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Italian right calls for end to migrant rescue programme

Today @ 09:29

Italian right-wing politicians have called for the country's programme to rescue North African refugees from the Mediterranean sea to be scrapped after figures suggested that 1,100 immigrants had been rescued in the ...

Time for EU energy union, says Polish PM

22.04.14 @ 10:54

The European Union must create an energy union to secure its supply and reduce its dependence on Russian gas, Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk has said. Tusk's energy blueprint, set out in an article in the Financial ...

AgendaBanking union dominates final EP session This WEEK

14.04.14 @ 09:29

Crucial laws for the EU's banking union will headline proceedings in Strasbourg this week as MEPs gather there for the parliament's final session before May's European elections. On Tuesday (15 April) deputies will ...

Controversy over citizens' initiative on abortion funding ban

11.04.14 @ 09:27

A second citizens' initiative demanding a change in EU law courted controversy on Thursday (10 April) over its proposals to ban funding for abortion and reproductive health services in developing countries. The 'One of ...

EU commission calls for shareholder powers on corporate pay

10.04.14 @ 09:07

Company shareholders would have a legally binding 'say on pay' under a new proposal by the European Commission published Wednesday (9 April). The reform, which forms part of a re-write of the bloc's corporate governance ...

Financial sector spends €120mn on EU lobbying

09.04.14 @ 21:31

The EU's financial industry spends more than €120 million per year and employs over 1,700 lobbyists to work in the EU institutions, according to new research by transparency campaigners. The report on "The fire power of ...

UK diplomat scoops EU 'brexit' prize

09.04.14 @ 09:29

A UK diplomat whose day job involves promoting British business in Asia's emerging market economies has scooped a €100,000 prize on the country's best economic prospects if it left the EU. Iain Mansfield, a 30-year-old ...

AnalysisWhat does the death of the EU data directive mean?

09.04.14 @ 09:25

The EU's data retention directive was agreed in 2006, in the wake of terrorist attacks in Madrid and London in 2004 and 2005 respectively, as governments attempted to tighten national security rules. Under the regime, ...

Austrian President calls on race row MEP to stand down

08.04.14 @ 09:29

Austrian President Heinz Fischer has waded into the race row engulfing the far-right Freedom party, calling on the party's top candidate to withdraw from next month's European elections because of racist comments. ...

AgendaCorporate governance on the agenda this WEEK

07.04.14 @ 09:33

New legislation on the rights of shareholders and corporate governance is set to top the agenda of a quiet week for the EU's institutions. On Wednesday (9 April) the European Commission will table plans to re-write the ...

MEPs accuse commission of blocking EU statistics 'whistleblower'

07.04.14 @ 09:25

Talks aimed at increasing transparency on EU statistical output have collapsed after the European Commission refused to apply the rules it demands of national statistical offices to its own statistical agency. Lawmakers ...

InvestigationSecret EU lawmaking: the triumph of the trialogue

04.04.14 @ 09:29

The setting could not be less spectacular – one of the more nondescript rooms in the European Parliament's glass towers overlooking Place Luxembourg in Brussels, where a handful of officials gather with armfuls of ...

MEPs back net neutrality law

03.04.14 @ 18:40

MEPs have backed open access to the Internet by tightening plans by the European Commission on net neutrality. In a vote on Thursday (3 April), a coalition of centre-left and liberal deputies backed amendments to ...

Six commissioners head for EU election campaign trail

03.04.14 @ 08:11

Six EU commissioners will officially hit the campaign trail later this month as part of their candidacies for May's European elections. Economic affairs chief Olli Rehn, justice commissioner Viviane Reding, industry ...

Eurozone ministers agree to pay Greece €8.3bn

02.04.14 @ 08:56

Eurozone finance ministers agreed to pay out €8.3 billion of Greece's bailout package on Tuesday (1 April), bringing to a close a protracted battle between the Athens government and its creditors over the latest round ...

Common debt fund needs EU treaty change: report

01.04.14 @ 10:01

The EU treaties and democratic constraints block the way to establishing a fund to pool eurozone debt, according to a European Commission report released Monday (31 March). The report by a commission expert group led by ...

Commission plans to tap pension funds to kickstart business

28.03.14 @ 10:01

Tapping pension funds and encouraging online crowd funding are at the heart of plans unveiled by the European Commission to kickstart business investment. Speaking on Thursday (27 March), financial services commissioner ...

Internet providers can be forced to block access to illegal downloads, rules EU Court

28.03.14 @ 09:44

EU-based internet service providers can be ordered to block customers’ access to a copyright-infringing website, following a ruling on Thursday (27 March) by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The judgement follows a ...

EU drills into corporate protection clause in US trade deal

27.03.14 @ 19:45

The European Commission launched a 90 day public consultation on Thursday (27 March) in a bid to address "misconceptions and misrepresentations" about plans to include controversial rules on investor protection into an ...

Political corruption seen as 'major problem' by most Europeans

26.03.14 @ 09:45

Three quarters of Europeans think corruption is a "major or widespread" problem in their political institutions, according to research published Tuesday (25 March). The countries worst hit by the European economic ...

Czech government backs EU fiscal pact

25.03.14 @ 09:28

The Czech government has agreed to adopt the EU's fiscal pact, as the new centre-left administration of Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka continues to tread a more pro-EU path than his predecessors. The decision, taken ...

British Lords want more power over EU laws

24.03.14 @ 10:15

National parliaments should be able to initiate reviews of existing EU law, according to a report by the UK parliament. The paper, published on Monday (24 March), by the House of Lords' EU committee, says domestic ...

EU clinches accord on bank wind-down rules

20.03.14 @ 16:40

The EU is set to complete the final piece of its ambitious banking union after lawmakers agreed a deal on rules for winding down failed banks. Bleary-eyed MEPs and ministers announced agreement on a compromise text at ...

EU commission to rewrite water laws after citizens' campaign

20.03.14 @ 09:52

The EU is set to re-write its legislation on access to drinking water, the European Commission said Wednesday (19 March), in response to a pan-EU campaign backed by 1.8 million people. "We will launch an EU-wide public ...

EU ombudsman calls for independent watchdog on 'revolving doors'

19.03.14 @ 10:11

Decisions on whether EU officials taking lobbying jobs dealing with issues they had previously worked on could in future be made by a new independent body, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly told MEPs on Tuesday (18 ...

Cameron's EU plan to scrap 'ever closer union' and limit migration

17.03.14 @ 09:20

New mechanisms to limit eastern European migration and prevent benefit tourism are at the centre of a seven point plan laid out by David Cameron to reform Britain's relationship with the EU. Writing in the Daily ...

Germany opposes EU-US investor protection scheme

15.03.14 @ 14:51

EU and US trade negotiators completed the fourth round of trade talks on Friday (14 March), but were tight-lipped after Germany joined France in calling for controversial rules on investor rights to be left out of an ...

Irish economy in surprise decline, threatens debt-cutting plan

14.03.14 @ 09:29

Ireland's economy suffered a shock decline in the final months of 2013, posting negative growth for the year and casting a pall over the country's full return to the financial markets. Data from the country's Central ...

Russia invites EU far-right to observe Crimea vote

13.03.14 @ 10:22

The Russian government has invited some of Europe's far-right parties to observe this weekend's referendum in Crimea. The leader of France’s National Front party, Marine Le Pen, told press at the European Parliament in ...

Labour rules out EU referendum without new treaty

12.03.14 @ 10:00

UK Labour leader Ed Miliband is to rule out an in/out referendum on EU membership before 2020 unless a new EU treaty proposal bids to transfer more power to Brussels. The promise will be part of a speech on Wednesday ( ...

EU ElectionsLiberals unveil new Monti-backed Italian coalition

10.03.14 @ 09:29

The EU's Liberals have unveiled a new Mario Monti-backed Italian centrist coalition, as the party attempts to fight back against dismal poll ratings that threaten to make it one of the biggest losers in May's European ...

Stiglitz: ECB should scrap inflation targets

07.03.14 @ 09:34

The European Central Bank (ECB) should scrap its target to keep price inflation at 2 percent, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said on Thursday (6 March). Speaking at an event organised by the European ...

Italy and France on EU's economic 'watch list'

06.03.14 @ 11:15

Italy and France were the major euro area countries put on the European Commission's economic "watch-list" over fears about persistently high debt and deficit levels. The two countries were among 14 nations deemed to ...

Far-left surge to outnumber Liberals in EU elections, suggests poll

05.03.14 @ 18:19

Europe's far-left are set to outnumber the Liberals in the next European Parliament, according to a pan-EU opinion poll published on Wednesday (5 March). In the second of a series of fortnightly forecasts in the three ...

