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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 ...

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 ...

InterviewAles Bialiatski: Two years of silence in Belarus penal colony

02.07.14 @ 18:00

Belarus political prisoner Ales Bialiatski spoke his first words in two years upon his release from a labour camp in late June. The human rights defender worked six days a week in silence at a sewing factory inside the ...

InterviewEconomic recovery 'in spite of' European Commission, says economist

14.05.14 @ 09:09

Last year Slovenia was tipped as the next bailout candidate after Cyprus and faced one of the highest borrowing costs in the eurozone. Now, on the eve of EU elections, the experience has sparked a pre-election debate ...

InterviewFrench socialists hope to capitalise on anti-EU sentiment

20.03.14 @ 09:30

Currently struggling in the polls – behind both the centre- and far-right – the French Socialist party is desperately seeking to boost its political fortunes. Having failed to capitalise on the crash of the financial ...

InterviewNobel winner: Iran should stop public executions if it wants better EU ties

16.03.14 @ 14:52

Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian former judge who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003 but who lives in the UK, believes that if she returned to Tehran “Iranian people would welcome me, but the intelligence services would come to ...

InterviewUkraine's EU ambassador watched revolution on internet

28.02.14 @ 09:43

Ukraine’s EU envoy, Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, watched the revolution on the internet with his staff at their embassy in Brussels last weekend. He told EUobserver on Thursday (26 February) that their main source of news was ...

Interview'Baltic candidate' challenges Juncker for EU top job

17.02.14 @ 09:21

Conservative parties in the three Baltic states are supporting former Latvian prime minister Valdis Dombrovskis to take the pole position for the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) in the EU elections. Speaking ...

InterviewUkraine accession promise would help EU-Russia relations

13.02.14 @ 18:25

Russia would be more constructive on Ukraine if the EU gave it a clear enlargement perspective, Lithuania’s foreign minister has said. Drawing on his experience as Lithuania’s defence chief in the period before the ...

InterviewUkraine and the penguin: An alternative view on the protests and EU diplomacy

06.02.14 @ 09:24

As EU envoys go back and forth to Kiev, Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov says few people know who they are and that the protest is no longer about Europe. The writer, best known for his satire Death and the Penguin, ...

InterviewEurozone is the 'real' EU, Sikorski says

22.01.14 @ 09:26

Poland wants to join the eurozone because it is the political heart of the European Union, its foreign minister, Radek Sikorski, has said, with the country looking to enter the single currency by 2020. "In every annual ...

Interview'If it's public money, it has to be visible'

21.10.13 @ 07:49

The EU's brand new ombudsman is planning a strategic shake up of the office taking it away from being a "dumping ground" for EU staff disputes to becoming a force for good governance in an EU capital awash with ...

Interview'National governments declining in importance'

17.10.13 @ 09:19

As more key powers are transferred to Brussels, it poses an existential question for central governments. A recent study on public finances by the European Commission found that member states, even traditionally ...

InterviewSatire party pokes fun at German politics

06.09.13 @ 09:29

Die Partei (The Party) is no ordinary political faction. Their events mostly poke fun at the other parties and at right-wing prejudice in German society. But despite this, the Federal Election Committee earlier this ...

InterviewGeorgia's PM lays out European 'dream'

29.07.13 @ 09:25

Georgia's billionaire-Prime-Minister, Bidzina Ivanishvili, has a "dream" for his country's future. But opponents say he is a danger to democracy. Ivanishvili spoke to EUobserver in a recent interview at his summer ...

InterviewRegional funds may be linked to pension reforms

22.07.13 @ 16:39

Linking EU regional funds to economic reforms is "fair" because it applies to both euro and non-euro states, regional policy commissioner Johannes Hahn told EUobserver in an interview Friday (19 July). "Macro-economic ...

InterviewFacebook, Skype challenged in EU over spy affair

18.07.13 @ 09:18

A group of Austrians, led by law student Max Schrems, has challenged the EU-based subsidiaries of Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Skype and Yahoo on data privacy following revelations that they allowed US intelligence ...

InterviewNavalny to EU: Stop Russian criminals using your banks

17.07.13 @ 08:30

On the eve of a likely jail sentence, Russian activist Alexei Navalny has urged the EU to enforce its own laws in order to help Russian people fight corruption. Navalny, a 37-year-old lawyer, has in the past three years ...

