Tag: European Union

Brexit: green light of the 27 EU countries negotiating mandate with London
Europe

Brexit: green light of the 27 EU countries negotiating mandate with London

According to European diplomatic sources, there is the ok from the 27 EU countries to negotiate with the United Kingdom the after Brexit as tomorrow the mandate should be adopted by the EU General Affairs Council. “Tomorrow the EU negotiating mandate should be formalized at the EU General Affairs Council”, chief negotiator for the Union Michel Barnier said, adding that the conditions for post-Brexit trade talks will also be established, effectively laying the foundations for future ties between Brussels and London.

With the mandate Brussels sets its red lines on future relations with London after the UK decision to leave EU. According to the Italian news agency “ANSA”, today on the eve of the EU Council, the European ambassadors meet to finalize the negotiating mandate.
French President Emmanuel Macron expressed doubts on Saturday that there could be a global deal later this year. The discussions will be focused on where the British financial services will be located and the role of the European Court of Justice with the EU which wants it to keep the last word to interpret EU law.

A firm stand is expected from the British chief negotiator David Frost. Days ago, Frost warned that “those who think that UK will accept EU supervision over the so-called ‘level playing field’ are wrong”, stressing that the UK position will not change if the British are put under pressure. Europeans remain open to a broad partnership, including a trade agreement without quotas or customs duties, fearing unfair competition from London. Seems that UK is ready to accept just a basic trade deal, such as those negotiated by EU with Canada or Japan. The negotiations therefore are expected to be tense.

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Leaders Summit Reaches Knots End For EU
Europe

Leaders Summit Reaches Knots End For EU

The European Union is having a tough time getting everyone to come on the same page as Brexit exit has shaken up their budget plans. A recent meeting came to a knot’s end when the various country participants could not reach a consensus.

With Brexit’s exit, the European Union has been left to deal with 75 billion euros short in its budgets and the remaining 27 EU countries are now showing unwillingness to agree on the overall size of the bloc’s 2021-27 budget or how to spend it.

The current exit has brought forth more cost related challenges. However, it is confirmed that setting the budget has always been a tug of war. Challenges include managing climate change concerns, to migration and a growing digital economy.

From the sound of the whole discussion, it seemed Germany would have to take the brunt of the Brexit shortfall. It wasn’t happy with it one bit. The other nations that are hard pressed over spending include Austria, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands. They have been called the ‘frugal four’ who are totally against a scheme that would allocate one-third for development aid to help poorer regions grow and another third on support for farmers, a key priority for Paris.

Berlin, Vienna and others were more interested on border management following Europe’s migrant crisis of 2015-16, tackling climate change, beefing up security and modernizing the bloc’s economy through digital investment.

So, the EU leaders’ summit did not yield any positive outcome and then the Austrian Sebastian Kurtz said that ‘it usually takes more than a meeting to come to a consensus’. The bloc will anyway have to freeze its projects by the end of 2021. So, further summits will be on the cards soon.

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Macron, Merkel and Erdogan held phone talks on Syria
Europe

Macron, Merkel and Erdogan held phone talks on Syria

French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan held telephone conversations, during which they noted the need for a four-way meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the situation in Syria in the near future. This is stated in a statement distributed on Friday by the French leader’s administration.

Macron, Merkel and Erdogan discussed the situation in Syria, in particular Idlib, and recent events in Libya,” the administration noted. “As for Idlib, they expressed general concern about the disastrous humanitarian situation in which the civilian population is , and the danger of escalation. They agreed that the crisis needed a political solution. “

“In this regard, they considered it necessary as soon as possible, in a quadripartite format, to meet with the President of [Russia Vladimir] Putin,” they concluded in the Champs Elysees.

The situation in the de-escalation zone in Idlib in Syria escalated at the end of January, when, in response to violations by the militants of the ceasefire, the Syrian forces were forced to launch a counterattack, as a result of which a significant territory of the provinces of Aleppo and Idlib was liberated.

Moscow has repeatedly expressed support for these actions in the fight against terrorists, while in Ankara they regarded them as a violation by the government forces of the Sochi peace agreement, in connection with which Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan announced the Turkish military retaliatory operation in Idlib.

