National News

MEPs want global CO2 binding targets to save biodiversity

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Members of the European Parliament want the upcoming global biodiversity conference COP 15 to agree on legally binding targets, as was the case for the Paris agreement on climate change. On 15 January, the European...

EU to assess if US-China deal is compatible with WTO rules

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The EU will assess whether the newly signed US-China Phase One deal is compatible with WTO rules. The deal opened a new, quieter phase in the trade war between Beijing and Washington, as it...

European companies ask EU to toughen its approach to China

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The business organization BusinessEurope complained that China was the most restrictive of the EU’s trading partners. The EU is China’s biggest trading partner. The organisation consists of business groups from 35 countries. It warned that...

Commission asks EU’s top court to suspend chamber disciplining Polish judges

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The European Commission decided on Tuesday to ask the European Court of Justice (CJEU) to temporarily suspend the functioning of the disciplinary chamber of Poland’s Supreme Court, after CJEU ruled in December that the...

Turkey lifts ban on Wikipedia after 3 years

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After nearly three years, a Turkish court has lifted the government’s ban on the online encyclopedia, Wikipedia. The ban was imposed when Turkey accused Wikipedia of participating in a campaign against the country, after the...

Commission says Portugal fails to meet EU fiscal targets

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The EU Commission told Portugal that its draft budget for 2020 was at risk of breaking EU fiscal rules because of insufficient progress in reducing its structural deficit. Even though the country’s debt is falling,...

Group of States against Corruption Executive Secretary visits Kazakhstan

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) Executive Secretary Gianluca Esposito met on 15 January with Kazakh President Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, Akorda said. “During the meeting, the interlocutors discussed the issues...

Sale of Piraeus Bank’s Bulgarian subsidiary to Eurobank did not breach EU state aid...

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After examining a complaint received in January 2019 that led to the opening of a formal investigation procedure, the European Commission confirmed on Wednesday the compliance of the sale of Piraeus Bank's Bulgarian subsidiary...

UK, France, Germany pull diplomatic trigger on Iran deal dispute

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Nearly a week after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet, killing everyone on board, France, Germany and the UK informed the European Commission on Tuesday that they were given...

Russia’s government resigns as Putin calls for constitutional change

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Russia’s prime minister Dmitry Medvedev suddenly resigned on 15 January, hours before the head of Russia's tax service, Mikhail Mishustin, was named as the next PM. The country's president Vladimir Putin outlined proposed constitutional changes...

Greece to elect its first female president

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On the afternoon of January 15, political correspondents covering the activity of the Greek government were notified on WhatsApp that Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the country's prime minister, was due to address the nation later that...

Former EU diplomat suspected of spying for China

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German prosecutors said they were investigating three people suspected of working as secret agents and spying for China. The suspects include a former EU diplomat. “We can confirm an investigation into suspected espionage” for Chinese...

CoE experts say Italy must do more to protect women from violence

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Gender equality is facing resistance in Italy despite some progress that has been made to promote women’s rights, according to GREVIO, the Council of Europe’s group of experts on violence against women, during its...

Kazakhstan mulls expanding President’s powers in defence planning

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan - The Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan has created a bill to expand the powers of the country's president in case of martial law, Murat Bektanov, First Deputy Minister of Defense, Chief of...

Nordic countries disagree with EU over minimum wage

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Nordic nations were not happy about the European Commission’s plans to introduce an EU-wide minimum wage framework. As they do not have a minimum wage, Denmark, Sweden and Finland fear the measure could undermine their...

EU supports Poland in its dispute with Russia over WWII

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Commissioner Vera Jourova told the EU parliament that she rejects claims that paint Poland as a perpetrator instead of a victim of World War II, which lasted from 1939-1945. “Organized and targeted dissemination of distortions...

Cambodian opposition leader goes on trial for ‘treason’

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A Cambodian court opened a trial against the prominent Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha, accusing him of “conspiring with foreign powers” to overthrow the government. Based on a video of a speech he gave in...

Johnson says Huawei critics should suggest alternatives

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British PM Boris Johnson said that opponents of Chinese tech company Huawei should suggest alternatives. The comment comes as US officials arrived in Britain to push for Huawei’s 5G ban, as Johnson’s government prepares to...

