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23rd Jul 2017

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Dutch coalition talks lengthiest in 40 years

The four parties negotiating a coalition deal in the Netherlands will break a record on Friday (21 July), the 128th day since the Dutch elections. It will be the longest period needed for a coalition deal to be concluded since the 1970s, when the longest ...

Polish parliament steps up showdown with EU

The Polish parliament adopted a controversial reform of the Supreme Court on Thursday (20 July), stepping up a showdown with the EU. The law, which puts the Supreme Court under government control, was passed with 235 votes against 192 and 23 abstentions, ...

EU urges UK to clarify its Brexit positions

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, called on the UK to clarify its position on the financial settlement and accept the jurisdiction of the EU’s top court on citizens’ rights. This came at the end of the first full round of Brexit discussions ...

Ticker

Polish parliament adopts controversial justice reform

The Polish parliament on Thursday adopted a reform that puts the Supreme Court under government control. The European Commission had called for the Polish government to suspend the bill. The EU executive said this law and two recent others, "increase the ...

Ticker

GMO opt-out plan unlikely to go anywhere in 2017

A proposal to allow member states to ban the use of genetically modified ingredients in food will likely remain stuck in the legislative pipeline for the rest of the year. “Reopening discussions on this topic is currently not part of the Estonian ...

Interview

Law expert: direct EU powers have become too complicated

Around one hundred protesters gathered outside the European Commission's Berlaymont building on Wednesday (19 July) to call on the EU not to renew the license for glyphosate, a controversial weed-killer. Although the European Chemicals Agency and the ...

Ticker

Slovak PM threatens to boycott inferior food

Slovakian PM Robert Fico said Wednesday that he would negotiate with the European Commission to demand new legislation against inferior food products being sold in Central Europe. If the talks fail, he said he would need to impose restrictions on those ...

Ticker

France takes Google's 'right to be forgotten' to EU court

A French court on Wednesday referred a case with Google to the European Court of Justice, on whether the search engine must comply with Europe's "right to be forgotten" on a global scale. The French data authority argued that the policy of de-listing ...

Ticker

Turkey accuses German companies of supporting terror

Turkey gave Germany a list of 68 companies and persons in Germany who it says have ties to Fethullah Gulen, the enemy of Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Die Zeit reported Wednesday. Gulen's movement is branded a terror organisation in Turkey, and ...

Ticker

Israel's Netanyahu caught calling EU 'crazy'

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu was inadvertently picked up by a microphone on Wednesday (19 July), calling the EU "crazy" for attempting to create conditions for peace with the Palestinians. "Europe is undermining its security by undermining ...

Opinion

Winter is here for Spitzenkandidat, but he'll survive

The media these days seem as fond of debating the fate of the Spitzenkandidat - the parties' lead candidates for the EU parliamentary elections - as the fate of the characters in the new season of Game of Thrones, coining the eurosceptic catchphrase “ ...

Investigation

Mafia money pollutes the EU economy

Major profits from large-scale illegal activities have to be laundered to enter the so-called clean economy. The money laundering itself is increasingly done by external specialised groups, which take a 5-8 percent cut for the service, Europol, the EU's ...

Opinion

Central Europe should be wary of Brexit stopping

Tony Blair just published a long analysis on the British political situation. Unsurprisingly, it centres around building an attractive new political middle-ground. But it also proposed a dangerous bargain – the Brits will forget about Brexit if the EU ...

Analysis

Poland's 'July coup' and what it means for the judiciary

The Polish judicial system is going through some shock therapy, with changes that critics and the EU say violate the constitution and threaten the independence and impartiality of the Polish judiciary. In what many have been calling the "July coup on ...

Investigation

Commission: clean up diesel cars, or EU agency inevitable

European commissioner for industry Elzbieta Bienkowska said in a letter to EU governments that if they do not do more to remove diesel cars with excessive emissions from the roads, “the only alternative” would be to establish a pan-European agency to take ...

