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EU parliament to vote on Palestine statehood

21.11.14 @ 18:12

The European Parliament will in Strasbourg on Thursday (27 November) add its voice to the debate on whether EU states should recognise Palestine. The motion was initiated at the 11th hour by the left-wing Gue and S&D ...

One year after Euromaidan: 13 people dying every day

21.11.14 @ 09:29

One year after the start of Ukraine’s pro-Western revolution - the Euromaidan - people are dying every day in east Ukraine despite the 5 September “ceasefire” pact with Russia, a UN report says. The survey, by the UN’s ...

Ombudsman to investigate EU mission in Kosovo

19.11.14 @ 09:30

Europe’s Ombudsman has opened a fresh enquiry into the EU's handling of corruption allegations at Eulex, its rule of law mission in Kosovo. Emily O’Reilly, who heads the watchdog, notified Patrick Child, the top ...

Spanish MPs build EU support for Palestine recognition

18.11.14 @ 22:04

The Spanish Congress has backed a non-binding motion to recognise Palestine, as France prepares for a similar move next week. The non-binding resolution passed by 319 votes against two, with one abstention on Tuesday ( ...

Nato warns of Russian military build-up, amid EU peace talks

18.11.14 @ 12:09

Nato has again warned of a “build-up” of “Russian forces” in and around Ukraine, one day after EU ministers shied away from Russia criticism. Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg told press in Brussels on Tuesday (18 November): ...

Mogherini makes light of leaked EU paper on Israel sanctions

18.11.14 @ 09:28

Europe’s new foreign relations chief has denied the EU is in talks on Israel sanctions, despite a leaked paper on the issue. Federica Mogherini, who chaired her first foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels on Monday (17 ...

EU countries keen to rebuild Russia relations

17.11.14 @ 19:34

Forty eight hours after Nato said Russia is pouring fresh troops into Ukraine, EU ministers opted to blacklist some “separatists” while trying to restart talks with Moscow. The foreign ministers, who met in Brussels on ...

Merkel: Russia cannot veto EU expansion

17.11.14 @ 12:36

Germany has warned that Russia might try to spread its “sphere of influence” to the Western Balkans, while seeking new ways to make peace on Ukraine. “Who would have thought it possible that 25 years after the fall of ...

Ukraine warns EU of 'full-scale' Russian attack

14.11.14 @ 09:29

Ukraine’s ambassador to the EU has warned Brussels that Russia is preparing “a new full-scaled offensive operation” in Ukraine. Konstiantyn Yelisieiev wrote in a letter - seen by EUobserver - to EU embassies in Brussels ...

MEPs to Mogherini: Stop ignoring us on Russia sanctions

14.11.14 @ 09:28

A cross-party group of MEPs has urged the EU foreign service to stop ignoring the European Parliament on Magnitsky sanctions. Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption activist, died in jail in 2009 in what EU Council ...

InvestigationEU and Kosovo corruption: Scratching the surface?

11.11.14 @ 15:57

The EU has asked a 72-year old French academic to look at the recent corruption allegations against Eulex, its rule of law mission in Kosovo. But former EU officials are asking bigger questions, like: How come Eulex ...

Russian military trying to intimidate Nato, report says

10.11.14 @ 09:27

Russia has, in parallel with its war on Ukraine, instigated almost 40 “highly disturbing” anti-Nato incidents, a new British report says. The survey - Dangerous Brinkmanship, by the London-based think-tank ELN, out on ...

InterviewKasparov: Stop Putin now or pay the price later

09.11.14 @ 17:03

Chess legend Garry Kasparov was once the pride of the Soviet Union. But 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall he lives in exile, accusing Russian leader Vladimir Putin of “strategic failure” and the EU ...

Merkel: ‘Grave concern’ on new Russian tanks in Ukraine

07.11.14 @ 17:57

German chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday (7 November) voiced “grave concern” over reports of a new Russian military incursion in east Ukraine. Her office said in a communique after Merkel spoke with Ukrainian president ...

MEPs ask tough questions on EU mission in Kosovo

06.11.14 @ 11:38

Two senior MEPs have, in a letter to the EU foreign service, asked tough questions on corruption allegations against Eulex, the European rule of law mission in Kosovo. The letter - sent to foreign service chief Federica ...

New EU foreign chief takes firm stand on Israeli settlements

06.11.14 @ 09:24

The EU’s new foreign policy chief has urged Israel to “reverse” its latest settlement expansion in her first statement on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Federica Mogherini, who is to visit Israel and the West Bank on Friday ...

Spanish MPs to vote on Palestine recognition

04.11.14 @ 09:08

Spanish MPs will, on Tuesday (4 November), vote on a non-binding motion urging Madrid to recognise Palestinian statehood, following similar moves in Britain, Ireland, and Sweden. The motion was tabled by Antonio ...

