EU Affairs

Oil crisis ripples across the world

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With oil prices rising on the world market, the world's fifth-largest producer was paralysed last week by a general strike. About 70 percent of Venezuela's oil production was shut down. Venezuela's strike coincides with...

Panel to study EU expansion costs and benefits

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With several of the 10 future European Union members braced for heated public debate and referendums on EU accession, the European Commission last Wednesday said it was drawing up a new study to explain...

EU agrees new aid package to support Palestinian reform

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The European Commission last Tuesday said it was sending almost six million Euro in aid to help Palestinian reform efforts as well as an additional 2.5 million Euro to finance an election observation mission...

A landmark in European history

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After the successful Copenhagen summit of the 15 European Union leaders that led to the largest ever expansion of the Union, Commission President Romano Prodi, in a deep emotional state, said that enlargement was...

Diplomacy: EU says human rights talks in Iran held in open atmosphere

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A European Union delegation held talks with Iranian judiciary and parliamentary officials on human rights in an open and constructive atmosphere, it was stated last Tuesday. The talks focused on prevention of torture and...

Coins or bills? Eurozone split over the best small change

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A new fault line opened in the Eurozone last weekend, with the coin-loving Germans tut-tutting at calls among their neighbours for the introduction of banknotes equivalent to 1- and 2-Euro coins now in circulation....

Europe proposes reforms for world farm policies

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Commission lambastes WTO members for misusing food aid donations “Globalisation with the aim of disparity removal," sums up the European Commission's latest proposals for worldwide farm trade liberalisation. In a very upbeat statement outlining...

Enlargement: Ten candidates set for year-end wrap up of EU membership talks

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Turkey under the shower of eulogies but camps out of the Union A long-awaited European Commission report on enlargement released last Wednesday recommended a year-end wrap-up of membership talks with 10 applicant nations but set...

War loses popularity

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George Bush's speech delivered last week to the American nation to gain support for the attack against Iraq contained a threat to Iraqi officials, warning them that they could be put to trial for...

Finance: Europe’s bank shares dip on loan provision worries

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Outlook for corporate earnings adds to fears about a war in Iraq The gloom in Europe's financial sector is continuing to deepen with shares in the region's biggest banks taking another hammering last Monday as...

Enlargement: EU enlargement biggest peace project, says Austrian chancellor Schuessel

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Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel welcomed last Thursday the European Commission's proposal to enlarge the Union by 10 members in 2004, calling it "the biggest peace project in the region." The enlargement would be "an...

EU reunites Europe

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Prodi makes the vision come true T he candidate countries waited with baited breath as the long-awaited European Commission report on enlargement was set for release. The sighs of relief from 10 countries and open...

Enlargement: Rasmussen: Turkey yet to meet criteria for membership

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Turkey has yet to fulfil the criteria for European Union membership and will not receive a date to start negotiating membership until it meets these, Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a...

Enlargement: Greece calls on EU to set talks date with Turkey

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The Greek government said last Thursday there was no reason why the European Union should not set a date to start accession talks with neighbouring Turkey, one day after the 15-member bloc said Ankara...

Economy: IMF chief lambastes Europe over structural reforms need

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International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Horst Koehler, in pointed remarks last Sunday aimed at western Europe and Japan, said it was time for them "to wake up" to the pressing need for structural reforms....

Aid: EU approves German aid for flood victims

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The European Commission last Thursday approved four German aid schemes aimed at compensating victims of this summer's devastating floods. Officials said the authorisation follows a German government notification in September that it intended to...

.The European Ombudsman, Jacob Soderman,

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.The European Ombudsman, Jacob Soderman, last week proposed clarification of the Community rules on data protection to emphasise that these rules do not limit the principle of openness and the right of access to...

Enlargement: EU Convention member rules out Turkish EU membership

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urkey has no chance of joining the European Union and remains a foreign policy "nightmare," said an Austrian European Parliament and European Union reform Convention member, as quoted in a newspaper interview to be...

Diplomacy: Soothing balm of nostalgia for across-the-Atlantic lacerations

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Patten urges international community to act transcending national boundaries "When the EU and the US are happily pelting each other with genetically-modified tomatoes as they do from day to day or laying into one another...

