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[Ticker] Greece to ask Russia for help: Report

EU Observer - 29 March, 2015 - 18:15
Greece is to ask Russia to lower its gas prices for Greek households and allow Greek products such as fresh fruit to be imported into Russia again, Spiegel Online reports. The requests are to be made by the energy minister and parliament speaker during a two-day visit beginning Monday.

EU divided over Italy's olive tree disease

EU Observer - 28 March, 2015 - 11:38
The EU is being railroaded into a plan to eradicate up to 1 million centuries-old olive trees in one of the most picturesque spots in south Italy, campaigners say.

France, UK trying to weaken EU air pollution law

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 18:33
Even as Paris and London are covered by smog, the French and British governments are trying to water down stricter EU limits on air pollution.

[Agenda] Still waiting for Greece, this WEEK

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 18:31
The long wait for the list of Greek reforms is due to end on Monday, but its government has missed deadlines before.

New EU air safety measures could follow Germanwings tragedy

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 18:11

The European Commission will propose new air safety measures after the Germanwings crash earlier this week, an EU official said on Friday (27 March).

A plane flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf with 144 passengers on board crashed in the French Alps on 24 March leaving no survivors. Preliminary investigations suggest the co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the plane on purpose after locking his captain out of the cockpit.

Two people in the cockpit rule

EU aviation agency recommends new cockpit safety rules

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 18:09
EU aviation safety authorities issued a recommendation for European airlines Friday saying that at least two people should be in airplane cockpits at all times.

EU keeps Hamas on terror list, despite court ruling

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 17:32

The European Union kept Hamas on its terrorism blacklist Friday despite a controversial court decision ordering Brussels to remove the Palestinian Islamist group from the register.

"Hamas stays on list during Council's appeal to December judgement," Susanne Kiefer, a spokeswoman for the European Council said on Twitter.

Hamas' military wing was added to the EU's first-ever terrorism blacklist drawn up in December 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks on the United States. The EU then blacklisted the political wing of Hamas in 2003.

Migrant access to benefits not automatic

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 17:20

EU citizens are not entitled to claim benefits in a member state they haven’t previously worked in, The Court of Justice of the European Union announced on Thursday (26 March).

The opinion of Advocate General Wathelet said foreign nationals who move without the aim of finding work or a new arrival in the process of finding work may be excluded by receiving social benefits.

Once an EU citizen has worked in a member state, the individual “may not automatically be refused” access to benefits.

Poland charges two Russian officials over Kaczyński crash

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 16:56

Poland said today (27 March) it would bring charges against two Russian air traffic controllers over a 2010 plane crash which killed then Polish president Lech Kaczyński, a move likely to damage bilateral relations already strained by the Ukraine crisis.

Prosecutor Ireneusz Szelag from the District Military Prosecutors' Office told a news briefing an investigation so far had established that the main cause of the crash was the failure of the plane's crew to respond adequately to bad weather.

[Opinion] The euro-crisis and the Greek crisis

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 16:44
It was the Greeks who chose the politicians that led the country into disaster. But is it really as simple as that?

[Opinion] The euro-crisis and the Greek crisis

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 16:44
It was the Greeks who chose the politicians that led the country into disaster. But is it really as simple as that?

Britain and Europe: An Irish perspective

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 15:56

Britain’s membership of the EU is a matter of high politics for Europe, for Britain itself and for Ireland. It should be treated as such, writes Kevin Leydon. 

Kevin Leydon is a trustee of the Institute for International and European Affairs, Brussels, A.I.S.B.L.

Leaked dispute-settlement plan raises US trade concerns

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 13:12

A leaked secret dispute-settlement provision of a pending US trade deal with Asia is raising concerns among nonprofit groups which say it favors big companies over governments.

The classified document, released by WikiLeaks on Wednesday, deals with a controversial investor-state dispute settlement tool that is part of closed-door negotiations for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a 12-nation free-trade agreement including Japan, Australia, Singapore and Vietnam.

No letup of attacks on Greece

EU Active - 27 March, 2015 - 12:49

Greece's international partners have grown mistrustful, Austrian Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling said on Friday, while German tabloid BILD renewed its attacks on the country's embattled finance minister.

[Ticker] Norway submits climate goals to UN

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 12:42
The UN published Friday Norway's submitted national contribution to fighting climate change. The EU has called on developed countries to submit their climate pledges at the latest on Tuesday (31 March), ahead of December's Paris summit. Norway and Switzerland are so far the only non-EU countries to have done so.

[Ticker] Kosovo is 'sovereign' state, Mogherini says

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 10:56
EU foreign relations chief Mogherini on her first-ever Kosovo visit Thursday told students that: "The dialogue [between Kosovo and Serbia] happens between two equal sides. The dialogue happens between two sovereign countries". The comment breaks EU officials' taboo on acknowledging Kosovo statehood, which isn't recognised by five EU states.

[Ticker] Left-wing MEPs back Swedish minister on Saudi Arabia

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 10:55
The Socialist group in the European Parliament Friday voiced support for Swedish FM Wallstrom in her dispute with Saudi Arabia, which blocked visas for Swedish nationals after she criticised its "medieval" rights record. "The S&D Group strongly supports Wallstrom in her defence of human rights", it said in a statement.

[Ticker] Hamas remains on EU terrorist register

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 10:55
Palestinian militant group Hamas remains listed on the EU's terrorist register, updated Friday, despite an EU court ruling it should be struck off. An EU diplomat sad it'll stay listed "during the appeal process" against the ECJ. Amnesty, an NGO, Friday accused Hamas of war crimes for targeting Israeli civilians.

Milk sector prospects 'encouraging', as EU quotas end

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 09:29
The end of the milk quota system next Wednesday comes at at a time when prospects for the sector are “encouraging”, EU agriculture commissioner Phil Hogan said.

EU transparency rules 'not truly effective'

EU Observer - 27 March, 2015 - 09:28
A hearing at the European Parliament on Thursday aised questions on conflicts of interest and lack of transparency in the EU institutions.

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