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The UK – Blue passport will be issued from next month to mark Brexit
Europe

The UK – Blue passport will be issued from next month to mark Brexit

The UK Government has declared, Blue passport will be given after three decades from next month to mark Britain’s exit from the EU.

They will supplant the standard-issue burgundy passport that were spread out across EU nations from 1988.

The home secretary, Priti Patel, greeted the passport switch back to blue. However, pro-European campaigners and government officials in Northern Ireland anticipated the new passports would bring about Britons entering the moderate path at air terminals and ports all through the EU.

As per the Guardian, the Home Office says the blue passports will be “the greenest British passport ever.” A representative stated: “The carbon impression produced through manufacture will be decreased to net zero, through new ventures, for example, planting trees.”

It is additionally bettering the passport as the most innovatively advanced. The representative stated there was “a heap of new and refreshed security highlights, including a hard-wearing, super-quality polycarbonate information page, which contains inventive advancements inserted into the document, to keep individual information secure.”

The new-look passport will have the most advanced and most protected printing and design techniques, the representative stated, which would offer better assurance against fraud and identity theft.

Patel stated: “Leaving the European Union gave us a one of a kind chance to reestablish our national identity and offer a new way on the planet. By coming back to the striking blue and gold design, the British passport will once again be weaved with our national identity with our national personality, and I can’t wait to fly on one.”

Edward McMillan-Scott, the British politician, stated the blue passport would be viewed as an offensive to many Europeans.

“It will be viewed as a symbol of the stance prevailing in the Conservative party towards the remainder of Europe that is unintelligent, isolationist, and self-destructive,” McMillan-Scott added, the Guardian reported.

Article Credit: The Guardian

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EU starts discussion of first budget after Brexit with cuts
Europe

EU starts discussion of first budget after Brexit with cuts

The heads of state and government of the EU countries will try on Thursday to reach an agreement on a multi-year community budget plan for 2021-2027. An emergency summit was convened at the end of January by the President of the European Council, Charles Michel, due to the fact that the European institutions failed the negotiations on the budget due to serious disagreements. The main problem is that it is necessary to close the budget hole of € 11 billion per year, which is formed after the UK leaves the European Union.

At the Brussels summit, the interests of donor states that pay more to the budget than they receive from it (all of Western Europe), recipients (Eastern Europe) and European institutions – the European Parliament and the European Commission (EC) will meet. Donors do not want to increase their contributions after Brexit, but this will mean cutting back on all targeted European programs, which the EU beneficiary countries oppose. In turn, the European Parliament wants to increase or at least maintain funding for key European programs, because their reduction means for Brussels the loss of the prestige of the community.

In addition, the draft seven-year budget submitted to the summit for the first time contains a proposal to deprive those countries that violate community legal norms of eurofinancing. If this rule were in effect now, Poland could remain without Euro subsidies, in relation to which the European Commission is conducting an investigation for violating the principles of the rule of law in judicial reform.
The UK, which was Germany’s second largest European budget donor after Germany, left the EU on January 31, leaving a multi-billion dollar hole. According to European diplomats, Brussels will miss about € 11 billion annually, which London contributed to the general budget. This means that in the new seven-year budget plan, almost € 80 billion is lacking. Therefore, Brussels needs to decide which programs should be donated.

Until the end of 2020, the UK, which formally left the EU, will still pay a contribution to the EU budget, since until this point the transition period after Brexit will continue. The termination of contributions will occur just in the new seven-year EU budget cycle.
Michel suggested that the community countries compensate for this gap, in particular, with a new tax on plastics and revenues from trading carbon credits. He made such an offer just a few days ago, but the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, has already stated that it is unsatisfactory.

As the EU representative told reporters before the meeting, funding for the EU’s main programs will be frozen from next year, if the heads of state and government of the community cannot reach an agreement on the budget in the coming days.
Even if an agreement is reached at the summit, the draft budget should be approved by the European Parliament. According to the representative of the EU, coordination will be difficult, “it will take time.”

