European Commission

Mattel must work hard to “rebuild trust,” says EU commissioner

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European Union Consumer Affairs Commissioner Meglena Kuneva on September 20 warned toy firm Mattel, many of whose products are made in China, that it must work hard to regain public trust after it recalled...

Commission challenges energy, giants, aims to open up market

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The European Commission approved a proposal by EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs on September 19, aiming to boost competition by breaking up firms which control both the production and the delivery of energy. "If...

Ukraine’s EU ambassador slams Ferrero-Waldner visa comments

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Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU Roman Shpek said his country will consider abolishing visas for Romania and Bulgaria but it is Ukraine’s internal issue and it will not succumb to EU pressure or blackmail....

More investment, bigger markets seen in Mediterranean

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The European Union’s financial leaders have called for more investment and closer ties with the countries of the southern Mediterranean during a meeting in Portugal. “Investments to the southern Mediterranean countries surged last year...

EU seeks to unzip fasteners cartel with hefty fine

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The European Union on September 19 slapped fines worth a total of 328.6 million Euro (USD 456 million) on fasteners manufacturers accused of operating an illegal cartel that kept the price of zippers artificially...

MEPs see Iraqi refugee misery first-hand in Syria

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“Deep despair” was how one Member of the European Parliament (MEP) described people’s feelings after meeting just some of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees who have fled to Syria. Driven by continued violence in...

No more Chinese Barbie dolls please, or toys with lead

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Toys generally bring children - and often their parents - pleasure. So the recent recall of 21 million toys by US manufacturer Mattel over concerns they contain lead has raised alarm in the European...

Bluefin tuna fishery closing may be too little too late

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The European Commission has announced the closure of the Bluefin tuna fisheries in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic, but MEP Marie Helene Aubert of France, a member of the European Parliament’s Fisheries Committee, said...

EU gets counter-terrorism coordinator

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 Javier Solana, the European Union’s Secretary General, on September 19 appointed Gilles de Kerchove, a Belgian technocrat, as the bloc’s new counter-terrorism coordinator. In a statement, Solana said de Kerchove will be tasked with...

Yet another warning for Iran over nuclear programme

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More than a year after Iran ignored a deadline to cease its nuclear programme, the European Union last week said it is ready, if necessary, to level sanctions the EU Commission President and Portuguese...

Sarkozy overshadows EU finance meeting

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European Union financial leaders reacted angrily at a meeting in Portugal over the last weekend to comments by French President Nicolas Sarkozy published in a French newspaper. “The news content of the French president’s...

Solana calls Ghanem killing “despicable crime”

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The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has strongly condemned the terrorist bomb attack in Beirut that killed Antoine Ghanem, an anti-Syrian politician. “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the car bomb...

Fighting fake Euro with fakes

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The European Commission, the European Union’s executive arm, wants to allow EU countries to use a new weapon in the fight against the fake Euro: fake Euro. In an announcement September 18, the Commission proposed...

Global climate alliance sought to help poor nations

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The European Union’s executive arm, the Commission, on September last Tuesday called for the creation of an alliance with poorer nations to help them face the threats posed by climate change. “Climate change is...

Unabated discrimination against Sikhs

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What is the fault of three Sikh boys, Jasvir Singh, Bikramjit Singh and Ranjit Singh, aged between 15 and 18 years, who have been unable to attend school in the European Union since 2004?...

European Commission hears campaign: “to save life”

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The Minister of transport, Petar Mutafchiev, presented the ministry-led campaign “I am saving someone’s life” to European Commission representatives. The website and video material, specially designed for the campaign, were also demonstrated during the...

Euro expected to climb as US economic fears grow

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The Euro is set to chalk up further gains in the coming weeks after soaring to an all-time high September 12 on back of expectations that the US Federal Reserve will cut rates this...

EU probes Germany’s Deutsche Post over alleged state aid

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The European Commission on September 12 launched a formal investigation against Germany over claims that it supplied the country’s main post office operator, Deutsche Post AG (DPAG), with illegal state aid. In a statement,...

