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News on Europe - July 2020

 
30 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


US Defense Secretary Mark Esper outlined plans on Wednesday (29 July) to take thousands of US troops out of Germany. Under the plan, the US will send home some 6,400 forces and relocate 5,400 out of Germany to other European countries. Roughly 25,000 troops are set to remain in Germany. The move is set to be the largest shake-up of troops in Germany since the Cold War.

Esper said that the troop reassignments were part of a larger plan to update US strategy against Russia. However, retired US General Ben Hodges criticised the move saying that “it was a gift to the Kremlin to reduce US capability in Europe without achieving a reduction in Russian aggression”.

Several members of Trump’s own party have also criticized the plan and sought to reassure ties with Germany. Trump has often criticised Germany for not investing enough in defence and being delinquent in its NATO payments.

Read more: https://www.dw.com/en/us-to-withdraw-or-relocate-more-troops-in-germany-than-previously-thought/a-54367804

 

Related articles:

https://www.france24.com/en/20200729-us-to-withdraw-11-900-troops-from-germany-about-half-to-be-redeployed-in-europe

https://www.politico.eu/article/us-to-pull-12000-troops-from-germany-after-president-donald-trump-calls-country-delinquent/

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/29/us-says-it-will-withdraw-nearly-12-000-troops-from-germany-and-place-around-half-elsewhere

https://www.euractiv.com/section/defence-and-security/news/pentagon-to-shift-us-troops-from-germany-to-belgium-italy/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53589245




29 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


On Tuesday (28 July), EU foreign ministers expressed concerns over the new “national security” legislation in Hong Kong (HK) that would limit fundamental freedoms in HK. They also agreed on limiting the export of “sensitive” equipment that could be used for surveillance in HK as part of a joint response. The ministers also called for measures at both the national and EU level to restrict trade and review the extradition rules with HK. 

Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas welcomed the joint response saying that he was “glad that we have today reached consensus among EU Foreign Ministers on Council conclusions on Hong Kong”, adding that now member countries “have a common toolbox” to take action. Maas also noted that his country already took a first step by immediately halting exports of military equipment and so-called dual-use goods to HK as it already does with China.

Ironically, on the same day, another meeting was held between Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Trade Chief Phil Hogan with China’s Vice Premier Liu He to discuss trade and economy issues. At this meeting, the EU called on China to engage in trade reform and to remove barriers impeding European companies access to the Chinese market.

Read more:

1) https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-to-limit-export-of-sensitive-tech-in-response-to-hong-kong-security-law/

2) https://www.eubusiness.com/news-eu/china-eu-trade.28iu

 

Related articles:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-china/news/eu-to-restrict-exports-to-hong-kong-over-security-law/

https://www.dw.com/en/eu-restricts-exports-to-hong-kong-over-china-security-law/a-54359734

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/europe-and-new-zealand-limit-tech-exports-from-hong-kong/

https://asiatimes.com/2020/07/eu-to-restrict-exports-to-hk-over-security-law/

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1419

https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-07-29/Significant-progress-made-in-pragmatic-China-EU-trade-talks-Svhh5rDsSA/index.html




28 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ ​

Image Source: flickr/mfa​​russia​


On Monday (27 July), German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a newspaper interview that Germany has rejected a proposal by US President Donald Trump to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the Group of Seven (G7) most advanced economies. He added that it would be difficult to allow Russia back into G7 as long as there was no meaningful progress in solving the conflicts in Crimea and Ukraine.

Russia is still part of the G20, a broader grouping including other emerging-market economies. In reference to Trump’s proposal to invite not only Russia but other countries to G7 meetings Maas remarked that “G7 and G20 are two sensibly coordinated formats. We don’t need G11 or G12 anymore”.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/germany-rejects-trumps-proposal-to-let-russia-back-into-g7/

 

Related articles:

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-g7-summit-russia-germany/germany-rejects-trumps-proposal-to-let-russia-back-into-g7-foreign-minister-idUSKCN24R0T7

https://www.businessinsider.com/germany-rejects-trumps-call-re-admit-russia-to-the-g7-2020-7

https://www.dw.com/en/maas-germany-against-us-push-to-let-russia-back-into-g7/a-54325313




27 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ 

Image Source: Pixabay


The EU Commission presented on Friday (24 July) a new EU Security Union Strategy to tackle Europe’s evolving threat landscape. Better cybersecurity standards for critical infrastructure, doubling down on tackling terrorism and organized crime, and preparing the bloc for emerging threats in “real and digital” environments dominated the new strategy. Commission Vice-President for Promoting European Way of Life Margaritis Schinas told reporters in Brussels that “with the new strategy, we are connecting all the dots to build a real security ecosystem”.

