EU Affairs

MEPs won’t approve budget cuts

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STRASBOURG, France – During a debate of the EU’s key Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, MEPs underlined that Parliament will only give its consent to a budget that meets the EU’s ambitions, noting...

Unemployment rates in Southern Europe remain high despite EU-wide positive trends

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Overall unemployment across the EU is falling to the lowest levels since 2000, but significant disparities continue to linger in Southern Europe where the jobless rate is far hight than Northern Europe’s average. According to...

Top politicians gather in Munich for security summit

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Heads of state and government, security leaders and diplomats gathered for the 56th annual Munich Security Conference, which runs from 14-16 February. This year’s summit comes amid rising global tensions, conflicts and disagreements over...

EU lawmakers block Green’s push to cancel gas projects funding

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STRASBOURG - Members of the European Parliament rejected on 12 February calls to veto the fourth list on projects of common interest (PCI), on the grounds that it contains fossil fuel infrastructure. Kadri Simson, who...

Von der Leyen calls for an EU budget that “delivers” on European concerns

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"Ι will not accept any result which does not guarantee that at least 25% of the budget is devoted to the fight against climate change," Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission said...

Cyprus, Portugal among states rebuked by EU over delays in money-laundering reforms

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Legal warnings have been sent to Cyprus, Portugal, the Netherlands, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain over delays in turning anti-money laundering rules into national laws, the European Commission said on Wednesday. The 27 EU states adopted the 5th...

Commission calls on Romania, Greece and Malta to adopt national air pollution control programmes

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Romania, Greece and Malta need to adopt their first national air pollution control programmes to limit their annual emissions, according to a warning issued by the European Commission on Wednesday. So far, the three countries have failed...

North Macedonia takes a small step forward and one backwards this week

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Since being installed in early January in preparation for the country’s April 6 elections, Caretaker Government Labour Minister Rashela Mizrahi, from the ultranationalist VMRO-DPMNE party, has repeatedly appeared in front of an old backdrop...

EU’s chief von der Leyen to testify at German defence inquiry

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EU Commission's chief Ursula von der Leyen testifies on Thursday before a German parliamentary committee investigating possible wrongdoing from her side, related to the award of contracts to external experts, while serving in her previous post...

Parliament chief says EU won’t approve deep budget cuts

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STRASBOURG, France - European Parliament President David Sassoli warned the 27 national governments of the EU member states that MEPs would not support any agreement that cuts key programmes that Europeans rely on. “The new...

EU’s foreign policy chief Borrell warns of violence if Israel annexes Jordan Valley

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EU's Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell urged Israel on Tuesday not to annex the Jordan Valley, warning of Palestinian protests if it went ahead. "This may happen ... You can be sure it’s not going...

WHO convenes experts to develop coronavirus drugs, vaccines

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The World Health Organization gathered 400 scientists yesterday for a two-day meeting, in an effort to speed the development of tests, treatments and vaccines against the coronavirus. The outside experts will try to find out...

EU to suspend some of Cambodia trade benefits over human rights

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The European Union will partially suspend the Everything But Arms (EBA) trade privileges Cambodia is enjoying because of systematic violations of human rights, the European Commission said on Wednesday. Cambodia will lose about 20% of the...

Clash intensifies as MEPs argue over Spain’s breach of EU sanctions against Venezuela

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European Parliament’s Strasbourg session on Tuesday was heated up by Spanish MEPs who clashed over the Spanish minister’s of Transport meeting with the Vice President of Venezuela, citing an alleged breach of EU sanctions...

MEPs approve EU-Vietnam trade deal, despite human rights concerns

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The European Parliament backed on Wednesday an EU trade deal with Vietnam which aims to eliminate almost all tariffs over the next ten years, but was heavily criticised over human rights concerns in the...

EU clears the acquisition of OLT by SNAM and FSI

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The European Commission said on 12 February the acquisition of joint control over OLT Offshore LNG Toscana (OLT) of Italy by SNAM of Italy and First State Investments International (FSI) of the UK complies...

Acquisition of Eneco by Mitsubishi Corporation gets EU approval

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The acquisition of Eneco Group of the Netherlands by Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) of Japan complies with EU merger regulation, the European Commission said on 10 February. Eneco is active in the production and storage of...

Greek government offer details about closed facilities for migrants

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The Greek government has opted to speed up the process for establishing closed facilities on the country’s islands that are still dealing with the ongoing migration crisis. As the situation is becoming more precarious...

