Your Daily Scan of the New Global Economy

Belgium

Intel Belgium

  • [Agenda] Brexit and trip to Egypt for Arab League This WEEK

    Brexit talks will continue in Brussels, as UK PM Theresa May’s government is trying to find a way out of the political impasse at home. Murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee will speak at the European Parliament next week.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Opinion] EU's chance to step up on Hungary and Poland

    Viktor Orban of Hungary and Poland’s Jaroslaw Kaczynski seem to share the idea that the rights of some may come at the expense of the rights of others, and public institutions should serve the majority, and not all citizens.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] 'History will judge us': May tells MPs on Brexit

    “History will judge us,” UK prime minister Theresa May told Conservative MPs in a letter this weekend, referring to Brexit. She once again urged her fellow Tories to back the withdrawal agreement, writing that failure “will let down the people who sent us to represent them and risk the bright future that they all deserve”. May will plan meetings with all 27 other EU leaders and the European Commission president.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] 15,000 Belgian school kids march against climate change

    Some 15,000 Belgian school children on Thursday marched to show their support against climate change. The latest demonstration is the sixth in a series of protests by Belgian school students against the broad lack of action to slow global warming. The movement initially kicked off last year in Sweden when a 15-year old skipped school to demand action. Her climate action protest has since mushroomed across the world.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Czech PM: May's EU elections 'most important ever'

    Czech prime minister Andrej Babis said Sunday at a party congress the upcoming European Parliament elections “are the most important ever”, Bloomberg reported. He pressed for a larger role for smaller EU states. “We want member states to have significant influence on Europe’s development, so that Europe isn’t governed just by bigger states with a politically biased [European] Commission and European civil servants that cost us huge money,” Babis said.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] EU ministers call climate change 'direct and existential threat'

    “Climate change is a direct and existential threat, which will spare no country,” the EU’s foreign ministers said in a text adopted on Monday. All EU countries signed off on the text, including coal-reliant countries like Poland. They also noted that “climate change acts as a threat multiplier and increasingly as a threat in its own right, with serious implications for peace and security across the globe”.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] EU would not oppose extending Brexit talks, Juncker said

    No EU state would oppose a British demand for an extension of Brexit talks beyond the March 29 cut-off date, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung Monday. “Any decision to ask for more time lies with the UK. If such a request were to be made, no one in Europe would oppose it,” he said, adding he has no time limit in mind for an extension.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Former EU official sentenced for office rape

    Belgian judges sentenced a former European Commission official to four years in prison on Monday for raping a junior member of his own staff in 2015, Belgian broadcaster RTL reports. M.R., a 51-year old former director of the commission’s transport department, was earlier convicted of raping a young lawyer in her office after throwing an office party on 11 September 2015. He says she consented and plans to appeal.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Holocaust dispute upsets Israel's EU lobbying

    Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki has cancelled his trip to a mini-EU summit in Israel after Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu said “Poles co-operated with the Germans” in the Holocaust. Warsaw is to send its foreign minister instead to join the Czech, Hungarian, and Slovak leaders in Israel on Tuesday. Netanyahu has cultivated closer ties with central European states to try to muffle EU criticism of Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Juncker expects Trump not to impose new car tariffs

    US president Donald Trump promised European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker that he would not impose additional import tariffs on European cars for the time being, Juncker said in an interview in German daily Stuttgarter Zeitung Monday. Trump could impose tariffs of up to 25 percent on imported cars and parts by calling them a security threat. Juncker added that if Trump imposed tariffs, the EU would quickly react with countermeasures.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Juncker under attack in Hungary government ad

    Hungary’s government has launched a campaign against what it said were EU proposals that endangered Hungary’s security, including distributing migrants across Europe based on a quota, giving visa to migrants, and altering member states’ rights on border protection. The new ad, financed by taxpayer money, featured Juncker and US billionaire George Soros, a nemesis of Hungary’s government. Budapest was warned by Juncker last December not to spread fake news.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] May suffers fresh Brexit defeat in parliament

    UK prime minister Theresa May suffered another blow to her Brexit plan on Wednesday after MPs voted against a motion endorsing the government’s negotiating strategy. The vote in the Commons has no legal muscle but instead sends a political message of discontentment with her strategy. The UK is set to leave the European Union on 29 March.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Poland 'boxing in higher league', its PM says

    “Poland is becoming ever stronger. The Middle East conference is a sign we’re … boxing in a higher-league. Of course, you can also get hit there,” Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki told Polish daily Rzeczpospolita late Monday after a summit fiasco with Israel. The mini-EU summit was cancelled after an Israel minister made anti-Polish remarks. The Czech, Hungarian, and Slovak leaders downgraded their ‘summit’ meetings to ‘bilateral’ ones in solidarity.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Seven MPs leave Britain's Labour Party

    Seven British MPs have resigned from the Labour Party in protest at the party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s handling of Brexit and the party being increasingly perceived as antisemitic. The seven will not form a new party or join any other party. Leaving MP Mike Gapes was quoted by the BBC saying that it was “increasingly clear that prominent figures in the Corbyn Labour leadership do not want to stop Brexit”.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Spain's Sanchez calls snap election on 28 April

    Spain’s prime minister Pedro Sanchez on Friday called a snap election for 28 April. Sanchez’s announcement came after his minority government suffered a defeat in parliament on its 2019 budget plan, with Catalan pro-independence MPs and centre-right opposition rejecting the proposal. The Socialist PM has been in power since June 2018. It will be the third time Spaniards are asked to elect a new parliament since December 2015.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Trump warns EU on release of Islamist fighters

    Britain, France, Germany, and other EU states should take 800 radical Islamist fighters captured by US troops in Syria in recent years and put them on trial, US president Donald Trump has said. “The alternative is not a good one,” he said on Twitter on Saturday. “We will be forced to release them. The US does not want to watch as these … fighters permeate Europe,” Trump said.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Venezuela expels 'conspiratorial' MEPs

    Venezuela has denied entry to five pro-opposition MEPs which its foreign minister, Jorge Arreaza, accused of “provocation” and “conspiratorial aims”. The group, which included one Dutch, one German, and three Spanish MEPs, said Sunday their passports had been “seized” and they were being “expelled”. Most EU states have backed Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido to take power and hold elections, in Europe’s bid to end Venezuela’s political and economic crisis.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Visegrad countries meeting with Israel called off

    A meeting of the central European Visegrad group countries scheduled to start on Monday in Israel has been cancelled after Poland pulled out. Bilateral discussions willl take place instead. The cancellation came after the acting Israeli foreign minister said, “Poles suckle antisemitism from their mothers’ milk”. The row initially started after Israel’s PM Netanyahu was quoted as saying “Poles co-operated with the Germans” during the Holocaust, infuriating his Polish counterpart.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • [Ticker] Warning for British banks over Brexit staff relocation

    A number of London-based banks that deal with eurozone affairs have not moved enough staff into other EU states ahead of UK’s departure from the European Union, said German bank supervisor Joachim Wuermelling on Thursday. Banks that deal with the eurozone and single currency are required to do so from within the EU. “All banks must ensure that they have relocated sufficient staff to the EU 27 entities,” he said.

    Posted: by euobserver

  • Sluggish procedure against Hungary back on table

    EU probes into Hungary and Poland on rule of law and democracy are back on the agenda of EU affairs ministers – but with little guidance from the Romanian presidency, without a clear idea where the procedures are headed.

    Posted: by euobserver