Council Presidency

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...

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...

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,...

EU prepares for key positions race and post-Brexit life ahead of Sibiu Summit

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Europe's leaders are meeting on Thursday in Sibiu, Romania to discuss their "strategic agenda" for the next five years, including holding talks over the top contenders for major posts ahead of the European elections...

Vassilenko highlights importance of connectivity for sustainable development at High Level Conference on Central...

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The Romanian Presidency held its High Level Conference to mark the adoption of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia – Connectivity for sustainable development at the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest today. Speaking...

Italy’s economic woes overshadow Bucharest Eurogroup discussions

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Italy's current economic situation has done little to calm fears in the Eurozone as one of the EU's leading nations has found itself mired in a deep recession in recent months. Amongst this backdrop, the 19...

Small EU members say no to tax veto change at ECOFIN 

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The veto power of finance ministers was one of the main topics at a meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) on February 11, when a number of smaller EU members came out...

EU strives to secure Russian gas transit via Ukraine post-2019

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The European Commission has tabled a proposal for Russia and Ukraine, covering duration, volumes and tariffs of a future gas transit agreement via Ukraine to Europe after 2019, Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič...

Dăncilă criticises delay of Romania’s Schengen accession as Juncker returns to Brussels

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s noticeable absence from a key plenary session in Strasbourg that saw Romania's Prime Minister Viorica Dăncilă present the priorities of her country's turn heading the Presidency to the Council of the European...

Cohesion as a common European value to dominate Romanian presidency

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The permanent Representative of Romania to the European Union, Luminiţa Odobescu, presented the priorities of her country's turn in the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union, saying the Romanian presidency will focus...

EPP praises Austrian presidency’s work on Security Union

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With Austria having completed its six-month rotation chairing the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the European People’s Party (EPP) head, Joseph Daul, praised Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz "for their many achievements over the past...

Juncker casts doubt over Romania’s leadership abilities

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Ahead of Romania’s rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union takeover on January 1, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker surprised many with a strongly worded statement that called into question the Eastern European nation's...

Tech companies warn of turbulence ahead as EU-US work on trade deal

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The internet as we know it may still end. That is the stark warning delivered by a consortium of major technology companies - Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others - to the US Trade Representative...

Germany to table plan for a European Monetary Fund

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Germany is making plans for a European Monetary Fund that would act as a counterpart to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to sources in the German finance ministry. Berlin wants funds to be dispersed...

Brexit: The next steps

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UK Prime Theresa May may be having a hard time holding her government together as, as the time of print, four ministers have submitted their resignations immediately after she endorsed a Brexit deal that...

Austria follows US and Hungary as it opts out of UN migration treaty

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The arch-conservative government Austria, the current chair of the European Council's rotating presidency, has decided to follow the lead ideological allies the United States and Hungary in backing out of a United Nations migration pact. The...

EU-Russia boost consultations on drugs

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The European Union and Russia discussed in Brussels on September 19 respective drug policies, the drug situation in Russia and EU Member States, the Mission of Russia to the EU said. The problem of new...

EU energy minsters tackle hydrogen and energy storage solutions

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At an informal meeting in the Austrian town off Linz on September 18, EU energy ministers and European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete discussed the use of hydrogen as a...

Move to grant Kosovo visa-free travel reopens contentious EU enlargement debate

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The European Commission's recent statement that Kosovo had fulfilled all of Brussels’ necessary visa liberalisation benchmarks and that the European Parliament and Council should proceed with lifting visa requirements for Kosovars has reopened a...

Kurz presses Juncker over border security

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz on July 6 confirmed that the bloc is preparing to speed up the process of enhancing its border security as part of an effort to stymie...

A lasting agreement?

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After what seemed to be an endless round of contentious talks that ran into the wee hours of Friday morning, European leaders wrapped up their two-day summit in Brussels with a tentative deal on...

EU leaders reach fragile migration deal after marathon haggle

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EU leaders have reached what they describe as a "breakthrough" deal on migration in the early hours of Friday, but the pledges made to strengthen borders were vague, and a blurry-eyed German Chancellor Angela...

EP President expects Eurosceptic mood to prevail in the next parliament

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Speaking at a press seminar to kick off the EU election campaign on May 23 in Brussels, European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said that he expects Eurosceptics to win a majority of seats in...

EU leaders agree on joint approach for Iran deal and possible US tariffs

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At the highly anticipated EU-Western Balkans Summit in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, European leaders agreed to stick to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal that US President Donald J. Trump unilaterally pulled out of...

EU ministers continue to talk Brexit despite little progress in recent months

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At the close of the EU-27 segment of the General Affairs Council on May 14 Bulgaria's Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Ekaterina Zaharieva told journalists that the European Union's Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, has...

Tusk gives Western Balkans countries hopes of EU membership

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European Council President Donald Tusk, who is on a tour of the Western Balkans countries, said Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, FYROM and Montenegro are all candidates to join the EU, even as the region remains badly...

Rutte forced to admit plans scrapping dividend tax

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The Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte was forced to unwrap documents relating to his government’s intention to scrap dividend tax for foreign investors. On Monday he promised the release of these documents. Rutte’s decision comes largely...

EU highlights energy ties with Turkey, warns against aggression at Varna summit

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With the wrap-up of a meeting on EU-Turkey relations in Varna, Bulgaria on March 26, top EU officials highlighted Turkey’s strategic role in European energy security but expressed concern over Ankara’s actions in the...

EU-Turkey summit ends with Erdogan failing to address concerns

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Despite pressure from European Union leaders, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered no answers to a long list of concerns from Brussels over Turkey’s intervention in Syria and the jailing of dozens of journalists at...

Future of Europe in focus at 2018 ACRE Summit

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The Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) gathered at Brussels' Steigenberger Wiltcher’s Hotel on March 22 to take part in a landmark summit aimed at mapping out the road ahead as Europe...

Poland’s Morawiecki says one size does not fit all

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As a keynote speaker of Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe (ACRE) summit in Brussels, Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki insisted on the importance of services and reforms in the EU that take...

EU-Turkey Summit to be held in Varna, Bulgaria in March

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An EU-Turkey Summit will be held on March 26 in Bulgaria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expected to be attendance, an EU spokesman said Tuesday. EU Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker,...

Bulgarian PM criticises EU’s migration approach

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Speaking at a conference on security and migration management in the Western Balkans in Brussels on Thursday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov lambasted the EU’s migration and asylum policy, calling it “a complete failure”. Borisov,...

EU ministers discuss asylum system overhaul, improved border management

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With Bulgaria taking its turn in the rotating presidency, Sofia hosted the first informal meeting of EU interior ministers to launch talks on one of the most contentious issues within the bloc - the overhaul of Europe's...

Bulgaria’s Borissov warns of instability risk in Balkans without EU support

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said Thursday that Brussels needed to offer a clear message on future EU membership to the countries of the Western Balkans in order to preserve stability in the region. “The...

Bulgaria to help Ankara in EU

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Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, whose country currently holds the European Union’s rotating presidency, has vowed to improve ties between Turkey and the EU. “Turkey is the EU's largest neighbour and has the largest army...