Sarah Lawton

Germany’s Seehofer cautiously optimistic on EU asylum reform

Germany said on Tuesday (7 July) it wants EU nations to overcome a deadlock on how to handle refugees and migrants this year, and Interior Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) expressed "justified confidence" that a deal can be found. EURACTIV Germany reports.

European justice ministers promise to combat disinformation and racism

Rule of law as a priority of the German EU Council presidency was an open secret long before the programme was presented. Thus, it was only fitting that the first Council meeting chaired by Germany was that of the ministers of justice. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Green MEP: Migration pact could enshrine injustice in law

About a year ago, German captain Carola Rackete was arrested for docking 53 people rescued from a shipwrecked vessel in the port of Lampedusa, against the instructions of the Italian authorities. MEP Erik Marquardt spoke with EURACTIV Germany about what has changed since then and the role of civil society and politics.

A migration pact in the spirit of the German government?

For the first time since 2015, the number of asylum applications filed in the EU rose last year compared to the previous year. The German EU Council Presidency is pressing for reforms to the system, but the Commission's proposals are still some way off. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Agrifood 01-07-2020

Only slight improvements in German nitrate levels

This week, Germany must report the nitrate levels of its groundwater to the European Commission. According to media reports, the trend is slightly positive but even the Commission admits that a comparison with other EU countries is difficult. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Energy 25-06-2020

German cabinet approves final ‘Coal Phase-out Act’

The German cabinet put the finishing touches to its Coal Phase-out Act on Wednesday (24 June), aiming for the draft package of laws to clear the Bundestag before the summer break, unless the European Commission decides to strike it down. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 24-06-2020

Wirecard Scandal: Former CEO Markus Braun let out on bail

Almost €2 billion are missing from the balance sheets of Wirecard, a German financial services provider. Markus Braun, CEO of the company until last week, was released on bail on Tuesday afternoon (23 June) after a night in custody. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 23-06-2020

Scholz and Le Maire present a united front on digital and corporate taxation

Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and his French counterpart Bruno Le Maire (LREM) are confident that the current OECD negotiations on international tax systems will be concluded by the end of 2020. EURACTIV Germany reports.

EU recovery fund leaves €1.6 trillion investment gap towards climate targets, experts say

Calculations by experts now show that the EU's planned economic rescue package, worth €750 billion, is nowhere near enough to achieve the bloc's climate targets. Even in the best-case scenario, only one-third of the costs would be covered. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Energy 18-06-2020

IEA: States should invest $3 trillion in sustainable energy

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has presented its COVID-19 economic programme to facilitate the transition to an environmentally friendly energy economy. In doing so, it has distanced itself unusually clearly from the fossil market and is focusing entirely on renewables. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Politics 18-06-2020

Merkel presents plans for EU Council Presidency in the Bundestag

In her Bundestag speech on Thursday (18 June), Merkel presented her plans for the Presidency of the EU Council. Once again, Berlin is facing a crisis and must find a balance between decisiveness and tact. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Data protection 17-06-2020

German data protection commissioner criticises government agencies, legislative procedures

Ulrich Kelber (SPD) rarely shies away from criticising his own government in his role as Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (BfDI). During the presentation of his annual reports, he pointed out hasty procedures where data protection is at risk. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 17-06-2020

German finance minister defends borrowing for economic stimulus package

For once, Germany is not shying away from debt to overcome a crisis. With the second supplementary budget, the state's additional borrowing due to the coronavirus is raised to a total of €218.5 billion. But criticism is coming from the German Taxpayers' Federation. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Future EU 17-06-2020

Trio-presidency programme: A relay with a German sprint

Germany, Portugal and Slovenia presented their joint EU presidency programme for the next 18 months on Tuesday (16 June), seeking to focus primarily on social recovery in the wake of the pandemic. Despite expectations, the 31 pages are otherwise filled with little substance. EURACTIV Germany reports. 
Digital 16-06-2020

German government presents ‘best coronavirus tracing app worldwide’

The German 'Corona-Warn-App' is here, and the government gave it the hard sell when ministers presented it on Tuesday (16 June), EURACTIV Germany reports.
Digital 16-06-2020

Digital diplomacy: States go online

Digitalisation does not stop at diplomacy. Embassies are increasingly communicating via Twitter, foreign ministries are evaluating data, and in the coronavirus crisis, heads of state are negotiating via video conference. This could have consequences for global politics. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Coronavirus 15-06-2020

German government takes a stake in vaccine developer CureVac

In the global race for a coronavirus vaccine, the German government is investing €300 million and acquiring a stake in the biotech company CureVac, regarded as one of the leaders in the development of a vaccine in Germany. EURACTIV Germany reports.

Renewable energy capacity at record level worldwide in 2019

The share of renewable energies in global electricity generation increased again last year. Capacity financed by investments was even at a record level in 2019, according to a recent report on global investments in renewables. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Health 10-06-2020

District league club plants trees to combat economic impact of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has plunged football clubs into crisis, and to stay afloat, they had to get creative. KSV Eschenrod, a district league club, started a project that benefits both the club and the climate with great success. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Air Quality 10-06-2020

Number of German cities with poor air quality more than halved in 2019

Air quality in Germany is getting better. Last year, only 25 instead of 57 cities exceeded the limit values for nitrogen dioxide. However, experts are warning this is based on short-term effects and suggest now is the time to rethink transport. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Aviation 10-06-2020

The green compromise in the Austrian Airlines bailout

After weeks of negotiations, it is now set: Austrian Airlines (AUA) is saved from insolvency by the Black-Green government. For the Greens, who are in a governing coalition in Austria for the first time, it was a difficult litmus test. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Politics 09-06-2020

Strong public support for CDU/CSU, but questions remain on Merkel’s successor

Around three months after the outbreak of COVID-19 in Germany, public approval of the Christian Democrats (CDU/CSU) and confidence in Chancellor Angela Merkel remain high.  Nevertheless, Merkel is still ruling out a fifth term in office. So how does it look for her potential successors? EURACTIV Germany reports.
Economy & Jobs 04-06-2020

Germany’s €130bn stimulus package praised by all sides

After 21 hours of negotiations spread over two days, Germany's grand coalition came to an agreement on the €130 billion economic stimulus package close to midnight on Wednesday (3 June). The result has been received surprisingly positively by all sides. EURACTIV Germany reports.
Electricity 04-06-2020

RWE-E.ON deal will run smaller firms out of the market, green power boss claims

The European Commission’s decision to approve an agreement between Germany’s big power firms risks distorting energy market competition, according to the head of another company, who explained to EURACTIV Germany why he has started legal action.
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