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Updated: 3 hours 21 min ago

Tusk tour focuses on frozen conflicts

22 July, 2015 - 16:12

Council President Donald Tusk's trip to the South Caucasus has largely focused on the 'frozen conflicts' in Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Between 20 and 22 July, Tusk visited Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, which are part of the EU’s Eastern partnership initiative.

Catalan separatists send shudders through Madrid

22 July, 2015 - 15:44

After the new Catalan separatist bloc warned it would declare independence if it wins the 27 September regional elections, Spanish premier Mariano Rajoy said he'll do everything he can to stop it. EurActiv Spain reports.

A new crisis was opened on Monday (20 July), when Catalan separatists joined forices to form a new colation called “Junts pel Sí” (Together for “Yes”).

Brexit fears haunt London's roaring trade in euros

22 July, 2015 - 12:47

If there is a symbol of British ambivalence to Europe then it may be the euro itself.

The capital of euro trading prospers outside the eurozone, but London's dominance of the $5.3 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market could wane if Britain left the European Union.

While British leaders have long resisted replacing pounds with euros, traders in the City of London financial centre now buy and sell more than twice as many euros as the whole 19-member euro zone and more dollars than the United States.

Iranian refugees in Iraq face humanitarian crisis

22 July, 2015 - 12:28

While the world’s attention has been fixed on the weak nuclear agreement signed in Vienna this week, a humanitarian crisis is brewing for thousands of Iranian refugees in Iraq, writes Struan Stevenson.

UK moves to slash renewables subsidies

22 July, 2015 - 12:16

Britain’s government on Wednesday (22 July) moved to rein in the spiraling costs of renewable power subsidies which it said threatened to push up household bills.

The plans include closing support for small-scale solar projects a year early, changing the way renewable projects qualify for payments and modifying subsidies for biomass plants.

The proposals come just a month after the government said it would scrap new subsidies for onshore wind farms from April next year.

Poverty and violence: Europe post-2015

22 July, 2015 - 10:49

Sebastian Große-Puppendahl, Alisa Herrero and Anna Knoll argue that the EU will fail to meet the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals unless it takes concrete action soon. 

Sanofi cholesterol drug, GSK malaria shot to get EU okay

22 July, 2015 - 08:24

Sanofi and Regeneron's new cholesterol drug Praluent could be recommended for approval in Europe as early as this week, along with the world's first malaria vaccine from GlaxoSmithKline.

A European green light for Praluent would put the closely watched so-called PCSK9 drug two months behind Amgen's rival product Repatha, which was formally approved by the European Commission on Tuesday after a positive opinion in May.

Dutch flowers represent ‘sanitary threat’, Russia says

22 July, 2015 - 07:56

Dutch flowers represent a sanitary "threat" to Russia and could be banned in the country, its agricultural watchdog said yesterday (21 July), as Moscow's relations with The Hague have reached their nadir.

The watchdog said in a statement that a ban on flower deliveries from the Netherlands - a country that prides itself on its tulips - was "highly probable."

The statement said that Dutch flowers could be banned because the harmful organisms they contain "pose a serious threat to the country's economy and agricultural production."

WWF EU chief: ‘NGOs can use Better Regulation Agenda positively’

22 July, 2015 - 07:46

The European Commission’s Better Regulation Agenda is wrongly perceived by the NGO community as purely business-driven, says Geneviève Pons-Deladrière, a former Commission official who is now heading the WWF’s EU office. She explains why, in a wide-ranging interview with EurActiv.

Frans Timmermans, the European Commission First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, is a bit like the bogeyman for the small bubble of Brussels-based NGOs.

Second bailout vote to test Tsipras’ authority

22 July, 2015 - 07:29

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras tried to rally his Syriza party before a vote in parliament today (22 July) on the second package of measures demanded by international creditors to open talks on a new bailout deal.

Tsipras has faced a revolt in the left-wing Syriza party over the mix of tax hikes, market reforms and spending cuts demanded by lenders but is expected to get the package through parliament with the support of pro-European opposition parties.

