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Tusk praised for 'short, concise' EU summit

19.12.14 @ 16:49

New EU council chief Donald Tusk has broken with the two-day summit tradition, making leaders and journalists happy by wrapping up before midnight. The meeting was the Polish former prime minister's first top-level ...

Merkel: EU strategy is to maintain Russia sanctions

19.12.14 @ 01:36

Germany has warned the EU will not roll back Russia sanctions unless Vladimir Putin makes major concessions, in Europe’s first “strategic” talks on the crisis. Chancellor Angela Merkel told press at an EU summit on ...

EU leaders want 'urgent' action on investment fund

18.12.14 @ 22:29

EU leaders on Thursday (18 December) called for a speedy setting up of a special investment fund, but the European Parliament chief cast doubt that it will be ready by June as planned. "We call for the urgent ...

Spain pushes for taxation debate at EU summit

18.12.14 @ 09:29

It was supposed to be all about investments and Russia, but the issue of tax avoidance is likely to creep onto the EU summit agenda on Thursday (18 December). In the draft summit conclusions circulated among EU ...

EU leaders hold 'Coke Light' summit on investments, Russia

17.12.14 @ 17:34

The first EU summit chaired by Donald Tusk, the new EU council president, already has a nickname: “Coke Light”. The term was coined by Liberal leader Guy Verhofstadt, a former Belgian Prime Minister, who at one point ...

All eyes on Greece as presidential elections begin

17.12.14 @ 09:24

Greek parliamentarians are gathering on Wednesday (17 December) for a first attempt to elect the country's president, with EU officials concerned about the prospect of early parliamentary elections and a possible sweep ...

EU commission booed over choice of axed laws

17.12.14 @ 09:02

It was supposed to be a "cleaning-the-desk" exercise. Draft laws that are obsolete or watered down beyond recognition will be binned, while only laws that are “really necessary” will be put forward – resulting in 23 ...

Russian rouble in free fall over oil price, EU sanctions

16.12.14 @ 09:29

In a surprise announcement on Monday (15 December), the Russian central bank said it would raise its key interest rate to 17 percent from 10.5 percent. The move is aimed at shoring up the tumbling currency as the ...

Belgium paralysed by general strike

15.12.14 @ 09:09

The entire Belgian airspace is closed on Monday (15 December), as well as high-speed trains from Brussels to London, Paris and Amsterdam and local buses, trams and metro lines, as part of a general strike over public ...

Juncker: Greece should avoid 'wrong outcome' in elections

11.12.14 @ 21:24

EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has warned Greece against electing "extreme forces" into power and said he would prefer "known faces" - so far the strongest intervention of the EU top brass in the Greek campaign ...

Paris announces economy reforms amid protests

11.12.14 @ 09:21

The French government on Wednesday (10 December) announced economic reforms aimed at spurring growth and avoiding EU fines due to an oversized budget deficit. “We need to unblock the economy, liberate energies, lift ...

EU lays out investment priorities for Juncker plan

09.12.14 @ 16:37

The EU commission on Tuesday (9 December) gave a first flavour of what kind of projects could be financed by the new €315bn investment fund scheduled to become operational mid-2015. In a report written jointly with the ...

Greece gets two more months to exit bailout

09.12.14 @ 07:24

Eurozone finance ministers on Monday (8 December) extended Greece's bailout programme by two months, while the Greek government is fighting for political survival and has brought forward presidential elections. The ...

Eurogroup puts pressure on France to deliver on deficit

08.12.14 @ 16:59

Eurozone finance ministers on Monday (8 December) greenlighted a European Commission proposal to give France three more months to fix its budget deficit, but spelled out how much is needed in "additional measures". "We ...

Project wishlist for Juncker plan worth €1.3 trillion

08.12.14 @ 13:25

Member states have filed some 2,000 projects they consider eligible for the €315bn investment scheme announced by Jean-Claude Juncker, according to a draft report by the EU commission and the European Investment Bank ...

Women in EU institutions get own 'caucus'

05.12.14 @ 18:59

The Italian ambassador to the EU, Stefano Sannino, is a busy man. These are the last weeks of the Italian chairmanship of the council of ministers, and there are several files that need to be wrapped up, particularly ...

