China fumes at new Czech President over Taiwan –

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In today’s news from the Capitals:

Czech president-elect angers China over phone call with Taiwanese president. Newly elected Czech president Petr Pavel’s phone call with Taiwanese President Tsai Jing-wen on Monday has caused anger in Beijing as tensions between China and Taiwan simmer over Taipei’s continued assertion of its autonomy on the global stage and an ongoing trade late. read more



LEAK: EU-Ukraine summit unlikely to commit to swift access. The EU is expected to commend Ukraine on its progress on membership-bound reforms and send a strong message to Moscow, according to a draft summit communique seen by EURACTIV, but member states remain divided over the speed of accession. read more

LEAK: EU Commission plan to counter US green subsidy bill. A draft communication, seen by EURACTIV, laid out the measures the European Commission is due to propose on Wednesday in reaction to the US Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). read more



German exports to Russia more than halved in 2022. German exports to Russia fell by more than 50% by autumn 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a government publication, but imports from Russia decreased less drastically despite the halt of fossil fuel deliveries. read more



France, Australia announce joint deliveries of shells to Ukraine. France and Australia will jointly produce several thousand 155mm shells to send to Ukraine, the Australian and French Defense Ministers Richard Marles and Sébastien Lecornu announced on Monday. read more



Austria, Hungary agree on not sending weapons to Ukraine. Austria and Hungary agree on not sending weapons to Ukraine, Austrian Defense Minister Klaudia Tanner and her Hungarian counterpart Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky said at a meeting in Budapest on Monday, stressing their close cooperation. read more



Belgium to shut down second nuclear reactor. The Tihange 2 nuclear reactor – the second largest of the three Tihange reactors – will shut down permanently on Tuesday evening after 40 years of activity, making it the second nuclear reactor to shut down in the country. read more



The Netherlands ‘unquestionable solar energy leader’ of 2022: study. The Netherlands had the highest share of solar power in its electricity mix of any EU country last year, according to the European Electricity Review report by energy think tank EMBER. read more



Finland to likely face wave of strikes in February. The failed wage negotiations between employer representatives and trade unions in the technology and industry sector over the weekend will likely result in strikes in February that will spread to other key sectors in the country. read more



Michel thanks Meloni for being ‘responsible’. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and EU Council President Charles Michel met in Rome on Monday to talk about immigration and inflation ahead of the EU Council meeting, with the latter calling her approach responsible. read more



Spanish inflation at highest in 35 years after state subsidies end. Core inflation climbed to 7.5% in Spain, making it the highest figure since December 1986, the national statistics institute INE revealed Monday after VAT was reduced on some foodstuffs and some state subsidies on fuel were removed. read more



Former President of Ukraine: Russians assassinated Polish President in 2010. Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko blamed the Russian Federation for the 2010 air crash that led to the death of former Polish president Lech Kaczyński. read more



Slovak government presents first-ever climate law. The Climate Law, which for the first time officially enshrined in legislation the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, was presented by the Slovakian Environment Ministry on Monday. read more



Parliament parties sabotage Bulgaria’s eurozone progress. Pro-European parties GERB and DPS joined the Eurosceptic Bulgarian Socialist Party, “Bulgarian Rise” and the openly anti-Western “Revival” party in sabotaging a key bill on Bulgaria’s path to the Eurozone, as MPs from the parties failed to show up to the vote. read more



Croatian president accuses internationals of annexing, taking Kosovo from Serbia. The international community took away Kosovo from Serbia, and Croatia played a part in this, setting a precedent for future territorial grabs, Croatia’s increasingly rogue head of state, Zoran Milanović, said on Monday in comments that went viral in Serbian media. read more

Croatia seeks 35,000 workers for summer tourism. Croatia will need to import at least 35,000 workers for its lucrative summer tourism this year, and will have to offer higher salaries and other perks as Western European countries are also seeking foreign workers, the Novi List daily reported on Monday. read more



Romania’s budget deficit below target. Romania ended 2022 with 5.68% of GDP, which is below the estimate included in the latest budget revision and one percentage point less than the recorded amount in 2021. Read more.



Slovenia arrests two Russians on suspicion of espionage. A couple suspected of being spies have been apprehended by the authorities and will become the first persons to be charged with espionage under Slovenian criminal law, Slovenian media reported on Monday. read more



Albanian PM promises certain sectors higher wages. Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Monday another raise to the minimum wage could be imminent to help selected groups combat the increased cost of living. read more


  • EU: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen hosts the 20 Years’ Service Medals Ceremony;
  • Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis participates in the first interinstitutional trilogue on Generalized Scheme of Preferences (GSP);
  • Vice President Dubravka Šuica participates in the Swedish Presidency and International IDEA Conference on EU’s External Democracy Action in a new geopolitical reality;
  • Jobs and Social Rights Commissioner Nicolas Schmit participates in the “Reflection Group on the future of Cohesion Policy” organized by the European Commission;
  • Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni delivers a video message at the conference “Fiscal Policy in times of high debt and economic turbulences” organized by DG ECFIN;
  • Agriculture Commissioner Janusz Wojciechowski exchanges views with the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development on CAP strategic plans of the European Parliament;
  • Josep Borrell receives Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship Minister of Argentina Santiago Cafiero;
  • President of the European Parliament Roberta Metsola holds meeting with Commission Vice President Margrethe Vestager
  • Parliament committee votes on lifting immunity of MEPs Marc Tarabella and Andrea Cozzolino, accused in graft scandal;
  • EU Court of Auditors report on the European electricity market;
  • France: Nationwide strikes over proposed pension reform;
  • Spain: Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to report on the Government’s measures to deal with the “economic and social consequences” of the war in Ukraine; Confront center right leader Alberto Núñez Feijóo in the Senate ahead of elections in May and December;
  • Russia: Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov hosts Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry;
  • IMF: World Economic Outlook update;


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Daniel Eck, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Sofia Stuart Leeson, Sofia Mandilara]

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