Eu accession – Westie Lovers http://westielovers.com/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 14:04:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://westielovers.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/cropped-icon-32x32.png Eu accession – Westie Lovers http://westielovers.com/ 32 32 the government’s “ultimate goal” is to join the EU https://westielovers.com/the-governments-ultimate-goal-is-to-join-the-eu/ Wed, 14 Sep 2022 14:04:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/the-governments-ultimate-goal-is-to-join-the-eu/ Maka Botchorishvili, chairwoman of the European Union Integration Committee of the Georgian parliament, said on Tuesday that the “ultimate goal” of the Georgian authorities was to see the country join the EU, and that the “most important” was to make “rapid progress” on This path. In his remarks on the matter, Botchorishvili noted that the […]]]>

Maka Botchorishvili, chairwoman of the European Union Integration Committee of the Georgian parliament, said on Tuesday that the “ultimate goal” of the Georgian authorities was to see the country join the EU, and that the “most important” was to make “rapid progress” on This path.

In his remarks on the matter, Botchorishvili noted that the group of members of the European Parliament who “actively support” Georgia’s EU membership is “quite large”.

“The group of MEPs who actively support the idea of ​​Georgia joining the European Union and who are ready to contribute to this process is quite large. Of course, the question of the implementation of the [EU] conditions is relevant, because it is a kind of guide for Georgia to make further progress in its relations with the European Union,” said the head of parliament.

With our European colleagues, we discuss how this process is going, the challenges we face in this process and how we can succeed together so that Georgia receives the status of a candidate country. Our ultimate goal is to join the European Union, and the most important thing is that we move quickly on the road to joining the European Union,” she concluded.

Josep Borrell, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, said on Tuesday that implementing the 12-point conditions for obtaining candidate status for EU membership was not only the job of the Georgian government but that “everyone”, including citizens, should stand together to implement the recommendations.

On 24 June, the European Council granted candidate status to Ukraine and Moldova, and declared that it would be ready to grant the same status to Georgia once the outstanding priorities were defined by the European Commission would be handled by the Georgian government.

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EU extends olive branch to Liz Truss with offer to reduce Irish Sea trade controls https://westielovers.com/eu-extends-olive-branch-to-liz-truss-with-offer-to-reduce-irish-sea-trade-controls/ Mon, 12 Sep 2022 22:51:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/eu-extends-olive-branch-to-liz-truss-with-offer-to-reduce-irish-sea-trade-controls/ Talks on a revised protocol, which the government says has had a chilling effect on trade, have been deadlocked since February. So far, the Commission has refused a full renegotiation of border arrangements, insisting instead that talks must focus on its package from last October. Mr Sefcovic is said to be keen to resume negotiations […]]]>

Talks on a revised protocol, which the government says has had a chilling effect on trade, have been deadlocked since February.

So far, the Commission has refused a full renegotiation of border arrangements, insisting instead that talks must focus on its package from last October.

Mr Sefcovic is said to be keen to resume negotiations before next month’s deadline to avoid another election in Stormont.

With the DUP refusing to form a new decentralized administration in NI, an interim government is in place but must be dissolved by October 28 unless a new executive is formed.

The Secretary of State for NI is then obliged to call new elections within three months or by January 19 at the latest.

“I would also prefer to work around the tight deadlines as I am fully aware of the dates which will be arriving by the end of October,” he told the FT.

But the EC has yet to hear from Britain’s next Brexit negotiator, after Liz Truss, who held the post while foreign minister, became prime minister, a source said.

Mr Sefcovic said he was “encouraged” by Ms Truss’ recent remarks about her desire for a negotiated solution.

However, progress is unlikely as long as the government’s NI protocol bill, which will give ministers the power to unilaterally cancel the border deal, is still on the table.

Brussels called the legislation a breach of international law and urged the government to abandon the move.

The Commission responded by blocking Britain’s membership of the bloc’s Horizon research programme, agreed as part of the post-Brexit trade and cooperation deal.

“We need to make sure that the most important agreements are now respected before we start negotiating another one,” Mr Sefcovic said.

He also claimed that the Commission had reached out to the United States in hopes of securing a potential investment in NI.

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King Charles has tears in his eyes as he thanks the crowd at Buckingham Palace after the proclamation | Politics | New https://westielovers.com/king-charles-has-tears-in-his-eyes-as-he-thanks-the-crowd-at-buckingham-palace-after-the-proclamation-politics-new/ Sat, 10 Sep 2022 08:01:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/king-charles-has-tears-in-his-eyes-as-he-thanks-the-crowd-at-buckingham-palace-after-the-proclamation-politics-new/ Leading politicians, bishops and royals led by Prime Minister Liz Truss came together this morning to present the first televised version of an age-old tradition. In an event steeped in history and the pomp and circumstance of the British state, the Membership Council made up of around 200 of the 700 Privy Councilors – Britain’s […]]]>

Leading politicians, bishops and royals led by Prime Minister Liz Truss came together this morning to present the first televised version of an age-old tradition. In an event steeped in history and the pomp and circumstance of the British state, the Membership Council made up of around 200 of the 700 Privy Councilors – Britain’s most senior politicians – met this morning in the State Apartments of St James’s Palace to confirm the new King in his absence. The event, which was broadcast live for the first time, has not been seen for more than seven decades since King Charles’ late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, was proclaimed after the death of her father George VI. Attendees included former prime ministers David Cameron, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, Tony Blair and Gordon Brown. Labor Minister Lord Mandelson, Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and former Liberal Democrat Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also attended.

