The Brussels Brief

The European Parliament suing the European Commission

The Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament voted to take the EU Commission to court over its inaction in addressing rule of law issues in Poland and Hungary. The latest straw that broke the camel’s back was Poland’s Constitutional Court ruling that some TFEU chapters are not in line with the Polish Constitution. Thousands took to the streets in support of the EU, while the Polish government seems to be moving to the opposite direction.

Our advice: Don’t let yourselves be fooled by these claims. Prior to joining the EU, Poland had ample time to assess its constitutional framework. And talk of Brussels dictating and impinging on the sovereignty of Member States is all bollocks. Poland is one of the strongest Members of the EU due to its geostrategic location and instead of focusing on improving the lives of those living in the east, is losing time on these arguments hoping for an electoral boost.

Read more here.

The Hero…nah!

While MEPs were on a mission to Slovenia to assess the situation on the ground on various issues, not least on rule of law and freedom of speech, its Prime Minister Janez Janša published a tweet, typical of a tasteless partisan attack. The tweet implied that MEPs are being led and financed by the Hungarian George Soros, who is of Jewish descent, and on whom Hungary’s Orban has clashed many times in recent past. Netherlands PM Mark Rutte was prompt to reply to the tweet describing it as tasteless. And who could blame him? Such a tweet is not decent for bickering opposing politicians, let alone for a Head of Government of an EU Member State. Rutte’s response was followed by a tweet from the President of the European Council Charles Michel and David Sassoli, President of the European Parliament.

More on this here.

Energy crises…will it end?

The looming winter energy crisis has led the commission to scramble for some buffers that would soften the impact of high energy costs that European consumers would have to face this winter. Last week, and in response to pressure from some EU leaders, the EU Commission launched the energy toolbox effectively guiding Member States on what measures could be adopted. Some of the measures include VAT recalculations, assistance to the most in need and assistance to energy companies to invest in alternative energies. However, post-COVID19 demand for gas is not being met by an increase in gas supplies, with many analysts pointing their finger towards Russia, for using its gas in its geopolitical game, to win concessions from Europe.

Read the EU toolbox here.

Oh, not again!

This is the typical reaction of the Brussels bubble when news of David Frost’s speech in Lisbon spread. After over two years of hard negotiations, with the EU trying to appease as much as possible the Brits with the objective to protect peace and stability in Northern Ireland, the Brits, upped their ante and are demanding a renegotiation of the Northern Ireland protocol. One therefore wonders what the UK negotiated two years ago. Meanwhile, last week, European Commission VP Moros Sefcovic presented some measures that could further ease commerce with Northern Ireland.

More here.

EU’s political landscape is changing

News of the resignation of Sebastian Kurz as Austria’s Chancellor, the prospect that the Czech PM Andrei Babis might have lost the election and the preliminary political agreement in Germany, among the SPD (Socialists), the Greens and the Liberals are clear signs that the EU’s political landscape is set to change in the coming months.

Read Politico’s analysis on how the EPP is losing its power in Europe.

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