country’s first leading politician to do so. Read more.
France sent €100 million humanitarian aid to Ukraine. France has delivered the equivalent of €100 million in humanitarian aid, in addition to military and financial support since the start of the conflict in Ukraine, the Elysée announced. Read more.
More Russian oil headed to Dutch ports. The CB Caribbean oil tanker, which was carrying Russian oil but not flying the country’s flag, docked at the Amsterdam port Monday morning with no resistance despite the dock having refused entry to the Russian oil tanker Sunny Liger the day before, broadcaster NOS reports. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
More Irish leaders to visit Kyiv. Séan Ó Fearghaíl, speaker of the Dáil, and Mark Daly, chair of the Seanad, the two leaders from both houses of Ireland’s parliament, are set to visit Kyiv later this month following an invitation from Ukraine’s parliament. Read more.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Finnish energy company ends contract with Rosatom over nuclear plant delivery. Finnish energy company Fennovoima has terminated an agreement over the delivery of the Hanhikivi 1 nuclear power plant with Rosatom. Read more.
Danish government reshuffles as justice minister resigns. Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had to reshuffle her ministerial team after former Justice Minister Nick Hækkerup announced he was quitting politics on Sunday. Read more.
Denmark to be first Nordic country to reopen Kyiv embassy. Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod visited Kyiv on Monday to reopen Denmark’s embassy in Kyiv, making Denmark the first Nordic country to do so. Read more.
EU warns Italian media not to favour Russian propaganda. The European Commission warned European media not to give airtime or importance to Russian propaganda following a contentious interview with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Italian media. Read more.
Spyware scandal hits upper echelons in Spain as PM’s phone targeted. Mobile phones belonging to Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez and Defence Minister Margarita Robles were tapped by the Pegasus software, according to intelligence reports published Monday, widening the spyware scandal that has rocked Spanish politics. Read more.
Crisis provoked by Russia could last 2 to 3 years, says, Portuguese minister. The military and political crisis provoked by Russia could last for two or three years, Portuguese Foreign Minister João Gomes Cravinho warned on Monday, adding that it was essential to maintain transatlantic unity. Read more.
Poles divided over suspending national contributions to EU budget. One in three Poles favours a recent proposal by Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro calling on the government to suspend payment of its national contributions to the EU, while about as many oppose or are unsure about such a measure, a new survey by the SW Research Institute has found. Read more.
Czechia should reduce gas-based fertiliser dependency, says Commission. The European Commission called on the Czech Republic to reduce its dependence on synthetic fertilisers, mainly produced from Russian natural gas. Read more.
Hungarian far-right tables bill to end emergency in parliament’s first sitting. Our Homeland, the only party to get into parliament besides Fidesz and the united opposition, tabled a bill to end the COVID-19-related state of emergency on the day the new Hungarian parliament was formed after the 3 April elections, Telex reported. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Croat MPs still divided on Sweden, Finland NATO accession. Croatian lawmakers are largely expected to endorse Sweden and Finland’s NATO accession once the two Nordic countries apply to join the alliance, but it may not all be plain sailing in the Croatian parliament, the Sabor. Read more.
Croatia scraps COVID-19 entry requirements. Travellers entering Croatia will no longer need to meet any COVID-19 requirements from May, in what should be another boost to the country’s vital tourist industry.
“The regulation that was valid until 30 April has not been renewed. Therefore, entry into Croatia is now allowed to everyone, in line with previous regulations related to the Schengen borders and the law on foreigners, but with no epidemiological conditions,” the interior ministry said. (Zoran Radosavljevic | EURACTIV.com)
Bulgarian businesses warn of strikes if electricity state aid removed. Industrial and business organisations will launch nationwide protests if the state stops compensating them for expensive electricity, the chairman of the Bulgarian Chamber of Commerce Dobri Mitrev announced on Monday, adding that the economy could also crash. Read more.
Romania calls for more investments in gas infrastructure. Romania has already identified alternative sources and routes for natural gas to reduce dependency on Russian imports, but it needs the region’s gas corridors to become operational, the energy minister said. Read more.
Serbia lifts COVID-19 entry restrictions. Serbia will lift all pandemic-related entry restrictions for all travellers from Tuesday, the government has announced. Read more.
BELGRADE | PRISTINA | BERLIN
Scholz to meet with Serbia’s Vucic and Kosovo’s Kurti. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Wednesday will meet with Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti in the Bundeskanzleramt at 3 pm and then have a conversation with Serbian President Vučić at 5:30 pm. Read more.
Albanian communist crimes committee asked to do more. The Albanian institute responsible for studying crimes of the almost 50-year communist regime has been criticised in parliament, with several recommendations made for its future functioning. Read more.
- World Press Freedom Day
- EU: Eurogroup ministers hold online meeting / EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell continues Latin America trip.
- Germany: German cabinet meets on Ukraine, Finland’s PM Sanna Marin and Sweden’s PM Magdalena Andersson attend.
- France: Reporters Without Borders (RSF) publishes its annual World Press Freedom Index.
- Denmark: Publication of WHO report on problem of overweight in Europe.
- Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi to address the European Parliament plenary in Strasbourg to share his vision of the state and future of the EU.
- Greece: European Council President Charles Michel inaugurates construction of new natural gas terminal.
- Romania: Official signing ceremony of the contract between Romanian company Romgaz and US ExxonMobil for the sale of a 50% stake in the Neptun Deep Black Sea perimeter
- Albania: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address Albanian parliament.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]