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Every Wednesday, the European Circle delivers an overview of the most important topics from the European Union and the European nations.

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Every Wednesday, the European Circle delivers an overview of the most important topics from the European Union and the European nations.

Newsletter

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EU ministers back 40% renewable energy target for 2030, NATO reaches deal with Turkey to admit Sweden and Finland, G-7 leaders to set up a Climate Club
European Circle in week 26, 2022
curated by Nina von Schweinitz

EUROPE

EU ministers back 40% renewable energy target for 2030: EU ministers provisionally agreed on Monday to ensure the share of renewables in the bloc’s energy mix reaches 40% by 2030 – despite the fact that the objective is now rendered outdated by new proposals tabled since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. euractiv.com

Germany signals support for 2035 fossil fuel car phaseout, with conditions: If approved, the EU bill would ban sales of all fuel emitting cars from 2035 onward. But Germany wants an added clause that makes an exception for carbon-neutral vehicles. dw.com

NATO reaches deal with Turkey to admit Sweden and Finland: The three countries’ foreign ministers signed a memorandum to confirm that Turkey will back Sweden and Finland’s NATO bids during a summit in Madrid this week. The push to add Sweden and Finland to NATO comes as Russia’s assault on Ukraine stokes fears of other countries in the region. cnbc.com

Germany and Netherlands to supply six more howitzers to Ukraine: Each country will provide three of the artillery weapons, Germany’s Christine Lambrecht and Kajsa Ollongren from the Netherlands told reporters, on top of 12 howitzers the countries have already sent to Ukraine. reuters.com

G-7 leaders to set up a Climate Club: G-7 leaders will work with partners to establish a “Climate Club” by the end of this year, according to the communique from their latest meeting. Published Tuesday, the document said leaders were committed to “a highly decarbonised road sector by 2030” as well as “a fully or predominantly decarbonised power sector by 2035.” cnbc.com

Putin told Macron he would rather play ice hockey than hold peace talks: The Russian leader made the dismissive comments during a tense phone call with the French president just four days before invasion of Ukraine. telegraph.co.uk

Greek police coerce asylum seekers into pushing fellow migrants back to Turkey: In a militarised border zone, in the dead of night, asylum seekers say they have been coerced into violent, illegal pushback operations run by Greek police. theguardian.com

  • Tourists find bodies of two migrants on the beach of Lesbos. spiegel.de
  • Greece says stops over 1,000 migrants from Turkey. euractiv.com
  • Lithuania: Forced out or locked up – Refugees and migrants abused and abandoned. amnesty.org
  • Asylum applications in EU last year up a third from 2020. reuters.com
  • Mediterranean: Sea rescuers report dead and missing. spiegel.de
  • Austria: Smuggler to serve seven years in prison after death of two Syrians. spiegel.de
  • At least 51 migrants dead after being found inside abandoned truck in San Antonio, officials say. nbcnews.com

UK vows more Rwanda deportation flights after legal setback. npr.org

Northern Ireland protocol bill passes Commons vote: Proposed legislation to allow the UK to unilaterally rip up Brexit arrangements for Northern Ireland at the risk of a trade war with the EU passed the second reading stage in the House of Commons on Monday night. theguardian.com

Scotland’s leader calls for independence vote: Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon on Tuesday announced plans for a referendum next year on Scottish independence, reopening the battle over her country’s future and challenging Britain’s top judges to prevent her from holding it. nytimes.com

EU agrees on stricter security rules to fight off cyber attacks: EU states must draw up national strategies and regular risk analyses to determine critical infrastructures. zeit.de

Power struggle in space: Satellite internet to become strategic instrument of the EU. handelsblatt.com

EU delivers first batch of monkeypox vaccines. ec.europa.eu
MEPs vote to broaden the definition of ‘sustainable aviation fuels’. euractiv.com
Why was Georgia not granted EU candidate status? euronews.com
World’s biggest eye in the sky: European ESO builds giant telescope. de.euronews.com
European businesses lament fragmentation of the EU Single Market. euractiv.com

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

„We must not walk into the trap Putin sets of asserting that the world is divided into the global west – the G7 and its friends in the north – and all the rest.“

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said the world is more unified in its support for Ukraine than Russia suggests. theguardian.com

NATION

Oslo shooting near gay bar investigated as terrorism: Oslo’s annual Pride parade was cancelled on Saturday following a deadly shooting at a gay bar that Norwegian police are investigating as a possible terrorist attack. Two people were killed and eight others taken to hospital after the shooting near the London Pub. The suspect, charged with terrorism, is a Norwegian citizen originally from Iran, and was “known to the police,” but has only received “minor convictions” up until now, prosecutor Christian Hatlo told reporters in Oslo Saturday. cnn.com

French minister targeted in sexual assault complaint: France’s Social Cohesion Minister Damien Abad became the target of a complaint for attempted rape, prosecutors said, the latest sexual misconduct allegation against a member of President Emmanuel Macron’s government. News website Mediapart reported that a „centrist politician“ had accused Abad of trying to rape her during a party at his home in 2010. france24.com

Prince Charles denies wrongdoing over $3 million cash handed to him in bags by ex-Qatari leader: Prince Charles‘ office has denied there was any wrongdoing in the heir to the British throne accepting bags full of cash as charity donations from a Qatari politician. The Sunday Times said the prince was given a total of 3 million euros by Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, the former prime minister of Qatar. cbsnews.com

Germany to return stolen Ngonnso‘ statue to Cameroon: Germany will return agoddess statue that was stolen from Cameroon 120 years ago, the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation said on Monday, part of a growing trend to give back artefacts taken during the colonial era. reuters.com

Brazen heist caught on video amid major global arts fair: A man clad in the drab finery of a European art show attendee interrupted the staid hobnobbing of a premier gathering for buyers and sellers of fine art in the Netherlands on Tuesday, when he whipped out a sledgehammer, and with calm focus, smashed open a display window, in full view of anyone who cared to look. washingtonpost.com

Netherlands tornado: One killed and ten injured in extreme weather incident in Zierikzee. euronews.com

Criminal barristers strike across UK: Barristers in criminal cases have gone on strike across England and Wales in a long-running dispute over pay. Justice Secretary Dominic Raab said the strikes will „delay justice“, as courts already face a backlog of 58,000 cases. bbc.com

French public broadcasting sector on strike, uncertain about its future. euractiv.com
French lawmakers elect Yaël Braun-Pivet as National Assembly president, first woman in role. france24.com

NUMERS

French inflation rose more than expected in May to a new record. The INSEE statistics agency said consumer prices rose 0.7% for a 12-month inflation rate of 5.8%, the highest rate since France began using European Union methodology to calculate the readings in the early 1990s. reuters.com

AT LEAST

Police raid ecstasy lab on Belgian airbase housing US nuclear weapons: Belgian police raided an illegal lab producing the rave drug ecstasy on an airbase that reputedly houses part of the US nuclear arsenal in Europe, investigators said Tuesday. spiegel.de