News from the Capitals #27

by RPP colleagues

 

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.

 

France

Today is a special day in the framework of the presidential elections in France because the French President, Emmanuel Macron, could unveil his program. He has already outlined it several times. He finally takes up what he could not achieve because of the unprecedented crises that France has gone through: the yellow vests, the pension reform, the health crisis COVID-19 and the war in Ukraine. Indeed, the French president wants to initiate a universal income of activity because students are very affected by the rise in prices. In the race for the Élysée, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the candidate of the left-wing party gathers 13.5% of voting intentions, surpassing Éric Zemmour and Valérie Pécresse. The war in Ukraine is giving rise to an unusual campaign, and abstention may also be the favourite of the polls.

Former French President, Nicolas Sarkozy will lend his support to President Macron. A news that should divide the French right a little more.


Spain

The Prime Minister, Pedro Sánchez, announced that he will carry out a tax reduction. The main opposition party, the Popular Party, demands more specificity and a super-reduced rate of VAT. A conference of Presidents is being held this weekend in which all the regional leaders, together with Sánchez, will address the Spanish response not only to the war but also to the economic impact.

The Royal House detected this Sunday a "cyber interference" in its Twitter account, "@CasaReal", where the monitoring of the President of Ukraine, Volodimir Zelenski, has been simulated. The action has been neutralized. The institution has specified that it has consisted of simulating "a false follow-up to the account of the President of Ukraine."

The Council of Ministers has approved a Royal Decree-law of urgent measures to support the agricultural sector due to the drought. The objective of the Royal Decree-law is to help restore the profitability of agricultural and livestock farms and to strengthen a sector that is at the foot of the canyon to provide the Spanish population with food of sufficient quality and quantity every day of the year.


UK

The government has established a scheme for British residents to be matched with and accommodate Ukrainian refugees. 100,000 households have already signed up to the scheme. However, the system crashed on the day of the launch and is being criticised for inadequately consulting local council authorities who will need to find school places for the children.

British-Iranian nationals, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anousheh Ashouri, have been released and returned to the UK after false imprisonment by the Iranian regime. The UK government has confirmed that it released $400 million to the Iranian regime, owed from a shipment of tanks that were not fully delivered in the 1970s.


Belgium

The federal government has taken a range of decisions to deal with rising energy prices. It has decided to reduce VAT on electricity and gas and cut excise duties on diesel and petrol.

The Federal Minister of Energy, Tinne Van der Straeten, has submitted a policy paper on the possible extension of two nuclear reactors until 31 December 2035. She has also developed an 8-billion-euro plan to accelerate the energy transition.

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