News from the Capitals #19
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.
Emmanuel Macron officially inaugurated the French Presidency of the Council of the EU in Strasbourg on 19 January. MEP Jordan Bardella (president of the far-right Rassemblement National party) and MEP Yannick Jadot (candidate for the presidential election from the Greens) both targeted Macron’s speech by attacking his political record as French president. Newly elected European Parliament’s President Roberta Metsola reminded speakers that the hemicycle was not a place for national debates.
Bury South MP Christian Wakeford defected to the Labour Party yesterday. It is reported he had finalised his defection on Monday after months of talks with Labour whips and other party officials. This marks another blow to Boris Johnson’s leadership, which hangs in the balance as more Tory MP’s have publicly called for his resignation, and others have stated that they will consider following suit if the Sue Gray report highlights any wrongdoing.
The distribution of European funds has generated discord between the PSOE, the governing party, and the PP, the main opposition party. Specifically, the government of the Community of Madrid has decided to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court against a decree of the central executive that distributes nine million euros of European funds among the Basque Country, Navarre, Extremadura and the Community of Valencia. In the opinion of Isabel Díaz Ayuso's councillors, the decision of the Council of Ministers is "arbitrary", lacks transparency, and does not respond to the mechanisms for distributing Community aid decided at the various sectoral conferences.
The filibuster fight continues, and Trump’s family business has been accused of misrepresenting its asset value. The hostage situation at a synagogue has shaken the Jewish – and religious – communities regarding safety. Puerto Rico’s debt will be restructured to avoid bankruptcy. Omicron appears to be peaking in the cities and states where it first presented in the US. The US has also opened a website at which each household can request four free rapid tests and has announced that 400 million N95 masks will be freely available at community locations.