European Union – EGS Schuetzen http://egs-schuetzen.com/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 08:21:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://egs-schuetzen.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-4.png European Union – EGS Schuetzen http://egs-schuetzen.com/ 32 32 Kyiv’s special envoy to the EU says Ukraine’s candidate status would send a clear signal to Russia | Ukraine https://egs-schuetzen.com/kyivs-special-envoy-to-the-eu-says-ukraines-candidate-status-would-send-a-clear-signal-to-russia-ukraine/ Wed, 22 Jun 2022 08:21:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/kyivs-special-envoy-to-the-eu-says-ukraines-candidate-status-would-send-a-clear-signal-to-russia-ukraine/ Granting Ukraine candidate status for EU membership would be a historic decision signaling to Russia that it can no longer claim a sphere of influence over its eastern neighbour, the Kyiv ambassador told Brussels. Vsevolod Chentsov, the head of Ukraine’s mission to the EU, said Russia’s war had united Kyiv with the bloc, while ending […]]]>

Granting Ukraine candidate status for EU membership would be a historic decision signaling to Russia that it can no longer claim a sphere of influence over its eastern neighbour, the Kyiv ambassador told Brussels.

Vsevolod Chentsov, the head of Ukraine’s mission to the EU, said Russia’s war had united Kyiv with the bloc, while ending what he called a “mistake” over if his country could belong to the union.

Speaking to the Guardian ahead of a historically charged EU summit on Thursday, he said that for many years Ukraine had been seen as a bridge or buffer state rather than a potential member.

A decision on candidate status “would finally kill, this ambiguity, what is Ukraine for the EU: whether we are building a common house or not… I think now, finally, there is clarity “.

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EU leaders will decide on Thursday whether to grant Ukraine candidate status, following a positive recommendation from the European Commission last Friday. Expectations of a yes vote have risen since four European leaders, including France and Germany, who had been seen as among the more lukewarm, visited Kyiv last week in a show of support.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy applied for EU membership five days after the Russian attack began. On a day when explosions were heard in Kyiv, Zelenskiy called for “immediate joining under a new special procedure”. While the initial response from around 10 EU states was deeply skeptical, opposition has faded, although questions remain about the long way to go.

Ukraine has been seeking EU membership since the 2004 ‘Orange Revolution’ and more strongly since the Maidan protests of 2013-14, when pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted after refusing to sign an association agreement with the bloc.

The decision to apply for EU membership on February 29, 2022 followed the same logic as the Maidan protests, Chentsov said: “Ukraine is fighting for independence and the European future. And at the end of February, it just reached its climax with the full and open Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We need this clarity [on EU membership] to support the Ukrainian army, Ukrainian society, morally, psychologically, and to have a clear idea and understanding of the direction of the movement for Ukraine.

Before the war, EU membership was not an option for the country of 41 million people which was plagued by corruption. The EU Association Agreement with Kyiv describes Ukraine as “a European country [that] shares a common history and common values,” but avoided mentioning membership.

Russia’s war has changed the perception of Ukraine for EU governments and their constituents, the ambassador suggested. “This war has fundamentally united us with the EU at all possible levels: government to government, but mainly people to people.”

He said that “the fact that Europeans, citizens of the EU, receive Ukrainians as their brothers, that they live under one roof” was very important in changing perceptions about whether Ukraine could be EU member. “It’s not a strange country, we’re not strange people. We are the same, we share the same understanding of this world.

A survey published this week by the European Council on Foreign Relations showed that 57% of Europeans support Ukraine’s bid for membership. Poland was the most favorable with 70% in favour; in Germany, France and Italy, however, support was below 50% – at 48%, 47% and 46% respectively – although it still outweighed opposition.

Zelenskiy had warned the EU to expect increased hostilities from Russia during the week of talks on Ukraine’s candidate status. Its ambassador said the bloc should not make its decisions by trying to anticipate the Kremlin’s thinking. He argued that unnamed European capitals had made a “big mistake” in the past by “always looking[ing] what Russia thinks and what Russia will do”.

Some still face a “psychological block”, he said, when it comes to sending weapons to Ukraine. “The mental block is to face the reality that they really need to support Ukraine to effectively fight Russia. Many countries could not imagine that they could provide weapons to fight Russia and now they are getting there .

If Ukraine obtains the status of candidate country, it will take years to join the EU. The ambassador supported France’s proposals to create a “European political community”, an organization to unite EU countries with past and potential members on security, energy and opportunities for young people.

The French proposals were “a useful initiative…to avoid the vacuum, the gap between the current status and future membership”, the ambassador said while refusing to say how long membership negotiations might take.

“It will certainly take time,” Chentsov said, stressing his country’s role in the need for far-reaching political and economic reforms. “We understand that we need to implement these reforms first, for Ukraine, not for the EU.”

If EU leaders approve Ukraine’s request, it will be the first time the bloc has granted candidate status to a country at war.

As Ukraine’s defenders face intensifying Russian attacks in eastern Donbass, the ambassador urged Kyiv’s allies to provide heavy weapons and economic aid. “I think [the war] will last until [Vladimir] Putin understands that he must stop it. I mean Ukraine needs a lot of support both with heavy weapons, but also financial and economic support.

“Yes, our people are brave and the army is probably one of the strongest right now… But we have to support our people, [with] both the arms and the political support to politically isolate Russia, so it prefers not a military but a negotiated way out of the situation.

