MEP Azmani (VVD) wants to get rid of the ‘false contradictions’ in the EU

He remained silent for the past few months, when the Netherlands painted itself internationally in the discussion about European solidarity and CDA minister Wopke Hoekstra (Finance) became the face of ‘Dutch stinginess’ in many EU countries.

But MEP Malik Azmani finds that there is indeed some of it. It was, according to the VVD member, all very clumsy: the high tone in which coalition colleague Hoekstra lectured the southern European countries about their budgets, just when bushes killed people in Italy and Spain. “It wouldn’t be my style,” said Azmani.

Also read: how the Netherlands is international made enemies in de coronacrisis

On Monday, Azmani (44) will briefly return to the House of Representatives, his old habitat where he spoke for years about immigration, asylum and Europe. For the annual debate on the ‘state of the European Union’, in which, in addition to MPs, members of the European Parliament may also participate. He says he comes with a message. A plea for a ‘more constructive approach’. More understanding for each other. Away from the ‘polarization’ and ‘false contradictions’ that are too often created around the EU: north-south, miserly solidarity, economical, pivotal.

Looking for a party

That is remarkable: because does his own VVD not participate very hard? Prime Minister Mark Rutte recently called the EU a “party committee looking for a party”. Member of Parliament Anne Mulder recently expressed deep mistrust of the EU in a debate. Member States are only concerned with themselves. And the Commission is only trying to steal money and power from Member States, based on questionable calculation models.

Azmani is in a tricky political context. After his switch to European politics a year ago, he quickly became the second man of Renew, the group of liberals in the European Parliament. A club dominated by En Marche, the party of French President Emmanuel Macron and Rutte’s main protagonist in the negotiations for the EU’s € 750 billion recovery fund to help the EU fight the economic aftermath of the corona crisis. The Netherlands is on the brakes, but France is demanding a clear signal that EU countries will not drop each other in the heat of the recession.

Also read: about it French diplomatic offensive towards the Netherlands in the discussion about European solidarity

Emotions have been running high in recent months. Where have you been?

“I said what I thought of Hoekstra behind the scenes. If you do that before, you will only give Southern European countries an extra stick to hit the Netherlands with. What Hoekstra did – asking for an investigation to see how it is possible that we have built up reserves, and others have not – made no sense. Because you already know the answer. But also because there was enormous uncertainty about health and economy at the time. To immediately say: research report – that is not pleasant. You should not always create those contradictions. You sharpen things, and only help smiling third countries such as Russia and China, and also the United States. ”

In the Netherlands there is still a deep suspicion towards the European Commission. Do you agree with that?

“Well, the Commission has not got off the starting blocks in the Covid crisis very quickly in recent months. And it is also late and hesitant in foreign policy. I would like the EU to act much more firmly as a bloc, including economically. ”

There is now a very ambitious package to strengthen that economy. The cabinet does not want to provide aid in the form of subsidies, but through loans, which therefore also have to be repaid. What did you say?

“The recovery fund is necessary. At the same time, I agree that there is discussion. Some things are also difficult to explain. When holiday vouchers are simply issued to the Italians in Italy. We don’t do that in the Netherlands, do we? In Spain they have a whole discussion about basic income. Well, aside from that: what do you think it costs? ”

You argue for less contradictions. Now you start talking about spindly countries in Southern Europe.

“No, I don’t. I just say: if you look from a Dutch perspective, it is difficult to explain. ”

In Brussels, the Netherlands is sometimes seen as the new UK. The country that always says ‘no’.

“That means we have to invest even more in cultivating mutual understanding. You don’t blame each other for anything. Take, for example, the statements by Jeroen Dijsselbloem from the past – that in southern countries it is all about drink and women. ”

The people you mention are not part of your party. Surely that kind of language can also be heard at the VVD?

