Possible next 🇩🇪 chancellor @ABaerbock from the #GreenParty says the EU hasn't had a strong foreign policy because Germany hasn't had a strong foreign policy.

"It’s not about Germany telling the others what to do, but if we are behaving very passively it’s hard for the others." Image
The idea that it will take a Green chancellor to give Germany a more hawkish foreign policy and make the country take up its responsibilities on the world stage is ironic, but not entirely illogical.

The prospect of this will be welcome news for Brussels and Washington.
Baerbock takes a hard line against Russian #NordStream2 gas pipeline, saying the Merkel government's support for it is undermining the Russian sanctions.

"We cannot finalise this project...We need to be in the front row of action, not being so passive on this project".
Asked by @FareedZakaria whether it's appropriate for US troops to still be in #Germany, and whether they should be there in 10 years, #Baerbock says "yes", but...

"Europeans must take up more responsibility for themselves" Image

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More from @DaveKeating

8 May
The big day has finally arrived - #Belgium is reopening bars and restaurants today after 6 months of them being closed, and the 10pm curfew is ending.

But they can only serve people seated outside (no more than 4 people to a table), and tables must be 1.5 metres apart.
The weather, however, is dampening enthusiasm. We've had cold & rain for weeks here in 🇧🇪 and it's not ending any time soon.

Belgians do love a beer, but I doubt we'll see scenes here of people shivering and wet weeping tears of joy into their pints today brusselstimes.com/news/belgium-a…
The 🇧🇪 reopening is possible because of the dramatic increase in vaccination pace here recently.

The government said today's reopening could happen if 70% of people over 65 were vaccinated. That milestone was reached in late April.

1/3 of the country has now been vaccinated.
Read 4 tweets
6 May
President @vonderleyen: "We all heard the nagging questions, especially in the first month of this pandemic, 'Aren't nation states better equipped to fight this crisis? Isn't our union of 27 too slow to react?'"

"But Europe has proven these claims wrong." Image
"Europe has demonstrated that a union of democracies can deliver in times of crisis. For its own citizens *and* for the rest of the world.

"Under huge pressure, we Europeans stood by our values."
VDL: "We decided to procure vaccines together in our union. This was the right decision."

"I don't even want to imagine what it would have meant if some large member states had secured their vaccines, while the rest, all the small and medium member states, went empty handed."
Read 9 tweets
6 May
EU President von Der Leyen has followed US President Biden in changing her stance on opening #Covid19Vaccine patents.

There is heavy pharma pressure against this move. They say it’s more complicated than just releasing IP. reuters.com/article/health…
Some important caveats on 🇺🇸🇪🇺 announcements of opening #COVID19Vaccine patents:

🇪🇺 VDL will need assent of 27 EU countries
🇬🇧 WTO needs unanimous assent, UK still opposing opening patents
🌍 Will take months of negotiations at WTO, won't help in short term
This is a 'not so fast' from Council President Michel to Commission President von der Leyen. Michel represents the views of national governments.

It's not clear what this "third way" is. But there is deep resistance (esp from 🇧🇪🇳🇱) to opening patents.
Read 4 tweets
5 May
Brexiters, Barnier writes, had behaved “irresponsibly, with regard to the national interests of their own country. How else could they call on people to make such a serious choice without explaining or detailing to them its consequences?” theguardian.com/world/2021/may…
Bernier was “stupefied” by the Lancaster House speech in which Theresa May laid out UK red lines.

“The number of doors she shut, one after the other,” he marvels on 17 January 2017. “I am astonished at the way she has revealed her cards…before we have even started negotiating”
There remains “real incomprehension, in Britain, of the objective, sometimes mechanical consequences of its choices,” Barnier writes.

The political class "simply refuse to acknowledge today the direct upshot of the positions they adopted a year ago.”
Read 5 tweets
3 May
⚡️🇪🇺Breaking: The EU’s entry ban is ending

This morning the Commission adopted a proposal (must still be approved by national governments) to end Covid ban on non-EU citizens entering the union, which has been in place for over a year.

But travellers must have been vaccinated.
This is a proposal, there is a *lot* that needs to be worked out by national governments.

🌎 Could travellers from countries with low infection rates be let in just showing a negative rest result?
📲 Should they wait until foreign certificates can be accepted by EU green pass?
As part of this proposal the Commission has included an 'emergency break' mechanism with which EU external borders could be rapidly closed again in reaction to developments with new variants.

But details of how this would work need to be agreed.
Read 8 tweets
30 Apr
Following yesterday's EU Parliament vote for "#VaccinePassports", we now have more information about what the system will look like. Target launch is 1 June.

Here's what the certificate will look like across the EU on a smartphone. But the way to access it will vary. (🧵1/13)
1st, here's why we shouldn't be calling this a vaccine passport: the problem isn't the word 'passport', it's 'vaccine'.

"It's not only about vaccinations, but also about tests about recovery" says an EU official. EU countries must accept any of the 3 to allow EU citizen to enter
This will be a standardised EU PCR code that can be digital on a phone or printed on paper. Countries must accept either.

It will show:

💉 Whether vaccinated and which vaccine
🧪 Whether positive test in past 3 days
🤒 Whether positive diagnosis more than 11 days ago

Read 14 tweets

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