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In today’s news from the capitals:
A senior government expert has said the green pass could be abolished by March as its political price becomes too high for the new government. Read more.
LEAK: the Commission will propose binding reduction targets for pesticides. The European Commission plans to set a binding EU-wide 50% pesticide reduction target by 2030, but leaves member states free to set their own national targets, according to a leaked proposal to revise the European pesticide framework obtained by EURACTIV. Read the full story.
Scholz to meet Biden amid growing dissatisfaction with Germany’s Russian policy. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will meet his US counterpart Joe Biden on Monday amid growing dissatisfaction with Germany’s reluctance to take a clear stance on Russia. Read more. Read more.
Macron flies to Moscow to meet Putin. French President Emmanuel Macron is in Russia on Monday to meet with President Vladimir Putin to continue the work of leaders like US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz. Read more.
An Austrian city votes against a large photovoltaic park. Residents of Wimpassing have voted against the construction of a 52-hectare solar park as Austria tries to shake off its dependence on Russian gas amid an energy crisis and tensions at the Ukrainian border. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
The Irish government promises measures to combat the rising cost of living. Dublin has promised forthcoming measures to help those hardest hit by the rising cost of living in Ireland. Read more.
Senator Renzi received 1.1 million euros from consultants in Saudi Arabia. The leader of Italia Viva and ex-Prime Minister Matteo Renzi received 1.1 million euros from various Arab companies, reveals a report by Bankitalia’s anti-money laundering unit, transmitted to the police on February 6. Read more.
The Commission made a “big mistake” in qualifying nuclear and gas as “green”, according to the Spanish minister. The European Commission has made a “big mistake” in labeling nuclear and gas as “green investments” in Europe, said Spanish Minister for Ecological Transition, Teresa Ribera. Read more.
Poland’s Duda meets Xi Jinping at the Olympics amid boycotts from other countries. Polish President Andrzej Duda met Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on Sunday, on the sidelines of the ongoing Olympics. Duda was the only EU leader who decided to travel to the Chinese capital for the Olympics. Read more.
Czechia sends confusing signals to Kyiv. Czech President Miloš Zeman erodes positive support the Czech government has given Ukraine as tensions with Russia continue, his latest comments prompting condemnation of the country’s foreign minister, Dmytro Kuleba. Read more.
Hungarian government overturns court ruling on press access to COVID. A government decree that came into effect on February 5 effectively overturned a Budapest district court’s ruling on press access to hospitals during COVID, despite earlier promises to abide by the judgmenttelex reported. Read more.
Most Slovaks reject the idea that the unvaccinated are paying for COVID treatment. Two-thirds of Slovaks are not in favor of the unvaccinated paying for their COVID-19 treatment, reveals a new survey published by the agency Focus. Read more.
The design of euro coins in Croatia is outrageous. The winner of the design competition for the euro coin in Croatia is said to have used artwork by another designer, without their permission. Read more.
Slovenian opposition defeats government’s “anti-Huawei bill”. The opposition rejected a government bill on electronic communications that would exclude high-risk suppliers from the market, a provision the opposition said was directed against China’s Huawei. Read more.
Vučić and Xi Jinping salute the rock-solid friendship between Serbia and China. Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on February 5 in Beijing to discuss bilateral cooperation. Xi hailed the “ironclad friendship” and high-level political mutual trust between China and Serbia, saying the bilateral ties have stood the test of time and are the model of international relations, Chinese media group CMG reported. Read more.
The OSCE condemns the Republika Srpska. The withdrawal of state institutions such as the highest state judicial institution, announced by the authorities of Republika Srpska (RS, Serbian entity) goes against the Dayton Peace Agreement which undermines the fight against organized crime and other serious forms of crime, the OSCE Mission to BiH has warned. Read more.
Montenegrin deputies vote against the government in a motion of no confidence. On February 4, the assembly voted against the government of Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić in a motion of no confidence, with only 11 of the 81 deputies in favor. Read more.
Interesting Belgian constitution for Kosovo, says the ambassador. BBelgium’s constitutional model cannot be copied in other countries but some of its elements may be interesting to consider in the Belgrade-Pristina dialogue, Belgian ambassador to Serbia Koen Adam told Beta agency in an interview. Read more.
Former Albanian interior minister sentenced to prison after drug trial. Former Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri has been condemned to three years and four months in prison for abuse of power by the Albanian Special Court against Corruption and Organized Crime. Tahiri facilitated drug trafficking for a criminal group through her inaction and received gifts from its members during her tenure, according to the judge. Read more.
- EU: EU Agriculture Ministers meet in Strasbourg / US-EU Energy Council meets in Washington / European Parliament SEDE Committee to hear from French Minister of the Armed Forces Parly / La ECB chief Christine Lagarde appears before the European Parliament
- Germany: German Chancellor Olaf Scholz meets US President Joe Biden in Washington. German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock meets Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba in Kyiv.
- Poland: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg receive Polish President Andrzej Duda in Brussels.
- Croatia: The Presidency of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) and the Presidency of the HDZ of Bosnia and Herzegovina will hold a joint meeting via video link.
- Serbia: Prime Minister Ana Brnabić will visit the headquarters of the World Economic Forum in Geneva, where she will witness the signing of an agreement on the creation of a center of this organization for the fourth industrial revolution in Serbia. During this time, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto will visit Serbia and hold a press conference with his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selaković.
- Montenegro: The Assembly will discuss the proposal for the dismissal of President Aleksa Bečić at another extraordinary session.
- Albania: President Ilir Meta’s impeachment trial will continue on Monday.
- Ukraine: Visit of the Czech, Slovak and Austrian foreign ministers.
[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Alexandra Brzozowski, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor]