Tag Archives: Brussels

May attempts to get Brexit deal before summer break

In June British Prime Minister Theresa May will undertake one more effort to receive the endorsement for her Brexit deal from the Westminster before the summer break, setting a new deadline for her exit from the EU plan and a potential timetable for her own departure.

Brexit had been due to take place on March 29, but May government was unable to get her departure deal (WA) approved by the House of Commons, which rejected the so-called Withdrawal Agreement (WA) three times. As a crisis response the EU offered delay to 31 October, an absolute deadline before the start of a new institutional cycle: from November onward the procedure of the appointment of new European commissioners should start. According to the EU Treaty the UK will be obliged to appoint a Commissioner to Brussels if it is still a member of the European Union by November 2019.

Poroshenko visits NATO HQ

The NATO Secretary General, Mr. Jens Stoltenberg, will meet the incumbent President of Ukraine, H.E. Mr. Petro Poroshenko, at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.”There will be no media opportunity” the spokesperson informs via Twitter micro blog.

At present, leading areas of cooperation focus on counter-terrorism, defence against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) agents, the development of advanced technologies, and the detection and clearance of unexploded ordnance and mines.

Furthermore, in the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Platform on Countering Hybrid Warfare, the SPS Programme assists a joint initiative from Ukraine and Lithuania to develop an early warning system to counter hybrid threats. An event will take place in Vilnius in April 2019 to make recommendations and provide a way ahead.

Over 33 activities with Ukraine are ongoing, which makes the country the biggest beneficiary of NATO’s SPS Programme 

“One of the current flagship projects is called ‘Dexter,”said Dr Deniz Yüksel-Beten, Senior SPS and Partnerships Cooperation Advisor at NATO. “It aims to develop a system to detect explosives and firearms in public spaces, remotely and in real time, without disrupting the flow of passengers,” she added.

Through another project, Ukrainian and Italian scientists are developing a new type of crystal sensors to detect CBRN agents, which can be used to support counter-terrorism measures.

Puigdemont admitted to EU elections

A Madrid court ruled on  that former Catalan president Carles Puigdemont, who lives in a self-imposed exile in Belgium since 2017 to escape arrest for his prominent role in organising  the independence referendum, could run in the European Parliament election on May 26.

Spain’s electoral commission last month barred Puigdemont and two other fugitive Catalan politicians from standing, but they contested  the decision in court. Puigdemont and Toni Comin live in Belgium while Clara Ponsati lives in Scotland.

All three face imminent arrest in case they return to Spain as the referendum was ruled  not only illegal by the Constitutional Court. Nine Catalan leadersincluding Puigdemont’s former vice-president, Oriol Junqueras  are going through trial in Madrid on charges of rebellion, sedition and misuse of public funds.

EU to grant May conditional Brexit extension

European Union will grant Prime Minister Theresa May a second delay to Brexit deadline at an emergency summit on April 10,  but the are many indications that the leaders will impose the conditions.

Before the Summit  PM May visited Berlin and Paris on the eve of the summit to agree with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron to allow her to put off the departure from April 12 to June 30, a day before the constitution of the new European Parliament.

May had requested the EU to shift the deadline to June 30 but the EU Brussels a has an intention of a conditional extension to end of the year or even for one year to end March 2020. The question is if the UK government will be in the position to accept the conditions imposed with the deadline shift.

Conte defends Silk Road to Italy

Italy Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said that the Memorandum of understanding his government has scheduled to sign for China‘s Belt and Road Initiative during Chinese President Xi Jinping visit this week is risk free. The initiative is a huge infrastructure plan that aiming at construction of a modern Silk Road to connect China with Europe and Africa.

The attention to economic and trade terms is totally legitimate,” Conte told the Parliament as he reported to the lawmakers ahead of this week’s EU Summit in Brussels. “And it is justified precisely because of our national interests. We can boost our exports to a market of an enormous size”, Prime Minister explained.
The content of the memorandum, which was negotiated for months with China involving all the interested administrations, does not feature any risk for our national interest and is fully in line with the EU‘s strategy”, Conte ensured.

Tusk supports long-term Brexit extension

The president of the European Council Donald Tusk made an appeal for long term extension of Article 50 “if necessary to rethink its Brexit strategy and build consensus around it”.

Meanwhile the Members of the European Parliament (MEP) insist that any extension should have a clear reason behind it, because the prolongation of the situation might ‘hijack’ the European elections. It also exports the political crisis in Westminster to Brussels, blocking various, crucial for Europe, developments.

We have to know what for the UK is asking for extension”, – said Gabi Zimmer (Germany, GUE/NGL), the leader of Greens in the European Parliament  The extension should have a clear purpose, and it makes sense only in the framework of sealing the Article 50 agreement.

In any case it can’be prolonged beyond, interfering with the European elections, she continued. The EU Treaty clearly indicates that all the member-states are obliged to organise the elections to European Parliament. In case the UK stays in the EU after the 24 of May, it has also to join the election process.

On contrary the European Socialists consider Brussels should be generous, and more  more room and time should be given to the UK lawmakers with less restrictions to offer them a few years term to be able to organise the second referendum and recall their request to leave the EU.

MEP Marc Tarabella considers two or three years as an appropriate timetable to deliver tangible, solid result, building majority in the Westminster, and consulting Britons in a new referendum.

 

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