European Council

Stakeholders in Development Aid

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Who listens to the commentators on how development aid should be effectively given? Do governments or the European Commission take advice into account when it comes to effectiveness in aid? The European Commission is...

While the Cold War unfolds, Europe shows no geopolitical reflexes

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While the heads of EU member states were arriving in Brussels earlier this morning (Monday, September 1, 2008) Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned friends and enemies, while addressing students at the Moscow State...

Tough time for Elyse Palace

Speaking about Paris’ ambitious agenda for the presidency in the European Union, French President Nicolas Sarkozy admitted that the toughest task for his diplomats will be reach an agreement among EU governments on draft...

EU officials lambast Sarkozy’s “ignorance”

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Starting the French Presidency of the European Union at loggerheads with European officials, French President Nicolas Sarkozy got all mixed up when quoting trade figures in international negotiations. Rejecting Sarkozy’s figures on the bloc’s...

Michel welcomes EU-ACP political agreement

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There was agreement on issues such as food prices, Economic Partnership Agreements and regional integration at the annual Council of Ministers meeting between the European Union (EU) and the Group of States from Africa,...

EU threatens to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe

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European Union leaders issued a new threat to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe as the country readied to hold a June 27 runoff presidential election marred by widespread violations, violence, murder, and jailing opposition leaders....

Kosovo figures as Sweden takes over the reins

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Kosovo and other European flashpoints figured prominently in the informal luncheon of the 118th session of the Committee of Ministers in Strasbourg on May 7. On Kosovo, Carl Bildt, the Swedish Foreign Minister, told...

Danish premier sees no decision on referendum yet

Danish Prime Minister Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said his government had not decided whether to stage separate referendums on Denmark’s current opt-outs from the European Union, and that he’s not seeking to become...

Refugee status and asylum fight lingers

A European Court of Justice ruling that the European Council is abusing its powers regarding European asylum policy was proof that a change is needed in the procedure, a group of Members of the...

CoE wants faster anti-terrorism conventions OK

The Council of Europe has asked member states to accelerate ratification of anti-terrorism and anti-trafficking conventions. During the 118th session of the Committee of Ministers, Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe,...

EU wants world to stop sending arms to Zimbabwe

European Union has called for a worldwide global moratorium on deliveries of arms to Zimbabwe after China tried deliver weapons to the African country, where protesters upset with a five-week delaying in announcing presidential...

Blair might not get to be “Mister Europe” after all

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Former British prime minister Tony Blair’s presumed interest in being appointed “Mister Europe” have suffered a setback after a leading European lawmaker revealed that his bid would be blocked by France. Martin Schulz, who...

International human rights bodies worldwide need more support and more self-criticism

Governments have agreed to set up multilateral mechanisms to monitor and assist the realisation of international human rights norms. This reflects a recognition that these standards are indeed an international concern and that cooperation...

CoE propose cybercrime guidelines

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To reinforce the fight against Internet-based crimes – from child pornography and racism to identity theft, fraud and cyber terrorism – a Council of Europe conference in Strasbourg on April 1 and 2 has...

VAT reforms: another failure at EU Summit

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The European Union Summit last week failed to see one of the crucial points under consideration at the first meeting under the Slovene presidency of the European Council and the subject is set for...

Solar flowers go dancing for Europe

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The Slovenian Presidency of the Council of the European Union opened an exhibition on February 18 entitled “The Solar Flowers Dancing for Europe: United in Diversity!” featuring an artistic installation of 10,000 solar flowers...

Terrorist blacklist versus privacy rights

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EU mechanisms for blacklisting terrorists need to be revised because they fail to guarantee respect for fundamental rights and lack democratic scrutiny, Civil Liberties Committee MEPs said in a meeting with the Council of...

Human rights group challenges committee’s CIA report

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A year after its enquiry into alleged European complicity in the CIA renditions program, the European Parliament still hasn’t pursued the issue and that has ired Amnesty International, which has urged the Civil Liberties...