“If there are any concrete statements, I would like to hear them. But I won’t say things like this. I have also been strong in the national debate in the past, but in the end you have to come up with 27 countries and then polarization is not very sensible. This also happened back and forth: in Portugal they suggested continuing with 26 countries, without the Netherlands. Others said: we no longer buy tulips. ”

But the Netherlands in particular is entrenched in the counter block? Rutte likes to talk about his ‘frugals’ [vrekkigen, red.].

“It is always the case in European politics that like-minded countries come together. In this case I think it went wrong because the word ‘frugal’ has been placed on this coalition. I don’t like the term ‘miser’, I rather see it as: responsible. ”

Does Rutte explain well what the Dutch interest is in Europe?

“We can really be pleased with a prime minister who has been on the European stage for many years and has a lot of prestige. He invests a lot in relationships. Macron was still in the Netherlands last week. It’s just what you want to see. I see a prime minister manifesting himself much more on the European stage. I hope it will stay that way in the coming years, because that is also in the interest of the Netherlands. ”

The VVD is very critical of the EU in parliamentary debates.

“I just see a shift taking place. Eight years ago, the EU was mainly seen as something economic. But now it appears in all kinds of files – migration, climate, defense – that we cannot do this alone. I do not follow everything that is said in The Hague, but when I speak with fellow party members I see the sense of reality coming back. Some are more angular, especially if they are less familiar with the European terrain. But what you sometimes had in the past – that everything from Europe was not okay – I do not feel and see it at all. At the same time, we remain critical. It is not: you ask, we turn. ”


Von der Leyen: Dutch objections to recovery plan are taken seriously NOW

Ursula von der Leyen takes the Dutch objections to the German-French corona repair plan very seriously, says the President of the European Commission on Saturday in an interview with Handelsblatt.

The Netherlands has been critical of the ambitious recovery plan for Germany and France in recent weeks. This plan should contribute to economic and social recovery after the corona crisis.

Von der Leyen agrees with Prime Minister Mark Rutte when it comes to his demand to focus on reforms in addition to investments. The President of the Commission said in an interview with the German newspaper Handelsblatt.

At the end of May, the European Commission presented the plan for a recovery fund worth € 750 billion, two thirds of which should go to various Member States as a subsidy.

Because of the critical attitude to the European plans, the Netherlands, together with Sweden, Denmark and Austria, is known as the ‘miserly four’.


For the european Commission, the competition must be respected on a global scale

Ensure that everyone plays by the same rules, this is the watchword of the european Commission, which is preparing to unveil on Wednesday 17 June, a white Paper of some sixty pages dedicated to the strengthening of controls of the foreign subsidies. Goal : to combat the effects of the distortion of competition caused by the latter within the european Union (EU) – the single market is governed by strict rules on State aid.

Control foreign companies receiving government support

Concretely, the idea of the Commission is to better control the foreign companies that benefit from public support (grants, preferential loans, tax credits or other guarantees provided by a government or a public body to a third State) and can make the shadow of their european counterparts. According to the plans of the Commission, a new regulatory body should be established, at european level, to control companies outside the eu which appear to be the most problematic.

→ ANALYSIS. Between the EU and the United States, the need of the hour is the development of the transatlantic link

The criteria are not yet fixed, the eu executive, digging several tracks : the controls, for example, could only relate to companies that had invested in Europe more than 200 000 € in three years, or those who intend to engage in an investment project, which accounts for 35 % of the capital of a european company.

Free and fair competition

It is, therefore, a new multiple-step procedure based on checks and cascading investigations to the shovel – that the european Commission sketch, obviously not impressed by the workload that would represent these controls never seen before. For the time being, its imminent white Paper has no legal value. A public consultation will follow, in order to assess the need to develop a proposal for legislation. It is only then that the Commission might put on the table a text, which should then be negotiated by the member States.

But the task is not easy : in order to ensure free competition, but above all fair and non-distorted on a global scale, the Commission had already tried to establish a mechanism to implement the reciprocity in access to public procurement. The instrument has never seen the light of day.