One of the main innovations of the budget plan may be that the EU countries will not be able to receive subsidies from the general budget if they do not comply with community standards, in particular the rule of law, a European source said. According to him, the draft outcome document states that “a general regime will be introduced on the conditions for providing access to financing to combat the deficiencies in the state administration of member countries with regard to compliance with the rule of law.”

According to diplomats, the European Commission will identify such violations, after which its recommendation regarding funding restrictions should be supported by most states in the EU Council.

This innovation, if it is approved by the countries of the community, is revolutionary in nature – never before has the allocation of funding from the EU budget after its approval been determined by any additional factors. At the same time, observers believe that this norm is unlikely to be included in the document, since most states that receive Euro subsidies almost all of Eastern Europe, will oppose it. They fear that this mechanism will give Brussels and “old Europe” too much leverage to put pressure on the new EU countries.

EU institutions have tried to reach an agreement based on proposals submitted by Finland, the EU presidency. The amount of funding for the community budget for the next seven years, according to the proposal of Helsinki, should be € 1.087 trillion. This is 1.07% of the total GDP of the EU countries. At the same time, one of the main payers to the EU budget – Germany – proposed setting the budget at 1% of GDP.

Michel later updated the Finnish proposal without major changes, in connection with which the European Parliament said that it would not approve it. The European Parliament has traditionally been looking for ways to maintain and expand European programs, regardless of the fact that revenues to the EU budget will decrease after Brexit.

The EU budget is drawn up for a seven-year period, which is determined by the need for predictable funding for multi-year European programs and projects. The budget is formed from direct contributions of member countries, therefore, its approval and approval by all states imposes financial obligations on them. This protects the EU budget from a sudden reduction in payments from one state or another, for example, as a result of a change of government.

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EU cautions the UK, ‘Canada style trade deal is a different ball game’
Europe

EU cautions the UK, ‘Canada style trade deal is a different ball game’

A senior counsel to Brussels’ chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, stated that the coalition’s relationship with the North American nation was a “different ball game.”

As both sides get ready for the beginning of negotiations one month from now, Stefaan De Rynck emphasized the UK’s nearness to Brussels contrasted with Canada as an essential factor, and additionally warning that the trade dialogue could get “very difficult.”

The key aide additionally rehashed what has now become an EU moto that a tariff-free, quota-free deal is beyond imagination without the UK acting on a “level playing field” on state grants, ecological security, and laborers’ rights.

According to The Guardian, the UK and EU have time till the end of this year, when the Brexit transition time ends, to reach a trade accord.

However, both sides are at loggerheads even before the talks have begun about whether the UK should consent to an “even playing field” with EU rules.

It has additionally been proposed that the European Court of Justice could continue having an impact over the UK under the terms of a trade agreement.

Boris Johnson has contended there is no requirement for the UK to accept EU rules as the cost of a free trade deal, as he prepares for a Canada-style agreement.

However, on Wednesday, while speaking at the London School of Economics, De Rynck said the UK wouldn’t have the option to strike a similar deal with the bloc as the EU-Canada deal.

De Rynck’s remarks came in the wake of Downing Street suggested Barnier is presently reneging on a past idea of a Canada-style agreement

The Number 10 press office tweeted: “In 2017 the EU seemed on their slide that a Canada type FTA was the primary accessible relationship for the UK.

Article Credit: The Guardian/The Sky

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United Kingdom to bar the entry of unskilled workers and non-English speakers
Europe

United Kingdom to bar the entry of unskilled workers and non-English speakers

Introducing its Australian-style point’s document on Wednesday, the UK administration stated that they will handle and take the opportunity to grab “full control” of British borders “for the first time in 10 years” and wipe out the “distortion” brought about by the EU freedom of movement.

England is to shut its borders to those who can’t speak English and to unskilled workers as a significant aspect of a critical update of migration laws that will end the period of cheap EU workers in inns, factories, warehouses, and cafés.

However, industry pioneers promptly blamed the legislature for an attack on the economy warning of “awful” outcomes like closure to factories, cafes, and increased unemployment.

