Uncategorized

May to seek concessions in Brussels, denies backstop replacement

-
Despite the EU’s repeated declarations that the Withdrawal Agreement for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union is non-negotiable, British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected in Brussels on February 7, a day after Ireland's...

Borisov wants Bulgaria in the Eurozone by 2022

-
While speaking at an annual business conference in (where?) on January 29, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov reaffirmed his country’s intent to enter the Eurozone by July 2022. Integration into the Eurozone topped the agenda...

Swedish government announces mass public sector layoffs

-
The newly-formed Swedish government signalled that it would pursue a major new policy turn on January 31 by announcing mass public sector layoffs that will see 4,500 state workers made redundant in the coming months. The move...

EU Commission details its plan for achieving a sustainable Europe

-
A proposal to reinvent sustainable economic growth that has been tabled by the European Commission will help the bloc reach the sustainability goals set by the United Nations by 2030. With just over a decade...

May calls for reopening negotiations on Withdrawal Agreement

-
British Prime Minister Theresa May told her cabinet on Tuesday that she will seek to reopen the UK's negotiations with the European Union over its pending withdrawal from the bloc in an effort to...

Salvini throws support behind high-speed railway linking Italy and France

-
Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini is putting his weight behind a project to develop a high-speed railway connection between Italy and France, saying that the link “must absolutely be built”. Salvini’s statement of public support...

US Congressional investigation zeros in on Deutsche Bank’s relation with Trump

-
Two committees from the US' House of Representatives have requested that scandal-plagued German lender Deutsche Bank provide information about its business dealings with US President Donald J. Trump both before and after he was elected in...

Romano Prodi: We Need Social Infrastructure

-
On January 23, after a bilateral meeting at the with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, former Italian Prime Minister and former President of the European Commission Romano Prodi spoke about social infrastructure at the Brussels Press...

World Economic Forum launches initiative against food waste

-
New emerging traceability technologies like IoT sensors, blockchain, and food-sensing technologies could reduce food loss by 85 million tonnes by 2030, according to a report published by the World Economic Forum (WEF). Nearly one-third of...

Scotland’s former nationalist first minister charged with rape

-
The former leader of the Scottish National Party Alex Salmond, the man who led an unsuccessful for Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom in 2014,  was taken into custody on January 24 after being accused of sexual misconduct...

Davos: Merkel wants reform rather than a halt to globalisation

-
International institutions founded after World War II must be modernised rather than created anew, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 23, a statement that was seen as...

Member States approve investment for EU energy infrastructure

-
Member States of the European Union voted on January 23 on a Commission proposal to invest almost €800 million in key European energy infrastructure projects with major cross-border benefits. According to the Commission, the...

Davos: US’ Pompeo champions a globalisation that only serves national interests

-
Addressing the World Economic Forum via video conference, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made clear on January 22 that Washington has embarked on a project of reviewing whether pre-existing alliances, including NATO and...

Renewed Franco-German political cooperation sealed in Aachen

-
More than three-quarters of a century after engaging one another in the most destructive war in human history, Germany and France - the two traditional powers at the heart of the European project -...

EIB promotes energy efficient supermarkets in Portugal

-
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is providing €55 million to Portuguese company Sonae MC for its food retail stores, which comprise a chain of hypermarkets and supermarkets, the European Commission said on January 22,...

Google hit with €50m fine under GDPR by French DPA

For the first time since European policymakers adopted the bloc's new data privacy law last May. France’s National Commission for Informatics and Liberties (CNIL) has fined Google €50 millionfor failing to properly disclose to users...

EU strives to secure Russian gas transit via Ukraine post-2019

-
The European Commission has tabled a proposal for Russia and Ukraine, covering duration, volumes and tariffs of a future gas transit agreement via Ukraine to Europe after 2019, Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič...

Sturgeon to move on Scottish independence referendum

-
Scotland’s first minister Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take steps towards calling for a referendum on Scottish independence regardless of whether the March 29 Brexit deadline is extended. “It could be that the extension of Article 50...

Siemens Gamesa launches giant offshore wind turbine

-
Spain’s Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy said on January 16 that the company launched the SG 10.0-193 DD, SGRE’s first 10+ MW offshore wind turbine, with blades almost the same length as a soccer field. “The...

