European Commission

Italy’s budget not to deviate significantly from EU rules

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The 2020 Italian budget will not deviate significantly from EU rules, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri responded to a question by Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici on Thursday. Gualtieri admitted to a "slight deterioration" of...

Enlargement is not Eurovision, Zoran

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Enlargement boosters across Europe were stunned by the third failure of the European Council to announce a decision on 18 October on a date for beginning EU accession negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia,...

Commission announces shortlisted cities for 2020 Access City Awards

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The names of six shortlisted European cities that will contend to win the 2020 Access City Award were published by the EU Commission on 23 October and include Castellón de la Plana (Spain), Chania...

IMF calls an Italian medium-term plan to reign over Italian debt

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Italy requires a credible medium-term plan to reign over its public debt, the head of the International Monetary Fund’s Europe department Poul Thomsen said on Friday. Noting Italy’s decade-old low growth, Thomsen called for labour...

EU countries stall EIB plans to phase out funding for fossil fuels

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) on 15 October postponed taking a decision to next month on whether to phase out lending to fossil fuels, following objections from the European Commission and some EU Member...

Green light for Brexit deal from Brussels, but will London see it through?

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The EU and the UK government have a deal. The parliament is a different question. "We have arrived at an agreement with the British government on an ordered withdrawal of the United Kingdom and the...

Waiting for Romania

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Romania's Social Democrats-led government collapsed on 10 October after failing to secure a confidence vote. This now leaves the country's president Klaus Johannis in the position of having to appoint an interim prime minister who...

Von der Leyen faces cabinet deadlines as Romania, Hungary and France delay new EU...

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Deadlines are fast approaching for the formation of Ursula von der Leyen's cabinet are the confirmation process has yet to come to an end. The Commission’s official announcements stated that they cannot speculate on the...

Do it the European way and forget Sylvie Goulard quickly – the EU has...

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Those who’ve been in Brussels for a couple of decades might barely remember Rocco Buttiglione, the Italy Commissioner-designate that got rejected over his not so politically correct (even for 2004) views and public statements....

Tough close to second week of hearings for von der Leyen Commission

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The second week of the European Parliament’s confirmation hearings for the next European Commission came to an end on Tuesday 8 October. The process was marked by success all but one designate tapped by European...

Brussels intensifies its analysis of third-party cybersecurity threats in 5G networks

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5G networks are a key asset for Europe as it hopes to become a global leader in the cellular network technology sector as fifth-generation mobile networks become the backbone for a wide range of...

Timmermans wins EU Parliament’s support to become new climate chief

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Frans Timmermans will become Europe's new climate chief after getting Parliament's green light on 10 October. The Dutch-designate, tapped by Ursula von der Leyen for European Green Deal and Climate Action, was considered "the...

60% of Europeans are unaware of EU-funded regional projects

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Major deficiencies in the communication process between the EU, the bloc's 28 national governments, and the local authorities recently came to light when a Eurobarometer survey revealed that a whopping 60% of those who...

Europe needs to move quickly towards sustainability

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The EU must immediately move towards sustainability, according to the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), which also raised the alarm about the lack of political action and the slow pace in achieving the...

Their discontent, our problem

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If we have learnt anything from the last decade of European elections, it is that with all certainty we can say two things: (a) That European citizens are supportive of the European Union, and...

European Commission hearings: The winners and losers of week one

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At the end of the first week of public hearings of commissioners-designate, which was held between 30 September and 3 October, 19 candidates were up for their proposed posts. The last fortnight has had it...

EU Member States, corporates to help meet climate targets

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AMSTERDAM – The governments of the EU Member States need to be more specific about the detailed policy instruments they’re going to be pursuing to meet their climate targets, Wind Europe CEO Giles Dickson...

US gets WTO approval to introduce punitive tariffs on EU products over Airbus row

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The United States secured the approval of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to slap import tariffs on goods worth $7.5bn on Wednesday. The volume of the tariffs is not significant in its own right,...

Juncker responds to Johnson’s ‘problematic’ Brexit proposal: Solution must meet all backstop objectives

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In a call to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has made an initial response to the former's latest Brexit proposal which aims to deal with the issue of the border...

