Common cause: Ursula von der Leyen and Florence Parly, the defence ministers of Germany and France, at a meeting in Paris last November.
Photo: Florence Parly Twitter account
France and Germany to discuss European military crisis force, EU unemployment falls to ten year low, Facebook underestimated data leak and progress in the Luxembourg Cup. Delano’s breakfast briefing for 5 April.
France pushes for rapid European intervention force
Reuters reports that France is aiming to launch a deployable European military crisis force. The news agency cites a French defence ministry source who claims the idea mooted by Emmanuel Macron last September could be launched in June. “It would not be within the European Union and would allow countries outside it, like Britain, to be part of it,” said the source quoted by Reuters. The crisis force would try to anticipate future military conflicts or humanitarian disasters and avoid situations whereby one country would be forced to intervene alone. The French and German defence ministers, Florence Parly and Ursula von der Leyen, will discuss the idea on Thursday when they meet in Paris. There appears to be some difference of opinion on whether such a force should be part of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) agreement being set up between EU governments.
EU unemployment low
Seasonally-adjusted unemployment in the EU has also fallen to its lowest rate since September 2008. Eurostat figures show that unemployment in the 29 members states stood at 7.1% at the end of February, down from 8.0% in February 2017. Unemployment in the 19 Eurozone countries has also fallen to its lowest rate since December 2008—down to 8.5% in February compared to 8.6% in January and from 9.5% a year ago. Eurostat estimates that 17.632 million adults are unemployed in the European Union. The lowest rates were in the Czech Republic (2.4%) Germany and Malta (both at 3.5%). Luxembourg’s unemployment rate had fallen to 5.4%. The highest rates remain in Greece (20.8%) and Spain (16.1%).
Facebook harvest may be 37m more
Social media giant Facebook has revealed that Cambridge Analytica may have gained data on 37 million more of its users than the previously reported 50 million. The Guardian reports that a new figure of 8 million was cited in a blogpost by Facebook’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer. “In total, we believe the Facebook information of up to 87 million people--mostly in the US--may have been improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica,” Schroepfer writes. The blog includes a chart showing that the data of over 70 million US Facebook users, accounting for 81.6% of the total victims, and may have leaked to Cambridge Analytica. The blog points to a series of measure Facebook is taking to enable users to better protect their data.
Niederkorn out of cup
While the world was watching Liverpool demolish Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday, four more matches in the round of 16 of the Luxembourg cup were being played. The surprise result came in Pétange, where local club Titus beat one of the favourites to lift the trophy, Progrès Niederkorn. Eliot Gashi scored the only goal of the game, which was interrupted by a storm, on 21 minutes. In other matches Jeunesse Esch suffered a 1-3 home defeat at the hands of Racing, Rodange won 5-1 at UN Käerjéng and Wiltz won 2-0 at Rumelange. They join Hostert, Differdange, Grevenmacher und US Esch in the draw for the quarter finals.