Online radio and news broadcasts: Parliament and Council reach deal

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. EP negotiators agreed on Thursday with Council on new rules facilitating online broadcasting of current affairs and radio programmes across the EU. The agreement includes mechanisms to facilitate the clearance of copyright and related rights of radio and TV content for cross-border digital broadcast […]

EU joint response to disasters: deal reached with Council

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. The aim of the new legislation, agreed on Wednesday, is to help member states to respond faster and more effectively to natural and man-made disasters, by sharing civil protection assets more efficiently. RescUE The draft law would also set up, upon Parliament’s request, a […]

EU tells Britain stay in as long as you wish

This newspaper has repeatedly asserted there will be no real Brexit, at least in the foreseeable future. Last week, the European Council in Brussels confirmed this. The President of the Council, Donald Tusk, made it clear. He plainly said Britain can remain as a full EU member after the Brexit day of 29 March 2019, […]

Main results of Foreign Affairs EU Council, 16/07/2018

This story is brought to you in association with the European Union Council Libya The Council discussed Libya following the visit by the High Representative Federica Mogherini to the country on 14 July, where she inaugurated the premises of the European Union Delegation in Tripoli. EU foreign ministers welcomed the return of a permanent physical EU presence […]

Agriculture and Fisheries Council

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commision. Main results Today we had key discussions on the future of our agriculture and fisheries. In the years to come both sectors will not only have to keep ensuring food security for Europe, but also meet the challenges of sustainability, innovation and generational renewal. […]

The 27 EU leaders did nothing to help May unlock the Brexit talks

President Abraham Lincoln has said “when someone says it’s a matter of principles not money, then it’s a matter of money”. This famous saying was flagrantly confirmed last week in Brussels, when the 27 EU leaders – with Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron prominent amongst them – made it clear to Theresa May she has […]

EU Summit: Why was Poland isolated in opposing Tusk and the ‘multi speed’ Europe

Until last week’s summit (Thursday and Friday) of the 27+1 European leaders in Brussels, the exit of Britain from the European club was the tougher test for the club’s unity, which everybody was more or less getting ready to face up to. However, the Polish Prime Minister, a stocky middle aged woman, reversed that and […]

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

The European Parliament once more honored its role as the authentic exponent of the will of the European citizens. Last Tuesday it dismissed as a “missed opportunity” the EU Council’s decision to water down the mandatory exchange of the ‘tax rulings’ between member states. A ‘tax ruling’ is a special taxation arrangement accorded to a […]

The UN supports Europe’s military action in Libya and the Mediterranean; Russia and China agree

Last Friday 9 October the UN Security Council and its five permanent members unanimously decided to actually trade entire nations and geographical regions between them. To this effect they authorized the European Union to employ warships in the Libyan waters to “board ships for inspection, seize and even dispose of vessels suspected of being used […]

The 28 EU leaders care more about fiscal orthodoxy than effectively fighting youth unemployment

Last week the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report on the “risks to the successful implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee”. The ECA review, while noting that according to the Commission the available funding for this much advertised EU project is estimated at €16.7 billion for the 2014-2020 period including national resources, it […]

Have Europe’s Ukrainian wounds begun to heal?

The wounds the Ukrainian civil war has inflicted on Europe have now stopped bleeding and if not begun healing at least they claim no more fatalities. The Minsk II agreement is holding well and the Europeans, most of them, have made clear to the Americans that there is no chance of starting a new war […]

Why the merchant ships can pollute the atmosphere with CO2 quite freely

Last Wednesday the European Union Environment ministers reached an agreement… essentially to not to impose rules or duties on CO2 emissions from ships. Cunningly, the relevant Council Press release said that the 28 ministers “reached an agreement on new EU-wide rules for CO2 emissions from ships”. Until today, ocean-going shipping is the only sector of […]

The British “nonsense”, the relaxed Commissioner and the TTIP “chiaroscuro” at this week’s Council

“The EU and the US should make all efforts to conclude negotiations on an ambitious, comprehensive and mutually beneficial TTIP by the end of 2015”, was the first conclusion of the first day of the 18-19 December EU Council. That our EU leaders are in an unprecedented rush to conclude the “notorious” trade deal with the […]