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Moscow to summon EU ambassador to Russia over Kaliningrad transit – Governor of Kaliningrad https://egs-schuetzen.com/moscow-to-summon-eu-ambassador-to-russia-over-kaliningrad-transit-governor-of-kaliningrad/ Mon, 20 Jun 2022 21:23:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/moscow-to-summon-eu-ambassador-to-russia-over-kaliningrad-transit-governor-of-kaliningrad/ European Union Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer attends a session of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo Join now for FREE unlimited access to Reuters.com Register June 21 (Reuters) – The Russian Foreign Ministry will summon European Union Ambassador to Moscow Markus Ederer on […]]]>

European Union Ambassador to Russia Markus Ederer attends a session of the Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia June 3, 2021. REUTERS/Evgenia Novozhenina/File Photo

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June 21 (Reuters) – The Russian Foreign Ministry will summon European Union Ambassador to Moscow Markus Ederer on Tuesday over Lithuania’s ban on the transit of EU-sanctioned goods through Kaliningrad, it said on Monday. the governor of Kaliningrad.

Vilnius has banned the transit of goods under European Union sanctions through Lithuanian territory to and from the Russian enclave sandwiched between Lithuania and Poland, citing EU sanction rules. Read more

“This is, of course, a situation that can be resolved through diplomatic means,” Anton Alikhanov, governor of Kaliningrad, told Russian television. “As far as I know, tomorrow Marcus Ederer, the European Union Ambassador to Russia, will be summoned to the Foreign Office…and he will be briefed on the appropriate conditions involved here.”

There was no immediate official confirmation from the Russian Foreign Ministry regarding the summons.

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Reporting from Melbourne by Lidia Kelly; Editing by Sandra Maler

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Ukraine vows to prevail against Russian assaults https://egs-schuetzen.com/ukraine-vows-to-prevail-against-russian-assaults/ Sat, 18 Jun 2022 18:40:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/ukraine-vows-to-prevail-against-russian-assaults/ Britain’s Johnson pledges support, warns of ‘Ukraine fatigue’ EU summit expected to support Ukraine’s candidate status The Battle of Sievierodonetsk continues Zelenskiy visits troops in the south More rocket fire and shelling in eastern and central Ukraine KYIV, June 18 (Reuters) – With a blessing for its European ambitions and a pledge of unwavering support […]]]>
  • Britain’s Johnson pledges support, warns of ‘Ukraine fatigue’
  • EU summit expected to support Ukraine’s candidate status
  • The Battle of Sievierodonetsk continues
  • Zelenskiy visits troops in the south
  • More rocket fire and shelling in eastern and central Ukraine

KYIV, June 18 (Reuters) – With a blessing for its European ambitions and a pledge of unwavering support from Britain, Ukraine vowed on Saturday to prevail against Moscow as it battles against the Russian assaults near a key eastern town and that several places were under shell and missile attack.

European Union countries are expected at a summit next week to grant Ukraine EU candidate status following a recommendation from the bloc’s executive on Friday, putting Kyiv on track to realizing an aspiration considered out of reach before the February 24 Russian invasion, even though actual membership could take years. Read more

On Friday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson paid a surprise visit to Kyiv and offered enhanced training to Ukrainian forces. read more Back in Britain on Saturday, he stressed the need to avoid “Ukrainian fatigue” after nearly four months of war.

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“The Russians are moving forward bit by bit and it is vital for us to show what we know to be true, which is that Ukraine can and will win,” he told reporters. Read more “As Ukraine fatigue sets in, it is very important to show that we are with them for the long haul and that we are giving them the strategic resilience they need.”

In an op-ed in the London-based Sunday Times newspaper, Johnson said that meant ensuring “Ukraine gets arms, equipment, ammunition and training faster than the invader”.

“Time is the vital factor,” he said. “Everything will depend on Ukraine’s ability to build up its ability to defend its soil faster than Russia can renew its ability to attack.”

On the battlefields on Saturday, Sievierodonetsk, prime target of Moscow’s offensive aimed at taking full control of the eastern Luhansk region, was again the target of heavy artillery and rockets as Russian forces attacked areas outside the industrial city, the Ukrainian military said.

A Russian-backed official said a large explosion rocked the Sievierodonetsk region on Saturday and a large orange-colored cloud could be seen rising into the air.

Rodion Miroshnik, of the self-proclaimed separatist Luhansk People’s Republic administration, posted a video on Telegram of what he said was the cloud, adding that he could not say whether the explosion occurred in or near the city.

Luhansk Governor Serhiy Gaidai said Russian attacks on towns just south of Sievierodonetsk had been repelled by Ukrainian forces, although the situation in satellite villages was “difficult”.

“The Russians threw all their reserves in the direction of Sievierodonetsk and Bakhmut,” he said in an online message. “They are trying to establish full control over the regional center and cut off the Lysychansk-Bakhmut highway. They have no success, they are dying en masse.”

Gaidai said the town of Lysychansk was under constant bombardment but remained entirely in Ukrainian hands, although a “silent” evacuation was underway and humanitarian convoys were brought in daily. He said a key highway out of town was now impassable due to Russian shelling.

In the northwest, several Russian missiles hit a gas plant in Izium district, and Russian rockets rained down on a suburb of Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city, hitting a municipal building and starting a fire in an apartment building, but no casualties, the Ukrainian said the authorities.

Further northwest, the Ukrainian Armed Forces General Staff said Russian troops on a reconnaissance mission near the town of Krasnopillya were repelled with heavy casualties on Saturday.

Ukrainian authorities also reported nighttime shelling of locations further west in Poltava and Dnipropetrovsk, and on Saturday said three Russian missiles destroyed a fuel storage depot in the town of Novomoskovsk, injuring 11 people, including one seriously. Read more

Reuters could not independently confirm the battlefield accounts.

