Latest news from EUobserver. Making sense of the EU.
Updated: 2 hours 10 min ago
The European Parliament on Thursday approved Giovanni Buttarelli as the next European data protection supervisor. His deputy will be Poland's data protection chief Wojciech Rafal Wiewiorowski. Buttarelli is replacing Peter Hustinx who is retiring after having served in the post for more than ten years.
EU states Thursday agreed to blacklist 13 new people and five entities over Russia's actions in Ukraine. The visa ban and asset freeze enters into force Saturday when the names come out in the bloc's Official Journal. EU ministers earlier agreed to target Ukrainian "separatists", not Russians, in the move.
MEPs and ministers have agreed legislation setting up European long-term investment funds following talks Wednesday night. The funds will aim to channel investors' money into projects and companies that struggle to raise funds on stock markets and via bank loans. The law still needs formal the formal support of parliament.
EU commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday survived a confidence vote in the European Parliament over his involvement in the Luxembourg tax regime allowing big corporations to avoid paying taxes elsewhere, as revealed by LuxLeaks. Only 101 MEPs voted in favour of toppling Juncker, 461 were against and 88 abstained.
Herman Van Rompuy, who finishes his job as EU council president on Sunday (30 November), will from 2015 teach an EU "leadership and decision-making" course at the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. The college, which made the announcement on Wednesday, is a training ground for future EU officials.
Bulgarian economy minister Bozhidar Lukarski said Wednesday that Sofia will not sign an EU-US trade deal (TTIP) unless the US lifts visa requirements. The US has maintained visa obligations against only a few EU countries: Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Poland, the rest being part of the so-called Visa Waiver Programme.
The board of EU border agency Frontex has elected Fabrice Leggeri as its new head. Leggeri is a French official who worked on defence, illegal immigration and was posted as diplomat in South Korea, according to his webpage. Frontex is involved in border patrolling missions, particularly in the Mediterranean.
If Europe abandons the South Stream project, its gas supplies are at risk, Russian minister Ulyukayev said according to Kyiv Post. "If European consumers have a need for lowering risks, then we will build South Stream. If this demand doesn't exist, then we aren't going to build it."
Following a court accusation that she profited from her ex-husband's connection to a corruption scandal, Spain's minister for Health Ana Mato has resigned on Wednesday. The corruption scandal involves the centre-right People's Party that is currently in power.