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[Ticker] Queen's speech confirms UK intention on EU referendum

EU Observer - 1 hour 47 min ago
In a speech setting out the newly-elected Conservative government's agenda on Wednesday, the Queen confirmed London's intention to hold a referendum on EU membership by the end of 2017. British PM David Cameron is due to present the referendum bill to parliament on Thursday.

Danish PM calls general election for 18 June

EU Active - 2 hours 41 min ago

Denmark's Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt on Wednesday (27 May) called a general election, to be held on 18 June. Recent polls suggest the election could become a true thriller.

"When I became prime minister four years ago, Denmark was in a deep crisis. We were hit harder than most countries. I had one goal: To get us out of the crisis and I succeeded," Thorning-Schmidt told a news conference.

"Denmark is in a better shape today. I think it's now up to the Danes to decide which path way we should go down in the future," she added.

[Ticker] Danish elections to be held on 18 June

EU Observer - 3 hours 7 min ago
Danish social democratic prime minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt announced on Wednesday that parliamentary elections will be held on 18 June. As the country's first female prime minister she has led a coalition government since October 2011 with elections obligatory after four years. Polls give the liberal opposition a 4% lead.

Mediterranean in 'perfect storm' on migration

EU Observer - 6 hours 11 min ago
The head of the International Organisation for Migration has said the Mediterranean is facing “a perfect storm”, with EU navies unlikely to help.

[Feature] Gay rights caught up in EU-Russia geopolitics

EU Observer - 6 hours 11 min ago
The EU is becoming more "sensitive" in the way it promotes gay rights in former Soviet states. Is it a clever sacrifice in the geopolitical game, or is it ceding ground?

Russia indicates French warship deal is dead

EU Observer - 6 hours 16 min ago
A senior Russian official has indicated that the deal to buy two high-tech French warships has been definitively abandoned.

[Ticker] Danish PM expected to call elections

EU Observer - 6 hours 30 min ago
Danish social democrat PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt is Wednesday expected to call for parliamentary elections to be held mid-June. Positive economic reports published Tuesday may raise her chances of re-election, despite the most recent polls putting the liberal-led opposition in the lead. Elections were due before October.

[Ticker] EU considering common tax to end tax havens

EU Observer - 6 hours 45 min ago
EU plans for a common minimum corporate tax rate to end tax havens could be revealed next month, reports Handelsblatt. Tax rates variate from 12.5% in Ireland to 34.4% in France. Luxembourg and Ireland and others using low tax rates to attract business oppose the idea.

EU ministers abandon 0.7% target to uncertain future

EU Active - 6 hours 48 min ago

EU foreign ministers who met Tuesday (26 May) in Brussels, to prepare for the Financing for Development conference in Addis Ababa next July, failed to agree on binding dates to reach the spending target of 0.7% of their GNI on aid.

As many NGOs had anticipated, the EU Foreign Affairs Council on Development adopted conclusions which in fact dilute the 45-year old pledge of setting aside 0.7% of the developed countries' GNI for development aid.

[Ticker] Cameron to reveal referendum bill

EU Observer - 6 hours 54 min ago
UK prime minister David Cameron's plans for a referendum on the UK's membership of the European Union is set to be revealed on Wednesday at the opening of parliament, when the Queen's Speech sets out the government’s agenda for the coming session.

[Ticker] Marine le Pen on Moscow trip

EU Observer - 6 hours 54 min ago
French National Front party leader Marine Le Pen visited Moscow on Tuesday for talks with parliament speaker Sergei Naryshkin, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin. Le Pen said relations between France and Russia "could change in the middle of 2017 when Marine Le Pen is elected president," reports AFP.

[Ticker] EU commission to propose 2016 budget on Wednesday

EU Observer - 6 hours 56 min ago
The European Commission will present its proposal for the 2016 EU budget on Wednesday. EU parliament president Martin Schulz has already asked the EU to increase funding for humanitarian and development aid or face the possible blocking of the 2016 budget. The current 2015 EU budget is €145bn.

[Ticker] Merkel is world's most powerful woman: Forbes

EU Observer - 6 hours 57 min ago
German chancellor Angela Merkel tops Forbes' 100 most powerful women list for the fifth year in succession with US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton close behind. Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, is number six on the list.

[Ticker] Greek debt talks postponed to Wednesday

EU Observer - 6 hours 58 min ago
A new round of talks between Greece and its lenders in the so-called Brussels Group scheduled to start on Tuesday in Brussels was postponed until Wednesday for "technical reasons", according to Reuters. Eurozone deputy finance ministers will hold a teleconference on Thursday to follow up on the negotiations.

[Ticker] Russia says French warship deal cancelled

EU Observer - 6 hours 59 min ago
Oleg Bochkaryov, a senior Russian defence procurement official, told press Tuesday the €1.1bn deal for France to supply two Mistral-class warships has been cancelled. "Russia will not take them ... there is only one discussion currently underway and it concerns the sum of the compensation", he said, Tass reports.

Franco-German eurozone blueprint rattles Cameron

EU Active - 7 hours 1 min ago

Franco-German attempts to secure changes within the Eurozone without treaty changes threaten to undermine UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s EU reform efforts.

French daily Le Monde reported yesterday (26 May) that Franco-German proposals to be put before next month’s EU summit will call for eurozone reforms in four areas “developed in the framework of the current treaties in the years ahead”.

Mexican Tequila, French Roquefort: Food origins get new protection at WIPO

EU Active - 7 hours 16 min ago

Mexican Tequila, Italian Parmigiano and French Roquefort - celebrated food products like these, rooted in their geographical origin, will now have more protection from international rivals after talks concluded at the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) in Geneva.

Queen to unveil EU referendum plan at parliament opening

EU Active - 7 hours 27 min ago

Britain's Queen Elizabeth will set out the government's plans for a European Union membership referendum on Wednesday (27 May) as Prime Minister David Cameron faces pressure to explain when it will be held and what changes to the EU he wants before then.

Irish referendum stirs up same-sex marriage debate in Germany

EU Active - 7 hours 38 min ago

Conservative opposition to same-sex unions in Germany is beginning to crumble after a referendum over the weekend legalised gay marriage in ultra-Catholic Ireland. EurActiv Germany reports.

Danish minister warns Cameron: Don't pursue our EU model

EU Active - 7 hours 47 min ago

Martin Lidegaard, Denmark's Minister for Foreign Affairs, has warned David Cameron against copying the Danish EU opt-out model when the UK Prime Minister negotiates a reform of Britain's relations with the EU, saying "it has given us nothing but problems".

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