EU Affairs

Ukraine’s new president must stop the cover-up of journalist’s murder

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Three years after the murder of Belarusian-Ukrainian journalist Pavel Sheremet, time is up for Ukrainian law enforcers. It’s hard to imagine a more utter failure: not a single person has been charged for the killing...

A year after Trump-Juncker meeting, the European Commission assesses joint trade statement

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One year after US President Donald J. Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker’s joint statement on trade, part of the two side's attempt to ease trade tensions, the EU executive has released a...

Sanchez loses second vote to be confirmed as Spain’s PM

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Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader and acting prime minister of Spain, has lost a second bid to be confirmed by the country's parliament - the Cortes - and will not be able to form...

Johnson doubles-down on hardline no-deal Brexit

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In his first speech as prime minister to the House of Commons, Britain’s new leader Boris Johnson said he is willing to pursue a no-deal divorce by 31 October unless he can replace the controversial Irish backstop...

Ze’s perfect storm

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Volodymyr Zelensky, or “Ze”, as he is called by his supporters, started his entry into the Ukrainian politics earlier this year by impressively winning the presidential election in April. On July 21, the former...

Juncker tells Johnson Brexit deal won’t change

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European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has told the UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson, a day after the latter succeeded Theresa May at 10 Downing Street, that Brussels will not reopen Brexit negotiations and reiterated that the deal...

Six EU nations will implement energy efficiency regulations

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The European Commission has requested Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom to request that the community energy efficiency regulations be transposed according to the bloc's rules. The 2012 directive establishes a common framework for measures to...

Commission gives boost to farmers to help with drought

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Farmers affected by drought will be able to ask for larger advances in EU aid for direct payments and payments for rural development, according to a statement by the European Commission on 25 July. Agriculture...

Brussels warns that several EU members could be sent to Court of Justice over...

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The European Commission has threatened 19 of the EU's 28 members that they could be sent to the bloc's Court of Justice if they continue to fail at cracking down on the sale of firearms. Brussels signalled out Cyprus,...

Greece and Spain referred to EU Court for failing to enact Personal Data Protection...

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The European Commission on Thursday announced that it will refer Greece and Spain to the EU's Court of Justice for failing to enforce the bloc's Data Protection Law Enforcement Directive. According to a decision granted by the Council and the...

Banks feel the growing divide between the Eurozone’s core and periphery

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A cheaper Euro does not necessarily mean cheaper liquidity will make its way to the real economy across the Eurozone’s member states. In that respect, the situation is worse in the southern periphery than...

BMW sponsorship of Finnish Council Presidency triggers EU probe

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The European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly is launching a probe on Finland’s BMW-sponsored six-month European Council Presidency. BMW will be providing 100 vehicles for EU delegations in Helsinki. Corporate sponsoring of the EU presidency is a...

Johnson forms a Leave government and prepares for elections

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Boris Johnson's new cabinet meets on Thursday with 17 ministers losing their job just a day before; the true test for Johnson will be later on as he must prove that commands a majority...

Ilze Juhansone to serve as interim EU Secretary General

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Latvia's former permanent representative to the European Union, Ilze Juhansone, has been named interim Secretary-General of the European Commission, following the departure of Martin Selmayr, a close all of outgoing Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, from...

Selmayr appointed head of EU representation in Vienna, remains as ‘special adviser’ to Juncker

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The outgoing Secretary-General of the European Commission, Martin Selmayr, has been appointed to Vienna as head of the EU’s delegation in Austria while also being named as a special advisor to EU President Jean-Claude Juncker. Before taking up...

IMF lowers global growth projections amid Sino-American trade war

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The International Monetary Fund downgraded its growth projection for 2019 amidst a Sino-American trade war and the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit. The Washington-based institution now projects 3,2% global growth rather than 3,3% projected...

USD rallies as House agrees to raise debt ceiling

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The dollar rallied against all major reserve currencies to a five-week high on Tuesday as the House reached a two-year deal to lift the debt borrowing ceiling. The news of a political deal on the...

EU prepares fpr retaliatory tariffs on US products

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The EU is preparing to impose a 75% tariff on a list of US goods worth €35bn if Washington goes ahead an imposes tariffs of European car imports.  “We will not accept any managed trade,...

Mitsotakis government’s foreign policy inevitably points to Washington

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In view of ongoing tension between Turkey, the EU and Washington, it was completely reasonable for the new Greek government of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to focus primarily on Cyprus and the Aegean, not...

