EU Affairs

EU says ready to take over NATO’s FYROM military operation

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Spotlighting the European Union's new defence and security powers, EU foreign ministers Monday agreed to take over NATO's military operation in FYROM, possibly as early as March this year. The EU decision to take...

Culture: Eurovision opts for new type of contest beginning next year

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The Eurovision song contest is to be held on two evenings beginning in 2004, thus initiating a new type of competition that could limit the number of finalists to 20, the organisers announced last...

Enlargement: Support for EU entry up in Poland, Czech, slumps in Hungary

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While support for European Union entry is on the rise among Poles and Czechs, pessimism over EU accession in growing in Hungary, according to a tri-nation poll released last Tuesday. More than one month...

Environment: Nuke waste to go down deep

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Focus on underground research facility for radioactive waste disposal The European Union is all set to bury all high-level radioactive waste in Europe deep underground in the coming years. To achieve this goal towards sustainable...

Finance: Italy mulls anti-inflation one-Euro cheques

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The head of Italy's retailers guild added his voice last Tuesday to a growing chorus of people who blame inflation on the common European currency and suggested replacing one and two-Euro banknotes with cheques....

EC uses high-tech measurements to tackle urban air pollution

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The European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) last week launched an innovative joint pilot study together with regional Italian environmental protection agency Agenzia Regionale per la Protezione dell'Ambiente (ARPA) Lombardia to measure urban air...

Women and Holy High Grounds

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MEP Anna Karamanou outlines her views on the ban in Mt. Athos With regard to the adoption by the European Parliament, last week in Strasbourg, of the Swiebel Report on the Human Rights situation in...

Enlargement: EU income disparities set to double after expansion

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Income disparities are set to double following the European Union's 2004 enlargement, the European Commission said last Thursday. "A quarter of the population in an enlarged Europe will live in low-income regions," European Commissioner...

EU rails against eight signatories

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Eight European leaders led by Britain and Spain appealed for solidarity with the US on Iraq last Thursday, prompting the European Commission and several countries to insist this was not EU policy. The declaration,...

Economy: Commission reviews budgets

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The European Commission last Thursday noted an increase in Britain's budget deficit but said the country's overall public finances were sound. The Commission - the European Union's executive arm - also gave the go-ahead...

History repeats itself

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Iraq came out of the Mandatory rule of Britain as had been stipulated by the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1932 and then it was placed under the rule of Britain under...

Solana points up differences between EU and US

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Europe and the United States are growing apart, with the US taking a "religious" view of world affairs against the European Union's more "secular" approach, Javier Solana, EU foreign policy head, said in an...

Turkish army bares fangs once again

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General Ozkok's remarks burn the bridge to Europe Since 1987, Turkey is struggling to defy natural, cultural and political segregation to jump the line of demarcation and join the mainstream Europe. For the historical buffs,...

Enlargement: EU and Poland agree further liberalisation of farm trade

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he European Union and Poland have clinched a new deal for further liberalising trade in farm products, the European Commission said last Tuesday. The pact, including 170 million Euro (USD 177 million) worth of...

Frankfurt airport offers aid to the faint of heart

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In what is being heralded as a first in continental Europe, Frankfurt's international airport is making portable defibrillators available to travellers to "jump start" hearts in event of cardiac arrest. Encouraged by the success...

Europe best placed to give the lead for peace: Pat Cox

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ddressing a European Liberal conference in Brussels last week on "Liberalism in Christianity and Islam" Pat Cox, the president of the European Parliament, said: "Europe must begin the year 2003 by redoubling its focus...

Death by calendar – Russia’s seasonal roulette goes on

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A new year for Russia maybe, but as always there is the same old cycle of dangers with its inevitable crop of fatalities. As macabre as it sounds, every season in this country has...

it will now propose to clarif

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.French President Jacques Chirac and Commission President Romano Prodi last week discussed the issue of maritime safety. This followed the collision of the Turkish tanker "Vicky" with a sunken carrier off the French coast...

Britain’s ardour to follow US into Iraq war cooling

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There are indications that Britain's strong support for the United States in the Iraq crisis, along with its willingness to commit troops, may be cooling. The announcement last Tuesday of pending British troops movements...

