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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 ...

EU border agency 'overwhelmed' by offers of equipment

28.10.14 @ 18:17

The EU’s border agency has received more offers of equipment than its needs as it approaches the end-of-week start date for its migrant surveillance operation in the Mediterranean. “We launched a call for participation, ...

Renzi stirs up EU row ahead of eurozone meeting

24.10.14 @ 09:27

Eurozone leaders are meeting on Friday (24 October) to discuss the issue of public deficits and debt, as France and Italy are in breach of the EU rules. Ahead of the meeting, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi stirred ...

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 ...

EU fiscal rules won't be changed, says Juncker

22.10.14 @ 19:55

The EU's rules on debts and deficits will not be re-written, Jean-Claude Juncker told MEPs in his first speech as European Commission president. “The rules will not be changed,” said Juncker, whose team was backed by ...

Greece fined for violating asylum seekers' rights

21.10.14 @ 18:08

Asylum seekers in Italy and Greece are a step closer of having their rights vindicated following a verdict on Tuesday (21 October) at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). While the judgment is not final, the ...

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 ( ...

Frontex mission to extend just beyond Italian waters

07.10.14 @ 18:46

Triton, the EU-led surveillance mission in the Mediterranean Sea, will operate up to 30 nautical miles from the Italian coastline and cost €2.9 million per month. The EU-border agency Frontex is asking member states to ...

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 ...

International waters likely off limits to EU migrant mission

09.09.14 @ 18:24

Plans to restrict the EU border agency Frontex operations to an area close to the Italian coast could jeopardise lives should Italy’s Mare Nostrum be phased out. “If this happens, Italy must maintain the Mare Nostrum ...

EU migrant mission will not replace Mare Nostrum

03.09.14 @ 18:30

The EU border agency Frontex's expanded role in the Mediterranean will be limited when compared to Italy’s own naval search and rescue operation, Mare Nostrum. EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom told euro- ...

Who is Federica Mogherini?

01.09.14 @ 08:59

An unlikely choice just less than two months ago, Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini was picked by EU leaders on Saturday (30 August) to become the bloc's next EU foreign chief. Mogherini, 41 and a foreign ...

EU leaders pick Tusk, Mogherini for top posts

30.08.14 @ 21:43

EU leaders on Saturday (30 August) agreed to appoint Polish PM Donald Tusk as the next EU Council president and Italian minister Federica Mogherini as the bloc's new foreign affairs chief. Outgoing council head Herman ...

EU mission to help Italy save boat migrants

28.08.14 @ 09:30

The EU is to launch a “Frontex plus” mission in autumn to help Italy on the search and rescue of Mediterranean boat migrants. Home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom announced the move after a meeting in Brussels on ...

Italy's Mogherini still an option for EU foreign policy job

27.08.14 @ 09:28

Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini may become the next EU foreign policy chief if Polish PM Donald Tusk or a Baltic leader succeeds Herman Van Rompuy as EU Council president. The decision will be taken by EU ...

Libya violence puts EU border mission in doubt

25.08.14 @ 09:29

The EU’s flagship border mission for Libya remains parked in Tunisia, as deteriorating security conditions put migrants at greater risk. The operation - Eubam Libya - was launched in May last year to build up the post- ...

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, ...

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 ...

OpinionItaly should offer leadership on Roma issues

16.07.14 @ 19:09

Italy might not seem an obvious choice for leadership on Roma issues in Europe. In a Vatican address in June, Pope Francis commented on the widespread hostility to Roma in Italy, and the dangers of ostracising ...

Italian EU presidency backs South Stream

10.07.14 @ 19:13

The Italian EU presidency is in favour of a controversial Russian pipeline, South Stream, which would circumvent Ukraine to bring gas to south-east Europe. "We think South Stream should go ahead, as it would improve the ...

OpinionCan Renzi succeed where others have failed?