Alongside the EU Security Union strategy, the Commission launched its first three initiatives to combat child sexual abuse online, drug and firearms trafficking.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/commission-presents-security-strategy-to-tackle-europes-evolving-threat-landscape/

 

Related articles:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1379

https://www.euractiv.com/section/5g/news/commission-presses-member-states-on-high-risk-5g-vendors/

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/25/eu-insists-european-companies-could-replace-huawei-in-5g-network

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/24/eu-still-have-work-to-do-to-beef-up-5g-security-ahead-of-european-rollout

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1378

https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/report-member-states-progress-implementing-eu-toolbox-5g-cybersecurity

https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/commission-to-present-mandatory-rules-for-platforms-to-detect-report-and-remove-online-abuse/

https://euobserver.com/justice/149030​




24 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


Brexit negotiators will now miss the July target to agree on a deal outline. After five rounds of talks, some progress is discernible but both sides admitted that they are still a long way apart. EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier warned on Thursday (23 July), following the latest round of negotiation, that a trade agreement between the EU and the UK is increasingly unlikely to be reached this year. However, Britain Chief Negotiator David Frost struck a more positive tone, mentioning that a deal could still be done in September. He added that both sides must “face the possibility” that a deal will not be reached.

The EU wants the deal to be a single overarching agreement where a dispute in one area could lead to repercussions in another, but Britain wants a series of mini-agreements with their own governance arrangements.

Informal discussions will continue in London next week and the next formal negotiating round starts on 17 August. Both sides are expected to remain in contact through the start of August and further negotiations are penciled in for September. Any deal would likely need to be concluded by October so that there is time for both sides to ratify it.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/david-frost-brexit-negotiators-will-miss-july-target-for-outline-deal/

 

Related articles:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/eu-uk-trade-pact-unlikely-this-year-warns-barnier/

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/23/brexit-uk-eu-trade-deal-looking-unlikely-says-michel-barnier

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eu-chief-negotiator-says-brexit-trade-deal-unlikely/

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_20_1400

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/government-economy/uk-trade-deal-unlikely-for-now-britain-eu-clash-over-post-brexit-ties

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jul/23/considerable-gaps-remain-brexit-talks-says-uk-negotiator-david-frost




23 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: flickr/European Parliament​


EU Parliament President David Sassoli said at a news conference on Wednesday that the European parliament was “satisfied” with the resources included in the recovery package but added that the institution planned to make “certain corrections” to the trillion-euro, seven-year budget.

Sassoli mentioned a few programs that he was hoping to discuss in the budget including migration adding that cuts to migration “would make our response weaker”. He also questioned the cuts to research and the EU's student exchange programme, Erasmus, calling these cuts “unjustified”.

Referring to the parliament's budgetary responsibility within European institutions, Sassoli explained “on the budget, the Council doesn't have the last word”. Now the deal will have to pass the scrutiny of the European Parliament, during the plenary session set for Thursday (23 July).

Read more: https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/22/watch-live-european-parliament-president-david-sassoli-speaks-about-covid-19-recovery-pack

 

Related articles:

https://www.politico.eu/article/sidelined-on-recovery-parliament-plans-battle-over-eu-budget/

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/european-parliament-to-hold-extraordinary-plenary-to-assess-summit-conclusions/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/parliament-threatens-to-withhold-consent-on-budget-cuts-potentially-delaying-recovery-plans/

https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/news/article/david-sassoli-eu-longterm-budget-still-needs-correcting-and-parliament-will-try-to-improve-it




22 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: flickr/A4-Nieuws​


On Tuesday (21 July), French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said that France would not ban China's Huawei from investing in the country, in contrast to Britain, which has decided to purge the firm's equipment from its 5G network by 2027.

Le Maire added that he had reaffirmed France's position to Chinese authorities on Monday, and also told France Info radio there was “no blanket ban” on Huawei in France, but that sensitive locations would be protected.

