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18th Oct 2019

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Deep divisions on display over post-Brexit EU budget

Deep divisions among EU countries on the bloc's next long-term budget were on full display at the EU leaders' summit on Friday (18 October). It was the first time leaders talked about the 2021-2027 budget's substance, and how to plug the gap created by the ...

Juncker: 'Historic mistake' against Balkan EU hopefuls

The EU institutional leadership lashed out against member states for having denied Albania and North Macedonia a chance to advance in their EU membership aspirations. "Both countries passed their exams, I can't say that about our member states," EU council ...

Ticker

Macron: Nato's inability to react to Turkey a 'mistake'

French president, Emmanuel Macron, said on Friday that Nato inability to react to the "madness" of Turkey's offensive into northern Syria was a "serious mistake". The lack of response weakens Nato's credibility "to find partners on the ground who will be ...

EU leaders spent just 12 minutes on climate

The EUʼs long-term strategy on climate change on the agenda of EU leaders for Friday's summit (18 October) - however, in the end heads of state spent only about 12 minutes discussing the topic. Despite the protests and the calls for more ambitious ...

Agenda

Crunch Brexit vote in UK This WEEK

The future of Brexit continues to hang in the balance this week, with a crunch vote in Westminster on Saturday (19 October). If British prime minister Boris Johnson fails to get his new Brexit deal through parliament, then the UK will either crash out of ...

Ticker

EU: US can expect counter measures after tariff move

The EU said Friday it "regrets" the US decision to impose tariffs over the WTO's ruling on illegal subsidies to aircraft manufacturer Airbus. It leaves the EU with "no alternative but to follow through in due course with our own tariffs" in a similar case ...

Ticker

Almost 7,500 people forcibly returned to Libya in 2019

The partly EU-financed and trained Libyan Coast Guard has intercepted 7,404 refugees and migrants at sea and returned them to the war-torn country so far this year, according to figures from the UN's International Organisation for Migration (IOM). Many are ...

Ticker

Puigdemont released after responding to arrest warrant

The Catalan leader who led the failed bid for independence in 2017, Carles Puigdemont, was released with conditions by the Belgian authorities on Friday, after Spain's court issued a European arrest warrant for him earlier this week. According to El Pais, ...

Ticker

Commission: Facebook's Libra needs international approach

EU commissioner of financial services and future vice-president of the commission, Valdis Dombroskis, said on Friday that Facebook's Libra and other digital currencies "need an international and coordinated approach". Dombroskis also confirmed that the ...

Ticker

Italian PM: denial of accession talks a 'historic mistake'

Italian prime minister Giuseppe Conte on Friday deplored that EU membership negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia failed at the EU summit. Conte said that the decision would be remembered as a "failure". "I did everything I could to support North ...

EU envoy sheds light on weird US diplomacy

Remarks to Congress by the US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, have shed light on the unusual nature of American foreign policy under president Donald Trump. Sondland testified in Washington DC on Thursday (17 October) as part of an impeachment ...

EU fails to deliver on Albania and North Macedonia

Albania and North Macedonia had their hopes dashed after Denmark, France and the Netherlands scuppered any agreement on opening accession talks. The deadlock at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday (17 October) highlights divisions among EU states on ...

Opinion

Europe's empty fortress

The first ideal image of a society was a fortress. The Babylonian story of Gilgamesh praises cities for their sturdy walls. The Old Testament idealises societies with walls of bronze. Paradise on the inside, walls on the outside, and a failed cosmos around ...

Ticker

Catalan president blames clashes on 'infiltrators'

Catalan pro-independence supporters clashed with police and right-wing parties on Thursday, during the fourth and worst night of violence in Barcelona. Earlier that day the Catalan president, Quim Torra, condemned the violent protests but blamed " ...

Ticker

US imposes €6.7bn new tariffs on European products

The United States have imposed new tariffs on European products starting on Friday. The tariffs of in total $7.5bn [€6.7bn] are in place on a list of products including airplanes (Airbus), French wine, Italian cheese and Scottish whisky. French minister of ...

