European Council

Brussels paves the way for pan-European private pensions

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Representatives of the EU's 28 members have paved the way for the introduction of a pan-European private pension scheme after bloc's ambassadors approved a previous agreement with the European Parliament. Individuals who want to save...

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...

Ireland’s Lane to become next Eurozone chief economist

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In a move that was widely expected, Ireland's Philip Lane is set to succeed Peter Praet as the Eurozone's chief economist. Lane, the Central Bank of Ireland’s Governor since November 2015, making him a member...

Tusk takes Brexiters to task with ‘special place in hell’ comment

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In a soundbite that will reverberate across the news landscape, European Council President Donald Tusk voiced his growing frustration with the leadership void and lack of planning by the pro-Brexit camp that is leading Britain to...

Welcome North Macedonia!

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As most readers will know, the contentious Greek ratification procedure for the Prespes Agreement ended with its passage in a vote January 25, with a margin of just three votes (153/300).  That deal, signed...

EU issues ultimatum to Venezuela’s Maduro as crisis intensifies

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A week after mass protests broke out in Venezuela's capital, Caracas, which called for the ouster of the country's embattled authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro, the European Union has given the radical leftist the option...

EU sanctions senior Russian intelligence officials over Salisbury poisonings

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The European Union has put sanctions on senior officials from Russia's military intelligence agency, the GRU, nearly a year after a former Russian spy and his daughter were poisoned in the British city of...

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...

Italy’s budget issue takes centre-stage at Eurogroup meeting

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The 19 finance ministers of the Euro that are known as the Eurogroup touched upon the issue of an agreement reached by the European Commission and the Italian government on the latter's draft budgetary plan...

Polish foreign minister proposes 5-year limited backstop to break Brexit deadlock

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While the European Commission leaves the ball in London's court in regards to the now-deadlocked Brexit negotiations, Poland’s foreign minister Jacek Czaputowicz has suggested that the contentious Irish border issue could be solved if the backstop...

Eurogroup to discuss deposit insurance scheme

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The finance ministers of the Eurozone are expected to meet on January 21 for the first Eurogroup meeting of 2019 to discuss the international role of the euro as well as the European Monetary...

Foreign Affairs Council to further develop EU’s disinformation action plan

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As part of the EU"s effort to combat outside interference in the upcoming European elections, the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels is expected in the coming weeks to discuss various methods for combatting disinformation...

Europe willing to show flexibility with UK on March 29 deadline

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During a parliamentary debate on January 16, the British Prime Minister Theresa May hinted extending the UK’s withdrawal deadline from the European Union to beyond the March 29 date that had been in place...

EU institutions to introduce stricter rules on political party funding 

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Just over four months before EU voters go to the polls, the European Parliament and European Council reached provisional agreement to tighten the rules on political party funding, according to the European Commission’s proposal. The...

EU closer to new rules for generic pharmaceutical exports

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New rules that will boost the export of generic medicines and biosimilar products to third countries got the stamp of approval from the EU's 28 ambassadors after they agreed to adopt the European Council's...

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...

Council adopts plans for EU space programme and new Prague-based agency

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The European Council has approved the basic details of the bloc's 2021-2027 space programme but has not determined its budget despite the legislative package including projects aimed at building a new EU Agency that would...

EU electricity market rules deal wraps up Clean Energy package

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After marathon negotiations, new rules for making the EU’s electricity market work better have been provisionally agreed by negotiators from the European Council, the Parliament and the Commission in the early hours of December...

EU leaders take incremental steps towards tentative reforms

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The leaders of the European Union's 27 members signed off on a proposal at a December 14 Eurogroup meeting for future reforms in the Eurozone, though no final deal on a Eurozone budget was...

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...

EU prepares for no-deal Brexit

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UK Prime Minister Theresa May may not have left her meetings in Brussels with EU leaders empty handed, however the assurances she secured from the EU-27 are far more limited than what the embattled British prime minister was...

EU prolongs economic sanctions against Russia

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The European Union has extended its targeted economic sanctions against Russia for its ongoing role as both a supporter and participant in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, which included an incident in the Kerch...

EU could offer Brexit clarifications to May at upcoming summit

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As the British prime minister awaits for the non-confidence vote in the House of Commons, EU officials are preparing for a two-day summit in Brussels with British Prime Minister Theresa May only days after the latter...

Ukraine wants maximum EU pressure put on Russia after Kerch incident

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Speaking in front of the journalists on December 10, Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Minister Pavlo Klimkin claimed Brussels had promised to step up its efforts and push Moscow to release the 24 Ukrainian sailors that...

Tusk calls for Brexit Summit after May delays parliament vote

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European Council President Donald Tusk announced that an extraordinary meeting would be convened after UK Prime Minister Theresa May made the stunning announcement that she would postpone a landmark vote in the British House of Commons on an...

French and German digital tax plans watered down

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During an extended meeting of the EU finance ministers of finance in Brussels, the two key players of the Eurozone - Germany and France - decided to set aside plans for an ambitious Europe-wide digital tax...

Romania’s “Secret Protocols” cast a deep shadow over its upcoming EU Presidency

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As the January 1 inauguration of Romania’s European Council Presidency approaches, concerns have been raised from many quarters about the country’s readiness to handle the challenges ahead.  A major contributing factor to the sense...

Germany stops short of backing European Banking Union

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German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz has said that he wants to see the Eurozone members approve a widening of the competence for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund by December 3 as a way...

British PM May heads home to pitch “best possible deal” Brexit campaign

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All eyes are now fixed on  British Prime Minister Theresa May and her campaign to get openly hostile UK lawmakers from both sides of the debate to back the Brexit deal that she and...

EU leaders endorse Brexit deal

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After nearly two years of fraught negotiations, the 27 leaders of the EU endorsed two plans known as the Withdrawal Agreement and the Joint Political Declaration which will act as the official framework for the United Kingdom...

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...

Why Italy’s newly proposed budget is the right step forward

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New Europe’s Federico Grandesso spoke exclusively with Massimo Bitonci, Italy's Under Secretary for Economy and Finance, who underlined the positives of the Italian budget plan that was recently rejected by the European Commission, and also discussed some weaknesses that...

Commission to submit new EU Budget proposal as negotiations fail

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The EU will be forced to resubmit a draft proposal for the bloc's 2019 budget after negotiators failed to reach an agreement which forces the bloc to pin its hopes on talks scheduled for December. “Unfortunately,...

Spanish PM Sánchez threatens to vote no over Gibraltar

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Spain's Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced on November 20 that he would vote against the draft Brexit agreement if the text concerning the status of Gibraltar is not amended. "As things stand today, if there are...