European Council

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...

Timmermans tipped as Spitzen favourite for EU Commission presidency ahead of top-job Summit 

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The EU-28 leaders are set to convene again to forge a consensus over who will hold the bloc's top jobs on Sunday evening in Brussels, with the latest buzz on the top jobs saga putting...

EU-Morocco further align policies with joint declaration

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EU and Morocco appeared determined to provide “new impetus to their strategic, multidimensional, and privileged relationship" at last Thursday’s Association Council in Brussels. After the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini...

Europe can help Georgia’s protestors preserve the country’s hard-won freedom

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There are not a lot of things in this world that we agree on. Left or Right. For or against immigration. Netflix or the big screen. Still, there are a few that we do...

Making peace with violence and a disinformation machine

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On 24 June, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) reinstalled Russia’s voting rights in the institution charged with upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The rights were suspended...

EU eyeing possible sanctions on Turkey over ‘illegal drilling’ in East Med

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EU leaders condemned late on 20 June “Turkey's continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea,” saying the European Union would now consider what measures to take in response, a move...

EU leaders fail to commit to 2050 climate carbon neutrality goals

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European leaders have failed to commit to carbon neutrality by 2050 during a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on 20 June. The failure to garner enough support for a full commitment to go "climate neutral,...

EPP keeps standing ‘united’ under Weber’s Commission bid

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The European People’s Party (EPP) leaders reiterated their “unwavering” for the Spitzenkandidat Manfred Weber, saying, “the EPP pioneered the democratic and transparent Spitzenkandidat process as a means of bringing Europe closer to the people. We remain committed...

As enlargement discussions freeze, aspirants twist in the wind

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Discussions in Luxembourg regarding EU enlargement in the Western Balkans made little headway this past week, despite the threat from North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev that he would call elections if a date...

Tusk “cautiously optimistic” on top EU jobs nominations at EU Summit

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The President of the European Council. Donald Tusk wrote on Wednesday in a letter to EU leaders that he is "cautiously optimistic" that a swift process to determine the future leadership of the European Union looks...

Migration and external border protection, climate strategy to top EU strategic agenda

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Migration and the protection of the EU's external borders will be at the top of the strategic priorities that the EU-28 are expected to adopt at the first working session at the European Council...

EU to examine ‘appropriate’ measures against Turkey and companies

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The European Union is looking into taking what it calls “appropriate” measures against Turkey amid rising tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean continue to mount as a result of the Turkish government's refusal to halt their gas drilling activities in...

EU considers freezing Customs Union negotiations with Turkey

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Amid growing concerns about the aggressive offshore drilling activities that are currently being carried out near the Cypriot coast by the Turkish government, the European Union is mulling putting Ankara's accession chapters under discussion ahead of the European Council...

Enlargement, going back to square one

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North Macedonia and Albania are inexorably tied by the delay in their long course to join Europe, yet for different reasons. Albania has the perpetual problem of narcotics production that cannot be overcome unless Tirana...

The collapse of the ‘Big Tent’

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What are the first words that come to one’s mind when America’s tumultuous 1960s are mentioned? That decade saw social and societal change aplenty, on both sides of the Atlantic. With certainty, it is...

Potential inclusion of Roma and Traveller history education

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The Council of Europe’s Committee of Experts on Roma and Traveller Issues will convene in Toulouse, France on 11 to 14 June to work towards the potential implementation of Roma and Traveller history into...

In defence of the Spitzenkandidaten process

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Emmanuel Macron is right when he does not trust that Manfred Werber would be a good President of the European Commission. I would certainly not vote for Weber: during his campaign he remained grey,...

Council numbers crunching

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The hunting season has officially been declared in the aftermath of an informal dinner on 28 May between the leaders of the EU after the European Parliament elections, which itself followed an earlier attempt...

Tusk says being a leading candidate does not disqualify anyone for the EU’s top...

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Amid an increasingly acrimonious debate over who will succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker for the bloc's top job, European Council head, Donald Tusk, said that no names were discussed during a Tuesday dinner between the EU-28's leaders. "We...

Merkel and Macron disagree over choices for EU top jobs

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Two days after the elections, heated discussions between the leaders of the EU's 28 members are in full swing over who will succeed European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with evident opinion clashes between the German chancellor Angela...