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Brussels in no rush to act on rule of law spat with Poland

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In a collision Rule of law in PolandThe European Commission is taking time on concrete actions, following the advice of the German Chancellor. The stalemate means that Warsaw will not soon see new EU funding. This is a kind of punishment in itself. After the intensifying linguistic war of the last few weeks, we will understand the latest thinking.

On the other hand, in military show of force, Russia’s state-owned gas company Gazprom EU neighbor Moldova In exchange for cheaper gas, it will change its free trade agreement with Brock and delay the energy market reforms agreed with Brussels.

We are also considering Chinese social media apps TicktakuHas been scrutinized in the US and EU for failing to protect teens and children on the platform.

And in a new round Brexit talks On Friday, we are investigating the latest twist in a long-lasting story, where most EU officials have little appetite.

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Polish purgatory

Write that after weeks of the intensifying verbal war between Brussels and Warsaw, dust has begun to settle and the European Commission has not shown a willingness to move fast and ferocious at the forefront of the rule of law. Mehreen Khan and Valentina Pop in Brussels.

In the aftermath of last week’s summit, attended by Polish Prime Minister Mateus Moraviecki, Europe Express told officials and diplomats what would happen next.

Morawicki following the summit warning A committee that opposes the start of “World War III”. However, due to all his barbaric turmoil, there is little prospect of immediate legal action from Brussels, except for the usual steps of initiating infringement proceedings. (Poland has 146 Aggressive infringementHowever, in other countries, including France and Germany, there are more than 100 cases of alleged failure to implement EU law).

But the lack of movement from Brussels is not necessarily a Warsaw victory. It also means that the Commission may delay the decision to approve Poland’s EU Recovery Fund of € 36 billion.

Authorities said last week’s summit eased tensions after a significant shift from a country that had previously drawn a line in the sand when the Warsaw Constitutional Court declared parts of the EU treaty unconstitutional. Say it was useful.

After a reconciling intervention by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and others, the leaders gave European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen a focus on dialogue and the rule of law relating to EU funding. Agreed to delay immediate action on conditional mechanisms.

The European Parliament, which has criticized the Commission’s approach, is expected to file a formal proceeding later this week over the delay in tools. However, MEP activities can be wasted.

Officials told Europe Express that the rule of law mechanism is unlikely to be invoked until the European Court of Justice decides on the tool. This decision is unlikely to happen this year. Non-binding opinions from the court’s advocate president will be submitted in early December, and the final decision is likely to be postponed to 2022, officials said.

At the same time, Brussels is also expected to approve a € 36 billion loan and grant worth of Poland’s recovery plan from the Brock’s post-pandemic recovery fund. (Poland Submission May plan. )

The resulting impasse will hurt Warsaw, which could have gained billions of dollars in advance financing this year. (Money isn’t necessarily lost, but other countries whose plans have been approved have been enthusiastically taking advantage of their upfront loans in recent weeks and months.)

The state of Polish purgatory puts a potential freeze on favorable cohesion against potential violations of basic values, and an unpaid daily fine of € 500,000 and interest deducted from future EU payments to Warsaw. May have other economic implications, including Failure Close the mine on the border with the Czech Republic.

Morawicki’s counterargument that Poland retaliates by disrupting EU law, including its groundbreaking green policy, is somewhat hollow in Brussels, where most important proposals cannot be rejected by a single country. Warsaw can ask EU allies to gather the majority needed to block the law, but it’s still not an easy task.

Chart du jour: German emissions

Germany is the ninth largest greenhouse gas emitter in the world. How is your country working in terms of emissions and climate change pledges? click here Compare countries.

Crosshairs Tik Tok

China-owned social media platform TikTok is beginning to build its reputation as a favorite app for teenagers. But the company is also faced with questions about what it does to protect children from inappropriate content and how it processes data. Javier Espinoza in Brussels.

To counter critics, TikTok is rolling out pop-ups that allow users under the age of 16 to choose who can watch their videos. People aged 16 and 17 can also choose who can download their videos.

However, for US lawmakers, these measures are still determined to be inadequate. The company was burned yesterday by a senator alongside Snapchat and YouTube.

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said:

Just hours later, TikTok was criticized by the European Consumer Organization BEUC for consumer protection and complained to audiovisual regulators about its lack of action.

