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EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/07/2021

EsadeGeo Daily Digest, 15/07/2021

Politico – Kalina Oroschakoff and Karl Mathiesen / Brussels takes the lead in global battle to end greenhouse emissions

  • The European Commission on Wednesday proposed a mammoth package of new laws seeking to accelerate the Continent toward climate neutrality — and opened a new political struggle over the realities of dealing with climate change.
  • “Our current fossil fuel economy has reached its limits,” Commission President Ursula von der Leyen told reporters as she unveiled the proposals. “Europe is now the very first continent that presents a comprehensive architecture to meet its climate objectives.”
  • To do that, the bloc will raise the cost of using polluting fuels and require a massive revamp of how people drive, insulate their homes, produce things like steel and cement, and manage their forests and land.
  • One of the headline announcements would end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, ushering in the age of electric vehicle dominance.
  • The New York Times – Steven Erlanger and Somini Sengupta / Europe unveils plan to shift from fossil fuels, setting up potential trade spats
  • Euractiv – Jorge Valero / Green package unleashes criticism against von der Leyen inside the college

Financial Times – James Shotter / Polish constitutional court decision escalates rule-of-law dispute with EU

  • Poland’s constitutional court has ruled that the country does not have to obey orders from the EU’s top court relating to its contested judicial overhaul, escalating a feud between Warsaw and Brussels over the rule of law.
  • The constitutional court ruling caps a five-year battle over wide-ranging changes carried out by Poland’s conservative-nationalist Law and Justice (PiS) party, which give politicians sweeping powers over the judiciary.
  • MPs from the ruling coalition led by prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki have long argued that the changes to Poland’s judiciary were needed to overhaul an inefficient system, and that the CJEU had no right to intervene.
  • Shortly before the constitutional court delivered its ruling, the CJEU issued a second order for Poland to suspend the disciplinary chamber. The CJEU is also due to rule on Thursday on whether the chamber breaches Poland’s EU treaty obligations. 
  • The Guardian – Jon Henley / ‘Legal Polexit’: Poland court rules EU measures unconstitutional

The Economist / South Africa’s war for the rule of law

  • South Africa offers dry kindling for political conflagration. Unemployment and inequality are preposterously high. Many people lack food, electricity and running water, while members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) gorge on graft. 
  • The two years before covid-19 hit saw more protests than probably at any time in the democratic era. The pandemic, by far Africa’s worst if official statistics are to be trusted, has killed at least 65,595 people and plunged many more into destitution.
  • Yet the violence that has engulfed the country in the past week is not a spontaneous protest against such ills. It was incited, and in some cases perhaps instigated, by people close to the former president, Jacob Zuma.
  • Their narrow aim is to have him released after his imprisonment on July 7th for holding in contempt a judge-led inquiry into his corrupt reign of 2009-18. Their broader goal is to make the country ungovernable so as to undermine his successor, Cyril Ramaphosa.
  • Bloomberg – Loni Prinsloo and Monique Vanek / South Africa to boost troops fivefold to help quash riots

The Washington Post – Adam Taylor / Angela Merkel’s swan song in Washington

  • Angela Merkel is no stranger to Washington. The German chancellor, in power since 2005, has already visited the White House during three administrations. But things will be different when she greets President Biden on Thursday.
  • With her impending retirement, this will probably be the swan song of the 16-year Merkel era in U.S.-German relations. The big question then is not so much what happens now, but what comes next.
  • Neither Germans nor Americans can truly know. Despite the relative consistency of the German years, the relationship has seen its ups and downs. Merkel worked with “some more smoothly than others.”
  • Two of the most glaring issues are related to Russia and China, two U.S. foes. Specifically, there is Nord Stream 2, a natural-gas pipeline that will run directly to Germany from Russia. 
  • Foreign Policy – Michael Hirsh / Will the United States and Europe break up over China?

Today’s further reads:

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and EsadeGeo. The summaries above may include word-for-word excerpts from their respective pieces.


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