'Elite capture' in the EU + Dispute over CO2 fleet limits + Google's advertising dominance
The Federal Assembly yesterday confirmed Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Federal President with a broad majority for another five years. After his re-election, he used the first speech for clear words to Vladimir Putin, whom he blamed for the escalation in the Ukraine conflict. At the same time, he appealed to the Russian president: "Help us find a way to keep the peace in Europe!"
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz is heading to Kiev today to meet Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy. Scholz is expected to pledge further economic support to Ukraine. He then will travel to Moscow for talks with Putin on Tuesday morning. His travels are accompanied by growing concerns about a Russian invasion of Ukraine. German politicians are less vocal than the US government in their warnings, but they also consider the situation to be dire. Nevertheless, German government circles are at pains not to give the impression that Scholz's visit is the last chance to avert war.
Against the backdrop of a looming threat of war in Ukraine, the draft final report of the INGE Special Committee takes on added poignancy. The committee's goal is to look for evidence of foreign interference in democratic processes and institutions and to develop counterstrategies. The conclusion is that the EU is too careless about foreign interference . China, for example, is increasingly successful in using top politicians for its own purposes - following the example of Russia, which can count on the loyal support of former Chancellor Schröder. The committee also calls for the EU's Code of Practice on Disinformation to be tightened up – a point that is likely to cause controversy, as Eric Bonse writes.