EIB brings development and prosperity across Europe

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Scotland, Hungary on latest list of beneficiaries During a visit to Budapest last week, Wolfgang Roth, vice president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), signed five loans totalling 395 million Euro for transport and...

Euro to help rebuild the Continent

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More than a year now, following the introduction of Euro banknotes and coins, the common European currency has found its place not only in the hearts and wallets of Europe's citizens but it has...

Internal Market: Border-free Europe nets more jobs and more money

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Decade of free internal market gives boost to economy A European Union decision in 1992 to break down internal trade barriers has triggered the creation of about 2.5 million jobs and given a 164.5 billion...

EU bids to break WTO impasse on poor states’ access to medicines

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The European Union last Thursday launched a bid to break a World Trade Organisation (WTO) deadlock on developing countries' access to affordable life-saving drugs after the United States blocked a planned deal end-December. EU...

Time to face the economic crisis

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There is no doubt that in times of economic recession state budgets become the most crucial tool for economic policy. We totally agree with EC President Romano Prodi that the Stability Pact for fiscal...

Commission ban on dangerous textile colourings

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The European Commission last week adopted a new Directive banning the marketing and use of a dangerous "azo-dye," a chromate-based chemical used for colouring textiles. The ban takes effect from June 30, 2004. The...

Moody’s showcases trends for Europe’s utilities sector

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ey areas of concern affecting the creditworthiness of some issuers within the European electric utility sector include the potential impact of structural subordination and regulatory ring-fencing on corporate holding company creditors, in addition to...

EU gets tough on fiscal discipline

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Commissioner Solbes slams Germany, France and Italy on finances European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes continued to play tough cop as he slammed Germany on its excessive budget deficit and warned other Eurozone economic...

Television without frontiers: Commission mulls amendments to Community’s audiovisual policy

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The European Commission is set to hammer out a report on the application of the "Television without Frontiers" (TVSF) Directive, together with a work programme for 2003 aimed at reviewing the Directive. The latter...

Diplomacy: EU urges Israel to end latest security measures

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iguel Angel Moratinos, a European Union peace envoy, has called upon Israel last Wednesday to end its security measures imposed on the Palestinians after last Sunday's double suicide bombing attack carried out in Tel...

Economy: EU warns of economic recovery risks

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Commissioner Solbes slams Germany, France and Italy on finances European Monetary Affairs Commissioner Pedro Solbes continued to play tough cop last Wednesday as he slammed Germany on its excessive budget deficit and warned other Eurozone...

Diplomacy: Europeans interested in mediating conflict in Colombia

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Several European nations last Thursday expressed a willingness to mediate negotiations between the Colombian government and one of the country's largest rebel groups. President Alvaro Uribe had requested help in ending the 40-year conflict...

Sofia hopes to finalise EU talks before 2004 enlargement

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Bulgaria is striving to finalise EU accession talks before the enlargement of the European Union on May 1, 2004, said Bulgarian Minister for European Affairs Meglena Kuneva last Wednesday in Sofia. Kuneva said it...

Trade: US trade minister threatens EU on GM foodstuffs

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The chief US trade negotiator last Thursday threatened to bring an action at the World Trade Organisation against the European Union over its continuing ban on genetically modified products from foodstuffs to pharmaceuticals. US...

EU aid package to help Chechnya conflict victims

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The Commission last Wednesday said it was sending three million Euro worth of humanitarian aid to provide food for victims of the conflict in Chechnya. About 253,000 people will benefit from the aid, including...

Finance: EU money laundering project finishes in Czech Republic

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Legal experts who spent a year helping the Prague government organise its first, comprehensive fight against money laundering reached a troubling conclusion as their European Union-funded project ended last Thursday, with no certainty that...

Aid: EU sends humanitarian food aid for North Korean children

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he European Commission last Wednesday said it was sending 9.5 million Euro in emergency humanitarian aid to North Korea. The funds were needed to help meet the winter needs of pregnant and nursing women...

Turkey playing the peace maker in the Moslem world

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Turkey with European ambitions did backslid into the foray of Moslem political world as Arab governments aligned with Washington expressed fear a US military strike against Iraq would unleash a wave of protests and...