Brussels Playbook: Germany winners and losers — Channel tragedy — COVID latest – POLITICO


GERMANY’S NEW COALITION GOVERNMENT … might be decidedly pro-European — that’s what the SPD, Greens and FDP pressured of their coalition treaty, which they unveiled Wednesday. But what meaning in apply isn’t solely clear, particularly with regards to the sensitive topic of funds. Here’s what companions can anticipate from the EU’s largest and richest nation within the coming months and years — if the three events again the treaty and elect the brand new authorities within the Bundestag.

KEY JOBS, ASIDE FROM CHANCELLOR OLAF SCHOLZ: Christian Lindner is ready to turn out to be the brand new finance minister with a veto on all issues finances, who might be key to reforms of the EU’s fiscal guidelines … Annalena Baerbock is down because the international affairs chief, who has introduced she’ll take a more durable line on Russia and China … and Robert Habeck will dole out billions in subsidies and steer commerce coverage on the helm of the economic system and local weather ministry.

WINNER 1 — EMMANUEL MACRON: The textual content of the coalition settlement is strewn with phrases coined by Paris, equivalent to “strategic sovereignty,” and notes the necessity for the EU to behave as a world energy. The new authorities will again a stronger European External Action Service — “a real EU foreign minister,” in addition to transnational electoral lists for the European Parliament — an concept championed by French President Emmanuel Macron to make the EU extra democratic. The coalition will even again the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism beloved by Macron. The president’s Europe pointman Clément Beaune mentioned he was “delighted.”

WINNER 2 — SOUTHERN COUNTRIES: The coalition additionally signaled openness to a reform of fiscal guidelines and some type of fiscal solidarity — long-standing calls for by nations equivalent to Italy and Spain. The treaty opens the door to reforming the EU Stability and Growth Pact to “ensure growth, maintain debt sustainability and provide for sustainable and climate-friendly investments.” Germany will even again a “European reinsurance for national deposit guarantee schemes” as a part of a much bigger bundle on the Banking Union.

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WINNER 3 — URSULA VON DER LEYEN: Many anticipated the Commission president to be a loser from the brand new tie-up. Von der Leyen, a detailed ally of the outgoing chancellor, is from Angela Merkel’s CDU get together, which is headed for the opposition benches. That in and of itself would normally make her a lame duck. What’s extra, the events agreed the Greens might nominate Germany’s subsequent European commissioner.

But the coalition threw VDL a giant lifeline: The Greens will solely nominate a commissioner “if the President of the Commission is not from Germany.” The coalition additionally vowed to battle for and keep on with the “Spitzenkandidat” system, beneath which the Commission chief needs to be the lead candidate of the get together that wins the most important share of votes within the European Parliament elections. That provides the center-right EPP a powerful incentive to appoint von der Leyen as its candidate for the 2024 race.

WINNER 4 — PROGRESSIVES: After 16 years of conservative-led authorities, there’s a contemporary strategy to a number of social insurance policies.

… On medicine: Germany will legalize leisure consumption of hashish in licensed outlets, whereas on the similar time boosting prevention applications and proscribing advertising and marketing and sponsorship for all medicine together with tobacco and alcohol.

… On gender and households: The coalition desires to strengthen legal guidelines to battle sexism, promote equal pay, shield girls and youngsters from violence, scrap sure restrictions on abortions and “liberalize the law on names … by introducing genuine double names,” so youngsters can carry the surnames of each mother and father. There’s additionally a number of guarantees to make it simpler for households to stability work and childcare.

… And much less conventional households: “​​We will introduce the institute of community of responsibility, thus enabling two or more persons of legal age to take legal responsibility for each other beyond love relationships or marriage,” the treaty reads. Think throuples who wish to go to one another in hospital or purchase a home collectively, or a lesbian couple having a toddler with their homosexual buddies.

Now time journey throughout the Oder, the place Poland’s authorities has banned abortions and desires to introduce a compulsory register of pregnancies — and you’d be forgiven for questioning how each can slot in an “ever closer Union.” (On the opposite hand, so do California and Arkansas within the U.S.)

LOSERS 1 — ORBÁN AND KACZYŃSKI: Germany’s incoming authorities plans to induce Brussels to get more durable on rule-of-law breaches, based on the coalition treaty. What’s extra, Baerbock has been outspoken on the necessity for Germany to deal with authoritarianism head-on.