Egypt arrests human rights advocate who ctiticised government

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An Egyptian researcher and activist has been arrested at Cairo's international airport upon his arrival from Italy. 27-year-old Patrick George Zaki had been in Bologna since August for his postgraduate studies. According to the Egyptian...

Brussels chief Brexit negotiator slams UK PM for backlashing on EU rules

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Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator heavily criticised UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson for saying that he will not follow "high-alignment" EU rules now that the country has officially left the bloc. Barnier said...

Trump ready to negotiate ‘very seriously’ with EU on trade

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US president Donald Trump said the time has come to pursue trade negotiations with the European Union. “Europe has been treating us very badly”, Trump said at a White House event with US state governors...

EU’s health chief Kyriakides meets China’s ambassador to the EU for updates on Coronavirus

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While the number of confirmed cases of human-to-human transmission of Coronavirus still remains low across the bloc, the EU's health chief, Stella Kyriakides met on Monday with the Head of China's Mission to the EU,...

Michel: Europe’s looking at Africa with fresh eyes

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The next generation of leaders in Europe seeks a renewed EU-Africa partnership, Charles Michel, EU Council President told African leaders on Sunday during a state dinner held in Ethiopia's capital and home of the African...

Croatian PM Plenković tells Michel he wants MFF negotiations concluded during the country’s Presidency

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Negotiations on the bloc's long-term budget should be concluded within 2020's first half, said Andrej Plenković, the Prime Minister of Croatia during a meeting with Charles Michel, EU Council's President. Croatia took over the EU Council Presidency...

Pope Francis to visit region poisoned by toxic waste dumping

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Pope Francis will visit an Italian region where illegal toxic-waste dumping by the mob has polluted the environment for decades. Francis’ 24 May visit to the area near Naples, called “Land of Fires”, will mark...

EU’s top diplomat apologises for “Greta syndrome” comments on youth activists.

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EU's top diplomat Josep Borrell apologised for saying at a debate in Brussels on Wednesday that he questions "the idea that young people are seriously committed to stopping climate change - we could call it...

NASA astronaut Koch returns to Earth after record-breaking space mission

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NASA astronaut Christina Koch returned to Earth safely on Thursday after breaking the spaceflight record for female astronauts with a stay of almost 11 months aboard the International Space Station. She returned along with European...

EU energy commissioner discusses European Energy policy in Denmark

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EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson visited Denmark on 6 and 7 February as part of the Commission’s drive to promote the European Green Deal and engage with citizens and stakeholders. Simson kicked off her Denmark...

Spanish energy company CEPSA to become greener with EU help

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €60 million in financing to Spanish energy company CEPSA to develop and implement more sustainable and efficient technologies in its production process, the European Commission said. The chemicals...

Europe installs 3.6 GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2019

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Europe installed 3.6 GW of new offshore wind capacity in 2019, statistics released on 6 February by WindEurope showed. This is a new record in annual installations. According to WindEurope, 10 new offshore wind farms...

Greek authorities place NGOs under online scrutiny

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At this point, more than 20,000 asylum seekers find themselves stuck on Greece’s North Aegean island of Lesbos. The island has been at the epicentre of the refugee crisis since 2015 after it became...

EU calls for end to bombings against civilians in Syria

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The European Union called on Thursday for an end to the "extraordinary human suffering" of the civilian population in Syria, amid a renewed offensive in Idlib by Syrian forces. "The extraordinary human suffering endured by...

WHO appeals for $675m to fight coronavirus

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The World Health Organisation called for US$675 million in donations for a plan to fight the coronavirus, mainly through investment in countries considered at risk. "Today, we're launching a strategic preparedness and response plan. We're...

European Council President meets with Bulgaria’s PM Borissov

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Boyko Borissov, Bulgaria's Prime Minister met with EU Council President Charles Michel, at the institution's headquarters in Brussels on Thursday. EU funds from the Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027 topped the discussion ahead of the...

EU launches €75 million BlueInvest Fund to protect oceans, seas and coasts

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During the BlueInvest Day conference in Brussels, European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Emma Navarro and EU Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevičius have launched a €75 million equity investment fund for the blue...

EBRD funds electric public transport in Sarajevo to tackle air pollution

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The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) said on 5 February the bank is financing major investments to improve public transport in Sarajevo, with CO2 emission reductions likely to exceed 30%, in an...

Ryanair slammed for misleading green claims

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The UK advertising watchdog, The Advertising Standards Authority, censured an ad campaign by the airline Ryanair, in which it claimed it is Europe’s “lowest emissions airline”. The regulator investigated Ryanair’s ads, after receiving complaints the...