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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 ...

Draghi warns eurozone leaders on recession 'relapse'

24.10.14 @ 20:09

European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi on Friday (24 October) gave a stark warning to eurozone leaders about the risk of a "relapse into recession" unless they agree on a "concrete timetable" of reforms and spur ...

Renzi stirs up EU row ahead of eurozone meeting

24.10.14 @ 09:27

Eurozone leaders are meeting on Friday (24 October) to discuss the issue of public deficits and debt, as France and Italy are in breach of the EU rules. Ahead of the meeting, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stirred ...

An American in Strasbourg: US ambassador woos MEPs on trade pact

23.10.14 @ 10:24

Anthony Gardner is not what is typically associated with US diplomacy: Fluent in French, Italian and Spanish, the US ambassador to the EU, who took office in February, managed to impress even the francophones in the ...

EU parliament approves Juncker commission

22.10.14 @ 13:57

The European Parliament on Wednesday (22 October) approved the new EU commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker, with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions. Fifty-two MEPs did not vote. Compared to 2010, when ...

Culture MEPs rebel against Juncker

21.10.14 @ 19:44

The European Parliament is voting on Wednesday (22 October) on the Juncker commission, which is expected to sail through without problems. But to a handful of MEPs, dealing with culture and media freedom, this is an ...

Fire-walking EU commissioner clears path for Juncker

21.10.14 @ 09:28

The Hilton hotel bar in Strasbourg was the scene of some celebrations on Monday evening (20 October). At one table, the Slovene commissioner-to-be, Violeta Bulc, was celebrating with those who had helped her swot up on ...

Farage's eurosceptic EP group falls apart

16.10.14 @ 17:00

A narrow grey hallway on the seventh floor of the European Parliament was buzzing with journalists on Thursday (16 October). In a small office, a young assistant was barely coping with ringing phones, emails, and knocks ...

Juncker approves new Slovenian commissioner

15.10.14 @ 09:21

Incoming EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker had an "excellent" impression after meeting the new Slovenian commissioner candidate, Violeta Bulc, he told reporters on his way out of the meeting on Tuesday evening (14 ...

Catalonia downgrades independence 'consultation' after court ban

14.10.14 @ 19:21

Catalan leader Artur Mas on Tuesday (14 October) promised to hold a "public consultation" on whether Catalonia should be independent from Spain, after the Constitutional Court thwarted his plans to hold a referendum. " ...

Catalonia to call off independence referendum

14.10.14 @ 09:28

Catalonian leader Artur Mas is expected to cancel plans for a November referendum on independence after the country's top court said it should not go ahead. Mas will hold a press conference on Tuesday (14 October) at ...

FocusScotland, Catalonia boost independence movements in Europe

14.10.14 @ 07:29

The pro-independence referendum in Scotland might have failed and the upcoming public consultation in Catalonia may be illegal under Spanish law, but their energetic campaigns have inspired movements elsewhere, says ...

Juncker to meet Slovenian candidate, amid fresh controversy

13.10.14 @ 18:22

The incoming chief of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will meet Slovenian candidate Violeta Bulc on Tuesday (14 October) evening and will then decide which portfolio to give her, Juncker's spokesman said ...

MEPs earn millions on the side

13.10.14 @ 09:57

Renato Soru is a wealthy man. In 2000 he made it onto the Forbes list of world billionaires, and a year later the US magazine ran a profile on him and his Milan-based Internet company Tiscali, which was "snatching up ...

FocusGlasgow: Ahead on Roma inclusion

13.10.14 @ 08:58

Compared to Edinburgh with its pretty castles and open golf courses, Glasgow is a whole different story. Spread out along the river Clyde, Scotland's second largest city has a distinctly working-class feel to it. In the ...

AgendaMore clarity expected on Juncker commission This WEEK

10.10.14 @ 18:33

MEPs this week will decide when and how many hearings they will hold in order to complete Jean-Claude Juncker's commission after the replacement of the Slovenian candidate. Juncker will meet the new Slovenian nominee, ...

Slovenia nominates unconventional candidate for EU commission post

10.10.14 @ 14:43

Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar on Friday (10 October) nominated political novice Violeta Bulc as EU commissioner, despite warnings from the European Parliament to send someone experienced in order to avoid a second ...

Slovenian saga may delay Juncker commission

09.10.14 @ 17:13

The withdrawal of the Slovenian commission candidate clears the way for a new nominee, but the Juncker team is still at risk of being delayed. After days of high-drama, rumours and humiliations in the European ...

Ball in Juncker's court after MEPs reject Slovene commissioner

08.10.14 @ 21:43

The European Parliament on Wednesday (8 October) rejected Alenka Bratusek, Slovenia's candidate for the new EU commission. Members in the industry and environment committees voted overwhelmingly against Bratusek - by ...

Slovene commission nominee to be sent home

08.10.14 @ 09:29

MEPs are Wednesday (8 October) to decide on the five commissioners who failed to get the green light after parliamentary hearings. They are likely to ask that Slovenia’s Alenka Bratusek be replaced while some other ...

Katainen vague on €300bn investment plan

07.10.14 @ 14:41

A parliamentary hearing of Finland's Jyrki Katainen, one of the seven vice-presidents in the new EU commission, has shed little light on where the money for a vaunted €300 billion investment plan will come from. ...

Decision day for EU's at-risk commissioners

07.10.14 @ 09:28

MEPs on Tuesday (7 October) are hearing the last commissioner candidates, Jyrki Katainen of Finland and Frans Timmermans of the Netherlands. They are also holding a second hearing for the British commissioner, Jonathan ...

MEPs ask Moscovici about French deficit

06.10.14 @ 09:25

MEPs gave French commissioner Pierre Moscovici a Tuesday (7 October) deadline for extra questions about his commitment to EU's fiscal rules and how he will deal with his home country, amid reports that Brussels is ...