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20th Feb 2020

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Reporting on the European Union since 2000, EUobserver is an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU. We work tirelessly to connect advertisers with our readers and offer a wide range of advertising and ...

Ticker

EU unveils white paper on AI and data strategy

The European Commission unveiled on Wednesday the EU's vision for digital policies, focusing on data and artificial intelligence governance. The commission wants to establish new binding requirements for the development and use of "high-risk" AI ...

Ticker

Dutch court rules against Russia in €46bn Yukos case

Russia ought to pay back €46bn to former shareholders of the Yukos energy firm which it bankrupted in 2007 when its boss, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, tried to enter politics, a Dutch court of appeal ruled Tuesday. Dutch arbitration proceedings initially ruled ...

Ticker

Britain to bar 'Polish plumber-type' migrants

Unskilled workers and people who do not speak English will not be able to emigrate to the UK under a new points-based system to be unveiled by the British government Wednesday, British media report. Self-employed people, such as Polish or Romanian ...

Ticker

Greece seeks EU help to get back classical statues from UK

Britain could come under EU pressure to return the Elgin Marbles, a set of famous classical sculptures, to Greece if it wants a future trade deal, according to a new negotiating mandate agreed by the EU-27 and seen by The Times. "The parties should address ...

EU leaders face major clash on rule of law budget link

EU plans to link some budget funds to respect for the rule of law will be part of the grand bargain at EU leaders' negotiations on Thursday's (20 February) summit over the bloc's spending plans. It is one of the key issues dividing member states in a ...

Interview

North Macedonia warns EU on 'dirtiest ever' election

North Macedonia is heading for its "dirtiest ever" election, its prime minister has warned, as Europhiles prepare to take on nationalists. "I'm sure that this election campaign will be one of the dirtiest parliamentary elections so far in North Macedonia. ...

Column

Western 'endarkenment' and the voodoo politics of Europe

Welcome to the Voodoo West, a place where everybody wants the impossible and hopes for the unrealistic. The West used to be the global middle class of politics. The ideals were great, the goals were moderate, and everyone was hard at work. Now the ideals ...

Warning of agricultural 'digital arms race' in EU

Friends of the Earth Europe has called on the European Commission to regulate data generated in agriculture via new technologies to avoid a few global corporations consolidating their dominance in the farming and food chain. "Europe is on the verge of ...

Cayman Islands put on tax-haven blacklist after Brexit

British overseas territory the Cayman Islands has been placed on an EU tax-haven blacklist, along with Palau, Panama, and the Seychelles. The latest decision made by finance ministers on Tuesday (18 February) follows the UK's departure last month from the ...

Opinion

Boris' Brexit bluff? - UK will resist alignment to the end

Brexit is done. That's the view of the British government, which has, according to reports, attempted to ban ministers from even using the word in official pronouncements that discuss the UK's future relationship with the European Union. For Boris Johnson, ...

Ticker

HSBC to cut 35,000 jobs worldwide

HSBC has said it will slash 35,000 jobs, around 15 percent of its workforce, over three years as part of a major shake-up, the Guardian reports. The bank - which operates in 64 countries - said there would be "meaningful job cuts...in the UK", mainly ...

Ticker

Regions chief appeals against cutting EU cohesion funds

The president of the Committee of the Regions, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said on Tuesday that he would launch an appeal to avoid cutting cohesion funds which "help make people's lives better in cities and regions," two days ahead of the special summit on the ...

Ticker

Verhofstadt criticises UK Brexit negotiator

In a press conference with London mayor Sadiq Khan, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt criticised the UK's Brexit negotiator, David Frost. "It's not a good thing that we continue to discuss the future relationship as if the UK and ...

Ticker

Turkish court acquits Gezi park activists

A Turkish court has acquitted nine activists accused of attempting to overthrow the government by organising mass protests in Istanbul's Gezi Park in 2013. According to the judge there was "not enough concrete evidence" against them. After the surprise ...