ZELENSKY’S CHALLENGE

Ukrainian President Volodymir Zelenskiy, whose challenge inspired Ukrainians and won him global respect, said on Saturday he visited soldiers on the southern frontline in the Mykolaiv region.

“Our brave men and women. Each one of them is working hard,” he said on Telegram. “We will definitely hold on! We will definitely win! »

A video showed Zelenskiy in his trademark khaki t-shirt handing out medals and posing for selfies with the military. He did not say when the trip took place. Read more

One of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s stated goals when he ordered his troops into Ukraine was to halt the eastward expansion of the NATO military alliance and keep the neighbor of south of Moscow outside the Western sphere of influence.

But the war, which has killed thousands, turned cities to rubble and forced millions to flee, has had the opposite effect: convincing Finland and Sweden to seek to join NATO and help open the way for Ukraine’s application for EU membership.

“The Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday, while announcing her decision to recommend Ukraine and its neighbor Moldova as candidates for membership of the European Union. the EU.

“We want them to live the European dream with us,” she said, wearing a yellow blazer over a blue blouse, the colors of Ukraine.

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Reports from Reuters offices; Written by Tomasz Janowski and David Brunnstrom Editing by Frances Kerry and Paul Simao

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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EU Fundamental Rights Agency report reflects radical NGO influence https://egs-schuetzen.com/eu-fundamental-rights-agency-report-reflects-radical-ngo-influence/ Fri, 17 Jun 2022 05:14:12 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/eu-fundamental-rights-agency-report-reflects-radical-ngo-influence/ Europe is at war, the continent is facing an unprecedented and global energy crisis, but Brussels continues to wage an ideological war against its own member states not receptive to migration and extremist political tendencies, writes the June report of the Századvég Foundation. According to the Hungarian conservative think tank, the latest report from the […]]]>

Europe is at war, the continent is facing an unprecedented and global energy crisis, but Brussels continues to wage an ideological war against its own member states not receptive to migration and extremist political tendencies, writes the June report of the Századvég Foundation. According to the Hungarian conservative think tank, the latest report from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights is based on NGO reports funded by George Soros and contains a number of false allegations against Hungary and the way which our country operates. According to Századvég, the document will likely serve as a reference for the rule of law report to be published by the European Commission in July.

On 8 June 2022, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) published its Fundamental Rights Report for 2022. The FRA’s output has significant similarities with the annual rule of law reports of the European Commission (EC), not only in terms of content, but also in terms of content. how he makes politically ideological accusations, wrapped in legal wrappers, against countries whose governments do not embrace the ideal of an open society and do not share the liberal ideas that dominate Western public life, the analysis says of the think tank.

In its very first chapter, the FRA report takes a stand against sexist propaganda and condemns Hungary for its child and family protection measures. However, “Every child has the right to the protection and care necessary for his sound physical, mental and family development. moral development. Hungary protects the right of children to an identity appropriate to their sex at birth and ensures an education in accordance with the values ​​based on the constitutional identity of our country and its Christian culture”, states the Hungarian Constitution.

The recognition of same-sex couples as spouses is incompatible with the Christian conception of marriage. However, this does not mean disenfranchisement, the think tank study says. The Hungarian Constitution proclaims the prohibition of discrimination and therefore same-sex couples can live together and have it officially registered. When someone argues that the mother is female and the father is male, they are essentially challenging an axiom.

The right of children to correct physical, mental and moral development is indisputable, and until they are in full possession of their capacity to act and to decide to do so, they should not be subjected to such interventions as sex change operations, which are often irreversible.

Századvég goes on to say that on the issue of access to justice and violence against women, the FRA report makes reference to the views of, among others, the Patent Association and Women for Women Against Violence (NANE). According to these two organisations, domestic violence and sexual violence constitute a serious problem in Hungary, to which the legal instruments do not provide an adequate solution. They consider that the victim protection system is inadequate, that the quantity and quality of police training are deficient and that the authorities adopt victim-blaming behaviour. The denigration of authorities and the victimization of women is an essential part of liberal political communication. Violence, wherever it occurs, whatever its scale and against whomever it is, is never acceptable and must be fought, but it is not true that the Hungarian Government does not not. This is why Victim Support Centers have been created and the Penal Code has been strengthened on several points. There are clear interests behind the practice of these two NGOs to negatively qualify the Hungarian authorities and government actions. Patent received $119,925 in 2019 and 2020, while NANE received $96,325 (HUF 37.06 million) from George Soros’ Open Society Funds.

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“The Soros network works like a party” – Hungarian Prime Minister Orbán accuses George Soros of election interference

The network of American financier George Soros has “registered” for the Hungarian election campaign, the prime minister said in a radio interview on Friday. “The Soros network works like a party: it wants to overthrow and weaken governments that oppose the resettlement of Muslims,” Viktor Orbán told Kossuth Radio. The Prime Minister said he expected […]continue reading

Besides the European Minority Rights Group, the Patent Association and the NANE, the FRA bases its report on the far from impartial opinions of several other (pseudo)NGOs with multiple links to George Soros. These include Amnesty International, whose Hungarian organization alone received 25,000 USD (9.62 million HUF) in 2020 from the OSF, the Society for Civil Liberties (TASZ), which received 870,118 USD (334.77 million HUF) in 2016-2020 from the Soros Foundation, and the Helsinki Committee, which received 870,118 USD (334.77 million HUF) in 2016, 2018 and 2019, a total of 1 $510 million (580.96 million HUF) from the OSF, as well as the openly LGBT propaganda groups Background Society and the Labris Lesbian Association, which received $45,000 (17.31 million HUF) from George Soros between 2016 and 2018. Organizations like these, primarily funded by George Soros, willingly help Western liberal politics and big business spread the ideal of an open society in Europe, Századvég concludes in his report.