08.07.14 @ 09:19

Debt ‘flexibility’ has been flitting in and out of the EU’s lexicon for some time now. But Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi, a social democrat, whose party in the May European election won the most decisive victory of any ...

Italy: struggling to make itself heard on migration

07.07.14 @ 09:23

In the hills just outside Rome, tucked away from the road and about 50km from the coast, is the headquarters from where Italy struggles to deal with one of Europe's most pressing social crises - migrants making the ...

Combative Renzi hits out at German central banker

04.07.14 @ 16:20

A combative Matteo Renzi on Friday (4 July) slapped down comments directed at Italy by German central banker Jens Weidmann, saying banks have no business getting involved in Italian politics. Speaking to press in Rome ...

EU 'selfie' would be 'tired and bored', Italian PM says

02.07.14 @ 19:31

Europe's selfie would be "tired, resigned, and bored," Italy's prime minister told MEPs as he formally opened his country's six month presidency of the EU. Speaking in the European Parliament on Wednesday (2 July), ...

EUobservedRenzi - reminding Europe of what it doesn't have

02.07.14 @ 17:42

Well that was quite refreshing. In he bounded, the right side of 40, all grins and references to selfies and ancient philosophers, brash and self-confident. Yes, it was Italian PM Matteo Renzi's first appearance in the ...

AgendaMEPs decide Parliament top jobs this WEEK

30.06.14 @ 09:28

Seven hundred and fifty one MEPs from 186 national parties will gather in Strasbourg this week, as the eighth European Parliament is formally constituted on Tuesday (1 July). Despite losing more than 60 seats in May’s ...

Renzi MEP to take economics chair

26.06.14 @ 19:26

Italy’s social democrats have bagged the European Parliament’s influential economic affairs committee, as the assembly’s political groups reached a deal on Thursday to divide control of its legislative committees. The ...

EUobservedThe centre-left – acting like victors after the EU vote?

25.06.14 @ 08:44

The centre-left is playing a remarkable game since it came second in the EU elections one month ago. A straight up look at the political factions in the European Parliament shows that the centre-right have 221 seats ...

Renzi: EU at 'crossroads' between austerity and recovery

25.06.14 @ 08:38

The EU is at a “crossroads” between accepting a long period of austerity and high unemployment or taking steps to boost an economic recovery, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi has warned. Speaking in national ...

Post EU ElectionsCan Italy's 'political serial killer' change EU course on austerity?

20.06.14 @ 09:19

In June 2013, Matteo Renzi was still pretending that his greatest ambition was to serve a second mandate as mayor of Florence, a mid-sized town of less than 400,000. A year on, he is rubbing shoulders with the likes of ...

Post EU ElectionsEuropean 'United Left' searches for unity

19.06.14 @ 10:58

The fault lines of European politics are changing. The most vocal resistance to further integration is now heard from right wing parties all over the continent, while parts of the left call for a push toward deeper ...

Post EU ElectionsLoosen EU budget rules in return for support, Socialists tell Juncker

17.06.14 @ 22:49

Europe’s centre-left forces are warning that Jean-Claude Juncker will have to support a loosening of the EU’s budgetary rules in exchange for their backing him for the European Commission presidency. Outgoing Socialist ...

More EU aid possible amid Italian threat to stop migrant rescues

17.06.14 @ 09:25

The European Commission is open to requests for further financial assistance to member states under migratory pressure from people fleeing conflicts in Africa and the Middle East. “In 2014, the EC is ready to consider ...

Post EU ElectionsGrillo MEPs to join Farage group after referendum

13.06.14 @ 08:53

Members of Italy’s main opposition party, the Five Star Movement (M5S) of comedian Beppe Grillo, voted by an overwhelming majority on Thursday to join forces in the European Parliament with British eurosceptic leader ...

EU rules should focus on debt not deficit targets, says IMF official

10.06.14 @ 20:48

The EU’s rules on cutting national budget deficits discourage public investment and "imply procyclicality," prolonging the effects of a recession, a senior IMF official has said. Speaking on Tuesday (10 June) at the ...

