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Farage blasts Cameron's benefits cuts for EU migrants

30 July, 2014 - 11:33

UK Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage has slammed David Cameron’s plans to slash the benefits of EU migrants because, to comply with European law, they must also hit UK citizens.  

Writing in the Daily Telegraph this morning (30 July), Farage said the changes to child and unemployment welfare must apply to all EU citizens, including UK nationals, or face “the fiercest opposition in the European courts”.

Poland on road to EU Court over shale gas defiance

30 July, 2014 - 11:12

EXCLUSIVE / The European Commission has begun legal proceedings against Poland for amending its national laws to allow shale drills at depths of up to 5,000 metres without first having assessed the potential environmental impacts, EurActiv has learned.

In June, Brussels sent Poland formal notice that it was opening a case against it for infringing the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive.

Germany, Denmark benefit most from internal market

30 July, 2014 - 07:46

Twenty years after the introduction of the internal market, Europe is wealthier than ever with Germans and Danes benefiting the most from the steady increase in economic integration, according to a recent study by the Bertelsmann Foundation. EurActiv Germany reports.

EU drops antitrust probe into luxury watch makers

30 July, 2014 - 07:33

EU antitrust regulators scrapped on Tuesday (29 July) a probe into the refusal by several luxury watch makers to supply spare parts to independent repairers, saying they saw only a limited possibility of finding any wrongdoing.

The three-year investigation by the European Commission was triggered by Europe's second-highest court, which in 2010 said the Commission had been wrong to reject a complaint by the European Confederation of Watch & Clock Repairers' Associations (CEAHR) against the watch makers.

Merkel: new EU sanctions against Russia were unavoidable

30 July, 2014 - 07:29

The European Union's decision to impose broad sanctions against Russia was "unavoidable" after its actions in Ukraine and it is now up to Moscow to make the next move, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday (29 July).

Earlier, the EU agreed for the first time to impose broad economic sanctions against Russian oil companies, banks and defence firms, by far the strongest international action yet over Moscow's support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.

France names ex-finance minister Moscovici as commissioner

30 July, 2014 - 07:21

President François Hollande formally proposed his former finance minister Pierre Moscovici on Tuesday (29 July) to be France's representative in the next European Commission which takes office later this year.

In a letter to the Commission's president-elect, Jean-Claude Juncker, Hollande did not say which job he wanted Moscovici to get, but French officials have made no secret that Paris is angling for a major economic portfolio.

EU agrees new sanctions against Russia

29 July, 2014 - 17:41

European Union governments Tuesday evening (29 July) agreed fresh economic sanctions targeting Russia’s oil and defence industries, state-owned banks and sensitive technologies, according to sources.

The EU had previously agreed sanctions against Russia for destabilizing Ukraine but it was spurred to further, broader action after the July 17 downing of the MH17 Malaysia Airlines flight by pro-Russian rebels.All 298 passengers, including 194 Dutch citizens, died in the tragedy, which saw relations with Moscow plummet to their worst since the Cold War.

Elections boosted belief that Europeans have a voice

29 July, 2014 - 15:56

Despite the victory of Euroscepticism in the EU elections, more Europeans believe their voice counts in the EU than ever before. EurActiv France reports.

According to a survey by the European Commission (25 July), the image of the European Union has improved.

Russia sanctions threaten to blow eurozone off course

29 July, 2014 - 15:19

The knock to confidence from harsher European sanctions on Russia could spoil the eurozone's budding economic recovery even if it shrugs off the fallout on trade.

Following months of hesitation, the European Union will seek on Tuesday (29 July) to seal the first broad economic sanctions on Russia - its third-biggest trading partner - following the downing of a Malaysian airliner over territory controlled by pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.

German economist group attacks European banking union

29 July, 2014 - 14:55

A group of professors in Germany has filed a complaint against the EU’s new banking supervisory mechanism before the German constitutional court, claiming the European banking union has no legal basis in the EU treaties. EurActiv Germany reports.