Right on cue: Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal on Wednesday mentioned the European Court of Human Rights had no energy to query its appointment of judges. Secretary-General of the Council of Europe Marija Pejčinović Burić mentioned in an announcement that the judgment “is unprecedented and raises serious concerns.” Reuters has extra.

LOSER 2 — XI JINPING: There’s a transparent change of tone from the incoming authorities with regards to China’s techno-authoritarianism. Baerbock has pressured that in her dealings with Beijing, she’s going to place a stronger weight on human rights and Germany’s alliance with the U.S. The coalition treaty itself additionally emphasizes human rights and welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden’s alliance of democracies. Germany will “clearly address China’s human rights violations, especially in Xinjiang,” it reads. The deal additionally stresses that the EU-China funding settlement can not “at this stage” be ratified by EU nations.

LOSER 3 — THE FRUGALS: The coalition treaty itself is imprecise on whether or not Berlin will again a brand new spherical of Commission bonds or some other sort of EU financing — anathema to frugal nations equivalent to Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. But in an interview in a single day, Lindner prompt he was open to that dialogue (as beforehand flagged by Playbook).

Things change: “Times are altering, you can not examine the present scenario in Europe after the pandemic with 2010 or 2018,” Lindner instructed ZDF when requested about joint EU debt and transfers. Arguing that because the EU’s strongest economic system Germany had a particular duty, he mentioned that meant that on the one hand, it needed to rein in “inflation” and debt.

… He continued: “On the opposite hand, we even have a duty to make sure that this forex space stays collectively, that different nations additionally make investments, and that there’s total political stability. This signifies that our nation can not act like a smaller Nordic nation. But we additionally can not unilaterally aspect with those that wish to undermine the financial and financial union and its guidelines.”

LOSER 4 — BORIS JOHNSON: If the U.Ok. had any hopes that Germany’s stance on post-Brexit talks would possibly change with the brand new coalition, it’s a Nein: The coalition treaty insists on the necessity for “full compliance with the agreements adopted,” significantly the Northern Ireland protocol, and says any break by the British aspect should be met with the “consistent application” of “countermeasures.”

FURTHER READING: More on what’s within the treaty by our colleague Hans von der Burchard … and Matthew Karnitschnig has 5 takeaways.


DEATHS AT SEA: Dozens of individuals died within the English Channel making an attempt to make their method from France to the U.Ok. by boat — the latest migration tragedy to strike the Continent. Fishermen alerted native authorities to round 15 our bodies floating off Calais at 2 p.m. on Wednesday. The French authorities initially mentioned 31 individuals had died, however later declined to substantiate that quantity to POLITICO. Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin mentioned 5 girls and a toddler have been among the many lifeless, whereas two individuals have been rescued and are being handled. The seek for different survivors continues. Latest right here from our colleagues Thibault Spirlet and Pierre-Paul Bermingham.

Background: The 50-kilometer-or-so stretch of sea between France and the U.Ok. has lengthy been a supply of rigidity between the 2 nations over migrant crossings. But that has intensified in current months. While the general variety of asylum purposes in Britain is down this 12 months, extra migrants are making the perilous journey by sea from France, reasonably than by way of planes or lorries — Macron mentioned 47,000 tried crossings occurred this 12 months, with 886 individuals arriving on the British coast final Saturday alone, U.Ok. authorities mentioned.

Macron requires EU assembly: The French president referred to as for an emergency assembly of EU ministers affected by the migration disaster. As of final evening there was no assembly scheduled; the following justice and residence affairs ministers’ assembly is ready for December 9.

Focus on Frontex: Macron additionally referred to as for the “immediate reinforcement” of Frontex sources on the EU’s exterior borders. It follows a joint name in current days from France and Belgium for the EU border company to divert its focus from Europe’s southern borders to the north, specifically to assist with aerial surveillance alongside the 2 nations’ northern coasts.

Smugglers: The French are blaming Wednesday’s tragedy on individuals smugglers. “We must accelerate the dismantling of criminal networks in conjunction with Great Britain, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany,” Macron mentioned in a press assertion final evening, as he vowed the Channel would “not become a cemetery.”