Data: protection versus privacy battle rages on

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Twenty-five years after the Council of Europe signed a pact governing protection for individuals in the processing of personal data, the European Parliament has continued to debate how much protection there is, and how...

CoE demands protection for terrorist suspects too

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The Council of Europe has demanded that terrorist suspects on secret EU and UN lists should have at least minimal protection under the law. People on the lists should be informed of the allegations...

EU legal advisor backs terror suspect in court case

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European Union judges were on January 16 advised to rule in favour of a Saudi Arabian resident whose private funds were frozen after being included in a UN blacklist of terror suspects. In a...

The prime minister has a role to play too

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As Slovenia took over the EU presidency on January 1, 2008, Prime Minister Janez Jansa said, “We have behind us three years of intensive preparations and before us a major challenge – one of...

Minister of Foreign Affairs Rupel takes his EU post

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Slovenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Dimitrij Rupel officially took over the EU Council Presidency on the island of Madeira. At the working meeting, the Portuguese Foreign Minister, Luis Amado, handed Rupel a symbolic...

EU, Russia may move ahead with partnership agreement

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Russia and the European Union are likely move ahead toward starting negotiations on a new partnership and cooperation agreement at the beginning of 2008, Head of the European Commission Delegation to Russia Marc Franco...

It’s environment, Kosovo

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Under the European Union’s current system of rotating the presidency, which will change with the advent of the Lisbon Treaty signed in December, 2007, Slovenia took over the helm on January 1 for six...

PACE concerned about abuse of defamation laws

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The Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has condemned Azerbaijan’s abuse of defamation laws. “Azerbaijan’s abuse of defamation laws to put pressure on...

Sarkozy’s Reflection Group

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Kosovo is making the European Union uncomfortable as there is no consensus among 27 member states about its present status and future direction. On the other hand, Turkey has been a subject of discussion...

Laws thwart development of more small parties

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Russia’s new election laws create extreme difficulties for small parties, international parliamentary observers from the OSCE (Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe) and the Council of Europe said in a statement. The new...

Sub-continent talks with India as EU mulls poll observers

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The European Union (EU) is still undecided about sending election observers to monitor Pakistan’s forthcoming general elections, diplomatic sources were cited by local media last week as saying. “The EU is taking time before...

EU troika thinks Kosovo talks are coming together

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The European Union (EU) was on a “convergence course” over how to handle the difficult issue of the Serbian breakaway province of Kosovo, a senior European diplomat said. Compared to July, when discussions over...

CoE health ministers tackle migration challenges

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The ministers from the member states of the Council of Europe (CoE) urged states to work “towards eliminating the practical obstacles and barriers to the enjoyment of equitable access to health protection of all...

Regional clusters: generating more growth and jobs

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In 2000, the Lisbon European Council introduced the goal of developing Europe into “the World’s most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy.” In this context, the European People’s Party (EPP) Group in the EU Committee...

No democracy without local democracy

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The crucial importance of democracy at the local and regional level along with commitment to promote a style of local self-government that meets the needs of the citizens wherever they may be, cannot be...

Council of Europe brings European Heritage Days alive

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How can Europeans be brought to realise that their cultural heritage both unites and differentiates them and that this heritage is a vehicle for mutual discovery and understanding? The question was posed and answered...

Socrates vows to work for citizens

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Portuguese Prime Minister Jose Socrates last Wednesday vowed to lead the European Union back to deliver on policies affecting Europeans' lives, saying that adopting a new EU rulebook was only part of Portugal's current...

Lisbon opens “Presidency of Summits”

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With July came the changeover for European Union Presidency as Portugal took over from Germany to face the challenge of getting a revamped EU reform treaty approved, but that is not the only priority...

Council wants to stop religious hatred and violence

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Responding to the scandal caused by caricatures of the prophet Mohammed, the European Council intends to strengthen its efforts to prevent hatred and violence against religious groups, it stated in a resolution passed in...