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19th Jan 2020

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Davos and Libya in focus This WEEK

With the Libyan ceasefire talks hitting a wall, German chancellor Angela Merkel is to host a conference in Berlin on Sunday (19 January) to try to bridge the gap between the warring sides in the North African country. The German-led push to resolve the ...

China spy suspect worked for EU for 30 years

The former EU ambassador suspected by German prosecutors of spying for China was Gerhard Sabathil, according to EU officials speaking to EUobserver and to US newspaper the Washington Post on condition of anonymity. The dual German-Hungarian national had ...

Ticker

'No objection in principle' on Huawei cooperation, EU says

EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan said during his visit to the US the EU has "no objection in principle" on cooperation with the Chinese telecom giant Huawei to set up its 5G network in Europe, the Guardian reports. He also said the UK can "call Donald ...

Ticker

French aircraft carrier goes to Middle East amid tensions

France is to send its aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, and its battle group to the eastern Mediterranean for the next four months to support its operations against Islamist group Isis in the Middle East, French president Emmanuel Macron said ...

Ticker

EU suggests temporary ban on facial recognition

EU states should consider banning facial-recognition technology from public places for the next five years to give governments a chance to assess risks of abuse, the European Commission said in a proposal, Reuters reports. The ban would exempt security ...

Ticker

EU industry cries foul on Chinese restrictions

European businesses have urged EU institutions and states to press China to play fair on market access. "The EU must reconsider its modus operandi towards China and put more emphasis on reciprocity and conditionality," BusinessEurope, a Europe-wide lobby ...

Exclusive

Surge in Israeli demolition of EU-funded buildings

Israel has sped up demolitions of EU-funded and Palestinian structures in the West Bank amid hawkish talk on taking over the territory. It wrecked or seized 97 structures worth some €480,000 in the area last year which had been built using EU or member ...

Opinion

Why EU subsidy schemes don't work - the evidence

In a world of technological change and global competition, European economies struggle to remain competitive. Historically, the European Union has sought to address this challenge through various industrial policies such as targeted support schemes, ...

Catalan MEPs Puigdemont and Comin look for a party

Two Catalan MEPs - the former head of the Catalan regional government, Carles Puigdemont, and one member of his government, Toni Comín - have asked to join the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament - but indicated they are open to other groups. But ...

Ticker

'Devil in detail', EU warns on US-China trade deal

The EU's trade commissioner Phil Hogan said Thursday that the bloc would check to see if a major trade deal struck by the US and China is compliant with global rules. "The devil is in the detail," he said in Washington where he is meeting US officials. "We ...

Ticker

Trump threatened EU-tariffs over Iran, Germany confirms

The US threatened to impose 25 percent tariffs on cars to push Europeans to initiate proceedings against Iran for violating the nuclear deal, the German defence minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer said. "This threat exists," she told a press conference in ...

Ticker

EU trade commissioner warns UK of 'brinkmanship'

"Playing brinkmanship will not work" for British prime minister Boris Johnson when the UK and EU start negotiating their future trade deal, EU trade commissioner Phil Hogan warned Thursday. Johnson has been "unwise" to set an end-2020 deadline to seal a ...

Ticker

Germany strikes coal phase-out deal

The Financial Times newspaper reports Germany struck a €44bn deal with its coal-producing regions to phase out coal power by 2038. "We are the first country that will exit from both nuclear and coal [power]. That is also an important international signal ...

Exclusive

Big Oil sponsors Croatia's EU presidency

The six-month Croatian presidency of the Council of the EU has signed a deal with the country's national oil company INA to supply its fuel. The part state-owned firm is now designated as the EU council presidency's "official gasoline supplier" - and comes ...

Ticker

France: Le Pen to run for president again in 2022

French leader of the far-right National Rally party, Marine Le Pen, announced on Thursday that she plans to run for the French presidential elections in 2022. Le Pen made it to the second round of French elections in 2017 with 34 percent of the votes, but ...

