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25th Mar 2019

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Italy takes China's new Silk Road to the heart of Europe

In recent weeks relations with China have dominated the political agenda in Italy. During Xi Jinping's visit to Rome the Italian government will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about its participation in China's ambitious One Belt, One Road, also ...

Ticker

EU leaders at summit demand more effort on disinformation

EU heads of state and government at their summit in Brussels on Friday demanded more "enhanced coordinated efforts" to tackle disinformation ahead of elections. The issue had been broadly overshadowed by Brexit and other discussions on China. The leaders ...

Analysis

What EU leaders agreed on climate - and what they mean

EU leaders coming together as the European Council at their EU summit in Brussels on Friday (22 March), rubber-stamped a declaration on climate change which requires some close-reading. It is the first political text adopted by the highest-ranking ...

Agenda

Copyright and (another) new Brexit vote This WEEK

After EU-27 leaders granted an extension to the Brexit deadline , at their Brussels summit, the UK parliament will have until 12 April to pass the withdrawal agreement - or decide on a different Brexit strategy. British prime minister Theresa May's ...

Ticker

Report: Corbyn to meet May on Monday for Brexit talks

The UK Labour opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn, has said he will meet prime minister Theresa May on Monday morning for 11th hour talks. In an interview with The Mirror Corbyn said: "We're the responsible party here. We're not running down the clock, we're ...

Ticker

Petition against Brexit attracts 2.4m signatures

Over 2.4 million people have signed an online petition within its first 48 hours to stop Brexit and remain in the EU. The petition was uploaded Wednesday on the parliament's website and attracted so many signatures that it temporarily crashed. House of ...

Ticker

Study: Brexit to cost EU citizens up to €40bn annually

Citizens in EU countries (excluding the UK) would have to bear income losses of €40bn per year with a hard Brexit while British citizens would lose €57bn per year (around €900 per capita), a study from the German Bertelsmann Stiftung has found. After the ...

Ticker

NGOs demand France halt Saudi arm sales

A dozen Yemeni and international NGOs on Thursday demanded France stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and help put an end to the war in Yemen. Amnesty International France said the country should follow Germany's example of stopping the sales. France is ...

Ticker

Report: Germany against EU net-zero emissions target

The German government is refusing to back a call for an EU-wide net-zero emissions target by 2050, according to a leaked document obtained by Unearthed, a media outlet funded by Greenpeace UK. The EU emissions target is set to be discussed by EU summit ...

EU avoids Brexit crash, sets new date for 12 April

EU-27 leaders on Thursday (21 March) offered to delay Brexit until 22 May, if British MPs approve Theresa May's deal next week in parliament. If they don't, then that delay will be shortened to 12 April. EU leaders held marathon talks late into the night ...

Ticker

Former top EU official takes job at law firm

Former European Commission secretary-general Alexander Italianer has been hired by US law firm Arnold & Porter, the company announced on Thursday in a statement which said Italianer "brings extraordinary insight into the key issues facing today's global ...

Ticker

Draft text of EU summit has Brexit extension until 22 May

Draft conclusions of the EU summit in Brussels circulating online said that EU leaders are willing to agree to an extension of the Brexit deadline until 22 May, just ahead of the EU elections. "Given that the United Kingdom does not intend to hold ...

EUobserved

Campaigning commissioners blur the lines

EU commissioners Margrethe Vestager and Violeta Bulc will campaign on behalf of the liberals ahead of the May EU elections, the Alde party announced on Thursday (21 March). This brings to a total of at least eight members of the European Commission who now ...

Slovakia puts squeeze on free press ahead of election

Slovakia is seeking to crack down on its domestic media with a new law, ahead of a presidential election run-off later this month. The revisions to the country's press code come amid threats against journalists, and an election campaign between EU ...

Ticker

Juncker suggests emergency Brexit summit next week

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker explicitly stated there may have to be an emergency Brexit next week, as he arrived at Thursday's EU summit in Brussels. Commenting on the likelihood of British MPs voting down prime minister Theresa May's deal ...

