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UK's anti-EU party replaces policy chief before election

20 January, 2015 - 16:49

Britain's anti-EU UK Independence Party abruptly replaced its policy chief on Tuesday, less than four months before a national election, because it said he was too busy to finish writing the party's manifesto.

EU to launch diplomatic offensive ahead of Paris climate talks

20 January, 2015 - 16:24

Europe is launching a major diplomatic push for an ambitious deal on global warming, mobilising A-list celebrities and tens of thousands of diplomats to exert “maximum pressure” on key countries in international climate negotiations.

Greece at the tipping point

20 January, 2015 - 16:01

The strategic significance of Greece as a stabilising force, and its democratic values, with undeniable soft power in the Arab world, has once again emerged in the regional scene. Athens should assume this role once again, writes Eva Kaili.

Eva Kaili is a member of the European Parliament, representing the Panhellenic Socialist Movement,

Commission fears Greece is 'deceiving' itself

20 January, 2015 - 12:42

The President of the European Commission has asked EU countries to honour their commitments in the run-up to a general election, which could see the radical left rise to power in Greece. EurActiv France reports.

Report: Unemployment to continue to rise over the next 5 years

20 January, 2015 - 11:58

Unemployment will continue to rise in the coming years globally, warns a new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). 

By 2019, more than 212 million people will be out of work, compared to currently 201 million, according to the report World Employment and Social Outlook – Trends 2015.

EU to appeal ruling that Hamas should be off terror list

20 January, 2015 - 11:35

The EU said on Monday (19 January) it would appeal against an EU court ruling that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should be removed from the bloc's terrorist list.

The move was criticised by Hamas, but welcomed by Israel, which had condemned last month's decision by the bloc's second-highest tribunal that the executive had failed to make its case for blacklisting the movement that controls the Gaza Strip.

“The EU decision reflects well the position that Hamas was and remains a terror organization,” the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.

EU considers 'security agents' to counter terrorism

20 January, 2015 - 08:49

European Union foreign ministers on Monday discussed setting up a new network of European security agents abroad, as they sought a united response to the threat from militant Islamists following the attacks in Paris on 7 January.

Time not right to ease Russia sanctions, EU says

20 January, 2015 - 08:19

EU foreign ministers said on Monday (19 January) thatere there were no grounds to lift economic sanctions against Russia despite conciliatory proposals from the EU's foreign policy chief, as violence intensified in Ukraine.

Federica Mogherini had suggested in a confidential memo seen by the news agency Reuters that member states could start talking to Russia again about global diplomacy, trade and other issues if Moscow implemented the Minsk agreements to end the separatist conflict.

British banking trade groups eye merger to bolster EU lobbying

20 January, 2015 - 08:08

Banks have told nine trade associations in Britain they should merge into a single body to strengthen lobbying in Europe and slash membership costs.

A working group of banks that includes HSBC, Barclays and Lloyds said in a consultation paper released on Friday (16 January) there are too many trade groups, leading to duplication of lobbying and a lack of strategic direction.

Most financial rules in the United Kingdom are set by the European Union, and the paper said several UK trade associations actively lobby policymakers in Brussels on similar issues.

Thousands of Britons on benefits across EU

20 January, 2015 - 08:00

Unemployed Britons in Europe are drawing much more in benefits and allowances in the wealthier EU countries than their nationals are claiming in the UK, according to the newspaper The Guardian.

The British government has however argued that migrants flock into the country to secure better welfare payments.

At least 30,000 British nationals are currently claiming unemployment benefit in countries around the EU, The Guardian reported, based on a survey with responses from 23 of the 27 other EU members.

No clear majority yet for US trade deal, says EU health chief

20 January, 2015 - 07:54

No clear majority has emerged so far among EU member states for a free-trade agreement between the EU and the United States, and both sides need to explain the benefits of such a deal, the EU's Health Commissioner has claimed in an interview.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has otherwise urged the 28 nation bloc to speed up negotiations with the US on what would be the world's biggest trade deal.