Feature photo: (MTI/EPA/Clemens Bilan)

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The European Union has adopted new rules for trans-European energy networks https://egs-schuetzen.com/the-european-union-has-adopted-new-rules-for-trans-european-energy-networks/ Wed, 15 Jun 2022 05:42:23 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/the-european-union-has-adopted-new-rules-for-trans-european-energy-networks/ On May 30, 2022, the European Union (“EU”) adopted the revised Trans-European Energy Infrastructure Guidelines Regulation (No. 2022/869) (the “2022 TEN-E Regulation”), which replaces the previous rules laid down in Regulation 347/2013 (the “TEN-E Regulation 2013”) which aimed to improve security of supply, market integration, competition and sustainability in the energy sector. The TEN-E Regulation […]]]>

On May 30, 2022, the European Union (“EU”) adopted the revised Trans-European Energy Infrastructure Guidelines Regulation (No. 2022/869) (the “2022 TEN-E Regulation”), which replaces the previous rules laid down in Regulation 347/2013 (the “TEN-E Regulation 2013”) which aimed to improve security of supply, market integration, competition and sustainability in the energy sector. The TEN-E Regulation 2022 aims to better support the modernization of European cross-border energy infrastructure and the objectives of the EU Green Deal.

The three most important things you need to know about the TEN-E Regulation 2022:

  • Projects can qualify as Projects of Common Interest (“PCI”) and be selected from an EU list if they (i) fall within the identified priority corridors and (ii) contribute to the achievement of the objectives of EU energy and climate policy in terms of security of supply. and decarbonization. The 2022 TEN-E Regulation updates its priority corridors to meet the objectives of the EU Green Deal, while widening their scope to include projects connecting the EU to third countries, namely projects of mutual interest (“PMI”).
  • PCIs and SMIs registered on the EU list must benefit from priority status in order to ensure rapid administrative and judicial processing.
  • PCIs and SMIs will be eligible for EU financial assistance. Member States will also be able to grant financial support subject to state aid rules.

Background

Trans-European Energy Networks (“TEN-E”) is an EU policy which aims to achieve a more integrated internal energy market by linking energy infrastructure between Member States and with third countries.

In order to pursue this objective, the 2013 TEN-E Regulation identified priority corridors through different geographical regions in the field of electricity, gas and oil infrastructure in order to strengthen cross-border interconnection and help integrate renewable energies. Member States then selected and implemented PCIs within designated “priority corridors”. PCIs could then benefit from specific funding from the EU budget and an accelerated authorization procedure. This process has helped most EU Member States meet their 2020 interconnection targets and contributed to energy market integration and security of supply.

The revised TEN-E Regulation 2022 continues to work towards the development of better connected energy networks while updating the TEN-E framework to focus on the latest environmental objectives and ensure consistency with the climate neutrality objectives set out in the pact. EU green.

Towards a better integrated and greener European energy market

The 2022 TEN-E Regulation reallocates and identifies 11 priority corridors with the aim of achieving the objectives of (i) reducing carbon emissions by 55% by 2030 and (ii) achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Priority corridors focus on upgraded infrastructure categories such as offshore power grid corridors and renewable and low-carbon gases, eg hydrogen and electrolysers. Natural gas infrastructure and pipelines will no longer be eligible for PCI status. The 2022 TEN-E Regulation also identifies new priority thematic areas: (i) adopting energy networks equipped with IT technologies (“smart networks”) for electricity and gas, respectively, and (ii) developing cross-border networks of carbon dioxide.

Proponents of energy infrastructure projects can apply for PCI status with regional priority corridor groups. PCI status can be obtained for projects focused on promoting greener and cleaner energy sources such as offshore wind capacity and renewable/low carbon hydrogen (note that hydrogen can either be blended with other gases (e.g. natural gas or biomethane) or as a carrier-sole source of energy). As part of the TEN-E 2022 regulation, PCIs concerning smart grids (gas or electricity) and the transport and storage of carbon dioxide are also encouraged.

In addition, the TEN-E 2022 regulation extends the borders of the EU energy market to third countries by introducing a new cooperation mechanism for so-called projects of mutual interest (“PMI”). Like PCIs, they can be selected if they contribute to the overall EU energy and climate policy objectives in terms of security of supply and decarbonisation.

The European Commission will adopt a list of PCIs and SMIs every two years (the “EU list”), with the first EU list to be adopted by 30 November 2023.

The TEN-E 2022 regulation also imposes a new obligation for all projects on the EU list. PCIs and PMIs must meet mandatory sustainability criteria and, in accordance with the “no significant harm” principle under the EU taxonomy regulation, they must be implemented in a way that does not impede the achievement of objectives environmental.

“Fast-track” administrative and judicial procedures for projects on the EU list

Member States must grant PCIs and SMIs the status of highest national importance, which benefits from simplified administrative processes, for example, accelerated project implementation, shorter authorization procedures, greater transparency and greater participation in consultations. To this end, Member States must designate a competent national authority responsible for facilitating and coordinating the permit granting process.

Litigation proceedings involving any dispute over a project on the EU list should be treated as urgent.

Public funding

In order to achieve the targets set in the EU Green Deal, significant public investment and funding will be needed to develop the necessary energy infrastructure. For example, it is estimated that it would cost €800 billion to increase the uptake of offshore renewables in line with EU Green Deal targets, two-thirds of which will be used for associated grid infrastructure. An additional average annual investment estimated at €50.5 billion will be needed for electricity transmission and distribution networks to meet the 2030 targets alone.