Perspective: While the EU’s focus has been on the standoff on the Poland-Belarus border in current weeks, one other migrant disaster has been unfolding on France’s northern coast. Just final week, French authorities cleared a migrant camp at Grande-Synthe close to Dunkirk, residence to about 1,500 migrants ready to cross the Channel.

Playbook view: The upshot? While the current instrumentalization of migrants by Belarus on Europe’s japanese borders was rightly denounced, the fact is that a number of European nations have been grappling with challenges in numerous methods for years — a damning indictment of Europe’s lack of a joined-up migration coverage.


EU HEADS FOR MORE RESTRICTIONS: While incoming German chief Olaf Scholz gave minimal particulars of his plans for tackling the nation’s surging COVID numbers (although he prompt making vaccines obligatory for well being employees), different nations throughout the bloc are unveiling new measures to cope with rising infections.

France is because of announce new restrictions as we speak, however gained’t impose a lockdown, a authorities spokesman indicated. Instead, anticipate information on boosters, adjustments to vaccine passport guidelines and an emphasis on social distancing measures.

The Dutch authorities will presumably unveil additional lockdown measures on Friday, because the nation reported its largest one-day enhance in infections because the begin of the pandemic — regardless of the introduction of a lockdown-lite final week, which prompted three nights of protests.

Slovakia introduced a two-week lockdown. While this might be reassessed after 10 days, any loosening of restrictions would solely apply to the totally vaccinated. Slovakia has one of many lowest vaccine take-ups within the EU, solely surpassing Romania and Bulgaria.

Italy additionally tightened guidelines on Wednesday. Italians will quickly want to point out proof both of vaccination or restoration to enter most public venues, with damaging coronavirus assessments now not counting as a sound foundation for a digital “green” move, our colleague Carlo Martuscelli reviews.

In different phrases: Get prepared for an countless coronavirus winter, writes POLITICO’s Sarah Wheaton.

**Monique Goyens, director common of the European Consumer Organization, will converse at POLITICO Live’s occasion “Europe’s energy price surge: what it means for the bloc’s energy and climate policies?” on December 3. Register now!**


METSOLA WINS EPP RACE: Maltese MEP Roberta Metsola is the European People’s Party candidate for the European Parliament presidency. That places her in pole place to exchange the present president, David Sassoli, subsequent 12 months. Metsola acquired 112 votes within the first spherical of the group’s inside election on Wednesday. Her Dutch rival Esther de Lange received 44 votes, whereas 18 MEPs voted for Austrian Othmar Karas, POLITICO’s Maïa de La Baume reviews.

AND SHE’S GONE: While Sweden received its first feminine prime minister on Wednesday morning, by late afternoon Magdalena Andersson had already resigned, having didn’t safe assist for her finances within the parliament, which as an alternative backed an opposition plan. The Greens, the junior coalition companion, then stop, prompting Andersson’s resignation. While it’s unclear what’s going to occur subsequent, the Riksdag speaker, Andreas Norlén, could now ask the parliament to vote on Andersson’s candidacy as prime minister once more, this time as head of a one-party authorities, Charlie Duxbury and Ali Walker report.

ITALY-FRANCE FRIENDSHIP TREATY: After a number of stormy years, Italy and France are placing their variations behind them with a treaty that’s meant to ascertain cooperation between the 2 EU heavyweights in sectors starting from trade to tradition. Hannah Roberts and Giorgio Leali have a preview.

Prime minister or president? Italy appears set to get a brand new president subsequent 12 months, and the bookmakers’ favourite is Prime Minister Mario Draghi. But his selection isn’t straightforward or apparent — and it might carry massive ramifications for Italy and Europe, writes Mujtaba Rahman in his latest Beyond the Bubble column for POLITICO.

QATAR IN SPOTLIGHT: Two Norwegian journalists have been detained for greater than 36 hours as they tried to depart Qatar, the place they have been protecting labor points across the 2022 FIFA World Cup. As it occurs, Qatar’s deputy prime minister is visiting Brussels as we speak — it could be a clumsy assembly with Commissioner Ylva Johansson. More right here.

