European Council

EU Energy Ministers agree position to update ACER role

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Meeting in Luxembourg on June 11, Europe’s energy ministers agreed on a text for a general approach on the proposal for a revision of the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council...

The wait is over. Name Dispute agreement comes together

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After a delayed set of phone calls June 11 and 12, and a late June 12 intervention by UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz, the prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia/FYROM apparently reached an agreement on...

Name Dispute talks hanging in the balance

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Ever since the May 28 Brussels announcement that the foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia/FYROM had finished their work and had delivered their proposals to their respective prime ministers, the world has held its...

Head of EU Asylum Office resigns; OLAF investigation ongoing

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The head of the EU’s asylum agency José Carreira, resigned from the post of the executive director of the Malta-based European Asylum Support Office (EASO). EASO issued a statement on Wednesday “releasing” Mr. Carreira from...

Italian spreads resurge as Rome retains politically combative tone

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Italians spreads have resurged as the new government as the European Central Bank (ECB) considers unwinding its quantitative easing programme and the new government retains a politically combative tone. Resurging bond yields Italian 10-year bond...

Czech PM rejects Merkel’s European border guard proposal

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The Czech Republic on June 4 rejected a proposal by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that called for a pan-European border police force. Merkel has proposed a flexible system in which states that do not want to take...

Opinion: The EU must stop wasting money on corrupt Ukrainian judges

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Western taxpayers' money has been squandered on different useful or useless projects around the world, and they must have become accustomed to it. Frankly speaking, why should Europe line the pockets of corrupt Ukrainian judges...

NATO, EU to tackle cyber threats

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BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – NATO has to take the necessary steps to protect the alliance from external cyber threats from other countries but also weaknesses within NATO, General John Allen told a closed on the...

Redefining industry’s role in European energy sector sustainability

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On June 5, another EU Sustainable Energy Week will start in Brussels, aiming at the development of common mechanisms and best practices for CO2 reduction achievements and the building of the green energy mix. A...

EU extends Syria sanctions by one year

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The European Union has extended sanctions against the Syrian government for another year, given the ongoing repression of the civilian population. A meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels agreed to roll over sanctions against...

The strategic context of the London versus Brussels Galileo standoff

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The UK will want a €1bn cash back if excluded from the Galileo programme. Raising the stakes even further, the UK claims that disrupting the UK’s participation in Galileo risks the December 2017 agreement and,...

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...

No Euro-Atlantic consensus on Iran prior to key Vienna conference

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo expressed his confidence on Tuesday that Washington will secure a European consensus over sanctions on Iran; on Wednesday, French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian reiterated that France will not...

EU agrees to kickstart trade talks with Australia, New Zealand

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European Union Trade ministers agreed on May 22 to begin free trade talks with Australia and New Zealand, a move that is aimed at demonstrating the bloc's ability to form new alliances while trade tensions continue...

EU sets dates for 2019 parliamentary elections

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The Council of the European Union on May 22 set May 23-26, 2019 as the dates for the EU's next parliamentary elections. According to the EU General Affairs Council, all ministers of the EU-28 Member States agreed...

Name Dispute negotiations: Zaev’s “Ilinden Gambit” melts down in Athens and Skopje

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Within 24 hours of the end of bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia late last week, a new potential name -- the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia -- proposed...

Name Dispute negotiations: Late nights, roadmaps, and summer summits

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The outcome of the bilateral meeting in Sofia May 17 between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia/FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev disappointed the few that held out hopes that the meeting itself would...

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...

Leak of Italian government programme rattles financial markets

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As Italy moves closer to the formation of a government between the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S) and Lega (League), a leak to Huffington Post of a 40-page policy contract between the two Eurosceptic parties that details their roadmap...

At summit on Western Balkans, EU tries not to antagonise its own members

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On Thursday, the EU will hold out, at a special summit, the prospect of membership to six western Balkan countries as early as 2025 as it seeks to breathe new life into the enlargement of...

