European Council

Brussels tells budget surplus states to spend more

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With Eurozone economic growth in negative territory and inflation subdued, the European Central Bank and the European Commission are putting pressure on countries to match a fiscal stimulus with an expansionary budget. The European Central...

EU fails to seal migrant redistribution deal

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An EU interior minister meeting on migrants in Luxembourg does not appear to have yielded a final deal on migrant redistribution. Earlier on Tuesday, French EU Minister Amélie de Montchalin said 10 countries were ready...

UK markets plummet as Brexit deal appears “impossible”

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The UK stock market nosedived on Tuesday as the UK government appears to be politically ready for a no-deal Brexit. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, took to Twitter to publicly asked the...

Eurozone unemployment continues to slide even as growth decelerates

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Unemployment is falling even as the economy is slowing down in the eurozone. The biggest decline in countries with the highest jobless rate:  Spanish unemployment went from 13.8% in August from 13.9% in July and...

Italy seeks expansionary budget

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The political parties supporting Premier Giuseppe Conte's coalition government have come to a consensus over budgetary policy. Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri of the Democratic Party (PD) has drafted the 2020 budget law that averts a...

Greek government moves to improve management of refugee crisis

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ATHENS – Amidst a major uptick in the number of migrant arrivals landing on Greece’s eastern Aegean Islands, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis summoned his cabinet on 30 September for talks on how to...

Zaev-Mitsotakis New York meeting – breaking the ice

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The prime ministers of Greece and North Macedonia held their first face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) 24 September, ending a long period since the 7 July...

Britain submits written Withdrawal Agreement proposals

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Britain's Brexit minister Secretary Stephen Barclay is meeting the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier on Friday, only a day after the President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker expressed the certainty that a...

Tusk makes final push in support of Western Balkans enlargement

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Outgoing European Council President Donald Tusk devoted his time on 16 September to make a final push in support of the EU accession aspirations of both Albania and North Macedonia, both of which remain...

Eurozone divided over stimulus policy

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Mario Draghi’s monetary policy package announced is being fiercely contested and may no longer be sufficient to stave off a recession across the whole of the Eurozone. Draghi has argued that the Eurozone’s economy is...

Italy requests a fiscal time-out to boost growth

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Following a meeting with the President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Italian premier Minister Giuseppe Conte asked for fiscal space to restart the Italian economy. Addressing the press, Conte said that the...

The EU rethinks the Fiscal Compact

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It appears that the consensus over a fiscally tight, export-driven EU economy is contested. The Finnish Council Presidency will table a proposal for the review of the fiscal compact on Saturday’s Eurogroup, Reuters reports. According...

Boris Johnson faces parliaments’ last-ditch attempt to avert no-deal Brexit on Tuesday

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Boris Johnson’s government is preparing to resist the parliaments’ last attempt to stop a no-deal Brexit. The two prevailing scenarios are that MPs will attempt to push the government to ask for an extension...

No-deal Brexit likely as Boris Johnson suspends parliament

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Boris Johnson landmark decision to suspend parliament has been nothing short of an earthquake for Britain's political establishment. Some MPs have called Johnson out violating the spirit of the UK's 800-year-old constitutional tradition. Johnson, however,...

Finland asks EU to utilise full toolkit on Amazon fires

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Ahead of Thursday’s Informal Foreign Affairs Council in Helsinki, Finland urges the EY to use all the tools at its disposal to stop fires in the Amazon rainforest. The Nordic nation, which currently holds the...

World Bank CEO Georgieva picked as Europe’s nominee to lead IMF

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After tapping IMF chief Christine Lagarde to head the European Central Bank, the EU has put forward another powerful woman's name to take the reigns at the International Monetary Fund with the official nomination...

BMW sponsorship of Finnish Council Presidency triggers EU probe

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The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly is launching a probe on Finland’s BMW-sponsored six-month European Council Presidency. BMW will be providing 100 vehicles for EU delegations in Helsinki. Corporate sponsoring of the EU presidency is a...

Finnish presidency sets August 26 as MFF deadline for budget priorities 

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Informing the EU affairs ministers about plans for work on a multi-annual financial framework (MFF) for 2021-2027, the Finnish presidency has set a deadline for the other 27 members of the European Union to...