Ticker

Macron: Voting down May's deal means no-deal Brexit

French president Emmanuel Macron struck the strongest note yet of the consequences of British MPs not approving Theresa May's Brexit deal as he arrived at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday. Macron told reporters: "We can discuss and agree an extension ...

Ticker

Merkel warns days after summit could be vital

German chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the days after Thursday's EU summit could be vital to avoid a no-deal Brexit next week. Arriving in Brussels, she said the UK parliament may not approve British prime minister Theresa May's deal on a third vote. ...

Ticker

EU court rules 44 Italian landfill sites illegal

The European Court of Justice on Thursday ruled 44 Italian landfill sites to be in breach of the EU's landfill directive, which stipulates that waste must be treated before it is landfilled to not harm human health and the environment. If, despite the ...

Ticker

Dutch anti-EU party surges in provincial vote

The Dutch anti-EU, anti-immigration party Forum for Democracy is expected to enter the 75-seat upper-house senate with 12 representatives, after provincial elections Wednesday. The three-year-old party, which began as think tank opposed to an EU-Ukraine ...

Ticker

EU fines Google €1.49bn

The European Commission on Wednesday doled out a €1.49bn fine against Google over its market dominance in online search adverts and for imposing anti-competitive contractual restrictions on third-party websites. "This is illegal under EU anti-trust rules," ...

Ticker

Italian senate blocks criminal case against Salvini

The Italian senate on Wednesday blocked a criminal case against Italy's far-right deputy-prime minister Matteo Salvini. An Italian court in January had ruled that Salvini should be charged for preventing the disembarkation of 177 asylum seekers from the ...

Ticker

EU leaders to take tougher China stand

EU leaders and heads of state on Thursday at their summit in Brussels are set to take a tougher approach in their relations with China. Talks will revolve around trade restrictions, competition, and cyber-security, among other issues. The whole will feed ...

Ticker

EU leaders to press for US trade talks launch

EU leaders and heads of government at the summit in Brussels on Friday are set to seek a mandate for the European Commission to launch formal trade talks with the United States. Draft summit conclusions, seen by Reuters, note that "the necessary steps ...

EPP suspends Orban's Fidesz party

The centre-right European People's Party (EPP) on Wednesday (20 March) suspended its Hungarian member, prime minister Viktor Orban's ruling Fidesz party, and set up a committee to keep the party under surveillance and monitor if Fidesz should be expelled ...

Opinion

Macron is confusing rigidity with strength

A few days ago, the president of France sat down and wrote the whole of Europe a letter. Well, that was how Emmanuel Macron chose to spin the synchronised publication of his opinion article in several different European outlets. Clearly keen to discuss ...

May tosses Brexit spanner into EU machinery

Efforts by embattled UK prime minister Theresa May to extend Brexit until the end of June have roused further grief among an increasingly exasperated European Union. May proposed her three-month deadline in a letter sent to European Council president ...

Ticker

EPP proposes suspension for Orban's Fidesz

The presidency of the European People's Party proposed on Wednesday to suspend its Hungarian member, prime minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz, after Fidesz's anti-EU campaign. The suspension also means losing voting rights, while a group of 'wise men', led by ...

Ticker

May asks for Brexit extension until 30 June

British prime minister Theresa May on Wednesday told the UK parliament that the delay she has requested from the EU will extend the Brexit process until June 30. "I am not prepared to delay Brexit any further than the 30 June," she said, adding that taking ...

Centre-right EPP faces showdown with Orban

Hungary's prime minister Viktor Orban headed for Brussels on Wednesday (20 March) where Europe's largest political alliance, the centre-right European People's Party (EPP) will decide whether to expel its Hungarian member, his Fidesz party. The EPP has ...

Ticker

Juncker: Brexit decision unlikely this week

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told Germany's Deutschlandfunk radio on Wednesday that any decision on a UK extension to leaving the EU may be delayed until next week. "My impression is…that this week at the European council there will be ...

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