European Council

Greece’s surplus target to be missed warns ESM’s Regling

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The economic situation in Greece may not have officially been on the Eurogroup agenda, but the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) Managing Director, Klaus Regling, is ringing the alarm bell for Athens.  According to Regling, Greece's...

EU Ombudsman demands more openness from Eurogroup

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An investigation into transparency at the Eurogroup, the monthly meeting of finance ministers of the Eurozone, by the EU's Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly, who believes that more needs to be done to better inform the...

Eurogroup concerned about Greek PM’s handout plan ahead of EU elections

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Brussels and a number of eurozone member states are believed to be deeply concerned about Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' announcement that he plans to introduce a series of high-cost social benefits ahead of the European...

EU’s Tusk warns Turkey over gas drilling as Cyprus demands sanctions

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The European Union has warned Turkey about drilling off the coast of EU-member Cyprus as several leaders voiced support for sanctions against Turkish companies. As tension escalates in the Mediterranean, the EU-27 at the Sibiu Summit in Romania on...

‘Atlantic Alliance’ calls for ambitious EU climate change agenda

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Less than half of the leaders of EU-27 have gathered in Sibiu, Romania for a summit focusing on the future of the bloc that includes a climate change agenda. A so-called "Atlantic Alliance" led by liberals...

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...

Japan’s Abe warns says no-deal Brexit must be avoided

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphatically came out against a no-deal Brexit while in Brussels to take part in an EU Summit and warned his British counterpart, Theresa May, that the UK's withdrawal from the European Union without an exit deal...

The Realities of the European Council

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The nomination for the next President of the European Commission is dominating political analysis in Brussels and beyond. Most focus on the European Parliament’s elections, which is understandable as it is the new legislature...

Nord Stream-2 submits 3rd route option in Denmark

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Nord Stream-2 said on 15 April that the company had submitted an application for a third route option for the pipeline from Russia to Germany in the Danish exclusive economic zone (EEZ), accusing Denmark...

EU Council green lights Copyright reforms

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The EU Council has approved a controversial copyright law aimed at guaranteeing that artists and news outlets receive their fair share of royalties for published material that appears online. The proposed reforms have, however, triggered Europe-wide protests over...

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...

May secures early out clause after French hardliners agree on extension

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Theresa May, the UK's embattled prime minister who is spending most of what remains of her political capital on steering her country through the ongoing quagmire of Brexit negotiations, has made her intentions for moving...

EU Agrees to Extend Brexit to 31 October

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Two days before the UK was due to depart from the EU, the leaders of the bloc are poised to offer the UK a Brexit extension until the end of October, with a review in...

EU hardens stance as Brexit extension debate continues in Brussels

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After meeting with EU leaders at an extraordinary summit in Brussels, British Prime Minister Theresa May has signalled that she would accept the EU’s offer of a lengthy delay for Brexit as it would give the UK more...

Tusk pushes for extending Brexit deadline to next year

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British Prime Minister Theresa May’s request for a short Brexit extension request to 30 June 30 was met with a mixed reaction by the remaining 27 EU members, most of whom remain divided on the...

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...

House of Commons rejects May’s deal for third time

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A third vote on the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement was overwhelmingly rejected by the British House of Commons on 29 March by a 344 to 286 vote, leaving the open the question of general election...

Greece’s pending insolvency law could delay Eurogroup’s support for disbursement 

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The upcoming Bucharest Eurogroup meeting is still a long way off from a consensus concerning Greece’s progress to the pending deliverables of the second post-programme surveillance report that will allow the disbursement of €1 billion...

EU-27 approve 12 April Brexit extension without conditions; 22 May conditionally

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A unanimous agreement of the EU-27 heads of state and government was reached in Brussels, just before midnight, extending the original 29 March, 2019 deadline to April 12, 2019 - just two weeks down...

Tusk offers to extend Brexit to 22 May

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European Council President Donald Tusk tabled a proposal on behalf of the EU-27 to grant a conditional Brexit extension until 22 May, more than a month earlier than what May had hoped for when she...

Macron says hard Brexit guaranteed if May fails to ratify withdrawal deal

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British Prime Minister Theresa May arrived in Brussels on 21 March to push her one-off request for a three-month extension for the Brexit date, which would extend well past the European parliamentary elections that are...

EU’s Tusk says short conditional extension of Brexit is possible

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European Council President Donald Tusk indicated that Brussels would be open to the idea of extending the Brexit date to beyond 29 March if the United Kingdom provided a guarantee that the twice-defeated Withdrawal...

China launches verbal attack on EU over Huawei controversy

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Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s trip to Brussels on 18 March included a public rebuke of the EU for what he described as "abnormal and immoral" attacks against telecom giant Huawei, which has drawn the attention...

May to put Withdrawal Agreement to third Commons vote

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Less than 24 hours after suffering a second crushing defeat in as many days. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will make a third attempt to get her EU withdrawal deal through parliament in order to define the extension...

Parliament and Council reach environment and climate funding deal

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The Parliament and Council of the European Union have reached a provisional agreement on the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action, as part of the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027. The funding will...

UAE, Aruba, Bermuda amongst EU’s revised blacklist of tax havens

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As part of its efforts to crack down the transfer of illicit funds, the EU broadened its blacklist of tax heavens during an Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) meeting of the bloc's finance ministers...

EU creditors delay Greece’s post-bailout tranche as deliverables remain

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Eurozone officials refused to grant further €1 billion of debt relief to Greece after the government failed to implement reforms that were required under the EU's bailout programme that came to an end in 2018. EU officials said, specifically,...

Eurogroup says Latvia’s budget plan is ‘broadly compliant’ with bloc’s stability pact

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The 19 ministers of the Eurozone welcomed Latvia's submission of an updated draft budgetary plan (DBP) for 2019. The Eurogroup ministers requested from Riga a draft budget plan that had to be submitted during the...

Commission accepts deal on improving SME’s access to capital markets

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As part of Capital Markets Union, the European Commission accepted an agreement reached by the European Parliament and the bloc's 28 members on helping Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) with gaining further access to capital...

EU Council adopts decision to align cross-border euro payments

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The European Council on March 4 adopted a regulation on aligning the cost of cross-border euro payments between countries both inside and outside the Eurozone and also moved to increase the transparency of charges related to EU-wide...

Low-carbon benchmarks deal reached by EU Council and Parliament

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The European Parliament and the Member States reached a political agreement on February 25 on a new generation of low-carbon benchmarks needed to help boost investment in sustainable projects and assets. The European Parliament and...

EU’s Tusk says a Brexit delay would be ‘rational’ 

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European Council President Donald Tusk hinted that the European Union is open to a possible delay of Brexit beyond the originally scheduled March 29 deadline set by the UK after the 2016 referendum which saw a...

Commission modifies calculation method for financial sanctions

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The EU Commission has presented a modification to its calculation methodology for financial sanctions proposed to Europe's Court of Justice regarding infringement proceedings. According to the EU Treaty, the Commission is entitled to send any of the...

Copyright reform backed by EU governments

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The EU's 28 members have backed the bloc's copyright rules that would force Google and Facebook to compensate publishers, while copyrighted content will now have to be filleted by YouTube or Instagram. A majority of...

EU Foreign Ministers call for strengthened climate fight

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The European Council on February 18 adopted conclusions on climate diplomacy after the EU's foreign affairs ministers welcomed the Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral Europe. The ministers also called for urgent and...

Mogherini excludes EU support for military escalation in Venezuela

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The EU’s Foreign Chief, Federica Mogherini has closed the door on any speculation that the European Union would provide support for a military escalation t end the political crisis in Venezuela. "We have categorically ruled out support...

Upcoming EU foreign ministers’ meeting to cover most of the world’s hot spots

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Developments in Venezuela, Syria, Ukraine, and the Democratic Republic of Congo will be discussed at a meeting of the EU's foreign ministers that will be chaired by chaired by the European Commission's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, on...