EU-India Summit: Aid, trade and terrorism dominates 3rd summit agenda

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Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and top European Union officials meeting in Copenhagen last Thursday were unable to agree on the formulation of a joint statement on the crisis in Kashmir. "To be...

Enlargement: Slovenia to introduce Euro by 2007, says governor

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Slovenia is expected to introduce the Euro in the next five years, National Bank Governor Mitja Gaspari said last Tuesday in Ljubljana. "I hope that the tolar (1 Euro is around 220 Slovene tolars)...

The hazards of looking without…

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It is refreshing to read your news and analysis pieces, especially in such turbulent times when world peace appears to totter on the mood of a few and the economic gains to be had...

Aid: 29 million Euro package for Pacific island countries

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The European Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, Poul Nielson, last week signed the Regional Strategy Paper for the Pacific Region. Nielson, on a two-week tour of the Pacific islands, stated at the signing ceremony:...

War clouds on the horizon

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First there was hope. Iraqi representatives announced that Baghdad accepts all the inspections described in the UN Security Council resolutions. Unfortunately, nine days later things could not look grimmer. Bush's request for authority to...

Transport: Another reality coming alive

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Single pan-European sky opens with accession of EC to Eurocontrol The European air transport sector last week accelerated towards a more open and safer European sky with the signing of the protocol on the...

Noble goes micro

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Noble Prizes were announced and we saw the focus shifting to "Small is beautiful." From the tiny worm to the infinitely tinier neutrino, this year's Nobel prizes for medicine and physics seem to proclaim...

Research: Nanotchnology gets EC’s blessing to go ahead

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The European Commission will launch a Nanotechnology Industrial Platform in 2003 - a forum gathering all major nanotech stakeholders at the EU level and will also allocate 700 million Euro to nanotech research within...

When push comes to shove

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George Bush talking to Americans about the need to fight Saddam Hussein instead of stressing the need to bolster the economy, tighten gun control, raise education awareness, etc. leaves a sour taste in my...

Enlargement and environment: Wallstrom spells hope for enlarged Europe and future generations

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Environment: A challenge for both the EU and the candidate countries The European Union stands at the historic moment of the largest expansion till date with 10 additional countries expected to join the 15...

Euro bank keeps rates on hold, warns of global uncertainty

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The European Central Bank kept monetary policy on hold last Thursday for the 11th month in a row warning of growing global uncertainty against a backdrop of a downbeat economic outlook, shaky stock markets...

Trade: EU to take Korea to the WTO over unfair shipbuilding practices

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The European Union and South Korea failed to resolve their long-standing dispute over what Europe claims are artificially low Korean shipbuilding prices. The EU now takes the case to the Geneva-based World Trade Organisation...

European Commission mulls lambasting Israel at next meet

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The European Commission last Monday called again on Israel to give full and unrestricted access to humanitarian aid agencies seeking to reach Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank and warned that the issue...

Enlargement: Stock exchange reshuffle in the cards as EU enlarges

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East Europeans mull changes to cooperate and compete across Europe The biggest enlargement in the history of the European Union is set to galvanise more and more the amalgamation of business interests in the enlarged...

Russia’s Iraq dilemma

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has kept his Iraq cards close to his chest in recent days, offering no public comment about Moscow's position in the brewing confrontation. For Kremlin watchers, this signalled not disinterest...

Enlargement: Poland softens stance in EU farm negotiations

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Poland's government did a U-turn last Tuesday and approved controversial changes to its bargaining position with the European Union, dropping previous demands for farm subsidies similar to those enjoyed by old member states once...

Europe set to come together

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First the colourful banknotes with their landscape and monuments symbolised one of the boldest adventures of the new millennium. And now the European Commission giving the go-ahead to 10 mainly central and eastern European...

Defence: EU close to launching peacekeeping force: Solana

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The European Union is closer than ever to launching its first ever-military operation with a peacekeeping mission in FYROM, EU security and foreign policy chief Javier Solana said. "Without having a crystal ball to...