US, Japan and EU target China with new WTO subsidy rules proposals

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The European Union, Japan and the United States proposed new global subsidy rules on Tuesday, clearly pointing at China's state-supported economic model. During a Trilateral meeting held in Washington, D.C., Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. Trade Representative, Hiroshi Kajiyama, Japan's...

US, China to sign Phase One trade deal

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US President Donald Trump and Chinese vice premier Liu He will today sign the Phase One trade deal, reached in December. The agreement is a major step forward in the trade war between the two...

Kazakhstan joins Council of Europe Group of States against corruption

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan was included in the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption, Kazakh Agency for Combating Corruption told New Europe. “By ratifying the relevant law, Kazakhstan officially became the fiftieth member...

Ukraine to boost renewables, energy efficiency with EU help

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Ukraine can focus in developing the country’s renewable energy sector and improve the much-delayed energy efficiency now that the former Soviet republic has concluded the gas transit agreement with Russia, the European Union’s energy...

France and Sahel partners step up jihadist fight

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France and Africa's Sahel countries have agreed to step up military cooperation to fight the jihadist presence in the region. The G5 Sahel framework for coordination of regional cooperation was formed in 2014. Its members...

European judges join Polish colleagues in protest against controversial law

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Hundreds of judges dressed in formal robes took to the streets on 11 January in Poland’s capital, Warsaw, to protest a controversial law. The protesters held Polish and EU flags, as well as banners reading...

Libya peace talks in Moscow stall

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Libya’s opposed leaders failed to agree on a ceasefire to end the war over the capital Tripoli. The peace talks in Moscow on 13 January lasted eight hours. Mediators Russia, who supports commander Khalifa Haftar’s...

Poland leads European onshore wind growth at the moment

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Poland held the largest European dedicated onshore wind auction ever in December with a total volume of 2.2GW, WindEurope said on 13 January, adding that the average bid of €49/MWh was lower than the...

“Immigration as much a threat as climate change” says Austria’s Kurz

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Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, said that illegal immigration poses the same threat as climate change does, placing both issues on top of his agenda. "It is important to protect our environment but it is also important...

Soldier confesses to murdering Slovak journalist

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Miroslav Marcek, one of the suspects in the 2018 murder of Slovak journalist Jan Kuciak and his partner, Martina Kusnirova, admitted to the killing in the country’s court on 13 January. "I am guilty. I...

Turkey arrests 176 soldiers over links to Gulen movement

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Turkish authorities have ordered the detention of 176 soldiers over suspected links to US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen’s network, which is blamed by Ankara for plotting a 2016 coup attempt. In 2016, a group of...

EBRD, IRENA agree to rapidly increase share of renewables

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During the 10th IRENA Assembly in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, at United Arab Emirates, the International Renewable Energy Agency and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on...

Human Rights Watch chief denied entry to Hong Kong

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The rights group Human Rights Watch announced on 12 January that its executive director Kenneth Roth has been denied entry to Hong Kong, where was going to launch an annual report on human rights,...

UK Security Service ‘not worried’ about Huawei impact on intelligence sharing

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Andrew Parker, the chief of the UK Security Service - MI5, said in an interview that he had 'no reason to think' the intelligence partnership with the US would suffer if ministers allow involvement...

France offers compromise to end strike

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Amidst nationwide strikes over a proposed pension reform that have been going on for more than a month, the French government offered a major compromise with workers unions. The country’s PM, Édouard Philippe, wrote to...

Kazakhstan and EU to discuss cooperation prospects in Brussels this month

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NUR-SULTAN, Kazakhstan – Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Mukhtar Tleuberdi will discuss new areas of cooperation with the European Union, Foreign Ministry spokesman Aibek Smadiyarov said on 13 January. “On January 20-21, the Kazakh delegation, headed by...

Protests grow after Iran admits to downing airliner

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Nationwide protests in Iran escalated over the accidental shooting down of a Ukrainian passenger plane, that killed all 176 people on board. Earlier, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani said an investigation into the tragedy had found...

Polish PM condemns ‘rise of anti-Americanism’ in EU

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Poland's Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said his country aims to create stronger ties between Europe and the United States. He believes that without the US, the EU would not survive "hybrid attacks from Russia...

Merkel says Berlin to host Libya peace talks

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Libya peace talks will be held in Berlin, said Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday, following a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. "We hope that the joint efforts by Russia and Turkey will lead...