Daily Briefs

Photo : Reuters/Eric Gaillard

05 March 2022, Saturday | NIAS Europe Daily Brief #141

Presidential Elections 2022: Zemmour guilty of copyright infringement

Benefits of implementing 5G network in Europe; Sweden to pull out its troops from Mali by June 2023


By Ashwin Dhanabalan and Joeana Cera Matthews 


Presidential Elections 2022: Zemmour guilty of copyright infringement in the campaign video

On 04 March, French far-right presidential candidate Éric Zemmour was found guilty of copyright infringement in the video launching his presidential campaign. Zemmour used unauthorized film clips from Luc Besson’s 1999 biopic of Joan of Arc and newsreels from in the 10-minute campaign video. Zemmour has been penalized EUR 70,000 to be paid to directors François Ozon and Besson, who were the plaintiffs of the case. The video, posted on 30 November 2021, also included clippings from France24; the media house had opposed the move by calling for immediate removal of the same. (“Far-right Zemmour guilty of copyright infringement in presidential campaign video,” France24, 04 March 2022) 


Germany: Tesla’s Gigafactory plant gets approval

On 04 March, Tesla’s Gigafactory plant on the outskirts of Berlin received its final approval. It now competes in the battery-powered car market with other European carmakers. Since its launch in 2019, the plant saw slow progress due to the opposition it faced from green groups citing the environmental impacts of the project. The Premier of Brandenburg Dietmar Woidke says: “This approval process was a mammoth task… (it is) a little ray of sunshine in challenging times.” Tesla’s initiative has brought German carmakers like Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes Benz to invest in battery research. (Merlin Sugue and Joshua Posaner, “Tesla's Berlin Gigafactory gets green light,” POLITICO, 04 March 2022) 

Europe’s implementation of 5G network bridging the regional digital divide 

On 04 March, Nokia, a Finnish multinational telecom giant, mentioned how the implementation of the 5G network could make the internet faster and benefit multiple sectors in Europe. The fifth-generation mobile network would advance technology in healthcare, mining, and robotics used in factories. Nokia’s Vice President for Europe Jan van Tetering said: “I believe that 5G and enterprise will have a profound impact on the way enterprises can do business and become more efficient, to become perhaps even more agile.” Tetering also mentioned how Japan and Korea were leading in the field of 5G implementation for consumers, but Europe had more potential to be a key player in the global market. Tetering further said: “We still have a lot of manufacturing happening inside Europe and that’s where I think Europe could be in a sweet spot in that part of the 5G.” (Pascale Davies, “5G will boost Europe’s tech and bridge the digital divide, says Nokia,” Euronews, 04 March 2022)


Report on the UK’s support for aid workers in Afghanistan 

On 04 March, a year after the UK’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, questionable support was offered to aid workers in the region. As cited by the BBC: “A report by the Commons International Development Committee found ministers were too slow to provide help to humanitarian workers and Afghans.” Many Afghan aid workers working in Afghanistan felt abandoned as the schemes in place by the UK government were not able to adequately support their evacuation and settlement. Committee’s Chairwoman Sarah Champion said: “We are deeply grateful to aid workers - be they British, Afghan or of other nationalities - for all they have done for the people of Afghanistan…But we are ashamed that the government did not give them the support that they needed during the UK’s withdrawal, or now, during the complex task of delivering an aid programme under Taliban rule.” (Becky Morton, “Afghanistan: MPs’ ashamed’ over support for aid workers,” BBC, 04 March 2022)

Mali: Sweden to pull 220 of its soldiers by June 2023

On 03 March, Sweden announced the withdrawal of their UN-authorized peacekeeping troops a year earlier, by June 2023. The Swedish Armed Forces said: “In recent times, conditions have changed in the country, but until our last soldier is home, we continue to conduct operations just as usual.” They did not specify a reason for the withdrawal but had mentioned that the presence of Russian military contractors in the West African state was a reason for contention. A Spokesperson for the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) said: “We will continue our important work with the Swedish contingent until they leave…Regardless of Sweden’s participation, we hope they will continue to provide political support to the efforts of the United Nations in Mali.” (“Sweden announces early pullout of troops from UN Mali mission,” Reuters, 03 March 2022)

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