EM Germany Weekly Round-Up | week ending 24/10/2014
EM Germany’s weekly round-up summarises the past week’s key European issues in a brief press review, which also includes a look at EMGermany’s activities and topics trending globally on Twitter. German version here.
EM Germany weekly round-up – the week’s highlights in print, at EM Germany and on Twitter
18/10-24/10/2014 – “In Europe, the time has now come to act”, Jean-Claude Juncker told Members of the European Parliament. After the hearings – which lasted three weeks – came to an end, the EP gave the new Commission the green light. Juncker’s team is therefore able to start on 1 November as planned. José Manuel Barroso will hand over his duties by this date (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)).
At the EU summit in Brussels heads of state and government last night agreed on binding climate protection targets for 2030: greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced by at least 40 per cent compared with 1990 levels, and the proportion of renewable energy should increase to 27 per cent. Before the Council meeting even took place, environmental organisations already criticised the targets as being inadequate. A correspondent from Westdeutscher Rundfunk called the negotiations “worthless haggling about percentages”. Heads of state and government only oriented themselves to the present situation and their own interests(tagesschau.de). Even Spiegel online‘s head of science accuses the EU of lacking ambition. Instead of jointly advocating a strong climate policy in international negotiations, member states could in future “block and blackmail to their heart’s content”. European Movement International (EMI) sent a warning from Brussels that the EU must not waste its innovation advantage in the energy sector nor squander climate policy, and demandsbinding objectives.
EM Germany’s member organisations reacted to the climate package in different ways. The Council’s decision is “politically and economically short-sighted”, writes the foundation Stiftung 2°. In all things climate change, the EU has gone from “pioneer to lame duck”, commented WWF. The German Association of Energy and Water Industries (BdEW) regards the heads of state and government’s agreement as “an important sign for the international climate conference in 2015 in Paris”. The Federal Government’s evaluation of the outcome of the European Council meeting was under the spotlight during Monday morning’s EM Germany debriefing on the European Council meeting.
Conflict over the new Franco-German growth pact – a meeting between Germany and France’s economic and finance ministers in Berlin on Tuesday resulted in the two countries wanting a joint concept for greater investment to stimulate growth in Europe. A first concrete suggestion from France, which asks Germany to invest more, however, was met with harsh criticism. Prior to a ministerial meeting, Emmanuel Macron had demanded that Germany invest 50 billion euros, then in return France will save 50 billion euros (FAZ).
More than three quarters of Poles have rejected the Euro. The poll rating emphasises the low chances of the largest East Central European economy joining the currency union (Tagesspiegel).
Twitter debates on the climate and energy package 2030 can be followed under the hashtag #EU2030. The European Council can be found on Twitter via #EUCO, and the accompanying EM Germany debriefing via #EBDdebrief. There is a simultaneous summit debriefing at European Movement Finland – hashtag is #jälkilöylyt. News on the Ukrainian Parliamentary elections on Sunday are gathered under #UkraineVotes. EM Germany has posted more videos submitted for the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in which young people born in 1989 reflect on their wishes and hopes for the future of Europe, under the hashtag#Wallfall25.