EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

The European elections are going to be held in just two weeks’ time and far-right propaganda is gaining momentum creating concerns to everyone regarding the future of the EU, which is at stake. Populism and nationalism have dramatically risen in the EU during the last years menacing democratic institutions within a number of European member […]

US-EU trade negotiations: pointless tariffs against real economic growth

The European Council approved last Monday the European Commission’s proposals authorizing the latter to start negotiating with the US in order to eliminate industrial goods tariffs and reach an agreement on conformity assessment. Most of the member states were in favour of the commencement of the bilateral trade negotiations except for France. However, the fact […]

EU Copyright Directive: Will US tech giants comply or ditch the EU market?

The Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) approved yesterday the new Copyright Directive by 348 votes in favour, 274 against and 36 abstentions. Should the member states accept this vote, the reforms will be effective immediately and EU countries will have two years to implement them. The copyright changes will affect mainly big online platforms […]

EU and China in search of a win-win agreement through strategic cooperation ahead of the EU-China summit

High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini together with the 28 EU Foreign Ministers met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi last Monday to discuss the agenda of the EU-China Strategic Dialogue. During the meeting, both parties had the opportunity to enhance and promote their mutual cooperation on several international topics. Both sides […]

The EU might as well go down the drain if foreign meddling corrupts May’s elections

The EU elections will take place in about two months’ time but anti-European together with foreign parties are most likely going to try to exert influence on the upcoming outcome. Anti-establishment parties are expected to change the current balance and status quo if the two mainstream parties, the conservative EPP (European People’s Party) and the […]

EU-US trade war? EU calls for logic while Trump’s administration is a loose cannon in a dangerous lose-lose situation for global prosperity

The European Parliament (EP) voted yesterday for the kick-off of the negotiations with the US government in an attempt to eliminate the industrial goods tariffs and harmonise conformity assessment. These mandates need to be supported by the EU member states in order to bridge the current trade differences between the European Union and the United […]

Italy’s revised budget remains roughly unchanged waiting for Europe’s fury

The Italian government concluded its revised budget a few hours ago and as expected the Italian budget plan remained the same with small amendments, such as plans to sell off some government real estate, but still is not respecting the EU fiscal rules. The latter is most likely not going to be left unanswered by the […]

IPCC reports devastating climate consequences; US in denial while EU does not fully support the 2050 net zero emissions target

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published a report last week mentioning that limiting global warming temperature to 1.5°C is the only choice to ensure a more sustainable and equitable society compared to the 2.0°C. This assessment came out less than two months ahead of COP24 Katowice summit where all parties have to finalize […]

EU confronts environmental threats as global leaders attempt to revive the global sentiment at NYC climate week

The climate week has kicked off with UN officials, businesspeople and global leaders to participate in a series of events from September 24-30 in New York. Patricia Espinosa together with UN Environment Executive Director Erik Solheim discussed yesterday about the financing of climate change measures and how infrastructure investments can be raised. The European Commission suggested […]

Greece bailout ends but with no substantial effect on citizens’ life

It was yesterday when the Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stated from the Greek island of Ithaca that the austerity measures are over cheering for the Greek bailout programme exit. Mario Centeno, the chairman of the ESM’s board of governors, had said last Monday that Greece is once more a nation which doesn’t need any additional […]

Commission hardens its stance against carmakers ensuring emissions reductions targets

The car industry will be under tighter surveillance by the European Commission after 2020 when the next phase of the EU’s emission regulation will take place. All car manufacturers who do not meet the 2021 fleet CO2 emissions compliance for new passenger vehicles sold in the Old Continent will face fines of more than €14 […]

Theresa May attempts to ease the EU stance as Britons request another EU referendum

With less than eight months away from the exit of the UK from the EU, continuous negotiations are being held between the two parties in order to avoid a no-deal Brexit. UK Prime Minister Theresa May will visit French President Emmanuel Macron at his Fort de Brégançon on Friday in an attempt to persuade him […]

Business uncertainty rises as US grants only temporary exception to EU for steel and aluminium tariffs

Trump’s America first decided last Monday to prolong negotiations on steel and aluminium tariffs with Canada, the EU and Mexico till June 1. This announcement was made just a few hours before the temporary exception expires preventing retaliation and massive impact on the relationship between the U.S., EU, Canada and Mexico. However, the EU officials expressed […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

EU Council agrees to reform the system for motor vehicles but with “restricted” power for the Commission

It was last Monday when the EU ministers gathered in Brussels to draft new rules to prevent future emissions cheating from the automotive companies after the VW emissions scandal. The Council of Ministers from 28 countries proposed rules for cutting down the national authorities’ power giving at the same time the ability to the European […]

Will the EU ever tackle the migration crisis despite the lack of political will?

Despite the fact that migration crisis figures have decreased compared to last year, the disappointing commitment of some countries to fulfil their obligations receiving asylum-seekers from Greece and Italy combined with the worsening situation in the Mediterranean are perpetuating this crisis. The European Commission (EC) continues its hard work towards the completion of the relocation […]

ECB steadily continues monetary easing policy as EU economy gains momentum

European Central Bank – Press Conference Vítor Constâncio, Vice-President of the ECB, Mario Draghi President of ECB and Christine Graeff, Director General Communications (from left to right). Location: Frankfurt . Date: 09/03/2017 © ECB, 2017 / Source: ECB – Audiovisual Service It was last Thursday when the president of the European Central Bank gave a […]

VW emissions scandal: While U.S. car owners are vindicated, Europe still unable to change its laws and protect its consumers

Volkswagen, the giant German automaker, has pleaded guilty to criminal charges in a Detroit federal court last Friday to conspiracy to defraud the U.S., commit wire fraud, and violate the Clean Air Act, obstruction of justice and import violations. However, VW still denies compensating European car owners arguing that a ‘technical fix’ can make cars […]

Refugee crisis update: EU fails to relocate immigrants from Greece and Italy

The European Commission announced last Thursday new measures for an efficient EU return policy together with the progress made and must be done by the EU member states on the EU’s relocation and resettlement schemes by September and beyond. The slow relocation pace of refugees transferred from Greece and Italy to the rest European countries […]

German elections: Is Merkel losing ground or Shultz is winning?

Martin Schulz’s candidacy for Chancellor has changed the balance in the German elections as polls show that Angela Merkel and the Christian Democrats (CDU) are left in the second place after the Social Democrats (SPD). The polls which are conducted by the Emnid institute and by Forschungsgruppe Wahlen for broadcaster ZDF reveal a clear lead […]

Will Brexit shatter the EU or is it still too early to predict?

The president of the European Commission together with EU and German officials fear that Brexit will divide the EU after the negotiations have been concluded. Theresa May is about to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and begin the talks for UK’s exit once the House of Lords grants permission. In addition to the Brexit procedure, […]