EU to approve €1.1bn Ukraine aid package

05.03.14 @ 09:30

The European Commission will officially agree to offer Ukraine €1.1 billion in emergency aid on Thursday (5 March), officials told EUobserver. The move amounts to a top-up of €500 million to a previous offer of €610 ...

EU rules clamp down on bank 'risk takers'

04.03.14 @ 19:28

The European Commission has published rules aimed at making it easier to identify financiers involved in their bank's riskiest trading activities, as part of reforms aimed at capping bank bonuses. Drafted by the ...

ECB monitoring effects of Ukraine confrontation

04.03.14 @ 09:18

The European Central Bank (ECB) is monitoring the possible economic effects of the Ukraine-Russia crisis, ECB chief Mario Draghi told EU lawmakers on Monday (3 March). During a hearing at the European Parliament that ...

Swiss hope to salvage EU agreements despite immigrant cap

03.03.14 @ 09:27

The Swiss government will try to salvage its bilateral programmes with the EU, which are under threat after voters backed plans to cap EU migration, the country's economy minister has said. "We have to reconcile the ...

Trade talks 'honeymoon' over, business chiefs warn EU

28.02.14 @ 19:41

The 'honeymoon phase' of talks aimed at brokering a landmark EU-US trade deal are over, business leaders have warned. Speaking at a meeting of business leaders in Athens to coincide with a meeting of EU trade ministers ...

Industry bosses demand EU action on soaring energy prices

28.02.14 @ 10:37

EU leaders must address rising energy prices and climate policies which are crippling the bloc's manufacturing sector, according to a manifesto signed by more than 100 industry bosses. One hundred and thirty seven chief ...

EU ElectionsMillions could miss out on EU vote as registration deadline looms

27.02.14 @ 09:47

May's European elections may be three months away, but for those who are yet to register to vote, this week may be their final chance to make sure they get their hands on a ballot paper. Like the voting itself, which ...

Germans and Brits back EU vetoes for national parliaments

27.02.14 @ 09:18

Most British and German voters believe that national parliaments should be able to block new EU laws, according to a survey published on Wednesday (26 February). Seventy three percent of Britons and 58 percent of ...

Catalan referendum plan 'illegal', says Spain's PM

26.02.14 @ 09:29

Spain's Prime Minister maintained that a referendum on independence for Catalonia would be "illegal" on Tuesday (25 February) as he delivered his annual state of the nation speech. Mariano Rajoy vowed to block the vote, ...

EU recovery "gaining ground", commission says

25.02.14 @ 18:22

The EU's economic recovery will gather speed in 2014 and 2015, the European Commission predicted on Tuesday (25 February), indicating that the worst of the economic storm which hit Europe is over. "Recovery is gaining ...

Icelanders protest government decision to deny EU referendum

25.02.14 @ 09:29

Plans for Iceland's parliament to start work on a bill abandoning EU membership talks were held up on Monday following public protests. Around 3,500 people demonstrated in front of the Parliament on Monday (24 February) ...

Merkel the UK's 'most important partner' on EU reform

24.02.14 @ 09:29

German chancellor Angela Merkel is the UK's "most important partner" in reforming the EU, the UK foreign minister has said.   Speaking on BBC television on Sunday (23 February), William Hague commented that the German ...

Greece and creditors guilty of 'denialism' over public health crisis

21.02.14 @ 18:45

The Greek government and its creditors are guilty of "denialism" about the scale of the public health crisis caused by the country's harsh austerity programme, leading international medical researchers have claimed. A ...

MEPs back cap on credit card fees

21.02.14 @ 09:24

MEPs have backed plans to cap card payment fees charged to shops by credit card giants Mastercard and Visa in a move aimed at saving €6 billion per year. In a vote of the parliament's economic affairs committee on ...

Czech government to give up EU Charter opt-out

20.02.14 @ 09:29

The Czech Republic is to abandon its opposition to the EU's charter of rights and the fiscal compact treaty in a sign that there could be warmer relations between Prague's new government and Brussels. The country's ...

AnalysisA political obsessive's paradise: A 28 nation opinion poll

20.02.14 @ 09:11

There are few things that political obsessives love more than opinion polls. On Wednesday (19 February), Brussels' army of amateur psephologists saw their dreams come true. A poll for all twenty eight EU countries. The ...