Ticker

G7: Libra should not operate until all risks addressed

A report by a G7 task force states that no digital currencies, including Facebook's Libra, should begin operations until they are proven safe and secure, Reuters reported. "Private sector entities that design stablecoin arrangements are expected to address ...

Ticker

Kurds agree with US-Turkey ceasefire but not safe-zone

US president Donald Trump tweeted "Great news out of Turkey!" after vice-president Mike Pence and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed a five-day ceasefire in northern Syria and a 32-km safe-zone from the Turkish border. This would allow the ...

Ticker

US to host 2020 G7 summit at Trump golf club

US president Donald Trump's acting chief of staff, Mike Mulvaney, announced the US will host the 2020 G7 summit at the Trump National Doral Miami resort in Florida, Deutsche Welle reports. The decision drew immediate criticism as Trump would financially ...

Ticker

Turkey's pension fund buys stake in Finnish defence firm

Turkey's army-linked pension fund has purchased a 70-percent stake in a major Finnish defence manufacturer, which makes products such as reinforced steel for armoured vehicles, Finnish media Uutiset writes. The ministries of employment and economy closed ...

EU leaders back Brexit deal as Johnson faces Westminster

Leaders of the EU-27 member states on Thursday (17 October) evening unanimously endorsed the revised Brexit deal agreed earlier in the day by EU and UK negotiators. "The European Council endorsed this deal and it looks like we are very close to the final ...

Ticker

Turkey agrees to Syria ceasefire, says US

Turkey has agreed to a ceasefire in northern Syria between its forces and their allied rebels and Syrian Kurds. The agreement followed a meeting between US vice-president Mike Pence and Turkish president Recep Erdogan. Pence said there will be a pause in ...

Ticker

EU leaders endorse revised Brexit deal

The EU-27 leaders endorsed the revised Brexit deal agreed earlier on Thursday at the EU summit in Brussels. The deal now needs to be ratified by the British parliament on Saturday and the European parliament possibly next week to enter into force. "I am ...

Opinion

Catalonia shows dangers of jail terms for non-violence

Catalonia has been marked by street violence ever since the judgment and sentencing of the nine leaders of Catalan independence movement earlier this week. This has been grimly predictable in light of the Spanish government's overbearing criminal justice ...

Ticker

Sassoli lashes out against Turkish 'act of war'

European Parliament president David Sassoli on Thursday described Turkey's invasion into northern Syrian as an act of war. "We are not only worried, we are angry. This is an act of war," he said, demanding the EU steps up pressure against Ankara to ...

Ticker

Sassoli: EU parliament 'ready' to ratify Brexit deal

The European parliament is able to ratify the revised Brexit deal before the 31 October deadline, the parliament's president David Sassoli suggested on Thursday after meeting EU leaders. "We are ready to do our duty, which is to examine the text and and ...

Ticker

Northern Irish party to vote against new Brexit deal

The new Brexit deal would "undermine the integrity" of the UK and the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party was "unable" to vote for it, the party said in a statement Thursday. The fact that goods travelling from Northern Ireland to the rest of the UK ...

Ticker

Von der Leyen: Brexit deal is good for people and economy

The EU Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen said on Thursday that the Brexit deal agreed between the UK and the EU on Thursday is "good for people and good for the single market". "I will work in my commission for a good relationship [with the ...

Ticker

Irish PM will urge other EU leaders to back Brexit deal

Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar said on arrival at the EU summit in Brussels that he will recommend to other EU leaders that they endorse the Brexit deal agreed by UK and EU negotiators. "It's a good agreement," he said, adding: "The backstop has been ...

Ticker

Bettel believes there will not be a Brexit extension

The prime minister of Luxembourg, Xavier Bettel, said on Thursday that "starting a meeting knowing that we [member states] are able to agree on something is very important". Bettel told reporters that British premier Boris Johnson will not ask for a new ...

New Brexit deal drops Irish border backstop

After marathon talks the EU and the UK agreed to a revised Brexit deal on Thursday (17 October), hours before EU leaders were due to meet in Brussels for a summit. "We have arrived to an agreement on an orderly withdrawal and also on the framework on the ...

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