Mayor of Venice arrested over EU-funded project

05.06.14 @ 09:38

The mayor of Venice, Giorgio Orsoni, and 35 other people were arrested Wednesday (4 June) on corruption charges linked to a project co-funded by the EU. Orsoni was placed under house arrest as 300 police officers ...

OpinionItaly's 'trust no one' culture holding back growth

03.06.14 @ 11:03

For visitors this spring, a trip to Bella Italia’s countryside and picturesque towns will feel like taking a trip back in time. Because it is. I found this out several years ago as a “cittadino” of the northern city of ...

AnalysisFrance falls victim to EU's economic powers

03.06.14 @ 09:39

Being singled out for censure by the European Commission is nothing new for the government of Francois Hollande. But the timing of the latest veiled threat from Brussels could hardly be worse. Ten days ago Marine Le Pen ...

Post EU ElectionsEU states at odds over Juncker

02.06.14 @ 09:28

Jean-Claude Juncker may have been endorsed by Germany for the European Commission top job, but Italy and France have signalled opposition, while Britain has warned about the consequences of choosing the former ...

Post EU ElectionsItaly set for EU vote amid fears of Grillo breakthrough

24.05.14 @ 17:42

Protest party leader Beppe Grillo has won the street battle in Italy’s campaign for the European elections, filling Rome’s San Giovanni square for his closing rally on Friday night with a number of supporters that his ...

Post EU ElectionsCommission hopefuls largely unknown on streets of Europe

21.05.14 @ 09:33

In the EU capital of Brussels there has been much political kerfuffle around Spitzenkandidaten – the six politicians campaigning to be the next president of the European Commission. The run-up to this week's vote has ...

AnalysisSurvey spotlights pro-EU Brits, anti-EU Italians

16.05.14 @ 08:55

The good news was that over 50 percent of Europeans had a favourable view of the EU. The bad news that most Europeans still think that the EU is remote, doesn't listen and is inefficient. That, at least, was how most ...

OpinionItalian MEP candidates scaremongering on immigration

15.05.14 @ 09:08

The politics of fear are taking the stage in the upcoming European elections in Italy. Scaremongering is being used by representatives of both the majority and the opposition, by leaders of the European People's Party ...

Post EU ElectionsItaly mocks trashy EU election posters

12.05.14 @ 08:58

Dodgy graphics, bad pictures, crass wordplay: Italians are no strangers to trashy election material. This year, as voters head to the polls on 25 May for local and European Parliament elections, candidates’ worst ...

Post EU ElectionsCentre-right EPP stuck with ‘sickening’ Berlusconi

29.04.14 @ 11:48

The centre-right European People’s Party (EPP) will not expel Silvio Berlusconi from its ranks, despite his embarrassing remarks on Germany’s Nazi past, because they need his Forza Italia party to win next month’s ...

Post EU ElectionsAnti-euro talk spreads in Italy

24.04.14 @ 09:28

In the 1990s, qualifying against the odds for eurozone membership was a matter of pride for most Italians. Now leaving the euro – once a political taboo – is routinely discussed by the media, as the campaign for next ...

Italian right calls for end to migrant rescue programme

23.04.14 @ 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 ...

Post EU ElectionsItaly PM chooses women MEP candidates to combat 'grey' list

11.04.14 @ 17:24

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has selected five women to front the campaign of his Democratic Party (PD) for May's European Parliament elections, with an 11th-hour reshuffling of candidates' lists that caused a ...

Post EU ElectionsItaly's Grillo wants disloyal MEPs to pay hefty fine

07.04.14 @ 09:27

Adopting a novel way to enforce discipline, Italy's Five Star Movement, expected to capture the largest share of mounting Eurosceptic sentiment in Italy, has asked candidates for next month's European Parliament ...