News from the Capitals #12
Europe is a colourful continent in terms of policies and outcomes. It is essential to stay updated on how these policies may impact your work to build better regulatory frameworks, enhance your message and enhance communication with stakeholders. Here you can find a summary of the major European political updates of this week.
On Wednesday, the senate voted down a bill that would have banned anti-LGBTQ violence and discrimination. The legislation would have amended Italy’s penal code to ban discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and disability. A motion to block the so-called "Zan bill" passed by 154 votes to 131 after being put forward by right-wing parties Lega Nord, led by Matteo Salvini, and Fratelli d'Italia (Fdl), led by Giorgia Meloni. The latter disagreed on several definitions such as “gender identity”, on establishing a National Day against homophobia, lesbophobia, biphobia and transphobia, and on a clause that would add a “freedom of speech” exemption. The manoeuvre was carried out thanks to a bloc of votes from centre-right parties, but it was only able to succeed because several senators who theoretically do not belong to right-wing parties secretly voted against their parties’ position on the bill. The vote was in fact secret, meaning that lawmakers did not have to publicly declare their position, allowing several of them to defy their party’s line.
President Biden leaves for Europe today, and Democrats are rapidly trying to come to an agreement on their social policy and climate plan. While some things are likely to stay – like the new child tax credit – other original additions, like paid sick and parental leave, are likely to be cut. This leaves the US as one of only six countries in the world without national paid leave.
Germany’s parliament convened on Tuesday for the first time since the general election. This is the first time all newly elected MPs have gathered together, and a few changes could be observed. Almost 40% of MPs have been elected for the first time, they are younger and also more diverse.
Additionally, a new Bundestagspräsident was elected yesterday. Wolfgang Schäuble, a well-respected CDU/CSU MP held the position from 2017 until Tuesday. Yesterday, a new president was elected. The SPD put forward Bärbel Bas, who won almost 80% of votes. Also elected were the vice-presidents. Apart from the FDP, all vice presidents elected are women. The AfD candidate did not receive a vice-president seat as he did not receive the necessary majority votes.