This week in Europe: Defence pact, protests in Romania and more

, by Radu Dumitrescu, Věra Dvořáková

This week in Europe: Defence pact, protests in Romania and more
Design by Samuel Mork Bednarz.

Members of the TNF team recount big events from Europe from the past week, and point attention to news that may have passed notice. What did we miss? Comment on our Facebook page at !

Juncker: Nationalism is poison

In a speech made at the Spanish university of Salamanca, the president of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, stated that "nationalisms are a poison that prevent Europe from working together.”He also denounced “any form of separatism” that could only weaken Europe.

Anti-corruption protests in Romania

Thousands of Romanians again took to the streets across the country to protest plans by the ruling Social Democrats to overhaul judicial legislation and lower the limits for abuse of power to be considered a crime. Similar attempts occurred last winter.

EU’s highest growth rate in 10 years

The eurozone economy is projected to grow by 2.2 percent this year, 2.1 percent next year and at 1.9 percent in 2019. EU economic affairs commissioner Pierre Moscovic noted that the improved prospects were due to “resilient private consumption, stronger growth around the world, and falling unemployment”. The EU-wide growth is accompanied by a similar growth of the German economy.

Delegation of Catalan mayors in Brussels

200 Catalan mayors gathered in Brussels on Tuesday in support of the Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont. However, the delegation did not obtain any official meetings with European officials. The same week, Carles Puigdemont and four former ministers, after handing themselves to Belgian police, were freed with conditions by a Belgian investigating judge.

“Paradise Papers” prompt EU tax haven crackdown

EU finance ministers discussed the revelations of the so-called “Paradise Papers”, which demonstrate how big companies avoided paying billions in taxes on their European profits. French and Belgian finance chiefs Bruno Le Maire and Johan Van Overtveldt were among the proponents of the crackdown on tax havens. The EU finance commissioner also favored a EU-wide blacklisting of companies that make use of tax havens.

New European Defence Pact

20 countries in the European Union agreed to a new defence pact promoted by France and Germany in the wake of Brexit. The accord is meant to further collaboration of troops and weapons. Despite differences that linger, The Permanent Structured Cooperation, or PESCO, could be the biggest leap in EU defense policy in decades.

EU suppliers to retreat from Britain

With 17 months left until Brexit, 63% of non-British European companies are expected to move some of their supply chains out of Britain, according to a study by the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. The same study confirmed that 2 out of 3 firms had to raise costs in face of the pound’s fluctuations.

France taxes big companies to make up the deficit

In the one-time tax of big companies approved on Monday, France intends to collect 5 billion euros. The entire sum will be committed to ensuring compliance with the EU deficit rules.

Germany the first EU state to recognise third gender

Germany will become the first EU state to allow parents to designate their children as intersex. The Federal Constitutional Court of Germany proclaimed the assignment of gender as being “of paramount importance for individual identity.”

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