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

The EU Commission has correctly translated the ideas emanated from the Brussels’ European Council of 23-24 October and accordingly adjourned confrontation with France and Italy over budgetary deficits and extra investment spending for 2015. European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen responsible for financial affairs and the euro seems to have read very carefully the Conclusions […]

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

The highlight in Brussels this week is certainly the EU Council of tomorrow, Thursday 23 October. The reason is not because it will be the last one presided by Mr Van Rompuy, but because the major topic to be discussed in the agenda is the EU climate targets 2030. It has been 10 months that the […]

The Peoples are missing from EU’s monetary union

The disenchantment of the 28 European Peoples with their Union stems from the special care the EU institutions clearly show for the financial sector aka the banks and not for the unemployed. To put it differently so as the Brussels bureaucrats and the decision makers in Berlin and Paris can understand; the European Economic and […]

French Prime Minister passes Stability Program and takes his ‘café’ in Brussels this June

On Tuesday, Manuel Valls, the French prime minister presented the “Pact of Stability” in front of the French parliament. This was his first appointment with the French politics. With a forecast of a big number of abstentions beforehand, Mr Valls attempted to soften the directive of austerity with several amendments. Moreover, last Monday he decided to increase taxes only […]

Only a few months away from the single European patent space

In a major breakthrough development for EU’s internal market, the EU Justice Ministers agreed yesterday on a Commission proposal, to complete the legal framework of one pan-European patent universe. The key point in this draft regulation is that the rulings of the Unified Patent Court will be recognised in the legal systems of all signatory […]

Parliament seals 2014 EU budget and the spending ceiling until 2020

Finally, the European Parliament, after obtaining from the Council (that is the member state governments) what was possible to squeeze out in these times of widespread austerity, yesterday approved both the 2014 budget and the 2014-2020 financial framework, which sets limits on EU’s spending for the next seven years. Yesterday, the Budgets Parliamentary Committee voted […]

Parliament: No consent to EU budget until €11.2 billion unpaid bills are settled

The Plenary of the European Parliament in a non-legislative resolution accepted the political agreement on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) for 2014-2020 that is the EU proper budgets for the next seven years. Negotiations over the next MFF commenced last February after the summit of the 27 leaders set the limit for the seven-year EU total […]

EU Parliament says ‘no’ to austerity budget

The much-advertised agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on EU’s proper budgets for the next seven years seems to be more like wishful thinking rather than reality. Some days ago the Irish Presidency of the European Council issued a Press release saying that the EU Parliament agreed on the overall spending […]

EU budget deal struck with Parliament negotiators

Negotiations for the European Union proper budgets for the 2014-2020 period between European parliament representatives, the Irish Presidency and the European Commission have been concluded. This is the so-called Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020, setting the ceiling for EU spending. The agreement will now be submitted to both the Council and the European Parliament for final […]

Resisting EU budget cuts

The Irish Presidency, with its self-congratulating and artificially sweetened style, announced once more ‘a major breakthrough’ in the EU budget negotiations with the European Parliament, without the slightest reference to the other side’s position. This obvious neglect of basic reporting rules which goes as far as sidestepping of democratic principles, has become standard in Irish […]

EU Parliament: Deposit guarantee and trading platform transparency sought

Thank God the European Parliament is there. Today 12 June the Plenary Session of the Parliamentary Committee for Economic and monetary affairs will ask the Commission and the member states, through the European Council, to explain why they are dragging their feet on crucial financial sector reform legislation, in a debate starting at 8.30 this […]

EU Council: Private web data to be protected by…abusers

Protection of citizens and businesses web data is still a pending issue in the European Union and internet companies may, probably legally, sell to marketers names, telephone numbers, mail addresses and consumer profiles including personal details. The existing privacy laws are twenty years old and far from effectively protecting our data from being sold and […]

Irish Presidency: Not a euro more for EU budgets

The Irish Presidency is becoming the Trojan Horse of the EU Council and the Commission in their quest to push the European Parliament into an agreement over the funding of the Union’s budgets from 2012 up to 2020. The legislative has rejected last week the proposal of the Ecofin Council for parallel negotiations for everything […]

An all-out fight for the EU budget

The European Parliament hardens its stance over the EU budget negotiations with the Council and the Commission. The legislative rejects the proposal of the Ecofin Council for parallel negotiations over the 2013 budget and the Multiannual Financial Framework for the 2014-2020 spending. The three-way budget negotiations include the additional funds needed to pay for the […]