The event was chaired by Lord President of the Council Penny Mordaunt, who was only appointed on Tuesday less than 48 hours before the Queen died.

High-profile figures including new Queen Consort Camilla and Prince William, who is now the Prince of Wales, were dealt with and took their places at the head of the council.

The Clerk of the Council then made the proclamation which was signed by the principal Privy Councillors, including the Prime Minister and the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.

Privy Councilors are appointed to advise the monarch and are made up of current and former cabinet members as well as the Leader of the Opposition and former holders of this title.

Reading the text of the proclamation, the Clerk of the Council said: “Whereas it has pleased Almighty God to call to His mercy our late Sovereign Queen Elizabeth II of blessed and glorious memory, through the passing of which the crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland belongs solely and rightly to Prince Charles Philip Arthur George.

It ended centuries of Privy Council meetings held out of public view and, for the first time, the public saw the monarch giving his approval to state orders, including the delivery of his own proclamation in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast.

The King made his declaration and read and signed an oath to maintain the security of the Church in Scotland and to approve the Orders in Council which facilitate the continuity of government.

The modern status of the Proclamation comes from the Act of Union 1707 which also included the oath to maintain the security of the Church of Scotland because the monarch is the official head of the Church of England.

When Scotland became a United Kingdom with England, it was feared that the national Presbyterian faith would be superseded there.

There are two copies of the oath signed by the king, one remaining in England and a second sent to Edinburgh.

However, the tradition dates back as far as the Saxon kings before the Norman Conquest, when leading men gathered and decided who was the true listener of the god King Woden.

Charles made his personal statement about the death of his “beloved mother”, who passed away peacefully at the age of 96 at Balmoral on Thursday.

He paid tribute to the late queen, spoke of the grief his family is going through and pledged to take on the task ahead and the “heavy responsibilities of sovereignty”.

Charles’s speech came in the poignant and somber second part of the ceremony – when the proceedings took place in the palace’s throne room – and was effectively the king holding his first Privy Council meeting.

A number of procedural matters were settled, including the King approving the day of the late Queen’s state funeral, which is due to take place at Westminster Abbey in central London on September 19, to be a holiday.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon will sit on King Charles’ official council today

To the sound of heralds after the Membership Council, the main proclamation was read at 11 a.m. from the balcony overlooking Friary Court at St James’s Palace.

The proclamation was read by Garter King of Arms, accompanied by the Earl Marshal, other Officers-at-Arms and Sergeants-at-Arms, followed by a salute of arms, singing God Save the King and three traditional cheers for His Majesty.

Then, at noon, a second Proclamation was read in the City of London, on the steps of the Royal Exchange.

Members of the Privy Council also include London Mayor Sadiq Khan, former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, SNP Prime Minister Nicola Sturgeon and his predecessor Alex Salmond.

The Privy Council also includes members of the Royal Family, including heir to the throne Prince William, who was named Prince of Wales by his father yesterday.

The Accession Council today saw the current Cabinet invited and Sir Keir Starmer with a ballot for the remaining 200 places, as there are currently 700 Privy Councillors.

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Upon accession, a new sovereign is also required to make what is known as the declaration of accession. This is usually not done at a meeting of the Accession Council but in the presence of Parliament at the first official opening following the monarch’s accession to the throne or at his coronation, whichever comes first. King George VI made the statement during his coronation.

The House of Commons will then sit today where Prime Minister Ms Truss and other senior MPs will re-swear their oath of allegiance to mark the accession of the new monarch.

In the past, monarchs had to be crowned before being accepted as sovereign, but the law dating from 1707 meant that the heir of the deceased monarch automatically became sovereign.

The date of King Charles’ coronation will be set at a later date as a national celebration of his accession to the throne.

THE ENTIRE CHARLES SPEECH

King Charles said: “It is my most painful duty to announce to you the passing of my beloved mother, the Queen.

“I know how much you, the entire Nation – and I think I can say the entire world – sympathize with me for the irreparable loss we have all suffered.

“It is the greatest consolation to me to know the sympathy expressed by so many to my sister and brothers and that such overwhelming affection and support must be extended to our entire family in our loss.

“For all of us as a family, as well as for this kingdom and the great family of nations of which it is a part, my mother has set an example of love for life and selfless service.

“My Mother’s reign has been unequaled in its duration, dedication and devotion. Even as we mourn, we give thanks for this most faithful life.

“I am keenly aware of this great heritage and of the duties and heavy responsibilities of Sovereignty which are now vested in me.

“In assuming these responsibilities, I will endeavor to follow the inspiring example given to me in the maintenance of constitutional government and to seek the peace, harmony and prosperity of the peoples of these islands and of the kingdoms and territories of the Commonwealth around the world.

“In this purpose I know that I shall be sustained by the affection and loyalty of the peoples whose Sovereign I have been called to be, and that in the discharge of these duties I shall be guided by the counsel of their elected parliaments. In all of this, I am deeply encouraged by the constant support of my beloved wife.

“I take this opportunity to confirm my willingness and intention to continue the tradition of ceding hereditary revenues, including the Crown Estate, to my Government for the benefit of all, in return for the Sovereign Grant, which sustains my duties official as Head of State and Head of Nation.

“And in fulfilling the heavy task entrusted to me, and to which I now dedicate what remains to me of my life, I pray for guidance and help from Almighty God.”

