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Europe needs to introduce practical incentives for best biofuels

18 February, 2015 - 09:11

MEPs must move beyond the polarised debate about biofuels and introduce practical measures that will pull Europe’s biofuels policy in the right direction, says Robert Wright. 

Putin tells Ukrainian troops to surrender

18 February, 2015 - 08:56

President Vladimir Putin told Kyiv to let its soldiers surrender to rebels, who spurned a ceasefire and fought their way on Tuesday (17 February) into the town of Debaltseve, encircling thousands of government troops.

A peace deal reached at all-night talks in Minsk last week had all but unravelled, with both sides failing to begin pulling back heavy guns as required after the rebels refused to halt their advance.

Thaçi: 'Rumours caused the exodus of Kosovars'

18 February, 2015 - 08:51

Rumours circulated that Germany was issuing work permits, and this created confusion, Kosovo Foreign Minister Hashim Thaçi told EurActiv Germany, referring to the recent exodus of 30,000 Kosovars to EU countries.

Juncker relieved by nomination of Pavlopoulos as Greece’s next President

18 February, 2015 - 08:42

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras nominated former conservative lawmaker and ex-Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday (17 February) to be the country's new president. This means that plans to change the Greek Commissioner are not on the table.

The abandonment of a previous plan to make current Greek Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos President comes as a relief to Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.

French attempt to 'liberate' the economy ends up adding new regulation

18 February, 2015 - 08:28

Emmanuel Macron’s economic bill, designed to show the European Commission that France is serious about reform, will also submit parts of the economy to a glut of new regulations. EurActiv France reports

Zero-hour pilot contracts threaten air safety, says study

18 February, 2015 - 08:16

Airlines are increasingly using zero-hour contracts, pay-to-fly schemes, and temporary employment agencies based outside the EU to hire pilots and cut costs, practices which undermine passenger safety and social standards, a report by the University of Ghent has found. 

Putin and Orbán contemplate stronger energy ties

18 February, 2015 - 08:09

Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to continue supplying gas to Hungary on Tuesday (17 February) during a visit to Budapest, cementing the EU member state's growing ties to the Kremlin, as the rest of Europe distances itself from Moscow over its Ukraine policy.

The fact Putin was in Hungary at all underlined the relationship. The Russian President has not been on a bilateral visit to a European Union country since June last year, just before a Malaysian airliner was shot down over a part of Ukraine held by Moscow-backed rebels.

Economist Europe editor: The Tories should never have left the EPP

18 February, 2015 - 07:57

David Cameron made a fundamental mistake taking the Conservatives out the European People's Party, according to John Peet, the Europe Editor of The Economist, who said the decision has had a detrimental effect on both the Tories, and the UK.

Speaking at the London launch of Bill Newton-Dunn's new book, What do MEPs do?, Peet said scrapping the Strasbourg seat for the European Parliament would increase its prestige and increase media coverage of its activities.

EU's financial indices regulation ‘bizarre and wrong’

18 February, 2015 - 07:43

The regulation of financial indices and benchmarks will stifle innovation and is part of a move by Brussels to “regulate anything they don’t understand”, Andrew Clare told EurActiv.

The CASS Business School professor published a paper yesterday (17 February) explaining how indices and benchmarks are constructed, and how they helped an "investment revolution", laying out the case they play a vital role in financial markets.

Commission wants to vet member states’ energy deals

18 February, 2015 - 07:32

Member states’ energy deals with non-EU nations should be scrutinised by the European Commission before they are signed, according to a draft plan for the flagship Energy Union that outlines a strategy to diversify energy suppliers.

France pushes for security spending to be recognised as development aid

18 February, 2015 - 07:20

France spent millions resolving conflicts in Mali and the Central African Republic in 2014. Now Paris is lobbying the OECD to include spending on security and peacekeeping operations in calculations of official development assistance. EurActiv France reports.

Solving the Greek Debt: An Attractive Compromise

17 February, 2015 - 17:50

Greece’s creditors should opt for promising solutions, including that of GDP-linked bonds. There is no reason to brush this proposal aside only because it was tabled by the Greek authorities, write Stephany Griffith-Jones and Inge Kaul.

Stephany Griffith-Jones is Financial Markets Director at Columbia University and Member of the FEPS Scientific Council.  Inge Kaul is adjunct professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

Mogherini: EU's development policy is not charity

17 February, 2015 - 16:42

Launching the European Year for Development in Madrid yesterday (16 February), the EU's foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said the bloc's development policy was neither charity or a luxury but an “investment for peace and stability” around the globe. EurActiv Spain reports.

The aim of the European Year for Development is to raise awareness about the Union's role in addressing global challenges and providing development aid (see background).

Czech Republic looks to older EU members for cues on immigration

17 February, 2015 - 16:23

The Czech Republic has a tiny Muslim population, but it has also seen a sharp rise in anti-Islamic sentiment in recent months. That has prompted the government to look at the experience of immigration of older EU member states, EurActiv Czech Republic reports.

In Central Europe the debate about immigration and the integration of minorities, especially of Muslim communities, into society is still in its infancy.

Merkel pledges protection for Jews in Germany

17 February, 2015 - 14:39

In the wake of the terror attacks in Copenhagen, Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on European Jews to emigrate to Israel, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel pledged protection for Jews in Germany. EurActiv Germany reports.

EU resumes direct aid to Zimbabwe after a decade of sanctions

17 February, 2015 - 08:54

The European Union has given Zimbabwe €234 million, it said on Monday (16 February), the first time the bloc has given financial aid to the southern African nation's government since imposing sanctions in 2002.

Many of Greece's problems were aggravated by the EU

17 February, 2015 - 08:52

We must recognise that many of Greece's problems were aggravated by the behaviour of the European Union, writes Maria João Rodrigues.

Maria João Rodrigues MEP is Vice-Chair of the Socialists & Democrats Group in the European Parliament, in charge of economic and social policies.

Is there reason to hope for Minsk II?

17 February, 2015 - 08:40

The last Minsk agreement on eastern Ukraine failed to bring peace. The latest looks similar — but the context has changed, writes Michael Emerson.

Michael Emerson is Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS). He is also a former EU ambassador to Moscow. The op-ed was originally published on the CEPSwebsite.

Armenia withdraws key peace accords with Turkey

17 February, 2015 - 08:26

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said on Monday (16 February) he withdrew from parliament landmark peace accords with Turkey, setting further back U.S.-backed efforts to bury a century of hostility between the neighbours.

The two countries signed accords in October 2009 to establish diplomatic relations and open their land border, trying to overcome the legacy of the World War One mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

Terminology blocks Greek compromise

17 February, 2015 - 07:57

By forcing Syriza into a spot from which it must undertake a humiliating climb down to avoid disaster, the Eurogroup took its brinkmanship to a new level, writes Stratfor, the Texas-based global intelligence company.