Brussels Playbook: Poland showdown — Pushback on pushbacks — Renew picks Séjourné – POLITICO


COMMISSION MULLING ACTION: The EU is getting ready for a tense dialogue on the state of rule of legislation when leaders meet for a European Council (EUCO) summit on Thursday. A debate within the European Parliament on Tuesday delivered a preview of that showdown, with Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and MEPs clashing with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

The stakes are excessive: The Commission will begin “written procedures” to set off a mechanism that would limit the disbursal of EU price range funds in opposition to a variety of nations over breaches of EU requirements within the subsequent few weeks, Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders stated Tuesday, whereas refusing to substantiate whether or not Warsaw can be a goal. Meanwhile, von der Leyen stated there have been a variety of doable actions on the desk in opposition to Poland. Diplomats argued forward of the EUCO that it’s now as much as EU leaders to provide the Commission “guidance” on what to do subsequent. But not all nations agree this needs to be the Council’s function.

War and PiS: One drawback is, the EU’s struggle with Poland and its ruling Law and Justice occasion (PiS) is unwinnable, write POLITICO’s David Herszenhorn, Lili Bayer and Maïa de La Baume of their evaluation of Tuesday’s debate within the Parliament. But there’s an up-shot: Warsaw can’t win both.

DUTCH ALLIANCE: The Dutch confirmed Prime Minister Mark Rutte will increase the problem on the EUCO on Thursday; Sweden additionally voiced help, regardless of a reluctance by European Council President Charles Michel to permit rule of legislation to overshadow a summit that’s speculated to be about vitality.

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WAIT AND SEE: Tuesday’s General Affairs Council (GAC) gathering — historically the place the place EU ministers contemplate the agenda for European Council summits — was in wait-and-see mode for a lot of the morning, as ministers waited to listen to information from Strasbourg. By lunchtime, officers had been printing off copies of von der Leyen’s speech, earlier than turning to the rule of legislation dialogue.

BENELUX WANT MORE: Belgium spoke on behalf of its fellow Benelux nations — the Netherlands and Luxembourg — and demanded a stronger Commission response. “In our view, swift and decisive action is needed to deal with systemic threats to the rule of law in several member states,” Foreign Minister Sophie Wilmès stated. “The launching of infringement procedures is in this case self-evident but insufficient. We therefore equally call upon the Commission to make use, when applicable, of the rule-of-law conditionality regulation at the earliest possible time and to seriously consider additional steps to address the inherent risks that the deterioration of the rule of law poses to future disbursements of funds.”

CAUTIOUS SUPPORT: Speaking after the GAC, Dutch Foreign Minister Ben Knapen stated there had been “broad support” within the room for the Dutch initiative to lift the problem on the leaders’ stage, Hans von der Burchard reviews. But many nations harassed the significance of maintaining dialogue open. “Twenty countries raised the issue at the GAC. They want it discussed at EUCO. France and Germany were not amongst them,” stated one diplomat.

DISSENTERS: While most nations intervened throughout Tuesday’s dialogue, Poland, represented by a deputy ambassador, bought help from Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga. Playbook noticed Varga all through the day with a digital camera crew capturing her each transfer as she swept by the constructing surrounded by her entourage.

PARLIAMENTARY DIVIDE: While Morawiecki’s speech bought a hostile reception from most MEPs, who expressed outrage at Poland’s rule-of-law breaches of their debate interventions, the Polish PM bought a rousing reception at a gathering of the European Conservatives and Reformists group later within the afternoon. Those current instructed us Morawiecki reiterated the feedback he made within the chamber, vowing to proceed the struggle on behalf of others dealing with what he described as assaults on nationwide autonomy. “He is fighting the fight for other countries now,” stated a type of within the room.

POLISH CLIMATE: Not content material to antagonize most of its EU companions on the rule of legislation, Poland can also be calling for an overhaul of the Commission’s “Fit for 55” local weather bundle forward of EUCO’s dialogue of the vitality value disaster. Warsaw has circulated a casual doc, aka a “non-paper,” that calls on the Commission to vary the proposals: “We should analyse in detail all elements of the Fit for 55 package that can have a negative impact on the energy price and consider their revision or postponement,” the paper states. Warsaw additionally requires a revision of the EU Emissions Trading System. More right here.