InterviewEgypt's turmoil was 'not a military coup'

11.07.13 @ 16:30

Imprisoned by former president Anwar Sadat, exiled by Hosni Mubarak, and hated by the Muslim Brotherhood leadership, 81-year old dissident and feminist Nawal El Saadawi still sees hope for an Egypt free from the ...

InterviewIran: Election is chance for EU reset

01.07.13 @ 09:26

Iran's ambassador to the EU has said it should relax sanctions in order to grasp a new "opportunity" to mend ties. The diplomat, Mahmoud Barimani, spoke to EUobserver following the recent election of a moderate cleric, ...

InterviewYushchenko urges EU to save Ukraine from Russia

07.06.13 @ 18:24

Viktor Yushchenko almost gave his life for a free Ukraine. At a dinner in Vienna in September 2004 - a few months before the Orange Revolution swept him to power - somebody fed him a near-lethal dose of dioxin. He no ...

Interview'Everything is about basketball in Lithuania'

06.06.13 @ 08:45

Forget football. In Lithuania, the national sport is basketball. The home of 10 players who made it into America's basketball league, the NBA, Lithuania is a country where kids grow up shooting for the basket rather ...

InterviewEU commissioner: Offshore Leaks transformed tax politics

05.06.13 @ 09:49

The EU commissioner in charge of cracking down on tax cheats has urged investigative journalists to keep digging for dirt. When EUobserver spoke to Algirdas Semeta in March 2012, the Lithuanian economist's ideas on EU ...

Interview'Politicians should start by cutting their own wages first'

04.06.13 @ 10:36

The only way to get public support for austerity measures is if politicians start by cutting their own wages, says Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. The outspoken politician is known for her uncompromising stance ...

InterviewNew EU data law could end up weaker than old one

29.05.13 @ 17:13

Backroom discussions among pro-industry MEPs and lobbying efforts by large companies risks undermining fundamental rights in one of the largest EU legislative proposals to ever hit the European Parliament floor. The ...

InterviewThe man behind the EU parliament's data regulation

06.05.13 @ 09:28

Jan Philipp Albrecht is overseeing one of the most extensive and complex pieces of legislation to ever hit the European Parliament. Just 30 years old, the German Green MEP is the parliament’s top negotiator on the EU ...

InterviewSweden: Who needs Nato, when you have the Lisbon Treaty?

22.04.13 @ 17:50

Swedish defence minister Karin Enstrom has said her country is not in Nato partly because the EU treaty contains its own security guarantee. Speaking to EUobserver at the Globsec conference in Bratislava on Saturday (20 ...

InterviewBitcoin: Virtual currency gets boost from eurozone troubles

03.04.13 @ 19:45

The eurozone crisis and its latest Cyprus episode has led to a boost in the value of an Internet-based currency known as bitcoin, with Finns now the largest per capita users. One bitcoin was trading at over €100 on ...

InterviewDeutsche Bank: Luxembourg and Malta should learn from Cyprus

27.03.13 @ 19:06

Luxembourg and Malta on Wednesday (27 March) rejected comparisons between their banking sectors and Cyprus. But Deutsche Bank, for one, says they also have reason to worry. The Luxembourg government said in a communique ...

InterviewCyprus: 'the insecurity has been incredible'

25.03.13 @ 13:55

Twelve years ago, Roddy Damalis decided to leave South Africa where he was running two restaurants and return to his home country, Cyprus. The chef set up base in the southern Cypriot town of Limassol, where he opened ...

InterviewExperts question EU money laundering probe on Cyprus

19.03.13 @ 09:28

As anti-money-laundering auditors begin work in Cyprus, some experts, such as the head of European operations for US due-diligence firm Kroll, are questioning the value of the exercise. EU lenders want it to shed light ...

InterviewHunting accident threatens Moldova's pro-EU course

12.03.13 @ 18:17

Moldovan PM Vlad Filat says he lost a no-confidence vote last week because he asked the prosecutor general to resign after he tried to cover up an accidental killing on a hunting trip. "There was a direct link [with the ...

InterviewProdi: mafia and bureaucracy are Italy's worst problems

21.02.13 @ 20:02

This weekend (24 and 25 February) Italians will have their first general elections in almost five years. The last time they went to the polls to choose politicians for the upper and lower houses of parliament was when ...

InterviewThe voice of the EU commission has 'gone soft'

18.02.13 @ 09:23

It was just eight years ago. In 2004, Romano Prodi, an Italian economics professor from Bologna, left one of the most powerful posts in Europe. In his five year term as President of the European Commission, he oversaw ...