British EU commissioner causes controversy on banking reform

05.12.14 @ 09:44

Financial services commissioner Jonathan Hill has named three pieces of legislation that he believes ought to be scrapped, but his choice has sparked criticism among MEPs. In a letter dated 18 November and seen by ...

Juncker calls Putin's bluff on South Stream

04.12.14 @ 15:27

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday (4 December) called Vladimir Putin's bluff on a ditched gas pipeline project, South Stream. Juncker said the commission's view is that "South Stream can be built ...

Unpaid bills main hurdle in EU budget talks

03.12.14 @ 18:04

Britain and the Netherlands no longer have a problem with the extra money they have to pay, but EU budget talks are still stuck due to disagreements on how to tackle a huge backlog of unpaid bills. "For the first time ...

Italy seen as corrupt as Greece, Romania and Bulgaria

03.12.14 @ 09:19

Italy, Greece, Romania and Bulgaria are seen as equally corrupt among EU countries, while Denmark is the least graft-prone country, according to the yearly corruption perception index published by Transparency ...

MEPs accuse Moscovici of giving France special treatment

02.12.14 @ 14:08

EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday (2 December) was showered with criticism in the European Parliament after granting France three extra months to fix its budget. Moscovici said France received three ...

'Haiku Herman' quietly leaves EU stage

01.12.14 @ 09:27

EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy on Monday (1 December) is handing over the baton to Polish ex-prime minister Donald Tusk. It is a minimalist event: a handshake, a few words, followed by a little drink with the staff ...

France gets three months to tweak budget

28.11.14 @ 16:20

EU economics commissioners on Friday (28 November) defended "political" reasons for giving France more time to fix its budget deficit, while urging Germany to spend more in an attempt to revive the eurozone economy. The ...

France, Italy, Belgium to get extra three months on deficit and debt

27.11.14 @ 20:01

The EU commission on Friday (28 November) is set to give France, Italy and Belgium three more months to implement deficit-and-debt cutting measures or face fines. It is the first time the commission splits its verdict ...

MEPs endorse Juncker investment plan despite criticism

26.11.14 @ 16:28

Most members of the European Parliament on Wednesday (26 November) endorsed Jean Claude Juncker's investment plan based on financial engineering, but critical voices said the scheme did not add up. Juncker defended the ...

Juncker's plan: Making €60bn worth five times more

25.11.14 @ 21:01

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker will on Wednesday (26 November) unveil an "investment package" worth €315 billion for the next three years. Only €60 billion will be actual loans disbursed via the member ...

EU still undecided on France deficit

24.11.14 @ 09:22

Fiscal hawks and doves within the EU commission and member states continue to disagree on how to deal with France's budget deficit, seen as a credibility test for the EU. A meeting of heads of cabinets of EU ...

German commissioner provokes French wrath

21.11.14 @ 18:11

German commissioner Guenther Oettinger has drawn ire from French politicians after urging budget rigour and calling France a "deficit recidivist", in an op-ed published in French daily Les Echos on Thursday (20 November ...

AnalysisRomania's Obama moment

21.11.14 @ 12:00

A book fair in Bucharest: hundreds of people queuing up, all wanting to get their copies signed. After three hours, Klaus Iohannis, the writer of the autobiography - Step by Step - stands up, the final book waiting for ...

EU commission will use LuxLeaks for new cases

20.11.14 @ 19:08

"We consider the Luxembourg Leaks as market information. We will examine it and evaluate whether or not this will lead us to opening new cases," EU anti-trust commissioner Margrethe Vestager told press in Brussels on ...

Hungary triggers rule of law 'debates' in EU council

20.11.14 @ 11:14

Telling an EU member state that its laws are undemocratic is a tricky affair. Especially if the country's government has a broad majority in its national parliament. And if the prime minister still enjoys the respect of ...

Eurosceptics seek to topple Juncker over LuxLeaks

19.11.14 @ 09:49

A vote will be held in the European Parliament in Strasbourg next week after eurosceptic MEPs tabled a motion to sack Jean-Claude Juncker over the Luxembourg Leaks affair. The motion was predominantly backed by Ukip and ...

Romanians elect first ethnic German president

17.11.14 @ 07:21

University Square, Bucharest: "Milestone of democracy", the place where 25 years ago people were being shot and street protests ultimately led to Communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu being ousted, tried and executed. On ...