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OSCE Mission to BiH welcomes BiH’s accession to European Union (EU) Civil Protection Mechanism https://westielovers.com/osce-mission-to-bih-welcomes-bihs-accession-to-european-union-eu-civil-protection-mechanism/ Wed, 07 Sep 2022 12:35:33 +0000 https://westielovers.com/osce-mission-to-bih-welcomes-bihs-accession-to-european-union-eu-civil-protection-mechanism/ SARAJEVO, September 7, 2022 – The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) welcomes Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the European Union (EU) Civil Protection Mechanism. The Mechanism strengthens cooperation and solidarity in civil protection among its 27 members and 7 participating States in order to improve prevention, preparedness and response to natural and other […]]]>

SARAJEVO, September 7, 2022 – The OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) welcomes Bosnia and Herzegovina’s accession to the European Union (EU) Civil Protection Mechanism. The Mechanism strengthens cooperation and solidarity in civil protection among its 27 members and 7 participating States in order to improve prevention, preparedness and response to natural and other disasters.

As a full member of the Mechanism, Bosnia and Herzegovina will be able to coordinate preparedness and rescue activities more effectively with actors within the country as well as with those beyond its borders. Unique access to best practices and experience of mechanism members will also help BiH to develop its policies at a higher level. With the increase in natural hazards, such policies will allow the civil protection system to operate much more efficiently by reducing the consequences in the event of an emergency – including those caused by forest fires, floods and earthquakes.

The OSCE Mission to BiH is proud to have contributed to helping BiH achieve this important milestone. Among our main initiatives, we supported the establishment of the Operational Communication Center 112 within the Ministry of Security of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the development and updating of the document on disaster risk assessment related to natural disasters and others in Bosnia and Herzegovina. We will continue to support Bosnia and Herzegovina to strengthen its capacity for protection and rescue and disaster risk reduction, helping to save lives, the environment, the rich cultural heritage of this country and the property of the people. .

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Ukrainian official suggests IAEA mission at Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was ‘ineffective’ https://westielovers.com/ukrainian-official-suggests-iaea-mission-at-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-power-plant-was-ineffective/ Mon, 05 Sep 2022 13:44:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/ukrainian-official-suggests-iaea-mission-at-zaporizhzhia-nuclear-power-plant-was-ineffective/ Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his late night speech on Sunday. (Reuters) Ukrainian officials gave optimistic assessments of the progress of the military counteroffensive in the Kherson region, nearly a week after acknowledging the operation had begun. There are indications that Ukrainian forces have made modest gains on the ground, but also Russian counterattacks in […]]]>
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during his late night speech on Sunday. (Reuters)

Ukrainian officials gave optimistic assessments of the progress of the military counteroffensive in the Kherson region, nearly a week after acknowledging the operation had begun.

There are indications that Ukrainian forces have made modest gains on the ground, but also Russian counterattacks in some areas. Much of the fighting is taking place along Kherson’s border with Mykolaiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions.

Natalia Humeniuk, the spokeswoman for the Ukrainian army’s southern command, said Ukraine was able to take any routes the Russians might use to bring in supplies.

Ukrainian fire caused “the destruction of the command posts of many powerful units, on which the Russian leadership made a big bet. That is, these are already decapitated units”, a- she declared.

Humeniuk also said that further Russian attempts to build pontoon bridges across the Dnipro River to resupply their frontlines had been called off.

She claimed that Ukraine’s military operations would prevent the Russians from holding referendums in the areas they occupy. The resistance movement in the South has also been “a serious factor affecting their [Russian] plans and actions, because it is both a work of propaganda and a work of physical elimination of collaborators,” she said.

In his daily video message on Saturday, President Volodymyr Zelensky also sounded an optimistic note on the battlefield. “

“Today, our air force has a good result: downed “Calibres” [cruise missiles]occupier attack helicopter, drones… We will do everything so that Ukraine can fully protect its skies from Russian missiles and planes,” he said.

Ukrainian artillery “does everything to destroy the strike potential of the invaders”, Zelensky added.

A bit of context: Ukrainian military officials gave few details on the progress made and to what extent. An axis of the counter-offensive seems to be south of the town of Kryvih Rih.

The Institute for War Studies estimated on Friday that the town of Kreshchenivka may now be in Ukrainian hands, as the Ukrainian General Staff had spoken of Russian airstrikes in the area. Remotely sensed fire data also suggests multiple explosions in the district over the past two days.

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Truss set to plunge UK into deeper division as he takes over Tory leadership – The Irish Times https://westielovers.com/truss-set-to-plunge-uk-into-deeper-division-as-he-takes-over-tory-leadership-the-irish-times/ Fri, 02 Sep 2022 19:39:03 +0000 https://westielovers.com/truss-set-to-plunge-uk-into-deeper-division-as-he-takes-over-tory-leadership-the-irish-times/ By midday on Monday, unless all opinion polls and surveys of Tory members are totally wrong, Liz Truss will become the party’s next leader and succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister the following day. If the outcome is predictable, the campaign was anything but, leaving Britain poised to dive deeper into groundbreaking Brexit politics behind […]]]>

By midday on Monday, unless all opinion polls and surveys of Tory members are totally wrong, Liz Truss will become the party’s next leader and succeed Boris Johnson as prime minister the following day. If the outcome is predictable, the campaign was anything but, leaving Britain poised to dive deeper into groundbreaking Brexit politics behind the unlikely figure of a former Liberal Democrat who eloquently campaigned in 2016 against the exit from the European Union.

