MEPs take stock of the EU’s foreign, security and defence policy priorities

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. On Wednesday, the European Parliament adopted two resolutions reviewing key EU foreign, security and defence policy choices. Following Tuesday´s debates with EU Foreign Policy chief Federica Mogherini, Parliament´s annual resolutions on the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence […]

EP Group leaders on Brexit: “the agreement is not open to renegotiation”

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The Conference of Presidents indicated that the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced and the only deal possible. It is therefore one not open to renegotiation. The Conference of Presidents, together with the Brexit Steering Group, discussed today the state of play of the […]

EU Budget 2019 deal: EP boosts support for researchers and the young

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs have fought for and obtained better support for students, unemployed youngsters and researchers, as well as additional funds to boost key initiatives supporting SMEs.   Late on Tuesday evening, the negotiators from the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on […]

Mechanism to protect democracy in the EU needed more than ever, says the EP

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The EU needs a comprehensive, permanent and objective mechanism to protect democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, said EP on Wednesday. In a non-legislative resolution, MEPs regret that the European Commission has so far not presented a legislative proposal to set up […]

Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Europol should become a true “hub” for information exchange and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism at EU level, if necessary with a stronger mandate. The special committee on terrorism adopted on Tuesday evening its final report, which includes a wide set of measures […]

European Parliament backs CO2 emissions cuts for trucks

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Today, the European Parliament has backed plans for lorries to cut CO2 emissions by 2030. MEPs adopted a higher target (35%) than the European Commission (30%) for new lorries to reduce the EU´s greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with an intermediate target of 20% […]

EU invests in green projects and bans single-use plastics while climate change requires more to be done

It was last Thursday when the European Commission approved a 243 million euros package for LIFE programme projects which will improve the environment and reduce carbon emissions. This action enhances the EU climate position ahead of the COP24 in December and may have substantial influence to the rest of the parties. Apart from that, the […]

The future of international election observation missions

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. “Our citizens gain from living in a world with more democracies and fewer authoritarian regimes” said President Tajani at a high-level conference on electoral observation. “The first mission was carried out in 1994 in Belarus. To date, there have been 209 electoral observations conducted […]

Western Balkans: MEPs take stock of 2018 progress

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. In resolutions adopted on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs mark the progress made in five Western Balkan countries on their path towards possible EU accession. Serbia In a report adopted by 49 votes to 3 with 6 abstentions, MEPs welcome Serbia’s continued engagement on […]

Parliament pushes for cleaner cars on EU roads by 2030

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. CO2 emissions from new cars should be cut by 40% by 2030 and market uptake of electric and low- emission cars should accelerate, said MEPs on Wednesday. In the draft law voted on today, MEPs proposed setting a higher target for reducing EU fleet-wide […]

New rules for audiovisual media services approved by Parliament

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. MEPs voted on updated rules on audiovisual media services, protecting children better, with stricter rules on advertising, and 30% European content in video-on-demand. Following the final vote on this agreement, the revised legislation will apply to broadcasters, but also to video-on-demand and video-sharing platforms, […]

The EU will always have a stable partner in Montenegro, says President Đukanović

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, addressed MEPs in a formal sitting on Tuesday. In his speech, Mr Đukanović outlined recent important developments in his country, notably on economic reform, boosting growth and foreign investment, increasing living standards and the progress made in strengthening […]

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on the proposed “EU settlement scheme: Statement of Intent”, published on 21 June. Responding to the release of the UK’s policy paper “EU Settlement Scheme statement of intent” policy paper, which describes how EU citizens and their families […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Human rights in Brussels and in Beijing: a more balanced approach needed

At the last United Nations Human Rights Council meeting, which was held in Geneva earlier this month, Greece shocked the world by objecting a common EU statement regarding the condemnation of  human rights violations in China. EU diplomats were not happy about that as it was the first time that the EU did not agree […]

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 […]

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

The EU Foreign Ministers convened in Brussels two days ago with Austria calling for a tougher stance towards the Turkish membership urging the EU to freeze negotiations due to the recent security crackdown in Turkey. The EU leaders will discuss the EU-Turkey refugee deal on Thursday which is directly linked to the Turkish accession talks. Erdogan […]

Will CETA be implemented after eight long years or it will be vetoed by the EU citizen?

It was last Sunday when the EU and Canada signed the free trade agreement CETA (Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement), despite the protest taking place just outside the European Council’s building. This deal is meant to create more jobs and growth through stronger economic relations. However, the approval of the national parliaments in Europe and […]

The migration crisis is slowly melting the entire EU edifice

Last Sunday Hungary voted against the EU mandatory migration plan of accepting 1,294 asylum seekers from Italy and Greece but the referendum’s outcome was considered invalid because it didn’t reach the required threshold of 50%. Hence, it has no legal consequences and Hungary is obliged to follow the EU rules, which implies that the member […]

Draghi left alone with no hope of boosting EU growth as Merkel just focuses on next elections

It was last Monday when the president of the European Central Bank (ECB) discussed with members of the economic and monetary affairs committee at the European Parliament (EP) about the EU economy in the aftermath of the UK referendum, revealing that the euro area economy shows notable adjustment properties to the global economic and political uncertainty. […]

UK keeps its Brexit plan secret or there is no strategy at all whatsoever?

The 27 EU leaders will convene on Friday to discuss about Brexit while Theresa May and the British government are still trying to prepare a plan to get the most out of UK’s exit from the EU. The British Prime Minister has made it clear in the parliament that the agreement will include control of the […]

Tsipras doesn’t seem to have learned his “almost Grexit” lesson and Greece faces again financial and political dead end

The teleconference of the EuroWorking Group which took place yesterday is the forerunner of the extraordinary meeting of the Finance Ministers of the Eurozone on May 9 where Greece’s programme review is about to be discussed. The outcome was, as expected, disappointing regarding the agreement between the two sides on the package of basic and […]

Refugee crisis update: EU seeks now close cooperation with Africa while Schulz is shocked to witness live one single wreck full of immigrants

Last Monday’s Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council was meant to give just an update on the ongoing refugee crisis, a few days before the summit between EU and African leaders which in Valletta, Malta today and tomorrow. The Interior Ministers convened thus to discuss about the progress shown so far since the Western Balkans’ route summit […]

EU takes again positive action on migration crisis while Turkey asks for dear favors in exchange for cooperation

A mini-summit took place in Brussels last weekend involving the Western Balkan countries and aiming at tackling the escalating migration crisis in the EU. The outcome was the promotion of a 17-point plan which aspires to tackle the issue. The problem that keeps on lingering though is whether the EU countries will look at the greater good of […]

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

It was only last Tuesday when the European Commission (EC) together with the Moroccan government, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) convened at the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) Forum in Morocco to discuss the overall effect of countries’ contributions to the climate agreement which is going to be concluded […]

Refugee crisis update: Commission still in panic while Turkey is to be added in the equation

It was only last Wednesday that Russia officially launched airstrikes in Syria which are supposed to target terrorist groups such as Islamic State (IS). The attacks however aim at western Syria where “strangely” IS has no activity. Consequently, while Russia is mitigating the war in Syria backing-up Assad and his government, refugees continue leaving massively the […]

Parliament sets up plan to fight the 3,600 criminal rings of EU

A special purpose Committee of the European Parliament adopted this week a package of measures to fight organised crime, corruption and money laundering, setting out an EU action plan for 2014-2019. Blocking organised crime’s financial assets and incomes are on top of the list. This special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering of […]