Romania to elect new president after 'wretched' campaign

14.11.14 @ 09:16

Romanians head to the polling stations on Sunday (16 November) to choose between Socialist prime minister Victor Ponta and Klaus Iohannis, a Liberal mayor of German ethnicity, with questions raised about the fate of ...

Juncker 'regrets' Luxembourg tax deals

12.11.14 @ 13:49

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has broken his one-week silence on “Luxembourg Leaks”, with jokes, and with a new proposal on EU tax transparency. Luxembourg Leaks saw reporters publish 343 “tax rulings” ...

MEPs demand answers from Juncker over Luxembourg tax deals

12.11.14 @ 09:29

A week after the LuxLeaks revelations and as a new report into tax practices of 15 EU countries is published, pressure is mounting on EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker to give some answers. The Socialists, Greens ...

EU court: Countries can deny benefits to 'welfare tourists'

11.11.14 @ 11:59

EU citizens who move to another member state "solely in order to obtain social assistance" may be excluded from benefits schemes, the European Court of Justice (EJC) ruled on Tuesday (11 November). The ruling is likely ...

UK, Netherlands get nine extra months to pay EU bill

07.11.14 @ 17:40

EU finance ministers on Friday (7 November) extended until 1 September 2015 a deadline for contributions to the EU budget, given the "unusually" high corrections this year. The corrections are made automatically each ...

Low expectations on UK bill compromise

07.11.14 @ 09:25

EU finance ministers are meeting on Friday (7 November) amid low expectations of clinching a deal that would allow the UK and the Netherlands to pay their outstanding bills to the EU budget in instalments. The UK has a ...

Juncker 'serene' over Luxembourg tax scandal

06.11.14 @ 16:17

The EU commission may "broaden and deepen" its investigations into Luxembourg taxation practices, commission spokesman Margaritis Schunas said Thursday (6 November) after the publication of Luxembourg Leaks by several ...

Juncker gives glimpse of 'political commission'

05.11.14 @ 18:31

New EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday (5 November) vowed to defend his institution from "unjustified attacks" from EU leaders, as he chaired the first meeting of the College of commissioners. Juncker ...

Renzi continues row with new EU commission chief

05.11.14 @ 09:32

Italy's PM Matteo Renzi has demanded "respect" for his country after new EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker criticised his and David Cameron's behaviour during an EU summit. "For Italy, its past, its future, I ...

EU projects dismal growth, urges investment

04.11.14 @ 14:11

The European Commission lowered its growth forecasts for the EU and the eurozone area, blaming the wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and urging governments to do more to spur investments. According to the Autumn ...

Italian presidency tries to appease Britain on EU bill

04.11.14 @ 09:28

The Italian EU presidency has said that the contentious idea of 'reform contracts' is no longer being considered but most of its current work is taken up with trying to resolve the British budget problem. Stefano ...

Romanian PM ahead in presidential elections

03.11.14 @ 09:29

Romanian Socialist prime minister Victor Ponta won the first round of the country's presidential election on Sunday (2 November), with an ethnic German mayor set to challenge him in the run-off on 16 November. Ponta won ...

France denies warship delivery, as Russian bombers skirt EU airspace

30.10.14 @ 09:57

France's controversial warship deal with Russia is hitting the headlines again, with a cacophony of statements and denials after a Russian minister published a French invitation to the hand-over ceremony. Russian deputy ...

From Borgen to Brussels: Who is the new EU competition commissioner?

29.10.14 @ 18:24

When Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt was touted as the next EU council chief, comparisons with Denmark's popular political tv series Borgen abounded. Borgen's main character Birgitte Nyborg is a hands-on, ...

EU parliament blocks websites 'to protect' staff

29.10.14 @ 09:18

Blocking websites is something people usually associate with authoritarian regimes in China or Iran rather than the European Union. But staff in the European Parliament last week received this message when they tried to ...

EU commission warns UK about its rebate

27.10.14 @ 18:07

The UK has to pay its outstanding €2.1bn bill by 1 December or face monthly penalties, EU budget commissioner Jacek Dominik said Monday (27 October) in a press conference. Dominik said he was "surprised" to witness the ...

AgendaBarroso commission finishes This WEEK

27.10.14 @ 09:18

A quiet week is kicking off in Brussels, with the outgoing commission meeting for the last time on Wednesday (29 October) and a farewell party for president Jose Manuel Barroso at the museum of fine arts (Bozar) Monday ...