EU meets to thrash out economic sanctions on Russia

29 July, 2014 - 14:24

EU diplomats met to forge a deal on Tuesday (29 July) on the bloc's first broad economic sanctions on Russia, to try to force President Vladimir Putin to defuse the crisis in Ukraine.

After months of hesitation from the European Union, the downing of a civilian flight over Ukraine earlier this month, killing all 298 people on board, has strengthened the bloc's resolve to act and bear the brunt of any possible economic measures against Russia.

KLA guerrillas harvested murdered Serbs’ organs, say EU investigators

29 July, 2014 - 12:41

Kosovo Albanian guerillas murdered Serbs and sold their organs but there is not yet enough evidence to bring the guilty to justice, the chief prosecutor of an EU backed team of international investigators said today (29 July).

“There are compelling indications that this practice did occur […] and that a small number of individuals were killed for the purpose of extracting and trafficking their organs,” Clint Williamson told reporters at a Brussels news conference.

Ireland wants to repay IMF loans before eurozone bailout fund

29 July, 2014 - 07:51

The IMF is in favour of Ireland refinancing its bailout loans and Dublin would like to begin the process this year if it can get agreement in Europe, finance minister Michael Noonan said on Monday (28 July).

Ireland is seeking to reduce the cost of carrying its debt by repaying its more expensive IMF loans early, before it repays aid from the eurozone bailout fund, but needs agreement from its partners in Europe to change the repayment terms.

EU gets deal on list of Putin associates for sanctions

29 July, 2014 - 07:29

EU diplomats reached a preliminary agreement on Monday (28 July) on a list of associates of Russian President Vladimir Putin and companies that will face sanctions as part of tougher measures over Moscow's actions in Ukraine, EU sources said.

During more than three hours of talks, they also agreed on new measures to restrict trade and investment in Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine earlier this year.

Cameron cuts EU migrants' unemployment and child benefits

29 July, 2014 - 07:15

British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday (29 July) set out new welfare rules to cut European migrants' access to social security payments, marking the latest in a string of British measures aimed at addressing voters' concerns over immigration.

Writing in The Daily Telegraph newspaper, Cameron said that from November migrants coming to Britain from the European Union to find work would be entitled to claim unemployment and child benefits for three months, rather than the previous six months.

Ombudsman pushes for more protection for EU whistleblowers

29 July, 2014 - 07:02

The EU Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, on Monday (27 July) opened an investigation into nine EU institutions, which have failed to put in place protective measures for staff members that report corruption or malpractice.

Is British influence in Brussels about to fall off a cliff?

29 July, 2014 - 06:52

The UK still holds a high number of senior civil servants in the EU, but their number is in decline. The foreign office should encourage young civil servants and graduates to work in Brussels, writes Gergely Polner.

Consumers are being fleeced by card currency conversion charges

29 July, 2014 - 06:52

The Commission's proposed regulation on payment services will legitimize dynamic currency conversion (DCC), a practice where consumers are charged a hefty mark-up to pay bills on card in their own currency, writes Eric Grover.

Juncker's call for female commissioners falls on deaf ears

29 July, 2014 - 06:51

EU member states have until 31 July to present their nominations for commissioner in the next European Commission. Just days before the deadline, it seems that Juncker’s call for more female candidates has fallen on deaf ears. EurActiv France gives an overview of the issue of gender balance and political parity between men and women in the executive.

Russia, Germany in diplomatic battle over Ukraine sanctions

28 July, 2014 - 16:53

As fighting intensified in Ukraine on Monday (28 July), a diplomatic battle also raged, with Berlin warning that new European sanctions would send a "strong signal" to Moscow, and Russia saying the measures could only boost its economic independence.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no intention of imposing tit-for-tat sanctions, the day before the 28-nation European Union was set to finalise a package of measures that may close the bloc's capital markets to Russian state banks.