UK makes Brexit proposal to EU without ‘backstop’

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The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has written to European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, outlining his new plan for the Irish border, which has been the major sticking point in the negotiations for the UK's...

Romania to nominate new Commissioner

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Romania will propose a new EU commissioner designate, to replace Rovana Plumb, who was rejected by the European Parliament last week. The announcement by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila on Monday should allow the new Ursula...

Urpilainen pushes for sustainable development and international cooperation

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Finland’s Commissioner-designate for International Partnerships, Jutta Urpilainen, appeared to have left a good impression on the EU’s Development Committee during her 1 October confirmation hearing when she indicated that the agenda for Europe’s 2030...

Social investment, sustainable economy dominate Schmit’s hearing at the EU Parliament

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Nicolas Schmit, the Luxembourgish politician who was tapped by incoming EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as Europe’s jobs chief, said during his confirmation hearing on 1 October that he is committed to...

Juncker Plan to support energy-efficient housing in Sweden

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The European Investment Bank announced on 30 September that it is providing €300 million of financing under the Juncker Plan's European Fund for Strategic Investments to the Swedish residential company Heimstaden Bostad, to develop...

Libra not likely to launch by 2020

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The launch of the Libra cryptocurrency is postponed, the head of the 28-member Libra Association Bertrand Perez told Reuters on Friday. “We knew that we would have to answer lots of questions coming from regulators...

The road ahead for the EU and Italy

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Interview with Antonio Tajani With the dust settling following the formation of a new pro-EU coalition government in Italy and the naming of Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission the former President of the EU Parliament...

Von der Leyen faces dilemma as OLAF concludes Polish Commissioner-designate Wojciechowski must return €11,243

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The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has concluded its investigation of Polish Commissioner-designate Janusz Wojciechowski and recommended the European Parliament recover €11,243 that had been unduly paid to him while he was a Member of...

Google wins court battle against “right to be forgotten”

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The Google search engine has won a court battle in the European Court of Justice against the “right to be forgotten” on Tuesday. Google pitted the public’s “right to know” against the European Commissions advocacy...

MEDREG backs South Mediterranean energy regulatory reforms

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The future of energy cooperation in the Mediterranean was highlighted during a conference on MEDREG’s support to energy regulatory reforms in the Southern Mediterranean on 19 September 2019 in Brussels. The president of the Association...

The world has a moral responsibility to combat climate change

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Ignoring the thousands of people taking the streets each week demanding world leaders to keep the promises made when they signed the UN climate Paris Accord in 2015, would be not only an environmental...

Russia, Ukraine OK with EU law for gas transit

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On 19 September in Brussels, Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission held trilateral gas talks at a political level on the long-term transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe as of next year...

EU Commission clears E.ON’s acquisition of Innogy under conditions

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Germany’s E.ON took a step closer on 17 September in acquiring Innogy’s distribution and consumer solutions business as well as certain of its electricity generation assets after the European Commission gave its approval but...

EU Court hears Apple’s €13bn tax bill case

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Representatives from Apple, Ireland and the EU appeared in front of the EU General Court in Luxembourg on Tuesday. Apple is contesting a 2016 order by European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager to pay back €13bn...

EU to help modernise Czech Republic’s electricity system

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In an effort to increase energy security in the Czech Republic, the European Union is investing more than €46 million from the European Regional Development Fund to modernise and extend the electricity substation of...

No breakthrough during Johnson-Juncker meeting in Luxembourg

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UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Brexit Secretary Steve Barclay met with the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barmier on Monday in Luxembourg to discuss Britain's impending withdrawal from the bloc on...

EU wants progress in Russia-Ukraine gas talks

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The European Union will host a fresh round of Trilateral Gas Talks between Russia and Ukraine on 19 September in Brussels with European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič stressing that a solution needs to...

The mother of all hearings

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As soon as the new European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, revealed on 10 September that Hungary’s former Minister of Justice Laszlo Trocsanyi was her proposed Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Policy, alarm...