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Rosatom woos EU with guaranteed low electricity price

17 April, 2015 - 11:46

An official of Russian state nuclear firm Rosatom told a Brussels audience that his company could guarantee a levelized price for electricity of $50/MWh from new nuclear plants it builds, if the client chooses the firm's services for their lifecycle. According to EU policies, however, fuel supply should be diversified.

Speaking at an event organised by New Nuclear Watch Europe, Kirill Komarov, First Deputy CEO of Rosatom, said that his company was the only one able to guarantee a low price for electricity, if European countries chose the full package of its services.

What will EU parliamentarians vote on TTIP?

17 April, 2015 - 08:06

If EPP members are mobilised, and a small number of S&D MEPs break the group line (or simply don’t vote), then a narrow majority may push through a softened ISDS, writes Doru Frantescu.

Doru Frantescu is director and co-founder of VoteWatch Europe. This article was first published on Votewatch on 16 April.

Almost 900 amendments have been drafted to the European Parliament’s position on the ongoing negotiations conducted by the Commission for a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the United States (TTIP).

Greek industry puts hope in EU to ease the grip of national monopolies

17 April, 2015 - 07:58

Greece’s state electricity supplier should negotiate its tariffs and not impose them unilaterally, according to a European Commission decision that paves the way for a “new deal” on energy pricing in heavy industry.

The liberalisation of the Greek electricity market started in 2001, but has had no results to date.

The Greek state controls 51% of the country’s electricity company Public Power Corporation S.A. (PPC), which enjoys the status of monopoly on the Greek electricity market.

Tsipras turns to Orthodox Church to boost state coffers

17 April, 2015 - 07:52

Top European officials and Greece's finance minister were forced to play down fears on Thursday (16 April) that the country was poised to exit the eurozone, after the IMF rejected suggestions that Athens would postpone loan repayments.

But the perilous state of Greece's government finances was laid bare when the prime minister confirmed he had been reduced to seeking funding support from the wealthy Greek Orthodox Church.

Finns expected to oust Stubb government

17 April, 2015 - 07:47

Finns are expected to oust Prime Minister Alexander Stubb's left-right coalition in Sunday's legislative elections, amid hopes that a new government will pull Finland out of its three-year economic slump.

The Centre Party, a liberal-agrarian party that has fostered 11 prime ministers and three presidents, but has been relegated to the opposition since 2011, is expected to be the big winner on Sunday (19 April).

The Armenian Genocide: German government in distress

17 April, 2015 - 07:37

Next week, German President Joachim Gauck could call the genocide in Armenia by name. This would be disgraceful for the German government, which instead wants to avoid the word "genocide". But criticism is constantly growing louder – even among its own ranks.

Media tycoon donates £1.5 million to UKIP

17 April, 2015 - 07:27

British media baron Richard Desmond gifted the anti-European Union UK Independence Party £1.5 million (€1.4 million) weeks from one of the tightest elections in decades, his newspaper announced Friday.

The donation was revealed on the front page of The Daily Express, a tabloid with a circulation of around half a million daily, owned by Desmond's publishing company, Northern and Shell Media Group.

EU fires warning shots at Gazprom

17 April, 2015 - 07:20

The European Union's competition chief challenged Russian gas giant Gazprom on Thursday, when she pledged to act decisively against energy companies that break competition law.

The European Commission has been investigating Gazprom for more than two years for allegedly over-charging customers in eastern Europe, thwarting rival suppliers and blocking the free flow of gas across the region.

Serbia will arrest Thaçi if he attends Belgrade conference

17 April, 2015 - 07:11

Serbia warned yesterday (16 April) it would arrest the foreign minister of its former province of Kosovo Hashim Thaçi for alleged terrorism if he turns up in Belgrade next week to attend a conference, which ironically is dedicated to the reconciliation following the Yugoslav wars.

Thaçi, who led a guerrilla insurgency against Serbia in the late 1990s, has been invited to the conference on reconciliation in the Serbian capital on April 24 and is "ready to go", an adviser said earlier.

EU, US trade talks seek to advance regulatory pillar

17 April, 2015 - 07:06

Set to meet in New York next week (20-24 April) for the ninth round of talks on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), negotiators are determined to make progress on all strands of the deal, but particularly on regulatory cooperation.

“We will discuss most of the issues we are negotiating within TTIP. But we will try to advance as much as possible on the regulatory component of TTIP—the most economically relevant complex and labour intensive,” said chief EU TTIP negotiator Ignacio Garcia Bercero, in an interview with EurActiv.

US transfer of internet control stalled

17 April, 2015 - 06:50

Attempts to divest control of the Internet from the US government to a stakeholder group by September might not happen, according to a senior US policymaker, in an early acknowledgment that the issue is likely to be delayed.

Officials close to the negotiating process told EurActiv earlier this year that an international dispute over internet governance could be triggered if the transfer process is delayed.

EFTA countries still not implementing EU rules fast enough, says supervisor

17 April, 2015 - 06:42

None of the countries that are members of European Free Trade Association (EFTA) are implementing EU rules fast enough. But Norway has 'improved remarkably', says the ESA, the body that oversees its implementation on behalf of EFTA.

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are members of EFTA, a free trade organisation between those four European countries, which operates in parallel with and is linked to the EU. The countries are also members of the European Economic Area (EEA), with Switzerland being so through bilateral agreements.

Murders, suicides cast shadow over Ukraine

17 April, 2015 - 06:30

A pro-Russian journalist was shot dead in Ukraine's capital yesterday (16 April), leading Kyiv to brand the latest murders of pro-Moscow figures an enemy "provocation".

Columnist Oles Buzyna, 45, a supporter of Ukraine's ousted Kremlin-backed president Viktor Yanukovych, was gunned down in central Kyiv by an unknown assailant just hours after the slaying of former ruling party lawmaker Oleg Kalashnikov in the city.

Germany debates new immigration law amid skills shortage

17 April, 2015 - 06:22

Thomas de Maizière is convinced Germany does not need a new immigration law. But outside the center-right, many are in favour of making it easier for foreign nationals to enter the labour market, where they are urgently needed. EurActiv Germany reports.

TTIP still a hard sell in Paris

16 April, 2015 - 15:37

Cecilia Malmström this week fielded questions from French MPs on the transatlantic trade deal. Despite determined French opposition, she hopes for a breakthrough that would see the agreement signed before the end of President Obama's mandate in 2017. EurActiv France reports

Katainen: Bulgaria needs external assessment of banks to spur investment

16 April, 2015 - 15:18

Bulgaria requires an external assessment of its banking system and stable financial markets, to attract much-needed investment to spur economic growth, European Commission Vice-President Jyrki Katainen said on Thursday.

The increasingly deadly route to the EU

16 April, 2015 - 14:28

Italy, Greece, Bulgaria and Spain are the main gateways to the European Union for illegal immigrants who sometimes pay with their lives in their search for a better life. 

Conservatives lay out EU promises in manifesto

16 April, 2015 - 12:15

The Conservative Party launched its election manifesto today (16 April) with a promise to scrap the Human Rights Act, and hold a referendum on EU membership in 2017. EurActiv UK reports.

Speaking at the launch in Swindon, David Cameron said the manifesto was a promise for “a good life for all”.

The Tories again pledged to reduce net migration into the UK down to the tens of thousands. The same commitment was made before the last election. The latest official figure put net immigration at close to 300,000 per year.