European Commission

Reding to empower EU telecom market, cut red tape

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EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding will push ahead with her proposal in both the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers to reform the EU telecom rules, and does not...

Rehn juggles Balkan marbles

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If countries meet conditions, stabilisation and association agreement (SAA) will be agreed with all Balkan countries,” announced Olli Rehn, European Commissioner for enlargement last week, adding, “SAA is the gateway to candidate status.” Using...

New Euro user Slovenia a “bad example”

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Slovenia, the former Yugoslav state which became the first new EU member to introduce the Euro this year, is setting a bad example to other Euro candidates by failing to control inflation, the EU’s...

EU, Russia postpone talks on Siberia air passage

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The European Union and Russia have postponed talks on the fee Russia charges EU airlines to fly over Siberia, officials in Brussels confirmed on November 8. The postponement was agreed late on Wednesday “to...

Turkmenistan president warmly received in Europe

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Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov came on an official visit to the European Union and during his threeday stay in Brussels he had bilateral talks at the highest European level, convincing the European counterparts of...

Germany beats EU in landmark emissions ruling

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The European Union’s second- highest court on November 7 ruled that member states are allowed under current rules to change their national greenhouse-gas emissions quotas. In a landmark verdict that could trigger further legal...

EU tries to square circle on “Blue Card” proposal

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EU interior ministers on November 8 welcomed plans to introduce an “EU Blue Card” aimed at luring skilled workers from Asia and Africa, but they also called for a clearer definition of who should...

Schengen, the EU’s free-movement area

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Schengen and the single currency, the Euro, are hailed by its advocates as two of the greatest success stories of the European Union. Both projects are seen as offering concrete proof that a union...

EU optimism for Mideast

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The European Union sounded an upbeat note about the prospect of peace in the Middle East after a meeting in Lisbon on November 5 with the foreign ministers of Israel and of the Palestinian...

Farm dole outs will be reconsidered now

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The European Union wants to give less money in subsidies to its biggest farms so that other, needier enterprises can get more, officials in Brussels confirmed on November 7. “Large farms generally have economies...

EU hails reforms as productivity growth overtakes US

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European Union officials on November 5 hailed the 27-member bloc’s economic reforms as they announced that its growth in industrial productivity had outstripped that of the United States for the first time in years....

A French connection for German-British rail takeover

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The European Union on November 7 approved a plan by the state-owned German railway to buy Britain’s main rail-freight operator, but only if it continues expanding into the French market. Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB)...

Barroso hails Family Businesses

Highlighting the critical role of family businesses in Europe, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on October 30 stressed the need for Europe to learn from them. Addressing the 10th Anniversary Conference of the...

EU tries to help China

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The European Commission was slated to run a training workshop on the EU’s Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) on November 6-8 in Beijing, China. The workshop is part of the Commission...

Ferrero-Waldner calls Gaza sanctions group punishment

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European Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner on October 29 called on Israel to cancel measures she described as collective punishment against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip. Speaking at a press conference in Ramallah after...

The EU Energy Walk, it’s like an Egyptian

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In an era of rising petroleum prices and excessive oil and gas dependence on Russia, North African energy resources are drawing fresh interest from Brussels. In the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm El...

A formula: EQF = Mobility + Lifelong learning

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The European Parliament has voted in favour of adopting the Recommendation on the establishment of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF), proposed by the Commission in September 2006. Jan Figel, European Commissioner...

EU breathes sigh of relief over Polish election result

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EU officials in Brussels breathed a collective sigh of relief October 22 over election results in Poland, which defeated Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, who had turned into the bloc’s prickliest partner. “I am confident...

Sarkozy ignored, EU wants Turkey talks “without delay”

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The European Union should begin further talks with Turkey on its future membership of the 27-state bloc at once, European Commissioner in charge of EU enlargement said October 24 in a speech likely to...

Europe’s deficit shrinks; Italy’s highest in Eurozone

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The 13-member Eurozone’s deficit narrowed to 1.5 percent last year, data released October 22 showed, as a strong economic upswing brought to an end a protracted period of stagnation in the currency bloc.Last year’s...

Mandelson’s get-tough approach on China hailed

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MEP Colm Burke of Ireland welcomed EU Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson’s tougher stance on Chinese exports to the EU. Mandelson has written to European Commission President Barroso indicating a change of approach to EU-China...

Lawmakers take some credit for the new Treaty

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European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering welcomed the agreement on a new EU Reform Treaty as “a great success for the European Parliament, a victory for the European Union and for all its citizens.”“This is...

The Earth’s last chance

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Commissioner Stavros Dimas, responsible for the environment has now fully recovered from a health problem that held him away from his duties for a few weeks, which coincided with his summer vacation. The prescribed...

Poland gets warning to behave on EU’s treaty

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EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso fired a warning shot to Poland on October 10 by urging all member states to stick to a recently hard-fought deal on the bloc’s Reform Treaty. “The fact...

Workers’ mobility to accelerate with pension reforms

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The European Commission has adopted an amended proposal to reduce obstacles to workers’ mobility through improved access and better preservation of supplementary pension rights. Acting on the majority of the European Parliament’s amendments from last...

Thousands take part in the EU’s Job Days

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The EU Job Days, which took place simultaneously in 230 towns and cities around Europe from September 24 for 10 days, attracted more than 200,000 participants according to a statement from the European commission....

Belarus will allow protest march – outside Minsk

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Belarus’ authoritarian government has changed the location of a sanctioned, EU-sponsored protest march, setting the stage for violent confrontation with opposition forces, the Belapan news agency reported October 11. Organisers of the October 14...

Inflation blues hit CEE states

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Inflation has chalked up a big rise across Central and Eastern Europe, data released on October 8 showed, with a raft of figures to be released later also expected to point to a resurgence...

Barroso urges debate on use of nuclear energy

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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso on October 1 called for a debate among EU nations about the use of nuclear energy. "Member states can not avoid the question of nuclear energy. There needs...

ECB sits tight on rates

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Europe’s central bank left interest rates on hold October 4 as the European Central Bank tried to size up the economic fallout from the credit crunch unleashed by the US housing market crisis. Moreover,...

Anti-terrorism vs. civil liberties

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EU government ministers meeting in Lisbon on October 1 rejected claims that the use of new technology and the sharing of travelers’ data to detect terrorists would infringe on people’s civil liberties. Justice and...

EU members agree on tougher sanctions on Myanmar

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European Union member states agreed October 3 to impose new sanctions on the government of Myanmar while looking for ways to boost humanitarian aid to the country’s population.At a meeting of the ambassadors of the...

EU fines Visa for blocking Morgan Stanley

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The European Union on October 3 fined worldwide card-payment group Visa almost USD 15 million for refusing to let US bank Morgan Stanley into its network of members. The refusal, which ran from March 2000...

EU experts kind of accept reform treaty text

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The European Union came a step closer on October 2 to agreeing on the rules by which it will work in the future as legal experts accepted a draft version of the proposed law....

BP ducks massive fine as EU smashes bitumen cartel

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The United Kingdom-based oil company BP was let off a fine of almost USD 100 million by the European Union on October 3 after it blew the whistle on a cartel between companies making...

EU gives green light to projects in Poland

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The European Commission has approved development projects targeted for Poland’s poorer eastern regions, some of the most economically disadvantaged in the entire 27 member bloc, EU Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hubner announced October...

CoE on abolition of death penalty

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The Council of Europe is making an all-out effort to abolish the death penalty from the face of the planet and uphold the human rights of every man and woman even in facing justice....