News from the Capitals #33
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.
A few weeks ago, Germany’s Minister for families, seniors, women and youth, Anne Spiegel (Green Party) had to step down from the role following criticism she received regarding her actions last summer during the floods when she was the minister for environment. Yesterday, the new minister for minister for families, seniors, women, and youth was sworn in, Lisa Paus (Green Party).
At the same time, Germany held a G7 Health Dialogue with Engagement Groups in the run up to the G7 presidency. The purpose of this dialogue was to present the main topics of this year’s presidency and hear the questions that the different engagement groups had regarding these topics: ending the COVID-19 pandemic together and improving our responsiveness to future health crises, climate and health and control of antimicrobial resistance.
Dialogues such as these serve the purpose for the presidency to know where the focus and concerns of the different sectors lie, and thus where they should pay particular attention to in the coming months and during the summit. The presidency will be hosting several of these conferences in the lead up to the summit.
Emmanuel Macron is the newly elected president with 58.54% of the votes against 41.46% for Marine Le Pen. The score of the far right as well and the level of abstention during the second round of the presidential election call for a regeneration of the democratic machine. The head of state committed himself to this on the evening of his re-election, but the details remain unclear.
The current government fears the third round of legislative elections promised by Jean-Luc Mélenchon. Some ministers fear the power of nuisance of La France Insoumise, party of Mr. Mélenchon during the five-year term and that it stirs up protests. As soon as President Macron was reelected, Mr. Mélenchon stated that President Macron was "the worst elected president of the Fifth Republic".
Clément Beaune, the Secretary of State for European Affairs, stated on Monday that President Macron had "the desire for a female appointment to Matignon”. This position will be revisited considering the ecological emergency, and the future Prime Minister will be directly in charge of ecology. The name of Elisabeth Borne had been mentioned by the magazine L'Obs, as part of this possible government reshuffle.
Algeria has threatened Spain again with halting the gas supply if they re-sell it to Morocco. Spain and Portugal have reached an agreement with the European Commission on limiting the energy prices as they were recognised an exception during the last European Council on 25th March.
In Spain, at least 65 people, including three Catalan presidents, Catalan-pro nationalist civil organizations, and four MEPs (the Catalans), are said to have been spied on between 2017 and 2020 with Pegasus spyware. European Parliament launched a special committee which will further investigate all those allegations, as more countries have been affected. In relation to the Pegasus news, Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya, the main parliamentary partner of the Government, has withdrawn support for the vote on the decree to alleviate the economic effects of the war in Ukraine, for not "assuming responsibilities" in the 'Pegasus case'.
The pulse of Unidas Podemos against the Partido Socialista Obrero Español for Spain's position on the Russian invasion is becoming more intense every day. To the purple refusal to send offensive material to Ukraine, increase defence spending and bet on a path other than the pacifist one, now we add that on Monday they rejected the idea of Spain hosting the NATO summit in Madrid next June.