The messy quarrel in Quebec brought more clouds on the horizon of global economy
The G7 summit held the weekend of 9 June in Canada turned into a complete fiasco after US President Donald Trump refused to sign a joint statement, leaving European leaders aghast at another diplomatic snub. That statement had sought to overcome deep disagreements, notably over trade. Since Trump's election in November 2016, the EU has been scrambling for a strategy to deal with the unpredictable leader in the White House who has shattered old certainties about the transatlantic alliance.
European Peace Facility was proposed off the budget
The European Commission proposed last Thursday a €13bn European Defence Fund within the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027. It will provide the financial firepower for cross-border investments in state-of-the-art and fully interoperable technology and equipment in areas such as encrypted software and drone technology, the Commission said.
 
New customs tool to help carrying out controls on all sea, air and land frontiers
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Addressing the future challenges ahead and dragging lessons from the past few years, the Commission proposed on 12 June a beefed up budget for the management of borders and migration for the next programming period after 2020.
 
Brexit inches closer with parliament vote
The UK is largely on track to leaving the EU on schedule as last Wednesday PM Theresa May defeated the final challenges to her Brexit blueprint in parliament, news wires reported. MPs supported the government's position to reject amendments to the EU withdrawal bill that challenged May's commitment to leave the EU's customs union and single market. With the vote, the overall shape of her Brexit strategy was left intact, and that will transform Britain's trading relationships for decades.
New alerts to step up counter terrorism and boost returns
Maria Koleva, Brussels
An informal deal for three new regulations on the use of the Schengen Information System (SIS), concretely dedicated to boosting the fight against terrorism, cross-border crime and irregular migration, was struck by the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament on Tuesday. It concerns the fields of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, border checks and the return of illegally staying third-country nationals.
Privacy Shield scraping urged
T­he EU-US Privacy Shield agreement should be suspended as it fails to provide enough data protection for EU citizens, the Civil Liberties Committee MEPs stressed last Tuesday, urging the Commission to suspend it. According to MEPs, the deal should be shelved unless the US complies with it by 1 September.
Stranded migrant rescue ship welcomed by Spain
A rescue ship with 629 migrants on board drifted last Monday in the Mediterranean after Italy and Malta refused to let it dock in its ports, news wires reported. The Aquarius, operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders, picked up the migrants from inflatable boats and rafts off the coast of Libya at the weekend.
Germany proposes Europe-wide unemployment insurance scheme
Germany bets on the creation of a Europe-wide unemployment insurance system to make the Eurozone more resilient to future economic shocks.
Greece submits reforms, aims at unlocking last bailout loans
The Greek government submitted last week to parliament reforms in the energy, pension and labour sectors in attempt to secure on time the last loans from its international bailout programme.
Common methodology to fight dual quality of food
New common methodology for comparing the quality of food products across the EU was last Thursday released by the Commission.
EC once again scorns Poland on courts' political control
Putting Polish courts under political control will not make them better and only violates Warsaw's obligations under EU treaties which Poland signed up to of its own will, Commission First VP Frans Timmermans said last Thursday during a debate on the rule of law in Poland at the EP plenary.
In Brief
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Sophia gets UN renewal to control arms embargo
 
The UN Security Council voted unanimously to authorise the EU's maritime mission to enforce an arms embargo on the high seas off the coast of Libya for another year. The British-drafted resolution, adopted last Monday, authorises EU ships in Operation Sophia to stop vessels on the high seas off Libya's coast suspected of smuggling weapons in violation of a UN arms embargo. Operation Sophia's commander and deputy secretary-general of the EEAS urged for the renewal of the authorisation by the UN Security Council. The EU naval mission is also charged with seizing migrant-smuggling vessels.

MEP numbers to be reduced by 46 for 2019 elections
 
The EU Parliament greenlighted last Wednesday a reduction in MEP numbers to 705, if the UK leaves the EU. The change aims at leaving room for new countries that may join the EU in the future. Twenty-seven of the UK's 73 seats will be distributed among 14 Member States that are slightly under-represented, while the rest will stay as a reserve to be allocated to new countries joining the EU. The new allocation will apply only if the UK leaves the EU on schedule. Otherwise, the current arrangements would stay in place until Brexit has been legally completed.

Renewables share in energy production - 32% by 2030
 
Negotiators agreed last Thursday to increase the share of renewables in the EU's energy production to 32% by 2030, a higher target than in the draft rules. The final EU law also calls for a phasing out of the use of palm oil by 2030 and removes some barriers to small producers of renewable energy. The measures are aimed at helping the EU meet its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% below 1990 levels by 2030. “This deal is a hard-won victory in our efforts to unlock the true potential of Europe's clean energy transition,” Climate Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete said.

EU-wide rules for safety of drones approved by MEPs
 
New EU-wide rules aimed at ensuring the safe use of drones were last Tuesday backed by MEPs. Currently, most drones fall under differing national rules, which hampers market development. Under the new rules, drones would need to be designed so that they can be operated without putting people at risk. Based on risk related to, for example, the weight of the drone or area of operation, the drone would need additional features, such as automated landing or collision avoidance systems. Furthermore, drones operators would need to be listed on national registers and their drones marked for identification.

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