EU Affairs

Twitter bans political advertising

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Twitter will ban all political advertising worldwide, CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted on Thursday, citing challenges such as machine learning optimization, micro-targeting, and deep fakes. The ban will come to effect on November 22. One day...

Zaev fumbles after EU Enlargement let-down

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North Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev fumbled badly this week when discussing the relationship between his country’s now-frozen EU accession bid and the standing legal requirement to fully implement the solution to the Name...

Facebook to pay fine over Cambridge Analytica scandal

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Facebook will pay a £500,000 fine imposed by the UK's data protection watchdog for its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. As part of the deal, Facebook will make no admission of liability. The US...

WhatsApp sues Israeli company over hacking allegations

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Facebook-owned WhatsApp filed a lawsuit against Israel's NSO Group on Tuesday in California. The US-based platform alleges that the Israeli company staged cyber-attacks in April and May in order to infect 1,400 mobile phones. The...

As Eurozone economy loses momentum France takes the economic lead

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Eurozone economic sentiment deteriorated in October according to data released by the European Commission on Wednesday; the same gloomy numbers are likely to be confirmed by Eurostat on Thursday. The decline is driven by manufacturing....

PSA and FIAT-Chrysler open merger talks

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Fiat Chrysler (FCA) and Peugeot (PSA) are negotiating a merger that could create a €45bn behemoth or the fourth biggest car manufacturer by number of sales in the world. According to Wall Street Journal,...

Australia takes Google to court over geolocation practices

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Australia is taking Google to court over geolocation data-collection practices. The Australian Consumer Commission (ACC) has filed a lawsuit on allegations that the electronics behemoth mislead the public on how location data are collected, kept...

US could follow the EU into negative interest rate territory

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President Donald Trump is calling for zero or negative rates in the US, in line with EU and Japanese monetary policy. That policy shift is the combination of economic reality and electoral calculation. In 2016...

EU disappointed with gas talks, urges Russia, Ukraine to show political will in November

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The European Union is disappointed that there was no “positive progress” during the trilateral meeting on Russian gas transit via Ukraine to Europe on 28 October, European Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič...

EU grants Brexit delay until January 31st and the UK goes to the polls

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EU leaders agreed to extend Brexit until 31 January 2020; this now needs to be formally accepted by prime minister Boris Johnson. The President of the European Council Donald Tusk called it a “flextension” as...

Lega leads centre-right to electoral triumph in Umbria

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Italy’s centre-right candidate Donatella Tesei won Sunday's regional election in Umbria, in the first major political test for the governing coalition. Tesei secured a 57.5% of the vote while the 5-Star Movement (MS5) and Democratic...

IEA highlights offshore wind role in Europe’s 2050 climate neutrality

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Offshore wind currently provides just 0.3% of global power generation, but its potential is vast, IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said, stressing that much work remains to be done by governments and industry for...

Italy wants to shield off Monte dei Paschi from bad loans portfolio

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Italy wants to offload Monte dei Paschi’s non-performing loans portfolio before its sells the lender, a choice that is opposed by the European Commission. The world’s oldest lender was bailed out by the state in...

Sweden authorises the use of facial recognition technology by the police

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Sweden’s data protection authority has approved the use of facial recognition technology by the police, to help identify criminal suspects. The decision is controversial following successive bans of this technology in US cities. The technology...

Portuguese government vows to hike minimum wage by 25% in four years

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Portugal’s Prime Minister Antonio Costa promised on Saturday to raise the monthly minimum wage by 25% to €750 euros by 2023 while reducing public debt below 100% of GDP. Costa was reelected on October 6...

Greek government seeks to reduce primary surplus targets

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Greece’s bailout saga seems to be left behind. However, a remnant of it - and especially of the third programme agreed by the former SYRIZA government - is the goal for 3.5% primary surplus target...

The domino effect of the French veto

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French President Emmanuel Macron’s veto of the start of EU accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia at the EU Summit has caused massive disappointment with the European Union among the Western Balkan states...

Macron taps Thierry Breton to be EU’s Industry Commissioner

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French President Emmanuel Macron has named Thierry Breton, Minister of Finance and a software executive, as the new designate for EU Commission’s Industry Portfolio. Breton, who served as France’s economy minister from 2005-2007 under...

Transjakarta strives for a more efficient public transportation system

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BRUSSELS – Transjakarta is trying to keep up with the need of Jakarta as a megapolitan city which must be supported by an integrated public transportation system, Transjakarta CEO Agung Wicaksono said during his...

