European Council

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...

Italian government signals willingness to compromise on deficit

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In a Eurogroup meeting on September 7, Italy Economy Minister Giovanni Tria offered reassurances that his government will not breach the EU's mandated 3% deficit ceiling and promised to cut spending both this year and...

Warsaw demands bigger role in European Investment Bank

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EU finance ministers meet on Friday in Vienna to negotiate how the UK’s share in the European Investment Bank (EIB) is going to be replaced, with Poland demanding an increased share. Poland is threatening to...

Europe’s Populist Fifth Column

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European security currently rests essentially on the NATO alliance and the principle of mutual defence, and on cooperation between national intelligence services working to prevent violence against people and national assets. But in an...

Czechs and Slovaks mark 50 years since Prague Spring, but politics of memory cast...

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One of the most tragic and bitter episodes in modern European history was marked on August 20 as both the Czech Republic and Slovakia, who were the united entity of Czechoslovakia until 1993, marked...

How Europe Can Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Power

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US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker may have averted a trade war last month, but the challenges confronting the European Union are far from resolved. In today’s increasingly Hobbesian global environment, the...

May seeks Macron’s help in bypassing Brussels

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The UK wants to intensify Brexit negotiations according to Britain's new Brexit Minister Dominic Raab following his first meeting with the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels and ahead of formal negotiations between Brussels and London that...

Belgium to impose security check fee on Brussels press corps

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The European Council announced on July 31 that a €50 per semester fee will be imposed on certain members of the Brussels press corps, in line with a new Belgian law, to cover the...

Reclaiming European Sovereignty

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After US President Donald Trump’s recent European tour – which culminated in his infamous press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin – there can no longer be any doubt that he and his supporters want to...

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...

Mogherini hopes Trump and Putin reach arms control agreement

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The High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union Federica Mogherini, said on Monday after the summit between US President Donald J. Trump and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that she hoped that the two can...

Italy’s European Affairs Minister makes clear Rome is moving away from deficit reduction

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Italy’s European Affairs Minister Paolo Savona has proposed that Italy invest €50 billion, or 2,7% of its GDP, into its debt crisis by stimulating growth rather than fiscal consolidation measures. Savona, firebrand Eurosceptic is a former industry minister...

Eurogroup backs Bulgaria to join Eurozone by July 2019

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The EU’s poorest Member State, Bulgaria, is now a step closer to the euro after the 19 finance ministers of the Eurogroup agreed that Sofia should become the 20th country in the Eurozone by July 2019. The...

A torrent of accusations and acrimony mark first day of NATO summit

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A  heated verbal exchange broke out between Turkish Foreign Affairs Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu and Germany’s Minister of Defence, Ursula von der Leyen over a decision by the Turkish government to purchase Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft...

Tusk slams Trump, says ‘US won’t get a better ally than the EU’

European Council President Donald Tusk took US President Donald J. Trump to task on the eve of a key two-day NATO summit that will be held in the European Union's de facto capital of Brussels from July...

US’ new ambassador to EU arrives in Brussels

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With all eyes turned towards Brussels in anticipation of a highly anticipated NATO summit set for later in the week, Gordon Sondland, a hotelier-turned-United States Ambassador to the European Union, arrived in the EU...

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...

Germany, Austria, Italy raise the prospect of 2015-type border disruptions

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Germany, Austria and Italy threaten the EU with a suspension of the Schengen zone, in a repeat of the 2015 domino effect that saw the reintroduction of border controls. Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed with her...

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...

Boosting solidarity, EU inks Baltic electricity synchronization roadmap

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The European Union signed the Political Roadmap on the Electricity Synchronisation at a special ceremony in Brussels on June 28, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė, Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas,...

Italy blocks first day of EU Summit conclusions

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European leaders gathering in Brussels for the first time since a right-wing, populist government came to power in Italy and at a time when German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition partner, the Bavarian CSU, is...

Italy calls for de-escalation of EU sanctions against Russia

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EU sanctions against Russia should be scaled back to allow for the resumption of funding of Russian SMEs operating in Br, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Wednesday. On Thursday Conte is expected...

MV Lifeline enters Maltese territorial waters after negotiations between Macron, Conte and Muscat

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The migrant rescue ship MV Lifeline entered into Maltese territorial waters on Wednesday to weather out difficult conditions onboard. The ship is off the Maltese coast for five days. Currently, the boat carries 70 unaccompanied minors, 14...

Eurogroup to examine sovereign debt restructuring procedure

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Eurogroup President Mario Centeno will seek a mandate to define the process of sovereign public debt restructuring. His announcement came after the publication of a letter addressed to European Council President Donald Tusk ahead of the EU...

More than half of Eurozone members oppose Franco-German euro-budget plan

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 French President Emmanuel Macron budget proposal for the currency area has received a cool reception from 12 of the 19 Eurozone members, despite having the backing of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra and Eurogroup...

Eurogroup seals Greek debt relief agreement after marathon session

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After months of intense talks, Greece’s creditors reached an agreement on June 21 during a Eurogroup meeting in Luxembourg to provide Athens with much-needed debt relief and also signed off on a post-bailout monitoring arrangement...

Name Dispute: Rough sailing for ratification procedures despite quick work in Skopje

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The Parliament in Skopje quickly ratified the historic June 17 Prespes Agreement resolving the Name Dispute with Greece, but the required steps to get the deal to come into force in both countries resembles...

Greece’s creditors reach deal on debt relief measures

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The European Commission, European Stability Mechanism, European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have all agreed with the Eurozone's 19 finance ministers of the Eurozone to extend Greece's repayment period by 10 years on...

Clock ticking for Eurogroup’s Greek debt sustainability measures

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With the 19 Eurozone members' finance ministers meeting in Luxembourg to discuss the group's debt relief package for Greece and reforms to the Economic Monetary Union (EMU), Eurogroup President Mario Centeno emphasised that the day's meetings...

EU extends sanctions on Russia over Crimea annexation

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The EU has extended its sanctions against Russia for a year as part of Brussels’ response to Moscow's invasion and illegal annexation of Crimea, including its strategic Black Sea port city of Sevastopol. In its statement, the...