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19th Sep 2018

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EU promotes 'Egypt model' to reduce migrant numbers

The EU wants to deepen relations with Egypt because few people managed to take boats from there to Europe, according to an EU source in Brussels on Tuesday (18 September) - who praised the authoritarian government in Cairo for virtually sealing its shores ...

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EU investigating BMW, Daimler and VW 'collusion'

The European Commission has opened an investigation into possible collusion by BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen Group. The commission is concerned the companies may have limited the development of emissions control systems. "If proven, this collusion may have ...

Tensions mount over Kosovo-Serbia deal

Serbia will never recognise Kosovo, Serbia's foreign minister has said, as the Western Balkans heads into a new period of turbulence. "You know when it will happen? When Kosovo will enter the UN, to recognise them as a country? When a grape grows out of a ...

Ticker

Spain wants special Gibraltar chapter in Brexit deal

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sanchez has pushed for a specific chapter on Gibraltar in the Brexit agreement during talks with EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Madrid on Monday. Spain, however, will not bring up the matter of UK sovereignty over ...

Ticker

Italy cancels Vienna talks over South Tyrol 'dual citizenship'

Italian foreign minister Enzo Moavero Milanesi has cancelled a meeting with his Austrian counterpart over Vienna's plans to grant dual citizenship to German-speaking residents in the northern Italian province of South Tyrol, also known by its Italian name ...

Ticker

Britain will not accept Brexit deal with Irish Sea border

The British parliament will not accept a Brexit deal that includes a customs border in the Irish Sea, Brexit secretary Dominic Raab has repeated in an interview with The Irish Times. "The constitutional integrity of the United Kingdom needs to be respected ...

Interview

New book: Why war is coming

On the afternoon of 11 September 2001 - 17 years ago - Koert Debeuf was working in his office in the Flemish parliament in Brussels. "I received a message from a journalist friend who asked me: "Are you watching CNN"?, he recalls. "What I saw on TV was ...

EU parliament will not budge on office expenses

The European Parliament has rejected EUobserver's appeal to have certain documents related to the MEPs' office expenses system published. In a letter dated 12 September – delivered on Monday (17 September) – parliament vice-president Livia Jaroka wrote ...

Ticker

Slovakia seeks witness to journalist killing

The Slovak prosecutor has said a white man with a beard and dark hair who appeared to be in his late 20s to early 30s may have witnessed the assassination of investigative journalist Jan Kuciak there earlier this year. "This person may ... have information ...

Ticker

Finland's Stubb considers running for EU commission job

Finland's former leader Alexander Stubb has said he will soon decide whether to compete with German MEP Manfred Weber to be the centre-right EPP bloc's lead candidate to take over the European Commission after next year's EU elections. "Reflection in ...

Ticker

Romania ponders anti same-sex marriage referendum

Romania's constitutional court will decide this week whether to hold a referendum designating marriage as an act between a man and woman in the country's charter, in what would be a step backward for gay rights. Senators voted in favour of the referendum ...

Ticker

EU lawyers back Slovenia in Croatia border dispute

An eight-page legal opinion by European Commission lawyers from 14 May, leaked to German magazine Der Spiegel, says: "The legal service considers that most of ... claims put forward by Slovenia in order to establish a breach of EU law by Croatia are ...

Opinion

Why Orban's project to reshape EU politics will be unsuccessful

"Viktor Orban is celebrated all across Europe" – so said an evening news show on a government-financed TV channel on the eve of last week's 'Article Seven' vote on Hungary - where the resolution that could theoretically lead to the suspension of Hungary's ...

Opinion

10 years after Lehman Brothers what has changed for EU consumers?

Ten years already. Ten years ago Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, the event which sent stock markets crashing and brought the financial world to its knees. In those 10 years, we have seen a flurry of government activity in Europe to reform our ...

Sefcovic launches bid to be EU Commission president

Europe must have a robust foreign policy and nurture high-tech industries, Slovak EU commissioner Maros Sefcovic has said in his bid to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as the next European Commission president. "We need a strong Europe, a more assertive trade ...