Sunak’s supporters were eager for him to face Truss rather than Penny Mordaunt in the final stage of the contest, expecting the Foreign Secretary to implode. A notoriously awkward public speaker, Truss appeared painfully light on details compared to the former Chancellor of the Exchequer.

But when party members saw the proposed candidates, many grew nostalgic for Johnson and blamed Sunak’s resignation from the cabinet as having triggered the prime minister’s downfall. Truss not only became the candidate for loyalty, but she doubled down on her most radical view of Brexit and took the crudest position possible on culture war issues such as LGBT rights and critical interpretations of history. British.

At the same time, she made promises on the economy that horrified orthodox economists but delighted right-wing party members such as Iain Duncan Smith and John Redwood. While Sunak called for a cautious approach to public finances, Truss promised tax cuts that would be funded by tens of billions of pounds in new borrowing.

Critics say deficit-funded tax cuts will fuel inflation, drive up interest rates and wreck public finances without helping the most vulnerable cope with the cost of living crisis. Julian Jessop, a former chief economist at the right-wing Institute of Economic Affairs and a supporter of Truss’s policies, told The Spectator this week that markets would recognize his strategy as one that will spur growth.

“The Treasury was too quick to believe it needed to start paying down the debt by raising taxes, both personal and corporate. It is much better to let the deficit take over,” he said.

“If tax cuts mean more short-term borrowing, I’m completely relaxed about that. I suspect the markets will be too. If that results in a stronger economy and stronger public finances in the long run, that’s a positive outcome that the markets will actually appreciate.

Kwasi Kwarteng, who is expected to become Chancellor of the Exchequer under Truss, will present an emergency budget later this month to reverse some of the tax hikes introduced by Sunak. It will also have to propose a set of support measures for people threatened with destitution as energy prices rise by 80%.

Truss initially ruled out what she called “handouts”, but she is expected to offer direct aid to the most vulnerable, forcing her to borrow tens of billions more.

Another pressing matter concerns the Northern Ireland Protocol, with a September 15 deadline for Britain to respond to EU legal action over London’s failure to fully implement the OK. The Northern Ireland Protocol Bill, which gives UK ministers the power to unilaterally scrap most of the deal, will take months to pass through the House of Lords and back to the Commons before becoming law .

In the meantime, Truss would consider triggering Article 16, which allows either party to unilaterally suspend parts of the protocol in certain circumstances. The invocation of Article 16 triggers a negotiation process and Truss presented his unilateral approach as an effort to put pressure on the EU, saying that all they understand is force.

There is no appetite in European capitals to renegotiate the protocol, especially under duress following a British breach of international law. The European Commission has drawn up a plan to step up the retaliation as Britain takes each new step towards abandoning the protocol, first passing the Northern Ireland Protocol Bill and then putting it into effect. implemented.

At the high end of the scale of possible retaliation are trade sanctions and even termination of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, actions that would further undermine market confidence in Britain’s economic future. . But Truss may be trapped by her reliance on the wilder eurosceptic elements within her party, so she is unable to back down even if she wants to.

If Truss took advantage of the tale of betrayal surrounding Johnson’s downfall, the incumbent prime minister could quickly become a problem for her. As long as he remains an MP, he has the potential to undermine his successor and rally the opposition if they try to make painful choices.

Her backbenches will already be overloaded with bitter ex-ministers and other MPs who feel unfairly ignored after she reshuffles the cabinet pack next week. If Johnson remains a viable political force, he can only get him in trouble.

Truss’ point is that his predecessor’s reputation be ransacked as quickly and completely as possible. The privileges committee over his alleged lying in parliament about Downing Street parties offers an opportunity to remind the Tories of the problems with Johnson.

But revelations from inside Downing Street about other irregularities uncovered after he left could be even more effective. The new Prime Minister could not stoop to such misdeeds. But she knows people who can.

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Energy: Putin’s plot backfires as UK gas prices plummet as VDL revamps EU market | Science | New https://westielovers.com/energy-putins-plot-backfires-as-uk-gas-prices-plummet-as-vdl-revamps-eu-market-science-new/ Wed, 31 Aug 2022 12:40:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/energy-putins-plot-backfires-as-uk-gas-prices-plummet-as-vdl-revamps-eu-market-science-new/ The European Commission has announced that it is working “hard” to meet the crippling costs by launching emergency interventions and longer-term structural reforms. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy prices have risen to record highs, with Vladimir Putin repeatedly threatening to cut off gas supplies to Europe. Although the UK imports very little energy from […]]]>

The European Commission has announced that it is working “hard” to meet the crippling costs by launching emergency interventions and longer-term structural reforms. Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, energy prices have risen to record highs, with Vladimir Putin repeatedly threatening to cut off gas supplies to Europe. Although the UK imports very little energy from Russia, its presence on the free market makes it vulnerable to price increases in Europe.

However, these prices could soon drop as the European Commission has announced that it is working “hard” on an emergency package to reduce bills.

He also announced the development of a longer-term “structural reform of the electricity market”, while efforts to fill gas storage facilities have exceeded expectations and are currently ahead of schedule.

The EU as a whole is within reach of its 80% gas supply as of October 1, currently at 79.94%.

Over the past year, Putin has tried to manipulate the EU’s dependence on Russian gas by reducing flows, which has sent prices skyrocketing.

Experts have warned that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was largely funded by EU oil and gas revenues.

As such, EU energy market reform could be a blow to Putin’s war efforts as prices fall.

