EU leaders have agreed to cut greenhouse emissions by 40 percent by 2030, but poorer states won concessions, while green NGOs voiced dismay.
Most EU leaders on Thursday criticised Russia’s non-compliance with peace accords in Ukraine, but Italy called for re-engagement with Moscow.
When asked about a one-off €2 billion top-up the United Kingdom is to make to the EU budget, as reported by the FT on Thursday evening, European Commission president Barroso gave no comment. "It's the first time I've heard about that", he said at a press conference early Friday.
EU leaders have reached a deal on climate targets, Council president Van Rompuy announced via Twitter. "Deal! At least 40% emissions cut by 2030", he wrote. "Also agreement on at least 27% renewables, at least 27% energy efficiency & boost to interconnections".
The latest draft of summit conclusions, distributed at the leaders' dinner Thursday, says poorer EU states should get free carbon permits until 2030, but the figure from 2020 onward should be no more than 40% of the bulk of available allowances. Previous drafts spoke of no free permits after 2025.
A third draft of summit conclusions, presented to EU leaders at dinner Thursday, tasks the European Commission with proposing "possibilities of the EU financing" electricity interconnectors between the Baltic states, Portugal, Spain, and the rest of Europe. Connectors are to cover 10% of installed capacity "no later than 2020".
Macedonia has become the latest Balkan country to receive a stark warning on the implications of building South Stream for its EU future.
The United Kingdom has to contribute a one-off €2.1 billion top-up to the EU budget, now that the method for calculating gross national income has changed
, the FT reported
on Thursday. The Netherlands has to pay €642 million, while France will receive a €1 billion refund.
The EU heads of state and government on Thursday evening formally appointed the new European Commission under the leadership of Jean-Claude Juncker. The Juncker team had already been approved by the European Parliament on Wednesday. The new commission will start work on 1 November.
EU leaders Thursday named Christos Stylianides, Cyprus' incoming EU commissioner on humanitarian aid, as their "co-ordinator" for the fight against Ebola, EU Council chief Herman Van Rompuy has said. Member states are planning joint action in Africa, but have until now gone their own way on airport screenings in Europe.
France, Germany, and Poland, as well as EU Council head Van Rompuy, have agreed the "broad outlines of a compromise" on EU climate targets, a senior EU source said. Poland is to commit to greenhouse cuts in return for concessions worth hundreds of millions of euros for its coal-based industries.
The climate and energy targets for 2030 that EU leaders are set to finalise at a Brussels summit on Thursday will not be set in stone.
Urban density, congested slums and shantytowns with poor sanitation, drainage, and sewage, and weak health-care infrastructure in India – it is easy to imagine how the Ebola virus could spread rapidly. A single infected person who arrives from West Africa and is then untraceable could easily trigger an epidemic, write Hrishabh Sandilya and Dany Shoham.
VAT revenues worth €177 billion were lost in the EU in 2012, according to report published Thursday by the European Commission. The EU executive's 'VAT Gap' paper found that 16 percent of the total expected VAT revenue from 26 EU countries was lost due to non-compliance or non-collection.
An “ambitious climate policy” is the “essence” of Thursday's EU summit, European Parliament president Martin Schulz said in a press conference. “If we give up on these goals … it will never be possible to have a binding international agreement," he said, advocating "a leading role" for the EU.
The European Commission on Thursday pledged €24.4 million to speed up research to develop vaccines and treatments against the Ebola virus."We're in a race against time on Ebola, and we must address both the emergency situation and at the same time have a longterm response," said commission president Barroso.
In his introductory remarks at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, European Council boss Herman van Rompuy described climate change as a "question of survival". EU leaders are debating targets on energy efficiency, renewable sources, and greenhouse gas emissions. The summit is Van Rompuy's last as Council president.
Greek prime minister Antonis Samaras will represent Cyprus at the EU summit in Brussels, after its president, Nicos Anastasiades, was briefly hospitalized for a prolonged nosebleed due to high blood pressure. Anastasiades is "in good health" and resting in his hotel, according to a statement by his spokesperson
Up to 500 Belgian police officers protested in Brussels Thursday afternoon, Belgian media reported
. The protesters, who want a lower pension age, handed out empty boxes to colleagues securing the EU council summit. They said the boxes “symbolise" what has been offered by the minister of home affairs.
The European Parliament on Wednesday rejected an amendment in the EU 2015 budget to stop subsidies for tobacco crops. The text said "no payments should be made towards tobacco aid, as EU funding should not be used for purposes that are harmful to health." Three hundred eight-six euro-deputies disagreed.