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Minister: Greece misinterpreted over Russia sanctions

2 hours 27 min ago

Greece's new finance minister Yanis Varoufakis rejected suggestions that complaints from Athens over a European Union statement on Ukraine meant it was preparing to veto sanctions against Russia.

In a post on his personal blog, Varoufakis said media had distorted the position of the new leftist-led government. The complaint made by Athens to EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini had been about a lack of consultation, not about the sanctions themselves, he added.

Response to Humanitarian Crisis in Ukraine

2 hours 52 min ago

Since the beginning of the conflict in Eastern Ukraine, some 600,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries. There are currently almost 1,000,000 internally displaced people across Ukraine and 5.2 million are living in the conflict area. The needs of these people are immense. This infographic shows how Caritas has responded to the crisis and helped over 41,000 of the poorest victims.

Scotland announces fracking ban

3 hours 55 min ago

Scotland has imposed a moratorium on shale gas planning permits two days after a UK-wide ban was rejected by MPs in Westminster. 

The Scottish Parliament will conduct an public consultation and an investigation into the impact of shale gas extraction - known as fracking - on public health before allowing any new permits to be issued.  

Climate finance eclipsed by fossil fuel subsidies

4 hours 3 min ago

The successful conclusion of a global agreement at the Paris Climate Conference depends heavily on the mobilisation of finance for the fight against climate change. So far, international fundraising efforts have lacked intensity. EurActiv France reports

Europe must listen to its people

5 hours 43 min ago

Imposing reforms that are sometimes considered humiliating is the best way to jeopardise the construction of Europe, and plant the seeds of social devastation, populism and extremism, writes Elio Di Rupo. 

Elio Di Rupo is the leader of the Belgian Socialist Party and the former Prime Minister of Belgium.

Report dismisses 'Europhobe' idea of Britain’s EU isolation

8 hours 39 min ago

The UK is successfully pursuing its policy objectives in the EU, according to a new report dismissing the idea of Britain as isolated and lacking in allies.

For the second year in a row, the UK has more successes than failures when it comes to pushing its agenda at EU level.

Sofia relieved by EU monitoring report

8 hours 50 min ago

The European Commission published yesterday (28 January) its annual reports on Bulgaria and Romania, the two countries being monitored in an effort to help improve their deficient law-enforcement systems. Bulgaria expected a harsh report, but the Commission spared it criticism.

Ahead of publication, local media speculated that the report would be devastating, as it is common knowledge that the country has made no progress in reforming its judiciary and fighting corruption.

Climate negotiations reveal new alliances in the Global South

9 hours 3 min ago

The economic divides between developing countries are widening. In order to defend their interests at the climate negotiations, large emerging economies, small island states and the less advanced countries are forming alliances based on common concerns. EurActiv France reports.

German minister: Juncker’s investment package likely to ‘backfire’

9 hours 12 min ago

The projects Germany is pursuing within the framework of the European Commission's €315 billion Investment offensive include outdated ideas and dead ends, says Peter Friedrich, Baden-Wuerttemberg’s Minister for Europe. The list, he says, urgently needs a general reworking, otherwise regions and municipalities will lose out.

ILO: EU investment plan could create 2.1 million jobs

9 hours 19 min ago

The European Commission's €315 billion investment plan to spur growth could create more than 2.1 million net new jobs, lowering the bloc's jobless rate by 1% by 2018, said the International Labour Organization (ILO) based on a report">

Georgieva to push for 40% women in Commission’s top positions

9 hours 23 min ago

In a move to bring more gender balance to EU institutions, the European Commissioner in charge of budget and human resources, Kristalina Georgieva, promised to boost the number of women in top positions to 40% by the end of her mandate.

"I can assure you we will get there, you can trust me," she told EurActiv, adding that her task was to increase the number of women in higher positions from the current 27.5% to 40% by the end of the Juncker Commission's term.

France told to pay back €1.1 billion in EU farm subsidies

9 hours 36 min ago

The European Commission is withholding €1.1 billion of CAP repayments from France over the misspending of agricultural subsidies between 2008 and 2012. EurActiv France reports

Analyst: Russia focusing its propaganda on Kyiv

9 hours 39 min ago

A pro-Russian, anti-war rally was held in front of Kyiv city hall on Wednesday (28 January). Mayor Vitaly Klitschko faced the protestors and told them not to let themselves be manipulated by hostile propaganda. EurActiv reports from Kyiv.

The protest was held in the centre of Kyiv, close to the Maidan square, with some 500 people raising identical industrial-made banners appealing for “peace” and “justice”.

EU data czar seeks global voice amidst tension with US

9 hours 52 min ago

The EU will seek a global voice in the burgeoning data privacy debate, the new European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Giovanni Buttarelli, said yesterday (28 January) against a backdrop of mounting tension on data issues between the EU and the US.

“Europe needs to be at the forefront in shaping a global, digital standard for privacy and data protection which centres on the rights of the individual,” Buttarelli said on data privacy day, staking out the direction he intends to take the office of EDPS (see background).

German economy burdened by growing rate of depression

10 hours 8 min ago

German employees are taking more and more sick leave due to depression, a recent study shows, indicating stress and a lack of leisure time as the likely culprits, causing experts to call for more investment in early recognition and prevention. EurActiv Germany reports.

As EU scraps aid, Indonesia introduces health insurance for the poor

28 January, 2015 - 17:30

The EU has turned its back on Indonesia's health sector. But the developing country, which is witnessing growing rates of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, is now counting on other solutions: a new health insurance program for the poor, and its own pharmaceutical company. EurActiv reports from Jakarta.

Since the beginning of 2014, the EU has rolled back some of its development assistance on health for middle-income countries like Indonesia. In the future, EU aid to the country will focus more on other sectors such as education and human rights. 

Tsipras promises radical change, markets tumble

28 January, 2015 - 17:04

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras threw down an open challenge to international creditors on Wednesday by halting privatisation plans agreed to under the country's bailout deal, prompting a third day of heavy losses on financial markets.

Swedish MEP: 'No free market rules should conflict with trade union rights'

28 January, 2015 - 16:38

We want to be sure that the new Commission will not deregulate the labour market, because EU citizens are more important than the market, said Marita Ulvskog.

MEP Marita Ulvskog is a Social Democrat from Sweden. She chairs the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs. Ulvskog spoke to EurActiv's Ecaterina Casinge. 

The unemployment situation in Europe remains deplorable, with many newly created jobs badly paid, or precarious. What actions do you expect the new Commission to take to improve the situation?

Syriza win is a break in continuity

28 January, 2015 - 14:29

Alexis Tsipras' election victory should mark a break with the past and open up a new chapter in the stormy relations between "Europe" and Greece, writes Yve Bertoncini. The EU will now have to accept the new government's policies, while reminding Athens to stick to its bailout commitments.  

Yves Bertoncini is Director at the Jacques Delors Institute, a European think tank. 

How Europe can learn from sports industry successes

28 January, 2015 - 14:07

Whilst Europe has been struggling for innovation and growth, success stories have been few and far between, writes Daniel Dalton.

Daniel Dalton is an MEP (European Conservatives and Reformists Group) from the United Kingdom.