Read more: https://www.france24.com/en/20200721-no-blanket-ban-on-chinese-firm-huawei-says-french-finance-minister

 

Related articles:

https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-07-22/China-and-France-commit-to-let-Huawei-invest-in-French-5G-networks-SjANAMfFT2/index.html

https://www.independent.ie/business/world/no-huawei-investment-ban-in-france-says-le-maire-39386963.html

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-france-huawei/huawei-will-not-be-prevented-from-investing-in-france-le-maire-idUSKCN24M0S6




21 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: European Union


After a deal was struck on the fifth day of the EU marathon summit early Tuesday (21 July) morning, EU Council President Charles Michel heralded the agreement with a one-word tweet: “Deal!”. Michel steered the negotiations, and ultimately bridged an array of fierce disagreements.

At a press conference, Michel announced that the EU leaders have reached agreement on a comprehensive coronavirus recovery package and EU long-term budget. The recovery package will composed of €390 billion in grants and €360 billion in loans. It will be attached to a new €1.074 trillion seven-year budget, the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), bringing the total financial package to €1.82 trillion.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/eu-leaders-reach-deal-on-coronavirus-recovery-fund/

 

Related articles:

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/07/21/remarks-by-president-charles-michel-after-the-special-european-council-17-21-july-2020/

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/european-council/2020/07/17-21/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/politics/news/council-brokers-historic-stimulus-pact-as-budget-cuts-rule-of-law-retreat-plague-deal/

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/20/eu-summit-deadlock-see-talks-stretch-into-sunday

https://www.france24.com/en/20200721-eu-leaders-edge-closer-to-striking-deal-on-covid-19-recovery-plan

https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-eu-leaders-reach-deal-on-recovery-package/a-54242834

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53481542




20 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: European Union


The EU summit was originally scheduled to end on Saturday. However, deep ideological differences between the 27 leaders over the EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund to tackle the crisis forced the talks into Sunday and then through the night until Monday morning.

As at press time, the EU leaders were still haggling over the size and terms of the recovery fund. All nations agree they need to band together but the five richer countries in the north, led by the Netherlands, want strict controls on spending, while struggling southern nations like Spain and Italy say those conditions should be kept to a minimum. There were also further tensions on linking the handout of EU funds with the issue on the rule of law.

The EU leaders are committed to pick up the fight again later Monday.

Read more: https://apnews.com/9811de8d62e67428dc045caae1db4044

 

Related articles:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/leaders-edge-closer-to-deal-as-eu-recovery-fund-talks-enter-fourth-day/

https://www.france24.com/en/20200720-angry-eu-leaders-struggle-to-save-deadlocked-covid-19-recovery-summit

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/20/eu-summit-deadlock-see-talks-stretch-into-sunday#

https://www.politico.eu/article/raw-emotions-as-eu-budget-summit-stretches-into-fourth-day/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53468554

https://www.dw.com/en/eu-summit-angela-merkel-warns-of-possible-no-deal-on-recovery-aid/a-54224418

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/18/eu-leaders-aim-to-break-stalemate-on-trillion-euro-covid-19-recovery-package

https://www.france24.com/en/20200719-eu-leaders-to-meet-for-third-day-of-difficult-covid-19-rescue-package-talks




17 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


The EU’s Competition Chief Margrethe Vestager announced on Thursday (16 July) that the EU Commission has launched an antitrust competition inquiry into the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies such as voice assistants and connected mobile systems. The inquiry will focus on consumer-related products and services that are connected to a network and can be controlled at a distance, and seek to understand how such devices collect and monetise the data.

Vestager noted that voice assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa and other smart devices (home appliances and wearable technologies) can collect vast amounts of data about our habits. There is a risk that companies can misuse this data to cement their position in the marketplace. She added that the competition in digital markets can be fragile once big companies misuse their power, and that such situations can result in market tipping where one company obtains high monopoly profits and market share, creating an anti-competitive environment for other firms.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/vestager-launches-investigation-into-internet-of-things/

 

Related articles:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1326

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/speech_20_1367

https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/press-wire/14965-is-the-smart-home-a-distorted-one

https://techcrunch.com/2020/07/16/eu-antitrust-lawmakers-kick-off-iot-deep-dive-to-follow-the-data-flows/

https://www.businesstimes.com.sg/technology/siri-alexa-targeted-as-eu-probes-internet-of-things

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-antitrust-tech/eu-regulators-to-probe-alexa-siri-and-other-voice-assistants-idUSKCN24H1VP




16 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: European Union


The EU and India vowed to deepen trade ties following the 15th EU-India Summit held via video conference on Wednesday (15 July). The two powers also announced plans to set up a "high-level dialogue" on investment and trade, although, details of any potential free trade pact remain uncertain. Discussions at the summit also touched on defense cooperation and tackling the coronavirus pandemic.

