Administrative Affairs

Commission refuses to comment on Greek plans to rid banks of bad loans

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As reports pour in about Greece’s plan to assist its four banks who are in need of speeding up their Non-performing loan (NPLs) disposals, the European Commission has declined comment on whether the asset...

EU ups humanitarian support to Afghanistan

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Facing a severe drought and a renewed offensive by Taliban militants, the European Commission has allocated €20 million in emergency additional aid to Afghanistan as the humanitarian situation in the war-torn Central Asian nation has worsened since the...

€52 million grant given to Greek Defence Ministry under investigation by OLAF

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Days after three journalists were arrested in Greece following a report that Athens’ Defence Minister Panos Kammenos had misused EU migration funds, Brussels has confirmed that the European Anti-Fraud Agency (OLAF), is looking into the case after looking...

Skripal poisoning suspect revealed as decorated GRU officer

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The art of spycraft has been the inspiration for writers and filmmakers for decades. Ever since Dutch-born Mata Hari used her upper-class social connections and sexual exploits to gather information for the Germans during...

How will Central and Eastern Europe respond to a far more impactful (mobility) transition?

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The transition to low emission mobility is key to achieving Europe’s energy and climate objectives and easily the most difficult. Whereas decarbonisation of sectors like agriculture and buildings are relatively straightforward with established financial...

Will Italy Destroy the Eurozone?

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Eurosceptic discourse is now mainstream in Italy. The current government is a coalition that encompasses both the left and right traditions of sovereigntist politics. The economy is at the epicentre of this discussion, with the...

NATO names Lithuania’s Jukneviciene as Parliamentary Assembly president

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The North Atlantic Treaty Organization announced on September 24 that Lithuania's former defence minister, Rasa Jukneviciene, a member of the conservative party of the Lithuanian Christian Democrats, has succeeded her Italian predecessor Paolo Alli as...

Despite tensions over trade, US is now Europe’s main supplier of soya beans

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Trade relations between the EU and US have been mired in bitter disputes over President Donald J. Trump's decision to slap sharp protectionist tariffs on key European exports - including steel and aluminium - which...

EU members still losing almost €150 billion in VAT revenues according to new figures

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A new study published by the European Commission has found that EU countries lost almost €150 billion in Value-Added Tax (VAT) revenues in 2016 despite the Member States having carried out significant work to improve VAT...

What was Qatar up to at the UNGA?

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With this year’s edition of the United Nations General Assembly in New York taking place over the previous week, one feature of the 2017 session that returned for this year's gathering was the intensive amount of lobbying...

Airbnb to comply with European Commission, consumer authorities’ demands

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Following calls from the European Commission and EU consumer authorities in July, popular accommodation hosting website Airbnb has now committed to making the necessary changes to their terms and conditions and improving the presentation...

Ukraine’s political standoff

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For years, politicians in Ukraine have been caught in a “Mexican standoff” - a confrontation in which no strategy exists that allows any political party to achieve victory. As a result, the parties have...

Good Politics, Bad Economics

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Bad economics breeds bad politics. The global financial crisis, and the botched recovery thereafter, put wind in the sails of political extremism. Between 2007 and 2016, support for extremist parties in Europe doubled. France’s National Rally (formerly...

Greece’s creditors nervous as Tsipras appears to walk away from structural reform goals

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After successfully concluding its three-year European Stability Mechanism stability support programme and with its place at the heart of the Eurozone and EU secured - a development that Brussels is publicly hailing as a...

Central African Republic to receive €26.5 million from EU for regional humanitarian crisis

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The conflict-ridden Central African Republic will be the beneficiary of a much-needed assistance package from the European Union after Brussels announced the release of €26.5 million in emergency aid for vulnerable families affected by the humanitarian crisis...

EU’s Jourova demands release of Ukrainian political prisoner in letter to Russia’s justice minister

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Four years after open combat erupted between Ukraine and Russia, the battleground has largely shifted to the murky world of cyber warfare, black ops, and targeted arrests. Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov was arrested in his native Crimea...

Sefcovic announces bid for EU’s top job as Social-Democrat Spitzenkandidat

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With the support of nine Social-Democrat (S&D) political parties across the EU, Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission's vice president in charge of the energy union, officially announced at the European Parliament in Brussels on September...

Can Trade Agreements Be a Friend to Labour?

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Labour advocates have long complained that international trade agreements are driven by corporate agendas and pay little attention to the interests of working people. The preamble of the World Trade Organization Agreement mentions the objective of...

