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In addition to diversification, energy saving or the promotion of renewables, some countries have chosen to expand existing gas drilling sites or exploit unused reserves as the EU prepares to end its dependence on Russian gas. Read more.
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In today’s news from the capitals:
The Belgian Liberals withdraw from the colonial repair missions. Belgium’s liberal coalition party Open Vld has distanced itself from a parliamentary committee initiative to send a delegation to central Africa amid ongoing talks on reparations to former colonies. Read more.
Belgian Prime Minister discusses Ukraine’s EU membership with Zelensky. Ukraine’s application for EU membership, which will be at the heart of Thursday’s European Council summit, has Belgium’s full support, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy by phone on Wednesday. . Read more.
Germany pushes to link enlargement to EU reform. While German Chancellor Scholz unequivocally backed Ukraine’s and Moldova’s EU membership bids and urged European leaders to speed up the Western Balkans’ accession process, he stressed on Wednesday that enlargement should be linked to the institutional reform of the EU. Lily After.
How far are you willing to go for the coalition, Macron asks the opposition. Opposition parties were called upon to clarify how far they would be willing to go to build a cross-party coalition by French President Emmanuel Macron in his address to the nation on Wednesday. Read more.
Austria supports Bosnia and Herzegovina’s EU candidacy. Bosnia and Herzegovina should receive the same treatment as Ukraine and Moldova for obtaining EU candidate status before the preconditions were met, according to Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
LONDON | KIGALI
Commonwealth in crisis. The threat of an institutional crisis looms over this week’s Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson leading the campaign to replace the organisation’s outgoing general secretary, Baroness Patricia Scotland , Labor member of the House of Lords. and former Attorney General of the United Kingdom. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Danes over 50 will be offered a COVID-19 booster shot. More than 2.5 million Danes over the age of 50 will be offered a booster against COVID-19 this fall, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen said at a press conference on Wednesday. Read more.
Finland’s economy hit by war in Ukraine. Finland’s economy was booming before the Russian attack on Ukraine, but now the war is starting to take its toll as economic growth is expected to reach 1.7% this year, but will slow to 0.5% in 2023 on based on a forecast published by the Bank of Finland. Read more.
Spain will reduce VAT on electricity to mitigate the impact of the crisis. A 5% VAT reduction on electricity prices, a mitigation measure included in a new anti-crisis package due to be approved by the government on Saturday June 25, was announced by Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Wednesday . Read more.
M5S does not withdraw from Draghi’s government. The Five Star Movement will continue to support Mario Draghi’s government despite the internal split and disagreement with the majority over arms deliveries to Ukraine, party leader Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday. Read more.
Portuguese PM: Inconsistent decisions could trap Ukraine and implode the EU. Ukraine’s integration into the EU could implode the EU rather than strengthen it and could even be a trap for Ukraine if no coherent decision is taken, Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa said on Wednesday. . Read more.
Czech FM: EU loses debate over who is responsible for lack of food. African and Asian countries are facing food shortages due to Russia’s Black Sea blockade, but they often blame the EU instead, Czech Foreign Minister Jan Lipavský has warned. Read more.
Polish parliament swearing-in ceremony disrupted by opposition MP. Klaudia Jachira, who represents Poland’s largest opposition party, the Liberal Civic Platform, strewn cut-up banknotes around the parliamentary hall in protest against the election of Adam Glapiński as President of the Bank Polish National (NBP), for a second term. Read more.
Petkov’s government falls from power. A no-confidence vote led Bulgaria’s parliament to overthrow the government of Kiril Petkov, elected just six months ago, and Bulgarians are likely to vote again in the general election in the fall, the fourth such vote in just over one year. Read more.
Germany pledges to support Western Balkan EU membership ahead of EU summit. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz fully supports the candidacy status of Ukraine and Moldova and has urged other EU states to make Western Balkan membership equally important. Read more.
The Prime Minister hopes that Zagreb could soon get the green light to join Schengen. The Council of the EU will send a formal proposal on Croatia’s Schengen membership in 2023 to the European Parliament next week, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković told the EU assembly in Brussels on Wednesday. , saying the move should be approved as Zagreb is fully ready. Read more.
The EP urged involving parliamentarians from the Western Balkans. The European Movement in Serbia asked the European Parliament on June 22 to involve in its regular sessions parliamentarians from the Western Balkan countries who had applied for EU membership in its regular sessions as observers. Read more.
PRISTINE | BERLIN | SARAJEVO
Germany extends military deployment of up to 400 soldiers. Germany has expanded the military deployment of the NATO-led peacekeeping operation Kosovo Force (KFOR) by up to 400 soldiers, according to a resolution passed in the Bundestag on Wednesday (June 22nd). Read more.
- EU: European Council and meeting of Western Balkan EU leaders. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen is taking part.
- European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen, Commission Vice-President Dubravka Šuica and European Parliament President Roberta Metsola attend the European People’s Party summit.
- Commission Vice-President Margaritis Schinas and Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson attend the EU-US Council on Justice and Home Affairs.
- Plenary session of the European Parliament.
- Swiss: WHO emergency committee meets to assess global outbreak of monkeypox.
- UK: UK national railway workers go on strike.
- Azerbaijan: Visits of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
- Turkey: Visits by Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
- Israel: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gives a live virtual address at Hebrew University.
- China: Virtual BRICS Summit.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]