European Commission

EU, US build new walls to keep immigrants out

-
Until it fell with communism’s collapse in 1989, the Berlin Wall symbolised the schism between the ideals of democracy and mind-crushing ideologies of a Big Brother state, the physical separation that kept Europe from...

European Commission vows carbon dioxide emission reductions

-
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has called for strict targets for carbon dioxide emission reductions in the second phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Tackling climate change should be a top...

Progress made over visa requirements with FYROM

-
 Progress has been made on the EU-FYROM visa regime facilitation. This was the outcome of a meeting between EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn and FYROM Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski in Brussels on November 20,...

2,867 classified information certificates are granted

-
The European Union has issued 1034 certificates for classified information access to physical and juridical persons in Bulgaria, Tsveta Markova head of the State Commission on Information Security announced at a conference, Sofia news...

Commissioner calls for change in development policy

-
Europe must stop its “paternalistic and colonialistic” behaviour towards poor African countries, the European Union’s development chief said on November 17, and called for a radical change in the bloc’s development policy. “There should...

EU plans to extend scope of its emissions trading scheme

-
The European Commission on November 13 said it was preparing to ratchet up climate change rules by including other greenhouse gases besides carbon dioxide (CO2) in Europe’s emissions trading scheme. The commission said that...

Brussels shows Warsaw yellow card for budget deficit

-
The European Commission in unequivocal terms last week sounded the warning to Poland saying, “Poland is not taking sufficient action to be able to correct its budget deficit in 2007,” to comply with European...

Maiden conference on women’s rights

-
Women in the European Union and the Middle East face a common struggle against discrimination, domestic violence and wage inequalities, the EU’s External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner said November 15. Ferrero-Waldner, who was in...

Lessons ready for European schooling systems

-
The crucial need for schooling reformations and renovations was virtually an unanimous stance line held by Commissioner Siim Kallas, in charge of European Schools, and most of the 25 ministers of the member states...

Railways chug along a new route

-
The European Union integration process is being boosted with an improved trans-European railway network, according to a second European Commission report on the progress of interoperability across European railways. Examining the growth of rail...

Commission takes bitter action on sugar hoarding

-
The inconsistency of five EU Member States to dispose the surplus of sugar stocks led to their being charged with the total amount of 57 million Euro by the European Commission last week. Notably,...

Lights flicker to control emission levels

-
A new emissions control and warning system for heavy duty vehicles, such as trucks and buses, was put into application worldwide after the approval of the related “On-Board Diagnostic System” last week by the...

Barroso hopes Russian energy exports to EU will grow

-
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he hopes Russia will boost its energy deliveries to Europe. In his recorded address to a Moscow forum organised by the European Business Association, Barroso said he...

EU gives green light to Suez and Gaz de France merger

-
European Union regulators on November 14 gave their go-ahead to the merger of French energy companies Suez and Gaz de France (GDF) which will create Europe's largest gas utility and keep the French power...

Slow down on expansion

-
 The European Commission gave a new twist to the enlargement policy last week while presenting the progress report for different countries aspiring to join the European Union. Stressing the three basic principles of “consolidation,...

FYROM lacks political will to fight corruption

-
The European Commission on November 8 said FYROM lacked the political will to fight corruption, which is hampering the country’s economic development on the road to European Union membership. “Corruption remains widespread, and is...

Croatia must fight corruption better

-
European Union candidate Croatia must better fight corruption and improve its judicial system to meet EU membership criteria, the European Commission warned on November 8. “Corruption remains a serious problem,” the EU executive said...

Kosovo needs status deal to start talks with EU

-
The European Commission on November 8 called for a “politically and legally clear” status settlement for Serbia’s breakaway province of Kosovo, saying this was vital for starting negotiations on aspired European Union membership. In...

Bosnian authorities still hopeful on EU membership

-
Bosnia’s future in the European Union is in the hands of its institutions, Igor Davidovic, the head of Bosnia’s team for Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) negotiations with the European Commission, said on November...

