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FRIDAY RECAP: What you may have missed during the week - 06/03


Source : Le Monde

EU TO HELP GREECE AMID BRUSSELS-ANKARA MIGRANT CRISIS


During a visit to Athens on Tuesday (3), Presidents of the European Commission, European Council, European Parliament and Council pledged to provide Greece with financial and operational support after Turkey single-handedly opened the border it shares with Greece to migrants last week, in violation of the 2016 EU-Turkey bilateral agreement. Between Saturday and Monday, Greece had already prevented some 25,000 migrants from entering the country. While President Erdogan rebuffed claims of blackmailing the EU into supporting Turkey’s political and humanitarian policy in Syria, some have risen to the occasion to renew their calls for reforms of the Dublin Regulation as the crisis re-exposes the EU’s failure to agree a common migration policy. EU interior ministers are meeting on Friday (6) to discuss the situation.


EAGERLY-AWAITED EU CLIMATE LAW ALREADY RAWS CRITICISM


Mercredi (4), la Commission a présenté le texte de la « loi climat », pierre angulaire du pacte vert européen rendant contraignant l’objectif de neutralité climatique pour 2050. Toutes les législations et politiques pertinentes devront être cohérentes avec, et participer à la réalisation dudit objectif. Si la symbolique est forte, le texte est déjà sous le feu des critiques des euro-députés, des États membres et de certains activistes, dont Greta Thunberg, pour ses objectifs trop lointains et son manque d’ambition, notamment eu égard à l’échéancier de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. En outre, selon certains observateurs, l’UE ne serait même pas en mesure, malgré cette loi, de présenter une position commune au sommet UE-Chine de septembre 2020 et à la COP26 du mois de novembre.


SLOVAK ANTI-CORRUPTION PARTY TRIUMPHS AT PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS


On Sunday (1), anti-graft party Ordinary People surged to a tremendous victory at Slovakia’s parliamentary elections, garnering 25% of the vote and beating Smer-SD, the leftwing populist party that has been in power for twelve years, into second place. Led by millionaire Igor Matovic, this movement, described as populistic, aims at re-engaging with disaffected Slovaks, protecting the rule of law and fighting rampant corruption. Observers argue it has capitalised over the uproar caused by the murky double murder of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak and his fiancée in 2018, which led Smer-SD Prime Minister Robert Fico to step down. The elections now pave the way for protracted and bitter negotiations with three other parties to form a government.


LE POINT BREXIT


As the EU launched the post-Brexit negotiations with the UK, EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier warned about « many very serious divergences » between both sides. Those concerned fisheries, tax, labour, environment and competition level playing field, police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, the UK’s opposition to commitments on the future role of the ECJ and the overall governance of the deal. British negotiators reportedly shrugged off discussing UK-EU foreign policy and defence relationship too. While both the EU and the UK hope to wrap up the talks by the end of the year, Boris Johnson’s threats to back away from the negotiations should no agreement be reached by June have revived the possibility of a No-deal exit.

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