European Council

New EU reconstruction aid package for Lebanon

-
The European Commission this week unveiled an aid package worth 42 million Euro (about USD 54 million) for rebuilding Lebanon following a 34-day devastating confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah fighters in the south of...

EU provides 11 million to support economic reform in Georgia

-
The European Union has provided Georgia with the first tranche totalling 11 million Euro of a 33.5 million-Euro grant under a financial aid programme for 2006-2007, a representative in the country's Finance ministry told...

Boost in ties with Arab states

-
Prior to Egypt and Libya, Amado held negotiations with his Jordanian counterpart. The main aim of his visit is to demonstrate Portugal’s desire to intensify dialogue with Arab countries as it readies its EU...

EU agrees to Lebanon job

-
Annan, Solana find harmony as member states commit troopsEuropean Union foreign ministers last Friday gave United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan a lot to smile about as it became clear that Europeans have decided...

Presidency says Africa summit likely in 2007

-
Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, whose country holds the European Union presidency, said last Thursday he expected an EU-Africa summit to be held next year, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported. ?We have the problem with...

Europe leads Lebanon force

-
European Union foreign ministers last Friday gave United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan a lot to smile about as it became clear that Europeans have decided to take part with significant troop contributions to...

Dozen countries ready for Lebanon force

-
A dozen of the 25-member nations of the European Union (EU) declared last week their readiness in principle for their countries to contribute troops to a UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon, diplomats in Brussels...

New EU rules imminent on health and nutrition

-
The European Union plans to adopt new rules on health and nutrition, according to news reports on Saturday before last. The new rules would shortly be adopted regulating the use and substantiation of health...

“Permanent cessation” of hostilities in Mideast sought

-
EU members last week called for an “immediate cessation of hostilities to be followed by a sustainable ceasefire,” in Lebanon and the Middle East, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, whose country holds the bloc’s...

Frattini more positive on country’s EU accession status

-
“I am a little bit more optimistic after my last visit here that Bulgaria will be an EU member as of January 1, 2007,” European Commission Vice President Franco Frattini, who is responsible for...

Solana goes solo in Middle East

-
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana for once last week came out with some frank opinion instead of diplomatic statements. Travelling extensively in on fire the Middle East, he was candid in...

Outrage against North Korea missile tests

The European Union last week joined international condemnation of North Korea’s launch of seven missiles and said it was consulting its key partners on an “effective response” to the crisis. Earlier in Brussels, NATO...

Iran says “serious” nuke talks set to happen

Iran’s top nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani said last Thursday he was prepared to open “serious” negotiations this week on EU and international efforts to defuse the current nuclear standoff with Tehran. Larijani, who met...

Stop navel-gazing, take “painful decisions”

The European Union must stop navel-gazing and instead speed up work on pressing challenges such as globalisation, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency for the next six months,...

Austrian EU presidency was costly

The recently-ended Austrian presidency of the European Union Council cost about 86.5 million Euros, said Finance Minister Karl-Heinz Grasser on Tuesday. This sum was composed of 70 million Euro spending by the state, and...

Austria finds problems in Romanian justice

Visiting Austrian President Heinz Fischer warned last Wednesday in Bucharest that there remained problems in the Romanian justice sector. In comments coming two weeks before the European Union Commission is to issue a decisive...

Oman important partner for EU

Austrian Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik, President in office of the Council, had a last week with her Omani counterpart, Yousuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah. Their discussions centred on EU relations with the Gulf region...

EU presidency “very concerned” on Myanmar

The Austrian EU Council presidency said last Wednesday the European Union is “very concerned” about a current offensive by the Myanmar army against the “Karen National Union” (KNU). The offensive had forced large numbers...

Haubner: Where have all the children gone?

The Austrian President of the Council, Ursula Haubner, last week hosted a high-level conference of European experts – l’Europe de l’enfance - in Vienna. “Children and young people are key to Europe’s future. They...