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The art of no deal, malign influences and campaign compass

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The art of no deal, malign influences and campaign compass
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This week, all eyes were on the second summit between Donald Trump and North Korea's strongman Kim Jong-Un.

The meeting and Trump's attempt to rid North Korea of its nuclear weapons ended in failure – although Russia had claimed Washington had asked for their advice.

If true, this would be a bizarre development in Trump's love-hate relationship with Vladimir Putin. Most recently, the withdrawal from the INF missile treaty seemed to bring us back to the Cold War era.

Should Europe be worried? Is there a new missile threat?

Euronews wanted answers from Trump's man in Brussels, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland.

Clearly there is a tension on the part of the Ukrainians who want to live in peaceful democracy. There is this constant fear of the threat of Russian malign influence that doesn't seem to subside.

What else happened in Europe?

The week in numbers

1.9 trillion euros that is the estimated amount that Germany gained by adopting the single currency. A new study found that Germans and Dutch citizens are the only real winners of the single curreny's introduction in 1999. For almost every other member it has been a serious drag on economic growth.

Five is the number of Polish Parties that have joined together for a pro-EU push in the upcoming European elections. Known as the European Coalition, they announced they want to ensure a “good and worthy representation” for Poland in the next European Parliament and to prevent the country from “gravitating eastward.

20 degrees Celsius in London and Brussels and 19 degrees in Paris -- Western Europe has been enjoying record-high temperature this winter. But the major downside to this? Air pollution. A number of cities across Europe issued air pollution warnings.

Campaign Compass

Climate change may be rising up the political agenda. But with 85 days to go until the the European Parliament elections it seems the climate consensus here in Brussels could be about to crumble.

A new study by the Berlin-based think tank, Adelphi, finds that:

- Seven of Europe's 21 right-wing, populist parties are climate change sceptics or deniers... among them... the Sweden Democrats and Germany's AFD.

- A further 11 - including Marine Le Pen's Rassemblement National - are judged to be inconsistent or keep quiet on the issue

- While just three *support* the scientific consensus on climate change... one of them being Viktor Orban's Fidesz party.

With right-wing, populist parties predicted to make major gains in the European election climate change looks set to become a lot more contentious here in Brussels.

Speaking of the election: Some politicians have said it is the most important vote of our time, shaping the future of the continent.

Yet, many citizens don't see it that way. There are huge differences in voter turnout across the EU.

Mapping elections

Low voter turnout is one of the great challenges of the European elections. In 2014, participation was only 42%. But there were big differences between countries.The member state with the highest level of participation was Belgium, with 89% ... as voting is compulsory

Followed closely behind by Luxembourg, where repeated no shows at the ballots can result a fine of up to 1000 euros.

The lowest levels of participation were in Slovakia with 13% and the Czech Republic with 18%

Other Eastern European countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and Hungary, also slipped under the 30% mark. And the question is: could populism get more voters to the ballot boxes?

When the level of participation is low we observe that the ones who tend to vote are those with a higher levels of education and they rarely vote for populists

Here's the answer of Political Sciences professor, Pascal Delwit:

"Not really, but if it goes in one sense it would be more against populists. When the level of participation is low we observe that the ones who tend to vote are those with a higher levels of education and they rarely vote for populists. Populists vote but in a lower degree. So it is there that we could see a growth against a eurosceptic wave or a far-right wave."

Next week

On Thursday, the Geneva International Motor Show kicks off, one of the most important industry events in the world.

It's a priority show for manufacturers looking to unveil their latest concepts and models for the first time.

On Friday, EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier meets the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin.

On the menu is, of course, the thorny issue of the Irish backstop.

And finally, Friday is the International Women's Day, celebrated on March 8th every year.

Last Word

This week the last word goes to Donald Trump who had to explain the abrupt end of his summit with Kim Jong-Un.

But at this time, we had some options but at this time —we decided not to do any of the options, and we will see where that goes but it was a very interesting two days and actually it was a very productive two days but sometimes you have to walk.