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In today’s Capitals news:
The EU’s top center-right leaders last week put an end to “dangerous” accusations suggesting that the European People’s Party (EPP) is a “climate denier” or that it is considering a post-election coalition with the far right, the general secretary of the party. Thanasis Bakolas told Euractiv in an exclusive interview, adding that pro-European forces such as socialists should come back to reality and work on an agenda for European citizens. Learn more.
RSF: Malta and Poland remain “vague” on the safety of journalists. EU member states are still lagging behind when it comes to concrete measures to protect journalists, two years after a relevant recommendation from the European Commission, according to a Reporters Without Borders (RSF) report seen by Euractiv. Learn more.
Le Pen hails Salvini’s previous anti-immigration efforts, attacking Meloni. By welcoming the efforts of Matteo Salvini in the fight against immigration when he was Italian Minister of the Interior, the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen once again attacks the head of the Italian government, Giorgia Meloni, whose country has been facing a massive influx of migrants in recent days. . Learn more.
European Buildings Directive: Germany says it is ready to put an end to stricter standards. German ministers have stepped up their criticism of proposed EU building regulations, with Housing Minister Klara Geywitz (SPD/S&D) making clear her opposition to mandatory renovations after Finance Minister Christian Lindner (FDP /Renew) made similar comments. Learn more.
Austria will start carrying out checks at the border with Italy. In what can be seen as a further blow to the EU’s visa-free Schengen zone, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer has announced plans to begin restricting freedom of travel to the country from Italy. Learn more.
Dutch Defense Ministry official arrested for circumventing Russian sanctions. The Dutch Tax Information and Investigation Service (FIOD) has arrested a Defense Ministry official accused of evading EU sanctions against Russia by exporting aircraft spare parts to Russia via third countries, the government agency announced on Friday. Learn more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Lithuanian Social Democrats win by-elections. Matas Skamarakas, from the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party (LSDP, S&D), was elected deputy for the Raseinių-Kėdainių constituency in the Lithuanian parliament on Sunday. Learn more.
The “newcomer” wins the first round of left-wing elections in Greece. Stefanos Kasselakis, a 35-year-old businessman, the latest entrant in the race for the leadership of the main Greek opposition party Syriza, won the first round of internal elections on Sunday, with 45% of the vote. A crucial second round is planned for next week, in an apparent context of “ideological war” within the party which is expected to intensify. Learn more.
Von der Leyen and Meloni differ on their views on migration. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s priorities are to block departures, also through a European naval mission, and to speed up repatriations, while European Commission head Ursula von der Leyen stressed the need for legal channels and humanitarian corridors to defeat traffickers during a joint press conference in Lampedusa. Learn more.
The Spanish Parliament will hold its first ever fully multilingual session. The Spanish Parliament will hold its first fully multilingual session on Tuesday, with interpreters in Catalan, Basque and Galician – one of the non-negotiable “red lines” set by Catalan separatist parties for them to consider negotiations to reinstate Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez. Learn more.
Only Poles decide, Weber says amid allegations of election interference. Only Poles can determine the future of their country in the upcoming October elections, European People’s Party (EPP) leader Manfred Weber said after Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party accused him of trying to illegally influence the people’s choices. Learn more.
ALDE fact-finding mission on Czech ANO party canceled. Tensions have flared between the Czech ANO party and the European liberal ALDE party, with ANO abruptly canceling a planned visit by ALDE representatives to check whether the Czech member party still adheres to liberal principles. Learn more.
Candidates in Slovak elections withdraw following bad behavior. Incidents of verbal and physical violence forced candidates to withdraw ahead of Slovakia’s September 30 snap elections: one candidate punched a passerby during a campaign stop and another sent text messages to a student promising to ” decapitate the progressives.” Learn more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Bulgarian farmers must pressure the government to ban imports of Ukrainian grain. Bulgarian grain producers are preparing to block main roads in Sofia to pressure the government to change its position and ban agricultural imports from Ukraine. Learn more.
Local authorities criticize the Romanian government’s decision to abandon European funding for hospitals. Romania’s Health Ministry has abandoned six of the 27 hospitals initially planned to be upgraded or expanded as part of the country’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan, with local officials either saying the government has failed to assess the state of projects, or that they do everything they can. to meet project deadlines. Learn more.
Berne Convention: Vlora airport dispute will make its way into EU accession negotiations. The steering committee of the Convention for the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats, or Berne Convention, has called on the Albanian government to suspend the construction of Vlora airport, saying the issue would feature in negotiations for membership of the EU. Learn more.
- EU: The 78th session of the UN General Assembly takes place; EU priorities include accelerating the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, creating global partnerships, and more; Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends the 2023 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Summit in New York, USA;
- The Agriculture and Fisheries Council meets to discuss the Soil Health Directive, the EU’s long-term vision for rural areas, the UN food systems, and more;
- The informal meeting of Education and Youth Ministers focuses on how to foster political engagement among young people, supporting students in vulnerable situations, and much more;
- Commission Vice-President Vĕra Jourová takes part in the high-level digital dialogue between the EU and China. Meeting of representatives of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China;
- Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides holds video conference with Ukrainian Health Minister Viktor Liashko;
- The Parliamentary Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (AGRI) exchanges views with the Commission on the European manufacturing process for biodiesel and the rules applicable to its import;
- Spanish Finance Minister Nadia Calviño, Defense Minister Margarita Robles and Agriculture Minister Luis Planas are expected to present the priorities of Madrid’s EU presidency to the European Parliament this week;
- Russia: Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov receives his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi;
- Indonesia: ASEAN bloc to hold first joint military exercises in northern Natuna Sea;
(Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara)