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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 ...

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 ...

MEPs want to 'blackmail' commission candidates over EU budget

30.01.14 @ 17:58

Budget control committee MEPs want future commissioners to take a tougher line on how member states spend EU funds. They say they will make this a key part of their assessment of new commissioners, due to start work in ...

No conflict of interest at EU food agency, director says

21.01.14 @ 10:16

The head of the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa), Bernhard Url, has rebuffed allegations that his staff is too close to industry. Speaking to MEPs in the budgetary control committee on Monday (20 January), he said ...

OpinionIreland and Greece prove the naysayers wrong

22.11.13 @ 17:37

Irish Premier Enda Kenny has announced his country will exit its bailout programme in December. When he took office in 2011, Ireland’s budget deficit was over 30 percent of GDP. Narrowing it to projections of 7.3 ...

Greece to push through 2014 budget without creditors' approval

21.11.13 @ 18:21

Greece's 2014 budget is set to hit the statute book without the approval of the country's creditors, after the country's government tabled its spending plans to the Greek parliament. The Greek government tabled its ...

MEPs finally back seven-year EU budget

20.11.13 @ 09:29

MEPs have approved the first-ever cut to the EU’s seven-year spending cycle in the bloc’s history, bringing to an end over a year of talks. The European Parliament voted for the €960 billion earmarked for the period ...

Italy and Spain close to breaking euro rules

15.11.13 @ 16:03

Single currency states felt the long arm of the European Commission stretch into national affairs on Friday, as the Brussels executive published in-depth reviews of their draft 2014 budgets. Just two euro states - ...

MEPs and ministers agree 2014 budget breakthrough

12.11.13 @ 09:27

The long-running dispute on EU spending has moved a step closer to compromise after ministers and MEPs agreed an EU budget for 2014. Under a deal clinched in the small hours of Tuesday morning (12 November), the 2014 ...

AgendaTrade and finance dominate Brussels this WEEK

09.11.13 @ 12:53

Trade and finance will dominate life in the Brussels bubble this week, with officials resuming the second round of talks on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the US on Monday (11 November). The ...

EU accounts and the Brussels blame game

09.11.13 @ 11:49

Like the rising of the sun and November rain in Brussels, the publication of the European Court of Auditors' annual report on EU accounts brings equally predictable accusations of fraud and rampant mismanagement. The ...

EU budget errors on the rise, watchdog says

05.11.13 @ 10:39

The EU spending watchdog, the Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, says overly complex rules on how to disperse EU funds means beneficiaries are receiving money they are not entitled to. “Simplifying rules is critical, you ...

National MPs protest EU public prosecutor idea

01.11.13 @ 11:34

National parliaments opposed to creating an EU-wide prosecutor want the European Commission to rework its flagship proposal, but EU officials say it is likely to go ahead. Chambers in 11 national parliaments got enough ...

OpinionThe real agenda behind cutting red tape

29.10.13 @ 09:00

One of the worrying issues that emerged from last week’s European Council in Brussels is the ‘cut red tape’ initiative promoted by UK Prime Minister David Cameron. The proposal, which was welcomed by other EU leaders, ...

MEPs agree 5 percent cuts in bid to break budget deadlock

24.10.13 @ 09:35

MEPs have agreed to a 5 percent cut to EU spending in 2014, as the bloc scrambles to get its books in order in time for the next seven year budgetary cycle. Deputies in the Strasbourg Parliament voted on Wednesday (23 ...

EU budget a step closer after €2.7bn deal

22.10.13 @ 09:53

Lawmakers have moved a step closer to a deal on future EU spending, despite growing ill will among institutions. The Lithuanian EU presidency, which is brokering the talks, said late on Monday (21 October) that EU ...

AgendaEU leaders in Brussels this WEEK

18.10.13 @ 17:31

EU heads of state will gather for a two-day summit in Brussels to discuss growth as MEPs in Strasbourg defer a scheduled vote on the seven-year EU budget until November. High on both agendas is the recent tragedy off ...

OpinionFinancialisation is on the march again

08.10.13 @ 12:15

It is very much open to question whether Albert Einstein could have got his head around the exotic financial instruments, the notorious ‘casino’ paraphernalia, that brought the global economic house down in 2008. But ...

IMF revives idea of eurozone 'rainy day fund'

26.09.13 @ 09:29

The idea of a eurozone-only fund, floated last year by EU leaders, has been revived in a study written by International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff and published on Wednesday (25 September). "The simplest way of ...

EU commission demands extra €4 billion for 2013 budget

26.09.13 @ 09:15

The EU needs an extra €3.9 billion if it is to pay its bills in 2013, the bloc’s budget chief announced on Wednesday (25 September). The demand for extra money, which comes just months after MEPs and ministers agreed to ...

Italian leader criticises Greek bailout terms

30.07.13 @ 09:27

Greece's international lenders approved the latest tranche of its bailout money Monday (29 July) amid criticism that the reform programme Athens is expected to do in return has "worsened the crisis." Greece is to get €5 ...

Austerity could be 'self-defeating' for Ireland

22.07.13 @ 09:16

A former IMF official has said Ireland needs to move away from austerity measures if the country's economy is to grow. Ashoka Mody, who was one of the architects of Ireland's IMF bailout, told broadcaster RTE that there ...

Portugal and Greece highlight eurozone fragility

04.07.13 @ 09:18

Political turmoil in Portugal and concerns about the pace of reform in Greece have raised fears that the eurozone crisis may be about to reignite. Nervous markets pushed up borrowing costs in Portugal to a painful 8 ...

EU summit talks held up by British rebate

28.06.13 @ 00:13

A meeting of EU leaders expected to welcome a deal on the seven-year EU budget and to focus on youth unemployment was held up on Thursday (27 June) by Britain's concerns over its rebate. "It's absolutely essential that ...

Deal on longterm EU budget after last-minute talks

27.06.13 @ 12:17

EU negotiators Thursday reached a last-minute political agreement on the 2014-2020 budget, sparing the EU the embarrassing prospect of hosting a jobs-focused summit without being able to commit money to fighting ...

EU commission proposes six percent budget cut

26.06.13 @ 22:08

EU spending will be slashed by 6 percent next year, according to the 2014 budget tabled on Wednesday (26 June) by the European Commission. The bloc's structural and cohesion funds, which go to the poorest regions in the ...

Deal on EU budget in doubt

20.06.13 @ 16:51

A tentative agreement on the EU's long term budget (2014-2020) has been thrown into doubt less than 12 hours after it was supposedly agreed, as MEPs line up to suggest that the Irish EU presidency has overplayed its ...

Negotiators strike deal on €960bn EU budget

20.06.13 @ 09:52

EU negotiators are on the brink of formally concluding a €960 billion deal on the next seven year EU budget, after a tentative deal between national ministers and MEPs. Irish deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore, who led ...

Ashton drops big ideas on EU foreign service

13.06.13 @ 09:29

The EU's foreign policy chief has said member states are not willing to give her what it takes for major reform of the European External Action Service (EEAS). Speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg on Wednesday (12 June), ...

MEPs blame governments for impasse on farm policy reform

04.06.13 @ 18:21

Governments are putting at risk plans to reform the EU's common agriculture policy (CAP) by refusing to budget in negotiations, the European Parliament said Tuesday (4 June). Italian Socialist deputy Paolo De Castro, ...

OpinionAttack on labour: The Belgian showcase

31.05.13 @ 09:27

The European Commission’s threat to fine Belgium may look absurd, but it’s actually worse. It’s a showcase for an attack on social rights. On Wednesday (29 May) the commission released its recommendations for member ...

National parliaments eclipsed by EU powers

28.05.13 @ 18:53

The EU financial crisis has prompted centralisation of economic and budgetary powers in Brussels, while national parliaments struggle to fulfil their role as democratic watchdogs. The issue will be highlighted on ...

Italy to leave EU 'crisis list' after cutting deficit

27.05.13 @ 22:28

Italy is set to move off the EU 'crisis list' this week, as the European Commission acknowledges its efforts to reduce its budget deficit. EU sources indicated on Monday (27 May) that Italy will be among several ...

AgendaBrussels to unveil national budget proposals this WEEK

25.05.13 @ 08:09

The European Commission will on Wednesday (29 May) outline the economic and budgetary tasks it expects individual member states to carry out in order for the European economy to get back on track. The far-reaching ...

Experts question legality of EU officials' pay cuts

16.05.13 @ 09:19

Experts in the EU Council, the member states' secretariat in Brussels, have questioned the legality of new cuts to EU officials' benefits. EU countries formally proposed the austerity measures at a meeting in Brussels ...

June budget deal 'reachable,' Lewandowski says

14.05.13 @ 09:05

A June deal on the seven year EU budget framework is "definitely reachable", said EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski on Monday (13 May). Speaking after the first round of negotiations with MEPs and ministers, ...

'Political science fiction' to become reality, Barroso says

07.05.13 @ 15:35

The European Commission will set out its views on EU treaty change by early next year noting that ideas that now seem like "political science fiction" will eventually become reality. The commission will put forward " ...

Barroso: EU austerity has 'reached its limits'

23.04.13 @ 09:38

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso on Monday (22 April) indicated that the EU's budget-slashing response to the economic crisis has run its course. Speaking in Brussels at a meeting of European think tanks, ...

EU anti-fraud office in 'open hostility' with independence panel

18.04.13 @ 16:56

The EU's internal fraud office, Olaf, has had a "significant breakdown" in relations with its supervisory committee - a panel designed to ensure the fraud investigators are working independently of external pressure. ...

Commission: €11bn extra or we could halt EU payments

16.04.13 @ 09:29

The EU would have to halt multi-billion-euro payments to the bloc's poorest regions without an extra €11 billion for the EU budget, MEPs were told Monday (15 April). Speaking at a hearing of the European Parliament's ...

Unemployment figures show EU's north-south divide

03.04.13 @ 09:27

Eurozone unemployment reached a record high of 12 percent in February with national statistics confirming the discrepancy between the more stable northern economies and the struggling southern ones. Figures released the ...

FocusEU commission asks for €11bn to plug budget gap

28.03.13 @ 09:29

An extra €11.2 billion is needed to cover unpaid bills from the EU budget, the European Commission said on Wednesday (March 27). Budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski said he tabled the amending budget in a bid to plug ...

EU commission prepares ground for far-reaching economic powers

21.03.13 @ 17:46

The European Commission has started preparing the ground for legislation that would prevent member states from undertaking major tax, labour or financial reforms without running it by the commission and other ...

OpinionThe far-reaching implications of Cyprus' euro crisis

20.03.13 @ 08:50

The political-economic implications of the Cyprus bailout are far-reaching. First of all, the eurozone has for the first time chosen not to protect depositors. Usually when a bank goes belly up, you expect stock holders ...

VideoActivists barge in on EU's economic headquarters

15.03.13 @ 15:14

While EU leaders met in Brussels for their traditional spring summit, thousands of trade unionists staged an afternoon of events to protest against austerity measures.

EU leaders: growth 'cannot be summoned' at will

15.03.13 @ 09:29

EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday (14 March) agreed to a more growth-friendly interpretation of deficit rules, but Germany and others insisted that austerity measures will work if given more time. The softened ...

'Doubts about benefits of EU are growing'

14.03.13 @ 16:39

Rising unemployment, bleak economic prospects and continued austerity is making people question the benefits of the EU, Europe's top trade unionist has said. Speaking ahead of Thursday’s (14 March) EU summit, Bernadette ...

Parliament divided after MEPs water down CAP reform

14.03.13 @ 09:27

MEPs have voted to water down measures aimed at linking farm subsidies to environmental protection as part of reforms to the EU's Common Agriculture Policy (CAP). During a marathon, two-hour voting session in Strasbourg ...

EU parliament sets pre-conditions for budget talks

13.03.13 @ 17:44

Governments must cover the EU's old budget debts before a deal can be reached on the bloc's next seven year budget, MEPs decided on Wednesday (13 March). Deputies in Strasbourg voted by a 509 to 161 margin to back a ...

Parliament ready to strike deal on EU budget

09.03.13 @ 13:15

MEPs are ready to accept the 3 percent EU budget cut agreed by governments in return for more flexibility, according to documents seen by EUobserver. A draft resolution setting out the European Parliament's negotiating ...