EU Observer (82)

Greece to be absent at event on Communism and Nazism

Greek justice minister Stavros Kontonis on Monday defended his decision not to attend Wednesday's Estonian event on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Communism and Nazism. "Communism in whatever form cannot be put on the same level as the disgrace of Nazism," Kathimerini quoted the ...

Czechs want observer status in Eurogroup meetings

Czech foreign minister Lubomir Zaoralek told Reuters on Monday he supported his country acquiring "observer status" in the Eurogroup, the forum of eurozone finance ministers. "It is undoubtedly beneficial for us to have the possibility to take part in their meetings and thus have a direct insight ...

Putin sends EU-blacklisted ambassador to US

Russian president Vladimir Putin has appointed Anatoly Antonov as the country's new ambassador to the United States, the Kremlin announced on Monday. He is a former deputy minister of foreign affairs and of defence. Antonov has been on an EU blacklist since 2015 because he was involved in supporting ...

'Killer robots' are not about Terminator

A European signatory of an open letter about autonomous weapons says the imagery of fictional killer robots is distracting from a seriously dangerous issue.

Macron goes east to test appetites for EU integration

The next few months will be decisive in selecting who stays in the core of the EU and who stays behind, writes Tomas Prouza, a former state secretary for European Affairs of the Czech Republic.

'I thought I was safe in Europe'

Arrest of Turkish dissident has again highlighted the way rogue regimes use Interpol to hunt their enemies inside the EU.

Austria has begun checks at Italian border

Austrian soldiers have carried out border checks at the Brenner Pass between Austria and Italy over the weekend, Euronews reported. The decision to deploy 70 soldiers at the border between the two EU member states was announced last week, to prevent migrants crossing on freight trains. Meanwhile, in ...

Slovenian PM: Brexit talks will take longer than expected

Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar said in a Guardian interview, published Sunday, that the schedule for Brexit negotiations was "optimistic". I think that the process will definitely take more time than we expected at the start of the negotiations," he said. "It was good we made a schedule but, of ...

Merkel backs diesel while report warns of economic harm

Germany's finance ministry said Monday that the scandal involving emissions cheating with diesel cars "must be classified in the medium-term as a risk to overall economic development", even though "its effects are not possible to quantify". The report came out a day after chancellor Angela Merkel ...

UK to publish new Brexit papers this week

The United Kingdom will publish five new position papers this week, outlining its position in the Brexit negotiations. UK Brexit minister David Davis said Britain will propose "imaginative and creative solutions". According to the Financial Times, one of the papers will include a "new and unique" ...

Brexit realities dawn in UK

Just over a year after a small majority voted for Britain to leave the EU, new realities are dawning on both the in and the out camps.

UK's childhood obesity strategy - an EU blueprint?

One in three children aged between six and nine in Europe is either overweight or obese and the epidemic is threatening to bankrupt health services.

Death toll rising from Barcelona attack

Twenty-four different nationalities among dead and injured in "jihadist" van attack on model of previous ones in France, Germany, and UK.

Macedonia sacks top prosecutor over wiretap scandal

Macedonia's left-wing-led parliament has sacked the country's top prosecutor, Marko Zvrlevski, over his handling of an investigation into a major wiretapping scandal. On Thursday, all 64 lawmakers from the governing coalition voted for the dismissal, while the conservative opposition walked out ...

ECB concerned stronger euro could derail economic recovery

European Central Bank governors are concerned that a further hike in the value of the euro, making exports less attractive and imports cheaper, could derail the economic region's recovery. In minutes from their meeting on 19-20 July 2017, released on Thursday, they said there is a "risk of the ...

Austrian soldiers to stop migrants from Italy

Austria is sending soldiers to stop migrants coming from Italy, while Bulgaria has said the EU should defend' its borders by force of arms'.

Ireland continues to refuse €13 billion in back taxes from Apple

Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper that the European Commission's demand for Dublin to collect up to €13bn in back taxes from Apple was unjustified. "We are not the global tax collector for everybody else," he said. Last year, the EU ruled that ...

