Sunday

29th Mar 2020

Coronavirus

ECB promises (almost) whatever it takes

The eurozone's central bank has promised to buy up to €750bn of government and private bonds in new pandemic counter-measures.

News in Brief

  1. UK health minister tests positive for coronavirus
  2. Orban: coronavirus exposes EU 'weaknesses'
  3. Court orders Netherlands to pay colonial victims
  4. Belgian cat 'infected by coronavirus'
  5. UK PM Johnson tests positive for coronavirus
  6. EU agrees Libya naval mission after Greek solution
  7. US to upgrade its nuclear bombs in Europe
  8. US surpasses China and Italy with 82,404 corona cases

Vietnam sent champagne to MEPs ahead of trade vote

A trade deal with Vietnam sailed through the European Parliament's international trade committee and after its embassy sent MEPs bottles of Moet & Chandon Imperial champagne over Christmas.

Feature

Promises and doubts: Africa's free-trade adventure

The EU is hoping that a continent-wide free trade agreement in Africa will help lift millions out of poverty and help solve issues of security and migration. But its message of values and equal partnership do not resonate with everyone.

Opinion

Is there more than coffee for European Works Councils?

In 1994, the EU decided that, at least, the employee representatives of a multinational were to meet each other and the management from time to time. In these meetings, management had to inform and consult the employees about transnational issues.

Opinion

Why EU subsidy schemes don't work - the evidence

Counter to popular beliefs among policymakers, the positive effects of support schemes are found to be very limited. In order to revitalise Europe, the newly appointed EU Commission needs to reconsider government's role in innovation and entrepreneurship.

Opinion

Why EU minimum wage is actually bad idea for workers

As president of one of the largest trade union confederations in the EU, I see the need for good working conditions and decent pay in all member states - but an EU-wide minimum wage could be used to lower wages.

Opinion

What does coronavirus 'Black Swan' mean for markets?

Falling demand and prices for oil and raw materials will revive the risk of deflation. The collapse in international trade and long-term rethinking of China's role as the major hub for the production of consumer goods and electronics is inevitable.

Opinion

Is Hogan about to let Trump's GM exports into EU?

By 18 March, trade commissioner Phil Hogan wants to sign a deal with the Trump administration which, to add a bit of spice, includes fast-tracking GMO imports in an attempt to please the US farming industry.

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Coronavirus

Markets plunge after ECB and EU fail to convince

US president Donald Trump hit the EU economy with an unexpected travel ban, while markets went into a freefall after disappointment with the European Central Bank's measures to offset the coronavirus fallout.

Coronavirus

Europe prepares piecemeal coronavirus shutdown

EU countries have introduced partial travel bans, shut down schools, sports and cultural events, closed cinemas and theatres in an effort to slow down the spread of covonavirus. Fears over the economic turmoil also grow.

Feature

Death in Venice? Italy's tourism on life-support

"This is the worst crisis Italy has had to face since the end of the Second World War" says Emanuele Felice, professor of economic history at the University of Chieti-Pescara, and economic advisor to Italy's Democratic Party.

Coronavirus

EU steps up coronavirus fight in first online summit

As Italy went into lockdown EU leaders discussed a more coordinated response to the outbreak. The commission promised financial help, as more and more meetings are cancelled in the EU institutions.

Opinion

EU minimum wage - a view from Poland

An EU minimum wage would vary between member states, at 60 percent of their respective average or median national wages. Six countries would be obliged to introduce a minimum wage. Is this a whim or a necessity?

Opinion

EU development policy needs a fresh start

As the European Commission meets the African Union in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, on Thursday, prior to a new EU-Africa strategy, the obsolete donor-recipient mentality must be junked, writes European Parliament development committee chairman Tomas Tobé MEP.

No breakthrough at EU budget summit

EU leaders failed to reach agreement on the EU's long-term budget, as richer states and poorer 'cohesion countries' locked horns. The impasse continues over how to fund the Brexit gap.

EU leaders struggling to break budget deadlock

Cuts to innovation, space, neighbourhood and other programme-spending push down the latest budget proposal on the table of EU leaders. Rebates could stay on, to win the support of the net-payers for a deal.

Green Deal

Plastic and carbon proposals to help plug Brexit budget gap

Individual contributions of member states to the next EU budget could soon depend on the amount of plastic not recycled. There could also be revenues from a possible carbon border tax on imports into the EU.

Unhappy EU leaders begin budget haggle

EU leaders arriving at the Brussels summit criticised the budget proposal of EU Council president Charles Michel, as richer member states insisted holding onto their rebates, while poorer countries wanted to avoid deep cuts to their subsidies.

Opinion

What the Dutch don't get about the EU budget

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is for chopping the European budget and its redistributive mechanisms. But each year, according to one economic analysis, the Netherlands get €7.1bn of additional revenues which should be payed in other tax jurisdictions.

Net payer countries push back on EU budget plans

As EU budget negotiations enter a nasty phase, EU council chief Charles Michel tries to please two divided groups of member states, but Austria's Sebastian Kurz has warned net payers cannot be pushed for more.

Opinion

Fundamental snag with new EU money-laundering rules

New EU anti-money laundering laws came into affect last month. But they depend on 'Ultimate Beneficial Ownership' registers - the majority of which are never checked or verified.

Opinion

Spotlight on Pakistan and Philippines in EU trade report

In the coming days, the European Commission will report on whether the eight countries currently holding GSP+ status have been respecting their commitments. The EU's stance towards two of the beneficiary countries will be closely watched: Pakistan and the Philippines.

Opinion

MEPs: Don't waste your chance to change Vietnam

A growing number of MEPs have become aware of the brutality and unreliability of the Vietnamese regime, and realise that this vote is one of the rare occasions in which they have binding power in EU foreign policy.

Denmark falls behind in gender-equality ranking

Iceland remains the most gender-equal country in the world, followed by Norway, Finland and Sweden. But one Nordic country sticks out from its neighbours with few female lawmakers, senior officials and managers.

North Atlantic mini states in geopolitical turbulence

Donald Trump wanted to buy Greenland, while the Faroe Islands have come under pressure to ditch China's Huawei for its 5G network. Both incidents reflect growing geopolitical interest for the North Atlantic countries sharing foreign and security policy with Denmark.

Exclusive

Zahradil 'conflict of interest' over EU-Vietnam trade deal

Right-wing Czech MEP Jan Zahradil is leading European Parliament negotiations on a trade deal with Vietnam. As rapporteur, he is supposed to be neutral but has neglected to declare his involvement in a group with ties to the Communist party.

Von der Leyen warns on EU budget cuts

The new EU Commission president will tell EU leaders next week that they need to put money behind their pledges for border protection, defence policy and fighting climate change.

Opinion

EU's 'soft strengths' are enough to face China

As the share of the EU in the global economy shrinks, the soft power of its economic instruments and the attraction of the internal market is destined to decline.