Colombian coffee first non-EU brand on protected list

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Coffee produced in Colombia has become the first non-European Union product to be granted EU protection as a uniquely local product, the European Commission announced September 12. The specific brand, Cafe de Colombia, joins...

Kyprianou tells China to improve food quality

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The European Union’s health chief on September 12 urged China to improve the quality of its food exports, pointing to a range of problems found in recent months. “In prevention work, we need to...

Auto industry fails to cap emissions, so EU will

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Carbon dioxide emissions from passenger cars should be capped at an average of 120 grammes per kilometre from 2012, because the industry’s voluntary commitment to reduce them is not working, said a report adopted...

EU seeks cereal crop boost as prices reach historic high

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The European Union on September 13 announced a move allowing the bloc’s farmers to boost cereal production in a bid to cool down prices, which by hitting historical highs have made popular products like...

EU welcomes brain drain

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The European Union is ready to welcome foreigners and aliens into its fold provided they are qualified to be bracketed as brain drain quality in their own countries, this was the EU message that...

Commission injects big money into nanotechnology

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The European Commission on September 14 was declared the “world’s largest single funding agency worldwide” for nanotechnology. According to a report, the EU’s 6th Research Framework Programme with 1.4 billion Euro allocated to 550...

EU bans Ukrainian, Iranian airlines entry

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The European Commission (EC) on September 11 added a Ukrainian and an Iranian airline to its blacklist of carriers deemed unsafe. In a statement, the European Union executive said Ukrainian Mediterranean Airlines and Mahan...

EESC and COR Presidents express support to Greece

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Greece in the past a few weeks experienced a tragedy with loss of lives and property caused by forest fires and Europe did come to the rescue of the suffering nation. Addressing the Prime...

Commission launches “no-taboos” budget review

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The European Commission last week launched week a review of its long-term budget which officials hailed as a unique opportunity to debate the European Union’s future. But the review, which the President of the...

Almunia admits uncertainty

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The latest global financial crisis was formally addressed by the European Union last week when the Economic and Monetary Affairs commissioner Joaquin Almunia acknowledged that the crisis made the world economic situation more precarious...

Hungary finally backs Nabucco

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Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany on September 14 threw Hungary's support behind the European Union-backed Nabucco pipeline at a conference where EU officials and businessmen called for progress in the project aimed at cutting...

Putin drops 2 bombshells

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Russian President Vladimir Putin released two bombs almost at once this week; one was political and one was real.Russia tested the world's most powerful conventional bomb in the evening of September 11, and, on...

Microsoft awaits historic verdict

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The eyes of the corporate world turned to Luxembourg this week as an EU court prepared a crucial judgement in the European Commission’s (EC) case against software titan Microsoft. It is the biggest, most...

EU marks September 11 with anti-terrorism project

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The EU official in charge of security on September 11 called terrorism “a constant threat” and launched a project designed to get public and private researchers to work together and develop technologies that can...

UK foot-and-mouth leak puts labs under focus

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The European Commission announced last week its intentions to check laboratories which hold samples of the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) virus across Europe in the wake of a British outbreak reportedly caused by such a...

Unbundling: There’s a new Sheriff in Energy Town

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Out of the energy wilderness steps out a lone stranger determined to break up national monopolies and vertically-integrated companies giving the power-hungry EU consumers the right of freedom to choose their suppliers.There’s a new...

EU sees a bad moon rising, climate trouble on the way

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The world’s ability to cope with the consequences of natural disasters is set to come under increasing strain in the future, European officials said in a bleak warning on Sept. 7. “We are facing...

Terrorist attack in Algeria condemned by EU, UN

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The European Union’s High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, on Sept. 7 condemned the terrorist bomb attack which hit the eastern Algerian city of Batna the day before. “I condemn...

Barroso will intensify EU fight against death penalty

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EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, speaking at a major gathering of Christian churches on Sept. 6, said he would seek to intensify the EU’s worldwide campaign against capital punishment, which was begun by...