EU Observer

Syndicate content
Latest news from EUobserver. Making sense of the EU.
Updated: 4 hours 32 min ago

[Ticker] Barroso warns Putin on 'contravening' Ukraine trade deal

5 hours 10 min ago
EU commission chief Barroso has in a letter to Russia's Putin said if he imposes economic sanctions on Ukraine it would "contravene" an accord to delay an EU-Ukraine trade pact in return for normal Russia-Ukraine trade. Barroso published the letter after Russia adopted a decree proposing trade barriers on Ukraine.

[Ticker] EU funds freeze 'last resort', says incoming regional commissioner

7 hours 30 min ago
The EU's next regional affairs commissioner Wednesday said macro-economic conditionality - where aid is linked to EU economic targets - is a "last-resort measure", applied after "years of warnings." "We must not punish people for the failings of their governments," Corina Cretu told MEPs.

[Ticker] Regional commissioner cautious on deadline extension for EU funds

7 hours 58 min ago
Incoming EU regional commissioner Corina Cretu Wednesday expressed caution about extending a deadline for the use of 2007-2014 regional aid funds (until two years after their expiry) in order to alleviate a €23m-strong backlog of payments. She said such extensions should be linked to a good absorption rate of funds.

'Frozen conflict' looming in east Ukraine, EU diplomats say

8 hours 25 min ago
EU countries have upheld Russia sanctions for now, but there is growing feeling that a frozen conflict is better than heavy fighting.

ECB to change rules to buy Greek, Cypriot debt

8 hours 53 min ago
The European Central Bank is set to change its rules to allow it to buy asset-backed securities with junk ratings issued by Greek and Cypriot banks, according to a report by the Financial Times.

Hearings blunder offers glimpse into Juncker's working methods

9 hours 23 min ago
A blunder during the hearing of the Swedish commissioner shows the degree of intervention by Jean-Claude Juncker's chief of staff when drafting answers for commissioners-to-be.

[Ticker] French public debt surpasses €2 trillion

9 hours 35 min ago
Public debt in France on Tuesday passed the €2 trillion mark for the first time, reports AFP. The public debt represents 95.1% of France's gross domestic product (GDP). France has also said it will be unable to meet the EU's 3% deficit target by next year.

[Ticker] EU gives more aid to farmers hit by Russia embargo

9 hours 36 min ago
The European Commission introduced a new aid package on Tuesday worth €165 million to help farmers hit by Russian sanctions over the Ukraine crisis, but tightened up on dubious compensation claims. The new scheme also includes oranges, mandarins and clementines, as sought by major producers in Spain, Italy and Greece.

[Ticker] Romanian PM accused of involvement in bribery case

9 hours 37 min ago
A witness in a corruption case involving nine former Romanian ministers has accused Prime Minister Victor Ponta of having used his influence to favour several firms in a public tender. In return, Ponta received Fujitsu Siemens computers "as donation" for his party, the witness alleges. Ponta denies the accusations.

[Ticker] Victims of online photo hacking are 'stupid', says Oettinger

9 hours 38 min ago
EU's next digital commissioner Guenther Oettinger has told MEPs it would not be his job to protect celebrities “stupid enough to take a nude photo of themselves and put it online.” Several stars were victims of a targeted hack on their Cloud storage, where smartphones upload pictures automatically.

[Ticker] Sweden best in EU for elderly people

9 hours 40 min ago
Sweden tops the list in the EU for being the best place for people to grow old, according to Global AgeWatch Index. It ranked 96 nations by looking at life expectancy, pension plans, and other measures. Norway was best overall, followed by Sweden, Switzerland, Canada and Germany. Afghanistan ranked last.

New Austrian commissioner backs EU sanctions on Russia

30 September, 2014 - 19:12
The EU’s next neighbourhood commissioner was tougher than expected on Russia at his EU parliament hearing on Tuesday.

[Ticker] EU urges Russia to release Lithuania fishing boat

30 September, 2014 - 18:22
EU countries Tuesday urged Russia to "immediately release" a Lithuanian fishing boat which was captured and forcefully towed from "high seas waters" in the Barents Sea on 18 September. Russia says the boat was in its waters. The incident comes after similar provocations in Estonia and Latvia in recent weeks.

EU embassies should take asylum requests, new commissioner says

30 September, 2014 - 18:07
Dimitris Avramopoulos, the incoming Greek EU commissioner for migration and home affairs, wants foreign EU embassies to allow people to apply for asylum.

[Ticker] New EU health chief says no to chlorinated chicken and GMOs

30 September, 2014 - 16:52
The EU's likely next health commissioner vowed to oppose the import of chemically treated meat from the US and wider use of genetically modified food during his parliamentary hearing on Tuesday. "I cannot make any compromises...whether it is hormones in meat or chlorine-baths for poultry," Lithuania's Vytenis Andriukaitis told MEPs.

French EU commissioner to share powers on national budgets

30 September, 2014 - 16:52
EU economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici will have to share his powers on national budgets with fiscal hawk and commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovskis.

[Opinion] New EU commissioner needs to be more active on Roma

30 September, 2014 - 16:46
The European Commission’s recent decision to open infringement proceedings against the Czech Republic for its policy of discriminating against Roma school children is a milestone.

[Ticker] Cameron: 'I wouldn't be heartbroken if UK left EU'

30 September, 2014 - 16:46
UK prime minister David Cameron has admitted that he would not be 'heartbroken' if the UK voted to leave the EU. Speaking during a BBC interview on Tuesday, Cameron added that he felt “1,000 times more strongly about our United Kingdom than the European Union".

Apple's tax deal illegal, EU commission tells Ireland

30 September, 2014 - 16:45
Ireland's tax arrangement with software giant Apple constitutes illegal state subsidy, the European Commission has said.

[Ticker] EU countries to maintain Russia sanctions

30 September, 2014 - 16:26
EU countries' ambassadors Tuesday opted not to roll back sanctions on Russia, with an EU spokeswoman saying that parts of the Minsk ceasefire deal still "need to be properly implemented". Germany's Merkel earlier Tuesday in Berlin said the EU is "very far away [from] considerations to take back sanctions".