Timmermans says EU Commission under von der Leyen will be tough on rule of...

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European Commission First Vice-president Frans Timmermans said during a press conference following an EU affairs meeting in Brussels that he has no doubt that incoming Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen will be as...

Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation and a threat to Europe

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If Europe is serious about combating antisemitism, the Lebanon-based global terror group Hezbollah must be stopped in its tracks. As we marked on 18 July the seventh anniversary of the suicide bombing in Burgas,...

Mogherini says Brussels is not ready to trigger Iran nuclear deal dispute mechanism

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The EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, has declared that the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, widely known as the Iran nuclear deal, have not detected any significant non-compliance by Tehran...

Mogherini says “there is no alternative” to Iran nuclear deal

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The EU’s External Action Service chief Federica Mogherini invited Iran on Monday to “reverse its steps” and go back to the 2015 nuclear deal. Addressing the press after a foreign ministers council in Brussels, Mogherini...

Italy to challenge Lagarde’s nomination and fiscal compact

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Italy could challenge the choice of Christine Lagarde for the Presidency of the European Central Bank (ECB) while also calling into question the fiscal compact, which frames budgetary policy within the Eurozone. In an interview...

Turkey rebuffs calls to back off Cyprus gas hunt

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Turkey has denied claims it is acting illegally by drilling for gas in waters off Cyprus with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying on 14 July his country would continue to drill off the island...

Italy calls for Eurobonds without debt mutualisation

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The European Affairs Minister of the Italian Government, Paolo Savona, is calling for a European bond amid renewed economic volatility. In an open letter to the Financial Times on Wednesday, Savona calls for “an asset”...

Eurozone ministers welcome Croatia’s bid to join ERM II

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The prospects for Croatia's participation in the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM II) were discussed in Brussels by the Eurozone finance ministers on 9 July, all of whom welcomed Zagreb's formal bid to join the list candidates...

EU finds compromise to maintain status quo

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The heads of state, key political actors and Brussels-watchers alike will tell anyone who cared enough to follow the European Union’s top jobs saga (that is, not the citizens of Europe). A pat on...

Juncker: Decision for Ursula von der Leyen’s nomination was not very transparent

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European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, says that the appointment of Germany's Ursula von der Leyen as his successor, was not very transparent. The outgoing President of the EU's executive, said on Friday that the process...

Michel ready for the challenge as president-elect of the EU Council

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With days of contentious negotiations behind them, the EU's leaders have settled on Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel to be the new president of the European Council. "This is a big responsibility,” said Michel who added that he...

Weber drops EU top job bid as Europe’s leaders abandon Spitzenkandidat process

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The group president of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, has ended his bid to become president of the European Commission after the leaders of the EU moved to abandon the lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidaten, system. During the EPP Group...

EU heads back Germany’s von der Leyen to be new Commission president

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The European Union's leaders have thrown their weight behind German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen to become the new president of the European Commission, a development that came after a marathon of contentious...

European Parliament may block EU leaders’ agreement for top jobs

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The leaders of Europe having resumed their session at the European Council after hours of delays and their focus is shifting to Strasbourg where the European Parliament is holding its first session this term...

Macron slams fellow EU leaders as talks for top jobs stall

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French President Emmanuel Macron lashed out at fellow EU leaders following a marathon 20-hour negotiating session that failed to decide who will lead the bloc during the next term. “We cannot hold talks with world leaders, in...

Tusk suspends EU top marathon Summit meeting for Tuesday, Timmermans still leads race

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European Council President Donald Tusk has suspended the EU top jobs summit meeting and called for leaders to meet again on Tuesday morning to decide who will lead Europe's institutions more than a month of EU citizens...

NATO needs unity

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During the same week that the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe – PACE – voted to allow Russia back into Europe’s main human rights body five years after being barred for invading neighbouring Ukraine,...

When Borissov met Frans: a deal in the making?

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov left the European Council meeting to meet Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans at the Bulgarian permanent representation at midnight, a video was posted on Borissov’s Facebook with him commenting on the...

Merkel’s plan for Timmermans presidency collapses as EPP revolts

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" Who enters as a Pope, leaves as a Cardinal,” were the words of an EU diplomat as the Osaka G20 leaders’ plan to have the Party of European Socialists Spitzenkandidat, Frans Timmermans, as the head...