close

Вход

Забыли?

вход по аккаунту

?

Politico Europe – May 17, 2018

код для вставкиСкачать
IRELAND
Abortion
referendum
misstep
POLITICO.EU
Government’s
12-week proposal
deters undecided
voters. PAGE 5
MAY 17-23, 2018
VOLUME 4, NUMBER 18
Italy’s populists seek collision course with Brussels
BY JACOPO BARIGAZZI
AND GIULIA PARAVICINI
Promise the sky during the campaign.
Come back down to earth when it’s
time to actually govern. That’s the
timeless political strategy adopted by
office-seekers across the globe.
Not this week in Italy.
The two populist parties seeking to form a government spent the
months before the March election
sanding down their rhetoric against
the euro. But as they get ready to take
charge, their Euroskeptic edges are
starting to show once again.
‘Italexit
is back’
as League
and 5Stars
prep for
government
Exhibit A: An early draft of a possible coalition agreement between
the anti-establishment 5Star Movement and the far-right League leaked
to the Italian edition of the Huffington Post. The document calls for the
renegotiation of EU treaties, including the Stability and Growth Pact, the
cancellation of €250 billion in Italian
government debt by the European
Central Bank, and a revision of Italy’s
contribution to the EU budget.
The document was quickly dismissed by the leaders of the two parties
SEE ITALY ON PAGE 27
THE CITY OF LONDON IS ALREADY DYING
The UK’s frayed welcome mat for
immigrants and the financial industry is
a bigger threat than a bad Brexit deal
BY PIERRE BRIANÇON
ILLUSTRATION BY WILL BARRAS FOR POLITICO
The 2016 Brexit referendum and
the political turmoil that has followed
have already undermined two of the
key drivers of the British financial
industry’s success: the free movement of people between the U.K. and
SEE THE CITY ON PAGE 27
EXPANDED PRO COVERAGE
BREXIT
OPTICS
OPINION
A deep dive into
competition policy
The Scottish fishing
industry’s dilemma
In Turkey, business is
booming for halal holidays
Danger of Germany’s
‘new anti-Semitism’
A tunnel linking Denmark to Germany
and a look at the Commission’s looming
decision on Gazprom. PAGES 10-11
Fishermen make up some of the most
enthusiastic Brexiteers, but leaving the EU
could damage their livelihoods. PAGE 14
Muslim-friendly resorts boast many familiar amenities for a trip
to the sea, with a few twists: halal meals, no alcohol on site and
gender-segregated swimming pools, spas and beaches. PAGE 22
The far right has co-opted a fight against
anti-Semitism to stir mistrust of Muslims
and distract from its dark history. PAGE 25
ISSN 2406-5250
FOR LONDON’S FINANCIAL CENTER,
there’s no such thing as a “good”
Brexit deal. Whether or not British
negotiators secure a favorable deal for
their country’s financial industry, the
City of London will not emerge unscathed from the United Kingdom’s
decision to leave the European Union.
2
POLITICO
EU CONFIDENTIAL
MAY 17, 2018
BY RYAN HEATH
Welcome
to the dead-tree
version of EU
Confidential, the
No. 1 EU news and
politics podcast.
Your guide to the
good, the bad
and the absurd in
European politics.
One strike, seven trains
1-ON-1
Combatting rise of
anti-Semitism
EU Confidential had a very Belgian, first-world problem this week. Thanks to a strike by
pilots at Brussels Airlines, your author was stranded in Italy. The airline promised to rebook
passengers automatically, but plenty of us found out that you had to actively chase Brussels
Airlines to secure a new booking. In the end, a seven-train, overnight odyssey from near
Genoa to Brussels was the only option for making it to work on Monday.
Talk of the town
Fast facts
Job: European
Commission
coordinator on
combatting antiSemitism
Core belief:
“Fighting antiSemitism in the
end is a question
of civic courage.”
Praises: Her
bosses Frans
Timmermans and
Věra Jourová for
having “a clear
compass.”
Win: Major tech
platforms now
work to ensure
anti-Semitic illegal
hate speech
is taken down
within 24 hours.
PHOTO OF
KATHARINA VON
SCHNURBEIN
BY EUROPEAN
COMMISSION
AUDIOVISUAL
Ryan Heath
rheath@politico.eu
@POLITICORyan
Katharina von Schnurbein is firmly
in the political spotlight. As the
European Commission’s coordinator on combatting anti-Semitism,
von Schnurbein finds herself in the
middle of questionable, difficult
and downright nasty behavior.
Multiple reports show that antiSemitism is rising across Europe,
and at times the rhetoric comes
from leading politicians.
For every show of inclusion
from Europeans — such as last
week’s victory by Netta, Israel’s entry in the Eurovision Song Contest
— discussion about anti-Semitism
becomes complicated by political
controversy, such as Israeli Defense
Forces killing more than 50 people
in Gaza during protests against the
opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.
Von Schnurbein feels the debate
should look at not just extreme behavior but all of society. “To some
extent the floodgates are open
and anti-Semitism is expressed
more openly [today]. Conspiracy
theories are found in the middle
of society. Teachers who have lost
a compass as to what is anti-Semitism and therefore do not react
properly in school when Jewish
students are being harassed. Judges
who think that throwing Molotov
cocktails into a synagogue is a legitimate expression of a political
opinion.”
Citing growing harassment of
staff at the Auschwitz concentration camp museum, von Schnurbein said “it is not for nothing that
in most EU countries it is necessary
Listen to the podcast
to have security in front of Jewish
institutions”
What can people do in their
everyday lives to combat anti-Semitism? “Fighting anti-Semitism in
the end is a question of civic courage. It’s not easy to fight it in your
own environment but this is where
it starts. In your own party, with
your own parents, your own sports
club, to react when you hear something at a dinner party. It’s that
kind of civic courage that we need
and that will in the end change the
situation.”
Von Schnurbein said treatment
of Jews is a “seismograph” for society, citing the number of terror
attacks against Jewish targets in Europe that included attacks in Paris,
Brussels and Nice. Rising anti-Semitism “is a sign that something’s going wrong in society and therefore
it needs to be tackled also by society at large.”
There is also “imported antiSemitism,” often from migrants
from Muslim-majority countries.
Von Schnurbein said it’s important
not to stigmatize a whole community but to recognize there is a
problem.
Criticism of Israeli policies is not
anti-Semitic, she said, but questioning the right of Israel to exist
and the right of Jewish people to
self-determination is.
The ultimate aim of her work:
“Normality for Jews in Europe” so
they do not have to second-guess
their movements and life choices
in order to enjoy their basic freedoms and rights.
Brussels smog hell: If you’ve been
coughing and suffering from a blocked
nose in recent days, you aren’t the only
one. The air around Brussels has been filthy.
There’s a new app that puts the pollution
into perspective. “Shoot! I Smoke” takes
measurements from air quality monitors
around the city. Based on the results, it tells
users how many cigarettes that level of air
pollution is the equivalent of smoking. EU
Confidential smokes 2.5 cigarettes a day via
pollution, according to the app.
Wikipedia page at night.
Hashtag efficiency:
#aEuropethatprotectsempowersdefends
was Martin Selmayr’s weekend creation.
Perhaps he should stick to editing his own
EU thumbs up: This week is the first EU
People of African Descent Week, which is
sponsored by the European Parliament’s
inter-party group working against racism.
The other ABBA: Creative Europe, the
EU cultural funding program, tweeted it is
“super excited about the announcement
that the 70s pop success and Eurovision
winners ABBA will produce new music!”
We wondered why, and discovered
there’s another ABBA ... Creative Europe’s
“Audience blending by arts” program, which
has been getting a lot of traffic on its web
page over the past week.
We spy ...
There’s been some progress in Brussels’ downtown pedestrian area renovations.
Separated at birth
German Europe Minister Michael Roth and U.K. Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
New episode every Friday | Soundcloud: soundcloud.com/politicoeuconfidential | Apple devices: Search podcasts for EU Confidential
In a world where Margrethe Vestager is almost a household name,
it’s clear that the politics, glitz and daily substance of antitrust are big
news.
From the inner workings of DG COMP to cartels, mergers, national
competition battles and more, Competition Pro maps out the complex
competition landscape, identifying trends and indicators of storms to
come.
CONTACT US AT PRO@POLITICO.EU TO REQUEST A TRIAL
4
POLITICO
Agenda
BRUSSELS BEAT
TRADITIONAL MEDIA
Thursday: EUWestern Balkans
summit, Sofia.
ThursdaySaturday:
GLOBSEC
Bratislava Global
Security Forum.
Tuesday:
Meeting of
foreign affairs
ministers,
Brussels.
TuesdayWednesday:
Meeting of
education, youth,
culture and
sports ministers,
Brussels.
Wednesday:
European
Economic Area
Council, Brussels.
MAY 17, 2018
AROUND TOWN
SOCIAL MEDIA
High noon for
Commission’s
press briefing?
They seek him
here, they seek
him there
The daily midday briefing for
journalists is held up by the Commission as proof of its global
importance and commitment to
transparency. Yet senior spokespeople routinely wonder whether
it should exist at all, and it’s a deeply divisive event for journalists in
town: Some depend on it and cherish it, others think it’s the biggest
waste of their time all day. Viewing
numbers on the EU’s EBS TV system are low: Sarah Huckabee Sanders (and Sean Spicer before her)
gets a viewing audience in the low
millions for her White House press
briefings, but the Commission gets
numbers in the low thousands on
a good day. There’s no way to ask
a question remotely, and the backdrops are terrible.
A new plan to get Facebook CEO
Mark Zuckerberg to testify before
the European Parliament died a
quick death on Tuesday after key
MEPs disagreed strongly with Parliament President Antonio Tajani’s
suggestion of a closed-door meeting with party leaders. Guy Verhofstadt (ALDE), Claude Moraes (S&D)
and Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens)
were among those to immediately
shoot down the idea. Facebook is
keeping silent. The company has
been in touch with Tajani’s team —
as recently as Monday — but stakeholders around town, from journalists to consultants, report the
Facebook team has been less than
keen to attend planned meetings
or even pick up the phone since
the Cambridge Analytica scandal
blew up.
Supporters of the Iranian opposition, the National Council of Resistance (NCRI), hold
a rally in the European Quarter in Brussels against the visit of Iranian Foreign Minister
Mohammad Javad Zarif to the EU. STEPHANIE LECOCQ/EPA
Corrections
In the previous issue we misspelled the name of Alicja Magdalena Herbowska, chief of staff to the
president of the European Economic and Social Committee.
— Ryan Heath
POLITICO is committed to correcting errors. To contact the newsroom regarding a correction request,
please email editorial@politico.eu or call (+32) 02 540 9090.
Career track
UK AI: Sana Khareghani is the first leader
of the U.K. government’s new Office for
Artificial Intelligence.
ADVICE FOR MEPS: Nuno Almeida Eça is
now an economic adviser at the European
Parliament.
COMMS HIRE: Angelo Tino has joined
the press and social media team in the
Commission’s DG CNECT.
FINANCIAL ANALYSIS: Marin Pavlic is
now an analyst at the European Bank for
Reconstruction and Development.
CEREAL THRILLER: Mayssa Vande
Vyvre is now communications manager at
CEEREAL, the European Breakfast Cereals
Association.
ONLINE GURU: Omar Da Costa Gomez
has been promoted to senior online editor
and social media analyst at the European
Commission.
LEAVING THE EP: Eleni Chronopoulou
has left the European Parliament to work
as as senior policy manager at BSA | The
Software Alliance.
SAMSUNG’S COMMS CHIEF: Michiel
Dijkman is now head of communications
and corporate affairs in Europe at Samsung
Electronics.
P OL I T IC O SPR L
A JOINT VENTURE BETWEEN
POLITICO AND AXEL SPRINGER
EX EC U T I V E
John F. Harris
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Matthew Kaminski
EXECUTIVE EDITOR
Sheherazade Semsar-de Boisséson
MANAGING DIRECTOR
EDI T OR I A L
Stephen Brown
Kate Day
Nirvi Shah
MANAGING EDITOR
EDITOR, UK
EXPANSION EDITOR
Florian Eder
Tim Ball
Stephan Faris
MANAGING EDITOR, EXPANSION
CREATIVE DIRECTOR
ENTERPRISE EDITOR
SENIOR POLICY EDITOR.................................................................JAN CIENSKI
PRODUCTION EDITOR ....................................................... JEANETTE MINNS
SLOT NEWS EDITOR ................................................................ PAUL DALLISON
SENIOR POLICY EDITOR ................................................. CHRISTIAN OLIVER
NEWS EDITOR............................................................................... ANDREW GRAY
NEWS EDITOR....................................................................JAMES RANDERSON
NEWS EDITOR/FINANCIAL SERVICES ................................. CHARLES LEE
NEWS EDITOR/TECHNOLOGY .................................NICHOLAS VINOCUR
BUSINESS
Brussels Playbook
POLITICO’s flagship newsletter has a new voice.
Know what’s driving the day with Florian Eder’s must-read briefing.
Guillaume Blandet
Johannes Boege
Dari Gessner
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER
CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER
P OL I T IC O. E U
FOLLOW US ON TWITTER
SEND COMMENTS TO:
@PoliticoEurope
letters@politico.eu
C ONTAC T US
SIGN UP AT POLITICO.EU/REGISTRATION
Editorial
Sales
Subscriptions
(+32) 02 540 9068
EDITORIAL@POLITICO.EU
(+32) 02 540 9073
SALES@POLITICO.EU
(+32) 02 540 9098
SUBSCRIPTIONS@POLITICO.EU
Print edition: €199 (excluding VAT) for one year. Subscribe at politico.eu/subscribe. Printed on recycled paper by Corelio
Printing, Keerstraat 10, B-9420 Erpe-Mere, in the coldset printing department of VUM – Groot-Bijgaarden, Brussels. © POLITICO.
All rights reserved. Neither this publication nor any part of it may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the the prior permission of: POLITICO SPRL Dénomination
sociale: POLITICO SPRL. Forme sociale: SPRL. Siège social: Rue de la Loi 62, 1040 Bruxelles. Numéro d’enterprise: 0526.900.436. RPM Bruxelles
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
POLITICO
5
EU lands a one-two punch to clean up trucks
Two years after hitting
the industry with billions
in cartel fines, emissions
standards aim to
accelerate clean drive
BY JOSHUA POSANER
AND KALINA OROSCHAKOFF
It took the biggest cartel fine in EU
history to get truckmakers moving
on efforts to go green.
The European Commission will
on Thursday deliver its second major
blow to lorry companies within two
years, when it publishes its first carbon dioxide targets for trucks. That
ends the unique status of the Continent’s truck and busmakers, which
have so far ducked the clean air rules
that apply in the world’s other leading economies.
“For the first time, the EU is setting
CO2 standards for heavy duty vehicles
for 2025 and 2030,” Maroš Šefčovič,
Commission vice president for the
energy union, said this week. “Other
major economies like the U.S., Canada, Japan and China already have
them, so it’s about time we catch up.”
Europe’s moves to corral polluting truckmakers into line is a rare
case where Brussels has been able to
IRELAND’S
ABORTION
VOTE
MISSTEP:
ASKING TOO T
MUCH
Undecided voters
torn between ban
and government’s
12-week proposal
BY SARAH WHEATON IN STROKESTOWN, IRELAND
PHOTO BY CHARLES MCQUILLAN/GETTY IMAGES
use genuine hard power — the competition hammer wielded by Commissioner Margrethe Vestager — to
push through its broader green policy
agenda.
Vestager imposed a record €2.9 billion fine in July 2016 against household names such as Volvo/Renault,
Daimler, Iveco, and DAF over cartel
activities that included colluding to
slow down the introduction of new
cleaner emissions technologies.
There could hardly have been a
stronger signal that Brussels is serious about slashing the sector’s CO2.
Thursday’s target is a 30 percent
emissions cut by 2030 compared to
2019 levels. The proposal also fore-
here’s just one problem for undecided Irish voters considering whether to repeal a constitutional ban on abortion: They don’t
like what the government has offered
as an alternative.
With a national referendum less
than two weeks away, support for
repealing the abortion ban is below
50 percent in the polls, down from
comfortable majorities at the beginning of the year.