Mixed Irish reactions to post-Brexit border proposal

UK premier Theresa May's ally in Northern Ireland, the unionist DUP, welcomed a position paper on managing the Irish border after Brexit as a "constructive step", while Sinn Fein called it "delusional". Sinn Fein's leader, Michelle O'Neill, said Britain's government cannot deliver on preventing the ...

Chinese road to riches or road to ruin?

Behind all the money coming to Europe from China's 'New Silk Road' lurks a potentially explosive cocktail.

European Union returns to 2 percent growth

There are signs of EU economic recovery, with Eurostat reporting 2.2% euro-area growth and 2.3% growth in the EU-28 over the second quarter of 2017, up from last year's 0.6%. Central/Eastern Europe was growing fastest: Romania , Latvia , Czech Republic and Poland . The weakest growth was in Belgium ...

A Chinese road to riches or a road to ruin?

Behind all the money coming to Europe from China's 'New Silk Road' lurks a potentially explosive cocktail.

Russian power most feared in Europe

Climate change and the Islamic State are a bigger threat in the world than Russia, a fresh PEW survey showed. Globally, 31% said Russian power poses a major threat to their nation, compared to 62% for IS, 61% for climate change and 51% for cyberattacks and for the global economy. Europe is the ...

UK unemployment lowest since 1975

Unemployment in the UK has fallen from 4.9% to 4.4%, its lowest level since 1975, according to official figures from the UK's Office for National Statistics . There were 1.48 million unemployed in April-June 2017 - 57,000 fewer than for January-March 2017. The number of workers born elsewhere in the ...

Europe facing 'explosive cocktail' in its backyard, report warns

"Europe is possibly facing an explosive cocktail of political and financial meddling in its backyard," warns a new report on Geo-economic Implications of China's New Silk Road by the Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. It recommends that the EU increases influence over its neighbourhood, ...

UK seeks 'unprecedented' Irish border deal

"Unique' Irish deal to maintain free flow of people and goods, but UK ideas on future EU trade branded a fantasy'.

Danish police to investigate misuse of EU fishing rules

Danish police have been asked to investigate the public administration of EU fishing rules after national auditors found examples of fishermen who, in reports to the ministry, pretended to own vessels and quotas. This practice may have led to Danish fishing quotas being in reality concentrated on ...

UK seeks 'unprecedented' Irish border deal

"Unique' Irish border deal to maintain free flow of people and goods, but UK ideas on future EU trade branded a fantasy'.

Low support for Norway's labour party ahead of elections

Just a few weeks before Norway's parliamentary elections on 11 September, a fresh Norstat poll, out on Tuesday, showed four-year-low support for Norway's opposition labour party. The party was, until recently, tipped to win but the poll now indicates a strong chance for incumbent conservative prime ...

Slovakia's future is with core EU, says PM

Slovakia should be part of a deeply-integrated core EU, driven by Germany and France, prime minister Robert Fico said. He didn't, however, provide details on a deal struck Tuesday to keep the nationalist and eurosceptic Slovak National Party as a junior partner in his three-party ruling coalition. ...

Italy relieved as migration drops to lowest level since 2014

Italy's interior minister, Marco Minniti, said Tuesday that he sees light at the end of the tunnel for curbing migrant flows from Libya. His ministry's figures showed that 97,293 people reached Italy in 2017, down 4.15% compared to 2016. EU border agency Frontex confirmed the trend, saying migrants ...

German constitutional court questions ECB's €2tn spending

Germany's constitutional court decided Tuesday to refer a case about the legality of the European Central Bank's Public Sector Purchase Programme to the European Court of Justice for advice. "Significant reasons indicate" that the ECB, led by Mario Draghi, overstepped its mandate and harmed member ...

Eurozone industrial production slips

Euro-area industrial production fell by 0.6% in June and by 0.5% in the EU28 compared to May, according to flash estimates from Eurostat. Compared with June 2016, industrial production has however grown 2.6% in the euro area and 2.9% in the EU28. The highest increases in industrial production this ...