But there is public opposition in Europe based on fears of weaker food and environmental standards.

Moscovici: EU prepared for all scenarios after Greek vote

20 January, 2015 - 07:52

The European Commission is prepared for various scenarios for Greece after national elections on 25 January, but it believes that an exit of Athens from the eurozone is unlikely, Economic and Financial Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici said on Monday (19 January).

"Eurozone integrity is not threatened, we don't fear what will happen in the Greek elections on Sunday. We are prepared for all kinds of scenarios in Greece," Moscovici told a seminar at the economic think tank Bruegel.

7 experts on Europe’s biggest media innovators

20 January, 2015 - 07:40

The media's search for new business models and the potential of new and social media has brought about a wave of enterprises and entrepreneurs across EU member states. What are Europe’s most innovative news applications and initiatives? EurActiv asked the experts.

Facebook claims it is a cash cow for EU governments

20 January, 2015 - 07:26

Facebook will today publish a report – seen by EurActiv – claiming that its social network generated €195 billion and enabled 4,540,000 jobs throughout the world last year.

The report comes as a rebuttal of criticism over Facebook's contribution to tax and business within the EU during 2014.

The report – conducted by consultants Deloitte – used economic analysis to judge the effects Facebook enables for businesses that use it as a marketing platform, to sell mobile and internet services, and as a tool within the ‘app’-based economy.

German minister hopes to bury EU roaming fees

20 January, 2015 - 07:14

The European Commission and Parliament have long been pushing for a removal of EU roaming fees. But a recent move by German Transportation Minister Alexander Dobrindt could bring Europe closer to phasing out costs for mobile phone users in other EU member states. EurActiv Germany reports.

Ministers agree to talk to Arab world, broadcast to Russia

20 January, 2015 - 07:06

European foreign ministers meeting in Brussels yesterday (19 January) agreed that they need to engage in more dialogue with Europe’s neighbouring Islamic countries to deal with extremism, whilst simultaneously rebutting the Russian news narrative in Eastern Europe.

Ministers agreed to consider a range of measures designed to beef up security in the bloc in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack in Paris.

New methods of intelligence sharing should be found within the 28-member bloc, ministers agreed.

Report urges internet user-friendly copyright law

19 January, 2015 - 17:04

EU copyright rules need to be rebalanced to give internet users more rights as compared to creators and rights holders according to a draft European Parliament report published today (19 January).

The draft own-initiative report evaluating copyright rules – published by German Pirate Party MEP Julia Reda – anticipates a Commission proposal to reform copyright law set to be tabled early next year.

EU’s transport infrastructure to be upgraded

19 January, 2015 - 16:41

The European transport infrastructure will receive an ample makeover, as the European Commission announces on Thursday (15 January) its transport network priorities.

The new infrastructure, to be completed by 2030, will build cross-border links and develop Europe's interconnectivity.

"We have to step up our efforts to make sure the core network will be fully operational by 2030, to ensure smooth transport flows for passengers and goods throughout the EU,” said Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc.

After the oil price crash, it’s time for a carbon tax

19 January, 2015 - 16:21

The reduction in oil prices should be a good opportunity for Europe to put in place the appropriate tools for combating climate change, and to start the transition to a sustainable economy, writes Alberto Majocchi.

Alberto Majocchi is Professor of Public Finance at the University of Pavia; Board Member of the Centre for Studies on Federalism. This op-ed was first published as Comment of the CSF on 19 January 2015.

Report: Health in the EU improves, but remarkable inequalities remain

19 January, 2015 - 12:26

EU member states have achieved significant gains in population health over the past decades, but large inequalities remain both inside and across countries, a new report concludes. 

The report, Health at a Glance: Europe 2014,  compares health data in Europe, including risk factors to health and access to high-quality care across the EU, with the selection of European Core Health Indicators (ECHI), developed by the European Commission.