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Today's flare-up between France and Italy was a preview of the European parliamentary elections, coming up in May.

The EU flag flies in Westminster. Photo: Alberto Pezzali/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Célia Belin, a former French diplomat now at Brookings, says, "For the first time, [those elections] will be fought on European issues, not on national issues," and Macron and the Italian populists "represent two pure versions of what's going to be offered."

  • Belin argues that Europe is "now entering a phase where the political fight is in Brussels. It is now a place where you have parties and platforms, and the direction might shift very much if a new party wins."
  • That's driven in part by geopolitical factors — an assertive Russia, trade wars, immigration — that demand European, not national, answers.

Between the lines: Belin says that on issues like those, nationalists around the continent "have common values but not common policies." As recent twists in France-German relations show, though, the same could be said of the multilateralists.

  • The nationalists have stopped talking about leaving the EU, and are focusing on changing it. “I think Brexit probably was the best vaccination against any future exits," Rinkēvičs told me.

Go deeper: Europe bands together and pulls apart

Go deeper

33 mins ago - Technology

Facebook Oversight Board overturns 4 of its 5 first cases

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's independent Oversight Board published its first set of decisions Thursday, overturning 4 of the 5 cases it chose to review out of 20,000 cases submitted.

Why it matters: The decision to go against Facebook's conclusions in 4 out of 5 instances gives legitimacy to the Board, which is funded via a $130 million grant from Facebook.

New York AG: State severely undercounted COVID nursing home deaths

Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Photo: Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Data from New York's public health department undercounted COVID-19-related deaths in nursing homes by as much as 50%, according to a report released Thursday by state Attorney General Letitia James.

The big picture: Gov. Andrew Cuomo's administration did not include nursing home patients who died after being transferred to the hospital in its tally of over 8,500 nursing home deaths, according to the report. Data provided to the attorney general's office from 62 nursing homes "shows a significantly higher number of resident COVID-19 deaths can be identified than is reflected" in the official count.

Trading platforms curb trading on high-flying Reddit stocks

Major trading platforms including Robinhood, TDAmeritrade and Interactive Brokers are restricting — or cutting off entirely — trading on high-flying stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment.

Why it matters: It limits access to the traders that have contributed to the wild Reddit-driven activity of the past few days — a phenomenon that has gripped Wall Street and the country.