Roses were among the 1,200 tonnes of extra capacity for flowers that Cargolux added to meet peak demand ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Photo: Eistreter/Creative Commons
EU budget, Valentines freight, defence spending—Delano’s summary of European and Luxembourg headlines
EU budget, Valentines freight, defence spending--Delano’s summary of European and Luxembourg headlines.
Plugging the post-Brexit EU budget
James Crisp in the Irish Independent suggests several ways in which the European Union might redress its budget challenge when the UK leaves the EU. Crisp says the EU could face “a budget shortfall of up to €15bn a year” after the proposed post-Brexit transition phase ends in 2020. The UK is one of the EU’s major net contributors. The EU will not only rely on increased contributions from the remaining 27 members states, but will also meet up to half of the annual Brexit shortfall through spending cuts--EU budget commissioner Günther Oettinger has called for an “efficiency drive”. There could also be an end to rebates for member states. Other suggested sources of income for the EU include a push for the introduction of an EU wide tax on plastic bags and from the introduction in 2020 of a new €5 charge to non-EU nationals entering the bloc from countries that do not need visas to travel to the EU--a fee is already likely to be upped to €7, according to some sources.
Valentines from Cargolux
Millions of flowers, including the traditional roses, have been flown to Europe for Valentine’s Day by Cargolux, the Luxembourg freight carrier reveals. In addition to its 20 weekly flights out of Nairobi, Quito and Bogota, Cargolux added close to 1,200 tonnes of extra capacity to meet peak demand ahead of the celebration. Cargolux’s fleet has “state-of-art thermal capabilities” says Stavros Evangelakakis, the carrier’s product manager for fresh and temperature-controlled commodities. As well as Columbia and Ecuador, Kenya is one of the most significant exporters of flowers, providing 7% of the world’s flowers, of which 35% ends up in European markets.
US warns against defence spending protectionism
The United States ambassador to Nato, Kay Bailey Hutchison, said in a speech on Tuesday that she hoped the European Union’s planned deepened military cooperation would not “be a protectionist vehicle for EU." The Associated Press reports that the US is concerned that EU defence cooperation might also draw resources away from NATO. Hutchison was reported as saying that she wanted a transparent contract bidding process following last year’s agreement by the EU member states to jointly develop or purchase military equipment like drones. "We want the Europeans to have capabilities and strength, but not to fence off American products of course, or Norwegian products, or potentially U.K. products," she said.
EU increases Ukraine agriculture imports
Exports of Ukrainian agricultural products to the EU rose by 37% in 2017, according to the Ukrainian agriculture ministry. Agricultural exports totaled $5.8 billion in 2017, with the majority of this coming from sales of cereals, vegetable oils and oil seeds. But an increase in poultry as well as some processed flour and groat products, juices and honey also contributed.