Ticker

Slovak commissioner to seek EU top job

Maros Sefcovic, an EU commissioner from Slovakia who is in charge of energy security, plans to formally announce in Brussels on Monday that he will be the centre-left's bloc 'lead candidate' (Spitzenkandidat) to chair the next European Commission. The move ...

Ticker

Migrant rescue ship Aquarius back in troubled waters

The Aquarius, a rescue ship operated by French charities SOS Mediterranee and Medicins sans Frontieres, sailed back to international waters off Libya this weekend to resume work despite an EU dispute with Italy and Malta on who should take in the people it ...

Ticker

Germany and Austria back tougher EU external border

German chancellor Angela Merkel and Austrian leader Sebastian Kurz agreed Sunday to back the creation of a 10,000-man EU border force and cooperate with African states to stem migration flows. "There can be no open borders within Europe without proper ...

Ticker

No plans for digital euro, Draghi says

European Central Bank (ECB) chief Mario Draghi has said the eurozone was not looking to create a digital currency. "The ECB and the eurosystem currently have no plans to issue a central bank digital currency," he said in a letter to an MEP on Friday, ...

Ticker

Macron under fire for elitist remarks

French leader Emmanuel Macron has come under fire for telling a young job-seeker in Paris he could find employment if only he "crossed the road" to look for it. The former investment banker has been dubbed by critics the "president of the rich". He also ...

Ticker

Italian president rebukes Italian government

Italian president Sergio Mattarella has rebuked Italy's populist deputy PM, Luigi Di Maio, for threatening to cut funds to public media who criticised the government. "Freedom of the press is fundamental to democracy," Mattarella said in La Repubblica, a ...

Ticker

Report: EU to accept UK plan on Irish border

The EU is preparing to accept Britain's plan to use high-tech gadgets to control a "frictionless" Irish border in future, British newspaper The Times reports, citing sources. One pro-Leave MP, Michael Gove, told the BBC on Sunday that "a future [British] ...

Ticker

EU far-right in exultant mood ahead of May 2019 election

"In a few months' time we'll be governing Europe together with [Hungary's right-wing leader] Viktor Orban", Italy's far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini said Friday after Austria's far-right vice chancellor. "Our ideas are now in government in ...

Opinion

Is Russia blackmailing the Council of Europe?

Vladimir Putin's Russia has been willing to go to extraordinary lengths to undermine the Western sanctions targeting its economy, from interfering in an American presidential election to boosting the Italian far right on Twitter. When it comes to the ...

First containership goes north of Russia from Asia to Europe

A brand new ice-strengthened containership is heading straight into the annals of maritime history. As the first containership ever Venta Maersk is on its way through the still ice-plagued North East passage north of Russia from Asia to Europe. Venta ...

Ticker

Migrants should be kept on ships says Austria

Migrants should be kept on ships while EU states assessed their asylum claims, the Austrian EU presidency and Italy have said ahead of an EU summit on migration next Wednesday. "You're well looked after on a ship," Austria's far-right interior minister ...

Ticker

Luxembourg minister snaps at Italy's Salvini

"Merde alors [fucking hell]!", Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn snapped at Italian interior minister Matteo Salvini in an argument on immigration in Vienna on Friday. "They [Italians] came as migrants and worked in Luxembourg so that you in Italy ...

Agenda

Orban and Brexit dominate EU summit next week

Hungarian leader Viktor Orban will face down EU leaders at an informal summit in Austria on Wednesday (19 September) and Thursday, following his castigation by the European Parliament last week. He will first meet Russian president Vladimir Putin in Moscow ...

Ticker

Poland lukewarm on Juncker's foreign policy idea

The Polish government has said there may be "better options" to strengthen EU foreign policy than European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker's proposal to replace unanimity with majority voting. "Moving to qualified majority voting may be one of the ...

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