A 10-page document outlining the new migration strategy states:

• UK borders will be shut for migrants who cannot communicate in English and unskilled workers.

• Anyone desiring to work in the UK must have an employment letter with a pay limit of £25,600 – however, a pay “floor” of £20,480 will be adequate in exceptional situations where there may have a shortage of skills, for example, in nursing.

• There will be no way for self-employed individuals coming into the UK, spelling the conclusion to, for instance, Polish handymen or Romanian builder arriving without work.

• Border control will no longer acknowledge ID cards from nations, for example, Italy and France. This, it is known, is an endeavor to cinch down on non-EU laborers beating the system with forged or borrowed ID cards.

• The aptitudes threshold for foreign nationals needing to work in the UK will be lowered from degree down to A-levels or equivalent to A level. The cap on the skilled workers is being rejected, and few profoundly highly skilled workers will be permitted to enter without a job.

• The privilege of performers, artists, sportspeople, and musicians coming for performances, contests, and auditions will be maintained.

The UK administration plans to launch a complete campaign to equip employers for the transformation in January next year as the EU citizens will be dealt with similarly as other nationals.

Yet, the new system drew immediate analysis from employers, especially over the expansion of waitresses and waiters and elementary agribusiness and fishery laborers to the rundown of low-skilled workers.

Industry pioneers cautioned the progressions would hugely affect food preparing manufacturing factories that depend intensely on EU laborers to keep the general store shelves brimming with pre-packed non-veg.

Chief of policy at the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Tom Hadley, stated: “Occupations the administration considers ‘low-skilled’ are crucial to wellbeing and business development. The announcement threatens to shut out the people whose services we need to cater to the general public.

“We need access to laborers that can enable us to take care of the old, help building homes, and keep the economy solid,” he added.

Article Credit: The Guardian

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Heiko Maas: the EU has consented to launch a new mission in the Mediterranean
Geopolitics

Heiko Maas: the EU has consented to launch a new mission in the Mediterranean

Federal minister of foreign affairs of Germany, Heiko Maas, has affirmed the EU has consented to launch a new mission in the Mediterranean to implement a UN arms ban on Libya, which has been routinely mocked. Many years back in 2011, the UN arms ban was imposed.

On Monday, after hours of lengthy discussions between ministers in Brussels, the decision was reached.

The marine and air mission in the eastern Mediterranean is planned for halting more weapons arriving at warring groups in Libya.

The decision marked a leap forward following weeks of productive discussions and warnings by EU foreign affairs head Josep Borrell that the coalition gambled, becoming pointless if it couldn’t perform.

Borrell spoke at the finish of talks in Brussels, “When you have political will nothing is unimaginable,” The National detailed. The new mission in the Mediterranean to supplant the EU’s migration centered Operation Sophia would incorporate satellite and aerial observing as well as marine forces, he included.

Italian Foreign Minister Luigi di Maio, expressed, “We as a whole consent to make a mission that obstructs the progression of arms into Libya,” the National revealed.

Earlier in the day, different ministers had attempted to persuade Austria to lift its objections.

The EU’s military mission discontinued sending ships last March after Italy announced it would never again take in migrants’ protected adrift.

However, a week ago, Italy’s vice foreign minister stated that Rome was prepared to restart the ocean patrol.

Austria had been hindering the move, saying individuals protected adrift ought not to be taken to Europe.

In an understanding, EU vessels will presently hail and examine suspicious ships in the eastern Mediterranean, where most arms theft occurs, away from migrating routes.

“It was acceptable, yet Vienna would, however, be watchful for any signs that the mission, will take a long time to set up, was pulling in migrants into Europe,” stated Austria’s Foreign Minister, Alexander Schallenberg.

At first, Borrell had desired to restore the EU’s present military mission, as Operation Sophia.

One agreement was to utilize airplanes, instead of ships, to check smugglers who supply Libya’s two adversary governments.

However, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas asked the EU to concur with a marine mission, saying by air monitoring would not be sufficient.

On Sunday, a senior UN official cautioned that the arms ban was irrelevant because there is nobody to implement it. In a primarily symbolic move, Operation Sophia will currently be removed. Schallenberg stated he concurred because of the new mission was entirely military, not on compassionate grounds.

