Poland says EU ‘blackmail’ hampers climate goals

Withholding EU funds through ‘blackmail’ could endanger Poland’s energy transformation, warned Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on the sidelines of the COP26 summit in Glasgow. [EPA-EFE/Andrzej Lange]

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

GLASGOW | WARSAW

Withholding EU funds through ‘blackmail’ could endanger Poland’s energy transformation, warned Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on the sidelines of the COP26 summit in Glasgow. Read more.

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PARIS

COP26: Macron calls on biggest emitters to raise climate ambitions. French President Emmanuel Macron called on the world’s biggest emitters to catch up and “raise” their climate ambitions during his opening speech at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. Read more.

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BERLIN

Damage caused by organised crime on the rise. Organised crime caused significant economic damage in 2020, according to the annual report by the federal crime police agency. In 2019, authorities seized assets worth €644 million, while 2020 saw seizures worth €1.02 billion, the report also stated. Read more.


UK AND IRELAND

LONDON | PARIS

Macron delays sanctions in fish licensing row. France will delay a series of sanctions against UK fishing vessels while crisis talks over the licenses for French fishing boats continue this week. Sanctions, including a ban on British fishing boats from entering French ports, were planned to come into force on Tuesday.

However, President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that talks with Boris Johnson’s government would continue, and UK officials hinted that they would consider all new evidence that would allow them to issue more licenses. (Benjamin Fox | EURACTIV.com)

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DUBLIN 

Irish Taoiseach: ‘Imperative’ world responds to climate change. It is “imperative” that the world responds to climate change, Ireland’s Taoiseach Micheál Martin told reporters at the COP26 summit in Glasgow. He added that carrying on with current action at a national or global level would not be economically sustainable due to the impact of weather events caused by climate change. Read more.


NORDICS AND BALTICS

HELSINKI 

Finland to examine injustices suffered by Sámi people. The government has appointed a commission to identify and assess discrimination, rights violations, and assimilation policies that have targeted Finland’s indigenous Sámi people over the course of history. Read more.


EUROPE’S SOUTH

ATHENS 

Greek government plans to send SMS to unvaccinated, to get jab. The government is planning to launch the service immediately after the Personal Data Protection Authority gives its approval, but it has raised questions about the safety of personal data. Read more.

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ROME

Trieste will no longer allow protests in town square after surge in COVID-19 cases. The city has been at the centre of national demonstrations opposing Italy’s decision to make COVID-19 health passes mandatory for all workers for the past month. Each demonstration so far has been followed by a spike in new cases in the city. Read more.

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MADRID

Spain commits to increasing its contribution to UN Green Climate Fund. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday pledged to increase the Spanish contribution to the UN Green Climate Fund by 50% to €1.35 billion per year as of 2025, EURACTIV’s partner EFE reported. Read more.


VISEGRAD 

PRAGUE

Czech auditors: EU fund management poses risk for recovery plan. Czechia’s Supreme Audit Office detected shortcomings in the management and distribution of EU funds in the country, adding that this would pose a severe risk to the implementation of the National Recovery Plan under which Czechia should receive €7 billion in grants from the EU recovery facility. Read more.

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BUDAPEST

Joke party goes solo despite Hungarian opposition unity. The Hungarian Two-tailed Dog Party (MKKP) joke party will run in the spring parliamentary election with 85 individual candidates on a separate list from the six-party opposition coalition, which is trying to put up a single opposition candidate against Fidesz in each electoral district, Telex reported. Read more.

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BRATISLAVA | BUDAPEST

Slovakia’s two biggest cities linked due to Hungarian highway. Slovaks have been promised for years that construction of a highway connecting Bratislava and Košice, the country’s two largest cities, will be completed. Hungary has now built its own highway from west to the east, meaning the two Slovak cities are now connected. Read more.


NEWS FROM THE BALKANS

SOFIA 

Sofia accuses Skopje of using anti-Bulgarian speech in elections. The Bulgarian foreign ministry has complained of “anti-Bulgarian speech” during the local elections in North Macedonia. Sofia’s concerns focus on the PR campaign against Daniela Arsovska, who won the elections in Skopje as the candidate of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE. Read more.

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Gas pipeline rupture in Bulgaria has repercussions in the region. A 20-meter section of a gas pipeline in operation since 1988 was damaged by an explosion on Monday (1 November) night near the village of Vetrino, Varna. Video footage shows that the accident took place in the vicinity of a compressor station. Read more.

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BUCHAREST

Romania’s PM-designate gives up mandate. Prime minister-designate Nicolae Ciuca will forgo his mandate as he could not muster support for a minority government. Instead, his party, the centre-right PNL, wants to extend negotiations to ensure a coalition is formed, and the cabinet has a majority. Read more.

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ZAGREB

Croatia spends 4.7 bn kuna on R&D in 2020. Croatia spent 4.7 billion kuna (€626 million) on research and development (R&D) in 2020, 6% more than in 2019, data from the Croatian Bureau of Statistics shows. Of the total funds for R&D, the largest amount was spent in the business sector, 47.9% or 2.3 billion kuna, followed by higher education with 32.2% or 1.5 billion kuna.

Labour costs accounted for the largest share of expenditures for R&D, 64.4% or more than 3 billion kuna. An analysis by sectors shows that enterprises primarily finance R&D with internal funds (72.7%). In comparison, the government and private non-profit sector (63.6%) and higher education (62%) are mostly financed by the central and local government.

(Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)

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LJUBLJANA 

Janša urges realistic path to implement climate goals. Prime Minister Janez Janša highlighted the need to create a realistic path to implement Paris agreement goals, including with the help of nuclear energy, as he addressed the World Leaders Summit at the COP26 climate conference. Read more.

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BELGRADE 

Serbia imports natural gas from Hungary after Bulgarian pipeline rupture. After a natural gas pipeline rupture in Bulgaria cut off the gas supply to some parts of Serbia, Serbia imported five million cubic metres of natural gas from Hungary, the Serbian Broadcasting Corporation reported on Monday. Read more.

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SARAJEVO | BELGRADE

Federation almost without gas. Federation BiH entity (Bosniak and Croat one), which takes approximately a half of the country’s territory, was close to running out of gas after a malfunction on the gas transport route in Bulgaria, which meant that the delivery to BiH was interrupted. Serbia immediately managed to buy the necessary energy from Hungary. Read more.

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SKOPJE

North Macedonia president not officially informed of PM’s resignation. North Macedonia President Stevo Pendarovski has not been formally informed of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s resignation. Read more.

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TIRANA

Albanians most at risk of poverty in Europe. Over half of Albanians were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2020, the highest percentage in Europe according to the EU’s statistics agency, EUROSTAT. Read more.


AGENDA:

  • EU: Launch of Global Methane Pledge at COP26 in Glasgow.
  • Germany: CDU holds press conference after leadership meets.
  • Switzerland: Human rights council reviews the situation in Hungary.
  • Denmark: Nordic Council meets, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg participates.
  • Estonia: Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson meets Estonian President Alar Karis in Tallinn.
  • UK: Google and Amnesty to face questions from MPs on tech and foreign policy in London.
  • Portugal: Web Summit continues in Lisbon with European Commissioner Vĕra Jourová in panel attendance, meets Facebook VP Nick Clegg.
  • PolandBooster COVID-19 vaccinations will be available for every adult as of Tuesday.
  • Serbia:  Foreign Minister Nikola Selaković in Greece for official visit.
  • Montenegro: Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić to begin his first official visit to Serbia.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]

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