EU and UN reject 'farcical' east Ukraine votes

03.11.14 @ 10:02

The EU, the UN, and Nato have rejected the outcome of “so-called elections” in Ukraine rebel zones, but Russia and a handful of fringe MEPs gave their stamp of approval. In her first official statement as the EU’s ...

Whistleblower urges external probe into EU mission in Kosovo

31.10.14 @ 19:13

Only an external investigation can restore faith in Eulex, the EU rule of law mission in Kosovo, Maria Bamieh, the British prosecutor at the heart of corruption revelations has told EUobserver. The revelations, first ...

'No one to stay cold', as Russia and Ukraine clinch winter gas deal

31.10.14 @ 09:29

Ukraine and Russia have agreed terms on winter gas supplies in a deal the EU says will contribute to “de-escalation” of the military conflict. The breakthrough was sealed at a signing ceremony and press conference in ...

EU mission in Kosovo rocked by corruption allegations

30.10.14 @ 19:27

The EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo, Eulex, is fighting to maintain credibility after allegations of bribe-taking and attempts to gag press. Eulex’ head, Gabriele Meucci, told reporters in Pristina on Thursday (30 ...

EU-brokered gas talks bedevilled by ‘lack of trust’

30.10.14 @ 09:29

Negotiators are struggling to secure EU winter gas supplies, with Ukraine saying chances of a deal are “pretty high”, but complaining of “lack of trust”. EU-brokered talks between Russia and Ukraine’s energy ministers ...

Pro-Western bloc wins Ukraine elections

27.10.14 @ 09:29

Ukraine exit polls show a strong win by pro-Western parties, a snub to the far-right, and a surprisingly good result for elements of the former regime. President Petro Poroshenko’s eponymous Poroshenko bloc (23%), ...

Merkel criticises Putin for broken promise on Ukraine

24.10.14 @ 03:59

Most EU leaders on Thursday (23 October) criticised Russia’s non-compliance with peace accords on Ukraine, but Italy urged re-engagement with Moscow. German chancellor Angela Merkel told press after the summit in ...

Putin's pipeline drives wedge between EU and Balkan hopefuls

24.10.14 @ 00:37

Macedonia has become the latest Western Balkan country to receive a stark warning on the implications of building Russia’s South Stream gas pipeline for its EU future. Janez Kopac, the head of the European Energy ...

Irish senators build EU momentum on Palestine recognition

23.10.14 @ 09:28

Irish senators have adopted a non-binding motion on Palestine recognition, as the EU prepares to set out new red lines on Israel relations. The motion, tabled by Averil Power from the opposition Fianna Fail party, ...

Former Polish FM causes furore over Russia interview

22.10.14 @ 09:30

He came close to being the EU’s new foreign policy chief, but Radek Sikorski’s political future is in doubt over his handling of a press interview. The Polish parliament speaker and former FM said in US magazine ...

Still no Russia gas deal as Europe heads into winter

22.10.14 @ 08:37

With temperatures already near freezing in eastern Europe, Ukraine will hold elections on Sunday (26 October) amid uncertainty on Russian gas supplies. The situation arises after EU, Russian, and Ukrainian negotiators ...

EU to uphold Russia sanctions

21.10.14 @ 09:29

EU states decided to uphold sanctions on Russia and to better co-ordinate their response to the Ebola crisis at a meeting of foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday (20 October). Polish FM Grzegorz Schetyna told press ...

Far-right Polish MEP saves Farage group

20.10.14 @ 19:42

Nigel Farage’s eurosceptic group in the European Parliament has been saved by a Pole with unusual views on women. The so-called EFDD group said on Monday (20 October) that Robert Iwaszkiewicz, from Poland’s far-right ...

Barroso draws EU red lines in UK speech

20.10.14 @ 09:28

Britain risks “alienating” friends in Europe by loose talk of migration curbs, the outgoing European Commission chief is to warn. “It is an illusion to believe that space for dialogue can be created if the tone and ...

Putin makes nice on Ukraine at EU-Russia mini-summit

17.10.14 @ 19:55

Russian leader Vladimir Putin told EU leaders he wants pro-Russia rebels to make peace with Ukraine at a meeting in Milan on Friday (17 October). Coming out of the talks, British PM David Cameron noted: “Putin said very ...

EU states to step up Ebola screening in west Africa

17.10.14 @ 09:30

EU countries have agreed to step up Ebola screening at airports in west Africa but not in Europe, despite a British appeal. “All the ministers who spoke want to increase screening at point-of-exit in the [affected] ...

