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OpinionConflict minerals: EU can save lives and boost profits

Today @ 16:31

It’s not always fashionable to talk about Brussels wielding power. To many, the inner workings of the European Union seem far-removed from day-to-day life, and in particular, corporate power. But on Thursday (4 December ...

Hollande first EU leader to visit Ebola-hit Guinea

Today @ 09:24

French president Francois Hollande will visit Guinea on Friday (28 November), making him the first European head of state – even the first non-African leader – to visit one of the three Western African countries hit ...

EU anti-Ebola funds not reaching aid workers, Red Cross says

17.11.14 @ 19:44

Ebola is flaring up as aid agencies struggle to keep staff on the ground, while EU pledges and donations have yet to appear. The stark message was delivered to reporters in Brussels on Monday (17 November) by the head ...

InvestigationEurope’s tax haven investments in Africa

31.10.14 @ 08:22

The honour of delivering the keynote address at the high-level EU-Africa Business Forum earlier this year fell to Dr Ahmed Heikal. In front of European Commissioners, leading politicians, chief executives of huge ...

EU health chiefs to debate entry screening for Ebola

16.10.14 @ 09:29

EU health ministers will discuss the introduction of entry screening for potential Ebola carriers at a meeting in Brussels on Thursday (16 October). Britain has already introduced screening at its airports in Heathrow ...

EU countries give France green light to arm Iraqi Kurds

13.08.14 @ 09:27

EU countries have moved a step closer to sending arms to Iraqi Kurds to help them fight the Islamic State (IS). Ambassadors at a meeting of the bloc’s Political and Security Committee in Brussels on Tuesday (12 August) ...

France and Italy call for snap EU meeting on Iraq

11.08.14 @ 18:28

France and Italy have urged the EU foreign service to call an emergency meeting of foreign ministers to discuss the situation in Iraq. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius made the appeal to EU foreign affairs chief ...

Ebola risk in Europe 'extremely low'

30.07.14 @ 19:17

The risk of Ebola reaching the EU is “extremely low” but the possibility cannot be ruled out entirely, EU experts say. An EU official told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (30 July) any infected person arriving in the ...

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 ...

EU counts humanitarian cost of Iraq crisis

12.06.14 @ 18:29

EU institutions say up to 500,000 people have fled Mosul, Iraq, after the city fell to anti-government rebels on Tuesday (10 June). About 200,000 of them headed to Duhok, in the Kurdish-controlled part of north-east ...

OpinionBuilding a true partnership between Africa and Europe

11.04.14 @ 09:29

When EU and African Heads of State met in Brussels at the start of April they were presented with the opportunity to begin to forge a new partnership between two continents that have had a long and sometimes troubled ...

Merkel and Hollande pledge help for central Africa

02.04.14 @ 20:38

France and Germany have made a show of EU solidarity on Africa, as European soldiers prepare to leave for Bangui. President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke side by side to press in Brussels ...

OpinionWhy the EU should invest in the Central African Republic

02.04.14 @ 14:13

At today's (2 April) mini-summit on the Central African Republic (CAR) in the margins of the EU-Africa summit, the EU must seize the opportunity to develop a strong, comprehensive approach to address a crisis at grave ...

Migration routes change, migrants' security does not

01.04.14 @ 09:32

It could have been just another attempted leap. But on 6 February, Desirée, a young Cameroonian, managed to cross the border and enter in Spain. According to what she told Spanish news outlet El Confidencial, it was her ...

OpinionEU-Africa Summit: Time to end preconceptions?

01.04.14 @ 09:09

Zimbabwe's boycott of the fourth EU-Africa summit in Brussels on 2-3 April because the EU will not waiver its sanctions on President Mugabe’s wife, Grace, hurts Europe a little, but Zimbabwe more. Zimbabwe’s President ...

Victims unprotected as traffickers walk free

14.02.14 @ 09:13

The top suits in Brussels couldn’t be more in agreement: human trafficking is modern-day slavery and needs to be stamped out with force. Swedish prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt even made it the surprise topic of his ...

The slaves on our streets

11.02.14 @ 09:03

There are roads in Europe where African slaves are forced to wander, day and night, under scorching sun and pouring rain. They must wear as little clothing as possible, to look appealing to potential buyers despite ...

'For me, Europe was golden'

10.02.14 @ 09:26

They offer us a moment of pampering; a manicure, pedicure, or perhaps a well-needed massage. They make sure Friday nights are free from cooking thanks to a myriad of cheap Asian take-aways. They even provide sexual ...

EU countries to send soldiers to Bangui

20.01.14 @ 16:21

EU countries have agreed to send a joint force to protect refugees at Bangui airport in the Central African Republican (CAR). They said in Brussels on Monday (20 January) that they reached "political agreement” to go ...

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. ...

EUobservedPlaying 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 ...

World pays tribute to Mandela

06.12.13 @ 09:29

Tributes and condolences are pouring in from all over the world following the death of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela. The 95-year old died on Thursday (5 December) after suffering from a lung infection. Mandela spent 27 ...

InvestigationEU 'civilian' mission training paramilitaries in Libya

18.11.13 @ 09:29

The EU's "civilian" border mission in Libya is in fact training paramilitary forces, amid a wider European and US effort to stop Libya becoming a "failed state." According to an internal EU paper - a blueprint for the ...

EU multinationals scamming Africa out of billions, Tanzanian MP says

31.10.13 @ 09:23

Tax avoidance loopholes for EU-based multinationals introduced by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are said to be costing African countries double the amount they receive in foreign aid. “It is ...