All actors on an equal footing

Anyway, in the one case as in the other, it is not a matter for the eu executive, to prevent foreign firms to establish or to operate on the Old continent, but to ensure the ” level playing field “. This concept, used to shove in Brussels, returns to the idea of putting all players on an equal footing and wants to be central in this new site.

Thus, in a reply to a written question in the european Parliament at the end of April, Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, was pounding that ” the EU will make the most of his panoply of mechanisms of trade protection in order to preserve a level playing field at a global level “. Beijing and Washington have been warned.


The international day of blood donation

“Emergency depot” is written on the slip of paper that sticks in the cooling space of the Frankfurter blood donation centre of the German Red cross. But so empty, Eberhard Weck has seen the shelves never, hardly a dozen of crates with blood store here. “We can cover the daily needs of the hospitals, but it is not enough for our reserves to replenish.” Reserves, which allowed Corona to melt, said the head of the public Relations.

Johanna Kuroczik

Editor in the Department “science” of the Frankfurt General Sunday newspaper.

The Federal government is called on in the last week to donate blood, today, 14. June, the international world blood donor day is. This year, the reminder is attached to the importance of blood donation, especially because the Covid-19-pandemic apparently leads to a short-term shortage. In ten years, the blood supply could be compromised, however, as a result of demographic change seriously, such as the German society for transfusion medicine and immune Hematology, DGTI, calculates that in a recent study. Scientists also fear a looming shortage of blood plasma. A blood donation not only provides red blood cells, but also this yellowish liquid, from which medicines are obtained. The European countries import large quantities from the United States, where in the donation centers, in part, questionable conditions worthy of rule. The European Commission is looking for Ways out of this dependency, as an EU document and the legislation of blood emerges. Also depends on the drip of Germany in the American Plasma? This estimate, one must not ignore the European market.


European pact on migration, a project in the impasse

Off. The image of migration flows in Europe, which dried up to 90 % in march with the closure of ports and airports, projects to reform the home system of the aliens crashed at the same time, because of the crisis of the sars Coronavirus.

In a context where the wrecks and rescues resumed in the Mediterranean, the distribution of the survivors on the continent will rule again this summer on a case-by-case basis, depending on the good will of a handful of States-members.

In a minefield

The european Commission, which has made its “New pact on migration and asylum “ one of the pillars of his administration, has, however, promised to re-launch this site politically undermined since the migration crisis of 2015. By the end of June, a text will be sent to the heads of State and government by the two commissioners in charge of the case, the Greek Margaritis Schinas, in charge of the “promoting the european way of life “and the Swedish Ylva Johansson, the “internal affairs “.

Many are the contributors who were keen to bring their stone to the edifice. The european economic and social Committee (EESC), which has collaborated in the development of proposals alongside the Commission, recalls the proportions relating to arrivals in Europe. In non-crisis times, it is 140 000 irregular migrants entering the european soil on a set of 2.5 million arrivals to 95 % legal.

Luca Jahier, president of EESC, drives him to create “other avenues of legal migration towards the Eu “. “We need to put in place a true common asylum procedure, reliable, flexible and efficient, while ensuring that the different legal channels for populations in distress, for example, resettlement programmes or visas for humanitarian reasons “advocates there.

Overcome the political impasse

The european executive does not have much illusions about the political issue of such a proposal. Because the deal has not fundamentally changed the european Council. The mediterranean countries always want a distribution permanent home. And the four Visegrad countries, Poland and Hungary in mind, reject its disapproval of this proposal.

→ FORUM. In Libya, the migrants who were abandoned by the policies of humanitarian aid

It is the paralysis : without amendment of the Dublin regulation, which makes the country of entry responsible for the examination of applications for asylum, the countries of the South, Italy and Greece in the lead, to block the reform of the Schengen code which governs the area of free movement and the management of the external borders of the EU.

