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[Ticker] Banning blood donations from gay men 'may be justified', says EU court

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 12:18
The European Court of Justice said Wednesday that banning blood donated by gay men "may be justified" in certain cases. The case relates to a French law that permanently excludes blood donations from gay men because they are more likely than other groups to have HIV, the virus causing AIDS.

[Ticker] Supreme Court orders UK to do more to fight air pollution

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 10:28
The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that the UK government has to do more to fight air pollution and should present a plan by January 2016. The ruling follows a decision by the EU's Court of Justice last November and is a win for environmental group ClientEarth.

EU court rebels denounce 'wasteful' hiring of new judges

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 09:12
ECJ rebels say plans to hire a "Mexican army of new judges" are not needed, will cause an organisational mess, and create a "dangerous symbol" of EU waste.

[Opinion] Migration: Europe's wakeup call

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 09:04
Does the EU want to be a democratic, peaceful, and pluralistic group of nations? Or does it want to be a fractious and hostile land whose highest ideals are eroded by fear and hate?

Artillery fire increases after EU-Ukraine summit

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:28
People fleeing a city deep inside Ukraine’s rebel held Donesk region are reporting heavy shelling and artillery fire.

MEPs challenge Orban's 'horrible' migration survey

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:28
Hungarian PM Orban has launched a public consultation on migration in order to confront existing EU rules, in an exercised dubbed "horrible" by one liberal MEP.

MEPs may scrap call for scrutiny on allowances

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:28
Members of the two largest political groups in the European Parliament have tabled an amendment which would weaken a call for greater scrutiny of the way MEPs spend their office allowances.

[Ticker] Le Pen allegedly hid millions in secret Swiss account

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:27
Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National Front (FN) party has been hiding €2.2m at the Swiss branch of the bank HSBC, French investigative website Mediapart has revealed. Le Pen also faces questions over party funding via the Moscow-based First Czech Russian Bank and the use of EU funds.

[Ticker] Irish government tables post-austerity plan

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:27
The Irish government on Tuesday announced plans to cut taxes over the next five years and begin the process of reversing public service pay cuts, reports the Irish Times. "We’ll direct the benefits of the tax cuts to low-paid people and to middle-income people," finance minister Michael Noonan said.

[Ticker] Firms declare massive increase in EU lobbying costs

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:27
Financial services firm Goldman Sachs spent 14 times more on lobbying in 2014 (€700,000-€799,999) compared to 2013 (€50,000) according to new figures filed under stricter EU rules. Figures for UBS went up to €1.7mn from €100,000, for Deutsche Bank to €4mn from €2mn and for Google to €3.5mn-€4mn from €1.5mn.

[Ticker] Destroying boats is no solution to migrant crisis, says Ban Ki-moon

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:26
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that destroying boats could not be part of the solution to the Mediterranean migrant crisis. "We have to stop the people traffickers," he said at a news conference in the Vatican. A UN mandate would be needed for a mission targeting traffickers' boats.

[Ticker] Greek parliament votes to re-open public TV station

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:25
The Greek parliament voted on Tuesday to re-open the country's public broadcaster ERT and fulfil an election promise of the Syriza led government. The previous conservative-led government shut down the TV station in July 2013 and fired some 2,600 people to cut spending as requested by Greece's international creditors.

[Ticker] Pope Francis to combat climate change

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:24
World leaders meeting at the Vatican on Tuesday for a conference on climate change declared that “human-induced climate change is a scientific reality” and urged political leaders to agree to a bold climate agreement at COP21 in Paris. An encyclical on the environment from Pope Francis is expected in July.

[Ticker] Emergency call system mandatory for new cars in EU

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:23
The European Parliament on Tuesday voted to adopt mandatory installation of an EU emergency call system called eCall in new cars from 31 March 2018. When a car with eCall is involved in a crash, the system automatically makes contact with the nearest emergency centre.

EU-US trade talks to drift into 2016

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:17
Negotiations on a landmark EU-US free trade deal will drag into 2016 - a blow to those hoping for a swift agreement under Barack Obama’s presidency.

EU unveils plan for new security networks

EU Observer - 29 April, 2015 - 08:10
The EU commission has proposed new measures to combat terrorism and organised crime, but many depend on member states' intelligence sharing - a traditionally sovereign domain.

EU to halve plastic bag use by 2019

EU Active - 29 April, 2015 - 07:56

The European Parliament passed a law on 28 April to drastically cut down on single-use plastic bags. EurActiv France reports

Commission submits plan to fight terrorism, cybercrime

EU Active - 29 April, 2015 - 07:55

The Commission announced Tuesday (28 April) a European Agenda on Security for the period 2015-2020 defining how the EU executive can bring added value to support the member states in ensuring security.

The 20-page document, presented in Strasbourg by Commission First-Vice President Frans Timmermans and Home Affairs Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, replaces the previous strategy adopted in 2010 (the Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014).

EU solar producers launch new action against Chinese rivals

EU Active - 29 April, 2015 - 07:52

A group of European solar panel producers has lodged a new complaint with EU regulators, accusing Chinese rivals of trying to evade import tariffs by shipping their products via third countries.

The tale of two votes: The election and a referendum

EU Active - 29 April, 2015 - 07:52

The UK could set itself on the path towards a referendum on EU membership after the general election next week. Comres' Tom Clarkson argues that whatever the result, in the long term a referendum may be inevitable.

Tom Clarkson is Research Team Leader at the polling company ComRes.

HSBC said last week the UK should remain a member of the EU and seek to reform it, as this is "far less risky than going it alone". Whether privately or publicly, many of the world's biggest businesses share HSBC's concerns about the prospect of the UK leaving the EU

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