(Bloomberg) — 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.Ursula von der Leyen’s landmark Green Deal envisages a sweeping transformation of the European Union that touches upon every aspect of its economy. Yet, so far, the plan has raised more questions than provided answers. Chief among them: how will the bloc manage the shift without leaving any of its national economies behind? The Commission will attempt to tackle this issue today, when it presents its new growth strategy as well as an annual review of imbalances across the bloc. There are a lot of uncertainties about how environmental policy can be incorporated into economic plans, and if the recent debates on climate neutrality and green finance are any indication, it will be a rocky ride.What’s HappeningFrench Strikes | The stalemate between France’s government and labor unions deepened as the country heads into a third week of transport strikes over Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. Negotiations have been suspended, and the civil servant in charge of the reforms resigned.Italian Aid | The Italian government’s latest bank rescue will provide another test for enforcers of EU state aid rules. Pier Paolo Baretta, an undersecretary in the finance ministry, told us that he’s confident the Commission will approve plans to save Banca Popolare di Bari, a lender in the underdeveloped south hobbled by bad loans. The government acted to avert panic and safeguard savers, Baretta said.European Planes | For U.S. airlines, the phrase “Made in America” comes with a whole new financial imperative thanks to the trade fight between the Trump administration and Europe. To avoid millions of dollars in extra costs, American carriers have been asking for their planes to come from the sole Airbus plant in the U.S. which is exempt from duties — trouble is, the factory can’t meet their demand.NATO Row | President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to close two critical NATO installations if the U.S. imposes sanctions over Turkey’s purchase of a Russian missile system, escalating a row that’s roiling the military alliance. His threat is the clearest sign yet that Turkey’s standoff with the U.S. risks escalating.In Case You Missed ItGreen Finance | EU lawmakers and governments agreed to advance a key regulation for green financial products, moving a step closer to embedding environmental goals in standards for banks, money managers and insurers. A list of sustainable activities was agreed after more lenient nuclear energy wording was included, but the discord highlights the obstacles in meeting climate targets.Estonia’s Apology | Estonia apologized to its biggest trading partner after a nationalist official from the Baltic country’s ruling coalition insulted Finland’s new prime minister, calling her a “cashier.” The incident is the latest embarrassment for Estonia since the populist EKRE party joined the government in April.Labour Candidates | The U.K. Labour Party is looking for a new leader after its heavy defeat in last week’s general election prompted Jeremy Corbyn to announce his resignation. Here are some of the people who could replace him. Meanwhile, Boris Johnson plans to legislate a ban on any extension of the post-Brexit transition period.Economic Slump | Just when German factories appeared to be exiting a yearlong slump that battered the country’s economy, things appear to be worsening again. Meanwhile, the Bank of France expects the French economy to succumb to the headwinds of weak global trade next year, while the Bank of Spain sees the economic slowdown carrying on into 2022.Liberal Pals | Mayors of the Hungarian, Czech, Polish and Slovak capitals formed a “pact of free cities” as enclaves of resistance against nationalist central governments that have reshaped the EU’s eastern wing. The liberal-leaning mayors met in Budapest yesterday to sign a pact that calls for protecting common values while some of their governments feud with Brussels over the rule of law.Chart of the DayU.K. factories posted the weakest performance in more than seven years in December, increasing the chances that the economy will shrink in the fourth quarter, IHS Markit said. The prospect of leaving the EU and the global slowdown have dented demand throughout 2019. Boris Johnson’s decisive election victory last week may remove some near-term concerns, though myriad questions remain over the U.K.’s future relationship with the EU.Today’s AgendaAll times CET.9 a.m. MEPs will discuss the investigation into the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, the journalist and writer killed in 2017, and the political turmoil in her native Malta 12 p.m. EU Parliament will elect the European Ombudsman for a five-year mandate. Five candidates are running 3:30 p.m. EU Commission to publish economic policy recommendations for the euro area Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis meets ECB's Lagarde in FrankfurtLike the Brussels Edition?Don’t keep it to yourself. Colleagues and friends can sign up here. We also publish the Brexit Bulletin, a daily briefing on the latest on the U.K.’s departure from the EU. For even more: Subscribe to Bloomberg All Access for full global news coverage and two in-depth daily newsletters, The Bloomberg Open and The Bloomberg Close.How are we doing? We want to hear what you think about this newsletter. Let our Brussels bureau chief know.To contact the authors of this story: Viktoria Dendrinou in Brussels at vdendrinou@bloomberg.netNikos Chrysoloras in Brussels at nchrysoloras@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: David Merritt at dmerritt1@bloomberg.net, Iain RogersFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.



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