European Council

Trichet hits out at French criticism of the Euro

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European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet hit out April 12 at criticism, notably from key French political leaders, claiming that the Euro was undercutting the economic performance and jobs market of currency bloc member states....

Merkel, Barroso push for stronger global role for EU

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel last Wednesday vowed to boost the European Union's global role, saying she wanted stronger ties with the United States, Japan and Russia and tougher measures to stop the humanitarian crisis...

Socialists campaign for more childcare in Europe

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   As the Party of European Socialists launched its childcare campaign in Strasbourg last week, they welcomed the commitment of the Council and the Commission to support progress in pre-school childcare in the EU. Socialist...

Unity in Diversity

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel came out a victor at the end of the two-day European Summit last week when she managed to stitch together a compromise among 27 member states after the Union was...

EU to push for stronger ties with Russia

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The European Union leaders on March 9 vowed to push for stronger ties with energy-rich countries in Central Asia and Africa, but also acknowledged Russia’s overriding role as the union’s current top natural gas...

Parliament uncovers CIA flights

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European Parliament, the only elected body of the European Union last week lambasted Secretary General of European Council comprising of representatives of national governments for not co-operating fully with the year long investigation into...

New head of EU police mission for Palestine

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Javier Solana, the European Union’s High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, has welcomed the appointment of the new Head of EU Police Mission for the Palestinian Territories, Colin Smith.The operation is...

EU to open its visa doors to Baltic “aliens”

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The Council of the European Union is going to permit visa-free travel later this month to half a million “aliens” - stateless persons living in Estonia and Latvia. “It’s great that we’ll be able...

EU wants to revive constitution

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The European Summit last week was an exceptionally calm affair with European leaders with consensus rubber stamping what their foreign ministers had agreed earlier in the week mainly the unprecedented step of partially freezing...

EU Summit shuts door on enlargement

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The European Summit held on December 14-15 will be go down as rubber-stamping the decisions of the Council meeting of foreign ministers held on December 11. Learning from the past and gauging the mood...

Berlin readies for EU, G8

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Chancellor Angela Merkel on December 14 urged the states of the European Union to work closer together as she outlined Germany’s goals when it takes over the bloc’s presidency. Energy security, research and development,...

Afghanistan and Pakistan told to tighten border

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The European Union on December 11 called on Afghanistan and Pakistan for tougher action to curb the cross-border infiltration of insurgents and urge Pakistan to prevent the Taliban from using its territory.A statement to...

UN says Darfur sliding into “abyss”

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Large parts of Sudan’s war-torn Darfur region have fallen into the hands of government forces, militias, rebels and armed opposition groups from Chad, pushing the region close to the “abyss,” the UN’s top humanitarian...

Trichet on predicted path

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The European Central Bank delivered its sixth rise in borrowing costs in 12 months on December 7, raising its economic growth forecasts and cutting its inflation projections, but signalling a more cautious approach to...

EU, Arab, Israeli ministers want Mideast peace

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The European Union and its Israeli and Arab neighbours on November 28 vowed to work together for Middle East peace and to help pave the way for a two-state solution. Israelis and Palestinians should...

Lithuania to host future EU institute for gender equality

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European Union member states on December 1 agreed to set up a new EU institute for gender equality in Vilnius, capital of the bloc’s 2004 newcomer Lithuania. The future EU agency is expected to...

Germany sets out goals for EU presidency

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Germany will seek “to increase acceptance for the integration process" when it takes over the presidency of the EU in January, according to plans discussed by the government on November 29.The programme includes steps...

Germany sets out goals for EU presidency

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Germany will seek "to increase acceptance for the integration process" when it takes over the presidency of the EU in January, according to plans discussed by the government on November 29, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa)...

Euro-Med Summit November 27-28:

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European Union foreign ministers meet their Arab and Israeli counterparts in Finland this week to try to boost trade ties and mull moves to curb a rising tide of illegal economic migrants from Africa....

EU and Russia vow cooperation

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Offence is the best defence: that was the message given out loud and clear by former KGB boss and present Russian President Vladimir Putin November 24 at the joint press conference with European Union...

Military chief expects calm in Congro despite election dispute

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The European Union’s top military official said November 17 he is confident the security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo will remain calm, despite a dispute over recently announced election results. On November 15,...

Climate change talks in Kenya hailed

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The European Union expressed satisfaction on November 18 with the result of the UN climate change conference held in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. The November 6-17 conference attended by some 100 ministers and more...

EU cancels talks with Turkey, Cypriots

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Plans to host a meeting last week with Turkey, Greece and representatives from the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot authorities were cancelled, Finnish officials said November 2. There will be no talks this weekend...

First exercise to test CCA successful

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With the aim to verify the joint capacity of the Council and the Commission to react quickly and efficiently to a major crisis, the two bodies conducted on October 30 an exercise to test...

Pros and cons of promoting India-EU textiles trade

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Here is something for Indias textile and clothing manufacturers and exporters to chew over. Which of the two following outcomes do they think will help them boost their exports to the 25-nation European Union...

MEPs support common EU energy policy

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Vladimir Putin was recently a signpost on the road to unite EU countries for a common energy policy. The Russian president may have proved himself a provocative dinner guest at the Lahti informal summit...

EU to send financial aid for Turkish Cypriots

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The European Union said on October 27 it was sending 38.1 million Euro in aid to the Turkish north of Cyprus. Officials said the funds would be used to end the current isolation of...

EU working out energy strategy for Central Asia

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Europe wants closer relations with Central Asia and primarily with energy-rich Kazakhstan. At a forum in Kazakh capital Astana, ambassadors from 32 European countries discussed a new strategy for Central Asia. “Central Asia is...

EU meeting postponed in Spain for fear of street protests

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Spain has cancelled a European Union ministerial meeting planned for Barcelona on October 16-17 for fear of violent street protests, Spain's Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba was cited by press reports as saying on...

Uncertainty reigns over US-EU air data deal

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European parliamentarians last week said a deal which lets the US have limited access to information about air travellers from the EU still provides too much data and doesn’t go far enough to safeguard...

EU military tasks will focus on security, not battles

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Future military operations by the European Union will focus on bringing security and stability to conflict zones rather than achieving victory against conventional enemies, a report to the bloc’s defence chiefs said Oct. 2....

Russia doesn’t give an inch

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The European Commission urged Russia and Georgia to do more to reduce tensions and to create an atmosphere in which talks are possible, said Emma Udwin, spokeswoman for External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner. “The...

EU Summit to discuss immigration

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Measures to stem the influx of illegal migrants to the European Union would be discussed at an upcoming summit of EU leaders on October 20 in Lahti, Finland, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen declared...

Energy meeting planned with LAM countries

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The Finnish EU Presidency has invited all the EU member states, and the Latin American and Caribbean states to participate in a forum focusing on renewable sources of energy in Panama on October 9-11....

Lebanon, Congo will get security help

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European Union defence chiefs on Oct. 3 agreed to help Lebanon upgrade its security sector, including assistance for training soldiers, border guards and police officials. Ministers, meeting in Kittila in northern Finland, also said...

Solana will leave door open for Iran

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European Union foreign and security policy chief Javier Solana on Oct. 6 said Europe was willing to keep its doors open to negotiations with Iran in order to reach a diplomatic solution to the...

Congo mission, security, top defence talks

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The week kicks off for European Union defence ministers with a meeting in Kittila in northern Finland with discussions on the future of the bloc’s military mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo amid...