Germans know Nord Stream 2 is a ‘disgrace’ –


The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, with on-the-ground coverage by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Before you start reading today’s edition of The Capitals, be sure to take a look at the interview with Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya: “Repressions are intensifying, the EU should be “more courageous” in its sanctions policy “, by Alexandra Brzozowski.

Also read the article “Report warns EU against increasing imports of disguised palm oil”.

The European news you deserve to read. welcome to The capitals by EURACTIV.

A message from the European Business Aviation Association: IT’S NOT JUST FUEL. IT’S ABOUT THE FUTURE: Here is what you need to know about business aviation and sustainability, and why increasing the production and deployment of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) should be a priority for the EU institutions.


A possible Russian offensive against Ukraine will essentially prevent Germany from maintaining its current position on Nord Stream 2, said Daniel Fried, former US ambassador to Poland under Clinton. EURACTIV Poland in an interview.

“A Russian military offensive against Ukraine would make it even more difficult for Germany to maintain its current position,” he said, adding that the best short-term solution is a suspension of works – or a moratorium – on the project by Germany and the suspension of sanctions by the United States. After


Portugal will approve a strategy to strengthen the inclusion of people with disabilities. Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa announced that at the end of the month the government will approve a national strategy for the inclusion of people with disabilities, which will include measures to support employment and improve accessibility. After

In today’s news from capitals:


Germany calls for closer cooperation with France on security threats. German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer called for closer bilateral cooperation with France in light of the tense security situation in Europe marked by the Russian “threat”, the rise of China and the spread of “terrorism Islamist ”in the Sahel region. Read the full story.



The hotel industry is pressuring the government to reopen it. Belgium is carefully considering the reopening of outdoor terraces for the hotel sector, closed since October, May 8. However, some operators say they no longer believe in the government’s commitments and say they will reopen at all costs on May 1, The evening reports. (Alexandra Brzozowski,



English clubs abandon their plans to be part of the European Super League. England’s six clubs dropped their plans to be part of a controversial European Super League on Tuesday night after a furious backlash from supporters, governing bodies and the threat of UK government legislation. Read more.



The head of Sinn Fein writes a letter to the Queen after the death of Prince Phillip. Sinn Fein chief Mary Lou McDonald wrote a letter of condolence to Queen Elizabeth after the death of her husband, Prince Phillip, tweeting her condolences to the Queen and “those of a British identity on our island, for who his death will be felt as a great loss. ”

McDonald’s private letter to the Queen was seen as a means of build relationships with the British royal family. The move has been compared to a move by former Sinn Fein politician and former IRA commander Martin McGuinness, who broke new ground by meeting and establishing a rapport with the Queen. When McGuinness passed away in 2017, the Queen sent a letter of condolence to his widow.

Buckingham Palace did not comment on the letter and Sinn Fein declined to release a copy of the letter. (Paula Kenny |



The closure of pulp and paper mills sends shock waves through Finland, Sweden. The Finnish-Swedish forest products company Stora Enso announced the closure this fall of the Veitsiluoto plant in northern Finland and the Kvarnsveden plant in central Sweden, resulting in the loss of 1,100 jobs. Read more.



Debt reduction is a priority for the country, said Italy’s finance minister. “We know that in the coming years EU support will be gradually reduced,” Italian Finance Minister Daniele Franco told MEPs on Tuesday at a budget committee hearing, adding that after the current suspension , “we will have to comply” with European budgetary rules, and for that “we need a reflection on how to reduce the current situation of Italian excessive debt”. Read more.



Spain pleads for the EU’s “flexibility” for the recovery plan. Spain is seeking “flexibility” from the European Commission on the sensitive subject of state aid to help businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic before disclosing details of its recovery plan next week, reports EFE, partner of EURACTIV.



Greece is seeking military cooperation with NATO and its Middle Eastern allies. Athens organized the annual multinational military exercise “Iniochos 2021” at the Andravida base to deepen military cooperation with NATO and Middle East allies. The exercise was joined by fighter jets from the United States, France, Israel, Spain and the United Arab Emirates. After.



The Czech Prime Minister apologizes for downplaying Russia’s involvement in the 2014 explosion. Czech Prime Minister Andrej BabiÅ¡ apologized for suggesting that Russia’s involvement in the explosion of an ammunition depot in 2014 did not constitute state terrorism but an “attack on property purchased by a Bulgarian arms dealer ”. Read more.



Slovakia and Czechia ask the Commission to postpone the “climate taxonomy” proposal. Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger joined Prime Ministers of the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Malta, Greece and Cyprus in calling on the European Commission to delay its proposal for green taxonomy. Read more.



Universities stage “infostrike” amid fears of losing their autonomy. Eight Hungarian universities will hold an ‘infostrike’ this week to protest the government-backed shift to a foundation management model. The institutions plan to organize conferences and workshops on university autonomy. Read more



A Bulgarian arms dealer admits he had ammunition in the Czech warehouse. A Bulgarian arms dealer allegedly involved in the 2014 explosion of a Czech ammunition depot has made conflicting statements as to whether he kept ammunition in the warehouse. After



Coalition leaders reach agreement to defuse political crisis. Romania’s USR PLUS alliance is expected to appoint a new health minister on Wednesday after Prime Minister Florin Citu agreed to an addition to the coalition deal that requires him to notify the party in advance of his intention to remove a minister. After.



Representatives of minorities to pay tribute to the victims of Jasenovac. Four representatives of ethnic minorities will pay tribute on Thursday to the victims of the WWII concentration camp in Jasenovac in a separate ceremony from the one attended by state leaders. Read more.



Serbian study shows people vaccinated are 60 times less likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. A preliminary study of 29,000 vaccinated and 100,000 unvaccinated citizens in the city of Kragujevac in central Serbia showed that fully vaccinated people hospitalized with COVID-19 three weeks after receiving the second dose of the vaccine are nearly 60 times lower than citizens who did not receive the vaccine. Read more.



North Macedonia suspends road tolls for Serbian citizens. Serbian citizens will be exempt from paying road tolls in North Macedonia during the summer vacation from June 15 to August 15 as a token of gratitude for the vaccines that Serbia has purchased, Macedonian Minister of Health said on Tuesday. from the North, Venko Filipče. Read more.



Effects of “non-paper”: Dodik wants a peaceful split, Izetbegović thinks war is possible. The president of the presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina and leader of the ruling party (SNSD) in the entity of the country’s Republika Srpska (RS), Milorad Dodik, said the entity’s parliament will form a team that will negotiate with representatives of the country’s other semi-autonomous entity, the Bosnian-Croatian Federation (FBiH), on how Bosnia-Herzegovina should be structured in order to make it more functional. Read more.



Biden calls for mutual recognition between Serbia and Kosovo in a letter to Osmani. “The United States will continue to support efforts to secure a lasting peace through a productive dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia and ultimately a comprehensive normalization agreement which we believe should focus on mutual recognition.” US President Joe Biden said in a congratulatory letter to Kosovo. new president, Vjosa Osmani. Read more.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Paula Kenny, Zoran Radosavljevic, Josie Le Blond]


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