Institutional Affairs

Russia’s influence in Georgia has grown since the 2008 war

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At exactly the same time that French President Emmanuel Macron was hosting his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, at his summer home in the south of France this week, Russian soldiers were busy building barbed...

North Korea money laundering in Russia puts European banks at risk

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Elvira Nabiullina, the governor of the Russian Central Bank, has reportedly been reforming the bank sector and cracking down on financial institutions engaged in illicit behaviour. “Nabiullina's has made some impressive achievements in cleaning up...

Say “No” to a technocratic government

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The EU’s economy has essentially been flat over the past year. The slump in manufacturing is deepening. Companies are cutting work hours and issuing profit warnings. The dominant mood in the European and international...

Italian PM Conte resigns

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After weeks of coalition turmoil between the increasingly popular Lega party and their governing partners, the 5-Star Movement, Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced his resignation on Tuesday afternoon saying, 'this government ends here". Conte's...

What can be done to save Hong Kong?

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It is becoming increasingly clear, as the Hong Kong protests continue, that the Chinese Communist Party will be forced to make a choice - either a bloody, military crackdown (the more likely of the...

When Leninists overreach

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Ongoing street protests in Hong Kong and Moscow have no doubt spooked the authoritarian duo of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Moscow protests, the largest in many years, must...

Salvini’s Lega presents Italian PM Conte no-confidence motion

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Italian deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini's League presented a motion of no confidence in prime minister Giuseppe Conte in the Italian Senate on Friday. The motion comes after Thursday’s quotes from Salvini that the ruling...

UK economy shrinks in second quarter, first since 2012 and ahead of Brexit deadline

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The UK's economy shrank for the first time since 2012 in the second quarter according to fiscal data made available by Britain’s Office for National Statistics. With Boris Johnson’s British government committed to exit...

Sweden’s Johansson tapped as ninth woman nominated for EU College of Commissioners

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The Swedish government has decided to nominate its Labour Minister Ylva Johansson as the country's candidate to be a part of European Commission President-elect Ursula von Der Leyen’s incoming College of Commissioners. Johansson is one...

Government future at stake as Italian PM Conte visits President Mattarella

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The Italian premier Giuzeppe Conte had a 30-minute face-to-face meeting with the Italian Head of State Sergio Mattarella, to take stock of the tensions between the 5 Stelle and the Lega. The meeting became a...

UK could face food shortages in no-deal Brexit scenario, Britain’s food and drink lobby...

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UK to experience shortages of some fresh foods for weeks or even months if a disorderly no-deal Brexit leaves perishable produce rotting in lorries at ports, Britain’s food and drink lobby warned on Wednesday. Leaving...

Bosnia’s authorities draw cautious praise from Brussels after agreeing to form Council of Ministers

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Nearly 10 months after Bosnia and Herzegovina's last round of elections, the leaders of country's three main ethnoreligious groups finally reached an agreement to form a central government on 4 August, news that the...

EU diplomats hint no-deal Brexit as Johnson’s central scenario

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s central scenario is a no-deal Brexit, meaning that he has no intention of renegotiating the Withdrawal Agreement, according to EU diplomats. “It was clear UK does not have another plan,”...

UK seeks to boost post-Brexit trade ties with the Americas

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Plans of British foreign minister Dominic Raab will travel to Canada, the United States and Mexico this week to seek to boost ties with non-European countries ahead of Brexit, were made public on Tuesday Ex-Brexit...

EU Commission warns of significant disruption from hard Brexit

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The European Commission reiterated its openness and readiness to hold talks with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to avoid a hard Brexit that would cause significant economic disruption, of a larger extent to the...

Von der Leyen visits Zagreb as she vows to back Croatia’s euro and Schengen...

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Ursula von der Leyen, the European Commission's President-elect, is continuing her tour of the bloc's capitals has visited Zagreb to meet with Croatia's Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic. "Following my visits to Berlin, Paris and Warsaw...

President-elect von der Leyen meets Orban in Brussels

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The President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen met with Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orban in Brussels where the two discussed her plans for climate protection, economic, migration policy, and the role...

Johnson to apply additional pressure to negotiate a “better Brexit deal”

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to pressure Brussels to actually negotiate a better, a Brexit deal, while hinting that no talks would take place if the EU won't accept the pledge for...

Boris Johnson promises to “never” restore physical checks at Irish border

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According to the readouts obtained by the British and Irish governments, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told his counterpart in Ireland, Leo Varadkar, that he would never to allow physical checks to be put in...

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...

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...

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...

Timmermans says EU Commission under von der Leyen will be tough on rule of...

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European Commission First Vice-president Frans Timmermans said during a press conference following an EU affairs meeting in Brussels that he has no doubt that incoming Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen will be as...

Hezbollah is a terrorist organisation and a threat to Europe

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If Europe is serious about combating antisemitism, the Lebanon-based global terror group Hezbollah must be stopped in its tracks. As we marked on 18 July the seventh anniversary of the suicide bombing in Burgas,...

EU introduces annual ‘rule of law review cycle’

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A yearly "rule of law review cycle" to help stop countries such as Hungary, Poland, and Romania from backsliding on EU norms that have been introduced by the European Commission. The process would see EU...

Ursula von der Leyen is the new president-elect of the European Commission

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Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's current defence minister, has won the backing of enough Members of the European Parliament to be named the president-elect of the European Commission. The 60-year old, Brussels-born German, a close ally...

The sky didn’t fall in Ukraine

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What so many Ukrainian voters were afraid of simply did not happen. After being sworn in as president, Volodymyr Zelensky did not attempt to establish closer relations with Russia. Whether he would have liked...

EU could be in for a difficult summer if von der Leyen is not...

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Ahead of Tuesday’s crucial vote in Strasbourg, the EU may be left in the lurch as it will be caught in the mid-summer season without a solid path forward if Ursula von der Leyen, the nominee...

Green deal emerges as a core policy for von der Leyen during latest hearing

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Germany's defence minister, Ursula von der Leyen, the top candidate to become the next president of the European Commission promised on Tuesday a so-called "green deal” to be launched during the 100 first days of her...

Von der Leyen’s future as European Commission president hangs in the balance

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A day before the European Parliament votes on Ursula von der Leyen's candidacy for the European Commission presidency, the German defence minister is preparing a keynote speech to be delivered on Tuesday. Von der Leyen is hoping to...

Socialists and Liberals set conditions to support Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission candidacy

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The leader of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) in the European Parliament, Iratxe Garcia, called for institutional reform to strengthen the power of voters and the role of the European Parliament in the forthcoming...

Left in the EU parliament won’t support von der Leyen’s Commission bid

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European Parliament MEP's from the Left have said they will not support Ursula von der Leyen's candidacy for the European Commission presidency. European United Left/Nordic Green Left's acting president Martin Schirdewan said the MEPs have “grilled” von...

Renew Europe MPs do not guarantee support for von der Leyen

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The president of the liberal group Renew Europe, Dacian Ciolos, confirmed on 11 July that his group's MEPs vote is not to be taken for granted in support of Ursula von der Leyen after the...