That’s still enough to win on May
25 given that the opposition is polling even lower, but the government
may have thrown anti-abortion campaigners a lifeline: a pledge to introduce legislation that would allow
abortion for any reason for up to
12 weeks.
So the race is on to persuade the
one-in-five voters who have yet to
make up their minds.
There are conflicted voters even
in the most conservative parts of the
sees a mid-term target of a 15 percent
cut by 2025.
The action comes in the face of
years of fierce resistance by Europe’s
truck and busmakers, who fought
hard to dodge the pollution rules
that apply to cars.
And that fight isn’t over. The industry, allied with some countries
with large truckmaking sectors, is
expected to push back hard against
Brussels’ ambitious greenhouse gas
standards, a Commission official said.
Dirty trucks are no marginal issue. Although lorries make up only 5
percent of traffic on European roads,
SEE TRUCKS ON PAGE 26
country who think Ireland’s near-total ban is too strict, but who also think
the alternative proposed by the government isn’t strict enough.
Leaving Mass at the Church of Immaculate Conception in Strokestown,
a one-roundabout-town of 825 people
in landlocked County Roscommon,
a man named Thomas (he wouldn’t
give his last name) said he hasn’t decided how to vote. But, he added,
“the time limit that they have on it
is a big problem.”
Irish citizens were the first in the
world to legalize gay marriage by popular vote; it was backed by 62 percent
of voters in 2015. Since then, a political consensus has amassed to throw
off another bastion of Ireland’s Catholic history: a constitutional amendment that gives the mother and the
unborn an equal right to life.
But deep reservations about allowing women to end their pregnancies
show that Ireland’s march toward the
Maroš Šefčovič
European mainstream is anything but
inexorable.
“Irish people are naturally very
conservative on this issue,” said Senator Catherine Noone. A member of
Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s Fine
Gael party, Noone said her own views
changed as she led a parliamentary
commission that ultimately recommended liberalizing Ireland’s abortion laws.
At present, a woman can only terminate in Ireland when remaining
pregnant could kill her. She must
carry to term even in cases of rape
and incest, or when a fatal birth defect will lead to death in the womb
or shortly after birth.
If the vote were about allowing
abortion under those circumstances, even anti-abortion campaigners like John McGuirk, a spokesman
for the group Save the 8th, acknowlSEE ABORTION ON PAGE 26
6
POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
Europe’s
ultimate
Trump
strategy:
Appeasement
BY MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG
IN BERLIN
An illustration of Donald Trump’s outstretched middle finger next to the
headline “Goodbye, Europe!” graces
the cover of this week’s Der Spiegel.
With his decision to pull the U.S.
out of the controversial Iran nuclear
deal, Trump put another nail in the
coffin of the transatlantic relationship, the influential German newsweekly concluded.
“The West, as we knew it, exists
no more,” Der Spiegel editor Klaus
Brinkbäumer wrote in the magazine’s
opening piece, subtly illustrated with
the Stars and Stripes engulfed in
flames. “Our current relationship to
the U.S. can’t be considered a friendship, or even a partnership.”
The answer: “Resistance against
America.”
If only.
Commentators across Europe have
struck a similar, if less shrill, tone in
recent days. Yet rarely have rhetoric
and reality been so far apart in Europe’s strategic debate.
There will be no uprising, much
less a revolution against American
hegemony. For all of the public heavy
breathing by Europe’s media and politicians in the wake of Trump’s decision to honor his campaign promise
on Iran, behind the scenes, senior
policymakers have pursued a more
familiar European tactic — appeasement.
Beyond Iran, what worries many
European officials, particularly in
Berlin, is that Trump’s move offers
further proof of his willingness to follow through on his threats toward
them. In Germany’s case, Trump
has been lambasting its relatively
low defense spending since before
he came into office and as recently as
last month, during a visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel to the White House.
During the lunch meeting, Trump
congratulated Merkel, whom he jokingly referred to as the “president”
of Europe, for successfully “ripping
off” successive U.S. administrations
on defense and trade, according to a
person present during the exchange.
The message, though not substantively different from what Trump told
Merkel during their first White House
encounter a year earlier, was unmistakable: No more.
Trump’s decision on Iran has
erased any lingering doubts in Berlin over his resolve to take aggressive
action. German diplomats are now
redoubling efforts ahead of July’s
NATO summit to convince Washington they’re making progress on defense. Yet they’re deeply frustrated by
the administration’s unconventional
approach to diplomacy.
Berlin is still smarting over new
U.S. Ambassador Richard Grenell, who tweeted shortly after arriving that German companies “should
wind down operations immediately”
in Iran.
Like so much else with the Trump
administration, Germans are slowly
learning they have little option but
to grin and bear it.
TOTEMIC 2 PERCENT
Trump wants Germany to increase
spending on defense to at least 2 percent of gross domestic product, in
line with a goal agreed by all North Atlantic Treaty Organization members
at a summit in 2014. Last year, Germany, NATO’s second-largest economy
after the U.S., spent just 1.2 percent,
or €37 billion. That compares to U.S.
spending of 3.1 percent, or $610 billion, in 2017.
With Trump planning to increase
military spending by $60 billion in
2018 — significantly more than the
entire German defense budget —
Berlin’s protests about needing
more time have fallen on deaf ears
in Washington.
Merkel told Trump in Washington that Germany is on course to
reach the 2 percent target by 2030,
six years after the agreed deadline.
Grenell said convincing the Germans
to move faster would be his “No. 1 issue” in Berlin.
Reports about the lagging readiness of German forces have only added fuel to the flames. Due to technical issues, only four of Germany’s
182 Eurofighter jets are fully combat
ready at present. And less than onethird of the country’s modern military helicopters can fly, according to
a parliamentary report.
At a recent gathering in Berlin that
included German and American de-
Much
of the
Continent
is fuming
at the US
president,
but even
its leading
power
may have
to do his
bidding
PHOTO OF DONALD
TRUMP BY BRENDAN
SMIALOWSKI/AFP VIA
GETTY IMAGES
fense and diplomatic officials, one
participant told an old joke about
how to tell the difference between
the American, British and German air
forces. The punchline: “If no planes
come, it’s the German Luftwaffe.”
The German officials present
laughed nervously.
Despite the challenges facing its
military, Germany still provides more
troops to NATO operations than any
other country except the United
States. And, as German defense officials regularly remind their American counterparts, defense spending
has increased by about 14 percent
since 2014.
Still, for Merkel the obstacle to raising spending is political, not financial.
With a balanced budget and thriving
economy, Berlin could easily spend
significantly more while meeting its
other obligations.
In recent budget talks, Defense
Minister Ursula von der Leyen
pushed for an additional €12 billion
by 2021. Instead, she got just €5.5 billion, a level that will leave NATO’s 2
percent target well out of reach.
The problem is that Germans, including much of the political class,
consider military spending discretionary — that is, nonessential.
Germany’s history of militarism
has imbued much of the population
with a sense that the country should
expend only the bare minimum on
defense. As a result, a wide swath of
Germany’s political landscape, from
the Social Democrats to the Greens
and the left-wing Die Linke party, represents that view.
At a recent defense conference
in Berlin with NATO allies, a leading
SPD official referred to the alliance’s
2 percent goal as a “fetish.”
“They have a trauma,” said John
Kornblum, a retired U.S. diplomat
and former ambassador to Germany.
DON’T MENTION THE AMERICANS
One side effect of that condition is denial. Public awareness of the role the
U.S. has played in filling Germany’s
security void has dissipated since the
Cold War to such a degree that many
Germans appear blissfully unaware of
it. At home, German politicians avoid
the subject of the American military
presence in Germany, where about
35,000 U.S. troops are stationed,
more than anywhere else in Europe.
And for all the energy German
politicians have spent since Trump’s
election waxing about reducing the
country’s reliance on the U.S., the
subject of the nuclear shield Washington provides Germany is almost
never mentioned.
The debate over German defense
spending isn’t new. U.S. administrations going back decades have cajoled the German government to
pony up more for the military. But
if those discussions were difficult in
the past, they have become toxic under Trump.
Ramping up defense spending under pressure from the U.S. president
would make it look as though the
chancellor were “paying tribute” to
him, said Thorsten Benner, the head
of the Global Public Policy Institute,
a Berlin-based think tank.
“The more he attacks, the more
difficult it becomes politically to
achieve the goals,” he said.
And yet, Merkel may have no
choice. Last week, she repeated that
the time has come for “Europe to take
its destiny into its own hands.”
But how? European efforts to create “strategic autonomy” from the
U.S. are in their infancy. The Continent, as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker bemoaned
last week, can’t even agree on a common foreign policy. What hope does
it have of forming a credible military
force any time soon?
In addition to defense, Germany
— and Europe — remain deeply dependent on the U.S. for intelligencesharing in the fight against terror, not
to mention the economic links.
So despite the challenges Merkel
will face at home for doing Trump’s
bidding, ultimately, she will likely
have little choice.
“We are not prepared for a world
without U.S. dominance,” said
Stephan Bierling, a professor of international relations at the University of Regensburg. “We lack a functioning army, a real strategy for what
we want, as well as the concepts and
leadership to guide us.”
In other words, even if Europe
wants to say “Goodbye,” there’s no
escaping Trump’s “Hello.”
SPONSORED CONTENT
Presented by The Coca-Cola Company
Helping create a healthier food environment
in Europe
While its flagship brand has remained the same for over a century, The Coca-Cola Company is
changing more than ever as it transforms to become a Total Beverage Company
BY NIKOS KOUMETTIS,
PRESIDENT OF COCA-COLA
CENTRAL AND EASTERN
EUROPE
HOW MUCH OF A CONCERN IS
CHILDHOOD OBESITY?
It’s a great concern and an area
where I believe collective action
can achieve great progress. Over
the past four years, the EU Obesity
Action Plan has spurred much progUHVV :H LGHQWLƓHG VHYHUDO RI WKH
eight priorities that we can contribute to, including efforts to promote
healthier environments, especially in
schools. Back in 2006, the soft drinks
industry removed all our drinks from
primary schools across the EU, and
last year we announced that we
would go even further. By 2019, we
will remove added sugar soft drinks
from all secondary schools across
Europe, which is more than 50,000
schools and 40 million schoolchildren. We have been successful in
ensuring compliance in primary
schools and expanding this pledge
to secondary schools is an important
step we all feel passionately about.
Nikos Koumettis, president of
Coca-Cola Central and Eastern
Europe, and member of UNESDA’s
Executive Committee, outlines
his determination to help create a
healthier food environment for consumers in Europe, while positively
contributing to communities and
economies across the EU.
WHAT IS DRIVING THIS TRANSFORMATION AT COCA-COLA?
Our success has always been built
on serving consumers with the
drinks they want. While people love
our brands, we also know that consumer tastes are changing and people want us to change with them.
Concerns about obesity and health
mean more people want more natural ingredients, drinks with nutrition
DQGEHQHƓWVDQGRIWHQOHVVVXJDU
We have been responding to this
by reshaping our business, portfolio, and recipes to reduce sugar and
calories, introduce new drinks, and
much more with a culture centered
on innovation. We already serve
more than 3,900 products around
the world, and now we’re further
stepping up our efforts to become
a Total Beverage Company with a
broader portfolio than ever.
WHY ARE YOU PROPOSING A
NEW NUTRITION LABELLING
SCHEME FOR THE EU?
WHAT ROLE CAN THE FOOD
AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY
PLAY IN ADDRESSING EUROPE’S
HEALTH CHALLENGES?
We face a paradox where the world
is generally becoming healthier,
but NCDs, including diabetes and
cardiovascular diseases, now represent the most common cause
of bad health. As an industry that
provides consumers with food and
drinks containing calories we ultimately have a responsibility — and
opportunity — to contribute to this
challenge and work on the risk factors that are preventable. We’ve
EHHQUHŴHFWLQJDORWRQWKHSDUWRXU
drinks play in people’s lives, and
listening to consumers and stakeholders, and we agree too much
sugar isn’t good for anyone. While
soft drinks account for just 2-3 percent of typical calorie consumption,
UNESDA is uniting the soft drinks
industry behind a common purpose
of progress and as the leading beverage company, we will be at the
forefront of this change.
WHAT STEPS ARE YOU TAKING
TO REDUCE SUGAR?
We already have momentum. Over
the past 10 years, our Company has
reduced added sugars by 11 percent in Europe alone. We’ve reformulated more than 150 drinks since
2010, and brands like Fanta and
Sprite now have 30 percent less
Nikos Koumettis, president of Coca-Cola Central and Eastern Europe, member of UNESDA’s Executive Committee
| via The Coca-Cola Company
“As an industry that
provides
consumers
with food
and drinks
containing
calories we
ultimately
have a responsibility
— and opportunity —
to contribute to this
challenge
and work
on the risk
factors that
are preventable.”
sugar in many countries. What we
put in our bottles is only one part
of the story — we’re also focused on
what’s “outside the bottle” — meaning smaller packs, clear information
and continuing our 60+ year commitment to never advertise to children under 12. The industry is also
making strong progress – last year
UNESDA pledged to reduce added
sugars by a further 10 percent by
2020, and remains the only sector
to have made such a sugar reduction commitment at European level.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE NEW
DRINKS WE CAN EXPECT TO
SEE IN EUROPE?
We’re introducing brands in entirely new categories like organic
tea, coconut water, smoothies, and
SXULƓHGZDWHU:HōUHFUHDWLQJQHZ
recipes, and bringing others to Europe from around the world. Two
of our largest launches this year
are ready-to-drink tea and plantbased drinks. FUZE Tea is launching in 37 countries across Europe
this year. Over the next few months
we’ll introduce AdeZ in 17 countries, which is a dairy-alternative
smoothie that contains seeds, vitamins, and juices, and no added
sugars. We saw the “healthy snacking” trend emerging across Europe
and redesigned a successful international brand to suit European
tastes.
WHAT IS YOUR PERSPECTIVE
ON PROPOSALS FOR SOFT
DRINKS TAXES?
Obesity and NCDs are extremely
complex problems and the right
answers aren’t always the simple
ones. Experience from around the
world shows no evidence that a
tax on soft drinks helps to reduce
obesity. We’re determined to help
create a healthy food environment
in Europe and we are committed
to supporting and accelerating
what works, which is why reducing sugar from our drinks is such
a top priority. We’ve already seen
consumer behavior changing, but
we know there is much more work
to be done.
There are many different views on
how nutrition labelling should look,
but I’m convinced we share a common goal — to help people make
healthier food choices. Together
with other leading companies, we
recently called for an EU-led process to identify a single harmonized
scheme, that is easy-to-understand
for consumers, consistent for member countries, and scalable for businesses operating across Europe.
We plan to trial Evolved Nutrition
Labelling (ENL) across a majority
of EU member countries, following
more than a year of stakeholder engagements and consumer research.
The proposed ENL scheme evolves
current monochrome labels, adding
colors per actual portion size, helping consumers know exactly what’s
in the food and drink they enjoy.
WHERE SHOULD WE LOOK FOR
THE NEXT WAVE OF BEVERAGE
INNOVATION?
There are many exciting new drinks
emerging across different categories that go far beyond soft drinks.
We are extremely proud of our R&D
Center based in Brussels. More
than 100 scientists and experts are
leading our transformation from
the heart of the EU. Each year this
team develops more than 350 innovations, and there are other innovation hotspots around the world.
Japan — where 60 percent of our
drinks contain low/no sugar — has
always remained at the forefront of
consumer innovation, and so we’re
closely following the space there.
But our greatest inspiration always
comes from the consumers we
serve, and so we’ll continue listening to them to make sure our focus
never drifts from giving them the
drinks they want.
SPONSORED CONTENT
3UHVHQWHGE\)()&2
via FEFCO
Corrugated paper packaging: solutions for a
sustainable economy
Corrugated paper packaging is made up of 88 percent recycled content
“A corrugated box
that ends
up in the
ocean will
biodegrade
within two
months.”
