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Top German adviser cautious about possible WTO legal action against US – EURACTIV.com

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The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, with on-the-ground reporting from EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

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In today’s Capitals news:


Filing a complaint against the United States for its massive green subsidy campaign in the form of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) with the World Trade Organization (WTO) could ultimately do more harm than good , despite strong criticism that this violates WTO rules, Monika Schnitzer, president of the German Council of Economic Experts, told Euractiv. Learn more.



The European Commission is pushing ahead with its draft law on foreign lobbying amid growing concerns. The European Commission is pushing ahead with plans to pass a new law modeled on the US Foreign Agents Act, in a bid to combat Russian and Chinese influence, despite warnings that the bill could end up hitting more civil society groups and foreign regimes. Learn more.



Green transition: French SMEs call for help in the face of the “regulatory tsunami”. French small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are ready to fight climate change as long as there is no “regulatory tsunami”, warned the French Federation of SMEs before the introduction of new European requirements in terms of extra-financial reporting. Learn more.



Germany is banking on Kazakhstan and Central Asia to put pressure on Russia. Kazakhstan’s support is vital for enforcing sanctions against Russia and ending the war, Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Wednesday during his meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Berlin, as countries from EU seeks to conquer Central Asia as a key geopolitical ally. Learn more.



Austria proposes policy areas for “gradual” integration of the Western Balkans. Austria has made a new effort to support EU enlargement to the Western Balkans, citing possible policy areas to advance “gradual integration”, according to a non-paper prepared for the EU’s informal summit in next week in Granada, consulted by Euractiv. Learn more.



Belgian Green MPs table a proposal for abortion reform. A bill aimed at reforming Belgian legislation on abortion, in particular by extending the legal period for abortion and decriminalizing it, was tabled on Thursday by two Ecolo-Verts (EELV) deputies. Learn more.



The Netherlands tops the list of European importers of third-country products linked to deforestation. The Netherlands is the EU’s largest importer of products at high risk of deforestation from third countries, including soy, palm oil and cocoa, national statistics agency CBS reported on Thursday. Learn more.

Amsterdam: Falling childhood vaccination rates are causing headaches. Amsterdam’s declining child vaccination rate is raising concerns among policymakers, who are still wondering whether the trend is linked to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more.



Finland begins 24-hour border controls to prevent Russian cars from crossing into Norway. To enforce sanctions against Russia, Finland has launched 24-hour border controls to prevent Russian vehicles from entering its territory via the six cross-border routes from Norway. Learn more.



Sweden’s former prime minister is open to using the military to combat gang violence. Magdalena Andersson, Sweden’s former prime minister and leader of the Social Democratic opposition, is open to using the military to combat gang violence, she said Thursday, as the number of related deaths to gangs continues to increase in the country. Learn more.



Lithuania ready to welcome migrants from Italy. Lithuania is ready to welcome migrants who entered Italy illegally if the European Union solidarity mechanism is activated, Prime Minister Ingrida Šimonytė said on Thursday. Learn more.



Sánchez asks European socialists to follow the “Spanish example” to stop the far right in June 2024. European Socialists (S&D) are encouraged to follow the example set by Spain in the snap parliamentary elections on July 23 and to stop the far right in the European elections of June 2024, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Thursday during a meeting with the S&D in Madrid. Learn more.



Rome accepts Berlin’s compromise proposal on the migration crisis and wants to have time to read it. Italy has asked for time to examine the compromise proposal put forward by Germany on the European Pact on Migrants, presented on Thursday at the meeting of interior ministers in Brussels. Learn more.



Malta’s MEP candidate warns von der Leyen against visiting ‘falsely’ renovated school. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is due to visit Malta on Friday but has been warned not to fall prey to Maltese government propaganda after announcing a trip to a government-funded primary school EU, hastily repaired but still unfinished. Learn more.



Slovakia: crucial elections amid fears of the return of pro-Russian nationalists. Slovakia is on the cusp of crucial parliamentary elections scheduled for Saturday, with a campaign that has highlighted the deep divide between nationalist sentiments, represented by former socialist Prime Minister Robert Fico, and the forces of liberalism embodied by the Slovakia party progressive. Learn more.

The Slovak government is preventing the majority of EU funds from being spent. The Slovak government has significantly reduced the risk of unspent EU funds, reducing it from 800 million euros to 100 million euros, redirecting much of it towards crisis management, according to Prime Minister Ľudovít Ódor. Learn more.



Tusk organizes another opposition march before the elections. Opposition leader and former European Council president Donald Tusk has organized a new million-hearts anti-government march – just two weeks before national parliamentary elections – after at least 300,000 participants attended the last walk in June. Learn more.



Changes in the EU decision-making process are not possible before the elections, says a Czech expert. Countries opposed to EU reform but seeking Ukraine to join the EU will quickly realize that they must accept the adjustment of EU decision-making procedures, as no change is possible until then. the 2024 European elections, believes Czech expert Jan Kovář, deputy director of research at the Institute of International Relations, told Euractiv.cz. Learn more.



Bulgaria will continue to use Russian oil as long as possible. The Bulgarian Parliament has abandoned plans to ban the import of Russian oil by the end of this year and decided that this should happen by the end of October 2024. Learn more.



Romanians could travel visa-free to the United States by 2025, the ambassador said. Romania is expected to participate in the visa waiver program in 2025, said Romanian Ambassador to the United States Andrei Muraru, which was confirmed by Kathleen Kavalec, US Ambassador to Bucharest, who added that Romanians would benefit from visa-free travel to Bucharest. in the United States by 2025 “at the earliest.” Learn more.



The Bosnian Serb entity adopts the law on “foreign agents”, denounced by the EU. The National Assembly of the Serb half of Bosnia-Herzegovina on Thursday adopted a bill on “foreign agents” targeting foreign-funded NGOs, despite criticism from the opposition, civil society and the EU. Learn more.



Albanian Prime Minister steps up criticism of EU and steps up calls for action against Serbia. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama joined criticism of EU envoy for Kosovo-Serbia dialogue Miroslav Lajcak and foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, calling on the European Commission to take action regarding the murder of a Kosovo policeman and the day of mourning called by Belgrade after the murder of a Kosovo policeman. death of terrorist suspects. Learn more.


  • EU: An informal meeting of ministers responsible for cohesion policy takes place in Murcia, Spain; Agenda highlights include EU enlargement, open strategic autonomy (OSA), and more;
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends the Southern European Union Summit (MED-9) in Malta; Holds meetings with President George Vella, Prime Minister Robert Abela;
  • Vice President Vĕra Jourová holds video conference with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo;
  • Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarčič takes part in the signing ceremony of the agreement allowing Moldova to join the Union Civil Protection Mechanism (UCPM);
  • Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders participates in the 2nd Trinational Conversations on the Rule of Law, in Leipzig, Germany;
  • Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius attends Our Baltic conference; Makes an opening statement, and more;
  • Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson participates in the IEA-ECB-EIB high-level international conference on “Ensuring an orderly energy transition”;
  • Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton visits the premises of the European Council for Nuclear Research (CERN);
  • Germany: Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomes leaders of five Central Asian countries for talks;


(Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara)

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