Merkel: No EU sanctions on migrant quota rebels

Opening the German election campaign, Merkel has refused to link distribution of refugees in Europe with the EU budget.

UK keen to keep old EU customs deal

Britain wants to keep its EU customs privileges after Brexit but also wants the freedom to negotiate other trade deals.

Italy backs Libya as NGOs chased out of Mediterranean

Italy has endorsed Libya's decision to chase NGOs out of coastal waters in what one charity called an unacceptable assault on people's lives and dignity'.

EU countries urge Kosovo to break deadlock

France, Germany, Italy, UK and the US in a joint statement on Sunday called on political groups in Kosovo to end a two-month long deadlock on forming a functioning government, reports AP. The winners of elections on 11 June, who are former leaders of Kosovo's war of independence from Serbia, have 39 ...

Portugal seeks EU help on forest fires

Portugal has requested assistance from European partners to fight over 200 daily forest fires mainly in the central and northern parts of the country that threaten to spread further with more hot weather in the coming days. Spain immediately offered to send aircraft from an EU "buffer capacity" as ...

Schroeder nominated to board of Russian oil giant

Former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has been nominated to the board of Russia's largest oil company Rosneft, according to a decree by Russian prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev. Rosneft shareholders will vote on the changes at the end of September. Schroeder is also chairman of the shareholders' ...

UK government tries to show unity on Brexit

In a show of unity, UK's anti-Brexit chancellor Philip Hammond and pro-Brexit international trade secretary Liam Fox published a joint article in the Sunday Telegraph saying post-Brexit Britain will need a transition period to help businesses adjust. "We are both clear that during this period the UK ...

Egg scare prompts review of EU alert systems

Health ministers' meeting called to discuss improvements to EU alert systems, but Danish and French authorities said pesticide levels in eggs too low to harm people.

Egg scare prompts review of EU alert systems

A health ministers' meeting was called to discuss improvements to EU alert systems, but Danish and French authorities said pesticide levels in eggs are too low to harm people.

Airbnb too 'different' to pay EU tax

US home rental firm said its model is unique' because most of the money stays in pockets of local people, as France and Germany prepare EU tax crackdown.

Bundestag MPs want German language used more in EU

A group of three Bundestag members have formed a lobby-group to push for German to be spoken more often in the EU institutions, Sueddeutsche Zeitung reports. The cross-party group already met with EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger over the issue and has sent chancellor Angela Merkel a letter ...

Mediterranean migrant arrivals halved in 2017

The International Organization for Migration reports that 116,692 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 6 August, with almost 83 percent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This is less than half of the migration arrivals registered in ...

Taking control of the red-tape revolution

The right to be forgotten is coming to Britain, with or without Brexit.

German SPD wants European quotas for electric cars

German SPD leader and chancellor candidate Martin Schulz proposed the introduction of binding quotas for electric cars in Europe on Thursday, as part of a five-point plan for the future of the automotive industry, which is currently suffering from the diesel emissions scandal. US electric car ...

Dutch arrest two suspects in widening egg scandal

Dutch police arrested two men Thursday, in relation to illegal use of pesticides in the poultry industry, contaminating eggs sold throughout Europe. Denmark announced 20 tonnes of the eggs had been sold there, and four UK supermarkets also pulled products from shelves Thursday. The pesticide, ...

Taking control of the red-tape revolution

The right to be forgotten is coming to Britain, with or without Brexit.

EU expands North Korea sanctions

EU states have added nine people and four entities, including the state-owned Foreign Trade Bank, to their North Korea blacklist after Pyongyang's latest missile test. The bloc has imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 103 people and 57 entities so far. The latest listing comes in response to a ...

EU monitoring mission says no fraud in Kenya vote

Marietje Schaake, a Dutch Liberal MEP who led an EU monitoring mission to Kenya, said on Thursday that she had seen no sign of "centralised or localised manipulation" of the voting process in Tuesday's election. Kenyan opposition leader Raila Odinga said Wednesday that results had been rigged as ...