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In today’s news from the Capitals:
The news that the German ailing energy giant Uniper may be nationalised has rallied the Finnish opposition, and the government is being criticised for surrendering to Germany without proper resistance. Read more.
EU Commission proposes to cut €7.5 billion funding to Hungary. Citing worries over corruption in Hungary, the European Commission proposed on Sunday to suspend one-third of the cohesion funds allocated to the country if its reform efforts remain insufficient in the coming two months. Read more.
Commission releases Media Freedom Act proposal, to mixed reactions. The European Commission has released its proposal for a Media Freedom Act, to a mixed reaction from civil society and media sector organisations. Read more.
EU PRESIDENCY BOX
AI Act: Czech Presidency puts forward narrower classification of high-risk systems. A new partial compromise on the AI Act, seen by EURACTIV further elaborates on the concept of the ‘extra layer’ that would qualify an AI as high-risk only if it has a major impact on decision-making. Read more.
Czech presidency calls for war crime tribunal over mass graves in Ukraine. The EU presidency on Saturday (17 September) called for the establishment of an international tribunal for war crimes after new mass graves were found in Ukraine. Read more.
Referendum on COVID-19 measures fails. The Liechtenstein government will no longer be able to limit admission to public spaces to those vaccinated or recovered, even if COVID-19 case numbers rise drastically this winter. Read more.
Germany to protect tenants struggling with energy bills. Tenants evicted after struggling with rent should be able to get their property back through making back payments, according to Construction Minister Klara Geywitz, who hopes to help those struggling with rising energy costs. Read more.
French MEP Stéphane Séjourné voted leader of new presidential party. France’s presidential party has been subject to a revamp after members voted for new leadership and name during a congress at the Louvre on Saturday. Read more.
Dutch to fund additional €7.5 million to salvage oil tanker off Yemeni coast. The Dutch government will release the additional funds to salvage operations to secure the FSO Safer, a floating oil storage vessel in significant difficulties off the Yemen coast. Read more.
Spanish socialists call out conservatives’ gas price cap stance. Debate has errupted between the ruling Spanish socialist party (PSOE) and centre-right opposition Partido Popular (PP) after the latter’s EU political family, the European People’s Party (EPP), explicitly supported the Iberian exception to cap gas prices. Read more.
Letta says Lega’s far-right stronghold town is a ‘province of Hungary’. Pontida, a town located in Lombardy, traditionally the venue for the annual mass gathering of the far-right Lega, is a “province of Hungary”, Partito Democratico (PD) leader Enrico Letta said. Read more.
Reducing corporate income tax beneficial, Portuguese economy minister. Reducing corporate income tax for companies would be an important signal for the entire industry and beneficial given the current crisis, Economy Minister António Costa Silva said on Sunday. Read more.
Czech nationalists, populists dominate opinion polls. A new opinion poll suggests that the populist ANO party of former prime minister Andrej Babiš is most popular among voters just a week ahead of municipal and senate elections. Read more.
Russian ship enters new waterway day after Vistula Spit canal opening. A Russian ship entered the Elblag port, located at the start of the Vistula Spit, after the Polish government said the waterway opening would mean vessels no longer require Moscow’s permission to sail from the Baltic Sea to the ports of the Vistula Lagoon. Read more.
Slovakia divided on Commission’s proposal to cut EU funds for Hungary. The decision of the European Commission to cut €7.5 billion in EU funding was criticised by Slovak parliament speaker Boris Kollár (We are Family) and opposition leader Robert Fico (SMER), while Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said the decision could not be vetoed. Read more.
Hungarian steel plant stops production. Steel plant Dunaferr, one of Hungary’s largest industrial manufacturing companies, was forced to shut production, the company said on Saturday. Read more.
NEWS FROM THE BALKANS
Bulgaria hopes to host Azeri gas leadership meeting. An unofficial regional meeting on energy issues is potentially on Sofia’s agenda for October, featuring European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the presidents of Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Serbia, Romania and North Macedonia, EURACTIV Bulgaria has learned. Read more.
Activists condemn right-wing violence at Belgrade EuroPride. Almost ninety people were arrested by police while activists reported assaults from those countering the EuroPride march which saw over 10,000 people march despite a police ban with government backing. Read more.
Albania deports wanted Turkish citizen despite asylum pleas. Turkish citizen Emre Olur, press advisor to mafia boss Sedat Peker, was deported from Albania on Sunday after being arrested at Tirana International Airpot despite asking for asylum. Read more.
- EU: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen attends the state funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II;
- Josep Borrell in New York, US (until 23/09) to participate in different high-level events related to the 77th session of the UN General Assembly and holds a number of bilateral meetings with international counterparts;
- European Commission presents a draft new instrument to protect the EU’s internal market in event of a crisis;
- Germany: Chancellor Scholz greets the head of Italian party PD Enrico Letta upon his visit to SPD headquarters;
- Belgium: Court hears legal challenge to Belgian-Iranian prisoner exchange treaty ratified by both countries;
- Netherlands: ICJ hearings start in Iran bid to unfreeze assets seized by the US;
- Poland: Temporary restrictions on the entry of Russian nationals into Poland and three Baltic States enter into force;
- Sweden: Speaker of parliament Andreas Norlén consults party leaders to task PM-designate with forming a government;
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]