Article Credit: The National

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Pressure rises on Angela Merkel’s CDU to find a new leader following AKK’s resignation
Europe, Geopolitics

Pressure rises on Angela Merkel’s CDU to find a new leader following AKK’s resignation

Pressure develops on concerned Christian Democratic Union to accelerate the process to find a new leader following AKK resignation. This could prompt a paralysis inside Angela Merkel’s party that could spread over the EU when Germany assumes the rotating administration of the council of the European Union.

The German center-right has been in shock since Merkel’s assigned successor, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, quit after CDU lawmakers in the eastern province of Thuringia opposed guidelines not to favor the far-right in state elections.

While Germany has been in speculation about who could take the nation’s biggest and most grounded party into the post-Merkel period, the three top contenders have been hesitant to enter the competition.

German media gave an account on Friday that Kramp-Karrenbauer could raise the pace by reporting a timetable, or even her preferred candidate, on 24 February. The CDU’s press office would neither affirm nor dismiss the reports.

Senior German conservatives caution that neglecting the topic of the administration undecided until following the spring break would jeopardize increasing the CDU’s paralysis across the matters of the EU. In July, Germany formally takes control over the task of leading meetings of the board of the EU.

Gunther Krichbaum, the CDU chair of the committee on EU issues in the Bundestag, expressed, “Whether you need it or not, there’s a desire that Germany and France take up a joint administration role.”

Merkel’s strategy to gradually phase out her 20-year career at the front line of German politics has been shattered since her beneficiary, “AKK,” declared her departure on 10 February, The Guardian published. Read more articles and Geopolitics News and Updates click here.

Article Credit: The Guardian

The European Union is ready to help implement the ceasefire in Libya.
Europe, Geopolitics

The European Union is ready to help implement the ceasefire in Libya.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas confirmed, during his speech at the International Security Conference in Munich, that the European Union is ready to provide assistance in implementing the ceasefire in Libya, “according to the request of the United Nations.”
Maas added that the European Union countries will consider next Monday contributing to the implementation of the arms embargo to Libya.
Maas also confirmed that the foreign ministers of the countries participating in the “Berlin Track on Libya” will meet next Sunday in Munich.

Maas stressed the necessity of “Europe not abandoning its role in the crises of Syria, Libya and the Sahel, in favor of arms exporters.” In this context, Maas considered that extremists on the African coast threaten the security of Europe.

It is noteworthy that European officials confirmed to “France Press” that Austria is blocking the resumption of the maritime operation of the European Union, which is charged with monitoring the ban on sending weapons to Libya.

A European official, who asked not to be identified, acknowledged that contacts at the highest level were being held to settle this issue, but it has not produced any results so far.

A meeting of the Union’s foreign ministers will be held in Brussels in this regard on Monday.
Another diplomat said about the new goal entrusted to the European Union mission named “Sofia”, that “the Austrians continue to refuse to deploy ships and confirm that they are receiving support from the Hungarians.”

The Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurtz told a German newspaper early February that the process “will not happen”. He added, “The Sofia operation has always been a rescue mission and has become an entry point for thousands of illegal immigrants to Europe.”
Austria and Hungary have consistently refused to take part in sponsoring the migrants the Sofia mission is saving under relief efforts at sea. The two countries also object to solidarity within the European Union for the redistribution of migrants.

European Foreign Minister Josep Borrell proposed a revised operational zone for the activities of European ships mandated to monitor the United Nations arms embargo on Libya. These operations are supposed to take place at sea, outside the roads of drug traffickers.
But the Austrians reject these arguments, according to sources, “Agence France Presse,” which stated that “in this position, Austria permits leaving the sea to others and does not help calm the crisis in Libya.” You can find more Geopolitics News and Updates link us.

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Mahathir Mohamad and asked him to continue his work until a new prime minister is chosen and a new government is formed.
#Malaysia #Mahathir #Politics #NewsToday
https://theworldreviews.com/asia-pacific-focus/2020/02/25/king-of-malaysia-accepts-mahathirs-resignation/

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