Rehn warns Turkey on links with Cyprus

-
The European Union’s enlargement chief Olli Rehn last week warned he would issue “relevant recommendations” on Turkey’s troubled membership talks with the 25-nation bloc if Ankara continued to bar Greek Cypriot vessels from its...

High prices switch off mobiles abroad

-
High mobile roaming charges prevent the vast majority of EU citizens from using their phone abroad, according to the last updated outcomes of a Eurobarometer survey. “Reducing roaming prices is not only a responsibility...

Programme for Internet, children’s safety online

-
The European Commission has decided to carry out the “Safer Internet plus” programme in 2007-2008 by taking into consideration the latest estimations of independent Internet experts, who stressed the programme’s significance and effectiveness in...

EU stands by victims of India, Bangladesh floods

-
The Commission announced on November 7 the provision of urgent humanitarian aid worth four million Euro to people affected by severe floods in India and Bangladesh. The aid programme will render food, water and...

Ministers can’t agree on raising alcohol taxes

-
European Union finance ministers on November 8 failed to agree on a European Commission plan to increase duties on alcohol, the EU’ Finnish presidency said. The commission has proposed a 31 per cent increase...

Economic growth positive

-
Europe broke years of stagnating economic performance with strong growth in the current year with forecast to continue on the positive track next year. The European Commission last week forecast the EU-25 economy will...

EU officials in an out-of-base training

-
A wave of 50 EU officials is about to visit 10 countries throughout Europe over the two following years so as to work and gain hands-on experience in different medium-small enterprises, Ton Van Lierop,...

Major industries commit to fight against obesity

-
The initiative of several CEOs of major food, drink and retail industries to face jointly the intensive phenomenon of obesity was warmly welcomed last week, on November 9, by Commissioner for Health and Consumer...

Gazprom alliance with Iran to curb competition for EU market

-
While the European Union is increasingly anxious about being over-reliant on gas imports from Russia, Gazprom bought a controlling stake in the ArmRosGas joint venture, which controls Armenia’s domestic gas distribution network and a...

EU and Azerbaijan agree to set up energy partnership

-
The European Union and Azerbaijan agreed on November 7 to establish a partnership to strengthen EU energy security and giving Azerbaijan more access to the bloc's energy market. "Close relations with Azerbaijan as a key...

EU plans to force Gazprom to sell its network

-
Gazprom is concerned about statements by members of the European Commission on plans to force the Russian gas giant to sell its gas transportation network, Alexander Medvedev, head of Gazpromexport and a Gazprom executive,...

EU cancels talks with Turkey, Cypriots

-
Plans to host a meeting last week with Turkey, Greece and representatives from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot authorities were cancelled, Finnish officials said November 2. There will be no talks this weekend...

EU aims to cut road accidents to 25,000 by 2010

-
The fourth Verona Conference on Road Safety took place last weekend, to discuss the ambitious goal of halving the rate of road deaths across Europe among other topics under Innovative Approaches to Road Safety....

Major EU-India partnership conference in Brussels

-
Indias Trade Minister Kamal Nath will address the inaugural session of the high level two-day conference on EU-India Strategic Partnership in Brussels this week. EU Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and Sam Pitroda, Chairman...

First exercise to test CCA successful

-
With the aim to verify the joint capacity of the Council and the Commission to react quickly and efficiently to a major crisis, the two bodies conducted on October 30 an exercise to test...

Commissioner Hubner talks cooperation with China

-
European Regional policy Commissioner Danuta Hubner and Chinese First Vice-Minister Du Ying from the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission last week discussed in Brussels ways to take forward the EU-China Regional policy dialogue...

EU threatens legal action against Germany in row over telecoms law

-
 Seeking to increase pressure on Germany over a telecommunications law that could exempt Deutsche Telekom from some competition rules, the European Commission on October 29 renewed its threat to take Berlin to court over...

EU and Brazil agree on a new EU poultrymeat import regime

-
The European Commission recently concluded an agreement with Brazil on a new regime for imports of salted poultry meat, preparations of turkey meat and cooked chicken meat, into the EU. The agreement modifies the...