May fails to lead her government in EU negotiations

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Theresa May is failing to broker an agreement within her cabinet as to what the British negotiating position on trade relations should be,  weeks before the June 28-29 EU Summit. The problem is the Irish question,...

Name Dispute negotiations: Getting closer, but is this just a matter of sequencing...

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While the negotiations over the Greece-Macedonia/FYROM Name Dispute returned to a faster track after the visit of UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz to Athens May 12-13, it remains unclear whether significant progress can be expected...

Brussels looks to protect EU companies after Trump quits Iran deal

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EU authorities will present, during an informal meeting that will take place in the Bulgarian capital Sofia various options to protect the economic interests of European companies, following a decision by US President Donald J. Trump...

UK centrists endorse ‘off-the-shelf’ Norway model while government is split

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Prominent Remain supporters David Miliband (Labour), Nicky Morgan (Conservatives) and Nick Clegg proposed European Economic Area (EEA) membership on Monday as the best solution for the British economy. The EEA is a political anathema for...

Budget criticised by EU-28 ministers

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The EU Member States have widely criticised the EU executive’s proposal for Europe's funding over the next decade after the European Commission proposed its proposal for the next Multi-Annual Financial Framework (MFF) for the years 2021-2027. During...

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...

Timmermans hopes for a swift solution on Polish issue

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While some progress has been achieved in talks between Poland and the European Commission to assuage Brussels' concerns about the rule of law in the large, former Communist East European nation of 40 million...

Centeno insists Staff Level Agreement for Greece possible by May 24

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In a letter addressed to the 19 finance ministers of the Eurozone, European Stability Mechanism  Chairman Mário Centeno reiterated that the main goal of the group is to reach a Staff Level Agreement by the...

Opinion: Europe needs to get tough on its last Soviet zoo

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There’s a gaping black hole in the geographic centre of Europe that no one in European Union seems to notice or even care about. This Soviet relic, with 9.5 million citizens, has its own KGB,...

We can still make it!

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After more than two months of wrangling, Italy finally has the government that it should have had in the first place -. a coalition of M5S (5-Star Movement) and LEGA (League), the anti-establishment forces...

Turkey needs greater burden-sharing in managing Syrian refugee crisis

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Turkey has maintained an open-door policy since the start of the Syrian conflict and now hosts 3.6 million refugees. Representatives of international humanitarian organisations underlined the need for a greater sharing of the refugee burden during a symposium held...

German public opinion warms to Macron’s EU reform agenda

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In an interview to German public broadcasters ARD Tagesthemen and Deutsche Welle, the French President Emmanuel Macron presented his EU reform agenda as the precondition for a strong Europe. Macron expressed “a lot of hope”...

Brussels mulls “blocking statute” to shield EU companies in Iran from US sanctions

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Given the threat of secondary sanctions, the question posed is whether Washington is willing to take on European companies to enforce it economic embargo on Iran. However, the opposition question may also be valid,...

Macron mulls appeasement to salvage Euro-Atlantic consensus on Iran

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President Emmanuel Macron stepped in on Tuesday to suggest a compromise between Washington, Brussels and Tehran over the nuclear deal. Still, there are also voices calling for a clean break with Washington’s policy. Towards Appeasement The French...

EU considers new sanctions against Russia

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The Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (COREPER) is scheduled to meet on May 8 in Brussels to discuss the implementation of new sanctions against Russia as part of Europe’s coordinated response...

May unable to bridge divisions in her cabinet over the Customs Union

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Theresa May's view that the UK should retain regulatory alignment with the EU's Customs Union regime was dismissed by foreign secretary Boris Johnson as “crazy” on Tuesday. The foreign secretary’s statement is not nearly as...

Name Dispute negotiations slowly drop off the “fast track”

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With the Name Dispute negotiations off the front burner in Athens, both countries involved in the negotiations (Greece and FYROM/Macedonia) focused on other important issues this week but simultaneously prepared themselves for two new...