/Brussels Edition: Carbon Conflicts, Tremors in Berlin

Brussels Edition: Carbon Conflicts, Tremors in Berlin


Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weekday morning.

As climate continues to climb up Europe’s political agenda, envoys from almost 200 countries arrive in Madrid today for two weeks of talks on global warming. The focus will be on carbon markets, a tool that can attract investment to cut emissions in poorer nations. The sticking point is the accounting and oversight that pits some developing countries against richer peers led by the EU. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who wants to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent by 2050, will deliver a speech at the opening session just days before she’s set to announce her own plans for a Green Deal.

What’s Happening

Jump to the Left | Germany’s Social Democrats plunged Angela Merkel’s government into fresh turmoil by electing new leaders who have threatened to pull out of her coalition. The decision signals a prolonged phase of political uncertainty that could hamper the EU’s efforts to chart a path forward after Brexit.

Lagarde’s Review | When ECB President Christine Lagarde is quizzed by European lawmakers today, her plans for the biggest reassessment of the institution’s mission in 16 years are likely to play a prominent role. Here’s what her strategic review could include and a look at potential disputes among the 25-member Governing Council.

Italian Wobbles | Germany’s coalition isn’t the only one in trouble. Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte will appear in parliament today to respond to suggestions he explicitly violated lawmakers’ demands when he struck a deal on the euro-area bailout fund in June. Skepticism over the planned overhaul is bringing Italy’s rival populists closer.

Tech Tax | The U.S. is expected to announce today what retaliatory action, if any, it will take in response to a digital tax France instituted this year. The French levy is only temporary until an EU-wide solution can be found. But despite the threat of U.S. retaliation, the incoming Commission is showing no signs of abandoning its push for a global response.

On the Defensive | A planned celebration for NATO risks becoming a show of disunity, raising questions about the alliance’s future — and this time not because of Donald Trump. Leaders meeting in London have two other presidents to worry about: France’s Emmanuel Macron, who openly questioned NATO, and Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has troubled members with his decisions to send troops into Syria and buy a Russian anti-missile system.

In Case You Missed It

Malta’s Reckoning | Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat pledged to resign, saying public anger over a car bombing that killed an investigative journalist two years ago was justified. Pressure on Muscat to go has grown since businessman Yorgen Fenech was arrested last month in connection with the 2017 murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Laundering Lessons | When the world learned that billions in dirty funds had flowed through Danske Bank and Swedbank, it proved disastrous for the two lenders. But SEB didn’t have it so bad. That’s largely thanks to a dead Russian central banker, whose warning caused the bank to tackle the flows that have been at the epicenter of the scandal.

Election Promises | Boris Johnson pledged a full-scale review of Britain’s security, defense and foreign policy if his Conservative Party wins the election, and called on leaders to modernize the way NATO is run. But he may struggle to get the necessary numbers, according to recent polls, which suggested the Labour Party is gaining on the Tories.

More Debt | A decade of easy money has left the world with a record $250 trillion of government, corporate and household debt. That largely stems from efforts to use borrowing to keep the economy afloat during the financial crisis. As policy makers grapple with slower growth, options on how to revive economies share a common denominator: yet more debt.

Wine Woes | Rising temperatures and extreme weather events are having an increasing impact on European wine production, forcing growers to adapt methods in place for generations. Responses range from bringing forward the grape harvest, replanting to boost drought resistance, cutting herbicide use and leaving leaves on the vines to protect the fruit.

Chart of the Day

Get What You Pay for

Romania spends the least in the EU on health care and suffers the most deaths from treatable illnesses, according to a study published this week by the European Commission. Bumper wage increases for doctors and nurses have failed to solve a “critical” labor shortage in the system while political upheaval has hampered reforms, the Commission said.

Today’s Agenda

All times CET.

  • 9 a.m. European trade unions hosting conference on labor, monopoly, climate, privacy and tax issues posed by Amazon

  • 9:30 a.m. EU transport ministers meet in Brussels

  • 10 a.m. EU home affairs ministers meet in Brussels to discuss migration

  • 11:30 a.m. EU Commission President von der Leyen speaks at UN Climate Change Conference

  • 3 p.m.  ECB President Lagarde attends hearing at European Parliament in Brussels

  • 4 p.m. Italy’s League party leader Salvini speaks at European Parliament in Brussels

  • 4:15 p.m. EU Council President Michel meets UN Secretary General Guterres at UN Climate Change Conference

  • U.S. may take punitive action against France over its tech tax

  • Czech, Polish, Hungarian and Slovak foreign ministers meet in Prague to discuss EU enlargement, EU-U.S. ties and NATO

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— With assistance by Ewa Krukowska

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