European Council

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...

EU agrees on new rules for improving Energy Union governance

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Early on the morning of June 20, negotiators from the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council reached an ambitious political agreement on the governance of the Energy Union, a day after reaching a...

Confidence high ahead of Eurogroup that comprehensive solution for Greece will be reached

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In their final round of talks ahead of the Luxembourg Eurogroup, Eurozone officials are confident that a comprehensive agreement concerning the closure of the fourth and final review of the third Greek bailout programme,...

Franco-German compromise sets tone for upcoming EU summit

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During bilateral talks on June 19 at Meseberg Palace, outside of Berlin, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hammered out a compromise ahead of the landmark EU summit in Brussels on...

More Britons are are asking for Belgian citizenship before Brexit

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Last year, 1381 Britons became Belgian nationals, Flemish newspapers reported on Friday, quoting data from the Belgian Statistical Office, Statbel. According to the Statbel figures, the number of Britons seeking Belgian nationality has increased tenfold...

Ukraine creating EU-based consortium to stop Nord Stream-2

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Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko recently announced that he is in the process of creating a consortium of EU companies in Brussels who will help build support and ultimately stop to the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline, which is...

Closing a new chapter in the Name Dispute

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After nearly 27 years of haggling, the race to the finish line for a formal end to the Greece-Macedonia/FYROM Name Dispute kicked into full gear after prime ministers Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Macedonia/FYROM’s...

EU agrees on further renewable energy development

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Negotiators from the European Commission, the Parliament and the Council reached a late on June 14 for an ambitious political agreement on increasing renewable energy use in Europe. “Renewables are good for Europe, and today,...

EU and NATO welcome Name Dispute agreement

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NATO and the European Union chief officials welcomed an apparent breakthrough in the 27-year-old Name Dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in which the latter will now officially change its...

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...