EIB to support climate action projects in Brazil

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The European Investment Bank agreed on 22 October to provide €100m to Banco de Desenvolvimento de Minas Gerais, to support climate action projects in the Brazilian state Minas Gerais. The funds will be used by...

Highview Power to develop Cryogenic Energy Storage Facilities in UK

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Long-duration energy storage solutions company, Highview Power, on 21 October announced plans to construct the UK’s first commercial cryogenic energy storage facility, which is also referred to as liquid air, at large scale, which...

Waste-to-energy highly efficient cogeneration plant in Poland gets EU nod

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Polish plans to support the construction of a highly efficient municipal waste treatment facility located in Gdańsk comply with EU State aid rules, the European Commission said. The beneficiary of the aid is Port Czystej...

Resumption of peace talks may pause Turkish drilling in Cyprus EEZ

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Incoming new EU Commission may be keener on negotiations to resolve regional East Med problems LIMASSOL, Cyprus – The possible resumption of the dormant peace talks when Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader...

The British must now appoint a Commissioner

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Britain will have to propose a candidate for the European Commission if the UK remains an EU member-state beyond October 31, incoming Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday. “There might be an...

Mario Draghi leaves but his policy stays on

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It is hard to know whether it is the nature of the decision that is polarizing or the nature of the decision-maker. The 72-year-old Mario Draghi has fierce admirers and critics, but he is arguably...

Italy’s budget not to deviate significantly from EU rules

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The 2020 Italian budget will not deviate significantly from EU rules, Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri responded to a question by Commissioners Valdis Dombrovskis and Pierre Moscovici on Thursday. Gualtieri admitted to a "slight deterioration" of...

As Kurdish forces retreat Turkey moves to resettle Syrian Arabs into evacuated regions

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As Kurdish forces are abandoning Northern Syria, Turkey is moving fast to resettle Arab Syrian refugees in the region, sometimes forcefully. Syrian Kurdish forces (SDF) continue to evacuate the Northern Syrian region as part of...

France questions need for long Brexit delay

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France is willing to facilitate the vote on Brexit legislation but rules out an extension beyond that, a diplomatic source said on Tuesday. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s proposed to parliament to pass the Withdrawal...

Marseille uses abandoned U-boat base to become a European data-hub

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A WW II German U-boat base submarine base in Marseille will become France’s second-biggest data-storage centre after Paris. The Dutch cloud services firm Interxion plans are investing €140 million to turn the 1943 “Martha Base”...

Germany nominates Isabel Schnabel to the ECB executive board

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Germany nominated Isabel Schnabel to the European Central Bank’s executive board on Wednesday. The nominated academic will replace Sabine Lautenschlaeger, who resigned from the ECB board last month in protest to the ECB’s fiscal stimulus. Finance...

Enlargement is not Eurovision, Zoran

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Enlargement boosters across Europe were stunned by the third failure of the European Council to announce a decision on 18 October on a date for beginning EU accession negotiations for Albania and North Macedonia,...

Germany proposes NATO safe zone in N. Syria while Turkey reaches its own deal...

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In the weeks since US President Donald J. Trump ignored his own military advisors' warnings and ordered the sudden withdrawal of all American forces in Syria, which then led to an invasion of northern...

EU to host conference for Venezuelan refugees and migrants

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The European Union alongside the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have organised a high-level International Solidarity Conference in Brussels for 28-29 October to discuss having a more concerted...

Commission announces shortlisted cities for 2020 Access City Awards

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The names of six shortlisted European cities that will contend to win the 2020 Access City Award were published by the EU Commission on 23 October and include Castellón de la Plana (Spain), Chania...

Microsoft’s EU contracts found to breach GDPR

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The European Data Protection Supervisor has expressed serious concerns about Microsoft’s contractual agreements with the EU's institutions, saying they fail to fully comply with the bloc's GDPR, the EU's data protection legislation. Microsoft has already...

The return of Boeing’s 737 MAX fleet to service called into question

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Newly-surfaced documents suggest Boeing may not be able to return its historically best seller 737 Max to service on Monday. Boeing shares continue to slide after the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) criticised the American...

Canada’s Trudeau wins minority government

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Canada's incumbent Prime Minister Justin Trudeau won a closely fought election on 21 October and will now have to form a minority government after his Liberal party secured 157 seats in the 338-seat parliament. Trudeau...