POLITICS & POLICY
Over the past few days, the international relations of the EU and its Member states have been under the spotlight, as the leaders of the G7 met in Taormina, Italy, to discuss major international issues such as terrorism and global warming. In the aftermath of the two-day meeting, the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel claimed that the United States can no longer be considered a stable ally of the EU. Consequently, Germany is understood to have opened strategic talks with new partners from the east, such as India and China. Indeed, on Monday, Indian President Narendra Modi visited Berlin. Li Keqiand, the Chinese Prime Minister is expected in the German capital later this week. According to Die Welt, Merkel’s move is aimed at granting the strongest European economy stable export markets abroad. On the other hand, institutional representatives in Brussels, tried to cool down waters. The spokesperson of European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EC is looking forward to establish “bridges with the US”. The EU-US partnership remains “key to global security”, she added.
Meanwhile, on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron met his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The fight against international terrorism was at the heart of the discussions between the two leaders. Overseas, the former Republican presidential candidate and President of the US Commission on Defence, John McCain, said that Putin represents a “bigger threat than the Islamic State” to global security.
The UK electoral campaign is under the spotlight. On Monday evening, the leaders of the Conservative and Labour party, Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn, were interviewed by the public and popular journalist Jeremy Paxman on their respective electoral platforms. According to a majority of the European press, the Labour leader outperformed the PM before the cameras. A new poll published on Monday showed that the Conservative lead has fallen down to a 6% margin.
After the Manchester terrorist attacks of last week and the consequent increase in public attention on matters of national security, Prime Minister May is now expected to re-launch her campaign on the Brexit issue. May and Corbyn have indeed outlined different views over the upcoming Brexit negotiations. Whereas the PM does not rule out a “no deal scenario” as the outcome of negotiations, Jeremy Corbyn said that such option would be off the table with a Labour executive. Meanwhile, in Brussels, EU institutions released two policy papers detailing the EU’s official stance on the Brexit issue and on the rights of Union citizens living in the UK.
After talks over potential debt relief for Greece failed during the last Eurogroup meeting in Brussels, the troubled Greek economy is again under the spotlight. On Tuesday, the euro value against other major currencies fell as a consequences of fears that Greece and its creditors will not be able to strike a deal over the disbursement of a new loan to Athens. At the same time, the German tabloid, Bild, claimed that Athens will not be able to repay its debts in July. However, according to Reuters, Greek Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos dismissed such alarms on Tuesday. He said that the country simply needs debt relief to prevent the economy from derailing from its adjustment path.
“If we want to make sure that our Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) thrives, we need to upgrade its institutional framework. This means that we should be ready to foster innovation wherever necessary, including in the functioning of EMU. In that spirit, I look forward to the debate that will be opened up by the upcoming European Commission reflection paper on deepening the Economic and Monetary Union”.
Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank.
Source: European Central Bank, 29.05.2017
The total number of migrants currently stranded on Greek islands in the eastern Aegean Sea.
Source: Eakthimerini, 29.05.2017
Photo Credits CC G7 Summit
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