European Council

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...

Spain demands more clarity about Gibraltar ahead of Brexit Summit

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As the EU-27 prepares for the November 25 Brexit Summit, the bloc's has found itself the position of having to provide Spain with further details about the status of Gibraltar, the British Overseas Territory sandwiched...

Barnier proposes extending Brexit transition period to 2022

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Europe’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier suggested during a November 19 briefing of the EU-27's European Affairs ministers that the transition period for the UK to leave the bloc could be extended to 2022. Barnier told...

Eurogroup endorses Franco-German proposal for EU budget

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Ahead of an upcoming December summit, the finance ministers of the currency union have reportedly made progress when it comes to reforming the Eurozone after a proposal tabled by France and Germany's fiscal policy heads, Bruno...

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...

Tusk announces Brussels’ next steps ahead of Nov 25 Brexit summit

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European Council President Donald Tusk confirmed that the bloc would hold a special summit to seal the hard-fought Brexit agreement with the United Kingdom at a special summit on November 25. “For my side on the next days...

EU-UK appear to agree on Brexit deal

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After months of often fraught, and sometimes quite contentious negotiations, the two teams charged with reaching an agreement the UK's relationship with the EU following the United Kingdom's Brexit next March have reached a...

Markets brace for Italy’s new budget proposal

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The global financial markets are anxiously awaiting the details of a revised draft budget for Italy,  whose Eurosceptic government is expected to present a second budget proposal to the European Commission on November 13 after...

Polish parliament questions Tusk over Amber Gold scandal

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A special parliamentary commission in Poland is currently looking into the actions of European Council President Donald Tusk and his government's responsibility for the Amber Gold pyramid scheme while he served as Poland's prime minister from 2007-2014. Amber Gold...

Eurogroup supports Commission, urges Italy to submit new budget plan

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A Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on November 5 saw the EU's finance ministers throw their support behind the European Commission's decision to reject Italy's draft budget plan for 2019 and urge the Italian government...

The Brexitisation of European politics

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Far from settling the question of the United Kingdom’s future, the 2016 Brexit referendum and subsequent negotiations with the European Union have triggered a full-blown identity crisis and culture war in Britain. Two years...

EU ministers criticise Juncker’s plan to scrap daylight time

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's plan to end the twice-annual change of the clock has recently become a major bone of contention between the national governments of the EU's 28 members and Brussels. Advocates of the...

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...

Europe’s coming year of reckoning

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Politically, 2019 will be an extraordinarily important year for the European Union. The United Kingdom is currently on track to leave the EU on March 29, 2019. And, following elections to the European Parliament in May,...

France and Germany reach an agreement on EU budget, digital tax

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Most Eurozone countries favour a common budget and a digital tax, according to French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said that after nine months a Franco-German axis affirmed on October 29 that they had...

Eurogroup to discuss Italy’s budget rejection on Nov 5

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According to a Eurozone official, the Eurogroup will reconvene for a presentation regarding the Single Supervisory Mechanism as well as a debate on growth and employment, after which the group of European finance ministers will...

EU-ASEM leaders reaffirm commitment to multilateralism and international trade rules

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The bi-annual Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), which recently wrapped up in Brussels, ended with the EU-28 leaders and their Asian counterparts reaffirming their pledge to support free trade and multilateralism in what some viewed as an open rebuke...

Austrian Chancellor Kurz says Commission must reject Italian budget

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In response to the more upbeat and conciliatory tone of Eurogroup President Mario Centeno and European Economic Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici, both of whom reiterated that a crisis between Brussels and Rome was not in either's best interest and...

EU and Singapore sign free trade agreement

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The EU and Singapore signed three agreements on the sidelines of theAsia–Europe Meeting to take their political, trade, and investment relations to a new level as the landmark trade deal aims to remove import...

European People’s Party discuses future of Hungary’s Fidesz at summit

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One of the main topics of discussion at the European People’s Party (EPP) summit on October 17 centred around the future of Hungary's controversial far-right Fidesz party, which has been in hot water with the...

EU leaders continue to pressure on UK deal amid rumours of earlier Brexit summit

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An evening meeting on Wednesday of EU leaders could be a critical moment in both Brussels and the UK's efforts to end the deadlock in the ongoing Brexit negotiations as, according to a French...

Behind the Curtain

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My name is Dr Mohammad Zahoor. I am a British citizen and for almost ten years, I was the benefactor of the Kyiv Post, Ukraine’s most important English language newspaper, very much the benchmark...

Tusk says Russia in the main threat to EU unity

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The Polish president of the European Council Donald Tusk reiterated the EU's position that Vladimir Putin’s Russia represents the biggest threat to the unity of the European Union. Speaking at a conference on the future of...

EU Council adopts conclusions on climate change

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Ahead of COP24, the European Union environment ministers on October 9 agreed their position on climate change. The Council adopted conclusions on climate change that emphasize the unprecedented urgency, which is needed to step...

Italian budget impasse shakes European markets

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Italian politics shook the Eurozone, the UK, and even China on Monday. The standoff between the European Commission, the European Council and Rome is escalating, triggering global financial tremors. Panic Monday The Euro fell to a seven-week...

€52 million grant given to Greek Defence Ministry under investigation by OLAF

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Days after three journalists were arrested in Greece following a report that Athens’ Defence Minister Panos Kammenos had misused EU migration funds, Brussels has confirmed that the European Anti-Fraud Agency (OLAF), is looking into the case after looking...

Eurogroup will assess Italy’s draft budget plan once talks in Rome end

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A grace period that extends through the end of budgetary negotiations could be given to Italy, according to Eurogroup President Mario Centeno, who made the comments during a recent meeting in Luxembourg of the informal...

Centeno says Greece must not alienate creditors, suggests budget cuts are strictly fiscal measures

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While questions about Italy’s draft budget plan dominated at the Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg, statements by the group's Portuguese president, Mario Centeno, regarding the Greek draft budget were a long-anticipated game changer for Athens as Centeno...

Will Italy Destroy the Eurozone?

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Eurosceptic discourse is now mainstream in Italy. The current government is a coalition that encompasses both the left and right traditions of sovereigntist politics. The economy is at the epicentre of this discussion, with the...

ESM reform to top Eurogroup agenda at next meeting

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The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) reform is expected to dominate the agenda at the next rendezvous of the finance ministers of the euro area set for next Monday. According to a European Union official who...

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...

UK Conservatives turn their face from Brussels to Washington

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Theresa May received no lifeline from EU heads of States in Salzburg on Thursday. The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, made clear that the UK plan “will not work” because it is undermining...

Italy and Austria no closer to resolving dual citizenship row

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In a recent meeting between Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and Austria’s Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, the former made clear that the Italian government steadfastly opposes Vienna's plant to grant Austrian passports to the German-speaking minority...

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...

Salzburg summit likely to lack EU solidarity in run-up to November Brexit meetings

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Ahead of this week’s Informal Summit in Salzburg, EU officials in Brussels have been running through the agenda as the European heads of state and government gear up for talks ranging from Brexit to the...

Merkel affirms commitment to Russian sanctions

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Germany’s commitment to sanctions on Russia until a real cease-fire is achieved in Ukraine. "Before the Minsk agreement has been implemented or progress has been made in that regard, we...

Juncker details vision for Europe in last State of the Union speech

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Speaking before the European Parliament in Strasbourg for the last time before his term expires in May 2019, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on the bloc's MEPs to no longer take their international alliances...