Earlier this year, BEUC researchers said TikTok exposed children to hidden advertising and inappropriate content that could impede physical, mental or moral development. .. As a result, BEUC filed a complaint with the European Commission and domestic consumer protection authorities in February of this year for violations of consumer law.

The BEUC complained that the authorities could not act because the relevant audiovisual law was not transposed in Ireland, the home of TikTok. The deadline is a year ago, Dublin has not yet implemented EU directives, Infringement proceedings In Brussels, a consumer group said.

Ursula Pachl, Deputy Director of the BEUC, said:

Body’s behavior is against the background of exposure by Facebook whistleblowers who have shown that the social media platform did not respond to internal warnings. Dangerous contentTikTok’s rival app, owned by Facebook and popular with teenagers, including Facebook.

TikTok’s comments weren’t immediately available.

Brexit friday

2 weeks from UK and EU Rebooted Serious negotiations to revise the post-Brexit trade agreement. On Friday, Commission Vice-Chairman Maroš Šefchovic and UK Secretary of State for Exit David Frost will meet for the second time since then. No dramatic breakthroughs or serious crises are expected. Andy Bounds in Brussels.

Still, the British insisted that the new deal had to take place within a few weeks, and even Sefkovich talked about getting things done by the end of the year. That’s why the crunch is coming.

The dispute was related to the Northern Ireland Protocol, which kept the region a product of the EU single market even after the UK left.

Britain agreed to check goods across the Irish Sea, which could rekindle tensions with the northern Catholic nationalist community to avoid the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

However, after the nasty nature of these checks became apparent, Britain demanded renegotiation. EU on October 13th Overview A proposal to cut retail food checks arriving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland by 80% and cut customs paperwork in half.

However, this offer is subject to the UK granting the EU access to customs data and does not deviate from some food standards.

London has revealed that there is a “big gap” between the two. So far, Frost has focused on ending the role of the European Court of Justice, the EU’s premier legal body. Brussels argues that it must remain the enforcer of Northern Ireland’s Single Market Rules.

However, the appearance of parliamentarians on Monday further heightened media speculation that an independent arbitrator was preparing to climb through a model for assessing complaints, and the ECJ was dissatisfied with the results on one side. I consulted only if I was there.

“At the summit of the system that imposes EU law, the court should not be the ultimate arbitrator of the dispute,” he told lawmakers Monday. Like my colleague George Parker, he was asked if he would somehow exclude submission to the ECJ and didn’t say a simple “no”. I got it.. “We cannot have a court of one party to resolve a dispute between us,” Frost replied.

The EU has refused to discuss such a solution as the UK has not yet made a formal proposal.

Frost also claimed that the EU was taking retaliation in other areas. It was stalled by the ongoing UK membership of Horizon, a scientific research network in which Brussels funds cross-border research projects.

Committee Said Yesterday, the tentative agreement meant that we could continue to bid on the funds, hoping that Horizon membership would be extended by the time the UK universities were able to pay the funds.

In the EU capital, there is little sympathy for Britain’s position. “When you sign a contract, you should stick to it,” said one EU diplomat. “We all thought Brexit was complete. There are many other issues to address.”

What to see

  1. European Commission Announces Basel III Bank Capital Package

  2. EU Green Deal Chief Frans Timmermans will meet with China’s Special Climate Envoy Xie Zhenhua prior to this weekend’s G20 meeting and next week’s UN Climate Summit.

Notable, quoteable

  • Chinese pressure: Chinese critics Reacted Angry at the cancellation of an event commemorating the publication of a new German book about President Xi Jinping at the explicit request of a Chinese diplomat.

  • COVID vaccine: BioNTech has agreed with Rwanda and Senegal to open the first manufacturing facility to produce messenger RNA. African vaccine.. The deal will take place after US-based rival Moderna announced this month. $ 500 million plan Establish an mRNA manufacturing plant on the continent.

  • Portugal’s worries: A six-year experiment in Lisbon by the left-wing “anti-austerity” government this week Political crisis Unless socialist Prime Minister Antonio Costa can conclude a last-minute budget agreement with the far left, it will lead to early elections.

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Today’s Europe Express Team: mehreen.khan@ft.com, valentina.pop@ft.com, javier.espinoza@ft.com, andy.bounds@ft.com.. Follow us on Twitter: @MehreenKhn, @valentinapop, @javierespFT, @AndyBounds..



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