EU Commission readies Article 7 procedure against Poland

The European Commission is coming “very close” to launching the Article 7 sanction procedure against Poland, if its government fails to amend recently adopted laws on the judiciary, which the EU executive says erode the rule of law in the post-communist ...

Fake EU parliament jobs case reaches French left leader

Public prosecutors in Paris have opened a preliminary investigation into an alleged use of fake assistants in the European Parliament by French radical-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon. Prosecutors want to check whether four people employed by Melenchon as " ...

Opinion

Greece needs a new plan

About seven years ago, Greece signed the first memorandum with international creditors. On 15 June, the completion of the second review of the third bailout programme was confirmed by the Eurogroup and an €8.5 billion tranche of loans was approved. Now, ...

Ticker

UK does not collect enough data to expel EU nationals

A UK home affairs minister refused to say if the British government had ever made use of EU-wide rules that would allow it to expel EU nationals if they are not working or seeking employment, the Guardian reported. Reducing immigration was a key debate in ...

Ticker

Polish president threatens to veto justice reform

Polish president Andrzej Duda proposed to tweak controversial court reforms Tuesday, otherwise he won't sign the law. Poland was criticised for a bill that gives lawmakers the power to select members of a body that nominates judges. Duda now says that more ...

Orban and Netanyahu set aside anti-Semitism concerns

One might assume that the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, would lock horns with Hungary’s premier, Viktor Orban, whose government has recently been accused of stirring up anti-Semitic sentiments with a campaign aimed at US billionaire and ...

Investigation

Free movement of organised crime in Europe

Many might think of the mafia and its famous crime syndicates - 'Ndrangheta, Camorra, and Cosa Nostra - as a purely Italian problem. But mounting evidence shows that organised crime is more than capable of spreading across the EU. In the EU’s 28 member ...

Italy's 'nuclear option' on migrants unravels

Italy will likely meet a legal blockade if the country pursues its reported plans to issue temporary travel visas for migrants. The Times newspaper said on Saturday (15 July) that senior government officials want to use a so-called "nuclear option", to ...

Ticker

EU immigration to Switzerland at lowest level since 2005

Net immigration to Switzerland from the EU fell to its lowest level since 2005, according to data released Monday by the State Secretariat for Migration. The Swiss voted in 2014 to limit arrivals from the EU and, in the first half of 2017, immigration from ...

Opinion

Ceta and pesticides: A citizens' rights issue

The EU and Canada will begin provisionally applying the Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (Ceta) on 21 September 2017. The EU’s obligation for data protection under this agreement is in conflict with EU law on public access to information, ...

Investigation

Inside the Code of Conduct, the EU's most secretive group

For the last six months, the EU's fight against tax havens has been in the hands of one of Brussels' most secretive groups, the so-called Code of Conduct. Somewhere in the Justus Lipsius or the Europa, the Council of the EU's buildings, the group of ...

Ticker

Turkey extends post-coup state of emergency

The Turkish parliament on Monday extended the state of emergency, imposed after last July's failed coup attempt, by another three months. It is the fourth extension of the state of emergency, which has been used by president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to rule by ...

Ticker

Dutch seeking UK citizenship will lose passports

The prime minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, warned the roughly 100,000 Dutch citizens living in the UK that if they take up British citizenship after Brexit, to avoid having to leave the country, they risk losing their Dutch passports. "Countering ...

Interview

Temporary director shakes up EU innovation agency

In less than seven weeks, Martin Kern will break a peculiar record. His title will still be interim director of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT). But, as of 1 September 2017, he will have led the EU organisation longer than any of ...

Austria readies for migrant border surge

Austria is ready to "protect" its borders amid reported Italian threats to issue provisional visas to thousands of migrants. Speaking to journalists in Brussels on Monday (17 July), Austria's foreign minister Sebastian Kurz said the country would not allow ...