EU races to strengthen ties with Indonesia
07 October 2022 | 5:15 pm
After years of underwhelming relations between the EU and Indonesia, a flurry of diplomatic visits and increased trade has renewed optimism that Brussels is now strengthening ties with Southeast Asia's largest economy.
EU defense ministers are searching for a unified approach as to whether the bloc should ban Russian tourists. A visa agreement could be suspended.
The deal serves the EU's ambitions to increase its influence in Southeast Asia, as Thailand seeks out diverse trade links. The deal was delayed by almost a decade in the wake of a military coup.
The European Union is proposing a cap on the price of Russian natural gas, despite Vladimir Putin threatening to cut off supplies for any market that does so. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is also asking energy ministers to consider imposing a windfall tax on companies that have reaped the benefits of high oil and gas prices. It's a move many countries are considering - although the UK's new Prime Minister Liz Truss has ruled it out.
European energy ministers are expected to agree on Friday to a plan to fight surging electricity and gas prices.
Ursula von der Leyen also proposed a price cap for firms profiting from rising energy prices and spoke of a "solidarity contribution" for fossil fuel companies.
European energy ministers are holding an emergency meeting in Brussels to debate measures on protecting consumers and businesses from soaring energy prices. Reaching agreement on a solution is likely to prove difficult.
Southeast Asian countries, most of whom count the EU as one of their largest trading partners, are watching the bloc's economic slowdown with a mixture of trepidation and opportunity.
France's Secretary of State for European Affairs Laurence Boone has outlined to FRANCE 24 the sacrifices necessary to continue putting pressure on Moscow, saying "it is a war against Russia for democracy, for freedom and supporting Ukraine. We are not asking horrible things. To put the temperature at 19 degrees, that has always been the unspoken rule."
European energy ministers have disagreed on a price cap on Russian gas, and want the EU Commission to rework proposals to shield Europeans from increasing energy prices.
The windfall levy on energy companies that European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is proposing could make billions of euros available to cushion the blow of soaring energy costs. That's likely to come as welcome news to many households.
The European Commission has released a new regulatory proposal taking aim at forced labor. But in the worst case, it may end up being unenforceable.
The EU raises serious questions about the actions of energy giant TotalEnergies in Uganda, with members of parliament saying its oil pipeline project has led to evictions and arrests. Also in this edition: The United Nations publishes a report shedding light on increased human rights violations in Burkina Faso. And finally: The tourism industry in Tunisia says goodbye to a better summer season than last year, but still far from what the country was used to before the pandemic.
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