The summit was led by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen stressed that the EU and India are the world's largest democracies, and highlighted that the EU and India must work more closely to promote and protect shared interests, based on effective multilateralism, the rule of law and human rights.

Read more: https://www.dw.com/en/eu-india-move-closer-to-free-trade-deal/a-54189895

 

Related articles:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/statement_20_1354

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/international-summit/2020/07/15/

https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/07/15/joint-statement-15th-eu-india-summit-15-july-2020/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/eu-and-india-seek-deeper-trade-ties/

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/at-india-eu-summit-trade-deal-remains-elusive/story-SKQruUnonqupd8O91vc8QJ.html

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-eu-summit-decides-to-set-up-high-level-dialogue-to-address-trade-irritants-foster-progress-on-free-trade-pact/articleshow/76987190.cms

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/india-eu-virtual-summit-to-focus-on-limited-trade-deal-bilateral-investment-treaty/articleshow/76967007.cms

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-india-europe-trade/eus-von-der-leyen-says-hopes-for-ambitious-free-trade-pact-with-india-idUSKCN24G24C




15 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday (14 July) that time is pressing on EU member states to reach a deal on proposals for a long-term budget and a stimulus plan. Merkel reiterated that there is no guarantee EU leaders will bridge their differences on the proposals by European Council President Charles Michel, but added that Germany would push for a compromise at a summit of leaders this week.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the deal has to be reached in July and that “Spain will do all it can to make it happen”. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Italy was happy for EU institutions to monitor its economic reforms but warned that imposing excessively stringent conditions would be counter-productive.

Merkel has suggested that a second summit will be needed if leaders fail to seal a deal this week.

Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-recovery-merkel-sanchez/time-is-pressing-on-eu-leaders-to-agree-budget-recovery-fund-merkel-idUSKCN24F2ED

 

Related articles:

https://www.euractiv.com/section/economy-jobs/news/in-berlin-sanchez-vows-to-do-everything-to-reach-a-deal-at-eu-summit/

https://www.dw.com/en/agreement-on-eu-coronavirus-rescue-fund-deadlocked-ahead-of-summit/a-54178633

http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2020-07/15/c_139212705.htm

https://www.politico.eu/article/pedro-sanchez-spain-eu-no-recovery-without-unity/




14 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell said on Monday (13 July) that the EU is preparing counter-measures on China in response to Beijing’s new security law on Hong Kong but stressed the likely steps will not amount to economic sanctions. He said EU governments could review their extradition agreements with Hong Kong authorities, review travel advice, increase scholarships for Hong Kong students and offer more visas to Hong Kongers.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel backed a common EU response but warned against severing dialogue with China. During a news conference with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, Merkel said “it is important that EU member states are trying to find a common policy toward China and a common answer”, “(but) this is no reason not to remain in dialogue with China.”

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/eu-china/news/eu-preparing-measures-against-china-over-hong-kong/

 

Related articles:

https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy/article/3093003/eu-foreign-ministers-discuss-measures-over-hong-kong-national

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-security-eu/eu-preparing-measures-against-china-over-hong-kong-idUSKCN24E17P

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-hongkong-security-eu-merkel/eu-should-not-cease-dialogue-with-china-over-hong-kong-merkel-says-idUSKCN24E2DE?il=0




13 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


On Sunday (12 July), Britain’s Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove announced a £705 million funding package to boost UK's border controls with the EU, to ensure borders will be ready from 1 January after the post-Brexit transition ends. The new package comes just days after a leaked letter from International Trade Secretary Liz Truss raised concerns about the readiness of Britain's ports.  On the same week the European Commission also set out guidelines for businesses, governments and citizens to prepare for the end of the transition period, with EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier asking businesses to step up their planning for a “no-deal” scenario when UK leaves the Single Market.