BY ANGELIKA CHRIST,
FEFCO SECRETARY GENERAL
RUFDQEHUHF\FOHGLQDFRVWHIIHF
WLYHPDQQHUŐ
7KH ƓQDO HSLVRGH RI WKH DZDUG
ZLQQLQJWHOHYLVLRQVHULHV7KH%OXH
3ODQHW,,VKRFNHG(XURSH1DWXUDOLVW
6LU'DYLG$WWHQERURXJKFRQFOXGHG
KLVFORVHORRNDWWKHGHYDVWDWLQJLP
SDFWRIOLWWHULQJRQPDULQHOLIHZLWK
D UDOO\LQJ FU\ WR GR PRUH WR SUR
WHFW WKH HQYLURQPHQW 7KH LPDJHV
VKRZQ KDYH ERRVWHG GHVLUH IRU D
ZKROO\ VXVWDLQDEOH HFRQRP\ DQG
GUDZQDWWHQWLRQWRWKHƓUVW(XURSH
ZLGHVWUDWHJ\RQSODVWLFV
&RPPLVVLRQHU )UDQV 7LPPHUPDQV
VDLG%UXVVHOVōSULRULW\ZDVWRFODPS
GRZQ RQ ŏVLQJOHXVH SODVWLFV WKDW
WDNH ƓYH VHFRQGV WR SURGXFH ƓYH
PLQXWHV WR XVH DQG \HDUV WR
EUHDNGRZQDJDLQŐ
$GRSWHG LQ -DQXDU\ $ (XURSHDQ
6WUDWHJ\ IRU 3ODVWLFV LQ D &LUFXODU
(FRQRP\KDVVHWWKHWDUJHWWKDWŏE\
DOOSODVWLFVSDFNDJLQJSODFHG
RQWKH(8PDUNHWLVHLWKHUUHXVDEOH
&RUUXJDWHGERDUGVWDQGVRXWLQWKH
FXUUHQW GLVFXVVLRQ RQ ZDVWH PDQ
DJHPHQW:KLOHVRPHRWKHUSDFN
DJLQJPDWHULDOVDUHGHQRXQFHGDV
SUREOHPDWLFDQGKDUPIXOWRWKHHQ
YLURQPHQWFRUUXJDWHGLVWKHQDWX
UDO ELREDVHG DQG ELRGHJUDGDEOH
DOWHUQDWLYHWRIRVVLOEDVHGSURGXFWV
&RUUXJDWHG SDSHU LV PDGH IURP
VLPSOH LQJUHGLHQWV $LUSRFNHWHG
SDSHUDORQJZLWKJOXHPDGHIURP
ZKHDW RU PDL]H 7KLV PHDQV WKDW
VKRXOG FRUUXJDWHG SDSHU SDFNDJ
LQJGRHVXSLQQDWXUHLWōVKDUPOHVV
UDWKHU WKDQ FDWDVWURSKLF $ FRU
UXJDWHG ER[ WKDW HQGV XS LQ WKH
RFHDQ ZLOO ELRGHJUDGH ZLWKLQ WZR
PRQWKV
+RZHYHUWKH(XURSHDQFRUUXJDWHG
LQGXVWU\ ZDQWV DOO ƓEHUV WR EH UH
F\FOHG&RUUXJDWHGSDSHUSDFNDJ
LQJLVSHUFHQWUHF\FODEOHDQG
ƓEHUVFDQEHUHXVHGXSWRWLPHV
3DSHU DQG ERDUG SDFNDJLQJ DO
UHDG\DFKLHYHVKLJKUDWHVRIUHF\
FOLQJ
,QSHUFHQWRIDOOXVHGSD
SHUEDVHGPDWHULDOLQ(XURSHZDV
UHF\FOHG:KLOHWKLVLVDQDPD]LQJ
ƓJXUHZHFDQGREHWWHU7KHQHZ
SDSHUUHF\FOLQJWDUJHWVVHWE\WKH
(8 &RPPLVVLRQ SHUFHQW E\
ZLOO HQFRXUDJH LQGXVWU\ WR
FRQWLQXH LWV HIIRUWV DQG IXUWKHU
FRQWULEXWH WR EXLOGLQJ WKH FLUFXODU
HFRQRP\LQ(XURSH
&RUUXJDWHG SDSHU SDFNDJLQJ LV
PDGH XS RI SHUFHQW UHF\FOHG
FRQWHQW ZLWK WKH DGGLWLRQDO IUHVK
ƓEHUV FRPLQJ IURP VXVWDLQDEO\
PDQDJHG IRUHVWV :KLOH FRUUXJDW
HGSDFNDJLQJPDNHVWKHEHVWXVH
RI VHFRQGDU\ UDZ PDWHULDOV WKHUH
LVDQLQFUHDVHGQHHGIRUDVHSDUDWH
FROOHFWLRQRISDSHUDQGERDUGŊQRW
RQO\WRHQVXUHKLJKTXDOLW\PDWHULDO
IRUUHF\FOLQJEXWDOVREHFDXVHZH
ZDQWHYHU\ƓEHUEDFN
5HF\FODEOHDQGELRGHJUDGDEOHWKH
FLUFXODU HFRQRP\ KDV DOZD\V EHHQ
WKHQRUPIRUWKHFRUUXJDWHGLQGXV
WU\
Angelika Christ, FEFCO Secretary General | by Thibault Belvaux
:LWK IRRG ZDVWH DQRWKHU LVVXH RQ
FRQVXPHUVō PLQGV FRUUXJDWHG SD
SHU SDFNDJLQJ LV DOVR GHVLJQHG WR
SURYLGH JUHDW SURWHFWLRQ IRU WKH
IRRGLWFDUULHVDQGUHGXFHVSRLODJH
&RUUXJDWHGFDUGERDUGQDWXUDOO\HQ
VXUHVIUXLWDQGYHJHWDEOHVVWD\IUHVK
ORQJHU ZKLOH WKH GHOLFDWH SURGXFH
LV FXVKLRQHG EHWZHHQ WKH OD\HUV RI
SDSHU$VWXG\E\WKH8QLYHU
VLW\RI%RORJQDVKRZHGFRUUXJDWHG
ERDUG NHHSV IUXLW IUHVK XS WR WKUHH
GD\VORQJHUE\UHGXFLQJFRQWDPLQD
WLRQ
&RUUXJDWHGSDSHUSDFNDJLQJLVH[
WUHPHO\ YHUVDWLOH ,W FDQ EH PDGH
LQWR DQ\ VKDSH RU VL]H Ŋ DQ\WKLQJ
IURPFRORUIXOER[HVIRUVDIHJXDUGLQJ
IDVWPRYLQJFRQVXPHUJRRGVVXFKDV
FKRFRODWHVWRWUD\VIRUWDNLQJFDUHRI
IUDJLOHIUXLW,WōVDOVRWKHLGHDOPDWH
ULDOIRURWKHUSXUSRVHVWRRLQFOXGLQJ
IXUQLWXUHH[KLELWLRQVWDQGVDQGHYHQ
KRXVLQJLQVXODWLRQ
7KH JURZWK RI FRQVXPHU GHPDQG
IRUVXVWDLQDEOHDQGUHF\FODEOHSDFN
DJLQJ LV GULYLQJ LQQRYDWLRQ 7KH
FRUUXJDWHG DQG SDSHU LQGXVWULHV
KDYHIRXQGH[FHOOHQWDOWHUQDWLYHVWR
IRVVLOEDVHGSURGXFWVRQHVWKDWDUH
IULHQGO\IRURXUHQYLURQPHQW
&RQVLGHU WKH ,I WKDW ZDVQōW LQQRYD
WLYH HQRXJK LWōV HDV\ WR DVVHPEOH
GRHVQōWQHHGDGKHVLYHVDQGLQFOXGHV
DWDPSHUSURRIVHDO
&RUUXJDWHG VRPHWLPHV HYHQ RIIHUV
PRUHIHDWXUHVZKHQLWUHSODFHVWUD
GLWLRQDOSDFNDJLQJPDWHULDOV7DNHD
VL[SDFNRIFDQVFRUUXJDWHGQRWRQO\
SURYLGHV D VWXUG\ DQG HUJRQRPLF
KROGEXWDOVRVSDFHIRUDGYHUWLVLQJ
DQGSURGXFWODEHOOLQJ
$OO LQ DOO WKH (XURSHDQ FRUUXJDWHG
LQGXVWU\LVVXVWDLQDEOHE\GHVLJQFLU
FXODUE\QDWXUHLQQRYDWLYHDQGFRP
SHWLWLYH&RUUXJDWHGSDSHULVQDWXUDO
LWōV ELREDVHG ELRGHJUDGDEOH DQG
UHF\FODEOH ,I (XURSH DGRSWV FRUUX
JDWHGDQGDWUXO\FLUFXODUHFRQRP\LW
FDQKHOSEXLOGWKHVXVWDLQDEOHHFRQ
RP\WKDWZLOOSURWHFWDOORXUIXWXUHV
$QGUHPHPEHUZHZDQWHYHU\ƓEHU
EDFN3OHDVHVRUWFROOHFWDQGUHF\FOH
\RXU SDFNDJLQJ Ŋ LWōV RXU SUHFLRXV
UDZPDWHULDO
Corrugated paper packaging,
the recycling champion
A new role for
your smartphone?
Corrugated paper packaging is circular, going around and around
by becoming valuable raw material after use.
When collected and sent for recycling, paper-based packaging is
transformed into new corrugated packaging, made up on average
of 88% recycled content.3YVƼFVIWGERFIused again and again
– at least 25 times.
Corrugated paper packaging has a role in the natural cycle of life.
www.fefco.org
10 POLITICO
COMPETITION
MAY 17, 2018
A Danish test case for EU mega projects
Ferry companies argue
bloc is too lenient on a
submarine tunnel linking
Denmark and Germany
BY JOSHUA POSANER
A fight over state guarantees for a
massive tunnel between Germany
and Denmark is turning into a defining test of whether the EU can fund
mega projects in future.
The Fehmarn Belt tunnel is a strategic priority for the EU as it seeks to
build a better-connected single market. It’s meant to slash travel times
between Scandinavia and Germany.
The project is also meant to foster political ties: The Fehmarn Belt
straddles two jurisdictions and is an
archetypal example of the EU’s strategy to bind countries together by dishing out infrastructure financing and
promoting construction.
But the 19-kilometer submarine
link between Rødby in Denmark and
Puttgarden in Germany faces strong
legal objections from ferry companies, who argue that an unusually
generous model of public funding will
turn the tunnel into unfair competition for their vessels.
“The only problem we face is the
cross-border dimension. Germany is
involved, Denmark is involved,” said
Lena Sandberg, a lawyer working on
the case for ferry company Scandlines. “It’s political.”
is a fantastically wild principle case
that nobody wants to deal with.”
‘COMMON EUROPEAN INTEREST’
TIMELINE QUESTIONS
The case is moving into a decisive
endgame: A hearing on the arguments was held April 26, and a decision at the EU’s General Court is
set to come in the fall. The ferry lines
Scandlines and Stena Line filed their
appeal in November 2015.
Brussels is giving EU funds of
7 billion kroner (€940 million) to
the Fehmarn Belt and considers the
project to be as important as other massive ventures to create panEuropean transport corridors, like
the Brenner Tunnel under the Alps
between Austria and Italy.
In July 2015, the European Commission gave a green light to the Danish
government’s guarantees for the project. Denmark’s European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager decided it
was unnecessary to conclude whether
the public financing measures for the
tunnel constituted state aid because
Fehmarn was “an important project
of common European interest.” This
justifies the aid under Article 107 (3b).
That decision is now at the center of the heated legal battle between
Brussels and the two ferry lines. The
companies do not object to the construction of the new infrastructure
but argue that the public money gives
the tunnel operator the unfair ability to drive their Denmark-Germany
routes out of business by charging
low tolls. One of their main grievances is the peculiarly long guarantees
of 55 years offered by Copenhagen. This so-called state guarantee
model means the Danish state underwrites loans for the work, ensuring low-interest financing that will ultimately be paid back by toll payers.
“I think the Commission has an
interest in making this case go away;
it’s not good for anyone,” said Søren
Poulsgaard Jensen, the chief executive of Scandlines. “The fact that a
government makes a competing entity to a private company and needs
to use state aid to get it off the ground
The case rests on whether the aid
was actually necessary, and whether
a state-owned business called Femern
started work on the project before the
Danish government cleared its plan
to offer state aid. Lawyers pressing
the case for Scandlines at the EU’s
General Court argue work dates back
to 2013, some two years before the
aid was approved.
That means the company could
have pushed ahead with the project
without the need for a state incentive, Sandberg said.
If the decision comes down in favor of the ferry operators, then work
could cease on the project while a
new financing structure is developed
for the €7 billion tunnel.
“The Commission is defending
its decision in court,” a Commission
spokesperson said. “All competition
decisions are based on the facts, the
law and the economics.”
Femern plans to repay the multibillion euro cost of the project over
36 years using money from tolls, the
same financing model used to support the Øresund bridge connecting
Copenhagen and Malmö. According
to estimates, some 3.3 million vehicles and up to 35,000 trains are forecast to travel the route each year.
An estimate developed for project
planning pitched the average price of
a ticket through the tunnel for motorists at 494 kroner (€66) in 2015
prices. Trucks will be charged more
than four times that amount under
the estimate. A single car and passenger running one-way on ferry route
must pay €66.25 for the trip.
But Poulsgaard Jensen fears the
forecast for traffic flow through the
tunnel could have been inflated, with
the ministry only likely to configure
the final cost for motorists shortly before the tunnel opens. Ferry operators
fear this means tolls could be lowered
on the route to attract more traffic,
undercutting the ferries as long as is
The Fehmarn Belt
Courtesy of Femern A/S
EXPANDED
COMPETITION
COVERAGE
This article is part
of POLITICO’s
new coverage
of competition,
antitrust and
state aid issues,
Competition Pro.
This coverage
includes the Fair
Play newsletter
every Monday
morning. To
request a free
trial, email
pro@politico.eu
needed to drive them out of business.
“If they stick to [the forecast] we
have no problem, but if they can’t,
they will use the state guarantees to
outcompete us. That’s the issue,”
Poulsgaard Jensen said. “Our concern is that in order to make a good
business case they have possibly inflated the traffic forecast.”
The Danish Ministry of Transport
is responsible for setting the tolls
but said it would not comment on
an ongoing case and the final rate
for the route has not yet been finalized. “When the tunnel opens, Scandlines is free to continue its operation
of the ferry service between Rødby
and Puttgarden,” a ministry spokesperson said.
European Commission officials
are convinced that Copenhagen’s
broad oversight over tolls will prevent the practices that the ferry companies fear. They see the appeal as
an attempt to play for time and potentially push back the opening of
“The only problem we
face is the cross-border
dimension. Germany
is involved, Denmark is
involved. It’s political.”
Lena Sandberg, a lawyer working on
the case for ferry company Scandlines.
the tunnel, set for 2028.
Should the court rule against the
Commission on the Fehmarn case
it would force further delays: The
scheme has already been pushed
back by German authorities over
environmental approval.
That would affect plans in Brussels
to finish work on a strategic transport
corridor, which is meant to stretch
from Scandinavia through to Malta
by 2030.
POLITICO
11
Game over, Gazprom: Time to settle
NEWS ANALYSIS
Where Gazprom gas goes
Gazprom’s gas exports in 2017 to Western European and Eastern/
Central European countries. Top markets, in billions of cubic meters:
Though it fought charges
of overpricing, it appears
settlement will include
concessions on that front
Germany
53.4
Italy
23.8
U.K.
16.3
France
12.3
Austria
9.1
Poland
10.5
Czech Rep.
5.8
Hungary
5.8
Slovakia
4.6
Bulgaria
3.3
BY THIBAULT LARGER, CHRISTIAN
OLIVER AND ANCA GURZU
On May 24, European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe
Vestager is poised to close one of
the most politically charged cases
of them all: Gazprom.
So there’s no better time to take
stock and see how the EU has fared
in taking on Russia’s mighty gas
export monopoly, and whether the
settlement — barring any big surprises — will work.
The first thing to note is that
many Eastern Europeans will hate
the impending Gazprom settlement, no matter what. For them,
the charges against Gazprom made
for “the case of the century,” and
they wanted to see Moscow punished with a multibillion-euro fine
for overcharging them for gas.
In many ways, this was symbolic. The case was meant to prove
that Brussels cared about the east
as much as the west, and was willing to poke the Kremlin in the eye.
That just isn’t going to happen.
A fine briefly seemed possible in
2015, when Vestager rolled out her
charge sheet, but life has moved on.
