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EU ElectionsEU elections may strengthen Putin in Europe

23.04.14 @ 09:29

Far-right parties are set to do well in next month’s elections to the European Parliament, a fact that has thrown a spotlight on their links with the Kremlin. A recent study by the Budapest-based Political Capital ...

OpinionHate speech, not Europe, tops agenda in French EU vote

14.04.14 @ 09:21

On 4 April, Marine Le Pen, the head of the Front National, France's far-right party, said that her party "will not accept any religious demands for school menus". Her comment came in the context of a growing scandal ...

Germany points to France's deficit commitments

07.04.14 @ 17:25

France's new finance minister Michel Sapin on his first trip to Berlin on Monday (7 April) gathered support for more reforms and budget cuts, but was referred to the European Commission on a deficit deadline ...

France appoints 'top cop' interior minister as PM

01.04.14 @ 09:29

France’s interior minister Manuel Valls was named Prime Minister on Monday (31 March) by centre-left president Francois Hollande. The 51-year old Valls replaced Jean-Marc Ayrault, who quit after the French socialist ...

French Socialists bruised in local elections

31.03.14 @ 09:20

France's ruling Socialists on Sunday (30 March) suffered a bruising defeat in local elections, with the centre-right claiming victory and the anti-EU National Front making further gains – a possible foreshadowing of the ...

AnalysisHungary's political left partly responsible for rise of its far-right

28.03.14 @ 09:26

The significant inroads made by Marine Le Pen's far-right National Front in the recent regional elections in France – especially in traditionally socialist strongholds – came as a surprise to many. But the far-right ...

EU ElectionsFar-left set for big gains in European Parliament elections

24.03.14 @ 11:44

Europe's far-left is set to almost double its deputies in the upcoming European Parliament elections in May. Poll predictions indicate that the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) group is set to become the ...

Far-right gives Hollande a bloody nose in French voting

24.03.14 @ 09:22

Initial results in French regional elections show the growing popularity of Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National party. Exit polls indicate it got 7 percent of the vote nationwide, compared to 43 percent for ...

EU ElectionsFrench far-right politician endorses Crimea vote

21.03.14 @ 08:57

Aymeric Chauprade, head of the National Front’s list in Ile-de-France constituency, was an observer at the Crimea referendum on Sunday (16 March). Contrary to the official approach taken by the EU, he believes the ...

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 ...

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 ElectionsFrench socialists launch EP campaign

06.03.14 @ 09:29

The French Socialist Party launched its EU election campaign on Monday (3 March) with jobs and fighting tax evasion as key issues. The launch date was not chosen by chance: it was two days after the Party of European ...

EU ElectionsFrance's traditional parties nervous ahead of EU vote

04.03.14 @ 09:30

If any political party is looking forward to the EU election, it has to be the hard right, anti-EU National Front. Headed up by the media savvy Marine Le Pen, the National Front (FN) is riding high in the polls and ...

AgendaHollande and Merkel plan EU 'revival' this WEEK

17.02.14 @ 17:58

The French and German leaders will in Paris on Wednesday (19 February) discuss what France is calling “the revival of Europe.” French President Francois Hollande has announced that his meeting with German Chancellor ...

Anglo-French summit to agree on defence but not EU reform

31.01.14 @ 09:34

David Cameron and Francois Hollande are expected to agree a raft of measures on defence co-operation but draw a blank on EU reform when they meet on Friday (31 January) The UK and French leaders will meet for talks in ...

ReviewRemorseless troikas

17.01.14 @ 09:27

“The parliament, the place where the heart of Europe beats:” Such mindless flattery never heralds a frank exchange. And so it was with Jean-Claude Trichet, the former ECB chief asked to appear before MEPs to give an ...

Hollande announces budget cuts, tax breaks

15.01.14 @ 09:29

French President Francois Hollande on Tuesday (14 January) pledged to cut €50 billion in government spending over the next four years and give French firms tax breaks in order to jumpstart the eurozone's second-largest ...

