Russian gas shutdown weighs heavily on Italian economy –

The Capitals brings you the latest news from across Europe, thanks to on-the-ground reporting by EURACTIV’s media network. You can subscribe to the newsletter here.

European news you deserve to read. welcome to Capitals by EURACTIV.

In today’s news from the capitals:


As rows over the Russian oil embargo exposed EU divisions ahead of the bloc’s leaders’ meeting in Brussels on Monday, Italian industry warns a gas cut could prove devastating for the EU. country’s economy. Read more.



EU summit unlikely to adopt Russia’s oil ban, will look at ‘bigger picture’. Attempts to broker an eleventh-hour compromise to get Hungary to back a full Russian oil ban ahead of an emergency EU summit later on Monday (May 30) have made no progress. Apparently, the leaders don’t want to bicker and will look at “the big picture”. Read more.

EU candidate status could send an “existential” message to Tbilisi, the Georgian ambassador said. Obtaining EU candidate status would be a crucial and existential political message that today the door is open for Georgia and there is light at the end of the tunnel, Tbilisi ambassador says to the EU, Vakhtang Makharoblishvili, to EURACTIV. Read more.


Germany orders 240,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine. Germany will receive 40,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine in early June, with another 200,000 expected to follow, Health Minister Karl Lauterbach said on Sunday after cases were reported in Munich and Berlin. Read more.



France and Germany ask Putin to resume negotiations with Zelensky. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin to reopen negotiations in a “direct exchange” with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Elysee Palace reported. Read more.

France’s new health minister will continue to fight the long scourge of COVID. The new French Minister of Health, Brigitte Bourguignon, will continue the fight against the long COVID launched by her predecessor, as Brussels recommends part-time work for people with persistent COVID-related symptoms. Read more.



Austrian Chancellor against relaxing citizenship requirements. Conservative Chancellor Karl Nehammer has rejected calls from President Alexander Van der Bellen – of the Greens and a candidate for re-election – to facilitate naturalisation. Read more.



Dutch border police seized around 1,500 fake travel documents. Dutch border police intercepted 1,465 forged documents in 2021, 10% more than in 2020, the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee reported. Read more.



Ireland confirms first case of monkeypox. Ireland confirmed its first case of monkeypox this weekend in the east of the country as cases rise across Europe. Read more.



Finnish FM “worried” about the treatment reserved for Uyghurs. The treatment of the Uyghur Muslim minority in China is “very worrying,” Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto told YLE in an interview on Saturday during his three-day visit to Washington. Read more.



We are in an extreme climate crisis, says Sweden’s climate minister. We are in an extreme climate crisis, Sweden’s Climate and Environment Minister Annika Strandhäll said on Sunday ahead of the UN climate meeting due to take place in June in Stockholm. Read more.



Spain will reinforce Baltic troops and send anti-aircraft missiles to Latvia. Madrid will soon send a battery of anti-aircraft defense missiles to Latvia as part of a NATO deterrent mission, Defense Minister Margarita Robles confirmed on Saturday. Read more.

Spain will call for more energy ambition in the EU at the Brussels summit. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez will call for more ambition to implement the reform of European electricity markets and reduce energy bills on Monday and Tuesday at the EU summit in Brussels, official Spanish sources told the partner from EURACTIV, EFE. Read more.



Portugal’s Costa wants exports to account for more than half of GDP by 2030. The government aims to ensure that exports account for more than 50% of GDP by the end of the decade, Prime Minister António Costa said on Sunday. Read more.

Portuguese border service leaves airport passengers stranded. International pPassengers arriving at Lisbon airport on flights from outside Europe on Sunday waited four to five hours at passport control following a plenary meeting called by the border officials’ union. Read more.



Regulating child abuse means spying on citizens, warns Czech MEP. The recent European Commission proposal for A regulation aimed at tackling online child abuse could open the door to spying on private conversations online, warned Czech MEP Marcel Kolaja of the Pirates and Greens/EFA group. Read more.



Slovakia to import gas from Norway and other countries. Norway and various unnamed countries will supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help secure supplies for Slovakia Dependence on Russian gas imports is falling significantly, the country’s largest gas supplier, SPP, said on Friday. Read more.



Serbia refuses to extradite a banker to Bulgaria for fear of “torture”. Citing “reasons to believe” that extradition could lead to “torture, inhuman and degrading treatment”, Serbia will not return Tsvetan Vassilev, a Bulgarian banker and majority owner of the bankrupt Corporate Commercial Bank in 2014 who was granted political asylum in Bulgaria last July, the Belgrade Court of Appeal has ruled. Read more.



The Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs talks with his Finnish and Swedish counterparts about the candidacy for NATO. Foreign Minister Bogdan Aurescu has had phone calls with his Finnish and Swedish counterparts and NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg about their plans to join the alliance. Read more.



EU auditors examine wine subsidies in Croatia. European auditors spent the last week in Zagreb combing through the books for possible irregularities in payments made under the so-called “wine envelope”, the website reported. Read more.



Vucic strikes ‘favorable’ gas deal with Putin. Serbia has concluded a favorable agreement on the supply of Russian natural gas. However, details will be revealed in the coming days, President Aleksandar Vučić said following a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Sunday. Read more.

No deputy of Albanian origin in the Serbian parliament following a new vote. There will be no ethnic Albanian MPs in the Serbian parliament after Shaip Kamberi failed to win a seat in a new round of voting after general and local elections in April. Read more.



Montenegro minister speaks out in favor of Open Balkan initiative. Montenegro is not against joining the “Open Balkan” initiative, Economic Development and Tourism Minister Goran Đurović said. Read more.



Albania’s old natural gas fields could soon be operational. The Delvina Gas Company has asked the Albanian authorities to complete exploration work on the Delvina field for natural gas with the aim of further gasifying the country. Read more.


  • EU: Extraordinary meeting of the Council to discuss Ukraine, defense and energy.
  • European Commission Vice-President for Interinstitutional Relations Maroš Šefčovič meets German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
  • Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager attends the Renew pre-summit.
  • Beginning of the week of committee and group meetings in the European Parliament.
  • France: Beginning of the ERTICO – ITS European Congress.
  • Spain: 40e anniversary since joining NATO with Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg attending the ceremony.
  • Italy: Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni takes part in the meeting of the executive committee of the ABI (Association of Italian Banks).
  • Russia: Chairman of the Grain Union Arkady Zlochevsky holds a press conference.
  • World: World multiple sclerosis day.


[Edited by Sarantis Michalopoulos, Vlad Makszimov, Daniel Eck, Benjamin Fox, Zoran Radosavljevic, Alice Taylor, Eleonora Vasques, Sofia Stuart Leeson]

Previous Trip Report: Milan-Dubai in Emirates A380 Economy Class
Next Coronavirus: latest developments | ASEAN Post