The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, thanks to on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.
Before you start reading today’s edition of Capitals, be sure to take a look at EURACTIV Media Network’s round-up where we take a look at how the EU is divided over the ban Russian oil and gas.
Also watch our video report on The Invisible Risks for Ukrainian Refugees.
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The need for a European plasma donation ecosystem
Over the next decade, more patients will need to have access to plasma-derived therapies. The revision of the European BTC legislation is an opportunity to increase the collection of plasma in the EU, necessary for the manufacture of plasma-derived therapies.
In today’s news from the capitals:
WARSAW | BUDAPEST
Poland and Hungary have teamed up in their fight against Brussels over their respective rule of law impasses, but that unity has recently faded due to Budapest’s close ties with Moscow, which could become the apple of discord.. Read more.
Disability ministers call for a “fairer and more inclusive” EU. The EU must take further steps to ensure people with disabilities have better access to jobs and rights across the bloc, Sophie Cluzel, France’s secretary of state for people with disabilities, told her EU counterparts on Wednesday. in Paris. Read the full story.
Austrian industry warns Russia’s gas embargo would be “catastrophic”. Sanctions on Russian gas would have a devastating effect on the Austrian economy, say industry players in the country who have so far backed the EU sanctions regime against Russia. Read more.
Germany undertakes to be more present in the Western Balkans. Germany has appointed its first special envoy to the region in a bid to “show more presence” in the Western Balkans and put their concerns at the top of Berlin’s agenda, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock announced on Thursday. during a visit to Sarajevo. Read more.
Dutch to accommodate 900 Ukrainian refugees in hotels, boats. The city of Amsterdam is offering 900 places on boats and in hotels this week for Ukrainian refugees fleeing their war-torn country. Read more.
UNITED KINGDOM AND IRELAND
Ireland has escaped the Brexit blow, officials say. According to government trade officials in Dublin, Ireland has not been hit as hard by the Brexit trade disruptions as initially feared. But despite fears it will suffer the largest economic losses of any EU country and suffer an economic hit of between 0.8% and 1% of its GDP, its trade volumes have held up. Read more.
NORDIC AND BALTIC
Finland to supply transport fuel from manure, other by-products. Finnish dairy producer Valio and energy company St1 are launching a biogas plant to produce renewable transportation fuel in a bid to find new energy sources and improve the country’s self-sufficiency. Read more.
The Swedish government will devote 2% of its GDP to defence. Sweden will invest heavily in defense in a historic move that will bring military spending in line with NATO’s target of 2% of GDP, according to a government announcement on Thursday. Read more.
More than 100 Danes are already fighting Russia in Ukraine. Danes show great interest in fighting Russia in Ukraine, with 100 Danes already deployed on Ukrainian soil, Ukrainian ambassador in Copenhagen, Mykhailo Vydoinik, told Danske Radio (DR) in an interview. Read more.
The far-right Spanish party VOX enters the regional government for the first time. VOX, Spain’s far-right ascendant party, will be part of a regional government for the first time after reaching an agreement with the conservative People’s Party on Thursday, EURACTIV partner EFE announced. reported. Read more.
The Greek Prime Minister has declared that defense spending should be excluded from the public deficit. Money invested in defense spending should not be part of the public deficit calculation, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said. Read more.
The Portuguese government approves the reinforcement of subsidies for fuel purchases. The government approved Thursday in the Council of Ministers the strengthening of the financial subsidy for fuel purchases by citizens, which in March is 40 cents per liter, within the limit of 50 liters, i.e. a total of €20. Read more.
The Italian lower house approves a new law on euthanasia. A euthanasia bill passed the lower house of Italy’s parliament on Thursday, meaning the legislation will now go to the Senate. Read more.
Fidesz candidate Novák was elected Hungary’s first female president. Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s candidate, ex-Family Minister Katalin Novák, was chosen on Thursday to head the Hungarian state for the next five years by the Fidesz-dominated parliament. Telex reported. Read more.
Czechia pushes again for the “freedom of the energy mix”. The nuclear frontrunner Czech Republic has been pushing for many years for EU countries to have ‘freedom of the energy mix’, this time in the wording of the Versailles declaration focused on reducing dependence energy vis-à-vis Russia. Read more.
Slovakia supports the ban on Russian energy imports, despite the disastrous consequences. Slovakia will support the ban on imports of Russian energy raw materials, Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger (OĽaNO) said Thursday in Versailles. However, the consequences will be disastrous, warned the country’s economy minister, Richard Sulík (SaS). Read more.
Service stations monitored after soaring prices. Romanian authorities have launched extensive checks on fuel retailers, which they suspect of artificially raising prices at the pump. Read more.
Famous pro-Russian Bulgarian businessman and politician sentenced to prison. Businessman and leader of the pro-Russian populist Volya party Veselin Mareshki was sentenced to four years in prison an extortion case that has been going on for eight years. The sentence is not final and can be appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more.
Spymaster: No direct threat to Croatia and its citizens. Croatia and its citizens are not directly threatened by the armed conflict in Ukraine, the director of the Croatian Security and Intelligence Agency (SOA), Daniel Markić, said on Wednesday. Read more.
Momentum gathering in Slovenia for the return of fuel price regulation. The momentum is accelerating in Slovenia for a return of administered prices as the price of gasoline continues to soar, despite the fact that the country is late to fuel price liberalisation, taking until 2020 to completely remove price controls. Read more.
Don’t take nuclear war threats from the Kremlin seriously, says former Russian FM. Former Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev, who served from 1991 to 1996, said people should not take nuclear war threats from the Kremlin seriously because the country’s top officials are well aware that the use of nuclear weapons will mean the end not only of Russia but of the world as a whole. Read more.
SARAJEVO | BERLIN
Baerbock: No money for the separatists. Germany will resolutely insist on the preservation of peace and security in Bosnia and Herzegovina, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said in Sarajevo, adding that there would be no financial and investment support for those who work for the disintegration of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Read more.
The government of North Macedonia sends amendments to the VAT law to the parliament. The government sent amendments to the Value Added Tax Act and the Excise Duty Act to Parliament on Thursday, noting that they would need to be passed quickly to ensure lower retail prices for fuels and fuels. petroleum derivatives. Read more.
Albanian President calls for citizens’ help in the face of inflation. Albanian President Ilir Meta called on the government to lower oil prices and prepare a program to help families in financial difficulty due to inflation. Read more.
- EU/France: The informal EU summit in Versailles continues on economy, finance, defence.
- NATO Chief Stoltenberg, European Foreign Minister Borrell and Enlargement Commissioner Varhelyi attend the Antalya Diplomatic Forum.
- Germany: Agriculture Commissioner Wojciechowski attends the extraordinary meeting of G7 agriculture ministers in Berlin.
- Spain: A plane chartered by the Spanish Ministry of Defense arrives Friday in Madrid from Ukraine with about thirty children suffering from cancer and their families. They will receive free treatment in Spain.
- Poland: Transport Commissioner Adina Vălean visits the reception point for refugees on the Polish-Ukrainian border.
- Bulgaria: President Rumen Radev will visit a Bulgarian Red Cross base in Ruse (on the border between Bulgaria and Romania), where Ukrainian refugees entering Bulgaria go for consultation and assistance, as well as a crisis centre, where some of them stay .
- Romania: US Vice President Kamala Harris visits Romania. She will meet President Klaus Iohannis and Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca.
- Croatia: The chairmen of the Croatian Chamber of Agriculture’s breeders’ committees meet to discuss the effects of the crisis on livestock farming.
- Serbia: German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock visiting Belgrade as part of a tour of the region.
[Edited by Alexandra Brzozowski, Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson]