Politico – Paul Dallison / EU Parliament preps legal action against Commission over failure to act on rule of law
- The European Parliament’s legal team has been told to prepare a lawsuit against the European Commission over the latter’s “failure” to punish countries that “violate” the rule of law.
- In a statement Wednesday, the Parliament said the Commission should have made use of a so-called conditionality mechanism, a new authority giving the EU power to suspend budget payments to countries over certain rule-of-law breaches.
- In the statement, Parliament President David Sassoli said: “EU Member States that violate the rule of law should not receive EU funds. Last year, Parliament fought hard for a mechanism to ensure this. However, so far the European Commission has been reluctant to use it.”
- He added that if the rule of law is under threat, “the EU must act,” Sassoli said, adding: “I have therefore asked our legal services to prepare a lawsuit against the Commission to ensure that EU rules are properly enforced.”
- Reuters – Jan Strupczewski and Gabriela Baczynska / Rule of law clash with Poland set to overshadow EU summit
The Washington Post – Annie Linskey et al. / Biden abruptly accelerates his involvement in agenda talks
- For weeks, President Biden has met repeatedly with Democratic lawmakers as part of the tortuous negotiations over his agenda — but to the frustration of many, he has revealed few opinions of his own on what should remain in the plan and what should be jettisoned.
- This week, however, Biden is doing something new: getting specific and plunging into details, telling lawmakers exactly what he thinks needs to go into the package that could define his presidency.
- In private meetings with members of Congress this week, Biden outlined particular trade-offs, explaining for example that he wants universal prekindergarten care rather than free community college tuition, citing research that shows money spent on younger children has more impact.
- He has floated the idea of giving seniors a debit card loaded with $800 to spend on dental benefits as part of an expansion of Medicare. He has revealed that he’s feeling pressure from his wife, Jill, who teaches at a local community college, to push for higher-education spending, joking that otherwise he would have to find somewhere else to sleep.
- The Hill – Morgan Chalfant / Biden champions economic plan as Democrats scale back ambitions
Financial Times – Mehreen Khan and Sam Fleming / Brussels to delay decision on how to classify nuclear power for green finance
- Brussels will delay long-awaited proposals on how to classify nuclear power and natural gas under the EU’s landmark labelling system for green finance, as member states demand looser rules to help counteract the continent’s energy crisis.
- EU financial services commissioner Mairead McGuinness told the Financial Times that Brussels would take more time before deciding how to deal with the controversial energy sources under the so-called “taxonomy on sustainable finance” that had been due this autumn.
- The debate about how to classify low carbon natural gas and nuclear energy, which produces no CO2 but whose waste byproducts are toxic for the environment, has been supercharged by surging electricity costs that have prompted EU governments into emergency financial action to protect households.
- European leaders are due to debate the taxonomy and how to mitigate soaring prices at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.
- Euractiv – Frederic Simon / 10 EU countries back nuclear power in EU green finance taxonomy
The Guardian – Tom Phillips / Bolsonaro should be charged with crimes against humanity, Covid inquiry finds
- Jair Bolsonaro should be charged with crimes against humanity and jailed for his “macabre” reaction to a Covid outbreak that has killed more than 600,000 Brazilians, including a disproportionate number of indigenous citizens, a congressional inquiry has found.
- Two of the most dramatic accusations against the Brazilian president – murder and genocide of the country’s indigenous populations – were removed from a previous draft of the report on Tuesday night after talks between opposition senators serving on the inquiry.
- But the final draft suggests the committee will recommend Brazil’s populist president be charged with nine separate offenses including charlatanism, incitement to commit crimes, the propagation of pathogenic germs, and crimes against humanity.
- The investigation, which Bolsonaro’s political rivals hope will wreck his chances of re-election, was set up in April and is scheduled to conclude next Tuesday when senators vote on its final report.
- The Washington Post – Mac Margolis / Bolsonaro, Trump’s most dedicated orphan, signals desperation, not conviction
Today’s further reads:
- Foreign Affairs – Ian Bremmer / The technopolar moment
- Chatham House / The law as a tool for EU integration could be ending