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Before you start reading today’s edition of Capitals, be sure to take a look at Turkey’s Resistance to Sweden’s and Finland’s NATO Membership by Alexandra Brzozowski.
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In today’s news from the capitals:
EU waiting room countries such as Albania, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia have mostly made no real progress in reducing corruption and improving democracy over the past four years, fundamental prerequisites for EU membership.
The plight of the Western Balkan countries was in the spotlight at the recent EU-Western Balkans summit in Brussels. Angry regional leaders took to the stage to point fingers at the EU, its lack of unity, its broken promises, and even accused the EU of not having its own house in order.
While some of their frustrations were justified, EURACTIV wanted to take a closer look at how far they have come in recent years in terms of internal management.
The results are far from impressive. Read more.
EU SPECIAL REPORT
The Ukrainian “paradox” of Warsaw: the Polish capital’s long road to recovery. Inflation and war in neighboring Ukraine have hampered efforts to rebuild the Polish capital after the pandemic while tackling long-standing challenges in the city center – depopulation and soaring property prices .
Yet industry representatives point out that “paradoxically” the Ukrainian refugee crisis has presented new opportunities for Warsaw’s struggling hospitality industry. Read more.
EU body brings overseas regions closer to Brussels. The Committee of the Regions, an advisory body representing local and regional authorities, will place a citizen from the remote outermost regions of the bloc at the head of an EU institution – a historic first. Read the full story here.
The German Scholz rallies the G7 countries behind the idea of a “climate club”. G7 countries have backed German Chancellor Olaf Sholz’s idea of creating a climate club of ambitious countries to accelerate their efforts, which is seen as complementary to the EU border carbon tax. Lily the full story here.
The Court condemns the French State for its mismanagement of COVID. The Paris administrative court condemned the government on Tuesday for not having sufficient stocks of masks and for the contradictory statements it made about the virus at the start of the pandemic. Read more.
Austria will facilitate access to the labor market for third-country nationals. Faced with a serious shortage of skilled workers, Austria will facilitate access to the labor market for third-country nationals by revamping the so-called “red-white-red card” residence system. Read more.
The Dutch coast is experiencing a rapid rise in sea level. Sea levels along the Dutch coast are rising rapidly, scientists from the Delft University of Technology have found. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
The UK will not join Macron’s “political community”. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Tuesday ruled out the prospect of the UK becoming part of a “European political community” proposed by French President Emmanuel Macron after it was suggested Prime Minister Boris Johnson was interested in to join. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Finland to expand abortion rights following Roe vs. Wade. An initiative to ease abortion requirements in Finland is gaining momentum as the Nordic country gains cross-party support to change its abortion law since the early 1970s. Read more.
The Commission supports the Italian LGBTQI law proposal rejected by Parliament. The European Commission has given its backing to Alessandro Zan’s anti-homophobia bill which was rejected by the Italian parliament in October, EU Equality Commissioner Helena Dalli announced on Twitter after meeting lawmakers in Brussels on Tuesday. Read more.
The Portuguese Prime Minister calls on the United Nations conference on the oceans to produce “drastic actions”. The United Nations Ocean Conference, due to be held until Friday in Lisbon, is expected to define “drastic actions” to deal with the ocean emergency, Prime Minister António Costa tweeted on Tuesday after meeting the Secretary-General of the UN António Guterres in Lisbon. Read more.
Central and Eastern European energy hub to coordinate EU gas supply. The new Prague-based Central East Regional Task Force, established within the EU’s Voluntary Energy Platform set up to secure energy supply and phase out dependence on Russia, identify bottlenecks in gas supply in the region and propose urgent solutions. Read more.
Slovaks are worried about climate change but don’t want a drastic change in lifestyle. Most Slovaks view climate change as a serious threat but reject solutions that would drastically affect their lives, according to a new survey. Read more.
Croatian commissioner admits inflation ‘probably’ means fewer COVID stimulus projects. While the size of the EU’s COVID stimulus support is likely to remain the same despite inflation, rising prices are expected to lead to fewer projects than initially expected, Croatian Commissioner Dubravka Šuica said. Read more.
Bulgaria raises pensions amid political crisis. Parliament has passed a proposal by the ousted government of Prime Minister Kiril Petkov to raise pensions by 10% as Bulgaria heads for its fourth snap election in less than two years. Read more.
EU official urges Serbia to join bloc position vis-à-vis Russia. The European Union wants the Western Balkan countries to join its unified position on Russian aggression, including on sanctions, Emanuele Giauffret, head of the EU delegation to Serbia, said on Tuesday, adding that the war in Ukraine had made the enlargement process even more difficult. important geostrategic priority. Read more.
The Council of Europe calls on Bosnia to strengthen access to justice for victims of trafficking. Bosnia and Herzegovina should improve the implementation of the anti-trafficking framework, particularly with regard to victims’ access to justice and effective remedies, the Council of Experts Group has said. Action against Human Beings (GRETA) in its third evaluation report published on Tuesday, where it also welcomed the legislative and policy developments that the country has taken in this area so far. Read more.
The visit of the EU representative to Pristina hits the mark. Nothing new came out of the meeting between EU Special Representative Miroslav Lajcak and Prime Minister Albin Kurti, during which the two discussed EU-facilitated dialogue and a recent energy deal between Serbia and Kosovo. Read more.
Albania ranks seventh in the world for cultivation and distribution of cannabis. Albania is the seventh largest cannabis grower in the world, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s World Drug Report 2022. Read more.
- EU: Meeting of the College of the European Commission.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will attend the NATO summit.
- Vice-President Dubravka Šuica receives Ukrainian Minister for Social Policy Maryna Volodymyrivna Lazebna.
- France: Verdict of the trial of the November 2015 attacks in Paris.
- Court of Appeal to rule on the extradition of former Italian far-left activists wanted by Italy.
- Publication of the annual report of the High Council for Climate (HCC).
- Portugal: March for the climate during the United Nations conference on the oceans.
- Spain: NATO Summit.
- Anti-NATO demonstration.
- Serbia: Miroslav Lajčak, EU Special Envoy for Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue and other regional issues in the Western Balkans, will pay a three-day visit to Belgrade.
- Montenegro: Prime Minister Dritan Abazović visits Serbia.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Eleonora Vasques]