By RYAN HEATH Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify | Apple | Soundcloud | Stitcher | View in your browser Listen to this week’s EU Confidential podcast from the Munich Security Conference, with firebrand American ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, and Slovakia’s veteran foreign minister, Miroslav Lajčák, on Spotify | Apple | SoundCloud | Stitcher LONELY MANFRED FINDS A FRIEND IN FRANS The moment you’ve all been waiting for is finally here. After months of campaigning, Frans Timmermans will be officially endorsed today as a candidate for European Commission president at a Party of European Socialists event in Madrid. While Manfred Weber wouldn’t normally cheer a center-left conference, he should applaud this one, because now he has a serious competitor to campaign against. Europe’s liberals will now have some serious thinking to do. They haven’t sealed a deal with Emmanuel … [Read more...] about POLITICO EU Confidential: Manfred finds a friend — Voter turnout crisis — On the Hunt
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By RYAN HEATH Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify | Apple | Soundcloud | Stitcher | View in your browser Listen to this week’s EU Confidential podcast on Spotify | Apple | Soundcloud | Stitcher FACEBOOK CAN’T CATCH A BREAK The trouble with becoming the symbol of a problem — whether that’s loose data-sharing, fake news or exploitation of young people — is that the consequences don’t stop. That’s where Facebook finds itself right now. Never mind the monopoly and transparency concerns of the last week (see Nick Clegg interview, below), in the last 24 hours alone Angela Merkel broke up with Facebook, announcing she will delete her page, and German regulators and the country’s justice minister — who’s also a top MEP candidate in the May European Parliament election — have set their sights on the social media giant. Bloomberg reported seven data protection … [Read more...] about POLITICO EU Confidential: Facebook’s pain — Clegg speaks — A day off!
By RYAN HEATH Subscribe to the podcast on Spotify | Apple | Soundcloud | Stitcher | View in your browser Listen to this week’s EU Confidential podcast featuring both Frans Timmermans and Tibor Navracsics on Spotify | Apple | SoundCloud | Stitcher GILET JAUNE WITH AN UNCOMFORTABLE DIFFERENCE Anyone traveling to and from Brussels airport has an, er, exciting prospect in store in the event of a flight delay, as spotted by a horrified EU Confidential reader — people in yellow vests and blackface came onboard to share smiles and candy. Happy holidays! Pic here. STRIKE A VAGUE POSE Don’t be distracted by the Theresa May—Jean-Claude Juncker spat over whether May was vague or not at the EU summit table about her Brexit demands. It’s a sideshow: the real game is over when (maybe if) Westminster will stop being vague by refusing to form a majority for any type of Brexit. The EU’s point is rather that May has … [Read more...] about POLITICO EU Confidential: Yellow and black — Vague’s in vogue — Cardi P
Picture: AFP Belfast. The U.K.’s exit from the European Union “may well go down as one of the greatest and most unnecessary self-inflicted wounds in modern history,” former U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said during a trip to Belfast, Politico.eu writes. “I make no excuse for being against Brexit from the start,” Clinton said during a visit to Northern Ireland late Wednesday, adding she “thought it was a bad idea before the referendum, and I think it is an even worse idea now.” Speaking to an audience at Queen’s University, where she received an honorary degree for her “considerable contribution to the Northern Ireland peace process,” Clinton added: “Brexit seems to be going ahead one way or the other. It is crucial that however it comes out, Brexit should not be allowed to undermine the peace and prosperity that has been so dearly won here.” Clinton said she came to the region … [Read more...] about Politico.eu: Hillary Clinton: Brexit could be ‘greatest self-inflicted wound in modern history’
SALZBURG — Poland broke ranks with the rest of the EU27 at a crucial ministers meeting on Brexit strategy this week, suggesting that the bloc’s negotiating guidelines may need to be rewritten in October if a Brexit deal is still out of reach. The intervention, at the General Affairs Council meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels Tuesday was the first open threat of a serious crack in EU unity since the start of withdrawal negotiations with Britain. Polish Minister for EU Affairs Konrad Szymański did not receive support from anyone else at the meeting, but even the hint of defection from the EU27’s common position suggests that the bloc’s so-far rock-solid unity will come under increasing strain as the talks enter their final weeks and days. Three diplomats present at the GAC meeting said that Poland proposed amending the Council’s guidelines, which provide tightly scripted marching orders for the bloc’s negotiator, Michel Barnier, … [Read more...] about Poland breaks ranks from EU Brexit unity