The overnight wholesale price in the UK by therm fell more than 20% to 447p on Tuesday, while prices for the month ahead contracts fell by 25% to 473p by therm.

While prices are significantly lower than the records Europe faced earlier this year, they are still 12 times higher than early 2021 figures.

READ MORE: ‘Huge step forward’ World’s largest wind farm off UK coast OPEN

Meanwhile, European countries have scrambled to fill their gas storage facilities before winter amid growing fears that Putin will completely cut off Russian gas supplies.

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck predicted that gas prices in Europe would fall further as soon as Germany, which is Europe’s biggest gas consumer, hits its storage targets.

However, Europe’s plans to replenish energy stocks could be hit hard as Russia has again halted gas flows via the Nord Stream 1 gas pipeline, which connects Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea.

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‘Far-right’ Italy weakens Europe’s unity towards Putin, EU socialist chief warns – EURACTIV.com https://westielovers.com/far-right-italy-weakens-europes-unity-towards-putin-eu-socialist-chief-warns-euractiv-com/ Mon, 29 Aug 2022 05:48:11 +0000 https://westielovers.com/far-right-italy-weakens-europes-unity-towards-putin-eu-socialist-chief-warns-euractiv-com/ The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, thanks to on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here. Before you start reading today’s edition of Capitals, be sure to take a look at European dividend growth of 28.7% in Q2 2022 by János Allenbach-Ammann. European news you deserve […]]]>

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

Before you start reading today’s edition of Capitals, be sure to take a look at European dividend growth of 28.7% in Q2 2022 by János Allenbach-Ammann.


European news you deserve to read. welcome to Capitals by EURACTIV.


In today’s news from the capitals:

ROME

Italy’s progressive parties should join forces to prevent the far right from coming to power because it would weaken Europe’s unity in the face of Russian aggression, said Iratxe García, leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament ( S&D), to EURACTIV Italy ahead of a crucial vote on September 25. Read more.

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BERLIN

Germany’s Baerbock calls nuclear expansion ‘madness’ amid government split. Postponing the closure of nuclear power plants will not solve the current energy crisis and will have a high cost, German Green Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has warned that the tripartite government remains divided on the issue. Read more.

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PARIS

The new French EU Minister in Bled to defend Europe and the rule of law. FFrance’s new secretary of state for Europe, Laurence Boone, will present France’s vision of Europe and the rule of law at the Bled Strategy Forum in Slovenia on Monday, her entourage told EURACTIV France. Read more.

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VIENNA

Austria calls for decoupling gas and electricity prices. The Austrian government is calling for the decoupling of gas from electricity pricing, arguing that the functioning of the EU electricity market means that prices continue to rise due to record gas costs. Read more.

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THE HAGUE

The Netherlands records the highest levels of solar radiation since the 1970s. This summer, the Netherlands recorded the highest amount of solar radiation recorded since 1976, the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KMNI) reported. Read more.


UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND

DUBLIN

Irish public opinion is divided over NATO membership. There is a 52-48 split among the Irish public over whether the country should join NATO or an EU army if one were created, although most said they supported military spending, a investigation released this weekend revealed. Read more.


SOUTHERN EUROPE

ATHENS

An MEP asks Europol to investigate the “Predator” scandal in Europe. Sophie in ‘t Veld, MEP for Renew Europe, has called on Europol to intervene after a Greek newspaper revealed how illegal ‘Predator’ spyware was being sold on the black market to individuals, not just governments. Read more.

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MADRID

Spanish parents are facing the highest back-to-school bill in five years. The start of the new school year will force parents in Spain to dip deep into their wallets in September, as households are expected to spend almost 5% more than last year on average per student – the largest annual increase recorded over the past five years. Read more.

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LISBON

Portugal calls for an “emergency food plan”. The Portuguese government has presented to the European Commission its proposal for an emergency plan to prevent risks related to the food supply on the European market in the event of a crisis. Read more.


VISEGRAD

BRATISLAVA

Slovakia is strengthening its energy security with a new gas pipeline and a nuclear reactor. Slovakia will soon receive more liquefied natural gas (LNG) and nuclear energy following the launch of a new gas pipeline with Poland and the green ignition of a nuclear power plant last week. Read more.

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WARSAW

Judges challenge Polish recovery plan. Four international judges’ organizations are challenging Poland’s national recovery plan in the EU Court of Justice, claiming that Poland has failed to fulfill the necessary conditions for its acceptance and that the judiciary remains vulnerable to the negative influence of the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party. Read more.

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PRAGUE

Ukrainian children enroll in Czech schools. Fifty-seven thousand Ukrainians children and students have registered to attend Czech schools in the new school year, according to Czech Education Minister Vladimír Balaš. Read more.


BALKAN NEWS

BELGRADE | PRISTINE

Vucic remains defiant on recognition of Kosovo, license plates. Following an agreement to remove all entry and exit documents from citizens of Kosovo and Serbia when entering each respective country, Serbian President Aleksander Vucic has made it clear that this should not be construed as a recognition and made another veiled threat against Pristina. Read more.

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SOFIA

Bulgaria arrests more than 100 irregular migrants in one day. Bulgarian police on Sunday arrested a truck driver who had 88 irregular migrants from Afghanistan on board, while colleagues arrested 53 other migrants from Afghanistan who were waiting in a nearby forest. Read more.

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ZAGREB

Croatia is investigating a major gas resale scam involving senior officials. Croatia has arrested five people, including a top lawyer and a senior executive of state oil and gas company INA, on suspicion of organizing a scheme to resell INA’s natural gas to third parties at a premium and to share profits. Read more.

