Latest news from EUobserver. Making sense of the EU.
Updated: 4 hours 34 min ago
Greece is to ask Russia to lower its gas prices for Greek households and allow Greek products such as fresh fruit to be imported into Russia again, Spiegel Online reports. The requests are to be made by the energy minister and parliament speaker during a two-day visit beginning Monday.
The UN published Friday Norway's submitted national contribution to fighting climate change. The EU has called on developed countries to submit their climate pledges at the latest on Tuesday (31 March), ahead of December's Paris summit. Norway and Switzerland are so far the only non-EU countries to have done so.
EU foreign relations chief Mogherini on her first-ever Kosovo visit Thursday told students that: "The dialogue [between Kosovo and Serbia] happens between two equal sides. The dialogue happens between two sovereign countries". The comment breaks EU officials' taboo on acknowledging Kosovo statehood, which isn't recognised by five EU states.
The Socialist group in the European Parliament Friday voiced support for Swedish FM Wallstrom in her dispute with Saudi Arabia, which blocked visas for Swedish nationals after she criticised its "medieval" rights record. "The S&D Group strongly supports Wallstrom in her defence of human rights", it said in a statement.
Palestinian militant group Hamas remains listed on the EU's terrorist register, updated Friday, despite an EU court ruling it should be struck off. An EU diplomat sad it'll stay listed "during the appeal process" against the ECJ. Amnesty, an NGO, Friday accused Hamas of war crimes for targeting Israeli civilians.
EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager announced on Thursday an ecommerce investigation to help remove barriers to online cross-border trade in the EU. "I will propose the inquiry to the Commission in May," she told a conference on competition. "You can expect to read our preliminary findings online in mid-2016".
The seventh and eighth Galileo satellites will be sent into orbit on Friday evening (27 March) aboard a Russian rocket fired from French Guiana. In total 30 Galileo satellites are planned to form a European alternative to the American Global Positioning System (GPS). The launch will be webstreamed.
Macedonia's conservative prime minister Nikola Gruevski is under attack from the opposition for allegedly accepting a $22 million bribe for granting motorways construction concessions, reports AFP. "This is one of the biggest corruption scandals in the whole region," Social Democrat opposition leader, Zoran Zaev told a press conference on Thursday.
Spain's ruling conservative party used its absolute majority in the parliament's lower house to pass new controversial security bills on Thursday. All opposition parties voted against. Fines for public order offences, such as unauthorised demonstrations, damaging cars, rubbish bins or climbing buildings can be given without going before a judge.