Ticker

MEPs adopt call for action on Hungary and Poland

In a resolution adopted by 446 votes to 178, with 41 abstentions, MEPs called for EU states to act on Poland and Hungary for breaking EU rules and values under the Article 7 procedure. MEPs said the situation in both countries has deteriorated since ...

Ticker

EPP, S&D, Renew MEPs to run 'EU Future' conference

The EU Parliament's leadership designated Thursday an MEP from each three largest party groups, centre-right EPP, Socialists & Democrats and liberal Renew Europe, to run the operational body of the Future of Europe conference. The Executive Coordination ...

Ticker

Report: Ex-EU ambassador suspected of spying for China

A former German diplomat who later worked for the European Commission and EU foreign service, where he served as EU ambassador in several foreign countries, is under investigation for sharing or being willing to share commercially-sensitive information ...

Interview

Cloud of mistrust over Malta's new government

Malta's new government does not look likely to turn it into a normal, law-abiding EU state any time soon, the son of slain journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia has said. The new Maltese prime minister, Robert Abela, named the 17 ministers who will make up his ...

Ticker

Danish shipping chief attacks EU competition law

The CEO of Danish shipping firm Maersk, Soren Skou, has said EU competition law could see China and the US outdo European firms by holding back "the creation of a European global champion". "Competition policy should not be just about protecting consumers ...

Ticker

Nordic states to stay out of EU minimum wage

The European Commission will exempt high-wage Nordic countries, where trade unions do collective deals with employers, from its bid for an EU-wide minimum wage, according to an internal consultation document seen by British paper The Guardian. "EU action ...

Ticker

UK to hold Brexit festivities in front of parliament

Britain is to celebrate Brexit day on 31 January with speeches, music, and fireworks in front of parliament in London after anti-EU campaign group Leave Means Leave got a permit, on Wednesday, to stage the event. "It is a big moment in the history of this ...

Ticker

EU defends Poland over Russian WW2 claims

The European Commission has voiced solidarity with Poland over Russian claims Poland was to blame for World War 2. "The European Commission fully rejects all false claims seeking to distort history," Czech EU values commissioner Vera Jourova said in the ...

Ticker

Iran threatens European troops in Middle East

Iranian president Hassan Rouhani warned that European troops might be in danger if the UK, Germany and France trigger the dispute mechanism in the nuclear deal (JCPOA) that could lead to new sanctions on Iran. "Today, the American soldier is in danger, ...

Opinion

Can the Green Deal – and Europe – succeed?

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, has unveiled the European Green Deal, and intends to make this the cornerstone of European policy over the next five years. This sounds spot on. Von der Leyen has very correctly framed the ...

Europeans ready to 'green' their lifestyles, study finds

Europeans rank irreversible climate change as one of the biggest threats to the continent, over terrorism and unemployment, a new study by the European Investment Bank (EIB) revealed on Tuesday (14 January). And two-thirds of people in Europe, the US and ...

MEPs call on EU states to act on Hungary and Poland

MEPs called on EU countries on Wednesday (15 January) to set concrete demands and deadlines for Hungary and Poland, which have been under prolonged EU scrutiny over the rule of law and judicial independence. The European Parliament debated the Article 7 ...

Belgium, France, UK in EU court surveillance blow

Government-led mass surveillance schemes in Belgium, France and the United Kingdom were delivered a potential blow by an opinion from the advocate-general of the EU's top court in Luxembourg on Wednesday (15 January). While not binding, the opinion is ...

Poland and Germany get most from Green transition fund

Poland and Germany will receive the largest funding slice of the €7.5bn Just Transition Fund, according to a proposal sent by the European Commission to member states on Wednesday (15 January). The long-awaited fund aims to mobilise €100bn between 2021 and ...

Ticker

Auditors: Non-compliance on energy-labelling a problem

EU eco-design legislation (for greener product design) and energy-labelling (consumer information on energy consumption and environmental performance) are contributing to improving energy efficiency, a new report of the European Court of Auditors showed on ...

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