Thus, to meet the significant costs, IPCs and PMIs on the EU list may be eligible for financial assistance:

  • Financial support under the Connecting Europe Facility (“CEF”). For the period 2021-2027, the CEF program (Regulation n°2021/1153) has allocated 5.84 billion euros of its budget to the energy sector (see our blog post on cross-border projects in the field of renewable energies). Promoters of projects identified in the EU list can submit a request for financial support to the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (“CINEA”). Note that de-listing from the EU does not affect EU funding already granted, but may prevent future funding being sought.
  • State aid. EU Member States can provide financial assistance subject to state aid rules. To this end, they could assess their financial support under the General Block Exemption Regulation (“GBER”) or obtain Commission approval under the new guidelines on state aid for climate, Environmental Protection and Energy 2022 (“CEEAG”, see our blog post). Energy infrastructure projects could also be funded by EU member states if they meet the criteria defined in the IPCEI guidelines.
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Netherlands now backs EU bids from Albania and North Macedonia – EURACTIV.com https://egs-schuetzen.com/netherlands-now-backs-eu-bids-from-albania-and-north-macedonia-euractiv-com/ Mon, 13 Jun 2022 04:37:54 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/netherlands-now-backs-eu-bids-from-albania-and-north-macedonia-euractiv-com/ The Dutch government is now backing the EU membership bids of Albania and North Macedonia despite stalled negotiations for the two Balkan countries with France and Denmark in 2019. The cabinet and the coalition parties in the Dutch House of Representatives are now in favor of the accession of the two Balkan countries, which hope […]]]>

The Dutch government is now backing the EU membership bids of Albania and North Macedonia despite stalled negotiations for the two Balkan countries with France and Denmark in 2019.

The cabinet and the coalition parties in the Dutch House of Representatives are now in favor of the accession of the two Balkan countries, which hope to start accession negotiations, to the European Union, reports the Dutch media NL Times.

Skopje’s membership bid is currently blocked by a Bulgarian veto over common language and history, while Tirana’s progress in the EU is tied to that of North Macedonia.

Last May, the European Parliament urged the European Council to start negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia on EU membership, noting “the geostrategic context of relations with Russia and its aggression against Ukrainian”.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is now in favor of Albania and North Macedonia’s EU membership bids, the Dutch broadcaster says From Telegraaf reports. In 2018, he said Albania and North Macedonia would “weaken the whole Union“, citing corruption and a lack of press freedom. In 2019, the Dutch, along with France and Denmark, blocked negotiations for the two countries.

This is despite the significant decline in media freedom in Albania and corruption, especially at a high level, which remains a significant problem.

Rutte is now trying to gather support across the block. Last May, he and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz discussed the membership of North Macedonia and Albania at a press conference in The Hague.

“We are all trying together in the European Union to do everything in our power to ensure that the Western Balkans remain stable and that we find a solution to the problems that exist there, in particular concerning North Macedonia and Bulgaria. “, Rutte said at the time. .

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Meet the man fighting to fix Europe’s trains via an epic 40-day journey https://egs-schuetzen.com/meet-the-man-fighting-to-fix-europes-trains-via-an-epic-40-day-journey/ Sat, 11 Jun 2022 09:18:57 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/meet-the-man-fighting-to-fix-europes-trains-via-an-epic-40-day-journey/ Train travel has a certain magic. Picturesque views as you zip along the track, comfortable cars that beat airplane seats every day, and an overall feeling of romance. Despite all this, trying to cross Europe by train can be a logistical nightmare. Jon Worth wants to change that. The Englishman is embarking on a journey […]]]>

Train travel has a certain magic. Picturesque views as you zip along the track, comfortable cars that beat airplane seats every day, and an overall feeling of romance.

Despite all this, trying to cross Europe by train can be a logistical nightmare.

Jon Worth wants to change that.

The Englishman is embarking on a journey that will see him cross all internal European Union borders by train in just 40 days.

The mammoth undertaking will include over 150 rail journeys, 83 border crossings and 24 of the 27 European Union countries (Ireland, Malta and Cyprus are missing as they have no internal EU rail border) plus Norway, Switzerland, Monaco and Liechtenstein.

Why cross the whole EU by train?

The idea was born when Jon read former Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Michael Cramer’s list of 15 rail projects for a better connected Europe.

Cramer had undertaken research and in 2015 compiled 15 missing links in Europe’s rail network that would be relatively easy and inexpensive to repair.

Worth decided to review the roster to see if there had been any progress on the lines. He found that only one of the 15 had been completed.

“What I found then with Cramer was that it was a very intellectual exercise,” he told Euronews Travel.

“He didn’t go to those borders to talk to people and photograph the infrastructure and assess what it looked like.

“So that was the starting point to basically say ‘how can I tell these stories to give color to this political project. “”

Jon took to social media to ask his followers what was wrong with cross-border rail travel and why. Responses poured in with stories of difficulties across the EU and it snowballed from there.

“So I said ‘Well, how many days would it actually take you to cross all those borders?'”

He calculated that it would take 30 days, but to make sure he had enough time at each stop he settled on 40 and the ‘Cross-Border Railway Project’ was born.

What are the main challenges facing European rail?

According to Jon, there are four main issues that need to be resolved.

“In some places there were tracks and the tracks are no longer active,” he explains.

“The second is that there are tracks that exist, but no trains are running.

“The third problem is that the track exists and the trains run, but they run with a regularity or schedule that does not work. So nobody would use them because there is only one train a day or there are only two trains a week.