The package only relates to the external borders of England, Scotland and Wales. It includes funding for new control posts, data infrastructure to improve flow of traffic and people, and 500 extra staff for UK’s Border Force. Additional measures aimed at addressing the end of the transition period in Northern Ireland are expected to be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/uk-spends-705m-to-boost-border-controls-with-eu/

 

Related articles:

https://www.euronews.com/2020/07/12/brexit-uk-launches-790m-project-to-deal-with-future-eu-border-checks

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/uk-unveils-e800m-eu-border-spending-plan/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/step-up-no-deal-planning-barnier-warns-eu-firms/

https://www.dw.com/en/uk-to-launch-post-brexit-points-based-immigration-system-and-reinforce-border/a-54150524

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53375713

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1304

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/outside-the-eu-a-bright-future-awaits-britain



 
9 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: European Union


On Wednesday (8 July), the European Commission unveiled plans on Energy System Integration and Renewable Hydrogen aiming to become climate-neutral by 2050. The EU Strategy for Energy System Integration will provide the framework for green energy transition, whilst the Hydrogen Strategy will support decarbonisation across Europe.

The Commission explained that Energy System Integration means that the system is planned and operated as a whole, and sets out 38 actions, exploiting technologies to link different energy carriers, infrastructures and sectors. As for the Hydrogen strategy, EU Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton said the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance launched on 8 July will channel investments into hydrogen production, developing a pipeline of concrete projects to support the decarbonisation efforts of European energy intensive industries such as steel and chemicals.

EU Executive Vice-President for the Green Deal Frans Timmermans said if Europe wants to become the first climate neutral continent by 2050, it needs to switch its energy systems from fossil fuels to clean energy. The transition will be gradual and will require a phased approach.

Read more: https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eu-outlines-energy-system-clean-hydrogen-plans-for-climate-neutrality-by-2050/

 

Related articles:

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1259

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/qanda_20_1257

https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-193037

https://audiovisual.ec.europa.eu/en/video/I-193038

https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/news/eu-commission-charts-path-towards-100-renewable-hydrogen/




8 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


As Germany reappraises its longstanding reliance on the United States amid growing tensions with Washington over security and trade, Berlin aims to reenergize its partnership with China – Germany’s largest trading partner – amid the coronavirus crisis.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main priority with China is to get a planned trade deal with Europe back on track. She stressed that ties to China are of strategic importance. Merkel said they are going to “continue the dialogue with China on all fronts”, citing everything from trade to human rights. She also highlighted that “it’s in Europe’s utmost interest to work together closely” with China.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/merkel-looks-east-as-ties-fray-between-germany-and-us/

 

Related articles:

https://www.dw.com/en/germanys-reluctance-to-speak-out-against-china/a-54079606

https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-07-04/Angela-Merkel-urges-the-EU-to-speak-to-China-with-one-voice--RPmj8kmfIc/index.html




7 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​



The EU-facilitated Kosovo-Serbia dialogue will restart in July with a virtual summit hosted by France and Germany, and a meeting between Kosovo Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbian President Alexandar Vucic in Brussels.

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will host together with the EU a video summit on Friday (10 July) between Serbia and Kosovo aimed at easing tensions between the Balkan neighbours.

EU spokesperson Peter Stano confirmed the visit of Hoti and Vucic to Brussels on Sunday (12 July). The meeting will mark the re-launch of the dialogue on the normalization of relations between Kosovo and Serbia. The EU will be represented by EU High Representative Josep Borrell in this meeting.

Read more: https://balkaninsight.com/2020/07/06/stalled-serbia-kosovo-dialogue-set-to-resume-in-july/

 

Related articles:

https://twitter.com/ExtSpoxEU/status/1280087006027096064

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https://exit.al/en/2020/07/06/kosovo-serbia-dialogue-to-resume-on-july-12/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/enlargement/news/france-germany-seek-to-unfreeze-stalled-kosovo-serbia-talks/

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6 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


The head of French national cybersecurity agency (ANSSI) Guillaume Poupard told the media on Sunday (5 July) that France is encouraging telecom companies not to use Huawei for their 5G networks but will not have a total ban on the Chinese group. For operators who already use Huawei equipment, permits that last between three and eight months will be issued to operators, thus limiting the Chinese company's access to France's 5G network.