Russian gas less mighty than it looks, EU says

16.10.14 @ 21:55

A Russian gas cut-off would have a “substantial impact” on eastern Europe, but even the most vulnerable countries - Bulgaria, Estonia, and Finland - could get through the winter. The European Commission “stress test”, ...

Putin says Western sanctions threaten nuclear 'stability'

16.10.14 @ 09:29

Russian leader Vladimir Putin has said the Ukraine crisis threatens nuclear “strategic stability” and global “economic health”. “We hope our partners will realise the futility of attempts to blackmail Russia and ...

Albania-Serbia football violence catches EU attention

16.10.14 @ 07:56

Violence at an Albania-Serbia football game has mushroomed in importance, with PMs, presidents, and EU diplomats getting involved. Albanian players and Serb fans fought on the pitch in Belgrade on Tuesday (14 October) ...

Serbia refuses to join EU sanctions on eve of Putin parade

15.10.14 @ 09:26

Serbia has promised not to impose EU-model sanctions on Russia and to go ahead with South Stream on the eve of Vladimir Putin’s visit to Belgrade. Its PM, Aleksandar Vucic, said in Russia's Tass news agency on Wednesday ...

British MPs vote to recognise Palestine in symbolic move

14.10.14 @ 09:24

British MPs have said the UK should recognise Palestine in a non-binding resolution which highlights EU frustration with Israel. The motion - “the government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state ...

EU considers military response in Africa on Ebola crisis

10.10.14 @ 09:30

EU institutions are analysing potential evacuation of EU citizens from Ebola-hit African states and military operations to restore security in the outbreak zone. The EU foreign service, in an internal paper discussed by ...

FocusEstonia same-sex law breaks taboo in former Soviet states

09.10.14 @ 17:14

Estonia on Thursday (9 October) became the first former Soviet republic to grant equal rights to same-sex couples. MPs in the Riigikogu passed the bill by a narrow majority of 40 against 38 with 10 abstentions. The ...

Future EU countries could face new migration curbs

09.10.14 @ 09:26

The European Commission has said future EU members could face extra controls on movement of workers in a concession to the UK. It noted in an enlargement strategy paper, published on Wednesday (8 October), that past ...

South Stream could stop Serbia joining EU, energy chief says

08.10.14 @ 18:35

Serbia has defied EU calls to change the terms of its gas pipeline deal with Russia, but the European Energy Community (EEC) says it “cannot” join the EU unless it does so. The European Commission in its annual ...

EU enlargement heading into chilly period

08.10.14 @ 15:59

The European Commission is not recommending any fresh steps on Western Balkan enlargement in the next 12 months, but wants to open two new “chapters” in Turkey talks. Its annual packet of reports on EU-hopeful countries ...

Mogherini more hawkish on Russia in EP hearing

07.10.14 @ 09:29

The EU’s next foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, was more hawkish on Russia in a European Parliament hearing which satisfied most MEPs. The Italian foreign minister has a Kremlin-friendly reputation after meeting ...

EU puts pressure on Serbia to stop South Stream gas pipeline

07.10.14 @ 09:18

The European Commission is to tell Serbia its accession prospects will suffer if it builds South Stream, a Russian gas pipeline. It says in its annual enlargement report, out on Wednesday (8 October), that “the ...

FocusRusskiy Mir in the EU?

07.10.14 @ 07:36

Welcome to Latgale in south-east Latvia: If there is any EU region which looks like a soft target for Russian-manufactured separatism, this is it. The street names may be in Latvian, but most people - more than 70 ...

Pro-Western government wins Latvia elections

06.10.14 @ 09:28

Latvia’s main Russia-friendly party scored worse than in previous elections and is likely to stay out of government. The left-wing party, Saskanas Centrs, led by Riga mayor Nils Usakovs, got 23 percent of votes on ...

Sweden breaks EU ranks to recognise Palestine

03.10.14 @ 18:49

The new left-wing government in Sweden has promised to recognise Palestine, amid EU criticism of Israel’s latest settlement expansion. The Swedish PM, Stefan Lofven, made the pledge at his inauguration speech in ...

US diplomat lashes out at Hungary's Orban

03.10.14 @ 09:27

Victoria Nuland, the US' top diplomat on Europe, has indirectly criticised Hungarian leader Viktor Orban for the “cancer” of “democratic backsliding”. Speaking at the Center for European Policy Analysis, a think tank in ...

Polish EU commissioner: 'I'm lobbyist-proof'

02.10.14 @ 18:27

Poland’s next commissioner has defended EU plans to be more business-friendly on healthcare. Elzbieta Bienkowska, who is to take over the single market portfolio, will, in a restructuring, also take charge of healthcare ...