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.
Before you start reading today’s edition of the Capitals, feel free to have a look at the article “German agriculture minister slams Timmermans ahead of CAP trilogue“, by Julia Dahm.
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
Munich Mayor Dieter Reiter has backed a proposal for the city’s stadium to be lit in rainbow colours on Wednesday evening during the EURO 2020 match between Germany and Hungary in a show of solidarity with the latter’s LGBTQI+ community. European football’s governing body, UEFA, has banned the move, saying overt political displays are against its rules. Read more.
Austrian finance minister caught in controversy over missing documents. Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen asked the constitutional court on Tuesday to intervene after Finance Minister Gernot Blümel failed to deliver crucial documents to the investigation committee set up in the wake of the “Ibiza-gate” scandal to investigate political corruption in the former government. Read more.
French Council of State suspends unemployment insurance reform. France’s top court has suspended a planned reform of unemployment insurance days before new rules were due to come into effect on 1 July. Read more.
UK AND IRELAND
Incoming DUP leader seeks meeting with UK PM. Incoming leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Jeffrey Donaldson has said he wishes to have an early meeting with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Read more.
Five years on, Brexit bedevils pandemic-hit UK. Five years on from Britain’s shock decision to quit the European Union, the wounds opened by Brexit have yet to heal, and analysts say its far-reaching changes are only just beginning. Read the full story.
NORDICS AND BALTICS
Swedish police investigate faulty COVID-19 tests. Swedish police have raided several premises of a private health trust around the Stockholm metropolitan area following reports that up to 100,000 Swedes may have received an incorrect COVID-19 test result, according to the Swedish media. Read more.
Finnish FM: EU envoy work continues despite Ethiopian criticism. A recent report to the European Parliament by Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto that described the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia’s Tigray region as “out of control” has sparked strong condemnation from Ethiopia. Read more.
EU Commission chief green lights Italian recovery plan. Italy has received a green light for its Recovery and Resilience Plan, meaning the country will soon obtain its first tranche of around €25 billion in stimulus to help it recover from the economic fall-out of the pandemic. Read more.
Spanish government pardons jailed Catalan separatist leaders. Spain’s socialist-led coalition government has finalised controversial pardons for nine Catalan politicians jailed for their involvement in an unauthorised referendum and declaration of independence in 2017. Read the full story.
Czech government under fire for ‘insufficient’ EU presidency budget. A group of Czech economists, businessmen, diplomats and experts have called on the government to extend the budget for the rotating EU Council presidency which the country is set to take over in the second half of 2022. Read more.
Polish minister questioned over rule of law breach. Poland’s European Affairs Minister Konrad Szymański was questioned on Tuesday by EU ministers over the procedure of Article 7 of the EU Treaty launched against Poland in 2017. Read more.
Slovakia to receive €900 million less from recovery plan. Slovakia is to receive almost €1 billion less from the recovery plan than originally expected, Finance Minister and former PM Igor Matovič has said. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
SOFIA | SKOPJE | BELGRADE
Bulgaria maintains its North Macedonia veto. Bulgaria has said it backs the European ambitions of North Macedonia, but maintained its veto on Skopje starting accession talks, during the regular General Affairs Council meeting in Luxembourg on Tuesday.
The Bulgarian representative at the meeting, Deputy Foreign Minister Rumen Alexandrov, announced that his country is “open for a constructive dialogue with the upcoming Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the EU to find mutually acceptable solutions.” More.
Romanian government to face no-confidence vote. Romania’s Social Democratic Party (PSD) is expected to file motion of no confidence against the centre-right government on Wednesday. PSD leader Marcel Ciolacu claimed the government has failed in all its plans, from drafting a viable recovery plan to the vaccination campaign. Read more.
Slovenia on path to totally digitalise its public services. Slovenia is planning a wide-ranging digitalisation of public services in a bid to improve the efficiency of public administration and boot-strap technological development in line with the EU’s digital agenda objectives. Read more.
BELGRADE | PRISTINA
Italian FM: Kosovo should not fear dialogue with Serbia. Kosovo should not be afraid of dialogue with Serbia as the process will only strengthen Kosovo internationally, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Tuesday, Albania Daily News reported. Read more.
Hydropower-based Albania launches first wind energy tender. Albania launched its first tender on Monday for the construction of utility-scale on-shore wind power plants, with a total capacity of 100 MW with the aim of diversifying its hydroelectric production capacity.
Albania produces more than 99% of its energy from hydroelectric power, with its main plant located in the northern part of the Dorini River. The country is thus vulnerable to seasonal changes and relies on expensive and high-emission imports of electricity. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)
- France: French President Emmanuel Macron to meet European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti on Wednesday afternoon.
- France: EU Commission chief von der Leyen visits to launch Covid recovery plan
- Belgium: UN Secretary-General Guterres meets EU chief von der Leyen, other commissioners
- Italy: Prime Minister Mario Draghi will report to parliament Wednesday afternoon, ahead of the European Council on 24 and 25 June.
- Germany: Economy Minister Peter Altmaier will travel to the US as the first federal minister since US President Biden took office.
- Germany: New round of Libya peace talks in Berlin
- Greece: Main opposition leader Alexis Tsipras is visiting Brussels to meet politicians from the EU socialist party, the Left as well as Greens.
- Poland: 33rd session of the Sejm of the 9th parliamentary term
- Slovenia: Foreign Minister Anže Logar will participate in a virtual session of the Central European Initiative.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Paula Kenny, Zoran Radosavljevic, Josie LeBlond]