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In today’s Capitals news:
Foreign ministers from five Central European states met in Vienna and insisted that lines of communication with Russia remain open through the OSCE to smooth the path to peace in Ukraine. Learn more.
Schengen: How Europe is ruining its “crown jewel”. One of Europe’s flagship projects is stalled. The passport-free Schengen area is under constant attack from a growing number of countries that maintain or have reintroduced internal border controls, citing concerns over migration or terrorism. Learn more.
Metsola wants Ukraine’s accession negotiations to start by the end of the year. Formal negotiations on the accession of Ukraine and Moldova to the European Union should begin by the end of the year, according to the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Mesola, who called on member states not to not “disappoint millions of people”. Learn more.
The Mayor in France: It is time to favor European industrial products and abandon “obsolete dogmas”. European industrial products must benefit from preferential treatment across the continent, which requires getting rid of “obsolete dogmas”, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told journalists on Wednesday, making his “political fight” in the run-up to the European elections. Learn more.
France’s agreements with Australia and Canada constitute a giant step forward for the EU’s “raw materials diplomacy”. France’s signing of raw materials agreements with Canada and Australia constitutes a major step forward for European “raw materials diplomacy”, the French Energy Ministry said on Wednesday. Learn more.
Germany lifts blockade on EU migration agreement. The German government will drop its opposition to controversial parts of the EU migration deal, despite fierce opposition from the ruling Greens, who say the move would threaten Europe’s “constitutional state”. Learn more.
Belgian Parliament approves negotiations on investigation into sexual abuse in church. Flemish political parties agreed on Wednesday to discuss the creation of a parliamentary commission of inquiry into sexual abuse in the church, following a request from the Vooruit party (S&D). Learn more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
STOCKHOLM | OSLO
Norway offers Sweden help to combat growing gang violence. Norway and Sweden must work together in the face of growing gang-related violence in Sweden, which is already spreading across the border, Norwegian Justice Minister Emilie Enger Mehl said on Wednesday, meeting her counterpart Swedish in Stockholm. Learn more.
ROME | PARIS | BERLIN
Italy, France and Germany agree on a common approach to the migration crisis. Italy, France and Germany have agreed on a common line to tackle the current migration crisis in Italy, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, French President Emmanuel Macron and the German Chancellor said on Wednesday Olaf Scholz. Berlin should support the Italian line. Learn more.
The leader of the PP fails in his first attempt to become Spanish Prime Minister. The leader of the center-right Partido Popular, Alberto Núñez Feijóo, failed on Wednesday in his first attempt in Parliament to become Spain’s next prime minister, although he will have one last chance on Friday, which is also likely to fail. Learn more.
Polish Senator: Russian coal continues to flow to Poland. Russian coal continues to arrive in Poland, although the latter was one of the first countries to call for a boycott of Russian natural resources, according to recordings released by Senator Krzysztof Brejza. Learn more.
Czechia approves purchase of F-35 fighter jets. The Czech government has approved the purchase of 24 F-35 fighter jets, adding to a growing group of European countries awaiting delivery of these advanced aircraft. Learn more.
Progressive Slovakia becomes target of AI disinformation, tops in polls. Social media giants Facebook and YouTube have not reacted to two posts by the far-right Republika party in which AI is used to imitate the voice of progressive leader Michal Šimečka and spread lies, as a plan to increase of the price of beer. Learn more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Romania used unconventional means to pressure Austria to lift its Schengen veto. Austria maintains its veto to prevent Romania from joining the Schengen border-free zone, impacting Romanian leaders, who are now seeking alternative solutions “to the diplomatic route” amid Euroscepticism in the country continues to grow. Learn more.
Romanian Social Democrats are reluctant to recognize same-sex marriage. Romania’s ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) is reluctant to pass a law recognizing same-sex marriage, despite the Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights calling on Romania to urgently amend its laws. Learn more.
Bulgaria is scrapping an 800 million euro green energy storage megapark. The massive 800 million euro project to build a battery park to store “green” electricity, included in the country’s recovery plan and one of the largest in the world, has been abandoned, it was announced on Wednesday the government. Learn more.
Slovenia will send more police officers to the border with Croatia. Slovenia has decided to send more troops to its border with Croatia, just weeks after increasing police presence in a specific area along the border and refusing to rule out a full reintroduction of police checks at the border interior of the EU. Learn more.
Kosovo publishes ‘evidence’ of Serbian state involvement in attack on northern Kosovo. The Kosovo government has released two pieces of evidence that Serbia was behind what the EU called a “terrorist attack” in northern Kosovo over the weekend, calling on the international community to act . Learn more.
Albania is challenging EU foreign policy on Kosovo and Serbia for the first time. Albania has declared for the first time that it does not align with the European Union’s foreign policy statements regarding the ongoing EU-facilitated dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, given the recent terrorist attack in northern Kosovo. Learn more.
- EU: Justice and Home Affairs Council meets to discuss asylum and migration, cooperation with Latin America, and more;
- Commission President Ursula von der Leyen takes part in the EPP Group study days in Split, Croatia; Meets Prime Minister Andrej Plenković;
- Vice-President Vĕra Jourová received Minister of Justice of the Republic of Moldova Veronica Mihailov-Moraru;
- Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson participates in the 3rd trilogue on hydrogen/gas regulations; Delivers a keynote speech at the European Heat Pump Association event “Advancing REPowerEU in a HeatBeat: the Heat Pump Accelerator”;
- Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton delivers a speech at the first government-industry conference on roadmaps to new nuclear power, organized by the Ministry of Energy Transition and the Nuclear Energy Agency (AEN) , In Paris in France ; Participates in the IEA High Level Meeting on Securing Critical Minerals for a Clean Energy Future; Meets with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, Yasutoshi Nishimura;
- The Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, on an official visit to Moldova; Meeting with Minister of the Interior Adrian Efros; Visit an accommodation center for refugees, supported by humanitarian projects financed by DG ECHO;
- Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius delivers a speech at the 5th International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM5);
- Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski participates in a high-level conference on the long-term vision for rural areas, in Sigüenza, Guadalajara, Spain;
- Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz receives Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev; Defense Minister Boris Pistorius and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant sign the declaration of intent on the ARROW missile defense project; Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock and her Italian counterpart Antonio Tajani hold a press conference;
- Swiss: Scientists publish an annual report on the state of Swiss glaciers.
- Finland: Foreign Minister Elina Valtonen and her French counterpart Catherine Colonna hold a press conference;
(Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara)