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Doubts raised about Juncker fund on first stop of PR tour

15.12.14 @ 16:42

The European Commission’s growth fund has been described as relying on a “big bet” and falling just short of “financial engineering” on its first ever promotional outing. The harsh judgement, by a former finance ...

AgendaJuncker hoping for 'strong endorsement' of investment fund this WEEK

15.12.14 @ 08:05

EU leaders gather in Brussels at the end of this week to, the European Commission hopes, give a "strong political endorsement" to the investment fund proposed by President Jean-Claude Juncker. The fund, unveiled last ...

Juncker seeks to bypass vetoes on tax reform

10.12.14 @ 18:39

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has indicated he will try and get around member states’ veto powers over fiscal issues when he proposes new laws to clamp down on tax avoidance. In an interview with the ...

Online businesses in despair over EU tax rules

10.12.14 @ 09:28

New VAT rules coming into force on 1 January 2015 designed to put a stop to billions of euros of the consumer tax being lost due to a loophole have left some businesses overwhelmed and "confused". Under the rules - ...

AgendaEU to unveil investment fund this WEEK

21.11.14 @ 16:19

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker is to unveil his highly-anticipated €300bn investment plan next week (24-30 November) with most of the focus set to be on how much is 'new' money and how much is just ...

EU commission promises transparency on lobbyists and US trade talks

19.11.14 @ 15:44

The European Commission has announced a new transparency drive, promising that contacts with lobbyists will have to be publicly recorded and that documents relating to a controversial EU-US trade deal be made available ...

EU states to be consulted on commission's 2015 programme

12.11.14 @ 18:21

The European Commission's work programme for the coming year will for the first time be drawn up with member states to ensure that no dud laws make their way into the legislative pipelines. In his first appearance as ...

Letter shows ECB threat ahead of Ireland bailout

06.11.14 @ 16:26

The European Central Bank on Thursday (6 November) formally made public a letter showing that the eurozone bank threatened to pull emergency bank funding if Ireland did not enter a bailout and undertake austerity ...

OpinionJuncker's unashamed admiration of the past

05.11.14 @ 17:54

There are many interesting aspects to Jean-Claude Juncker’s start as European Commission president but a key one is his unabashed hailing of the past. He makes little attempt to hide the fact that he believes the great ...

'Political' commission starts work with nod to past

03.11.14 @ 16:42

The new European Commission started work Monday (3 November) amid promises to be more political by making commissioners defend new laws to the public. President Jean-Claude Juncker, a veteran EU politician who regularly ...

Barroso, Rehn 'unfairly criticised' for eurozone austerity

31.10.14 @ 08:03

As Jose Manuel Barroso steps down as European Commission President (31 October), one of his few left-wing colleagues says that he was unfairly labelled as an austerity ideologue during his time in office. Laszlo Andor, ...

EU clears eurozone budgets after French, Italian tweaks

29.10.14 @ 08:57

In its last major political act before it steps down at the end of the week, the current European Commission on Tuesday (28 October) gave the provisional all-clear to each of the 18 eurozone budgets. "I cannot ...

InterviewJuncker's €300bn is beginning of 'fiscal union'

27.10.14 @ 09:26

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's €300 billion investment plan is laying the ground for a fiscal union although no one dares call it such yet, according to a top EU official. Laszlo Andor, in charge of ...

Van Rompuy and Barroso leave EU stage with porcelain plates

24.10.14 @ 20:13

Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso said goodbye to EU leaders on Friday (24 October) after attending their final summit as presidents of the EU council and commission. For the Belgian Van Rompuy it marks almost ...

Barroso clashes with Italy over published budget warning

23.10.14 @ 15:32

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso has hit out at Italy for publishing a letter the commission sent asking Rome to justify its budget for 2015. "It was a unilateral decision by the Italian government to ...

Barroso bows out before MEPs

21.10.14 @ 17:48

Jose Manuel Barroso made his valedictory speech in the European Parliament on Tuesday (21 October) following 10 years in office, but few MEPs turned up to listen and those who did gave him a mixed review. Opting for a ...

Ailing eurozone back on markets' radar

16.10.14 @ 16:52

The eurozone appears to have come back onto the markets' radar amid low inflation, poor economic news from Germany, and Greece's bailout exit plans. Greece's long-term borrowing costs went above 8 percent on Thursday ( ...

FocusNew EU regional aid rules have inbuilt 'tensions'

16.10.14 @ 08:00

New rules governing how EU aid money is spent has already resulted in better thought-out projects, says the European Commission, but local politicians grumble that they continue to drown in red tape. In place for the ...

InterviewBarroso defends his EU legacy, criticises 'anti-foreigner' eurosceptics

15.10.14 @ 10:32

With two weeks to go until he is formally out of office and, as of yet, with no fixed onward job, Jose Manuel Barroso is a politician concerned with his legacy. Having spent 10 years as the European Commission president ...

FocusEU regional projects see 'encouraging' shift in focus

10.10.14 @ 09:36

As he finishes up his mandate as EU regional affairs commissioner, Johannes Hahn says his "legacy" is getting member states to spend money on the real economy rather than hulking infrastructure projects. Under his watch ...

Self-assured Dutch commissioner pledges to change EU culture

07.10.14 @ 18:40

Incoming top vice-president of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, sailed through his three-hour hearing in the European Parliament on Tuesday (7 October) answering fluently in five languages and avoiding MEPs' ...

Three at-risk commissioners try to win over MEPs

06.10.14 @ 12:28

Three of the five commissioners that are facing difficulties in their European Parliament hearings spent their weekend doing homework, handing in elaborate responses running to thousands of words. The Hungarian (Tibor ...

Role of commission vice-presidents unclear after week of hearings

03.10.14 @ 18:26

After the first week of EU commissioner auditions, 21 of the 27 have been grilled by MEPs, leaving five struggling - but how the new college will really function is only set to be revealed next week. Packing in five ...

New Irish commissioner locked in legal spat with MEP

26.09.14 @ 08:14

Phil Hogan, due to be in charge of agriculture in the next EU commission, is locked in a legal spat with Irish MEP Nessa Childers. Hogan, who is also Irish, has threatened Childers with legal action over a letter she ...

Greens write letter of complaint over new Spanish commissioner

24.09.14 @ 17:17

The Green faction in the European Parliament has written to incoming European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker to raise concerns about the Spanish nominee for his team. The letter notes there are "mounting ...

ECB ready to use more 'unconventional tools' to spur economy

22.09.14 @ 18:07

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi has said he is prepared to use more unconventional measures to spur growth in the eurozone. "We stand ready to use additional unconventional instruments within our mandate, ...

OpinionScotland's referendum - nothing and everything changes

19.09.14 @ 15:04

In the end nothing changed and everything changed. Scottish people voted with a decisive majority against independence on Thursday (18 September) but the conversation in the UK has only just begun. David Cameron, ...

EP gears itself up for hearings of new commissioners

17.09.14 @ 17:04

The European Parliament is preparing a set of "obstacle course" hearings for incoming EU commissioners with recent past form showing that at least one of the designates will fall by the wayside. Beginning later this ...

AgendaAll eyes on Scottish independence vote this WEEK

12.09.14 @ 16:29

This week most of the EU's attention will focus on Scottish voters who, on Thursday, will decide whether they want their country to break away from its 300-year union with rest of the UK. Already a searing political ...

Online anti-EU networks fragmented and nation-based

12.09.14 @ 09:24

Anti-EU online networks are as fragmented and nationally-based as in the real world and they tend to operate in isolation, but the big exception is Ukip which has built up a large online network in the UK. A study by ...

AnalysisSuccess of Juncker team depends on 'uber-commissioners'

10.09.14 @ 17:29

Incoming EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has come up with a canny distribution of portfolios for this new team but a layer of 'uber-commissioners' is potentially the most important change. While rumours and ...

AgendaEU commissioner portfolio decisions this WEEK

05.09.14 @ 20:23

A major piece in the making of the EU institutional puzzle is to go into place next week when incoming EU commission president Jean-Claude Juncker hands out portfolios to his team of commissioners. Expected to happen on ...

Italy slips back into recession, Germany rejects France growth appeal

07.08.14 @ 09:24

Italy has slipped back into recession putting pressure on Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to fulfil promises to see through major structural reform to boost growth. The Italian economy, the third largest in the eurozone, ...

EU election turnout at record low after all

06.08.14 @ 12:21

The turnout for the European election in May fell to a record low, dealing a blow to claims by politicians - based on initial results - that a three-decade downward trend in voter participation had finally been halted. ...

Currency a flashpoint in TV debate on Scotland's future

06.08.14 @ 09:24

Scotland's first minister Alex Salmond faced repeated calls during a key TV debate on Tuesday evening (5 August) to be clear about what currency an independent Scotland would use. The issue was a flashpoint during a ...

Hollande: Germany should do more to boost growth

05.08.14 @ 09:25

French President Francois Hollande has said Germany should do more to support growth as his government struggles to bring its budget deficit to within the EU threshold. In an interview with Le Monde, published Monday (4 ...

Europe should never be 'tired' of peace

04.08.14 @ 19:37

EU leaders attending a commemoration of World War One on Monday (4 August) evoked the fragility of peace and importance of learning the lessons of a hundred years ago. Representatives from across Europe gathered in the ...

Nato to strengthen military exercises after Russia 'aggression'

04.08.14 @ 09:28

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said the transatlantic military alliance will draw up new defence plans following Russia's "aggression" in Ukraine. In an interview with French regional newspaper Midi Libre, ...

New EU commission risks delay over gender issue

31.07.14 @ 15:25

The incoming EU commission risks a start-up delay as male nominees for commissioner posts continue to roll in despite a plea for more women candidates. So far only two of the official nominees are women - Sweden's ...

EU to 'scrutinise' Cameron's migrant benefits plan

30.07.14 @ 09:15

The British government announced on Tuesday (29 July) it will tighten benefits for unemployed migrants from the EU in plans the European Commission has said it will examine closely. Under the proposals, London is to ...

Orban wants to build 'illiberal state'

28.07.14 @ 17:57

Hungary leader Viktor Orban has said he wants to build an illiberal state based on national foundations, citing Russia and China as examples. Speaking at a retreat of ethnic Hungarian leaders in Baile Tusnad, Romania, ...

Banking union faces legal challenge in Germany

28.07.14 @ 09:28

Germany's constitutional court is once again to be a testing ground for the eurozone's reponse to the financial crisis as a group of academics has filed a case arguing that the banking union is illegal. The five ...

Poll: French most pessimistic about economic future

25.07.14 @ 16:57

Europeans are feeling a bit more positive about the EU than they were late last year but well over a third still feel "neutral" about it while a quarter feel outright negative about it. The Eurobarometer survey, ...

Rome continues to push Italian FM to replace Ashton

23.07.14 @ 16:02

Rome is continuing to push Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini to be the next EU foreign policy chief, despite opposition based on her experience and her country's perceived pro-Russia stance. Asked whether ...

UK is still sending arms to Russia, say MPs

23.07.14 @ 09:12

The UK is still exporting millions of euros worth of arms to Russia, despite fears that Moscow has been arming separatists in Ukraine. A report by MPs, published Tuesday (23 July), said that 251 licences worth around £ ...

EU foreign policy faces test after MH17 shootdown

22.07.14 @ 09:18

EU foreign policy is facing a major test today as ministers gather in Brussels to consider their response to the suspected downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight by Moscow-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. The plane ...

France and Germany in tussle over EU economics post

21.07.14 @ 09:22

Germany and France are locked in a tussle about who should be the next EU economic affairs commissioner, a decision that will send a key symbolic message about how euro rules will be implemented in the future. Paris ...

Obesity could qualify as disability, says EU court

17.07.14 @ 13:15

Obesity may be considered a disability if it affects how a person does their job and so could fall under EU rules banning discrimination in the workplace, the EU's top court said Thursday (17 July) in an opinion set to ...

Schulz walks careful line on politics of EP commissioner hearings

16.07.14 @ 23:14

EU commissioner candidates will be tested primarily on their expertise, EP chief Martin Schulz said on Wednesday (16 July) after previously indicating that the British hopeful could be rejected on political grounds. " ...

EP to vote down commission with too few women

15.07.14 @ 16:21

European Parliament chief Martin Schulz has warned national governments that his institution will reject the incoming college of commissioners if there are not enough women in it. Speaking on Tuesday (15 July) after ...