EU countries provisionally agree African mission

10.01.14 @ 21:47

EU countries have provisionally agreed to send troops to Bangui airport to protect civilians and distribute aid. An EU source told EUobserver that member states' ambassadors on the Political and Security Committee " ...

EU states consider sending soldiers to central Africa

09.01.14 @ 09:28

EU states' ambassadors will on Friday (10 January) discuss proposals to send a joint military force to the Central African Republic (CAR). The EU's foreign service sent round an initial plan to embassies on Wednesday. ...

Will France squander its lead on European defence?

18.12.13 @ 18:33

For the first time in five years, EU leaders will this week discuss defence co-operation. And, this time round, the summit will have a distinctly Gallic flavour. With Britain’s future in the bloc unclear and its active ...

No 'giant leap' on EU defence at summit

18.12.13 @ 17:43

Britain and Germany are aiming to downgrade plans for deeper EU military co-operation. EU leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday (19 December) will discuss joint defence for the first time in five years. The talks come ...

ReviewPlaying at a British EU exit

13.12.13 @ 09:21

Since the British Conservatives announced they want to hold an in/out EU referendum in 2017, it seems everyone else is giving more thought to what a Brexit could look like than the potential absconders themselves. So it ...

France goes to war in Africa to 'save lives'

06.12.13 @ 09:29

French President Francois Hollande has announced another military intervention in Africa, but plans to deploy an EU battle group are unlikely to go ahead. "This operation will be swift, it does not have the vocation to ...

ReviewBeloved Ashton

29.11.13 @ 09:27

It looked like it would be another humdrum year for Catherine Ashton. Full of: Where is she? What is she doing? Why does she never talk to press? Then she pulled the Kosovo-Serbia deal out of the hat. It passed under ...

ReviewSelf-determined MEPs

22.11.13 @ 09:30

This EU week shall be remembered for bringing us closer to imagining a day where the phrase ‘travelling circus’ can be consigned to a bin. Preferably in Strasbourg. Although it’s still not the done thing to say that ...

EU commission ups pressure on Germany, France

12.11.13 @ 09:29

Germany's trade surplus and France's "unacceptably" high taxes are set to be at the heart of the European Commission's economic policy recommendations on Wednesday (13 November). The two largest economies in the ...

Merkel to seek intelligence rule book with US

25.10.13 @ 06:25

France and Germany plan to negotiate an agreement with the US on the work of intelligence agencies, as the latest revelations of snooping by US security dominated day one of the EU's October summit. German Chancellor ...

US-France snooping row to spill into EU summit

22.10.13 @ 07:49

France says EU leaders should talk about data privacy at this week's summit in light of the latest US spying revelation. Speaking after an EU foreign ministers' meeting in Luxembourg on Monday (21 October), France's ...

US spy agency targets French firms

21.10.13 @ 09:21

Documents seen by French daily Le Monde say the US intelligence agency, the NSA, obtained over 70 million telephone records of French citizens within a 30-day period. The American spy dragnet took place between 10 ...

Rehn praises Paris on 'prudent' budget cuts

26.09.13 @ 16:41

France's budget plans are “responsible and prudent” Olli Rehn said Wednesday (26 September) in a sign of rapprochement between the EU and the eurozone's second largest economy. Speaking to reporters in Brussels ...

French minister's anti-Roma remarks draw EU criticism

26.09.13 @ 09:28

Comments by France’s interior minister to send the majority of Roma “back to the borders” have drawn sharp criticism from human rights groups and the European Commission. The minister, Manuel Valls, told French media on ...

French minister slams German 'wage-dumping'

19.09.13 @ 09:25

A senior French minister launched a broadside at Angela Merkel on Wednesday (18 September), accusing the German government of seeking an unfair advantage by keeping domestic wages artificially low. Speaking during an ...

UK and France going own way on military co-operation

19.09.13 @ 09:11

Britain is forging ahead on military co-operation with France, while warning about EU "interference" on defence. The two countries are the EU's leading military powers. They spent €92 billion on defence last year (more ...

