German Central Bank ECB postpones calls to fight climate change

German Central Bank ECB postpones calls to fight climate change

Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann on Thursday (28 November) batted back calls for the European Central Bank to take a bigger role in protecting the environment, saying it was up to goverments and not the ECB to fight climate change. “Monetary policy that explicitly pursues environmental goals runs the risk of being overburdened,” Weidmann said in Berlin. “Politicians with democratic legitimacy must decide how society should combat climate change and they must also bear the responsibility this.” New ECB president Christine Lagarde has promised to discuss sustainability considerations in the bank’s…

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France’s Macron: I’m not sorry I called NATO brain dead

France’s Macron: I’m not sorry I called NATO brain dead

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday (28 November) said his remarks that NATO was experiencing “brain death” had been a useful wake-up call to alliance members, and he would not apologise for saying it. Macron’s blunt verdict ahead of a Dec. 4 summit in Britain drew strong reaction from European peers who believe Europe still needs to rely heavily on the transatlantic military alliance for its defence. But the French leader, speaking alongside NATO’s Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, made no apology for the remarks, which he said were needed after allies…

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A deputy from the ruling presidential party divides Ukraine from the European choice

A deputy from the ruling presidential party divides Ukraine from the European choice

These days, Ukraine marks the anniversary of the start of two revolutions, which were an attempt to escape from Russia to Europe. Will a third rebellion be necessary for a European choice? Because the oligarch and the influential parliamentarian standing next to the comedian president are corrupting Ukraine to Russia. November 22, 2004 in Ukraine began bloodless protests, known as the Orange Revolution. Protesters supported pro-European presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko and opposed election fraud in favor of pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych. Yushchenko won, but the Ukrainians failed to fulfill their dream….

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Commissioners assemble: Class of 2019-2024

Commissioners assemble: Class of 2019-2024

European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen has unveiled who will do what job in her administration, insisting hers will be a “geopolitical Commission”. Stay tuned here for all the details. UPDATE: The European Parliament voted with 461 MEPs in favour to give the Commission its seal of approval on 27 November. It will take office on 1 December. Only 23 out of 26 candidates were confirmed by the Parliament after two weeks of regular committee hearings. A second round saw the remaining three given the green light. The Council…

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Harnessing the potential of French offerings for the benefit of the Western Balkans

Harnessing the potential of French offerings for the benefit of the Western Balkans

In recent days, the discourse on the Western Balkans’ EU accession has been dominated by discussion of the (in)famous French non-paper, finally explaining the thinking behind the changes in the enlargement methodology announced earlier by President Macron. Milena Lazarevic explains how the French proposal might work. Milena Lazarevic is the programme director at European Policy Centre (CEP) Belgrade. Ever since France blocked the opening of accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania at October’s European Council meeting, criticising and even bashing French proposals has been a popular sport within the…

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Black Friday or ‘Back Friday’?

Black Friday or ‘Back Friday’?

Black Friday is becoming more about self-gifting, which is why practical items such as kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners dominate sales this year. Black Friday used to be the kickoff for the holiday shopping season, but a combination of a late Thanksgiving and anxiety about tariffs — and Amazon — have erased all but the symbolic significance of the day after Thanksgiving as retail bellwether. “I think we’ll start with a bang. I think this will be a good start to the season because it’s shorter,” said Rod Sides, vice…

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IOC calls for “toughest sanctions” due to deleted doping tests in Russia

IOC calls for “toughest sanctions” due to deleted doping tests in Russia

The International Olympic Committee has demanded the “toughest sanctions” against those responsible for deleting Russian doping tests in data handed over to the World Anti-Doping Agency – calling it “an attack on the credibility of sport and an insult to the sporting movement worldwide”. However, the IOC left the door open for Russian athletes to compete at next year’s Tokyo Olympics – provided they can show that they are clean. That provoked a hostile reaction from the US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive Travis Tygart, who urged Wada to ban all…

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MPs ready to fight member states for EU budget

MPs ready to fight member states for EU budget

The European Parliament will not accept a “take it or leave it” agreement on the EU’s next long term budget (2021-2027), co-rapporteurs Jan Olbrytch and Margarida Marques have told EURACTIV. Olbrytch, a Polish lawmaker from the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), and Marques, a social democrat (S&D) from Portugal, responded to EURACTIV in separate interviews. But even though the two weren’t in the same room, there was no major divergence between them, reflecting – with some nuances – the strong unity lawmakers have kept on budgetary matters. Last week, the…

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Airlines prepare to launch jet biofuel in Norway

Airlines prepare to launch jet biofuel in Norway

Airlines are confident of having sufficient supplies of biofuel-infused jet fuel to comply with Norway’s looming requirement, which takes effect next year, although they warn of additional costs. From January, jet fuel suppliers in Norway must blend 0.5% of biofuel in all their aviation fuel, a policy Oslo hopes will boost supply and demand and lead to lower CO2 emissions. Although aviation biofuel suppliers say it can cut the carbon footprint of airlines by up to 80%, it costs four times as much as normal jet fuel, which has so…

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Frontier Research – Good Return On Investment?

Frontier Research – Good Return On Investment?

From healthy lives to sustainable cities, from food security to equal societies – frontier research is often credited to have the potential to produce paradigm-shifting discoveries with economic, societal and policy impacts. With almost 10,000 researchers supported all over Europe, the European Research Council (ERC) is a key component of the EU’s Framework Programme for Research and Innovation. But while the main objective of frontier research is to fund multi-disciplinary, pioneering projects allowing scientists to follow their curiosity, critics of the concept consider there should be more control over the…

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