Now learn this: German Greens co-leader Annalena Baerbock accused Russia of trying to “blackmail” Europe by inflicting vitality costs to spike. “We can see a poker play by Russia,” Baerbock stated in an interview with the Funke newspaper group, revealed this morning. While there have been different components at play, Baerbock stated, “we hear that gas deliveries are being cut,” including: “We must not let ourselves be blackmailed.” Read the interview right here.

ALSO ON THE EUCO AGENDA: EU leaders will focus on the best way to break a impasse over the bloc’s commerce offers and revamp the best way they’re negotiated, report our colleagues Barbara Moens and Sarah Anne Aarup on this primer.


MEPs URGE VON DER LEYEN TO ACT: The center-left Socialists and Democrats group within the European Parliament is at this time asking Ursula von der Leyen to do extra to forestall pushbacks of migrants in nations similar to Greece and Poland. The group decries the “highly alarming systematic nature of pushbacks of vulnerable people, often involving violence,” in a letter signed by Chair Iratxe García Pérez, Vice Chair Simona Bonafè and member Birgit Sippel. The letter, which Playbook has obtained, is predicted to be despatched at this time.

Holding again the money: The S&D MEPs argue the EU ought to solely disburse migration funds to nations that conform to “set up an independent mechanism to monitor and avoid pushbacks of migrants” — because the Commission has already proposed within the case of Greece. The bloc is split on the problem — earlier this month, Playbook revealed 12 EU nations, together with Poland, Greece, Latvia and Lithuania, had requested the EU to fund a border wall and urged a rule-change to permit “proportional” measures to take care of migrants. The S&D letter states: “Creating partitions and isolating ourselves from our closest neighbours ought to by no means be the best way ahead.”

Debate in Parliament: MEPs will debate pushbacks with Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson in plenary at this time. That comes after Poland on Tuesday introduced it had nearly doubled the variety of troops on its border with Belarus, whereas Germany stated it’s deporting extra migrants again to Poland.

Political context: Migration has once more turn out to be a political scorching potato, with Belarus funneling migrants from Turkey and different nations onto its borders with the EU’s Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. In response, Warsaw has established an “exclusion zone” alongside the border and imposed a state of emergency, with journalists and overseas observers prevented from accessing the realm. Seven migrants have died on the border thus far.


SEJOURNÉ NEW RENEW LEADER: The Renew Europe group on Tuesday elected French MEP Stéphane Séjourné — a detailed ally of President Emmanuel Macron — as chief of its group within the European Parliament. Séjourné desires a “firm response” to rule-of-law breaches by nations similar to Poland, he instructed Les Echos in an interview.

Presidential query: Séjourné pushed in opposition to the concept that the brand new stability of energy in Europe after the German election meant the Parliament presidency ought to stay with the Socialists and Democrats. “National elections do not change the political configuration in the Parliament. The number of MEPs in each group remains the same,” he stated. He reiterated his group’s proposal that the presidents of Renew, the EPP and S&D ought to negotiate an EU “coalition contract, which will not only be about positions but above all about [policy] priorities.” More right here from our colleague Maïa de la Baume.

VACCINE DONATION CONUNDRUM: Senior officers are warning the EU will fall far in need of its promised coronavirus vaccine donations to poorer nations, risking each the unfold of recent lethal variants and a lack of geopolitical clout, our colleagues Hans von der Burchard and Ashleigh Furlong report. With the top of the 12 months approaching quick, the EU has thus far solely delivered round 56 million doses, far lower than the 250 million it promised for 2021.

Germany intervenes: In a letter to the Commission this week, the German well being ministry warned of a “global allocation emergency” — and blamed vaccine producers, who “tend to dictate conditions to [EU] member states and recipient countries that make a quick response to international requests for help almost impossible.” Berlin urged the Commission to “increase the pressure on the manufacturers to show more flexibility regarding donation and resale.”

FISCAL RULES REFORM UPDATE: The EU will subsequent 12 months bend its guidelines for public spending to make sure extremely indebted member nations are spared from a brand new period of austerity, the Commission introduced Tuesday. POLITICO’s Bjarke Smith-Meyer has the main points.

TURKEY GOING BACKWARDS: The European Commission on Tuesday stated Turkey’s bid to hitch the EU had “effectively come to a standstill” amid democratic and freedom of expression backsliding, and the “deterioration of human and fundamental rights.” Read the 2021 report on Turkey in full.

Latest exhibit: Turkish prosecutors ordered the arrest of greater than 150 folks deemed to be supporters of cleric Fethullah Gülen, whom President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s regime blames for a failed coup in 2016.

LATVIA LOCKS DOWN FROM THURSDAY: Latvians will probably be locked down from this Thursday till November 15, the federal government introduced, amid a surge in COVID circumstances. Just over half of Latvians are totally vaccinated, in response to our reside vaccination tracker — a part of a development that has seen a lot of Eastern and Central Europe lag behind the west, regardless of joint procurement and equal vaccine distribution by the Commission.

US PROBE INTO AFGHAN WITHDRAWAL: The U.S. State Department’s inspector common has launched an investigation into America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, our Stateside colleagues report. The Pentagon’s inspector common has additionally opened not less than three critiques associated to the evacuation. It comes because the U.S. envoy on Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, resigned, promising to share his ideas on that call quickly.

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European Parliament plenary session continues in Strasbourg. Full agenda. Highlights: Debate on preparations for the EU summit, Ursula von der Leyen participates (9 a.m.) … Winner of 2021 Sakharov Prize introduced (3 p.m.) … Debate on pushbacksYlva Johansson participates (8:30 p.m.). Watch.

— ECB releases euro space inflation figures (harmonized index of client costs) at 11 a.m.

— Council President Charles Michel meets with Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager at midday.

— Tripartite Social Conference — Charles Michel, Ursula von der Leyen, Commission Executive Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis and Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit take part (2:45 p.m.).

— U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai in Brussels, will meet Valdis Dombrovskis.

Council of Europe’s knowledgeable group on human trafficking GRETA publishes its newest U.Okay. analysis report. Read right here later at this time, or obtain right here.

— Joint sitting of Romanian parliament to vote on authorities proposed by Prime Minister-designate Dacian Cioloș. Ministerial candidates’ hearings start at 10 a.m.

**POLITICO Live’s third Energy Visions occasion “Flying sustainably: how will the EU scale up clean jet fuels by 2030?” will happen on Tuesday, November 9 at 5:00 pm CET. Register at this time.**


WHAT PEOPLE WILL BE TALKING ABOUT THIS MORNING — FACEBOOK REBRAND: Facebook is planning to vary its firm title subsequent week, Verge reported within the early hours of this morning.

EU’S NEW FIRST LADY: The EU formally has a primary girl: Amélie Derbaudrenghien Michel. Our colleague David Herszenhorn has the main points.

BRUSSELS EXPATS, SPEAK UP: The Brussels regional authorities and State Secretary Pascal Smet have launched a marketing campaign concentrating on worldwide residents who reside within the metropolis however can’t vote in regional elections. Expats have put ahead varied proposals by way of a digital platform, and now you can vote on your favorites. The hottest will probably be mentioned in November and December, and was proposals for the regional parliament.

SCHOOL STRIKES: Health companies in faculties in Wallonia and Brussels are coming into their third day of strikes over coronavirus measures. They say they’re involved they will’t carry our their common duties as a result of they’ve been made chargeable for vaccinating youngsters in opposition to the coronavirus and coping with COVID outbreaks in faculties, our colleague Camille Gijs writes in to report. The strike is affecting primarily Francophone Catholic faculties.

BIRTHDAYS: EU Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly; MEPs Erik Marquardt, Fabienne Keller and Leopoldo López Gil; Former MEP Carlos Iturgaiz, now the president of the Popular Party of the Basque Country; European Parliament’s Anne Liekenbrock; Helen McAvoy, a former European Parliament head of division; Austrian playwright Elfriede Jelinek; U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris; Jorge Carlos Fonseca, president of Cape Verde.

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

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