EU should not 'lecture' Africa on gay rights

03.10.13 @ 10:08

The EU's most senior official in charge of relations with Africa has said the European Union should stop lecturing the continent about gay rights. Nick Westcott, the managing director for Africa in the EU's diplomatic ...

€1bn of EU aid to Congo wasted, auditors say

02.10.13 @ 09:29

At least €1 billion of EU aid poured into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in recent years went down the drain, auditors say. The EU spending watchdog, the Court of Auditors in Luxembourg, published the finding in ...

Leaders agree €1.8bn deal for Somalia

17.09.13 @ 09:29

International leaders pledged €1.8 billion to Somalia on Monday as part of a three year plan to rebuild the war-torn country at a special conference in Brussels. The aid is part of a "New Deal Compact' agreed with 50 ...

US to EU: Middle East and Africa pose risk of 'dirty bomb'

14.06.13 @ 09:29

Countries in Africa and the Middle East are a greater threat than old nuclear facilities in former Soviet republics as sources of material for a "dirty bomb," US officials say. "In north Africa and the Middle East you ...

EU: financial tax should be used for development aid and climate

27.02.13 @ 18:46

The European Commission said revenue from a proposed financial transaction tax (FTT) should be set aside to fight poverty and climate change, as an investment against global instability. “I would very much want member ...

Europe's cocaine habit fuels West Africa instability

25.02.13 @ 19:03

The price and demand for cocaine in Europe remains high as shipments through West African transit countries to EU destinations has dropped. A report released on Monday (25 February) by the United Nations Office on Drugs ...

EU should arm Mali soldiers, French general says

21.02.13 @ 09:29

The head of the EU training mission to Mali (EUTM) says the EU should run a parallel programme to better equip and arm Malian troops. “The European Union needs to invest today in the equipping of the Malian army and not ...

EU makes diamonds-for-democracy offer to Zimbabwe

19.02.13 @ 09:26

EU countries have said Zimbabwe can start selling diamonds and gold in Europe if it holds democratic elections. The deal - between Belgium, the home of the world's largest diamond exchange, and the UK, the former ...

Belgium and UK clinch deal on Zimbabwe diamonds

15.02.13 @ 20:12

Diamonds from Zimbabwe's notorious Marange fields are to return to EU markets following a deal between Belgium and the UK. EU diplomatic sources say Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders, the main sponsor of the idea ...

EU mission, African troops to take over from France in Mali

06.02.13 @ 11:02

The French assault force is to start pulling out of Mali next month, as EU military advisors and African soldiers move in, with talk of UN peacekeepers down the line. French foreign minister Laurent Fabius told the ...

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 ...

Nato chief: Mali shows holes in EU defence

04.02.13 @ 09:29

Nato chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen has said French action in Mali points to holes in European defence capabilities. Speaking to press on Saturday (2 February) at an annual conference on trans-Atlantic security in Munich, ...

EU ministers raise alarm on Mali executions

01.02.13 @ 09:34

EU foreign ministers have given weight to reports that Malian soldiers are murdering civilians in the French-liberated north. The ministers said in a statement in Brussels on Thursday (31 January) that: "The EU is ...

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 ...

From Gaza to EU: one man's journey

22.01.13 @ 09:20

The efforts of one Palestinian man to get to his scholarship at a European university show how cut off Gaza is from the normal world. Twenty-four-year-old Maysara al-Arabeed left Gaza for the first time in his life on ...

Algeria hostages killed, as EU talks of 'evil' in Mali

17.01.13 @ 20:00

Reports say several hostages were killed when the Algerian army stormed a remote gas plant in the south east of the country on Thursday (17 January). The operation came after militants seized the facility - which housed ...

Europeans taken hostage over Mali war

17.01.13 @ 09:23

EU foreign ministers on Thursday (17 January) are holding a crisis meeting on Mali, after one British citizen was killed and 41 internationals taken hostage at a British-Norwegian gas plant in Algeria in retaliation ...

French army to stay until 'Mali is safe'

16.01.13 @ 11:07

President Francois Hollande has said French troops in Mali are there to do much more than stopping rebels from taking Bamako. The French leader told press on a visit to Abu Dhabi on Tuesday (15 January) that: "We have ...

EU parliament chief shows prickly temper

15.01.13 @ 10:02

European Parliament head Martin Schulz has accused EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton of "disrespect" over an agenda problem. Speaking at the opening of the session in Strasbourg on Monday (14 January), he said ...

EU countries back France on Mali air strikes

14.01.13 @ 09:41

Fellow EU countries and the US have backed France's decision to bomb rebels in north Mali. The French attacks began on Friday (11 January) when Mali appealed to France, the former colonial power in the region, for help ...

EU struggling to keep up with Israeli settlement plans

20.12.12 @ 09:29

EU countries in the UN Security Council have condemned Israel's plan to build in the E1 area, while the EU foreign service has criticised plans for a new settlement in Givat Hamatos. The British ambassador to the UN, ...

Egyptian protester: 'We are getting a bad image in Europe'

05.12.12 @ 09:20

Tens of thousands of Egyptians marched in protest in Cairo on Tuesday (4 December) in an escalating dispute on the country's post-revolutionary future. "The Muslim Brotherhood is giving Egypt a bad image in Europe. ...

Military chief: EU becoming 'marginal' in Asia-centric world

01.11.12 @ 09:27

EU countries must share military resources or become "marginal" powers on the world stage, a Swedish general has said. Hakan Syren issued the warning after chairing a regular meeting of EU military commanders in ...