InterviewEuro crisis 'not solved,' German bank supervisor says

15.02.13 @ 09:30

Cheap loans from the European Central Bank (ECB) might have calmed the euro crisis, but the fundamental problems are still there: governments have too much debt and no strategy to get out of it, Raimund Roeseler, ...

InterviewRasmussen: 'Nato cannot act as the world's policeman'

11.02.13 @ 09:29

Nato head Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said that the alliance would only take action against Syria if Turkey is attacked. Speaking to EUobserver in his office in Brussels last week, the secretary general of what calls ...

InterviewKosovo: EU meeting is 'de facto recognition' by Serbia

06.02.13 @ 15:43

Kosovo's foreign minister has said that a meeting between the Presidents of Kosovo and Serbia is "de facto recognition" by Serbia of Kosovo's independence. Serbian chief Tomislav Nikolic, an outspoken nationalist, ...

InterviewMali miracle: EU states in agreement

04.02.13 @ 12:27

When the UN appointed Romano Prodi as its special envoy to Sahel in October last year, the hot, dusty Republic of Mali in south-west Sahara was rarely in the news. But a severe crisis was already brewing, with thousands ...

InterviewFrench colonel: France better off alone in Mali

25.01.13 @ 17:30

A senior French military officer has said France is better off without Nato or EU help to "reconquer" north Mali. Colonel Michel Goya, a serving officer and an expert at the Institut de Recherche Strategique de l'Ecole ...

InterviewWorld Bank highlights growth outside the EU crisis

24.01.13 @ 09:19

For those suffering from eurozone crisis syndrome, it is easy to forget that an economic world exists beyond the EU's borders. For all the talk of recession and depression it would be a mistake to think that economies ...

InterviewMali mission could up risk of anti-EU terrorism

23.01.13 @ 16:50

A top counter-terrorism official has said the EU military training mission in Mali will increase the risk of revenge attacks in Europe. Asked by EUobserver on Tuesday (22 January) if France's intervention in Mali could ...

InterviewSerbia defends plan for north Kosovo autonomy

21.01.13 @ 09:27

Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic is still promoting the idea of autonomy for ethnic Serbs in Kosovo, but only if Pristina agrees. Speaking to EUobserver in Brussels on Friday (18 January) following the last round of ...

InterviewThaci to Serbia: get your 'forces' out of north Kosovo

17.01.13 @ 20:16

Kosovo leader Hashim Thaci has said Serbia should stop talking about autonomy for north Kosovo and pull out its security forces instead. Speaking to EUobserver in Brussels on Thursday (17 January) ahead of a dinner with ...

InterviewDisability in the EU - a 'paradigm shift'

04.12.12 @ 10:14

Over recent decades, there has been a "paradigm shift" in the way disability rights are treated in the European Union with policy-makers now focussing on how to make society more inclusive of disabled people. "We've ...

InterviewAdenauer grandson challenges Merkel on euro-policy

03.12.12 @ 08:24

Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union is gathering this week (4-6 December) in Hannover for a party congress, but the descendent of CDU founder Konrad Adenauer will not be among them. Stephan Werhahn, Adenauer's 59 ...

InterviewLatvia on track to join euro in 2014, PM says

22.10.12 @ 08:54

The first EU country to get a bailout and to implement harsh austerity measures, Latvia is now the bloc's fastest-growing economy and is poised to join the eurozone in 2014 - proof that spending cuts work, its Prime ...

InterviewIntelligence chief: EU capital is 'spy capital'

17.09.12 @ 09:17

"I stopped meeting him for lunch because all he did was ask questions and he never said anything about himself," a diplomat on the EU Council's working group for post-Soviet countries once told this website about his ...

InterviewBelgian intelligence chief talks to EUobserver: transcript

17.09.12 @ 09:17

EUobserver: In what way does the VSSE co-operate with the EU institutions and Nato? Alain Winants: Belgium hosts the institutions of two major international bodies - the EU and Nato, which is a great privilege but it's ...

InterviewFrance and Germany moving towards closer political union

30.08.12 @ 10:58

Last year Germany went out on a limb by calling for political union in Europe. The idea was met with little enthusiasm elsewhere in the eurozone, but particularly in France. After the election of French President ...

InterviewEU anti-fraud chief: We can improve Brussels' image

14.05.12 @ 09:17

The head of the EU anti-fraud office, Giovanni Kessler, has said he can improve Brussels' reputation so long as the work of his institution is not obstructed. Set up in 1999 after a corruption scandal which led to the ...

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