On the one hand, no one in
Brussels is keen to burn political
capital for the Poles anymore after
the Law and Justice party came to
power. On the other, Germany is
Russian gas fever
Gazprom’s natural gas exports to European countries, in cubic meters:
150 billion
100 billion
50 billion
1975
1980
Source: Gazprom
1985
1990
1995
2000
2005
2010
2015
Arnau Busquets Guàrdia/POLITICO
keen to avoid trouble with the Russians as it sets its sights on the Nord
Stream gas pipeline through the
Baltics. We are looking at a peace
deal, not punishment.
By the time Vestager unleashed
her charges (carefully choreographed one week after hitting
Google in April 2015 to make her
look extra tough), Gazprom was
largely ready to settle. The one
point that Gazprom was always go-
Pictured above,
Gazprom’s
Kovykta gas
field in eastern
Siberia.
IGOR AGEYENKO/RIA
NOVOSTI VIA BELGA
ing to fight tooth and nail was the
somewhat maverick charge from
Brussels that prices were “unfair.”
On the two other charges (market segmentation and linking supply contracts to Russian-backed
pipelines), Gazprom had already
accepted that it would have to
mend its ways. Brussels insisted
these Soviet-era divide-and-conquer tactics stopped the creation
of a free-flowing, competitive gas
market by preventing re-export,
and Moscow basically agreed.
But Brussels tried to push the
boundaries further. To support the
claim of unfair pricing, the Commission’s competition department
compared Gazprom’s prices in Central Europe to different benchmarks
over time, and concluded that they
were abnormally high. It was a trailblazing claim, as the Commission
normally prefers to target underlying causes of price rather than focusing on overpricing per se.
The experiment may have
worked, however: Though Vestager’s overpricing gambit didn’t
ultimately result in a decision that
confirmed wrongdoing and imposed a fine, Gazprom has moved
far further in this direction than
anyone believed possible in 2015.
In its proposed commitments,
Gazprom offered to benchmark its
prices against Western European
gas prices, to which the company
may add a markup.
If the markups are too high, Gazprom allows for price reviews at the
request of customers. The Russian
energy giant will also then permit
mediation in case an agreement is
not reached in the price review.
Crucially, Gazprom has also
moved away from indexing its
prices to oil, something Russia still
defended three years ago.
There is obviously a big question
over whether this settlement works
in practice. Gazprom could still
have the upper hand in expensive,
lengthy arbitration cases.
But the underlying message is
that Gazprom could plainly see
that the lion’s share of its exports
go to Europe, and thus, it makes
sense to dance to the EU’s tune. In
a more competitive market, it can
still be the kingpin.
But, does this case mean Europe will buy much less Russian
gas — something the EU has set as a
major strategic goal? In a word: no.
Europe’s production is falling, and
Russia produces a whopping 44
percent of EU imports.
In conclusion, Vestager did what
she could. Competition policy is
one of the EU’s key weapons to
build an energy union that pulls
fractured national power networks
into a unified common market, and
her settlement has brought about
significant structural changes. In
that sense, this settlement can be
seen as a political win. We’ll give
her a solid 7. (Conditional on the
commitment working.)
However, none of this matters
too much if the gas infrastructure
in Europe does not find additional
supplies. LNG is expensive, and
the EU faces a battle to bring in gas
from the Caspian and Middle East
along the so-called southern corridor. Italians in Puglia don’t want
the TAP pipeline to make landfall
among their olive groves. In addition, we have yet to see whether
the Greek-Bulgarian interconnector
ever gets built to allow broad diversification away from Russia.
The truth is there was always a
real limit to what Vestager could do
to diversify away from Russia. Competition policy is no silver bullet.
“Our biggest dream for
the future is that we stop
wasting food entirely.”
Mette Lykke, CEO of Too Good To Go, Denmark
Shocked at seeing good food being thrown away, a group of friends
decided to create an app called Too Good To Go where stores can sell
their surplus food. Developing on Android’s open-source operating system
allowed them to launch their app quickly and make improvements to the
service as it grows. Too Good To Go’s mission is to reduce food waste
worldwide. So far they have saved an incredible 3 million meals.
Watch the mini-documentary about the app that
reduces food waste: g.co/androidstories
14 POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
current system — overnight.”
Sinclair worries that officials are
paying more attention to the louder
Brexiteer voices in the fishing industry
— notably east coast trawlermen who
prioritize regaining access to waters
— and have forgotten about smaller,
more lucrative parts of the industry.
“The way Brexit is looking, our future could be wiped out by a signature,” he says.
Earlier this month, POLITICO obtained a leak of the U.K.’s long-awaited fisheries white paper laying out
its post-Brexit policy. It amounts to
an uncompromising plan to follow
through on Environment Secretary
Michael Gove’s rhetoric of “taking
back control” of waters.
The paper gives little hint of the
possibility of compromise over the
issue of access to markets, proposing
to deal with it in a future trade deal.
The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has said the two issues
must go hand in hand.
While these both might be opening
bids in a negotiation that hasn’t yet
started, there are some in the Scottish
industry who are concerned about
the U.K.’s Brexit stance.
“In meetings we hear a lot about
taking back control and that’s one issue and it’s a positive impact,” says
Elaine Whyte, executive secretary of
the Clyde Fishermen’s Association.
“But issues we’re told aren’t strategic are. There’s no processing plants,
there’s no ice, the boats are 60 years
old ... even if we were to get more fish,
how are we going to cope with that?”
‘GROSS BETRAYAL’
Fishy Brexit dilemma: Want
out of EU but need the market
Fishermen
include
some
hardcore
Leavers,
but many
in the
industry
fear a
hard
Brexit
Clockwise from
top: Lewis
MacMillan pilots
his boat out on
Loch Fyne. He
brings back a
catch of prawns
that need to be
sent — alive — to
the European
market.
PHOTOS BY KAIT
BOLONGARO FOR
POLITICO
BY KAIT BOLONGARO
IN FURNACE, SCOTLAND
The Brussels-hating fisherman has
become a staple Brexit stereotype,
but the U.K.’s fishing industry is in
reality profoundly split over Britain’s
impending EU departure.
Think of an ardent Brexit supporter and you may well conjure up
a fisherman dumping dead fish into
the Thames or steering a trawler with
Nigel Farage at its bow. Enthusiastic
Leavers shout loudly about the need
to “take back control” of British waters and right the “injustice” of Brussels-imposed quotas.
But there are many in the industry
who take a different view, believing
that Brexit could severely damage or
destroy their livelihoods. The divide
goes to the heart of a quandary for
the U.K. in Brexit negotiations.
The chance to ditch the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy and regain control of fishing rights has an obvious
appeal. EU vessels currently take
750,000 metric tons of fish from U.K.
waters annually: A haul that could be
distributed among the British fleet.
But the U.K. is heavily reliant on the
EU market to sell its seafood — to
the tune of £1.17 billion in 2016. So
U.K. fishermen might win the right
to catch more after Brexit, but they
may not be able to sell it.
It’s a dilemma that is particularly
acute on Scotland’s west coast. On
the shoulder of Loch Fyne, the sea
loch that drains the River Clyde, the
hamlet of Furnace was once known
for its iron furnace and quarry in a
patchwork of farming and fishing
communities in the region of Argyll
and Bute.
LIVE PRAWNS
Lewis MacMillan rows out to the middle of the loch where the boat he skippers, the “Guess Again,” bobs in the
waves. Soft spoken with a Scottish
burr, he has never felt the need to
visit London. He is, however, painfully aware of how much decisions
made in the capital will impact his
livelihood.
“If there’s a line-up of lorries at the
border because of Brexit, we’ll be in
trouble. The prawns need to make it
to Europe alive,” he says.
The 21-year-old grew up on the
nearby island of Bute, where he started fishing during school holidays at
13. Today he catches prawns using
creels, a traditional technique that
uses a wire basket and a salted herring head to lure the shellfish inside.
“The French and Spanish pay a
good price for these,” he explains,
holding up a medium-sized prawn.
“We don’t really eat them in Scotland.” But key to the business is
speed. The shellfish must make it to
market alive to command a decent
price. So any border delay could be
disastrous.
Scotland lies at the heart of the
U.K.’s fishing power: Scottish vessels
landed 65 percent of British catches
in 2016 — 453,000 metric tons of fish
and seafood, valued at £557 million.
Staples such as haddock, herring
and mackerel make up a large portion
of the Scottish landings, but shellfish
is one of the most lucrative catches.
The Scottish shellfish fleet brought
ashore 14 percent of the fish and seafood haul in 2016 but it accounted
for £166 million, or 30 percent of the
catch value.
HARD BORDER
Back on the loch shore, Alistair Sinclair feeds bits of pancake to Henry,
a swan the size of a bulldog, in his
backyard. The native Glaswegian is
the national coordinator of the Scottish Creel Fishermen’s Federation.
The 64-year-old says low-impact
fishers and divers who focus on highvalue products like shellfish will be
hit if Brexit introduces border delays
or tariffs.
“Hard borders would be a disaster for us. Most of our prawns are
sent right away to Europe in lorries
filled with salt water tanks so they
stay alive. That’s why we get more
money for our product and even a
short delay means fishermen don’t
get paid,” he explains.
“Any tariffs would hurt our margins and profitability. It would also
dismantle 20 years of perfecting the
Whyte’s association has represented
fishers and communities on the west
coast since 1934. A founding member
of the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF), it split from the national
industry body in March following a
simmering dispute that was exacerbated by disagreement over how to
approach the U.K.’s EU departure.
The Clyde Fishermen’s Association is concerned about failing infrastructure and dwindling communities along the Scottish west coast. It
objected to the Brexit stance taken by
the SFF, whose membership is dominated by trawlers catching whitefish
on the east coast.
That stance was reiterated in a
statement from the SFF (issued jointly
with the U.K.-wide National Federation of Fishermen’s Organizations),
which said: “The EU’s stated preference for a free trade deal in return
for access to fish in U.K. waters and
quota shares is an absurd attempt to
maintain the current unbalanced arrangement which results in 60% of
the U.K.’s natural fish resources being given away. Acceptance of such
an unprecedented and unprincipled
link by U.K. negotiators would be regarded by the entire U.K. fishing industry as a gross betrayal.”
But the Clyde fishermen and creel
fishers do not feel the national bodies
are speaking for them. They say the
Brexit discussion in the SFF became
dominated by a few voices instead
of a holistic perspective on how the
industry would be affected.
“The system [inside the federation] was against the west coast of
Scotland and its communities. So we
were heading toward leaving [the
SFF] and Brexit gave us this final
push,” says Tommy Finn, vice chair
of the organization.
Back on Loch Fyne, the prawns’
claws click as skipper MacMillan maneuvers his catch into neat rows. This
batch will be sold to a Scottish buyer, who in turn sells it onward to the
Continent.
“I wouldn’t want to do anything
but fishing,” said MacMillan. “But will
I be able to do this job if we can’t sell
our fish to Europe? I’m not sure.”
TWO CRUCIAL ACTIONS TO SUPPORT &
PRESERVE AN EU SUSTAINABLE BIOFUELS POLICY
(2020-2030)
1
EUROPEAN RAPESEEDBASED BIOFUELS CAN
STILL BE SAVED IF THE
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT
AND MEMBER STATES
COMMIT TO:
2
Promoting the production of
sustainable rapeseed biofuels
which generate high-quality
vegetable protein meals for
European livestock;
Discouraging the EU-wide use of
biofuels produced from imported raw
materials with adverse effects on the
environment, such as deforestation.
RED II: 3 REASONS TO PROTECT EU’S
SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
REDUCING THE EU
DEPENDENCE ON
IMPORTED PROTEINS
6.5
30
Today, the approximately 6.5 million tonnes of European
rapeseed biodiesel produced allow for the coproduction of
10 million tonnes of GMO-free rapeseed meals for livestock
feeds, or 30% of all the oilseed meals produced in the EU.
A massive reduction in these biofuels would imply the imports
of 6 million tonnes of soybean meals for livestock feeds per
year. The EU dependence on imported soybean meals would
thus rise by 30%.
REDUCING THE
EU DEPENDENCE
ON IMPORTED
FOSSIL AND NON
RENEWABLE FUELS
BOOSTING EU
GROWTH AND
LOCAL EMPLOYMENT
36%
Rapeseed biodiesel accounts for 36% of the total renewable
energies consumed in European transport.
Reducing this share would imply:
> Importing 6 million tonnes of fossil oil equivalent per year,
which represents 2% of the total energy consumed in European
transport.
> More GHG-emissions, casting doubts on the ability of the
EU to comply with the Paris agreement.
In the EU, first-generation biofuels represent 200,000 nontransferrable jobs, mainly in rural areas.
The RED II needs to avoid closures of plants throughout
Europe, with disastrous consequences for the economy and
jobs, and European agriculture.
STOP EU SUPPORT FOR IMPORTED DEFORESTATION
THE DRAFT DIRECTIVE COULD OPEN THE FLOODGATES TO PALM OIL IMPORTS TO THE EU
Evolution of the share of palm oil
in the EU’s biodiesel production
The aim is to address the sustainability issues of palm oil production in South
East Asia as well as containing the steady increase of imported palm oil and
its biofuel derivatives, which are transported thousands of kilometers at the
expense of local rapeseed-based biofuels.
We call on Member States to take a further step towards this ambitious
proposal to ensure both the reduction of emissions and the protection of
EU agriculture.
7 27%
201
7 10%
0
0
2
The EOA* supports the European Parliament’s position in favor of limiting
the share of palm oil in the Member States’ renewable energy target to 0%.
Palm Oil
*The European Oilseed Alliance (EOA) brings together the oilseed
organisations of the major European producing countries (Germany, France,
United Kingdom, Poland, Czech Republic, Finland, Belgium, Sweden). EOA
members represent 90% of EU oilseed production.
Other sources
Source: Oilworld
16 POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
Converting
plastic to petrol
fuels debate in
Brussels
GETTING
WASTED
Presented by
This article is part
of a series on the
circular economy,
Getting Wasted.
“You are
locking in
member
states
in the
situation
where they
would have
to continue
plastic
waste.”
Janek Vahk,
policy officer at
NGO Zero Waste
Europe
PHOTO BY
CHRISTOPHER
FURLONG/GETTY
IMAGES
BY PAOLA TAMMA
“could more than double the present
recycling rate.”
But the Commission is adamant
that chemical recycling should be
used only to turn old plastics back
into new materials. Recycling “does
not include ... the reprocessing into
materials that are to be used as fuels,”
the Waste Framework Directive says.
Asked whether plastic-derived fuels should count as recycling, a Commission spokesperson wrote in an
email that “waste recovery processes
which reprocess carbon-based plastics into chemicals can be considered
as chemical recycling. However, the
recycling definition of this directive
excludes from the scope of recycling
the reprocessing into materials that
are to be used as fuels.
“Therefore, waste-derived fuels,
irrespective of the treatment used,
cannot be counted towards the recycling targets.”
Plastic bags, bottles and straws clogging landfills and choking oceans
started life as barrels of crude.
Technology is available to turn
such garbage back into fuel, an idea
that would seem to be a no-brainer
— allowing the EU to tackle plastic
pollution and climate change at the
same time.
Not so fast.
“All this plastic would be incinerated, and I doubt this would be better for the environment,” said Bart
Martens, an assistant to Kathleen Van
Brempt, a Belgian Socialist MEP pushing for plastic-derived fuels to count
toward national binding targets for
the share of renewable energy to be
used in the transport sector.
Proponents argue this technology has the potential to decarbonize transport, especially in aviation,
where no renewable alternatives
exist thanks to tough safety requirements, and that it is a better option
than landfilling or incineration. It’s
why supporters pushed for its inclusion in the recast Renewable Energy
Directive, which negotiators from the
European Parliament, Council and
Commission are hashing out on
Thursday in trilateral talks.
But critics fiercely oppose plasticto-fuel technology. Green groups argue there is a contradiction between
the Commission’s waste regulation —
aiming to cut the use of throwaway
plastic and setting high recycling targets — and the inclusion of plasticderived fuels under the bloc’s renewable energy rules.
“If we get better at recycling, the
plastic waste should also go down.
