Bulgaria maintains veto + New proposal for gas savings + AI Regulation
Despite German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's best efforts and the French government's compromise proposal, Bulgaria refuses to budge on its position in the dispute over EU accession talks with North Macedonia. Scholz and Macron had hoped to find a solution before the EU-Western Balkans summit on Thursday, as Bulgaria has been blocking the start of talks for some time. Political turmoil in Sofia further complicates the situation. It "will probably take at least a couple of more weeks" before parliament can decide on the French compromise proposal, Till Hoppe was told by Deputy Head of Government and Finance Minister Assen Vasilev.
Germany wants to become less dependent on Russian gas, and as quickly as possible. The industry wants to fire up coal-fired power plants again and convert its own plants. Federal Economic Affairs Minister Robert Habeck is also planning an auction model to compensate plants for not using natural gas. And then there's an idea that has received little attention so far: The EU should make it easier to import industrial goods that require a lot of gas to produce – that's what economists are proposing, including Habeck's advisor Achim Wambach. Manuel Berkel took a closer look at the proposal.
The list of amendments is long: The Internal Market and Legal Affairs Committees alone, which are the lead committees, have tabled more than 3,300 amendments to the AI Regulation. Now the Industry Committee has adopted its recommendations for amendments to the Commission proposal by a large majority. The committee places a focus on exemptions from regulation, but in some places, the proposal is to be tightened up. Falk Steiner provides an overview.