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[Agenda] Tsipras visit and US trade dominate This WEEK

EU Observer - 9 hours 3 min ago
Tsipras is to dominate headlines in Brussels again, as the new Greek PM visits the EU capital for the first time since his election in January.

Greece flip-flops on troika talks

EU Observer - 31 January, 2015 - 09:28
Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has denied previous statements that Greece will no longer deal with the troika of international creditors following icy talks with the head of the Eurogroup.

[Ticker] Greece rejects troika officials returning to Athens

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 17:42
Greece will refuse to have inspectors from the EU and the International Monetary Fund back into the country, a government official told Reuters Friday. The new government also doesn't plan an extension to the EU portion of the aid programme that expires on 28 February.

Top official demands transparency on EU expert groups

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 16:56
A top EU official is pushing for greater transparency on policy decision-making process at the European Commission.

Moscow launches French language propaganda platform

EU Active - 30 January, 2015 - 16:45

Russia launched a new French language propaganda website on 29 January. Already available in English, German and Spanish, Sputnik is part of the Kremlin's new arsenal of propaganda tools to counter Western coverage of the Ukraine crisis. EurActiv France reports

Jerzy Buzek: COP 20 ‘was no breakthrough’

EU Active - 30 January, 2015 - 16:44

Despite progress made, the UN climate conference in Lima last December did not produce any breakthrough, says Jerzy Buzek. Without the joint effort of developed and developing countries, it will be impossible to find an international agreement on climate change, he warns.

Jerzy Buzek is the Chairman of the European Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE). M. Buzek was President of the European Parliament between 2009 and 2012.

He spoke to Karolina Zbytniewska, from

[Opinion] Europe needs hope

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 13:23
The victory of Syriza in Greece is important not only for Greek people, but also the rest of Europe. With the crisis and the rise of the far-right, a left alternative is urgent.

[Ticker] Germany funds new Russia study centre

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 13:11
The German foreign ministry is putting €2.5 million a year into a research institute on Russia and the former Soviet republics, reviving a Cold War outfit that is now needed again given the Ukraine crisis, WirtschaftsWoche reports. Berlin also boosted funding for existing foreign policy think tanks.

Romanian leaders endorse the Commission’s monitoring report conclusions

EU Active - 30 January, 2015 - 12:39

The new European Commission report on Romania’s law enforcement reforms has been well-received in Bucharest, as it confirms the progress made in the government's fight against corruption. EurActiv Romania reports.

On 28 January, the Commission released its annual report under the so-called Cooperation and Verification Mechanism (CVM) on Romania and Bulgaria (see background).

Juncker rejects Greek debt write-off

EU Active - 30 January, 2015 - 12:16

With the uncertainty surrounding Greek debt preoccupying political leaders, the President of the European Commission has called on Athens to "respect Europe". EurActiv France reports

EU ministers call for more border checks

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 10:18
EU interior ministers have called for changes to the passport-free Schengen area to allow for "systematic checks" of personal data to fight terrorism.

Latvia: Facebook separatism prompts alarm, amusement

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 10:03
Security services in EU presidency Latvia have launched an inquiry into Facebook images promoting separatism in a Russian-majority region

A Portuguese Syriza? Lefist parties aspire to Greek model

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:29
There’s a new political movement in Portugal which aims to be just like Syriza, the radical left party that has just come to power in Greece.

Brussels backs more transparency on investor claims

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:27
The EU commission has called on governments to sign up to UN transparency rules giving public access to controversial investor protection cases.

[Ticker] Merkel and Hollande to meet Friday on 'future of Europe'

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:25
German chancellor Angela Merkel and French president Francois Hollande will meet on Friday evening to hold talks initially scheduled for early January, which were delayed because of the security crisis in France. Merkel and Hollande will discuss the "future of Europe", at the initiative of European parliament president Martin Schulz.

[Ticker] Fitch warns of Greece downgrade, Russia offers help

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:25
Ratings agency Fitch could downgrade Greece's credit status in May if by then there is "no progress" on debt talks with its creditors, a senior ratings director said Thursday. Meanwhile, Russian finance minister Anton Siluanov told CNBC Russia could offer Greece financial help, although Greece made no request.

[Ticker] Dijsselbloem to meet Tsipras Friday in Athens

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:24
Eurozone chief Jeroen Dijsselbloem will meet the new Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and other key cabinet members in Athens on Friday. Meanwhile, Greek newspaper To Vima reported European commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos is a likely candidate to be elected as president in a parliament vote, on 13 February.

[Ticker] Dutch government rejects request for less gas extraction

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:24
The Dutch government rejected on Thursday a proposal from opposition parties to further lower gas extractions in the northern part of the country, which have caused earthquakes. In December, it already lowered annual extraction by 7.3 percent to 39 billion cubic metres. Inhabitants of the affected area demanded further reduction.

[Ticker] Attempted hijacker of Dutch TV broadcast is 19-year old student

EU Observer - 30 January, 2015 - 09:23
The man that attempted to hijack a national TV news broadcast in the Netherlands on Thursday was a 19-year old student the broadcaster, NOS, announced. The gun he used to enter the studio turned out to be fake. Police arrested him Thursday evening before his demands were met.

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