The last problem, according to him, is related to logistics. Not being able to book a ticket online for cross-border travel or the price skyrocketing for parts of the trip in different countries.

There is no Skyscanner equivalent for book trains which, according to industry sources, is due to the fact that some national train operators’ websites run on operating systems so old that they cannot be integrated with a centralized booking website.

How do I book cross-border rail travel?

Jon talks about his experience booking a train from Berlin, where he lives, to Strasbourg.

“If I put Strasbourg in a train search, it will give me a price of €120 for a one-way ticket,” he says.

“If I put Berlin at Kehl, which is the last station on the German side, it will cost me €35. There are only five kilometers from Kehl to Strasbourg.

It costs a few euros to travel from Kehl to Strasbourg, so if you know the workaround, the price from Strasbourg to Berlin drops from €120 to €40. But most people wouldn’t be aware of it.

Worth thinks there are many practical, low-cost ways, like resolving these kinds of situations, that can improve train journeybut the political will is not there.

“Which politicians are fixing it? Well, the European Parliament is in Strasbourg. How many MEPs are on the phone with Deutsche Bahn saying “Hey listen, this is stupid”. Why don’t you fix it? he exclaims.

“Is the European Commissioner for Transport [Adina Vălean] on the phone to Deutsche Bahn saying ‘Why the hell don’t you fix it?’ She’s not because every time she gets a chance to take a train, she steals instead.

What is the EU doing to improve European railways?

The European Commission has taken action to improve the situation on the continent railways.

At the end of 2021, and in an effort to reduce carbon emissions, it presented an action plan to boost passenger rail journeys and reduce journey times.

Lorelei Limousine, European climate and transport activist at Greenpeace, told Euronews Travel last month that “the action plan looks promising, but we have to wait to see the concrete legislative proposals to see if there is any real change”.

As part of this action plan, the European Union is working on a platform that would compile timetables, fares and the purchase of tickets for travel across Europe.

As for Worth, there are solutions available now and they should be implemented. His journey begins on Monday when he leaves Berlin and travels to Brussels. “The railways sit atop this incredible pool of goodwill among a large part of the population. More people would take these trains to their destinations if they were reliable, and it was simple and straightforward to do.

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Uyghur group hails recognition of human rights abuses in China by European Parliament https://egs-schuetzen.com/uyghur-group-hails-recognition-of-human-rights-abuses-in-china-by-european-parliament/ Thu, 09 Jun 2022 16:39:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/uyghur-group-hails-recognition-of-human-rights-abuses-in-china-by-european-parliament/ NNA | Updated: June 09, 2022 10:09 p.m. STI Munich [Germany]June 9 (ANI): The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) applauds the adoption of a resolution in the European Parliament on Thursday by an overwhelming majority, which recognizes that the systemic human rights violations by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people of East Turkestan “amount to […]]]>



NNA |
Updated:
June 09, 2022 10:09 p.m. STI

Munich [Germany]June 9 (ANI): The World Uyghur Congress (WUC) applauds the adoption of a resolution in the European Parliament on Thursday by an overwhelming majority, which recognizes that the systemic human rights violations by the Chinese government against the Uyghur people of East Turkestan “amount to crimes against humanity and a serious risk of genocide”.
Calling on the European Union (EU) and its Member States to “take all necessary measures in accordance with the UN Genocide Convention to put an end to these atrocities”, the adopted resolution marks a historic call for accountability mechanisms to bring justice to the Uyghur people.
“The Xinjiang police files have clearly been a wake-up call for the European Parliament to sense the urgency of the situation and the need for effective action,” WUC Chairman Dolkun Isa said. “The EU and its Member States must now follow up on these calls and do all they can, in cooperation with governments and civil society around the world to put an end to the Uyghur genocide,” he added. , the Uyghur Congress reported in its press release.
After the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Belgium, France and Ireland, the European Parliament becomes the tenth legislative body in the world to pass a resolution recognizing the ongoing crimes against humanity and (serious risk of) genocide against the Uyghur people, confirming the findings of the independent Uyghur tribunal.

Besides acknowledging a “serious risk of” genocide, the resolution also contains other important calls, such as a call on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to immediately release her report. independent on the situation in East Turkestan, noting the European Parliament’s decision to regret that the High Commissioner “did not clearly hold the Chinese government accountable”.
The WUC also welcomed the adoption of another resolution in the European Parliament, on a new trade instrument to ban products made by forced labour. The resolution makes strong recommendations to the European Commission ahead of the latter’s proposal of an instrument to ban imports of forced labor products into the EU market, expected in September.
Given that the U.S. Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act (UFLPA) will take effect on June 21, a strong European mechanism will be crucial to ensure uniform responses against Uyghur forced labor across jurisdictions.
The WUC expressed its sincere thanks to all Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who made crucial contributions to both resolutions, as a sign of their longstanding unwavering commitment to defending and promoting human rights and freedoms. of the Uyghurs, as stated in the press release.
As a next step, the WUC urges the EU and its Member States to follow up on the calls of the European Parliament, in particular, to take all necessary measures in accordance with their obligations under the UN Genocide Convention to put end to the Uyghur genocide. (ANI)

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Why Ukraine’s accession to the European Union is not easy https://egs-schuetzen.com/why-ukraines-accession-to-the-european-union-is-not-easy/ Wed, 08 Jun 2022 05:25:18 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/why-ukraines-accession-to-the-european-union-is-not-easy/ Ukraine has applied to join the EU, but the process is likely to take some time and it is unclear whether there is broad support for accepting several new nations into the bloc. Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images The European Union may be on the verge of lending its support to Ukraine becoming its […]]]>

Ukraine has applied to join the EU, but the process is likely to take some time and it is unclear whether there is broad support for accepting several new nations into the bloc.