For the Robert Schuman foundation, the european migration policy should, in priority, out of the logic of unanimity in favour of qualified majority voting. In an analysis for the benefit of the laboratory idea, “the expert,” Catherine Wihtol de Wenden imagine a system that is optional for States who refuse to be part of the overall scheme. But this freedom to say no would have a price.

“In 2015, Europe has been weak in Hungary : no decrease of the structural funds or of a sanction for non-admission of asylum-seekers, which appeared to endorse the positions of the Hungarian “regrets the director of research at the CNRS.

For a system more responsive

The European Policy Center (EPC), in a recent report, does not expect a proposal from the Commission “rise to the challenge “but to a “a series of compromises, watered-down on the sharing of responsibilities “, and the reinforcement of controls at the external borders of the EU, the only point that would truly consensus. To make the european policies to be effective, the research center sees no other option than to make solidarity contributions to systematic.

EPC also recommends that court decisions be more reactive against those who would not accept to take their share. The researchers take for example the judgment of 2 April 2020 of the Court of justice of the european Union (CJEU) condemning Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic having refused to participate in the mechanism of temporary relocation of 2015. “It happened much too late, almost five years after the initial decision and after the end of the mechanism of relocation “, removing any practical effect on the reality of the home.


Slovenia is the first in Europe to announce the end of the coronavirus epidemic :: Politics :: RBC

The first case of coronavirus infection in Slovenia was registered on March 4, a total of 1464 carriers of infection were detected in the country, 103 patients with COVID-19 died.

According to Nova24TV, if the government had not made such a decision, then all restrictive measures in the country would have been extended for another month. Mass events will continue to be banned in the country, the requirements of social distance and the observance of protective measures and hygiene will be maintained.

Russian Permanent Representative appreciated the possibility of opening EU borders for Russians

However, border checkpoints will begin to open at which checkpoints will be organized. EU citizens will be able to enter Slovenia without complying with the 14-day quarantine, provided that they have not left the EU in the previous two weeks and they have no signs of infection.

For non-EU citizens, there is a mandatory 14-day quarantine, with the exception of some cases, such as a trip with a diplomatic passport or a visit to a funeral.

As in the world quarantine is gradually being canceled due to coronavirus. Photoreport

European countries began taking urgent quarantine measures against the spread of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in March 2020. On March 17, entry into the Schengen countries, as well as the European Union, restricted entry for foreigners by 30 days; later, the European Commission recommended that this measure be extended until May 15. Crossing the border is allowed only to those with an urgent reason (funeral, subpoena), residence permit or long-term visa.

On May 14, the European Commission announced that the adopted “road map” implies a phased removal of restrictions on movement within the EU. At the second stage, it will be possible to begin to mitigate measures already at the external borders of the union.


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Source: JHU,
federal and regional
anti-virus operations

Source: JHU, federal and regional anti-virus operations


Tourism in the corona crisis: Mallorca test laboratory

Mallorca is developing into a European test laboratory. The regional government of the Balearic Islands wants to find new ways of returning tourists to the Mediterranean in the second half of June with pilot projects. The German guests will play an important role in this.

“We are absolutely in a position to open up to European residents and holidaymakers in a safe manner,” said Balearic Regional President Francina Armengol in a video conference with foreign correspondents on Thursday. The socialist politician feels empowered by the EU Commission’s plan. Brussels has proposed safe corridors between European regions with a similar pandemic level. Such connections are for “the Balearic Islands as important as the air to breathe,” says Armengol again and again. Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca are among the Spanish regions that got the virus under control as well as Germany.

