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In today’s news from the Capitals:
The Party of European Socialists (PES) stands ready to take all necessary measures against its local member in Bulgaria, which announced its intention to form a broad coalition with pro-Russian, nationalist parties, PES Secretary General Giacomo Filibeck told Euractiv.
Meanwhile, in Sofia, experts estimate Bulgarian President Rumen Radev is behind the nationalist push and that the EU should brace for an Orbán-style government ready to take advantage of the growing Ukraine “fatigue”. Read more.
France: Officials to ditch popular messaging services, urged to switch to French tech. French ministers will have to stop using WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal as messaging services starting 8 December for security reasons, with the government already urging them to switch to a new French-made messaging app called Olvid. Read more.
EPP Secretary-General ‘confident’ leaders will support the second von der Leyen term. Thanasis Bakolas, secretary general of the centre-right European People’s Party, said he was confident that the party’s national leaders would “do the right thing” and back Ursula von der Leyen for a second term at the helm of the European Commission while warning of possible “disruptors” from other political parties. Read more.
Two MEPs and two outsiders join the race for Greens’ EU election lead candidates. Green chief and MEP Terry Reintke (Germany), GroenLinks MEP Bas Eickhout (Netherlands), former Latvian presidential candidate Elīna Pinto, and the spokesperson for the Young European Greens, Benedetta Scuderi (Italy), are running to be one of the two European Greens’ lead candidates in the EU elections. Read more.
German climate policy insufficient, court rules. The German government must present emergency programmes to improve its climate policy in the transport and buildings sector, a Berlin court ruled on Thursday after the country repeatedly failed to meet emission reduction targets. Read more.
Draghi: EU must become a state. The European Union is at a critical juncture, and it is now necessary for it to unite to “become a state”, former prime minister and ECB governor Mario Draghi said during a book presentation. Read more.
Portugal records budget surplus of €6.2 billion for 2023 so far. Portugal recorded a budget surplus in public accounts of €6.2 billion for the year as of October, which is €3.4 billion more than for the same period last year, Portugal’s Finance Ministry said on Thursday. Read more.
Greece to test postal voting in EU elections for the first time. The centre-right ruling New Democracy party (EPP) announced on Thursday that it will allow the possibility of postal voting for the first time in the June 2024 EU elections. Read more.
Most Poles oppose EU treaty reform: poll. More than one in two Polish people expect their government to oppose the EU treaty reforms proposed by the EU Parliament, according to a survey conducted by United Surveys. Read more.
Czech MEP: EU Parliament composition after 2024 elections very unclear. It is very unclear what the composition of the European Parliament will look like after next year’s European elections, MEP Evžen Tošenovský of the ruling ODS party told Euractiv Czech Republic while expressing fears that the party’s move from the ECR to the EPP could weaken its voice. Read more.
Slovakia will repurpose hoax-fighting money into roof repairs. Projects meant to fight disinformation and strengthen media education will be left unfunded as Culture Minister Martina Šimkovičová decided to repurpose EU funding worth €300,000 to repair the roof of the Slovak Philharmonic and support libraries. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Romania aims to recycle 7 billion PETs per year. Romania’s guarantee return system for plastic, glass and metal packaging went live on Thursday, with an ambitious target to recycle around 7 billion pieces of reusable PET plastic each year to massively increase the country’s current separate collection rate of about 12-13%. Read more.
Slovenian inflation drops below 5%. Slovenia’s annual inflation rate fell to 4.9% in November, the lowest in two years and two percentage points lower than in the previous month, although it remains among the EU’s highest, fresh data from the country’s statistics office reads. Read more.
Spyware used against Serbian civil society ahead of snap parliamentary elections. Advanced spyware, likely Pegasus, has been used against Serbian civil society just weeks before snap parliamentary elections, human rights organisation Amnesty International confirmed on Tuesday. Read more.
- COP28 world climate action summit takes place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Council President Charles Michel, Commission President Ursula von der Leyen expected to represent the EU; Spanish presidency’s plan of action to deliver on the pillars of the Paris Agreement focuses on four areas: fast-tracking energy transition, fixing climate finance, putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action, underpinning everything with full inclusivity;
- EU: Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson holds meetings with Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan Yasutoshi Nishimura, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Masahito Moriyama, in Tokyo; Meets with Parliamentary Association for the Promotion of Nuclear Fusion Power Generation of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan;
- Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton meets via videoconference with high level representatives of solar industry and member states, under the aegis of Solar Alliance;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]
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