EU plans mass vaccination campaign in Eastern Europe – EURACTIV.com
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In today’s news from the Capitals:
In close coordination with the governments of Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the European Commission is currently preparing massive awareness campaigns on the need to be vaccinated, EURACTIV.com has learned.
In addition, more drugs to fight COVID-19 are expected to be approved this week amid new tensions over a decision that even vaccinated journalists will need a negative PCR test to participate in the EU Council more late this week. EURACTIV has all the details. Read more.
More flexible fiscal rules ‘not urgent‘ The Mayor tells Lindner. During the third recent German visit to Paris, the subjects of discussion focused on the progress of the France-Germany tandem and the differences of views on nuclear, gas and coal. The tax rules, however, were not deemed urgent. Read more.
Austria wants to become a “bridge builder” in the Ukrainian conflict. Chancellor Karl Nehammer said Austria wants to play a moderating role in the Ukraine conflict to prevent escalation and bring both sides back to the negotiating table. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Putin pushes Johnson on NATO talks. Russian President Vladimir Putin told British Prime Minister Boris Johnson he wanted immediate talks for clear legal agreements that NATO would not expand its activities in Eastern Europe in a rare phone call between the two leaders on Monday. Read more.
UK steps up booster vaccination as Omicron becomes dominant. Britain confirmed what is believed to be the first confirmed death after infection with the Omicron variant on Monday, as the country launched an ambitious Covid recall program to prevent the virus from spiraling out of control. Read more.
The fuel price protest disrupts Dublin for the second time in a month. A protest against high fuel prices by truckers in Dublin disrupted the city for the second time in a month, as protesters blocked key thoroughfares. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Finland is considering the introduction of an emergency break at Christmas. With Finland seeing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, health officials will decide whether the introduction of a so-called ’emergency brake’ will be necessary in the coming days. Read more.
italian government considered extension of the state of emergency until the end of March. The government could decide to extend the state of emergency until the end of March 2022. Prime Minister Mario Draghi is pushing for a quick decision, and most political leaders in the majority coalition seem to agree. Read more.
Residents of La Palma are stranded as poisonous gases sweep through the west of the island. Authorities on the Spanish island of La Palma on Monday confined residents living in towns adjacent to the Cumbre Vieja volcano due to poor air quality. Read more.
Portugal receives 273 musicians, Afghan artists. Portugal opened its doors to 273 Afghan citizens, most of whom are artists and musicians, following a joint operation with the National Institute of Music of Afghanistan. Read more.
Fidesz acts quickly to make life difficult for international supermarket chains. A new bill could force large supermarket chains to donate nearly expired food to the state in an attempt to reduce food waste, Telex reported. Read more.
The Polish parliament will decide on a controversial amendment to the education law. A controversial amendment to the education law, dubbed “lex Czarnek” after the unpopular Minister of Education Przemysław Czarnek, has been submitted to parliament. The first reading is scheduled for Tuesday, and a vote could take place this week. Read more.
The new Czech prime minister shows strength in the first clash with the president. Czech President Miloš Zeman is due to appoint the new Czech government on Friday. For Prime Minister-designate Petr Fiala (ODS, ECR), this is a significant victory. The Czech president was previously reluctant to appoint Jan Lipavský (Pirates, Greens) as foreign minister because of their divergent views on cooperation between Israel and Visegrad. Read more.
Slovakia will not complete its part of the European motorway corridor on time. It is already clear that Slovakia will not complete its part of the European Trans-European Network (TEN-T) motorway corridor up to the Ukrainian border by 2030, when the project is supposed to be completed. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
The Romanian president reiterates his support for nuclear energy and natural gas. In discussion with the President of the European Council Charles Michel, President Klaus Iohannis reiterated his country’s support for nuclear energy and natural gas, as options for an affordable energy transition, while the European Commission is preparing to new legislative proposals. Read more.
Bulgaria has a pro-European leader and government after months of political crisis. Parliament finally elected a government headed by pro-European reformist Prime Minister Kiril Petkov on Monday. The country will be ruled by a complex multi-party majority involving two coalitions – the pro-European “Change Continues” and “Democratic Bulgaria”, supported by the Bulgarian Socialist Party and “There is such a people” led by Slavi Trifonov. Read more.
The reasons why Croats do not get vaccinated are revealed. The belief that the risk of contracting COVID-19 is low has been revealed as the main reason Croats do not get vaccinated, according to a study in the Croatian Medical Journal, partner of EURACTIV Jutarnji List reports. Read more.
The EU will open Group Four in talks with Serbia at a conference. Group four of Serbia’s EU membership talks is expected to be formally open to a Intergovernmental conference Tuesday in Brussels. Read more.
SARAJEVO | BERLIN
Germany’s new foreign minister calls for sanctions against Dodik. The new German Foreign Minister and co-leader of the Green Party Annalena Baerbock called for the application of sanctions to the leader of the Republika Srpska Milorad Dodik after she attended her first EU Foreign Affairs Council on Monday. Read more.
The draft conclusions provide for the start of accession negotiations for North Macedonia. “The Council looks forward to holding the first intergovernmental conferences with the Republic of North Macedonia and Albania as soon as possible this year after the approval of the negotiating framework by the Council,” says the draft Council conclusions of the Council. ‘EU disclosed by the MIA news agency. Read more.
The Montenegrin opposition withdraws a motion of censure against the government. The opposition withdrew a motion of no confidence in the government, although it claimed it would have had enough votes to topple the Zdravko Krivokapić cabinet. Read more.
Bern Convention Committee calls for protection of Vjosa River. The Standing Committee of Berne Convention called on the Albanian government to declare the Vjosa river and its surroundings a national park and to reassess the situation of the Vlora international airport. Read more.
Albanian prosecutor wanted for corruption arrested in Italy. The former Albanian public prosecutor, who fled the country after being sentenced to prison for corruption, has been arrested in Italy, Tirana police said on Monday (December 13th). Read more.
- EU: European Affairs ministers meet on enlargement, rule of law, COFEU / The European Commission presents the update of the EU’s Schengen borders code, the green mobility package / The result of the committee’s vote of the European Parliament on the law on digital services is expected.
- Netherlands: Prime Minister Mark Rutte gives a press conference on Covid measures.
- UK: MPs vote on new government restrictions on coronaviruses.
- Denmark: The court closes the trial of fuel supplier Dan-Bunkering, accused of violating the EU embargo on Syria.
- Sweden: Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov visits Stockholm.
- Italy: The Council of Ministers decides to extend the state of emergency until the end of March.
- Cyprus: New UN Head of Mission Colin Stewart welcomes Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar.
- Serbia: The intergovernmental conference on Serbia’s accession to the EU takes place in Brussels.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]