Why invest in super expensive infrastructure just to deal with a temporary problem?” asked Janek Vahk, a
policy officer at the NGO Zero Waste
Untroubled by the Commission’s
warning, some countries are moving ahead with plastics-to-fuel plans.
The U.K. has several plants designed for the conversion. And Canadian company Enerkem is planning to build a plant able to convert
360,000 tons of waste into 270 million liters of “green” methanol while
saving 300,000 tons of CO2 in the
port of Rotterdam.
In Cyprus, Zeme Eco Fuels and Alloys is planning to transform plastics
into fuel by breaking down the polymers chemically. Its plant will start
operations in 2019.
Zeme CEO Antonis Antoniadis says
the technology not only helps clean
up transport through lower CO2 and
sulfur emissions, but it can also help
boost recycling rates.
Cyprus risks €30,000 a day in fines
for failing to tackle its illegal landfills.
It had a recycling rate of only 17 percent in 2016, but it could hit the EU’s
long-term target of recycling 65 percent of municipal waste by 2035 in
only two or three years if it starts to
turn plastics into fuel, Antoniadis said.
However, that would seem to violate the Commission’s rules on what
counts as recycled waste. If plastic
is used for fuel, once it releases its
energy content it can no longer be
recycled, green groups protest, and
that may lead to “unjustifiably higher recycling rates,” wrote Zero Waste
Europe.
But Antoniadis is eager to reassure
critics that his plant would use only
plastics contaminated with food or
hazardous chemicals that can’t be
safely turned into new products.
“Ours is a complimentary solution
as opposed to being an antagonistic
one,” he said.
Old plastics could fuel
cars, ships and planes,
but green groups worry
the practice would
upend recycling goals
Plastics recycling rates
EU countries agreed to recycle 55 percent of their plastic waste packaging by 2030, but most
are still far from achieving that goal.
GOING IT ALONE
Data unavailable for Cyprus, Malta and Romania.
Source: Eurostat, 2015
Europe. “You are locking in member
states in the situation where they
would have to continue plastic waste.”
TROUBLED TRILOGUES
All three institutions support the technology’s inclusion under the bloc’s
future renewable energy rules, but
to different degrees.
Parliament favors plastic-derived
fuels, as long as they don’t undermine
recycling efforts. “It’s the missing link
between material recycling and energy recovering. Either you decide
to give it a place on the market, or
not,” Martens said.
The support comes with the caveat that the fuel could only be made
from waste that is “not reusable and
not mechanically recyclable ... with
full respect of the waste hierarchy,”
which gives priority to reusing and
recycling.
The Council is even more enthusiastic. According to the latest draft
text of the directive, obtained by POLITICO, the Council will push for the
inclusion of fuels from all solid waste.
Plastic-derived fuels found their
place in the Council’s position after
four countries, the U.K., the Nether-
Hanne Cokelaere/POLITICO
lands, the Czech Republic and Finland pushed for their inclusion, according to their comments on the
Bulgarian Council presidency’s proposal, also obtained by POLITICO.
No other country raised concerns.
But Parliament says it worries that
an uncritical embrace of plastics-tofuel would wreak havoc on the current emphasis to recycle and reuse
materials as many times as possible.
The Commission is more cautious:
It recognizes the role of such fuels,
but it is keen to emphasize that “only
fuels that can contribute effectively
towards decarbonization of our economy should be supported,” a Commission spokesperson said.
Their inclusion under the bloc’s
future renewable energy rules, therefore, seems inevitable.
But this enthusiasm for filling fuel
tanks with ex-plastic is at odds with
the Commission’s big plans for the
circular economy and increased recycling.
The Commission’s Plastics Strategy does acknowledge something
called “chemical recycling,” a process that breaks plastic into monomers, its basic building blocks, which
Hungary on new migration plan: It’s all for Germany
Budapest
strongly
objects
to fresh
proposal
drawn
up by
Bulgaria
BY JACOPO BARIGAZZI
A new plan for reforming the EU’s
rules on asylum went down badly
Tuesday, with Hungary accusing its
authors of trying too hard to please
Germany.
Bulgaria, which holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the
EU, unveiled its new plan — seen by
POLITICO — at a meeting of EU ambassadors, but Budapest was bitterly
opposed.
Bulgaria’s plan was an attempt
to bridge the gap between frontline
states such as Italy and Greece, which
say current EU rules are unfair because they place too great a burden
on the country in which asylum seek-
ers arrive in Europe, and Eastern European countries — notably Hungary
and Poland — which refuse to take
part in any system that makes relocating refugees mandatory.
The Bulgarians suggested the
country of entrance into the EU
should have “responsibility” for
asylum seekers for “5 years after
the final decision [on their claim to
remain].” That’s down from 10 years
in an earlier proposal but higher than
the two years Italy and others were
asking for.
During discussions on the 10year proposal, “a significant group
of member states made it very clear
that this period was too long and
could not be the basis for an overall
compromise, whereas others strongly
supported this period,” the new draft
says. EU diplomats said use of the
words “final decision” were also open
to interpretation as asylum legislation
varies across the bloc.
When the Bulgarian ambassador
presented the new proposal, “he
stressed how much this work was
done taking into consideration the
lines of all member states ... but the
Hungarians replied that this work
represents the interest of just one
member state” — Germany — said
one EU diplomat.
Two other diplomats confirmed
the exchange took place.
“It was a civilized and diplomatic exchange ... and the Hungarians
didn’t mention explicitly Germany,
but it’s clear that ... basically they
were accusing them of being slaves
to Berlin,” said one of the diplomats.
Hungarian diplomats declined to
comment on the meeting but officials
from other countries said the Bulgarians had tried their best to find
a solution. In the Bulgarian plan, relocation would be mandatory only
in very exceptional circumstances
and countries could help out in different ways, including through resettlement (which means taking in
refugees from outside the bloc, as
opposed to relocation, which means
taking them in from other EU members).
The fight shows how difficult it
will be for EU leaders to reach consensus at a summit in Brussels next
month on asylum reform.
SPONSORED CONTENT
Presented by NOVAMONT
via Amsa
How to win the war on unrecyclable plastics
EU laws introduce mandatory separate collection of bio waste from 2023. The City of Milan and
Novamont already made this a reality with biodegradable and compostable bioplastic solutions
“Bio-waste
must be
separately
collected as
of the end of
2023.”
BY NOVAMONT
OHYHO
The adoption of the Waste Package
within the Circular Economy Action
Plan in April this year heralds a sigQLƓFDQW LPSURYHPHQW RI UHF\FOLQJ
WDUJHWVDFURVVWKH(87KHUHYLVHG
EU waste laws requires that biowaste must be separately collected
as of the end of 2023, a major shift
in waste management systems for
most of Europe.
7KHVH JRRG SUDFWLFHV KDYH EHHQ
encouraged by the introduction of
the door-to-door collection system
DQG 1RYDPRQWōV 0$7(5%, EDJV
:LWK WKH EUDQG 0$7(5%, 1RYD
mont manufactures and sells a large
family of bioplastics, biodegradable
and compostable according to the
EU standard EN 13432, obtained
thanks to proprietary technologies
based on the use of renewable agricultural materials such as starches,
FHOOXORVHVYHJHWDEOHRLOVDQGWKHLU
combinations.
:KLOVWVRPHJRYHUQPHQWVDUHVWLOO
ORRNLQJ LQWR WKH FRVWEHQHƓWV RI
mandatory bio-waste collection,
RWKHUVKDYHDOUHDG\PDGHWKLVJRDO
a solid reality. The model of Italy,
for instance, has become a true international benchmark with the city
of Milan as one of many cases of excellence. The separate collection
of bio-waste is indeed one of the
strengths of the waste management
system of the Lombard city, with a
SURFHVV WKDW EHJDQ LQ 1RYHPEHU
2012 and that, in June 2014, was
DOUHDG\FRYHULQJSHUFHQWRIWKH
municipal territory.
2YHU WRQV RI IRRG ZDVWH
LQFOXGLQJIUXLWVYHJHWDEOHVPHDW
ƓVK DQG RWKHU RUJDQLFV DUH VHSD
rately collected each year from
households, borough markets and
businesses for composting and production of renewable energy.
This equates to more than 100 kilos of food waste per person per
\HDUZHOODERYHOHYHOVRIUHF\FOLQJ
in most cities around the world.
What’s more, the contamination
rate of the collected food waste
from traditional plastic is below 5
percent. This system has allowed
the city to reach last year 54 percent of separate waste collection
YVSHUFHQWLQDUHFRUG
when comparing with other European cities counting more than 1
million inhabitants. This puts Milan
DVDŏYLUWXRXVFDVHŐDWLQWHUQDWLRQDO
1RYDPRQW LV WKH ZRUOGōV OHDGLQJ
SURGXFHURIFHUWLƓHGFRPSRVWDEOH
biopolymers. Since 1989, its family
RI0$7(5%,UHVLQVKDYHEHHQXVHG
worldwide to produce compostable
products like bags, sacks and liners
WKDW DUH HVVHQWLDO IRU WKH HIIHFWLYH
separation, collection and composting of organic waste. A part
IURP 0LODQ 1RYDPRQW SDUWQHUV
with a network of European cities
LQFOXGLQJ *HQHYD 3DULV &RSHQ
hagen and Vienna engaged in the
separate collection of bio-waste.
7KH VWUHQJWK RI WKH 1RYDPRQW
model for food waste management lies in the use of bags that
are waterproof, hygienic, breathable and suitable for treatment of
the organic fraction in any type of
anaerobic digestion and composting plant (from simple static piles
WRG\QDPLFVODQHV,QIDFWWKHFRP
postability of the bags is an essential feature ensuring the quality of
the collection of organic waste and
its transformation into superior biogas and compost, an important ally
WR FRPEDW GHVHUWLƓFDWLRQ DQG VRLO
erosion.
)URP RQO\ RUJDQLF ZDVWH
separately collected will fall within
the EU recycling calculation — with
a ceiling of 10 percent of bio-waste
WKDWFDQEHVHQWWRODQGƓOOE\
0RUHWKDQWZRWKLUGVRIWKHPLO
lion tons of bio-waste generated in
WKH(8VWLOOHQGXSLQODQGƓOOZLWK
FRQVLGHUDEOH HQYLURQPHQWDO HFR
nomic and social costs.
It is estimated that the recently apSURYHG (8 SROLF\ DLPLQJ DW ]HUR
ELRZDVWHLQODQGƓOORULQFLQHUDWLRQ
will generate about 50 million tons
RI&2VDYLQJVŞELOOLRQVRILQ
YHVWPHQW LQ WHUULWRULDO GHYHORS
ment and tens of thousands of jobs.
There is a range of new integrated
technologies ready for scale-up as
soon as the EU will start promot-
LQJ VXFK PRGHOV E\ GHYHORSLQJ
UHOHYDQWVWDQGDUGVDGYRFDWLQJIRU
proper green public procurement
implementation by member states,
DQGSURYLGLQJDUHJXODWRU\HQYLURQ
ment that boosts bioplastics applications.
1RYDPRQWōVPLVVLRQLVWRƓQGVROX
WLRQV WR HQYLURQPHQWDO SUREOHPV
encouraging the transition from a
product based economy to a sysWHP EDVHG HFRQRP\ LQQRYDWLYH
products that contain renewable
bio-mass materials, which return
to the soil to complete the carbon
cycle.
Via Amsa
18 POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
Turkey’s
Balkan
comeback
While the EU frets about Moscow’s
role in its backyard, Ankara has also
increased its influence there
BY ZIA WEISE
IN ISTANBUL
“Whenever
you go to
a social
occasion
[in Turkey],
just find a
group of
10 people
and half of
them will
have family
links to the
Balkans.”
Bahadır
Kaleağası, CEO
of the Turkish
Industry and
Business
Association
A century after the Ottomans lost the
Balkans, the empire’s heirs are making inroads once again.
As the European Union seeks to
increase its sway in the western Balkans, the bloc will not only have to
contend with a more assertive Russia, but also with the growing ambitions of Turkey.
On Thursday, EU leaders will meet
their counterparts from six western
Balkan countries — Albania, Bosnia
and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia — in the
Bulgarian capital of Sofia. At the first
such summit since 2003, the EU will
restate that its door remains open to
the region, while the Balkan leaders
will pledge to undertake the reforms
needed to become members one day.
The EU’s renewed interest in its
southern backyard has been prompted partly by fears about Moscow’s
role there — from giving fighter jets
to Serbia to an alleged role in a coup
attempt in Montenegro. But Russia is
not the only power with a long history in the region exerting greater
influence once more.
European leaders have expressed
concern over Turkey’s expanding influence in the western Balkans, particularly since the country has taken a
more authoritarian turn. Speaking to
the European Parliament last month,
French President Emmanuel Macron
put Ankara and Moscow in the same
bracket, saying he did not want the
Balkans to “turn towards Turkey or
Russia.”
That remark ruffled feathers in
Ankara, even prompting a rebuke
from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
himself.
Turkey considers the Balkans part
of its natural sphere of influence as
the former imperial power, with the
Ottoman Empire famously stopping
only at the gates of Vienna at its peak.
During Erdoğan’s 15-year rule,
Turkey has invested significant effort and money into gaining an ever
greater political, cultural and economic foothold in the western Balkans. It has provided development
aid, led major infrastructure projects, opened universities and restored mosques, encouraged Turkish
businesses to invest in the region and
fostered dialogue between divided
communities.
But Ankara’s political reach has a
darker side too. Erdoğan and Turkish ministers have pressed western
Balkan countries to take measures
against followers of the U.S.-based
imam Fethullah Gülen, whom Ankara blames for the 2016 attempt to
overthrow the government.
In March, Turkey’s intelligence
agency brought six suspected Gülenists from Kosovo to Turkey — apparently without the knowledge of
Kosovo’s prime minister, who fired
his interior minister and spy chief
over the affair. Relatives of the men
Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has increased its economic presence in the Balkans.
described the deportation as a “kidnapping.”
Erdoğan’s plan to hold a rally in
the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on May
20 ahead of Turkish presidential and
parliamentary elections in June also
demonstrates the extent of his influence in the region. Western European
countries banned similar rallies before Turkey’s constitutional referendum last year.
Yet many in Turkey, including critics of the government, argue that
their country’s role in the western
Balkans does not compete with the
EU’s plans there, but rather complements the bloc’s efforts.
“Turkey is not Russia,” said Sinan
Ülgen, a former Turkish diplomat and
visiting fellow at think tank Carnegie
Europe. “Turkey is not in the business
of trying to dissuade the western Balkan countries from converging with
the EU — on the contrary.”
An official in the Turkish foreign
ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, struck a similar note about
the EU’s worries.
“I don’t understand, to tell the
truth, why they are getting anxious
about Turkey’s influence in the Balkans,” he said. “We’d like to establish good relations, we’d like to trade
with them, we support Euro-Atlantic
integration. It’s a win-win situation.”
SHARED HISTORY
Over centuries of Ottoman rule, a
mix of forced population transfers
and voluntary migration between the
western Balkans and what is now Turkey created large diasporas on both
sides. The cityscape of Istanbul is littered with remnants of that era, with
place names such as Arnavutköy (“Albanian village”) and Belgrade Forest.
“Whenever you go to a social occasion [in Turkey], just find a group
of 10 people and half of them will
have family links to the Balkans,”
said Bahadır Kaleağası, the CEO of
the Turkish Industry and Business
Association (TÜSIAD).
“There’s that family relationship,
and it influences decision-making in
the business community as well. It’s
an emotional issue,” he added.
Turkish investment and trade has
ballooned across the region. Murat
Uğur Ekinci, a Balkans analyst at SETA
— a think tank close to the Turkish
government — said official statistics
show a remarkable increase in Turkey’s trade with the western Balkans,
from $435 million (€364 million) in
2002 to $3 billion (€2.5 billion) in 2016.
Despite the increase, the western Balkans make up only a fraction
of Turkey’s trade. Its trade volume
with the EU, for instance, is around
€145 billion. Ankara, however, has
high hopes for expanding economic
relations with the region.
Kaleağası said the Balkans are attractive for Turkish businesses because, as fellow membership candidates, both Turkey and the countries
of the region have been trying to
align regulations to those of the EU
(although Ankara’s accession bid has
largely stalled in recent years). But
he added that most Turkish investors prefer to do business with Balkan countries already in the EU, such
as Bulgaria, the host of Thursday’s
summit.