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BELGRADE

The Serbian government will be formed in September, says Brnabic. The new Serbian government will be formed in September, announced Prime Minister-designate Ana Brnabic said Prva TV on Sunday. Read more.

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SKOPJE

Macedonian FM: Plans to convince citizens of Bulgaria’s inclusion in the constitution. It is planned to convince Macedonians to include Bulgarians in the country’s constitution, which would pave the way for EU membership in accordance with an agreement reached between Skopje and Sofia, the country’s foreign minister has said. North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani. Read more.

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TIRANA

Albania is positive about the agreement between Kosovo and Serbia, concerns about license plates remain. After Kosovo and Serbia reached a historic agreement regarding identity documents for citizens of each respective country, moving to the other on Saturday, Albanian politicians broadly backed the news. Read more.


Agenda:

  • EU: Informal meeting of EU defense ministers, chaired by EU chief diplomat Josep Borrell.
  • European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen meets Slovenian President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Robert Golob.
  • Germany: Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will discuss ways to achieve a climate-friendly Europe.
  • France: President Emmanuel Macron receives Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, as Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne receives her Luxembourg counterpart, Xavier Bettel.
  • Swiss: The event marks 125 years since the first Zionist Congress.
  • Spain: Ryanair cabin crew strike.
  • Vatican: Pope Francis convenes a meeting of cardinals to discuss a new constitution.
  • Czech Republic: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visits Prague.
  • Slovenia: Von der Leyen speaks at the strategic forum in Bled.
  • World: International day against nuclear testing.

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[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Maksimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Eleonora Vasques]

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bne IntelliNews – BALKAN BLOG: Five days to preserve peace in the Western Balkans https://westielovers.com/bne-intellinews-balkan-blog-five-days-to-preserve-peace-in-the-western-balkans/ Fri, 26 Aug 2022 20:31:34 +0000 https://westielovers.com/bne-intellinews-balkan-blog-five-days-to-preserve-peace-in-the-western-balkans/ A deadline is approaching in Kosovo for the entry into force of controversial new rules on identity cards and license plates. If that happens, the move is expected to lead to a fresh outburst of protests in Kosovo’s volatile northern region. Senior EU and US diplomats are in the region to try to head off […]]]>

A deadline is approaching in Kosovo for the entry into force of controversial new rules on identity cards and license plates. If that happens, the move is expected to lead to a fresh outburst of protests in Kosovo’s volatile northern region. Senior EU and US diplomats are in the region to try to head off another crisis before the rules take effect on September 1.

As part of the measures announced by Pristina, ethnic Serbs will receive temporary identity cards and license plates to replace travel documents issued by the Serbian authorities. Ethnic Serbs living in Kosovo will need to obtain new license plates with the Kosovo country code RKS, which is not accepted by Serbia, instead of the KS code.

As the initial effective date of the measures, August 1, approached, Serbian officials described them as a step towards the expulsion of the Serb population from Kosovo. Officials in Pristina, on the other hand, argued that they were only denouncing the reciprocal measures which are the same as those taken by Belgrade for people traveling to Serbia from Kosovo.

Local Serbs in northern Kosovo reacted angrily, barricading roads leading to the border in the hours before the measures took effect. Narrowly averting a more serious crisis, Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti announced on July 31 that Kosovo was ready to postpone the decision until September 1, if the barricades were removed.

Now, however, September 1 is fast approaching and despite a determined diplomatic push from EU and US envoys, there has so far been no compromise. Kurti and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic met on August 18 in Brussels, but the meeting ended without an agreement. Since then, EU envoy for Serbia and Kosovo Miroslav Lajcak and US special envoy for the Western Balkans Gabriel Escobar have visited the region in an effort to avert a new crisis, but until present without breakthrough.

After the last meeting between Escobar, Lajcak and Vucic on August 25, Lajcak said the discussion had been “difficult but responsible”, while Escobar tweeted: “Difficult and long meeting just now with President Vucic. We appreciate the President’s commitment to peace and stability. The work continues. »

Vucic’s comment after the meeting, as reported by Serbian news agency Tanjug, was that he would not abandon vital national and state interests, or the interests and security of Serbs in Kosovo.

The main progress so far has been assurances from Kurti and Vucic that neither side wants the situation to escalate or an outbreak of violence on September 1.

In the shadow of Ukraine

Despite a long process of normalization mediated by the EU, relations between Serbia and Kosovo are periodically intensifying. The core of the issues between the two countries is that Kosovo unilaterally declared independence from Serbia – following a bloody war in the late 1990s – but Belgrade does not recognize Kosovo as a separate state. There is a significant minority of ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, concentrated in one part of the country, who look to Belgrade other than Pristina for leadership.

Russia supports Serbia in its determination not to recognize Kosovo and has helped prevent Kosovo from becoming a member of the UN and other international bodies.

With the invasion of Ukraine and speculation that we are entering a new era of the Cold War (although most of the former Eastern Bloc countries are now on the Western side), there are fears that Russia exploit existing tensions in the Western Balkans to destabilize the region. This concerns not only northern Kosovo, but also Bosnia and Herzegovina, where leading Bosnian Serb politicians have threatened secession from Republika Srpska, the Serbian entity in the county.

“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine adds fuel to the flames of tension in the Balkans. Moscow propaganda being spread in the Balkans by Russian media and disinformation agents is fanning the flames,” Capucine May, European analyst at risk intelligence firm Verisk Maplecroft, said in comments emailed to bne IntelliNews.

