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Italy set to be first-ever country to ban synthetic food

8 months ago 47

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In today’s news from the Capitals:


Italy will ban synthetic food, Italian Agriculture Minister Francesco Lollobrigida told an event organised by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) and attended by EU Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski over the weekend, making it the first country in the world to do so. Read more.



In Kyiv, von der Leyen hails Ukraine’s ‘excellent progress’ ahead of EU enlargement progress report. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Saturday arrived on an unannounced visit in Kyiv, just days before the EU’s executive is expected to publish its enlargement progress reports and likely recommend opening accession talks with Ukraine. Read more

A closer look at Von der Leyen’s reassurance mission to Ukraine. When European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen stepped out on the train platform at Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi on Saturday, day 619 of Russia’s war on Ukraine, the timing of her sixth visit to the war-torn country was itself the message. Read more.

‘Heterogeneous’ EU liberals plagued by disunity on key issues. Five years after the party of French President Emmanuel Macron took the leadership of the liberals in the EU Parliament, rebranding them as Renew Europe, the group remains far from being a cohesive political platform with divides on key issues threatening its influence. Read more. 



Germany’s ruling SPD open to screening asylum applications in Africa. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s ruling Social Democrats (SPD) signalled their willingness on Sunday to outsource asylum applications to Africa, as proposed by their liberal coalition partner, the FDP, ahead of Monday’s key meeting where they will be pressed to adopt new measures to curb irregular migration. Read more.



France divided over extending irregular workers’ rights ahead of Senate debate. France’s conservatives and the far right are fiercely opposed to the government’s immigration bill, which proposes to create an automatic work permit for irregular migrants working in labour-scarce sectors and is due to be debated in the Senate from Monday. Read more.



Austria’s centre-right at centre-left’s throat as far-right leads polls. Austria’s centre-right ÖVP party wants to topple the Social Democratic SPÖ, with a letter released by the conservative party’s secretary general highlighting some of the Social Democrats’ recent scandals ahead of next year’s election, in which the two traditionally strong parties lag behind the far-right FPÖ, which, according to the latest polls, is firmly in first place at around 30%. Read more.



Dutch PM hopeful Timmermans slammed for role in EU-Tunisia deal. Liberal MP Jan Paternotte (D66/Renew) took aim at former EU climate chief and Dutch prime ministerial candidate Frans Timmermans in an election debate on Sunday, criticising him for his role in the EU-Tunisia migrant deal. Read more.



Sweden expands use of spray that reverses opoid overdose. The Swedish government says it will move quickly to make naloxone, a spray that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose, widely available outside the healthcare system to save more lives. Read more.



They renewed Sanchez’s term to likely start with unresolved Podemos-Sumar dispute. The future Spanish coalition government of the Socialist Party (PSOE/S&D) and the left-wing platform Sumar will have to resolve a severe internal dispute after Unidas Podemos leader Ione Belarra, criticised the head of the progressive group and acting Labour Minister, Yolanda Díaz, over the weekend, asking her not to “disrespect” Podemos in the new executive. Read more.



Meloni’s constitutional reform slammed for falling far short of EU standards. The constitutional reform proposed last Friday by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s right-wing government, which includes the direct election of the prime minister, has come under heavy criticism, with some calling it sloppy and others saying it falls far short of previous proposals and EU standards. Read more.



EU member state funds being wasted as Malta pushes ahead with bird hunting. EU member state funds spent on bird conservation are being wasted due to the ongoing practice of hunting in Malta, while the changing of laws to appease the hunting lobby to keep their votes and the slow progress of EU infringement proceedings are making the situation worse. Read more.



Slovak nationalists call out Fico’s EUCO support. Slovakia’s support of the European Council conclusions, which included military aid for Ukraine, was met with disapproval from Slovak National Party leader Andrej Danko, who called out Prime Minister Robert Fico for his earlier comments about rejecting military aid. Read more.



Police investigate shooting of migrant at Polish-Belarusian border. The Military Police are investigating the shooting of an irregular migrant at the Belarusian border, which was first reported on social media by human rights groups before being confirmed by the local prosecutor’s office. Read more.



EU must fix neglected relations with Africa, says Fiala. Europe is aware that it has underestimated cooperation with Africa, which is a situation they are working on changing, Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said before his trip to the continent on Friday, where he plans to focus on economic and political issues. Read more.



Tense clash between pro-EU, pro-Russian mayoral candidates in Sofia. The Sofia mayoral election – meant to be the key to the stability of the pro-EU government in Bulgaria – turned into a tense clash between pro-EU candidate Vasil Terziev and pro-Russian candidate Vanya Grigorova on Sunday. Read more.



USR president calls for withdrawal of party’s top candidate from 2024 EU elections. Save Romania Union (USR) Party President Cătălin Drulă called for Elena Lasconi, who had been designated at the top of the party’s list for the 2024 EU Parliament elections, to withdraw on Sunday following the controversy sparked by her statements regarding the vote in 2018 referendum on family issues. Read more.



Watchdog opens investigation into Golob’s alleged undue pressure on ex-minister. An investigation into the allegation that Prime Minister Robert Golob exerted undue pressure on former interior minister Tatjana Bobnar over staffing in the police, which ultimately led to her resignation last December, has been opened by the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, the watchdog announced on Friday. Read more.



Former head of state security agency was not a Russian agent, says Vučić. The former Head of Serbia’s Security and Information Agency (BIA), Aleksandar Vulin, was not a Russian agent and has always worked for Serbia, President Aleksandar Vučić said following Vulin’s resignation on Friday. Read more.



Pro-Palestine rally stopped by police in Tirana. Hundreds of protestors rallying against Israel’s war in Gaza and in support of Palestine were prevented from continuing in Tirana on Sunday after a police barricade stopped them in their tracks. Read more.


  • EU: Informal meeting of European ministers responsible for space to discuss measures to improve EU’s technological autonomy, ensure strengthening of space-based infrastructures and services;
  • Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, Parliament President Roberta Metsola deliver speeches at the EU Ambassadors Conference 2023;
  • Commission Vice President Vĕra Jourová speaks at Central European Digital Media Observatory’s (CEDMO) international conference on “Dilemmas in European Democracy: Is the Community Heading towards Political Nightfall and Technological Anomy?”, in Prague, Czechia;
  • Vice President Maroš Šefčovič receives representatives of European Council of Young Farmers (CEJA), IFOAM -Organics Europe, FoodDrinkEurope and COPA-COGECA, to discuss transition to sustainable food systems;
  • Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit participates in “Social Europe” conference, organised by German federal ministry for labour and social affairs, in Berlin;
  • Climate Action Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra holds meetings with Kenya President William Ruto, Minister of Finance and Cabinet Secretary, National Treasury & Economic Planning, Njuguna Ndung’u Minister of Environment, Climate Change and Forestry, Soipan Tuya; Continues preparations for the COP28 UN Climate Change Conference, in Kenya;
  • France: World Forum for Democracy at Council of Europe;
  • Poland: Transport companies to block checkpoints on Ukraine’s border in protest against liberalisation of EU rules for Ukrainian rivals;
  • Moldova: OSCE holds press conference on elections;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

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