Regulating cash transfers at the EU’s external borders to prevent crime

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Over the last few years, Europe has suffered unprecedented terrorist violence that has killed hundreds of citizens, while also experiencing a rise in cross-border organised economic crime. The experience shows that one of the...

Who Really Creates Value in an Economy?

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After the 2008 global financial crisis, a consensus emerged that the public sector had a responsibility to intervene to bail out systemically important banks and stimulate economic growth. But that consensus proved short-lived, and...

Addressing the issue of the Central Mediterranean Route

Libya has been in turmoil ever since NATO’s Operation Unified Protector ended in 2011. Whilst it is widely agreed that a political solution is needed to bring stability to Libya, recent inter-militia clashes do...

Image of Washington under Trump improves with France’s Eurosceptic ultra-nationalists

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Anti-American sentiments are deeply rooted in France and mostly date from the 1968 Paris student protests that saw thousands of young, left-leaning French citizens rail against the US' involvement in the Vietnam War and its...

Juncker Plan backs €85 mil loan for new chronic disease treatments

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The European Investment Bank and Barcelona-based pharmaceutical company Grifols have signed a €85 million loan for the company’s research, development, and innovation project. The initiatives covered by the plan identify new treatments for rare and...

Commission wants €4.7 mil from Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help redundant workers in Portugal

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The European Commission today proposed to provide Portugal with nearly €4.7 million from the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund to help former garment workers and several hundred young people without employment and education find a...

Austria joins eHealth cooperation for personalised care

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With the signing of the European Declaration on linking genomic databases across borders, Austria is now the 16th EU country to join the European Commission’s effort to better prevent and understanding diseases and allowing for better,...

Commission welcomes European Parliament’s vote to strengthen Structural Reform Support Programme

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The European Commission welcomed a recent vote by the European Parliament to increase the budget of the bloc’s Structural Reform Support Programme by €80 million, which will enable the EU to respond to increased...

ERDF invests €74.5m into high-speed broadband access in Brittany

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Located in the northwestern corner of France and best known for its age-old maritime traditions and distinct Celtic traditions, France's region of Brittany received a boost to its telecommunications after the European Regional Development...

Germany’s Seehofer says country’s political problems are caused by migration, opposition calls for his...

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Germany's Interior Minister Horst Seehofer received heavy criticism from top politicians on September 6 after he labelled illegal migration as the "mother of all political problems" in the country - a statement that was quickly pounced on...

EU to invest €320 million into Poland’s road infrastructure

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More than €255 million from the European Regional Development Fund will be invested into the construction of a motorway section between the cities of Nowe Marzy, Świecie and Bydgoszcz, all of which are located...

WikiLeaks revelations propel Name Dispute issue back to center stage

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The Prespes Agreement - the latest attempt to end the quarter-century-long Name Dispute between Greece and its neighbour FYROM/Macedonia by renaming the latter 'the Republic of North Macedonia' - is back in the international headlines only three...

Commission releases report detailing scale of Engie’s Luxembourg tax loophole benefits

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The European Commission has published a report first compiled in June which concluded that Luxembourg granted French energy company Engie unfair tax benefits to the tune of around €120 million. The Commission found that tax rulings...

Trump’s Policies Will Displace the Dollar

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Back in 1965, Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, then France’s Minister of Finance, famously called the benefits that the United States reaped from the dollar’s role as the world’s main reserve currency an “exorbitant privilege.” The...

EU releases €138 million in humanitarian aid to Africa’s Lake Chad region

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As part of its effort to assist vulnerable communities in Africa's Lake Chad Basin, the European Commission has announced the release of an additional €138 million in humanitarian and developmental aid to be added...

Brussels decides not to extend trade defence measures on Chinese solar panels

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After having been in place for almost five years, the EU anti-dumping and anti-subsidy measures on solar panels from China will not be extended after the measures expire at 23:59 on September 4. After considering the needs of both...

Europe’s Populist Fifth Column

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European security currently rests essentially on the NATO alliance and the principle of mutual defence, and on cooperation between national intelligence services working to prevent violence against people and national assets. But in an...

Commission presents additional measures to support farmers

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The European Commission has presented a package of new measures aimed at increasing the availability of forage resources for livestock, one of the main challenges facing farmers following a recent drought across the Continent. This package complements...

Russia blocks UN report detailing North Korea’s sanctions violations

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Russia has blocked the publication of a report by the United Nations on the implementation of sanctions against North Korea because it disagrees with some of the findings, AFP quoted Moscow's UN Ambassador Vasily...