EU COUNTRIES TO AGREE DIGITAL RULES TODAY: EU capitals are as we speak anticipated to agree a standard place on two landmark new digital rules: The Digital Services Act (DSA) and the Digital Markets Act (DMA). The Parliament, Council and the Commission will then launch negotiations to agree ultimate authorized texts. France desires to get each packages accepted throughout its six-month Council presidency, which kicks off in January, the nation’s junior minister for EU affairs Clément Beaune instructed POLITICO Monday.

It’s not over but: At the middle of the following legislative steps is a bare-knuckled battle over how a lot energy the Commission ought to have in imposing the brand new guidelines, our colleagues Mark Scott, Clothilde Goujard and Samuel Stolton write for POLITICO Competition and Industrial Policy, Cybersecurity and Data Protection and Technology Pros. “It comes right down to the endless subject inside Brussels about whether or not it’s higher to convey all the ability beneath one (Commission) roof or outsource enforcement to nationwide regulators.”


Competitiveness Council, Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis to attend. Begins 9:30 a.m. Press convention anticipated round 6:45 p.m. Watch.

— thirteenth Asia-EU Meeting (ASEM13) takes place by way of videoconference; European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and EEAS chief Josep Borrell collaborating, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša will signify the rotating Council presidency. Opens at 9 a.m.

ECB: President Christine Lagarde delivers remarks at ECB Legal Conference at 2.30 p.m. Account of Governing Council financial coverage assembly of October 27-28 revealed at 1.30 p.m.

— European Commission Vice President Věra Jourová holds press convention on proposals to bolster democracy and the integrity of elections at 11 a.m. Watch.

— Commissioner Didier Reynders holds press convention on the Council suggestion on journey from outdoors the EU and Council suggestion on facilitating free motion through the pandemic at 12:30 p.m. Commissioner Ylva Johansson holds press convention at 2:30 p.m. Watch.

— Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Commissioner Mairead McGuinness maintain press convention on a bundle of proposals on the Capital Markets Union at 1:30 p.m. Watch.

EMA public stakeholder assembly on COVID-19 vaccines and therapeutics at 1 p.m. Watch.

European Parliament plenary: Commissioner Helena Dalli participates in debate on gender-based violence (from 9 a.m.). Full agenda.

Commissioners’ speeches: Johannes Hahn speaks at EU Open Data Days … Mariya Gabriel talks on the EIC Summit.

Commissioners on tour: Adina Vălean is in Moldova, the place she meets Prime Minister Natalia Gavriliţa … Margaritis Schinas is in Uzbekistan, the place he meets politicians together with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev … Olivér Várhelyi is in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

— Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson meets Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani; holds name with Poland’s Interior Minister Mariusz Kamiński.

— Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič meets NATO Deputy Secretary-General Mircea Geoană.

— Commission Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans and Commissioner Nicolas Schmit take part by way of videoconference in a gathering with the European Trade Union Confederation.

— European Council President Charles Michel meets with President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev (6 p.m.).


UBER AND OUT? Uber’s service in Brussels will virtually come to a halt from Friday night, the corporate mentioned, following a court docket ruling on Wednesday. Full particulars right here.

ORANGE IS THE NEW BLUE: The European Commission’s headquarters might be illuminated in orange as we speak to mark the International Day of the Elimination of Violence towards Women.

BIRTHDAYS: MEP Elżbieta Łukacijewska; International Rescue Committee’s Harlem Désir; MO* journal’s Jago Kosolosky. International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Bosnia and Herzegovina Statehood Day.

MANY THANKS: Hans von der Burchard and our producer Grace Stranger.

**A message from the EPP Group: There needs to be extra give attention to childhood most cancers. Children and younger adolescents (AYAs) with most cancers are sometimes hit with uncommon kinds of most cancers. Especially for them, the EU is of clear added worth by incentivising pharmaceutical corporations to spend money on child-specific medicine for this class of sufferers. The crucial analysis must go simpler, extra accessible and faster by multinational medical trials and supporting the work completed by public universities. We wish to introduce at the very least one specialised AYA-centre in each Member State. Sharing knowledge throughout borders might help researchers achieve beneficial insights. Every 12 months in Europe, 6000 youngsters die of most cancers. Big knowledge might help save youngsters’s lives. We have to create a European community of databases of verified high quality and content material with the very best ranges of knowledge safety. Check out our subsequent 10 steps in beating most cancers.**

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