EU-China trade: closer ties as US-China trade battle brews

The U.S. Commerce Department announced last Monday that it prohibited American companies from selling components to ZTE, one of the biggest tech companies in China, for seven years. The Chinese side responded to this action by introducing a huge import charge on US shipments of sorghum mentioning that it will defend multilateralism and free trade […]

Fake news and Freedom of Press: can the EU ever find the fine line?

The European Commission attempts to tackle disinformation which is spread online by building up strategic measures in the EU. Last January, the EC assigned to a High Level Expert Group (HLEG) to define the problem and propose concrete recommendations on how it can be dealt. The report which was completed last month sets this issue […]

EU and U.S. castigate Facebook on Cambridge Analytica scandal as citizens’ data privacy goes down the drain again

Last Monday, the European Commission sent a letter to Facebook asking whether EU citizens were involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The EU is taking the turn from U.S. which has already opened an investigation to find out how Facebook permitted data breach of 50 million users. Facebook has been experiencing fierceful attacks both by […]

Brexit negotiations: Can May’s Britain bounce back?

It was last Monday when the EU and UK announced a transition agreement till the end of 2020 providing thus the opportunity for a smoother Brexit. However, there are still unsolved issues that need intensive discussions such as the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The business world saw this accord positively as they will […]

Commission’s action plan: financial world mandatory links to environmental targets

It was last Thursday when the European Commission revealed its action plan on sustainable finance to deal with climate change. This action plan aims at mobilizing the financial world in order to achieve sustainable growth; something that the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative has been doing for 26 years already. The huge financial gap towards […]

Italian elections: a long political limbo is ahead

The outcome of the Italian general elections of last Sunday was disappointing leaving the country and the European Union in shock. The win of the two anti-establishment parties together with the fact that no single party managed to get the mandate of an overall majority leaves the country in a political uncertainty where a coalition […]

EU budget: Will Germany alone manage Britain’s gap?

The EU budget will be the main topic of the EU summit which will be held in Brussels on Friday. The leaders of the 27 member states have to deal with the annual gap that UK will leave after Brexit occurs ensuring that the priorities set for the Union will be adequately funded. According to […]

Permanent structured cooperation (PESCO) on the table of NATO Defense Ministers amid US concerns

NATO Defense Ministers are gathered today in Brussels to discuss the modernization of the NATO Command Structure, NATO-EU cooperation, NATO’s defense posture and its role in providing stability and fighting terrorism. NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg held a press conference yesterday as a forerunner of the meeting mentioning the issues to be adressed. However, NATO-EU […]

Will Western Balkans respond positively to EU initiatives?

The European Commission announced yesterday its strategy regarding the perspective of EU enlargement with the Western Balkans within the next decade.  Six initiatives will be the guidelines of the EU which must be fulfilled in order to be able for these countries to complete the necessary steps for their accession process. The EU seems to […]

Will Qualcomm avoid Broadcom’s hostile takeover post the 1 bn euro EU antitrust fine?

The EU antitrust fine to Qualcomm comes as the latter attempts to avoid the 105 billion dollar hostile takeover by competitor Broadcom which keeps on biding higher and higher. Qualcomm seems to be in serious pressure as several fines have been imposed on the company for market dominance abuse and there are plenty of cases […]

Will the end of QE come along with ECB’s inflation target?

The European Central Bank (ECB) will end its Quantitative Easing (QE) programme within the year as the Eurozone continues growing. However, the inflation rate which is not increasing as much as the ECB officials would like, stands as a barrier to its monetary policy. According to Reuters, sources close to the ECB mentioned that the […]

How a possible EU budget deficit affects the migration crisis

The migration crisis has been long plaguing Europe but the year passed revealed that the situation is getting better and better with arrivals and deaths to be decreased to a great extent. According to IOM, the UN Migration Agency, 171.635 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea during 2017 compared to the 363.504 arrivals in […]

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

It was two days ago, on the anniversary of the International migration day, when the United Nations urged everyone to contribute to make migration safer in the world. The EU leaders gathered on December 14-15 in Brussels to discuss among others how to tackle refugee crisis. The key point which created disagreements was the letter from the […]

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

It was last Thursday when the European Parliament together with the Council and the Commission agreed to enhance the car testing system by providing extra checks to the cars that are or will be placed in the market based on the proposal of the European Commission made on January 2016. Despite the fact that this […]

UN Environment Assembly 2017: where the world convenes to #BeatPollution

The third session of the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) is concluding today in Nairobi, Kenya, with more than 4.000 heads of state, ministers, business leaders, UN officials and civil society representatives to partake in this three-day meeting. Pollution and the ways to eliminate all its forms is the target of every leader, activist, scientist […]

Energy Union: EU’s effort towards a cleaner climate with integrated energy market

The European Commission published its third annual energy report last Friday showing the progress that has been made so far since the last report in February of this year. Many policies’ amendments have been proposed for the next decade towards a greener environment and a more harmonised EU gas market. The majority of the EU […]

Climate change update: will the UN member states regain momentum despite the little progress at COP23?

