- The EU Parliament’s real estate plans: What’s in the building package?
- Gas levy: Lindner wants to prevent value-added tax
- Spain: gas pipeline to France possible less than a year
- Poland plans to tighten visa rules for Russian citizens
- Commission calls on Serbia and Kosovo to de-escalate ahead of crisis meeting
- Replacement for Russian Soyuz rockets: ESA considers cooperation with SpaceX
- Opinion: Sanctions against Russia must also cover imports of metals
Today, German gas customers will find out what additional costs they will have to pay when the amount of the state gas levy is announced. The Ministry of Economic Affairs most recently estimated a range of 1.5 to 5 cents per kilowatt hour. The levy is intended to benefit gas suppliers who have to buy substitute gas from Russia at high prices. To minimize the burden, German Finance Minister Christian Lindner is trying to prevent a value-added tax on the gas levy and has written to EU Economic Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni, asking him to use his right of initiative to change EU law to achieve this. Read more in the News.
“Fortunately, it is for the most part neatly tucked away behind surrounding high-rises,” wrote the German newspaper “Süddeutsche Zeitung” about the Paul Henri Spaak building a few years ago. The oval-shaped main building of the EU Parliament in Brussels is not only visually unusual, it is also dilapidated. It has long been in need of renovation, and the architectural competition for its redesign has now been completed. In Strasbourg, spatial changes are also on the agenda, with the purchase of a building directly adjacent to the plenary hall. The Parliament’s real estate plans touch on the rivalry between Brussels and Strasbourg – and could affect the MEPs’ meeting schedule, as Markus Grabitz has learned.
Since the start of the Russian war of aggression on Ukraine, debates in Europe have increasingly revolved around sanctions against fossil energy imports from Russia and dangerous dependencies. But this conveniently ignores the fact that Europe continues to import large quantities of metals such as nickel, copper, and aluminum from Russia, as Michael Reckordt criticizes. In today’s Opinion, the raw materials policy officer at the NGO PowerShift demands that the EU put an end to these imports. Additionally, the European Commission and the German government should revise their raw materials strategies – the expansion of the circular economy must have top priority.
I wish you a great start to the week.
The EU Parliament’s real estate plans: What’s in the building package?
Every parliament needs the right premises for its work: EU Parliament President Roberta Metsola and her 14 deputies are currently trying to put together a package of important decisions on the Parliament’s real estate. It’s about properties in Strasbourg and Brussels, and the rail line from Brussels to Luxembourg is also affected.
The oval-shaped main building in Brussels, named after Paul-Henri Spaak, is still quite young at just over 25 years old and yet already dilapidated. It no longer meets safety requirements and has long been due for renovation. In the meantime, it has been decided who won the international architectural competition for the redesign. In the last week of the meeting in July, the international independent jury of the competition informed Metsola which architects’ designs had made it into the first five places and were thus shortlisted.
The jury’s decision is still secret. According to information available to Europe.Table, a design with significant participation from French architectural firms landed first place. According to reports in Brussels, the design envisages dividing the adjacent Altiero Spinelli building in half in order to open up the Spaak building, which also houses the plenary hall, towards the center of Brussels. It is further learned, however, that there are reservations among decision-makers about the first-place design: “There is no automatism that the first-place design will be realized.”