But that doesn’t mean that everything will be as it was before Covid-19 this summer. Originally, 16 million tourists were expected on the islands this year. If tourism starts up again slowly in summer, it could reach six million by the end of the year, hopes the Balearic Minister of Tourism Iago Negueruela – in August it would be maybe 25 percent of the normal occupancy of the accommodation. German package tourists could become pioneers. The regional government is already in discussion with German providers such as Tui and FTI. “They have more experience with group tours that offer the entire program. It’s safer, ”says Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela. Package tours will take precedence over individual tourism in the start-up phase. At the same time, the Balearic Islands are also looking for a quicker solution for the many foreigners who have an apartment there.

Vacation in home quarantine

But to do this, the guests – 4.6 million Germans last year – had to be able to fly again and move freely. The Spanish government has limited these options. While Germany is relaxing its strict regulations, all travelers in Spain have to go into quarantine for two weeks from this Friday. “That would preclude the pilot projects. You have to be able to enjoy your vacation. We are talking to the government in Madrid about it, ”says regional president Armengol.

Only at the end of June, according to the government’s will, will Spain have achieved the “new normal”. At the moment, the gradual easing plan only allows the Spaniards to cross the borders of their home provinces in exceptional cases. The international crossings are closed. But even before national air traffic is resumed in Spain, the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings wants to significantly expand its restricted flight operations as early as May, according to the “Mallorca-Zeitung”. Lufthansa intends to fly to Palma again from June 1, followed by the low-cost provider Ryanair at the end of June.

The government in Madrid would therefore have to grant special authorization to tour groups arriving in a safe corridor in June. There is still a lot to do in the archipelago. You are working on a voluntary tracking app. The Balearic Islands and the Canary Islands have already introduced temperature controls at the airports and seaports. How it will end up on the beaches and hotel pools is not yet certain. The first hotels in Mallorca only reopened on Monday, the swimming pools are still closed. Spanish hoteliers soon want to regain the trust of their guests with the “Covid-free” brand.


Merkel became a victim of betrayal: Germany is robbed of trillions

European media report that Angela Merkel has an original plan to get out of the situation, which will allow all parties to save face, but only if they are ready for a compromise. Reuters, citing sources inside Merkel’s party, said that “stressing the need for a” wise “response, Chancellor Angela Merkel told senior party officials on Monday that the situation would be” resolved “if the ECB presents (requested by a German court. – Note. Ed.) Explanations. ” The problem is that the fact of presenting the explanations will be perceived by the European Commission as a defeat, and it is far from necessary that the German Constitutional Court will be satisfied with the document received from the ECB.


EC head threatens Germany with litigation over ECB court ruling

BRUSSELS, May 10 – RIA Novosti. The European Commission may begin proceedings against Germany in connection with the decision of the German constitutional court of May 5 on the partial incompatibility of the actions of the European Central Bank with the basic law of this country, said in a statement by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

“We analyze in detail the decision of the Constitutional Court in Germany and study the likely next steps, including the possibility of a violation procedure (EU agreements),” the document says.

This procedure involves notification by the EC of a possible violation of European law, to which the state concerned must respond within two months and correct the situation. If the EC considers that the state does not comply with European law, a formal procedure is launched. The EC sends a reasoned opinion to eliminate the violations within the prescribed time. The following is a judicial procedure, as a result of which the state may be required to pay a certain amount.

The Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on May 8 ruled that it is the only court that can assess the conformity of the actions of EU institutions with European law. The European Court noted that the courts in the EU should ensure compliance with European law.

In turn, von der Leyen emphasized that European law prevails over national law, and rulings of the Court of Justice of the European Union are binding on national courts. “The task of the European Commission is to maintain the proper functioning of the euro system and the European legal system,” the EC chairman stressed.

On Tuesday, the German constitutional court ruled that the program of quantitative easing of the European Union partially violates the basic law of the country. Now the ECB must within three months to prove the “proportionality” of the program, otherwise the central bank of Germany will not be able to participate in it.

The ECB implements the so-called quantitative easing (the official name is an expanded asset purchase program), within the framework of which securities of the private and public sector are acquired. It was initiated in March 2015 with the goal of accelerating inflation in the eurozone to a target of 2%.