“Putin’s invasion has emboldened some of the most nationalist leaders in the Balkans, including Republika Srpska [Milorad] Dodik and Vucic from Serbia. The war fuels their pro-Serb rhetoric and increases tensions in the region,” May added.

Unnecessarily, Russian officials weighed in on the situation. On August 2, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova urged the US and EU to stop encouraging Kosovo “radicals” to provoke Serbs in Kosovo and Serbia.

“Until the West realizes that the threat of undermining the fragile stability in the Balkan region is very real, dangerous experiments will continue. The responsibility lies entirely with the West and, above all, with Washington,” Zakharova said.

Later, when Serbian Interior Minister Aleksanda Vulin visited Moscow earlier this month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s office said it was necessary to find a solution that “fully respects the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia”.

Meanwhile, Ukraine, which currently does not recognize Kosovo – mainly because Russia has used Western recognition of Kosovo to justify its own actions in eastern Ukraine – may reconsider its position in light of the new geopolitical situation in Europe. MP Oleksiy Goncharenko said on August 6 that he had tabled a draft resolution in parliament on the recognition of Kosovo.

Is war a possibility?

The current big fear is that a failure to resolve the situation by September 1 could lead to larger-scale violence in northern Kosovo.

As mentioned, the leaders of both countries have said they want to avoid any violence – but at the same time they seem to be playing with the public at home by pointing out the dangers of the standoff.

Vucic said after tensions eased in late July that “the most difficult scenario” in Kosovo had been narrowly avoided. He added: “We were one step away from disaster.”

He also spoke on several occasions about the need to defend the interests of the Serbs in Kosovo.

Kurti said in an interview with the Italian daily The Republic August 7 that the risk of a new conflict between Kosovo and Serbia is high, the situation having changed since the invasion of Ukraine.

“The first episode, a consequence of the fascist idea of ​​pan-Slavism that the Kremlin has, was the Ukraine. If we have a second episode, for example in Transnistria, then the chances of a third war developing in the Western Balkans, and in Kosovo in particular, will be very high,” Kurti added.

More recently, he called in an interview with the Papule for an increased peacekeeping force on the ground, saying it was needed because of “threats from Serbia and Russia”.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg recently met with Vucic and Kurti and urged restraint on both sides. He also said that NATO, which has the 3,700 strong KFOR force in Kosovo, is ready to intervene if necessary. “KFOR is ready to intervene if stability is compromised,” Stoltenberg said in a joint press conference with Kurti on August 17.

Verisk Maplecoft’s May spoke of the risks of misinformation on social media which, in the latest clashes, portrayed “the skirmishes as an all-out war”, and stressed that “tensions between Kosovo and Serbia are not in danger of tipping over towards total war”. .

“The risk of conflict is mitigated by the presence of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force and ongoing international diplomatic mediation efforts. The fact that both countries – whether they admit it or not – still harbor hopes of joining the EU is another important factor,” May explained.

She also pointed out that “blockades and violence are relatively common phenomena along this border, especially with regard to the formalization of identity through license plates and identity cards”.

With little progress in the talks so far and no obvious path to compromise – Kurti has made it clear he has no plans to abandon the measures – the introduction of the new rules could simply be postponed again. But while moving the issue forward should help avert an immediate crisis next week, the two sides are no closer to the lasting resolution that is needed to normalize the situation in the region and for either side to move forward. towards EU membership.

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The Church Pact announces the fall of the Montenegrin government https://westielovers.com/the-church-pact-announces-the-fall-of-the-montenegrin-government/ Wed, 24 Aug 2022 17:13:00 +0000 https://westielovers.com/the-church-pact-announces-the-fall-of-the-montenegrin-government/ The Church of Serbia continues to wield enormous influence and complicate politics in the smallest of the Yugoslav successor states. In the early hours of August 20, after a long and often moody parliamentary session, MPs voted to overthrow Montenegro’s minority government, which had been in power for less than four months. And while the […]]]>

The Church of Serbia continues to wield enormous influence and complicate politics in the smallest of the Yugoslav successor states.

In the early hours of August 20, after a long and often moody parliamentary session, MPs voted to overthrow Montenegro’s minority government, which had been in power for less than four months. And while the government, led by Dritan Abazovic, faced wider criticism, it was ultimately the controversial signing of the “fundamental agreement” with the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) earlier this month that caused its loss.

The signing of the agreement had intensified a crisis – centered on issues of statehood, identity and the relationship between the SPC and the state – in an already deeply divided politics and society. Abazovic’s willingness to prioritize this over other critical issues left many observers dumbfounded. After all, the challenges facing his government were not trivial. Montenegro is ravaged by deep political divisions, a fractured economy – further damaged by a disappointing tourist season – rising inflation and external political, security and economic challenges. The political flux following the deal has now led to government collapse, the prospect of snap parliamentary elections and even more political instability.

Dritan Abazovic addresses the Montenegrin parliament on August 19, hours before his government loses a vote of no confidence. Photo by Stevo Vasiljevic via CTK/Reuters.

Fundamental disagreements

In April, nearly three months after the collapse of the previous government, which came to power with more than tacit support from the CPS, Montenegro’s parliament approved a new minority government. However, he depended on the support of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), the party that had been in government for three decades. Abazovic, as the country’s new prime minister, said his government was time-limited and that parliamentary elections would be held in the spring of 2023. He described his immediate priorities as reinvigorating the EU accession process , the fight against corruption and organized crime and the promotion of sustainable development. economic development, with a view to putting Montenegro back on a clear path towards eventual EU membership.