US still open to Kosovo-Serbia land swap

The US has declined to rule out a land swap between Kosovo and Serbia - despite German opposition to the idea. "It's up to the parties to establish the parameters of the dialogue," the US special envoy for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, told ...

Ticker

EU extends Syria and Belarus sanctions

EU ministers added eight businessmen and two entities to their Syria blacklist list Monday, bringing the total number to 277 and 77, respectively, in a sanctions regime that began in 2011. They also extended an arms embargo on Belarus for one more year and ...

Ticker

EU budget to introduce rule-of-law condition

EU states, such as Hungary or Poland, who backslide on the rule of law could lose funds in future according to a compromise text agreed on Monday and seen by the Reuters news agency. "A general regime of conditionality will be introduced to tackle manifest ...

Ticker

Far-right rally meets counter protests in Dresden

Pegida supporters, including Bjorn Hocke of the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD), gathered for the group's 200th demonstration in the city Monday, Deutsche Welle writes. However, hundreds of anti-Pegida demonstrators also arrived in Neumarkt ...

EU countries enter final phase of budget talks

EU affairs ministers entered the final phase of negotiations on the bloc's seven-year budget on Monday (17 February), ahead of a special summit on the issue on Thursday. But opposing positions among member states that want to cap EU spending at one percent ...

EU set for new Libya naval mission

The EU is rolling out a new naval operation in the Mediterranean to crack down on arms-smuggling into Libya, as it peels further away from migrant-rescues at sea. Details are still being hammered out but foreign affairs ministers in Brussels on Monday (17 ...

Zuckerberg lobbies Brussels ahead of new EU rules

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg visited Brussels on Monday (17 February) to lobby top European officials in charge of digital policies, two days before the bloc unveils new rules governing data and artificial intelligence (AI) - including facial recognition. ...

Luxembourg takes EU lead on Palestine recognition

Luxembourg has stepped up efforts to coordinate an EU reaction to the risk Israel will annex Palestinian territories in the West Bank. Its foreign minister, Jean Asselborn, hosted a dinner with eight other EU foreign ministers from Belgium, Finland, France ...

Opinion

What the Dutch don't get about the EU budget

In the US we have the primaries and presidential elections this year but in the EU the budgetary negotiations will make for a good reality TV. Some will be losers, and some will be winners. Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte and his allies from Denmark, ...

Ticker

Chief negotiator: UK will not align with EU standards

The UK will not align its standards with those of the EU, the UK's chief negotiator, David Frost said at a Brussels university Monday. "To think that we might accept EU supervision on so-called level playing field issues simply fails to see the point of ...

Ticker

Budget commissioner sold off energy shares in January

European budget commissioner Johannes Hahn sold off in January his 2,200 shares in Austria's largest energy-provider Verbund, worth over €113,000 at the end of 2019. "Hahn mandated the deposit institution with the settlement of the securities in question ...

Ticker

German far-right group 'planned mosque attacks'

Members of a German far-right group arrested last week had been plotting "shocking" major attacks on mosques, similar to the one carried out in New Zealand last year, a government spokesman said Monday. On Friday, German police arrested 12 men across the ...

Ticker

German family minister urges gender quotas in boardrooms

Germany's family minister, Franziska Giffey, has urged large national companies to have women on their directory boards, ahead of a possible legislation on gender-quotas in boardrooms, German broadcaster SWR reported on Monday. "Boys-only clubs are no ...

Letter

Ending shell companies does not threaten privacy

In last week's op-ed Fundamental snag with new EU money-laundering rules, Martin Kenney, a lawyer based in the British Virgin Islands criticises one of the cornerstones of the new EU anti-money laundering rules: the granting of public access to a minimum ...

Ticker

Decision on Catalan MEPs' extradition postponed again

A Belgian court on Monday postponed again the decision to suspend or annul the European arrest warrant issued by Spanish authorities against two MEPs (the former head of the Catalan government, Carles Puigdemont, and a member of his cabinet, Toni Comín), ...

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