Nurphoto | Nurphoto | Getty Images

The European Union may be on the verge of lending its support to Ukraine becoming its newest member, but the process will not be easy: not only is the country still at war, but several other nations wish to join – and this for some time.

Just days after Russia began its unprovoked invasion of the country, Ukraine sent a letter to the EU officially launching its application process.

Since then, several EU officials have come out in favor of Ukraine joining the bloc, but they have also made it clear that it will be a long process, even if they try to speed things up given of the situation in Ukraine.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, is expected to issue an opinion on Ukraine’s EU membership in the coming weeks, but that will likely only mark the start of a long and difficult journey.

Even the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, admitted that accepting new members into the EU can be difficult.

“Enlargements are always complex – you have different countries, different paths, different steps to follow, different rules to respect. But this is the moment when we have to send the strongest political message: Ukraine belongs to the European family “, she said. CNBC last month.

According to Daniel Gros of the Brussels-based think tank CEPS, receiving political support to join the EU represents “a moral boost for Ukraine and a signal to Russia that the EU will not be deterred”.

But for the EU, supporting Ukraine’s membership bid is a delicate balancing act that affects many countries.

And the others ?

Western Balkan nations have long been promised membership, for example – including North Macedonia, which has even changed its name in a bid to bolster its chances of joining the EU – but negotiations have not haven’t started yet.

Moldova, which borders Ukraine, and Georgia, which borders Russia, also applied to join the bloc following the Russian invasion.

“Particularly in the context of the war in Ukraine, we must remain vigilant and give Western banks the same priority as Ukraine,” Austrian ministers Alexander Schallenberg and Karoline Edtstadler said in a letter to the top diplomat. EU, Josep Borrell. month.

“We cannot afford to create first and second class candidates.”

Western Balkans is a term used to refer to six countries in Southern and Eastern Europe: the Republic of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, the Republic of Kosovo, the Republic of North Macedonia and the Republic of Serbia.

The risk for the EU is that it will be seen as giving preferential treatment to Kyiv, upsetting other parts of the continent and potentially bringing them closer to Russia.

“We want and need these countries firmly rooted in our camp, that of the European model of life, we must demonstrate to them that they are key partners and that we are serious about their European future”, declared the Austrian ministers. in the letter.

The European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC on Tuesday.

Even after publishing its opinion on Ukraine’s membership of the bloc, it will probably be years before member states have a chance to approve Kyiv’s membership, largely because Ukraine will have to put in place implemented several economic and political reforms to comply with European rules.

However, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has spoken out on Ukraine’s EU membership. Last month, she pleaded for financial aid for reconstruction as a way to also help Ukraine join the bloc.

“It could establish a system of milestones and targets to ensure that EU money really benefits the Ukrainian people and is spent according to EU rules. It could help fight corruption, bring the legal environment in line with European standards and radically improve Ukraine’s production capacity,” she told the European Parliament, adding that “eventually this will pave the way for Ukraine’s future within the European Union“.

‘Very difficult’

But political experts believe that Ukraine’s full membership is still a long way off.

“Although Ukraine is unlikely to join the EU anytime soon, there is a clear change in attitude towards enlargement among EU leaders who have realized that it is very frustrating to keep countries that want to become members on hold and opens the door to democratic backsliding and non-EU influence from Russia, China,” said Anna Rosenberg, partner at consultancy Signum Global, by email.

“So yes, EU leaders are now a little more open to enlargement than before the war, but it is still very difficult nonetheless – the problems with countries like Hungary are proof of that. No leader of the EU does not want to allow a second Hungary to enter the bloc.” she added.

Hungary, which joined the EU in 2004, has long been a thorn in the side of European institutions.

This is evident most recently from the decision to impose an oil embargo on Russia. The European Commission made the proposal in early May, but Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban led a coalition of a handful of countries to negotiate exclusions. This dragged out the process much longer than originally planned.

“The EU27 is often ungovernable and it is in my opinion difficult to see new members being admitted into the club without treaty revisions such as [French President Emmanuel] Macron proposed more qualified majority voting and more tax integration,” Jacob Kirkegaard of the Peterson Institute for International Economics said by email.

Currently – and as the recent standoff over the Russian oil embargo demonstrated – major foreign policy decisions require unanimity.

This is already difficult at times, given that the EU is made up of 27 countries with often totally different national priorities. And it might get even harder if the group gets bigger.

Another complication is the fact that there is currently no clarity as to when Russia’s war in Ukraine will end.

“A precondition for a meaningful accession process is not only that Ukraine wins the war in the sense that it needs to control its own territory, but that a real peace agreement is signed with Russia” , Kirkegaard said, adding that “a frozen conflict situation will not give Ukraine EU membership.”

“The question is of course how to achieve this, given that, in a sense, Moscow has a veto over Ukraine’s possible EU membership – no peace agreement, no membership ultimately to the EU.”

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Getting a Fair Deal • The Registry https://egs-schuetzen.com/getting-a-fair-deal-the-registry/ Mon, 06 Jun 2022 13:00:00 +0000 https://egs-schuetzen.com/getting-a-fair-deal-the-registry/ If you’re a cloud specialist in the EU, things like licensing, the European Gaia-X digital sovereignty project, and creating a level playing field are all on your mind. On licensing, Microsoft recently had an apparent wake-up call about its practices in Europe and pledged to make concessions – accusations of anti-competitive behavior may focus the […]]]>

If you’re a cloud specialist in the EU, things like licensing, the European Gaia-X digital sovereignty project, and creating a level playing field are all on your mind.