Abazovic, an ethnic Albanian from Ulcinj, also pledged to resolve the issue of state-PSC relations, which he said would chart a course beyond the divisions that have plagued Montenegro in recent times. years. As well intentioned as he was, he took a huge political risk in doing so.

Agreements establishing clear legal relations between the state and religious organizations had already been signed between the government and the Catholic, Islamic and Jewish communities, and the CPS had long argued that it was, in the absence of a similar agreement, faced with discrimination.

When the construction of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica began in 1993, Montenegro was united with Serbia in a common state. Most Montenegrin Christians still belong to the Serbian Church. Photo by Diego Delso via Flickr under CC BY-NC 2.0 license.

However, the issue of reaching an agreement with the Serbian Orthodox Church proved to be politically very sensitive, although the CPS is by far the largest religious organization in Montenegro with the majority of the Orthodox population, whether it define themselves as Serbian or Montenegrin, as followers. But many Montenegrins of the Orthodox faith, especially a small minority belonging to the canonically unrecognized Montenegrin Orthodox Church, see the CPS as an instrument of Serbian nationalism and its supporters as supporters ofSerbian World” – in short, an organization actively engaged in undermining the statehood of Montenegro and the identity of Montenegrins (whom the CPS generally regards as Serbs and Montenegro as “Serbian Sparta”). The deal, critics say, would give the SPC – another state’s church – outsized power in Montenegro.

Given these sensitivities, it was questionable whether the time had come to deal with such a contentious issue as the Basic Agreement. Some in government, and the DPS, whose support depended on the government, warned that signing it without proper consultation would trigger a vote of no confidence in parliament.

Nevertheless, on July 8, the government agreed to the deal, although five government ministers were against it and three others, including European Affairs Minister Jovana Marovic, were conspicuously absent. After the vote, the DPS announced that Abazovic’s government could no longer count on its support and called on the other parties to support a vote of no confidence.

Take her to the street

However, the tensions generated were not limited to the parliamentary precincts. On July 13 – a public holiday that marks both the recognition of Montenegro’s statehood at the Berlin Congress in 1878 and the first popular uprising against Axis occupation in Europe in 1941 – incidents in the Montenegro’s second largest city, Niksic, demonstrated the feverish atmosphere in which the signing debates were taking place. The police intervened to separate two groups, one made up of groups of young Orthodox (Serbs), who crossed the city chanting slogans in favor of Serbia and Russia, and the other of pro-“sovereignists” -Montenegrins. Niksic Mayor Marko Kovacevic blamed ‘outsiders’ for the incidents, though his critics accused him of instrumentalizing the incidents by ordering police to allow members of Orthodox youth groups into the building. the city center, where the celebrations marking the establishment of the state of Montenegro took place.

Following these events, Abazovic and the veteran president of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, agreed to form an “expert commission” to examine the constitutionality of the agreement. At a July 19 meeting, they tentatively agreed on a six-member panel, though one in particular, named by Abazovic, raised eyebrows. Velibor Markovic, a somewhat controversial lawyer and member of the CPS legal team, has a reputation for making chauvinistic and homophobic statements via his social media accounts. As a result, two members of the proposed commission immediately resigned, citing their refusal to work with him. Abazovic was accused of trying to derail the whole process by proposing Markovic, knowing that others would then likely refuse to participate and the commission would never begin to function. Therefore, no meaningful review of the constitutional validity of the agreement would take place.

This is precisely what happened, but the document was finally signed on August 3, much to the chagrin of those who had argued that no deal should have been reached without much wider consultation. And the way it happened, mostly in secret, without prior public announcement, caused further offense. Indeed, Foreign Minister Ranko Krivokapic, who had opposed the deal, said it was “cleared in Belgrade and brought to Montenegro” and that the government could not change a single letter there. Other critics of the deal expressed similar outrage.

Back to square one

There is therefore little doubt that by signing the agreement, Abazovic had taken an important political gamble. The DPS and the Social Democratic Party presented a motion of no confidence, both claiming that the agreement was unconstitutional because the agreement, among other things, gave the CPS wide leeway with regard to property rights and access to this property.

During a heated parliamentary session and facing criticism not just over the deal but more broadly over his government’s record, Abazovic mounted a strong defense, saying he had no regrets about signing the document . He also claimed that some of those behind the no-confidence motion, and the media supporting them, were funded by organized crime groups he pledged to fight. Either way, 50 of the 81 MPs voted for the motion, heralding the end of Abazovic’s short-lived government.

From now on, a new interim government will be formed and responsible for organizing new legislative elections. This, however, cannot happen before the official dissolution of Parliament. And it is still unclear what the composition of an interim government would be, even if it could be led by a non-partisan figure from the NGO sector. Whenever elections are finally due to take place (most likely in April 2023), they will no doubt take place in a heated political atmosphere. For any new government, it will not be easy, in the meantime, to find a way forward.

Kenneth Morrisson is Professor of History at De Montfort University in the UK. He is the author of Holiday Inn Sarajevo: On the Front Lines of Politics and War (Palgrave MacMillan, 2016), Nationalism, identity and statehood in post-Yugoslav Montenegro(Bloomsbury, 2018), and co-author of The Sandjak: a story (Hurst & Co./Oxford University Press, 2013) and Report on the siege of Sarajevo (Bloomsbury, 2021).

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