France promises emergency aid to farmers

22 July, 2015 - 06:34

French President François Hollande on Tuesday (21 July) promised measures to help livestock and dairy farmers who have been protesting for weeks over what they say is a squeeze on their profits by retailers and food processors.

Since the weekend, tractors have blocked roads in northwestern France, home to a large part of the livestock industry, including the route to Mont Saint-Michel, a famous tourist site.

Livestock farmers accuse food companies and supermarkets of not respecting a deal signed last month in which they agreed to raise prices paid to producers.

British truckers sold CO2 monitors to detect migrants

22 July, 2015 - 06:26

A carbon dioxide detector that alerts drivers to immigrants hiding in their trucks went on sale in Britain on Tuesday (21 July), aimed at freight companies concerned by a surge in attempted Channel crossings.

Migrants based in the French port of Calais try in their hundreds each day to board Britain-bound vehicles, prompting confrontations with drivers who risk being fined for transporting them or having their cargo spoiled.

EU fails to relocate 40,000 migrants

21 July, 2015 - 08:48

The EU failed yesterday (20 July) to agree on how to distribute 40,000 asylum seekers in Greece and Italy among its members over the next two years, postponing the decision until the end of the year.

Following the deaths of 700 people on a fishing boat heading for Italy from Libya in April, at a summit in June, EU leaders called for agreement on the relocation by the end of July - a potentially divisive move in some countries where far-right parties and populist anti-EU movements are gaining ground.

German coalition in turmoil over Schäuble

21 July, 2015 - 07:26

The conflict over Wolfgang Schäuble’s Grexit proposal is entering a new round, after Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel accused the finance minister of being unreasonable. EurActiv Germany reports.

Suicide bomber strikes Turkish border town as Syrian war spills over

21 July, 2015 - 07:02

A suspected Islamic State suicide bomber killed at least 30 people, mostly young students, in an attack on a Turkish town near the Syrian border yesterday (20 July).

Bodies lay beneath trees after the blast outside a cultural centre in the mostly Kurdish town of Suruç in southeastern Turkey, some 10 kilometres from the Syrian town of Kobani, where Kurdish fighters have been battling Islamic State.

'Migration is not a security issue,' study says

21 July, 2015 - 06:55

The Federal Republic should apply new thinking to its development aid and asylum policy, says a new study from the University of Osnabrück, calling on decision-makers to see migration as an opportunity rather than a threat. EurActiv Germany reports.

WTO trade deal set to cut tariffs for 200 tech products

20 July, 2015 - 16:53

After months of delays, eighty countries negotiating over the Information Technology Agreement (ITA) reached a breakthrough on Saturday (18 July) at a meeting brokered by the World Trade Organization.

The WTO has set a deadline of Friday (24 July), by noon CET for the countries involved in talks to sign off on the deal, which would get rid of trade tariffs for around 200 technology products. Those include GPS devices, medical equipment, and semiconductors, which are used in a number of devices, totalling an estimated $1 trillion annually in trade deals.

Spanish judge asks EU top court for Uber ruling

20 July, 2015 - 16:22

A Spanish judge has asked Europe's top court if online taxi-hailing app Uber is a "mere transport service" or a digital service, as the US start-up claims, in a case that could set a precedent for legal battles across the continent.

A judge in Barcelona has referred a case brought by the city's main taxi operator against Uber towards the end of last year to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg, an Uber executive said on Monday (20 July).

Member states seek agreement on coping with flood of migrants

20 July, 2015 - 15:29

The European Union will try to reach an agreement on today (20 July) to tackle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean despite resistance from Spain and Poland, who say they are not ready to absorb large numbers of new asylum seekers.

Following the deaths of some 700 people on a fishing boat heading for Italy from Libya in April, the European Commission, the EU's executive, has proposed a plan to keep more migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing. But it faces objections from EU governments dealing with anti-immigrant parties at home.

Extreme right group poaches S&D MEP

20 July, 2015 - 15:14

Laurentiu Rebega, a Romanian MEP, crossed the floor of the European Parliament last week to join Marine Le Pen's Europe of Nations and Freedom group. EurActiv France reports