European Council

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...

EU trade deals sought with Korea

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EU leaders are pushing ahead for bilateral deals with Korea while Trade Commissioner Peter Mandelson keeps up the fight for a multilateral trade pact.High-level EU representatives met with Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun in Helsinki to...

EU health Ministers warned on medicine supplies

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“The European association of pharmaceutical full-line wholesalers (GIRP) and its member companies are committed to ensuring that even the most isolated patients can have access to seldom used, but vital medicines wherever and whenever...

EU wary of energy dependence on Russia

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The European Commission on September 26 hailed Russia’s plans to redirect part of production from the Shtokman gas condensate field, one of the world's largest, to the European market in the near future but,...

Impetus for EU constitution after veto failure

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The EU last Friday appeared to be gearing up for a fresh drive to reach agreement on a EU constitution after a majority of member states rejected a Finnish proposal to end veto rights...

The Resurrection of Finlandisation

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The central European administration is a political entity and all facets related to its operations and functions are secondary. This political entity consists of three institutions: The Council with the Courts of Justice and...

Presidency threatens EC jobs

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Nearly 2,000 European Commission employees may find themselves without jobs if the ambitious plans of the European Council get the go-ahead later this year. The Finnish Presidency which runs from July to December this...

The Services Directive splits again the EU

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The Services Directive continues to split the European Union. Readers may recall that the first draft of it, under the name of “Bolkenstein Directive,” split France in two and set off general mistrust in...

Anti-terror measures won’t target race, religion

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The European Union last week - in a statement marking the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US - said that while the fight against terrorism is a priority for...

Presidency “Finnish” on jobs

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 Nearly 2,000 European Commission employees may find themselves without jobs if the ambitious plans of the European Council get the go-ahead later this year. The Finnish Presidency which runs from July to December this...

EU basks in growth delight

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The European Union rejoiced last week over the recovery of its economy after several years of sluggish performance. “Based on the data for the six largest member states, the growth rate for the EU...

Parliament wants deal on Passenger Name Records

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The European Parliament last week adopted a report calling on the European Council to ensure the US offers adequate protection of European passenger data and that sufficient safeguards are in place. The Council needs...

Montenegrins support EU membership

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Many Montenegrin adults would like their country to become a member of the European Union (EU). A poll by Cedem shows that 76.5 percent of respondents believe Montenegro should join the continental alliance, while...

Council of Europe urges a halt to mistreatment of prisoners

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Europe’s top human rights watchdog on September 6 urged Turkey to halt all mistreatment of prisoners, saying that the conditions in Turkish detention centres were not “reassuring,” Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.Turkey has made progress...

ASEM summit to focus on Myanmar, Asia-Europe ties

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Global security issues, including joint Asia-Europe counter-terror measures, nuclear tensions with North Korea and failed international efforts to end military rule in Myanmar will head the agenda of the  Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) to be...

Halonen wants new initiative on Mideast peace

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Finnish President Tarja Halonen on Sept. 5 set out an agenda for stronger European Union efforts to end the Middle East conflict and said Israeli and Palestinian women should be encouraged to work for...

EU transport security plan may cripple small business

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A European Commission proposal to improve protection of freight transport against terrorist attacks could put many small enterprises out of business, the European Small Business Alliance (ESBA) said Sept. 5. Since 2001, terrorist attacks have highlighted the...

Annan and EU set the tune in the Middle East

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    As European Union foreign ministers last week backed a diplomatic plan aimed at clinching long-sought recognition of Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas and talked about ways to end the nuclear stalemate...

EU leaders line up behind Hamas recognition plan

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European Union foreign ministers have lined up behind a diplomatic formula aimed at clinching long-sought recognition of Israel by the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Ministers, meeting in the Finnish city of Lappeenranta as part...