France’s decision is good news for two of the country’s telecom operators, Bouygues Telecom and SFR. About half of their respective mobile networks are currently made by Huawei. Meanwhile, state-controlled Orange has already chosen European rivals Nokia and Ericsson to deploy its 5G network.

Read more: https://www.dw.com/en/france-wont-totally-ban-huawei-5g-cybersecurity-head-says/a-54061489

 

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https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/huawei-not-totally-banned-from-france-says-watchdog-12904504

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/france-won-t-ban-huawei--but-encouraging-5g-telcos-to-avoid-it---report-12904866




3 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


An intense round of in-person post-Brexit negotiations this week ended early in Brussels on Thursday (2 July), with both sides citing serious divergences between the EU and the UK. EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said in a statement that the EU had engaged constructively, but also expected its positions to be better understood and respected if an agreement is to be reached. His UK counterpart David Frost said the negotiations have been comprehensive and useful, but also “underlined the significant differences that still remain between us on a number of important issues”.

There was a further meeting planned this Friday (3 July) between Barnier and Frost to take stock after this week’s negotiations, but this had been cancelled. Both sides will continue the talks in London next week, and have insisted that they remain committed to finding a deal on the future relationship between the EU and the UK.

Read more: https://www.politico.eu/article/serious-divergences-remain-after-latest-round-of-brexit-talks/

 

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https://no10media.blog.gov.uk/2020/07/02/david-frosts-statement-following-the-conclusion-of-the-round-of-negotiations-with-the-eu-w-c-29-june/

https://www.euractiv.com/section/uk-europe/news/post-brexit-trade-pact-suffers-setback-as-disagreements-end-talks-early/

https://www.dw.com/en/brexit-europe-uk-trade-talks-stall-over-serious-differences/a-54030689

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-53266902?intlink_from_url=https://www.bbc.com/news/politics&link_location=live-reporting-story

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2020/jul/02/brexit-talks-break-up-early-over-serious-disagreements-michel-barnier

https://in.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu-barnier/big-differences-at-britain-eu-trade-talks-barnier-frost-meeting-off-idINKBN24324J

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu/uk-says-significant-differences-remain-on-brexit-free-trade-deal-idUSKBN2431TJ




2 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


The EU Commission published the European Skills Agenda along with the Youth Employment Support Package on Wednesday (1 July) – laying out new goals for upskilling and reskilling the bloc’s population by 2025. One of the goals is to ensure that 70% of the EU adult population has basic digital skills. The announcement follows the recent publication of the Commission’s Digital Economy and Society Index, which found that a large part of the EU population “lacks basic digital skills, even though most jobs require such skills”.

As part of the Youth Employment Support Package, the aim is to boost plans to tackle youth unemployment. Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit warned about the risk of young people in precarious jobs, with limited labour contracts, and young people becoming victims of the coronavirus crisis. At least €22 billion will be spent over the next seven years to support the youths in employment, education, training and apprenticeship.

Read more: https://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/commission-in-bid-to-ensure-70-of-eu-adults-have-digital-skills/

 

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https://ec.europa.eu/social/BlobServlet?docId=22832&langId=en

https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/ip_20_1193

https://euobserver.com/tickers/148826




1 July 2020​​​​​​​​​​​

Image Source: Pixabay


On Tuesday (30 June), the EU Council adopted a recommendation on the lifting of travel restrictions for 15 third countries. The criteria for lifting the current travel restrictions comprise the epidemiological situation and containment measures in each country as well as economic and social considerations. Reciprocity on the part of the third countries would also be taken into account. US is conspicuously absent from this list.

The Council recommendation is not a legally binding instrument – member states may set restrictions on travellers entering from the listed third countries but should not decide to lift travel restrictions for non-listed third countries. The list of third countries will be reviewed every two weeks.

Read more: https://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2020/06/30/council-agrees-to-start-lifting-travel-restrictions-for-residents-of-some-third-countries/

 

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https://www.politico.eu/article/coronavirus-travel-europe-white-list-emerges-from-battle-for-national-interests/

https://www.dw.com/en/eu-agrees-to-reopen-borders-to-14-countries-extends-travel-ban-for-us-tourists/a-53986435

https://www.france24.com/en/20200630-us-left-out-as-european-union-reopens-borders-to-15-countries

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