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In today’s news from the capitals:
Italy, France, Spain and Germany meet and consult regularly to find common ground and reach a broader consensus in the Council of the EU, Italy’s Minister of Justice said on Tuesday. Interior, Luciana Lamorgese, at an event organized by EURACTIV Italy. Read more.
Scholz confident in finding diplomatic solution after talks with Russia. After four hours of talks in the Kremlin, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Tuesday there was enough common ground to pursue diplomacy to avert a war between Russia and Ukraine. Read the full story.
France for a Europe of space. President Emmanuel Macron said he would push Europe to “Engage in international competition” on space issues – calling it a central issue for European sovereignty – at a summit to be held on Wednesday in Toulouse. Read more.
Feeling of freedom at a “low point” in Austria. Following pandemic restrictions and a series of political corruption scandals, Austrians feel increasingly restricted, the SORA Institute’s 2021 “freedom index” showed. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Intra-Irish trade explodes after Brexit. The value of Northern Irish goods exported to the Republic of Ireland has jumped by more than 60% in the first year after Britain left the EU single market, according to new data released on Tuesday by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) of Ireland. Read more.
Ireland will create an agency for a strategy against domestic, sexual and gender-based violence. Ireland will set up a new statutory agency to oversee the implementation of the government’s approach to tackling domestic, sexual and gender-based violence (DSGBV), it was announced on Tuesday. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Finland could consider helping Ukraine financially. Finland could help Ukraine financially if it is attacked militarily, Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) said on Tuesday at her monthly press conference, noting that whether the aid would also include arms exports is a “more complicated” question. Marin also commented on possible sanctions and the discussion on NATO membership. Read more.
STOCKHOLM | VILNIUS
Lithuanian Ambassador to Sweden: We cannot sacrifice Ukraine. “We cannot sacrifice Ukraine, remain silent and pretend nothing is happening,” Lithuanian Ambassador Giedrius Čekuolis told P1 Morgon on Tuesday, commenting on the escalating situation on the Ukrainian border. Read more.
Spanish carmaker SEAT risks 8,000 jobs because of electric cars. Spain’s car industry could see 8,000 people lose their jobs in the future as electric cars are less labor intensive than combustion engine cars, Spanish carmaker SEAT has warned, according to the newspaper. Cinco Dias announced tuesday. Read more.
The European Commission congratulates Spain on the labor reform. EU Commissioner for Employment Nicolas Schmitt congratulated Employment Minister Yolanda Díaz on labor reform and the 2030 plan for the European Social Pillar at a meeting of EU employment ministers in Bordeaux, eldiario.es reported on Tuesday. Read more.
Italian gas, electricity prices soar despite government interventions. Electricity and gas prices jumped 94% and 131% in the first quarter of 2022, compared to the same quarter of last year, the Italian Energy Regulatory Authority told the Senate on Tuesday. networks and the environment (ARERA). Read more.
The sugar and salt content of food in Portugal has decreased by more than 11% in three years. Some food products in Portugal have seen their salt and sugar content reduced by around 11% between 2018 and 2021, according to a study on the reformulation of food products, published on Tuesday. Read more.
Polish and Russian foreign ministers meet as part of OSCE pledge to create conditions for prisoner exchange. Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau met his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow on Tuesday to discuss the Ukraine crisis and as head of the OSCE, currently chaired by Poland. Read more.
Hungarian universities and authorities clash over COVID drug. the The leadership of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) has condemned the national drug control agency’s decision to take legal action against media that questioned the effectiveness of favipiravir – an antiviral drug used in the treatment coronaviruses, Telex reported. Read more.
Slovakia does not expect a boom in gas projects despite the new taxonomy. Key Slovak investors have so far ruled out reviving several major projects involving natural gas and nuclear as the government welcomes the European Commission’s decision to include these energy sources in the new green taxonomy. Read more.
Data leaks and corruption on the agenda of EU-Albania talks. The EU-Albania committee monitoring the progress of the country’s European integration met on Tuesday with discussions on the fight against corruption and last year’s massive data leaks which saw the data of nearly a million people, including name, identity, salary, phone number, voting preference and even car registration in the public domain. Read more.
The Bulgarian army is not able to cope with the risks arising from global crises. The Bulgarian army has no arms, equipment or people to deal with the risks arising from the Ukrainian crisis, the conflicts in the Middle East and Asia, international terrorism and migratory flows, according to the conclusion drawn at the meeting of the National Security Advisory Council and Of the president. Read more.
Romania’s economic growth is not as expected. Romania’s gross domestic product fell in the fourth quarter of 2021 and growth for the whole year fell short of expectations, preliminary data from the statistics institute released on Tuesday showed. Read more.
f CroatianThe Ministry of Finance issues around 180 million euros in Treasury bills. The Croatian Ministry of Finance sold 1.3 billion kuna (173 million euros) and 6.5 million euros in treasury bills at an auction on Tuesday. Read more.
Slovenian health and social care workers are organizing a strike. Slovenian nurses and social workers will stage a one-day strike on Wednesday due to the lack of “meaningful progress” on demands that include a pay rise and better working conditions. Read more.
Serbian president dissolves parliament and calls for early elections. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić on Tuesday dissolved parliament and called for early parliamentary elections on April 3, a year and a half after forming the government following a boycotted vote by the main opposition party. Read more.
Expert: The epidemiological situation in North Macedonia is still “not so good”. The total death toll from COVID-19 is 3% since the virus emerged, Infectious Diseases Commission Chairman Aleksandar Petličkovski said, adding that while the epidemiological situation in the country has improved, we still cannot say that it is good. Read more.
PRISTINE | BELGRADE
US Secretary of State calls for recognition of Kosovo’s independence. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken wrote to Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić regarding recognition of Kosovo. Read more.
- EU: European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell takes part in the debate on Russia in the European Parliament / European Parliament debate on the mechanism linking European funds and the rule of law / Commissioners Jutta Urpilainen and Adina Vălean participate in the EU-Africa Business Forum /
- NATO defense ministers meet in Brussels on Russia-West tensions.
- France: French President Emmanuel Macron to host leaders from Africa’s Sahel region and senior EU officials for dinner / EU space ministers attend informal meeting / Nightclubs allowed to reopen after Covid shutdown.
- Luxemburg: Judgment of the CJEU on appeal by Warsaw and Budapest against a new mechanism linking European funds and the rule of law.
- Poland: EU Court of Justice due on Wednesday on EU conditionality mechanism, linking EU funds to rule of law; on the same day, the Polish Constitutional Court will decide whether the mechanism complies with the Polish constitution.
- Italy: Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio visits Moscow.
- Hungary: Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro travels to Budapest on Thursday.
- Romania: Government meeting – several acts concerning SME aid and European funds are on the agenda.
- Croatia: Prime Minister Andrej Plenković will present a comprehensive package of measures to cushion the fall in gas and electricity prices on the standard of living. At the same time, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud will visit the country.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]