France on Syria: We are not being led by US

05.09.13 @ 09:27

French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has denied that France is being led by the US on military action in Syria. Speaking at a debate in the French parliament on Wednesday (4 September), the centre-left PM said the ...

France 'ready' to strike Syria despite British No vote

30.08.13 @ 14:47

French President Francois Hollande has said he is ready to join the US in strikes on Syria after British MPs voted No. Asked in an interview in the French daily Le Monde on Friday (30 August), the day after the UK ...

French tax hikes would 'destroy' growth, EU says

26.08.13 @ 09:28

New measures to reduce France's budget deficit must come from public spending cuts, the EU's economic affairs commissioner said Sunday (25 August), warning that any new taxes would “destroy growth and handicap the ...

Franco-German car dispute escalates

02.08.13 @ 16:32

Paris has escalated a simmering trade row with Germany by formally notifying the European Commission of its move to block the sale of the latest Mercedes models in France. The commission Friday (2 August) said it would ...

France and Germany seek to revive EU defence policy

30.07.13 @ 16:51

The EU needs to do more for international security France and Germany have said as they call for improved battlegroups and the use of drones in civilian airspace. In a joint letter and ideas paper, dated Friday (26 July ...

Eurozone edging towards economic recovery

25.07.13 @ 09:27

The eurozone appears to be edging towards economic recovery, according to data published on Wednesday (24 July). Statistics firm Markit revealed that its purchasing managers' index (PMI), which measures economic ...

MEPs slam US snooping, amid revelations France does the same

04.07.13 @ 18:16

The European Parliament agreed on Thursday (4 July) to launch an inquiry into US spy allegations, amid revelations that France has its own secret surveillance programme. Le Monde newspaper on Thursday said that France ...

France plans budget cuts in 2014

26.06.13 @ 09:23

France is to cut its budget next year for the first time in over five decades in a bid to meet an EU deadline on deficit reduction. "This is the first time that we will propose such a reduction in parliament. It is a ...

Barroso hits back at French critics

24.06.13 @ 20:59

European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso has said his left-wing French critics are "protectionists" who use "exactly the same language as the far right." He also told a news conference in Brussels on Monday (23 ...

French minister bashes Barroso, again

24.06.13 @ 09:23

Another French minister has launched a personal attack on European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso. Industry minister Arnaud Montebourg told France Inter radio on Sunday (23 June) that the commission's austerity ...

Paris and Brussels in war of words on US trade

18.06.13 @ 09:27

A senior French politician has said European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso should quit because he called France "reactionary" on trade. Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, an MP in President Francois Hollande's Socialist ...

French Socialists repeat call for euro devaluation

17.06.13 @ 09:46

The ruling French Socialist Party has repeated its calls for a devalued euro in a bid to stimulate France's ailing economy. The proposal, which forms part of a paper drafted by European centre-left parties ahead of next ...

AnalysisLiberty and the EU-US trade talks

14.06.13 @ 09:18

The most important issue on the agenda of EU trade ministers meeting on Friday (14 June) is the approval of a mandate that will allow the European Commission to open negotiations with the United States on a ‘ ...

France to reform or fall behind rest of Europe, IMF says

05.06.13 @ 09:13

France will fall behind its European neighbours unless it introduces reforms lowering its labour costs and boosting its competitiveness, the International Monetary Fund has warned. "Restoring external competitiveness ...

EU arms to Syria: what, how and if

03.06.13 @ 16:27

The EU officially lifted its arms embargo on Syria on Saturday (1 June). The EU hawks which pushed for it, Britain and France, promise they will not ship anything if Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad gets serious in peace ...

Merkel and Hollande call for full-time euro President

31.05.13 @ 09:26

One day after he rejected EU "dictates" on economic policy, French leader Francois Hollande and Germany's Angela Merkel have called for the creation of a full-time euro "President." The idea came in a joint text ...

France says Brussels 'cannot dictate' economic policy

30.05.13 @ 09:29

France's President and Prime Minister have said Brussels has no right to tell them which economic reforms to make. Speaking to AFP on a visit to Rodez, in southern France, on Wednesday (29 May), President Francois ...