The 23rd conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP23) concluded last Saturday in Bonn but little progress was achieved and everyone is now awaiting next year’s negotiations in Poland where a rule book for the Paris agreement has to be finalised. All member states should reconsider their emission cuts upwards via […]

Brexit: UK business fear of a no-deal scenario preparing for the worst

The Confederation of British Industry annual conference which took place last Monday in London was a chance for Prime Minister Theresa May to ask for more patience from the business world. Something though that seems to have been lost as negotiations show no significant progress and time presses both sides. A survey by the Chartered […]

Climate change: Will COP23 be able to accelerate the implementation of the Paris agreement?

The next UN climate summit (COP23) will take place in Bonn, Germany from 6 till 17 November with everyone to await its outcome and whether it will be beneficial for the global warming adding to the Paris agreement. It is a crucial year for the climate as the US has declared to leave the Paris […]

EU Trust Fund for Africa: Can it be beneficial for Italy and tackle the migration crisis in the Mediterranean?

It was last week when the EU leaders met in Brussels to discuss how to support Italy with managing the refugees’ crisis in the central Mediterranean. The increase of the financial aid in the Trust Fund for Africa is believed to be one of the main ways to deal with this long-lasting issue. However, this […]

EU-Turkey relations: Will Turkey manage to revive the EU accession process talks?

The EU leaders meet tomorrow in Brussels in a two-day summit where the relations with Turkey and particularly the accession procedure is going to be one of the main topics. The European Commission has been supporting the freezing of the EU membership talks as Jean Claude Juncker condemned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s crackdown on political […]

EU-India summit: Will the EU manage to sign a free trade agreement with India before Britain?

Last Friday, the 14th EU-India summit took place in New Delhi with both sides to jointly state that trade partnership is approaching rapidly and as soon as all conditions are met. The free trade agreement negotiations have started in 2007 but have not concluded yet as there are unsolved issues related mainly to market access. […]

E-energy declaration: will energy digitalization be beneficial to the climate?

It was last Wednesday when the EU energy ministers met in Estonia with industry representatives to sign the Tallinn energy declaration targeting at the digitalization of the market. This declaration aims at helping the EU to meet its climate and energy targets via digital and innovative solutions. This action is meant to add significantly to […]

State of the Union 2017: Juncker’s optimism about EU growth and Brexit’s impact

It was last Wednesday when the president of the European Commission made his annual State speech address to the European Parliament pointing out the top priorities for the next year. Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his optimism for the boosting of the EU economy, trade, investment, cybersecurity, industry and democracy. The president of the EC respected the […]

Refugee crisis update: EU still lacks solidarity as Hungary and Slovakia refuse to accept EU Court’s decision

It was last Wednesday when the Court of Justice of the European Union rejected a challenge by Hungary and Slovakia regarding their denial on relocating refugees from Greece and Italy. Both countries though do not intend to change their position on the issue. Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Dimitris Avramopoulos mentioned that there has […]

EU and African leaders to jointly tackle the migration crisis across the Mediterranean

It was last week when the leaders of Italy, France, Germany and Spain met in Paris with the African leaders of Chad, Niger and Libya to discuss on how to manage the influx of migrants through Libya and across the Mediterranean. Emmanuel Macron, the French president, hosted the summit and mentioned that refugee crisis is […]

China and UK relations post Brexit as EU addresses Chinese takeovers

Chinese acquisitions of European companies have attracted the attention of the EU’s largest economies, who requested from the Commission to play a more active role on deciding whether these takeovers are ‘politically driven’ or not. The president of the EC, Jean-Claude Juncker, in turn, is expected to announce plans on how to manage foreign investments […]

Has the EU economy truly revived from the financial crisis?

Last week the European Commission published a press release regarding EU’s recovery from the financial crisis where it is mentioned that the EU, after 10 years since that start of the crisis, is back to growth because of the EU influential actions. What is more, it was announced yesterday that Germany’s gross domestic product in […]

Refugee crisis update: EU lacks solidarity as migration figures drop

There has been a significant decrease in July in the number of refugees reaching Italy through the Mediterranean according to data released by the Italian interior ministry last Thursday. The report shows that 11.192 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean last month; only half compared to June’s and last July’s figures. Are migration crisis figures going […]

Refugee crisis: Commission proposes a new plan urging EU countries to help Italy

The EU interior ministers gathered last Thursday in Tallinn to discuss Italy’s problem to deal with migration crisis together with the new Action Plan proposed by the European Commission to support Italy and increase solidarity in the EU. The refugee crisis continues plaguing Europe in 2017 as 101.266 migrants have entered the bloc by sea […]