SERBIAN SURPRISE
Close cultural, historic and religious
ties make Turkey a natural partner
for western Balkan countries with a
sizeable Muslim population, such as
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania and
Kosovo. More surprising has been a
blossoming trade and political relationship with Serbia, where anti-Turkish sentiment was once widespread.
A drive along Serbia’s main highway, part of the artery linking Turkey
with Western Europe, illustrates the
change: In recent years, billboards
in Turkish have sprung up advertising hotels and restaurants for weary truck drivers. Signs pointing out
the nearest mosque tend to use the
Turkish mescit rather than the Serbian word džamija.
Economic interests have persuaded both countries to set aside old enmities.
Serbia’s trade volume with Turkey
last year reached nearly €1 billion,
according to the Serbian Chamber of
Commerce. Just two years earlier, the
figure stood at €745 million.
When Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić visited Erdoğan in Ankara
this month to discuss infrastructure
projects and other issues, he proclaimed that Turkey is “the biggest
power, the strongest country in the
Balkans.”
He also thanked Erdoğan for bringing investors to Serbia.
But Turkey’s economic presence
is generally not what worries Ankara’s European allies. They fear that
Turkey may gain political influence
at the expense of Brussels.
With Ankara, Moscow, China and
the Gulf states all showing economic
and political interest in the region,
western Balkan governments can
form close relations with partners
less interested in democratic standards than the EU.
Ankara has, however, repeatedly
voiced support for the western Balkan nations’ EU membership plans.
And Turkey does not have a “competing political model” to offer, unlike
Moscow, said former diplomat Ülgen.
“It would be wrong to look at this
as a zero-sum game between Turkey
POOL PHOTO BY SIMON DAWSON/EPA
and the EU in the Balkans,” he said.
For their part, countries with close
ties to Turkey insist these do not affect their desire to move toward the
EU.
“For us, there is no alternative to
EU membership,” Albanian Foreign
Minister Ditmir Bushati told reporters in Brussels last month, noting his
country adhered to EU foreign policy. “Of course we do have very good
relations with Turkey. This has not
precluded us from ... in some cases,
having a different position from that
of Turkey.”
RHETORICAL REPERCUSSIONS
Yet some analysts fear that Erdoğan’s
combative approach to politics could
heighten tensions between and within ethnic groups in the western Balkans. The Turkish president employs
tactics such as questioning the validity of border treaties to appeal to
ultra-nationalists, on whose votes he
depends to win the election.
That is dangerous territory in a
region that still bears deep wounds
from the wars of the 1990s that tore
Yugoslavia apart.
“Those things may be meant for
domestic consumption, but that
way of speaking has repercussions,”
said Vessela Tcherneva, who heads
the Sofia office of the European Council for Foreign Relations. Pushing nationalist and religious buttons “has
much graver consequences in the
Balkans than elsewhere,” she added.
She finds Erdoğan’s plan to hold
a pre-election rally in the Balkans
particularly worrisome. Süha Umar,
a former Turkish ambassador to Belgrade, shares Tcherneva’s concern,
telling the website Al-Monitor that
such a rally would be “highly risky.”
But others say stirring up trouble
is not in Turkey’s interests. “Any conflict or tension in the region would
reduce Turkey’s ability to develop
better ties and economic relations in
the region, and those are Turkey’s
priorities,” said SETA analyst Ekinci.
Most analysts argue that it would,
in any case, be futile for the EU to try
to reduce Turkey’s presence, given
the longstanding historical ties.
Ülgen sees little difference between Turkey’s relationship with the
Balkans and the United Kingdom’s
relationship with Commonwealth
countries, for example.
“The EU needs to adjust itself to
this reality that Turkey’s influence is
not something that they can prevent,”
he said. “The outlook should be: ‘We
acknowledge Turkish influence, so
how can we work together towards
common objectives?’”
Valerie Hopkins and Andrew Gray
contributed reporting.
@EventsPOLITICO
#WomenRule
SUMMIT 2018
JUNE 21, 2018 | LES ATELIERS DES TANNEURS, BRUSSELS
In 2018, gender equality is no longer a goal but a fundamental human right – with real
financial, social and policy consequences for leaders and stakeholders.
Join us for the first Women Rule Summit in Brussels on June 21 as we debate women’s leadership
and gender equality in 2018 – across of the worlds of business, politics, international relations
and more.
„28 SPEAKERS
„5 THOUGHT PROVOKING PANEL DISCUSSIONS
„3 INTERACTIVE ROUNDTABLES
„1 AWARDS CEREMONY
„UNIQUE NETWORKING OPPORTUNITIES
Sign up today at www.womenrulesummit.eu
FEATURED PARTICIPANTS
CATHERINE MCKENNA
MINISTER OF ENVIRONMENT AND
CLIMATE CHANGE, CANADA
CARLOS MOEDAS
COMMISSIONER FOR RESEARCH,
SCIENCE AND INNOVATION,
EUROPEAN COMMISSION
LAURA BOLDRINI
MEMBER OF THE CHAMBER OF
DEPUTIES, ITALY
HELGA SCHMID
SECRETARY GENERAL, EUROPEAN
EXTERNAL ACTION SERVICE (EEAS)
ANDRÉS INGI JÓNSSON
MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, LEFTGREEN MOVEMENT, ICELAND
DEESHA DYER
PRESIDENT OBAMA WHITE HOUSE
SOCIAL SECRETARY
LINDSEY NEFESH-CLARKE
FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR,
W4 (WOMEN’S WORLDWIDE WEB)
CHRIS CIAURI
EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT,
SALESFORCE EMEA
For sponsorship opportunities, please contact summits@politico.eu
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
WITH THE SUPPORT OF
WECAN!
Women Enablers - Change Agent Network
20 POLITICO
Karmenu Vella
Mark
Zuckerberg
ARE YOU A
POLICY PRO?
Pros get
exclusive access
to real-time,
in-depth online
reporting,
customizable
alerts and
early morning
newsletters.To
learn more, email
pro@politico.eu
PRO BRIEFING
MAY 17, 2018
TECHNOLOGY
FINANCIAL SERVICES
Kaspersky moves data to
counter spying fears
EU makes case for sovereign
bond-backed securities
Russian cybersecurity giant Kaspersky Lab
is moving its core activities to Switzerland,
hoping to avoid its business being hurt by
suspected ties to the Russian government.
The company is building a data center
in Zurich by 2019 to store data from
customers in Europe, North America,
Singapore, Australia, Japan and South
Korea, it said May 15. The company has
struggled in the U.S. because it is suspected
of having close ties to the Russian
intelligence community. The company
strongly denies the allegations.
The European Commission is close to
unveiling a legal framework to introduce
sovereign bond-backed securities (SBBS)
to curb the amount of debt that lenders
buy from their national governments.
The Commission’s plans are spelled out
in a draft proposal obtained by POLITICO
that makes the case for SBBS financial
instruments to help complement the
eurozone’s banking union. EU governments
fear SBBS instruments could ultimately
turn into Eurobonds, which they think
could lead to fiscal mutualization or risk
sharing among the member countries.
AGRICULTURE & FOOD
TRADE
Vella: No moving goalposts on
landing obligation
EU presidency drafts data
flows conclusions
Fisheries Commissioner Karmenu Vella
said the European Commission won’t
back down on the landing obligation, even
though businesses, EU countries and MEPs
say it will be impossible to implement. Vella
told the European Parliament’s Committee
on Fisheries on May 15 that “changing
goalposts now would be unfair to those
who have already made great adjustment
efforts, undermine the reform of the
Common Fisheries Policy and undermine
our credibility.” Fishers are required to bring
all their catches ashore from January 1,
2019.
EU countries plan to stress the importance
of cross-border data flows in new
trade deals, according to draft Council
conclusions obtained by POLITICO. The
text, presented by the Bulgarian presidency
to national trade attachés in May, is the first
Council position on the plans. “The Council
recalls the importance of provisions on
digital trade and cross-border data flows” in
negotiations with Chile, Australia and New
Zealand, the proposed conclusions say.
Review clauses should only be proposed
“exceptionally,” after consultation with EU
countries.
Jyrki Katainen had news on the digital single market.
EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP VIA GETTY
FINANCIAL SERVICES
DATA & DIGITIZATION
HEALTH CARE
SUSTAINABILITY
EIOPA to stress test EU
insurers
Commission: Too many
digital proposals pending
Dutch to restrict heat-notburn tobacco products
Crunch time for EU chemical
registration
The European Insurance and Occupational
Pensions Authority on May 14 launched
its fourth industry stress test that will
scrutinize risks associated with financial
markets and online attacks. The exercise
is set to target 42 European insurance
groups, representing around 78 percent
of the EU’s total market. Firms will have to
demonstrate how they would fare in a lowyield environment for a long time and how
they would handle a “sharp and sudden rise
in interest rates.” Results will be released in
January.
The European Commission on May 15
asked countries and Parliament to adopt
pending proposals in a notice laying bare
the unresolved pieces of its digital single
market project. Of 29 legislative proposals
on the digital single market, “12 of them
have already been adopted,” Vice President
for Competitiveness Jyrki Katainen said.
“Too many proposals are pending.” Those
outstanding include new rules on the
confidentiality of communications in the
e-Privacy Regulation, copyright rules and a
cybersecurity regulation.
The Netherlands’ health ministry plans to
introduce new rules restricting products
that heat but don’t burn tobacco, it
said May 15. The change will introduce
packaging requirements, an age limit
for people who can buy them and an
advertising ban as part of the Dutch
Tobacco and Smoke Products Act. Adults
and children shouldn’t assume that using
heat-not-burn products are a sensible
choice, said Paul Blokhuis, the Dutch state
secretary for health, welfare and sport,
adding: “Just not smoking is the wise
choice.”
With the looming final May 31 registration
deadline for chemicals under the EU’s
REACH legislation, the European Chemicals
Agency has received 20 to 30 percent
fewer registration dossiers for chemicals
than it expected, a spokesperson said
May 14. The agency has received more
than 26,000 submissions and 76,204
registrations overall under REACH, but the
original estimate was for some 90,000
registrations. Based on two previous
registration deadlines, the agency says it
is still expecting a “substantial peak right
before the deadline.”
TECHNOLOGY
ENERGY & CLIMATE
Facebook suspends 200 apps
over data concerns
IEA: Need for cool air boosts
power demand
Facebook has already suspended close to
200 apps in an ongoing investigation into
applications that potentially accessed and
abused swaths of user data, the company
announced May 14. Following revelations
that Cambridge Analytica could have
misused user data from 87 million Facebook
profiles, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
vowed to look into all applications that had
access to large amounts of information
prior to 2014, when the company changed
its rules. The company said it was probing
thousands more apps.
Global energy demand from air
conditioning is expected to triple by 2050,
driving up the need for power plants,
the International Energy Agency said in a
report May 15. The air conditioning boom
would require new electricity capacity
equal to the combined power capacity of
the U.S., the EU and Japan today. The IEA
called on policymakers to introduce tough
efficiency standards to “reduce the need
for new power plants, cut emissions and
reduce costs.”
Some European countries complain the Commission’s proposals are designed to shut
them out of the trucking market. PABLO BLAZQUEZ DOMINGUEZ/GETTY IMAGES
AGRICULTURE & FOOD
TRANSPORT
ENERGY & CLIMATE
HEALTH CARE
EFSA reports early interest in
novel food applications
Road Alliance pushes for
tighter trucking rules
Council signs off on EU
climate proposals
WHO pushes for global
wipeout of trans fats
Twenty-one companies have asked the EU
to approve novel food products such as
whole insects, egg shells and chia seeds in
chocolate under new rules that came into
force this year. The European Food Safety
Authority has since January 1 had the
power to assess the safety of novel food
products to avoid a patchwork of national
regulation. EFSA said 14 applications are
in the final stages of being approved. The
applications include one from Proti-Farm
Holding NV in the Netherlands to sell
buffalo mealworms.
Ministers from Western Europe said May
14 they want to strengthen EU proposals
regulating the road transport sector
ahead of the June Council summit. The
Road Alliance countries, including Austria,
Belgium, Germany and Sweden, met in
Brussels May 14, and said they are pushing
for stronger legislation to tackle transport
fraud, cut down the use of letterbox
companies and regulate driving times.
Central and Eastern European countries say
the Commission’s proposals are designed to
shut them out of the trucking market.
EU countries approved two of the EU’s
major climate policies to meet its goal of
cutting greenhouse gas emissions by at
least 40 percent by 2030, at a meeting
of the General Affairs Council on May 14.
Under new binding national emission
targets for sectors not covered by the
bloc’s carbon market, these industries
require an overall drop of 30 percent by
2030. The new land use, land use change
and forestry sector accounting rules mean
forestry cannot emit more carbon dioxide
than it absorbs.
The World Health Organization on May
14 unveiled a plan to rid the global food
supply of industrially produced trans
fats. The “REPLACE” action plan calls on
governments to take a number of steps
to hasten the removal of the substance
from food production, including regulatory
action and enforcement. Many developed
countries have already moved to phase
out trans fats from processed foods.
Eliminating trans fats is now listed as a
target in WHO’s five-year strategic plan.
FORUM
MAY 17, 2018
POLITICO 21
HOW BRITAIN MADE ME
A CITIZEN OF NOWHERE
EUROPE AT LARGE
Becoming French
won’t make me any less
British. But at least I’ll
be able to vote.
BY PAUL TAYLOR
IN PARIS
I am a citizen of nowhere. Or that’s
what Brexit Britain would have
me, and millions of others like me,
believe.
I was denied the right to vote
in the 2016 referendum on Britain’s membership of the European
Union because I had lived too long
... in the European Union. Under
a law passed by Tony Blair’s Labour government, people who live
abroad more than 15 years lose the
franchise.
That’s why I’m applying to
become a citizen of France, the
country where I reside, and which
allows its citizens to vote wherever
they live, and no matter how long
they’ve been abroad.
I’m not seeking French citizenship in a fit of pique because I
believe my countrymen made the
wrong choice (although I certainly
do). Nor am I motivated by material considerations like health care,
tax, residence rights or property
ownership. As the spouse of a
French citizen, I am entitled to
public health care and have the
right to reside here indefinitely. I
pay my taxes in France anyway.
No. I simply want to become a
full citizen of somewhere. When
I disagree with the government, I
want to be able to vote the rascals
out.
Instead, my government has voted me out. As Prime Minister Theresa May said at the Conservative
Party conference in October 2016
in a speech pitting “international
elites” against “the people down
the road”: “If you believe you are a
citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere — you don’t under-
stand what citizenship means.”
In a democracy, the right to vote
is the core of citizenship. Perhaps
naively, I had not imagined that
mine could be taken away, even
though as a career foreign correspondent employed by a U.K.based company, I rarely had the
opportunity to exercise it.
The first time I voted was in the
1975 referendum when Britons
decided by a two-thirds majority
to remain in what was then the European Economic Community, two
years after joining it.
Forty-one years later, Britons
were asked to take the same decision again. Only this time, the
stakes were much higher, because
we had become so integrated into
the EU economically, politically
and in our national security.
Yet, like many of the estimated
5.5 million British expatriates, I
was deprived of a say. This denial
of citizenship was all the more galling since my day job involved explaining how the EU works to Britons and other readers around the
world, as European affairs editor
at Reuters. I suppose that made me
one of those “experts” of whom
Conservative Brexit crusader Michael Gove said “people in this
country have had enough.”
Becoming French won’t fundamentally change my identity. Like
millions of Europeans, I am culturally diverse with multiple identities. I am British and European
and Jewish and a Geordie with an
abiding attachment to northeast
England. I still log on every Saturday night wherever I am to find out
how Newcastle United fared (or as
we Geordies say “who the lads lost
to this week”).
I have lived more than half my
life outside the U.K., mostly in
France and Belgium but also in
Germany, Israel, Palestine and
Iran. My wife, children and grandchildren are French. I feel at home
in many places, especially the village in Provence that has been our
family home-from-home for 40
years.
That makes me a paid-up member of what British essayist David
Goodhart calls the “Anywheres”
— the tribe of highly educated, mobile, globalized people who moved
away from their home towns when
they went to university and never
returned. True to his description,
I am a secular social democrat at
ease with immigration and social
diversity.