On licensing, Microsoft recently had an apparent wake-up call about its practices in Europe and pledged to make concessions – accusations of anti-competitive behavior may focus the mind.

Yet a cloud rival The register spoke, who asked to remain anonymous, complained that Redmond’s proposed changes fail to “move the needle” and ignore “other problematic practices” at the company.

It’s protectionism 101. The United States does it massively. The EU does not do this at all.

European cloud vendors and software vendors have long complained about the dominance of US tech giants, and particular anger is being directed at Microsoft through EU courts. In November last year, Nextcloud (along with other providers) filed a complaint with the EU over the bundling of OneDrive with Windows.

While the core of Nextcloud’s complaint concerns Microsoft 365, Nextcloud CEO Frank Karlitschek said The register the company decided “to focus on one specific thing that’s easy for politicians and lawyers to understand” – which was OneDrive.

The lawsuit will have been a factor in Microsoft’s recent policy changes in the EU, but some of the hyperscalers’ other antics have left EU cloud companies raising more than an eyebrow. The great hope of open standards and interoperability, Europe’s Gaia-X data infrastructure initiative, has also come under scrutiny.

Nextcloud is a founding member, and Karlitschek commented that “it’s not going well”, noting the time the process is taking – time that hyperscalers could use to build an even more dominant position.

Taming Beasts with Gaia-X

“The idea, he told us, was really to build infrastructure and software, like a marketplace and everything to compete with the big cloud providers.”

Karlitschek added: “And, I don’t know, at some point the idea of ​​being created with open source software kind of disappeared. This whole market kind of disappeared. And then I think that it has become like a certification/standards organization.

“Which really isn’t very helpful…”

Michel Paulin, CEO of OVHcloud, was a little more brutal in his assessment during an interview with The register, using the word “sabotage” in reference to the behavior of some Gaia-X players. “In fact,” he said, “they don’t want to do, in practice, the [stated] goal, which is to create an open cloud.”

Regarding Gaia-X, Paulin is keen on openness, “reversibility, interoperability”.

“If someone really wants to achieve these goals, they are welcome. The red line is if they don’t want to achieve them. Then they should be excluded.”

Yann Lechelle, CEO of cloud provider Scaleway, was even more blunt. Scaleway memorably left the Gaia-X project last year and Lechelle said The register that he continues to believe that leaving was the right decision” for two reasons. The first is because… we have better things to do.

“The market is not asking us to be Gaia-X compliant. The market is asking us to keep our velocity in terms of roadmap and our ability to provide a regional alternative to largely American public cloud solutions.

“The second reason,” he added, “is that Gaia-X is confusing to everyone. There was a lot of fantasizing about Gaia-X providing a European cloud, a sovereign cloud. ever get there.

“Cloud providers shouldn’t be inside at all. None of them. American cloud providers, European cloud providers. Gaia-X should be defined and governed by data producers.”

The register contacted UK open-source collaboration organization OpenUK for its opinion on the Gaia-X situation, but we were told the group had nothing to share.

A level playing field or the specter of protectionism

When it comes to the predicament of EU cloud infrastructure and software providers, the solution for Nextcloud is to level the competition. “It looks a bit like protectionism,” admitted Karlitschek, “which is not a good thing. But, on the other hand, a level playing field is absolutely necessary. And in everyone’s interest. “

Lechelle was again a bit more direct. When asked how European cloud providers could compete, he replied, “To me, that’s protectionism 101. The US does it massively. The EU doesn’t do it at all. So, protectionism 101 is for me liberal.It is liberal protectionism, which consists in ensuring a certain quantity of purchases by the public sector, which sets an example, has a minimum threshold oriented towards small local, regional businesses.

“And that doesn’t have to apply to Scaleway in particular. For me, it’s universally necessary.”

Solving the license problem

Microsoft has created five European cloud principles and agreed to modify the licenses. This includes allowing software such as Windows 11 and Microsoft 365 apps to be hosted on a European cloud provider’s infrastructure without financial penalties for the customer; refine Software Assurance agreements to provide more flexibility in deployment options; and the relaxation of legacy merchandise rules in which licenses were tied to physical hardware.

A rival uncharitably described the new set of policies as “frontage”.

CISPE (Cloud Infrastructure Services Providers in Europe) was also unimpressed and said: “We cannot rely on the goodwill or even the charity of a gatekeeper. Microsoft must follow the law, including the competition law.”

“The initiative,” he said of Microsoft’s changes, “fails to meaningfully address the unfair licensing practices at the heart of complaints and concerns from cloud infrastructure service providers. and customers across Europe.It does nothing to end the anti-competitive link of productivity suites with cloud infrastructure services.

“The Commission must continue its investigation in the interest of European cloud customers.”

“It definitely doesn’t go far enough,” Karlitschek said. The register. “Microsoft has agreed to license Office 365 to cloud providers, but offers the same [itself] for a cheaper price,” he continued. “And the general dependency and locking effects are not resolved at all.

“Nextcloud,” he said, “has filed an antitrust complaint with the EU regarding the bundling of different services and software. For example, bundling on OneDrive with Windows 10 and 11.”

“Microsoft has not addressed these concerns at all.”

OVHcloud told The register he regretted that there had to be action from the authorities before Microsoft reacted.

Another cloud provider, who spoke to The register speaking on condition of anonymity, complained that the changes were rooted in broad participation of the existing CSP program and that nothing had been done about bundling and linking Windows and Office and products to foster the adopting Azure. ®

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