May survives no confidence vote

-
British Prime Minister Theresa May survived a no-confidence vote by the slim margin of 325-to-306, after which she called for immediate meetings with leaders of parliamentary parties to discuss the future direction of her government. The crushing defeat...

East Med countries agree to create regional gas market

-
Eastern Mediterranean countries have agreed to create a regional gas market in an effort to transform their part of the Mediterranean into a major energy hub. Egypt, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Israel, Jordan, and the Palestinian...

Draghi confirms no interest rate hike in sight

-
The eurozone’s economy is weaker than expected and fiscal stimulus measures must remain in place, argued the President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi on Tuesday. No interest rate hike in sight However, Draghi admitted...

Eurozone and Chinese manufacturing output craters amid global economic slowdown

-
Eurozone and Chinese manufacturers are feeling a significant slowdown in global demand as the number of manufacturing orders in Europe slowed in November, with Eurostat recording a 1.7% drop from the previous month. The driver...

China’s perilous Taiwan policy

-
The unfolding geopolitical contest between China and the United States has been described by many as a new cold war. If it ever becomes a hot one, the flashpoint could be Taiwan, owing in...

Thousands of European youths to receive free Interrail passes

-
With the launch of the second edition of its DiscoverEU programme, the European Commission has announced that more than 14,500 18-year-olds will be able to travel in Europe for a maximum of 30 days from April...

Polish and Italian conservative parties negotiate European alliance

-
Italy's Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini, the leader of the country's Lega (League) party, met with the leader of Poland’s ruling Law and Justice Party, Jaroslaw Kaczyński, on December 10 to discuss the possibility of...

Fully filling the Global Fund

The single most important public health measure of 2019 is the replenishment of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. These three diseases, which currently kill around 2.5 million people per year,...

BP to expand deepwater production in Gulf of Mexico

-
British oil major BP announced on January 8 that it approved a major expansion at the Atlantis field in the Gulf of Mexico and has also identified significant additional oil resources that could create...

Gazprom launches gas FSRU in Kaliningrad Region

-
With President Vladimir Putin in attendance, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom commissioned an offshore gas receiving terminal and a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) called Marshal Vasilevsky on January 8 in the Kaliningrad Region. Earlier, Gazprom...

UK Parliament puts safeguard in place against no deal option

-
The UK's House of Commons amended a Finance Bill, limiting the ability of British Prime Minister Theresa May’s government to prepare for a no-deal Brexit scenario after several of her own Conservative Party members...

Terrorism finance trial begins in Sweden for Uzbek and Kyrgryz suspects

-
The trial of six Uzbek and Kyrgyz nationals accused of financing terrorism and planning a terror attack after sending funds to the ISIS in Syria went on trial in Stockholm on January 7. The suspects were...

European business confidence drops to four-year low

-
Investor morale in the Eurozone reached a four-year low in January, according to a survey released by the Germany-based Sentix group, which carried out a survey of close to 1,000 investors from January 3-to-5. European...

Portugal gets nod from EU for biomass energy support scheme

-
A Portuguese scheme to support biomass energy installations located close to forest areas regarded as critical, due to the risk of fires has received the go-ahead from the European Commission, noting that the new...

A year to act

-
Let us hope that 2019 is the year when the historical tide turns. In 2018, divisions within and between countries continued to deepen. And while geopolitical tensions and political tribalism have transformed international relations...

How inequality undermines economic performance

-
About a decade ago, the Commission on Growth and Development (which I chaired) published a report that attempted to distil 20 years of research and experience in a wide range of countries into lessons for developing...

Europe’s year of living defensively

-
From a European perspective, 2019 promises to be another difficult year, dominated by large challenges that could easily turn into menacing crises. Barring a major reversal, the United Kingdom will withdraw from the European...

French state bank fined for failing to detect money transfers tied to terror suspects

-
France's banking regulator imposed a €50 million fine on the nation's postal office bank, Banque Postale,  after finding that it had failed to disrupt cash transfers to and from people suspected of terrorist activities. The watchdog...