In Goodhart’s theory of the new
value divisions in advanced democracies, propounded in his book
“The Road to Somewhere,” that
also makes me an antagonist of the
“Somewheres” — less well-educated people who are more locally
rooted and socially conservative,
who value security and familiarity
and feel change has gone too far,
too fast.
There is some truth to that. I viscerally dislike nationalism, which I
believe ultimately leads to war, as
former French President François
Mitterrand rightly observed in his
final speech to the European Parliament. Whether in the guise of
“America first” or Brexit, nationalism goes beyond asserting a right
to self-determination based on a
shared geography or ethnicity. It
involves a dangerous collective
sense of superiority over other
tribes, races, creeds or religions.
But where Goodhart gets people
like me wrong is when he suggests
we are so globalized that we no
longer believe in society.
To the contrary, I have an enduring feeling of solidarity with
the working-class communities
in my home region that were gutted by the death of the coal, steel
and shipbuilding industries mostly
before Britain joined the EU, and
whose children did not get the
same educational and economic
opportunities that I enjoyed.
But I believe their prospects lie
in education, skills training and
targeted public investment, not in
shutting borders, restricting trade
or leaving the EU.
My own ancestors immigrated
from the Baltic states and Poland
in the late 19th century, fleeing
poverty and pogroms against the
Jews. Thanks to the EU, they would
nowadays be entitled to work any-
where in the bloc under freedom
of movement rules. They were
exactly the sort of poor, Eastern
European “economic migrants”
Brexiteers want to shut out.
They made a rapid contribution
to Britain in business, medicine,
the law and academia. Post-war
British meritocracy gave them
plenty of opportunity. My uncle,
whose mother was born in Lithuania to a family of rabbis, became
lord chief justice of England. My
father was a solicitor who also
chaired the Newcastle Health Authority. His father and sister were
doctors.
They also encountered British
anti-Semitism. My mother’s maiden name was Cohen. When she
applied to join a tennis club in the
early 1950s, she was told there was
a long waiting list. When she married my father shortly afterward
and reapplied as Mrs. Taylor, the
waiting list had miraculously disappeared. Several local golf clubs
didn’t admit Jews.
France, my prospective new
motherland, also has its share of
nationalism, anti-immigrant bigotry and anti-Semitism, some of it violent. More Jews are leaving France
out of fear for their safety than are
seeking citizenship to settle here.
A friend asked whether I would
have requested French nationality
if Marine Le Pen, a populist, antiimmigration Euroskeptic, had won
last year’s presidential election instead of Emmanuel Macron, a proEuropean social liberal.
My answer was yes, because as
a citizen I can campaign and vote
against her. Without the right to
vote, as I learned from the U.K., I
can only be a dismayed observer.
In a few months’ time, when
I hope to raise a glass of rouge
and sing “La Marseillaise” to celebrate becoming French, I will
have become a citizen of somewhere again. Or perhaps I will have
gained triple nationality as a citizen
of France, Britain and nowhere.
Paul Taylor, contributing editor at
POLITICO, writes the Europe At Large
column.
Clockwise,
from top left:
Theresa May,
the U.K. prime
minister; many
of Britain’s 5.5
million expats
did not have a
say in the Brexit
referendum;
Newcastle
United, the
author’s
local team
in England,
prepare to
play a match;
a house
in Redcar,
England,
covered in
Vote Leave
symbolism;
and a glass of
French wine,
with which new
French citizens
will toast their
new nationality.
PHOTOS VIA GETTY
IMAGES AND ISTOCK
22 POLITICO
OPTICS
MAY 17, 2018
From left: Women at the Wome Deluxe hotel in
southern Turkey must place cameras and mobile
phones into lockers before entering the pool
grounds; swans made of towels welcome guests at
the Elvin Deluxe Hotel; posters of women wearing
burkinis at the Club Hotel Karaburun; water slides dot
the men-only pool area at the Adin Beach Hotel; boys
play table tennis at the Adenya Hotel and Resort.
HIDDEn aWaY On a Ha
Demand is skyrocketing for
Muslim-friendly vacation spots and
Turkish resorts are answering the call
Above, an
arrow on the
ceiling of a
hotel room in
the Bera Alanya
points toward
Mecca, the
direction to
which Muslims
pray.
TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHS
BY BRADLEY SECKER
IN ISTANBUL
The Muslim-friendly tourism industry is the fastest growing global
travel sector. For observant Muslims looking for a package holiday
in the sun, the halal holiday market
fits their religious requirements
of piety. Halal-friendly hotels and
resorts are increasingly prevalent
in Turkey, with half of the world’s
halal hotels located here.
These resorts boast many familiar amenities for a trip to the
beach, with a few twists: They
don’t allow alcohol on site, serve
only halal meals, have gender
segregated swimming pools, spas,
gyms and beach areas, and require
a modest dress code for women in
common areas. Halal-friendly resorts also offer on-site prayer and
mosque facilities and have erected
large screens and walls to ensure
the female-only areas can’t be seen
by anyone in the hotel, or even by
those at sea, guaranteeing complete privacy for guests.
From left: Families use the mixed-gender beach at the Adin
Beach Hotel in southern Turkey. The triangular screens
conceal the women-only beach; drinks are on offer for
arriving guests at the Wome Deluxe Hotel, but no alcohol
is served on the premises; a Quran and a remote control
between beds at the Modern Saraylar Hotel; protective
screens conceal the women-only area at the Wome Deluxe.
Main photo above: Three men and a boy relax on a pier
in the mixed-gender area of the Adin Beach Hotel, which
has gender segregated areas, prayer areas and a mosque.
POLITICO 23
LaL HOLIDaY
Photos at right, from bottom: Tayyibah, from East London,
carries her son at the Wome Deluxe Hotel; a wall separates
pool areas at the Selge Beach Hotel; burkinis are sold there.
24 POLITICO
OPINION
MAY 17, 2018
HUNGARY’S
ILLIBERAL
INFECTION
OF THE
WESTERN
BALKANS
SRĐAN
CVIJIĆ
is a senior policy
analyst at the
Open Society
European Policy
Institute.
Viktor Orbán’s
European allies
are complicit in his
crackdown on civil
freedom
BELGRADE
ack in the late 1990s, a
group of Serbian dissidents,
independent journalists
and the opposition fled Slobodan
Milošević’s dictatorial regime to
Hungary. In an open-air tavern
under the Buda castle, we dreamt
of a democratic Serbia. Ironically,
it was Viktor Orbán’s government
that offered us refuge and a free
space to work toward democratic
change back home.
Since then the world has turned
upside down. Within a month,
Orbán’s government is expected
to table a set of laws authorizing
police raids on any organizations
or activists deemed a threat by the
ministry of internal affairs. The
ministry will be able to shut down
those it disagrees with. The move
caps a two-year campaign of publicly vilifying critical NGOs, activists
that offer support to migrants, and
my own organization, Open Society Foundations.
As a result, we were forced to
announce that our international
operations in Budapest will move
to Berlin. Hungarian civil society is
to be muzzled, like the Hungarian
press before it. In this latest assault
on dissenting voices, the courts
will be bypassed altogether.
Balkan nations aspiring to join
the EU are watching Orbán establish a one-party state inside Hungary’s borders with interest. They
see European leaders failing to adequately confront his government
or tackle its rampant corruption.
Regional strongmen are starting
to believe they can import the Orbán model of fake democracy, its
rhetoric and tactics. Some of it has
already seeped into the political
discourse in Macedonia, Serbia and
Albania. Should the EU let Hungary
slide further into kleptocracy, Brussels can be sure the Balkans will
follow.
The reason Orbán’s “illiberal
B
Orbán’s
illiberal
playbook,
already
carefully
being
applied by
Poland’s
ruling Law
and Justice
party, is
familiar to
all of us
who lived
under the
yoke of
Milošević in
the 1990s.
PHOTO OF VIKTOR
ORBÁN BY ATTILA
KISBENEDEKAFP VIA
GETTY IMAGES
democracy” is so infectious is that
it requires no coherent ideology;
only the simple rejection of another one. The Hungarian prime
minister makes no commitments
other than to fight foes that don’t
exist anyway.
For Balkan leaders looking
to emulate him, the blueprint is
clear: Have your friends buy up the
media early, then take big business, the courts and law enforcement under party control. Replace
university heads and directors of
schools and cultural institutions
with party loyalists. Finally, to
hush remaining independent voices, introduce Russian-style laws
that make operating an independent NGO a hazardous activity. Use
your imaginary enemies to justify
everything.
Orbán’s illiberal playbook, already carefully being applied by
Poland’s ruling Law and Justice
party, is familiar to all of us who
lived under the yoke of Milošević
in the 1990s. But back then, auto-
cratic practices in the Balkans were
roundly condemned in EU capitals.
Today, as a result of the EU alliances of Orbán’s regime and his party,
Fidesz, in the European Parliament, this is no longer the case.
The Balkans are still scarred by
important structural problems inherited from our communist past.
The region’s development is on a
knife-edge, with some signs that
we may be sliding in the wrong
direction. Freedom House’s 2018
Freedom in the World report lists
all countries in the western Balkans
as free or partially free, but Serbia and Montenegro are dropping
down the rankings.
That’s why it’s so important that
the EU adopt the Commission’s
recent proposal for a new regulation to stop the flow of funds from
the bloc’s budget to countries with
a serious rule of law problem. If
adopted, the rule could not only
put the brakes on repression in
Hungary and Poland; it could act
as a deterrent for wayward Balkan
states once the bloc grows. Serbia
and Montenegro have set their
sights on joining by 2025.
Brussels should go further
still. It should make any forwarding of EU funds to pre-accession
countries conditional on tangible
progress toward rule of law. It also
needs to recognize that European
democratic development is not irreversible. EU funds available for
NGOs promoting the rule of law
are currently off limits for organizations within member countries.
It’s time to change that — by setting
up a fund to help civil society promote European values in countries
where they are under threat.
If the EU is unable to reverse a
one-party takeover in countries
that have already joined, its aspirations for enlargement will be endangered — and the bloc will be on
course to becoming a collection of
democracies and autocracies held
together only by the promise of
free trade. That can’t be the future
Brussels wants.
POLITICO 25
GERMANY’S DANGEROUS ‘NEW ANTI-SEMITISM’
The far right has
co-opted the fight
against anti-Semitism
to rally mistrust against
Muslim migrants and
distract from its legacy
BERLIN
or many Germans, the country’s post-war reconstruction
was as much moral as it was
economic and political. The effort
to atone for the crimes of World
War II — and to stamp out antiSemitism — has defined the country’s politics for the last 50 years.
Now, two years after Chancellor
Angela Merkel opened the border
to refugees fleeing war-torn Syria,
Germany’s ceaseless reckoning
with anti-Semitism has taken a new
turn as a result of a number of recent attacks at the hands of Muslim
youths. Seeing an opportunity, the
far-right Alternative for Germany
(AfD) — a political party that counts
known anti-Semites and neo-Nazis
among its members — has used
examples of prejudice against Jews
among Muslims living in Germany
to rally mistrust against these new
arrivals.
In doing so, the AfD has conflated the issues of anti-Semitism
and migration, attempting to force
Germany’s politicians — Merkel and
her coalition, first and foremost
— to choose between protecting
the country’s Jewish community or
defending the government’s migra-
MARTIN
GAK
is a religion
correspondent
for Deutsche
Welle and a
producer at DW
Conflict Zone.
F
The AfD
has built up
much of
its support
in eastern
Germany
by flirting
with overtly
anti-Muslim
groups like
PEGIDA.
PHOTO BY
ALEXANDER
HASSENSTEIN/GETTY
IMAGES
tion and integration policies. This
dilemma, however, is a false one —
as the facts clearly demonstrate.
To be sure, attacks on Jews at the
hands of Muslims living in Germany
are well documented, and data on
Muslim attitudes toward the Jewish
community yields a picture of pervasive anti-Jewish sentiment.
Germany opened its borders to
Turkish laborers in 1961, and the
culturally ingrained anti-Semitism
that arrived among some of those
migrants was free of the pangs of
conscience plaguing Germans post
World War II.
Because Muslims living in
Germany do not see themselves
as inheritors of the murderous
crimes perpetrated by the Nazi regime, anti-Semitism among them
presents itself more candidly and
outspokenly — and serves as an
uncomfortable reminder of beliefs
Europe is happy to have officially
outgrown.
But the fact that anti-Semitic
views are common among Muslim
communities of Germany — as they
are across Europe — is not news to
the German government. Under
Merkel it has been forced to issue
public condemnations of various
episodes of intimidation, harassment and violence in schools, public spaces and online.
The anecdotal evidence and the
data on this so-called new anti-Semitism can be alarming. But it is also
consistent both with similar trends
across Europe — where 29 percent
of Muslim communities hold antiSemitic views — and with anti-Semitic sentiment among the broader
German population, which hovers
between 25 to 27 percent.
It is tempting for some to conclude that the problem has been
exacerbated by the influx of immigrants from the Middle East since
2015. But the average number of
episodes of anti-Semitism recorded
in Germany has remained more
or less constant over an almost 15year period.
Clearly, discrimination against
Jews cannot seriously be considered a recent import, driven by the
recent influx of refugees. Indeed,
in 2016, anti-Semitic episodes decreased. Statistically speaking, 2015
does not represent a turning point.
As elsewhere in Europe, Muslim
immigrants in Germany have become the perfect foil for right-wing
populists. The AfD has built up
much of its support in eastern Germany by flirting with overtly antiMuslim groups like PEGIDA.
The party has also jumped at
every chance to point to Merkel’s
open-door policy on migration as
the root cause of a host of social
problems, including episodes of
vandalism, sexual abuse, criminality and anti-Semitism — specifically
highlighting incidents it can blame
on Muslim refugees.
Laying anti-Semitism at the feet
of Germany’s Muslim communities is politically expedient for a
party that has a checkered history
on that question itself — to say the
least — and wants to clean up its
own image.
To do so, the party has gone out
in search of Jews to join their antirefugee crusade, made conspicuous expressions of support for
Israel, accused traditional parties
of abetting Muslim anti-Semitism
and appointed itself as the “guarantor” of the safety of Jewish life in
Germany.
Over the past few months, the
pressure exerted by the far right
has brought about a crisis of political identity among traditional parties across the political spectrum.
Conscious of having lost voters
to the AfD, the right has echoed the
condemnation of Muslim anti-Semitism while promoting a Christian
nativist version of politics. The left,
meanwhile, has joined the fray in
an attempt to regain its identity as
champions of civil rights.
Merkel has found herself in the
unfortunate position of becoming
the chief detractor of her own immigration policies, not merely as a
failure of governance but as one of
the causes of what she herself has
called the “new anti-Semitism.”
The question of anti-Semitism
among Germany’s Muslim communities must be addressed. But it is
entirely disingenuous to indict the
country’s Muslims from the political pulpit. Ultimately, only better
integration and education can help
shift attitudes.
For the far right, framing the debate as a choice between abandoning the country’s Jewish population — with all the historical, moral
baggage that comes with that — or
turning its back on recent Muslim
migrants is a convenient way to
distract attention from its own tarnished ideological legacy.
But it’s a false choice, one Germany’s leading politicians can’t
afford to make. And yet, they’re
already falling into the trap.
26 POLITICO
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
ABORTION
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
edge they “would be having a very
difficult challenge.”
Yet the referendum’s implications
go further. Citizens will vote on a proposal to repeal the 8th amendment
of the country’s constitution and
replace it with new language allowing the parliament to make abortion
rules. The government, which supports repeal, plans to introduce legislation to allow abortion for any reason through the first trimester, and
beyond that in cases of rape, incest,
fatal defect or when the health of the
mother — physical or mental — is at
risk.
8TH VS. 12
“I can see
that the
eighth
itself is a
problem.
But I have
a real
problem
with the 12
weeks.”
Helen, 74-yearold Dublin
resident
A pro-eighth
amendment rally
takes place in
the Irish capital.
ARTUR WIDAK/AFP
VIA GETTY IMAGES
When the government said earlier
this year that it would propose a 12week deadline for unrestricted abortions, it intended to reassure voters
that Ireland wouldn’t go too far, too
fast. Of the countries that allow abortion, only Portugal, Estonia and Croatia have earlier deadlines, at 10 to
11 weeks.