Teenage activist Thunberg urges French MPs to act on climate crisis

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"They said that we children, we exaggerate, that we are alarmists. To respond to that, I invite you to read the last IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report. You will find all of our...

Timmermans says no-deal Brexit would be a tragedy

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The European Commission reacted to the choice of Boris Johnson as the newly-elected head of the Conservatives, making him the UK's newest prime minister, by reiterating its well-worn line that a no-deal Brexit would be the worst...

Slovakia is the surprising star of the latest FutureBrand Country Index

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The circumstances leading to Slovakia’s first female, and youngest-ever president being elected and sworn in last month could have been taken from the plot of a dark political thriller. The brutal assassination last year of an investigative journalist...

Johnson to succeed Theresa May as UK prime minister

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160,000 Conservative Party members went to the polls to elect Theresa May’s successor; Boris Johnson was always considered the favourite. On Tuesday, Johnson was pronounced the winner of the Conservative leadership race by 92,153 votes...

Salvini demands devolution for Lombardy and Veneto

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Lega is facing its past as a secessionist movement of the North of Italy, with deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini demanding on Monday enhanced autonomy for the northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto. The call...

Spanish Socialists closer to forming a coalition government

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Following successive failed negotiations since April, Spain’s acting prime minister Pedro Sánchez appears to have brokered a deal to form a government. On Tuesday, the leader of the Socialist Party of Spain (PSOE) will...

EU’s Weyand sees “little movement” in tariffs reduction talks with the US

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Sabine Weyand, the European Commission's new Director-General of Trade, and the ex-deputy negotiator on Brexit said that that there was not much movement thus far when it comes to trade talks on reduced industrial...

Macron says some EU countries have agreed to a new migrant mechanism

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French President Emmanual Macron announced late on Monday that 14 of the 28 members of the European Union have agreed to a new "solidarity mechanism" proposed by Germany and France to allocate migrants and refugees...

EASO and IOM establish formal cooperation framework

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The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have established a formal cooperation framework to guide the relevant areas of common work in the fields of international protection and...

Commission to provide €171.7 million to Poste Italiane

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The European Commission has paid out nearly €172 million in compensation to Italy's Poste Italiane for its distribution of newspapers and publications from book publishers and non-profit organisations at reduced rates. As the country's largest provider of postal...

Kazakhstan upgrades diplomatic missions in Europe

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev decided to transform the diplomatic missions in Belgrade, Bratislava, Lisbon, Riga and Sofia, Akorda reported. The consulate of Kazakhstan in Tallinn will be reorganised into an embassy. “The...

Johnson faces cabinet walk outs and Irish border controls

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In anticipation of Boris Johnson succeeding Theresa May by Monday evening, two cabinet ministers have pre-announced their resignation; meanwhile, the Irish Republic prepares to install border checks as the likelihood of no-deal Brexit increases. British cabinet...

Spain bolsters bilateral support to Morocco to stem migration

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In a bilateral policy initiative, the Spanish government will add €30 million to the EU’s €140 million in funds dispersed to Morocco to curb irregular migration. According to figures released by the Spanish Interior Minister,...

Germany to meet NATO’s 2% defence spending benchmark

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Germany's new defence minister and successor to Chancellor Angela Merkel in the leadership of the Christian Democrats (CDU), Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer (AKK), says Germany will meet NATO’s 2% defence spending benchmark by 2024. The former Defense...

ECB to launch second bond-buying program in November

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The European Central Bank (ECB) will relaunch a bond-buying programme in November 2019. While the ECB ended its bond-buying programme in December 2018, maturities from its sovereign debt portfolio is reinvested in sovereign bonds, maintaining...

Iran escalates tensions in the Persian Gulf after seizing UK tanker

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In the latest escalation in the Persian Gulf region, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard reportedly captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on 19 July, the same day that the Gibraltar government...

Brussels to further scrutinise China’s intelligence law on 5G

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The European Union must take China's national intelligence law into account when deciding on the construction of 5G networks in Europe, said EU Commissioner for Security, Julian King, on Friday. The EU is currently working...

Selmayr’s replacement for EU Secretary-General post to be decided next week

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The resignation of Martin Selmayr as Secretary-General of the European Commission will be decided by the College of Commissioners next week, according to the new chief spokesperson of the European Commission, Mina Andreeva. "President Juncker informed the...