Today at Commission: Polish trees and Mad Max

Margaritis Schinas, Chief Spokesperson of the EC during the midday press briefing | Lieven Creemer/EC — Audiovisual Service

MIdday brief, in brief

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Today at Commission: Polish trees and Mad Max

Commission will ‘wait for the final conclusion by the court’ before making statements about logging in the Białowieża Forest.



On the agenda: On Friday, EU leaders will hold an informal summit in Brussels. Commission chief spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said that Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met with Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, to prepare for the meeting.

Schinas discussed a statement made by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Christos Stylianides on the humanitarian situation in the Syrian regions of Eastern Ghouta and Idlib. The situation has “significantly deteriorated over the past eight weeks,” according to the statement. Schinas, reading from the statement, said that, “there is no military solution to the conflict, we call on all parties to engage in the U.N.-led political process.”

The Commission didn’t talk about: Movies, despite multiple questions about what movie a post-Brexit world would look like, after U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis had talked about fearing Britain being forced into a “‘Mad Max’-style world borrowed from dystopian fiction.” Although Schinas did not answer the questions, some journalists had ideas, including “Eternity in a Day,” “A Bridge Too Far” and “The Long Goodbye.”

Poland forestry fines: A European Court of Justice advocate general today gave an opinion that logging in the Białowieża Forest breached EU law. Schinas did not comment and said the Commission “will wait for the final conclusion by the court.”

Vestager and labor relocation: Spokesman Ricardo Cardoso answered questions about a meeting between Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and Italian Industry Minister Carlo Calenda to discuss allegedly unfair competition and relocation of some firms to other countries with more favorable tax policies. Cardoso said the Commission had received a letter about the issue and would follow standard procedure to address the complaint. However, Cardoso would not comment about the meeting or EU countries’ tax structures.

Michelle Stoddart 

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