Yet they overestimated what many
voters are ready to accept.
Like 74 percent of the people in
her Dublin neighborhood, Helen, 70,
voted for gay marriage three years
ago. “I don’t see what all the fuss is
about,” she said. But she has “very
mixed feelings” about the abortion
vote.
“I can see that the eighth itself is a
problem,” especially for doctors who
may be stopped from doing what’s
best for their patients, said Helen, a
longtime resident of the Rathmines
neighborhood who asked that her last
name not be used. “But I have a real
problem with the 12 weeks.”
Helen’s reservations about abor-
TRUCKS
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 5
they account for 22 percent of vehicle
CO2 emissions. Clamping down on
transport emissions is crucial in meeting the EU’s Paris climate agreement
targets, and the load can’t be carried
by cars and vans alone.
Heaping more pressure on the
Commission, transport emissions are
going up while greenhouse gases are
dropping in other sectors. That makes
it crucial to impose CO2 standards on
commercial vehicles. It’s also key to
ensuring the industry remains competitive against non-European truckmakers.
One EU official who helped draft
the truck targets said “hard lobbying” from big truckmaking countries
and the industry is to blame for footdragging on EU-wide CO2 targets.
A PAINFUL LESSON
The lorrymakers realised that those
time-wasting tactics had to change
when Vestager dropped her bombshell two years ago.
Beyond the €2.9 billion fine of July
2019, Scania was added in 2017 with
a €880 million penalty following a
failed appeal by the Swedish manufacturer.
The charge list included colluding
on the deployment of cleaner emissions technology (trucks have to follow rules on emissions of pollutants
like nitrogen oxides), while passing
on the costs of making diesel and gasoline-fueled trucks more efficient on
to consumers.
The case covered a cartel lasting
14 years, including nine out of every
tion are identical to those of people
like Thomas from County Roscommon.
Then again, Thomas said, maybe
the abortion vote “doesn’t really matter.” Irish women are already getting
abortions, he said, and all they want
from this vote is “handiness.”
About 10 Irish women a day travel
to the United Kingdom for the procedure, and as many as five a day take
abortion pills — illegal but relatively
easy to obtain — at home.
Senator Lynn Ruane used those
women as an example of why the 12week time limit isn’t “a step too far.”
Ruane cited a woman who drank
tea on her flight to Leeds and therefore couldn’t receive anesthetic. She
chose to have the surgical abortion
without it because she couldn’t afford
to extend her stay in Britain. “Her experience was a step too far,” Ruane
said during a recent parliamentary
debate. “The bags of some women
were searched in the airport, and
their bloody clothes and underwear
were on display for airport staff. That
is a step too far.”
REPEAL’S RACE TO LOSE
Opponents of the ban may be ahead
— but they’re losing ground.
Polls in January and February
showed as many as 63 percent of voters planned to vote “Yes,” depending
on the survey. Around a third said
they’d vote No.
By late April, no major polls
showed the repeal side cracking
the 50-percent mark. The “No” side
hasn’t picked up much support,
but the ranks of the undecided are
growing, now at around 20 percent.
The generational divide remains the
same, with younger, urban voters
forming the base of the “Yes” vote
and older, rural voters more reticent.
Truck fuel consumption
The fuel consumption of passenger cars has dropped significantly since 2002, but it hasn’t
changed much for trucks. Average percent change in fuel consumption of passenger cars and
trucks, compared to 2002 levels.
Source: The International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT)
10 medium and heavy trucks sold in
Europe. That rattled industry, and
energized a drive by the Commission to decarbonize Europe’s heavy
vehicle fleet.
The day after the fines were announced, the Commission set out
plans to publish truck CO2 targets
by the end of the mandate.
“The cartel fines were very significant,” said James Nix, director for
freight and climate at green group
Transport & Environment. “There
has been a change from truckmakers, that’s undoubtedly true.”
Instead of trying to scuttle emissions standards, truckmakers are
now racing each other to produce
cleaner rigs. But the years of resistance have left the industry far
behind rivals on other continents.
Hanne Cokeleare/POLITICO
When courier service DHL needed
a new fleet of electric vans for use
in Europe, it was forced to develop a model itself by buying a startup. Since then U.S. giant Ford has
jumped aboard too.
The scramble to catch up has led
to farcical situations. Daimler was
embroiled in a scandal in 2016 after
hijacking one of DHL’s electric vans
for testing at its own facility.
MESSY COMPROMISE
In a classic Brussels approach, the
Commission’s proposed targets are
halfway between those suggested by
industry and the standards backed
by NGOs.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the industry lobby, wants a 2030 target of
With both sides convinced that
one-on-one conversations will be crucial, the Pro-Life Campaign is training
volunteers to argue that the government’s 12-week proposal would give
Ireland one of the world’s most liberal
abortion laws. On a practical level,
that’s a stretch: abortion in England,
for example, is easily accessible up to
24 weeks. But in the U.K., there must
be at least a nominal health risk and
that wouldn’t be the case in Ireland
up to 12 weeks.
“It’s now beyond a doubt that a
vote for repeal equals abortion on
demand,” said Pro-Life Campaign
spokeswoman Cora Sherlock, speaking to several hundred people at a
rally in Athlone last month. She then
described an abortion procedure involving injections to first paralyze and
then “poison” an unborn child.
Despite all the illegal pills and traveling, the Pro-Life Campaign contends Ireland’s ban has nonetheless
prevented around 100,000 terminations over two decades — especially
of those diagnosed with Down’s Syndrome.
Senator Noone described the government’s proposal as “quite restrictive” compared to other countries.
She said women would have to wait
three days before going through with
the termination, and that use of abortion pills, which can be used at up to
10 weeks, would be prioritized.
The bottom line, said Noone, is
“there is no change that can be made
whatsoever unless the eighth amendment is repealed.”
To win, the anti-abortion side must
convince undecided voters that no
change is better than what they might
see as a bad change.
“In referenda, when you are nervous about what’s being put in place,
the status quo no longer seems so
bad,” the Save the 8th group’s McGuirk said.
a 16 percent emissions cut based on
2019 figures. The International Council on Clean Transportation, an NGO,
said a 43 percent figure is possible
against a 2015 baseline. The ACEA
proposal “lacked ambition” according to Šefčovič.
Countries are split on how to calibrate the cuts. Some like the Netherlands, Ireland, Luxembourg and
Lithuania — none of them big truck
producers — want high targets for
2030, while France also wants ambitious goals stretching on to 2050.
The Commission is stepping in
this week, because the industry has
proven unable to impose tougher
standards on its own.
Industry has long argued that comparatively high fuel prices in Europe
would naturally drive an efficiency
push, according to Felipe Rodríguez from the International Council
on Clean Transportation. But truckmakers have made little headway on
slashing emissions from trucks over
the last two decades, green groups
argue, despite the availability of new
technologies.
Even the free marketeers in the U.S.
had to set industry-wide standards,
while allowing industry the flexibility
to work out its own solutions, said
Christopher Grundler, director of the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s office of transportation and air
quality, and the official who helped
catch Volkswagen over its Dieselgate
emissions cheating.
“It’s all new so they are understandably nervous about it [in Europe],” said Grundler. “We’re not
mandating any particular technology. We set the performance standard
and let people compete for the best
way to achieve it.”
NEWS
MAY 17, 2018
CITYOF
LONDON
THE CITY
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
continental Europe; and more than
30 years of market-friendly policies
by a succession of British governments — Conservative and Labour.
Much attention has been paid to
the risk that bankers, traders and
other finance professionals will be
forced to leave London because
their employers will find it legally
or practically more convenient to
move to the Continent. But over
time, the real risk is not the bankers who leave — it’s those who
won’t come.
“It is crucial for the City to be
able to attract the best talent, and
that is a key challenge in the next
few years,” said Miles Celic, CEO
of TheCityUK, a trade body for the
financial services industry. “We
need a global policy for talent, to
attract not only people moving
within companies, but entrepreneurs from Europe and also the
rest of the world.”
Ever since the British financial
industry underwent its “big bang”
after then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened its rigid
structures to global competition
in 1986, the City has thrived as foreign talent came to help manage
the massive flows of capital finding their way to London. French
“quants,” Indian traders, German
analysts and Swiss asset managers
all thrived alongside their British
colleagues.
The City of London is the country’s most globalized industry
in terms of workers’ origins. It
employs nearly three times more
foreign-born individuals (41 percent of its workforce) than the U.K.
economy as a whole (14 percent).
Of these, 18 percent come from Europe and 23 percent from the rest
of the world.
“Now, the City may lose up to 15
percent of its revenue if Brexit goes
sour, and the government seems
intent on showing foreigners the
door,” said a saddened Londonbased French banker.
It’s an open question whether
the U.K. will succeed in the next
few years in looking like the “open,
outward-looking society” that Celic
ITALY
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1
as out of date and not necessarily indicative of the coalition’s final accord.
But it reveals, according to party leaders, a hard-line approach to dictates
from Brussels.
“We think that people come ahead
of economic obligations and that it’s
not possible to impoverish citizens
in order to respect constraints decided by others,” Lorenzo Fontana,
a top League official, said. “The people come before the economy. For
too long these priorities have been
backwards.”
Another leading League parliamentarian, Nicola Molteni, told the
Il Messaggero daily a tougher stance
on the EU is one of the “non-negotiable themes” that League leader Matteo Salvini had asked for during the
coalition negotiations.
While the 5Stars have generally
taken a less aggressive stance against
the euro, they have begun to reemphasize their opposition to what they
describe as EU-imposed austerity.
“We’ve always been critical of the
excessive budgetary restrictions im-
POLITICO 27
IS THERE LIFE
AFTER DEATH?
An occasional series
says it needs to be for the City to
continue to succeed.
Among the scars caused by
the heated Brexit debate is a
2016 speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May. “If you believe
you’re a citizen of world, you’re a
citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what citizenship means,”
she said.
“She chose to interpret the
referendum as a vote against immigration,” said a senior British,
London-based banker who requested anonymity. “She could have
chosen to go another way, but after
her ‘citizen of the world’ gaffe and
now the Windrush scandal, how
could she encourage foreigners to
come and work here while keeping
a straight face?”
The second impediment to the
City keeping its luster is the notable change in the political environment. From Thatcher to Tony
Blair to David Cameron, U.K. prime
ministers have over the last three
decades favored the growth of the
financial industry, notably through
a regulation-light approach and
friendly tax regimes.
The tone has changed. A radicalized Labour Party led by Jeremy
Corbyn may not be very far from
power. And May has made it clear
that she won’t be as cuddly with
the City as her predecessors were.
The financial crisis 10 years ago,
followed by years of declining real
wages, has shifted the Tories’ priorities to dealing with the country’s
left-behind.
As for Labour, it has adopted a
manifesto for a “better, fairer Britain” that, to put it mildly, shows
little nostalgia for the glory days of
the City of London.
The opposition party wants the
financial services industry to work
for “the real economy,” which it
says would be based on the German
model, seen as one where banks
shun risky financial behavior and
focus on lending to businesses and
consumers. Labour also intends to
create a “national investment bank”
to funnel credit to small and medium-sized companies.
Such an interventionist approach and the promise to “transform how the financial system
operates” is not exactly the best
possible advertising for a renaissance of the City.
Labour’s proposal for a financial transaction tax, for example, is
fiercely opposed by financial lobbies. It would be based on a model
that some EU governments have
long debated with no result, with
only a dwindling number of countries still professing any interest in
the measure.
TheCityUK’s Celic downplayed
fears of a Corbyn-led government,
noting that in eight of the 10 con-
stituencies with the highest concentration of finance professional
voters, “eight have a Labour MP.”
That may help convince the party,
should it come to power, to go easy
on the City.
And, noted the British banker,
“a general election is still four
years away, so it’s not like Corbyn
is knocking at the door.”
But some U.K. political analysts
have started speculating on what
would happen if May loses on any
of the big Brexit issues that parliament will have to vote on — which
means that the prospect could be
nearer.
It’s too early to bet on the end
of London as a global financial
center anytime soon. Its professional know-how, installed base
of banks, investment funds and financial services, and the strategic
location between North America
and Asia, all contribute to the
City’s well-being.
But even if Brexit goes smoothly
— or “as smoothly as it could, considering the unavoidable trauma,”
as a fund manager who was not
authorized to speak on the record
put it — two of its central pillars are
about to disappear.
The London banker’s (understated) conclusion? “Without foreign
talent and a friendly government,
we’re headed for challenging
times.”
posed by the European treaties,” said
Alfonso Bonafede, a 5Stars parliamentarian whose name was floated
in Italian media Wednesday as a potential prime minister. “They impede
expansive polices in periods of recession or stagnation, damaging not just
the Italian economy but putting at
risk the financial and political fabric
of the entire European Union.”
The leaders of both parties have
been quick to seize on statements
from Brussels as occasions to demonstrate their intransigence. “We face
continuous attacks from unelected
Eurocrats,” 5Star leader Luigi Di Maio
said in a video Tuesday in response
to statements by European commissioners expressing hope that Italy will
not drastically change its fiscal or migration policies.
“This is the time to have courage,”
Di Maio then wrote on his party’s
webpage. “The courage to keep going and change things.”
In a live video on Facebook
Wednesday, Salvini said Italy is no
longer going to take orders from the
EU and boasted that if financial markets are worried, it’s “a good sign”
because it means officials in foreign
capitals realize change is happening.
The proposals in the leaked ac-
cord sent tremors through the markets Tuesday, driving up the Italian
government’s costs of borrowing,
weakening the euro against the dollar and shaving about 2 percent off
the value of the Milan stock exchange.
Italy is the eurozone’s third-largest
economy, and one of its most indebted, with a public debt of some €2.3
trillion, according to the Bank of Italy,
equivalent to roughly 132 percent of
the country’s GDP.
“Italexit is back,” Lorenzo Codogno, a former chief economist and
director general at the Italian Treasury, wrote in an investment note
Wednesday.
“This leak will be an eye-opening experience for those who had a
very complacent attitude towards a
5Stars-League government. Although
the two parties may eventually water
down the proposals, the document
reveals the true extent of their oddity, inexperience and off-track nature. The attitude of financial markets will not be the same from today
onwards,” he said.
Some stances have already started
to shift. Claudio Borghi, a League MP
responsible for the party’s economic
policy, said Wednesday that the party
doesn’t want the ECB to cancel Italy’s
debt, but to change the way the debt
it holds is used to calculate spending
limits under the EU treaties.
Coalition talks continued Wednesday, with the two parties saying they
expected to have an accord and government ready to present to Italian
President Sergio Mattarella “before
Monday.” The two parties have yet
to agree on a prime minister, though
the League has made it clear that
holding the interior ministry will be
a priority.
On Wednesday, Di Maio said he
and Salvini were “ready to step aside”
and not serve in the government if
that was required to reach a deal.
The parties still face a steep
climb as they need the blessing of
both Mattarella and the members
of their parties in order to form a
government.
But one thing is unlikely to change:
the two parties’ hard stance against
Brussels.
“If we start off soft, we’ll end up
like the past government,” Fontana
said in an interview with the La Repubblica newspaper Wednesday. “We
don’t want to be subjects, but equal
partners with other countries.”
Silvia Sciorilli Borrelli contributed reporting.
“If you
believe
you’re a
citizen
of world,
you’re a
citizen of
nowhere.
You don’t
understand
what
citizenship
means.”
British Prime
Minister Theresa
May in a 2016
speech
MATTHEW LLOYD/
GETTY IMAGES
“This is
the time
to have
courage.
The
courage to
keep going
and change
things.”
5Star leader
Luigi Di Maio
Building the safer roads and cars
of tomorrow starts today.
Our goal is to improve mobility by developing technologies
for smart infrastructure as well as clean, connected and automated vehicles.
Connected
Signs
Smart
Markings
Sensors
Fast
Charging
Safe Batteries
youtube.com
/3M
@3Meurope
#LifeWith3M
www.3M.com
Документ
Категория
Журналы и газеты
Просмотров
5
Размер файла
2 673 Кб
Теги
Politico, newspaper
1/--страниц
Пожаловаться на содержимое документа