Slovakia to ‘cut’ foreign policy dimension of Visegrád 4 –

The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, thanks to on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

Before you start reading today’s edition of Capitals, be sure to take a look at the article Ukraine’s struggle to balance media freedom with national security interests written by Alice Taylor and Mathieu Pollet.

European news you deserve to read. welcome to Capitals by EURACTIV.

In today’s news from the capitals:


Following disagreements over positions on Russia, Slovakia intends to “cut off” foreign policy cooperation between the Visegrád countries as Bratislava takes over the rotating presidency of the embattled regional bloc. Read more.



The EU wants to test the waters on the confiscation of Russian assets. The EU is currently exploring legal ways to reuse frozen Russian assets that could be confiscated due to breaches of EU sanctions following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to a proposal seen by EURACTIV. Read more.


French PM will not ask MPs for a vote of confidence. Olivier Véran, spokesperson for the government, announced that there would be no vote of confidence in Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne following her political speech before Parliament on Wednesday. Read more.



The Bavarian Prime Minister warns of a “freezing winter” due to a shortage of gas. The German government is not sufficiently prepared for a phase-out of Russian gas, and there could be possible winter shortages, Bavarian Prime Minister Markus Söder said on Monday. Read more.



Austria’s deliberative democracy exercise boosts climate agenda. A panel of randomly selected Austrian citizens presented their findings on climate issues to the government in hopes of paving the way for increased support for climate protection measures. Read more.



Dutch nursing homes are reinstating masks as COVID numbers rise. Nursing homes in the Netherlands have started implementing a face mask rule for healthcare workers to protect older people in facilities. Read more.



Ireland prepares for fourth round of vaccinations as COVID rates rise. A fourth round of COVID-19 vaccinations will likely be rolled out in Ireland in the fall, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said, as cases in the country continue to rise. Read more.



The French renewable energy giant is strengthening its presence in Finland. French company Neoen, one of the world’s leading independent renewable energy producers, and Finsilva, one of Europe’s largest private forest owners, signed a cooperation agreement on Monday to study the large-scale use solar energy in Finland. Read more.



The Greek socialist leader will steal the show during the Prime Minister’s speech at EU House. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will address the European Parliament on Tuesday and is expected to analyze his country’s progress over the past three years. However, the intervention of MEP and leader of the Greek Socialist Party Nikos Androulakis is likely to attract attention as the tone will indicate his party’s intentions regarding the next coalition government. Read more.



Draghi points to climate change after the Marmolada disaster. The government must take action to ensure that what happened on the Marmolada glacier does not happen again, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Monday as he arrived at the site of the crash, now a symbol of the dangers posed by climate change. Read more.



Spain has been experiencing record employment levels since 2008. Spain’s labor market has hit a record high with 20.3 million workers registered with the social security system, a figure not seen since late 2008, the year of the last major financial crash, new data from the Spanish Ministry of Labor showed on Monday. Work. Read more.



Portugal to rebuild schools in Ukraine. Portugal will help rebuild schools in the Ukrainian region of Zhitomir, about 150 kilometers from Kyiv, Education Minister João Costa announced on Monday. Read more.



Polish constitutional court engulfed in a corruption scandal. Not verified leaked communications, including those from government spokesman Michał Dworczyk, suggest that Poland’s Constitutional Court may have consulted the government on its decisions. Read more.



Hungary leads the EU with the share of solar energy in energy production. The share of total solar power generation was 11.1% in Hungary in 2021, the highest in the EU-27, according to a report by the Hungarian Regulatory Office for Energy and Utilities (MEKH). ). Read more.



Protests and Albania pressure Skopje over French proposal. On the third day of protests, Skopje finds itself torn between parties and citizens who oppose the French proposal to unlock Bulgaria’s veto and pressure from Albania and national Albanian parties to accept it. Read more.



Russia stops issuing visas to Bulgarians. The Moscow Embassy in Sofia has stopped issuing tourist visas to Bulgarians and will only allow travel to the country to people with direct relatives in Russiastate media Bulgarian national radio reported. Read more.



Romania is bracing for a tax hike to fight budget compression. After being confronted with the need to increase revenue, a proposal for changes to the tax code, which includes several tax increases but no revision of the main taxes, was published by the Ministry of Finance after several weeks of declarations. contradictory which ended on Monday evening. . Read more.



Croatia caps fuel prices for another fortnight. The government on Monday extended the fuel price cap for another two weeks and repeated that it plans to distribute fuel vouchers in the fall. Read more.



The former Slovenian foreign minister announces his presidential candidacy. Former Minister of Foreign Affairs Anže Logar announced that he would run for president in the fall elections, making him the latest high profile candidate to enter the race. Read more.



Wheat yield in Serbia drops by 30% due to drought. The harvest season in Serbia ends in a few days, with a yield loss of 30%, in the 10-year average value of nearly 4.5 tonnes per hectare, wheat expert Miroslav Malešević reported on Monday. Read more.



Finland and Slovenia hope for visa liberalization in Kosovo. The EU will finalize the issue of visa liberalization for Kosovo citizens in the coming months, Finnish Foreign Minister Tytti Tuppurainen told a press conference in Pristina on Monday, sentiments shared by Slovenia. Read more.



Start of work on the largest solar park in the Western Balkans. Albania has launched the construction of the largest solar park in the Western Balkans in Karavaster, Fier, in the south of the country. Read more.



  • EU: Meeting of the College of the European Commission. European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen is taking part.
  • OSCE Parliamentary Assembly 29e annual meeting.
  • Plenary session of the European Parliament.
  • Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis delivers a speech at the European Parliament.
  • France: The new Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid goes to Paris for a first official trip.
  • Spain: Felix Bolanos, Minister of the Presidency, testifies in the context of a judicial investigation into telephone hacking via the Pegasus software.
  • The government is due to approve reforms on Tuesday to make the temporary contracts of 67,300 health workers permanent.
  • Romania: Prime Minister Nicolae Ciuca visits Ford plant in Craiova


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]