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December 04, 2019

Towards a European green new deal

Bloomberg has seen a draft resolution for the European Council to be held next week in Brussels, which would set out more ambitious climate goals for the EU and propose a number of important policy changes. If the member states can agree to such a package, it would put all three EU political institutions on a path to carbon neutrality by 2050, for instance. This is therefore an important potential development, even if one needs to take leaked drafts of council conclusions with a large pinch of salt. 

According to Bloomberg, these are the main features of the proposed statement:

  1. more ambitious intermediate emission targets - a 2030 target of 50-55% reductions relative to 1990 compared with a current target of 40%;
  2. easing of state aid rules;
  3. changing public procurement rules away from an exclusive emphasis on level-playing field;
  4. penalising imports from countries with looser emissions controls; 
  5. €1tr in climate financing through the European Investment Bank over 10 years.
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December 04, 2019

Nato summit on Turkey amid disunity

Turkey will be in focus of the Nato meeting in London today. What to expect? Disunity was on open display during the pre-summit press conferences. Emmanuel Macron was true to his provocative style and openly accused Turkey of colluding with Islamic State proxies. Macron also asserted that Turkey's purchase of the Russian S-400 air defence system is technically impossible for a Nato member as it risks exposure of Nato's military hardware to Russian intelligence, a view shared by most Nato members. 

Turkey on the other hand threatened a veto of Nato's Balkan plans if the alliance fails to accept Turkey’s definition of Syrian Kurdish fighters on Turkey’s borders as terrorists. Macron and the Pentagon have rejected this demand. Donald Trump offered his share of provocations including the threat to send the IS terrorists back to Europe where they came from.  

While Macron openly clashed with Trump and Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday at a press conference, Boris Johnson as host of the Nato summit orchestrated background meetings to find a way forward for a European-Turkish approach to the crisis in north-east Syria. Today will be the main day of meetings, though hopes are not high that it will lead to any joint declaration.

There will also be a meeting between Erdogan and Kyriakos Mitsotakis, upon Turkey's request. Greece has been greatly irritated by a bilateral agreement between Turkey and Libya on sea borders that question Greek sovereignty over Crete, Rhodes, Karpathos and Kastellorizo. Although Nato declares itself not responsible for the talks between Greece and Turkey, Mitsotakis insists that Nato cannot stay neutral when one member violates international law at the expense of another. The US state department called the bilateral agreement between Turkey and Libya provocative, as it raises tensions in the region. Russia, too, called for political prudence and to refrain from actions that could further destabilise the region.

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