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UK sells Eurostar stake

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 11:44

The British government has agreed to sell its 40% stake in Eurostar for a total of £757 million.

The purchasing consortium will pay £585 million to the government. As part of the deal, Eurostar have agreed to redeem the government’s preference share, which will raise an additional £172 million.

George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, said the deal “exceeded expectations”. According to government accounts for 2013/2014, the share capital value of the stake was £325 million.

UKIP drops immigration cap policy

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 11:41

The UK Independence Party has dropped the idea of imposing a cap on immigration of 50,000 a year.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said people where “obsessing” over caps and that there needed to be more “flexibility”.

The party will retain its policy on a five year ban on unskilled immigration it seeks to being immigrations levels down to what it calls “normality” which UKIP define as between 20,000 – 50,000 a year.

UKIP drops immigration cap policy

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 11:41

The UK Independence Party has dropped the idea of imposing a cap on immigration of 50,000 a year.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage said people where “obsessing” over caps and that there needed to be more “flexibility”.

The party will retain its policy on a five year ban on unskilled immigration it seeks to being immigrations levels down to what it calls “normality” which UKIP define as between 20,000 – 50,000 a year.

Avramopoulos: We cooperate with dictatorial regimes to fight migration

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 11:21

The EU's migration chief insisted yesterday (4 March) that the bloc must work with dictatorships in order to fight smugglers who traffic migrants to Europe, often using dangerous sea routes across the Mediterranean.

The comments by Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, came as at least 10 more people were reported dead after a migrant boat capsized off Sicily.

Avramopoulos: We talk to dictatorial regimes to fight migration

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 11:21

The EU's migration chief insisted yesterday (4 March) that the bloc must work with dictatorships in order to fight smugglers who traffic migrants to Europe, often using dangerous sea routes across the Mediterranean.

The comments by Dimitris Avramopoulos, the European Commissioner for Migration and Home Affairs, came as at least 10 more people were reported dead after a migrant boat capsized off Sicily.

Closing the gaps in EU cybersecurity: Let’s get it right

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 10:13

An unhelpful patchwork exists in Europe when it comes to cyber protections, writes Thomas Boué. But EU member states would be ill-advised to extend the scope of the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive beyond critical infrastructure, he says.

Closing the gaps in EU cybersecurity: Let’s get it right

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 10:13

An unhelpful patchwork exists in Europe when it comes to cyber protections, writes Thomas Boué. But EU member states would be ill-advised to extend the scope of the proposed Network and Information Security (NIS) Directive beyond critical infrastructure, he says.

Benelux countries sign air defence pact

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 09:22
Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg have agreed to share surveillance of their airspaces, in the first agreement of its kind among EU countries.






Benelux countries sign air defence pact

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 09:22
Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg have agreed to share surveillance of their airspaces, in the first agreement of its kind among EU countries.






[Ticker] ECB to unveil details of QE programme

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 09:02
The European Central Bank is expected to set out the details of its €1 trillion government bond-buying programme following the monthly meeting of its governing council on Thursday. The euro fell to its lowest level against the US dollar since September 2003 when markets closed on Wednesday night.






[Ticker] EU ministers discuss energy union plans

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 09:01
Energy ministers are meeting in Brussels Thursday to discuss a European Commission strategy paper on energy published last week. Ahead of the meeting, Latvian energy minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola said she expected the proposal for a larger role for the commission in gas contracts to be a topic for discussion.






[Ticker] Germany received €360m in interest from Greece

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 09:00
Greece paid Germany €360m in interest for its emergency loans between 2010 and 2014, the German government said according to the Rheinischen Post. The German government expects to receive a "limited" amount of around €20m in Greek interest payments a year in the coming years.






[Ticker] Putin says political killings must stop

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:58
Russia's president Vladimir Putin on Wednesday said political killings must stop, reports the BBC. The outspoken Putin-critic and opposition leader Boris Nemtsov was shot dead last week. Nemtsov's death marks a series of high-profile murders of anti-corruption activists, human rights campaigners, and Kremlin critics under Putin's watch.






Bulgaria wants to revive Nabucco, Azerbaijan says pipeline name ‘not important’

EU Active - 5 March, 2015 - 08:56

Hosting the President of Azerbaijan on an official visit to Bulgaria, Prime Minister Boyko Borissov said his country wants to revive the Nabucco pipeline project. President Ilham Aliyev said that what really matters is to bring more Azeri gas to Europe, and that the name of the future pipeline is not important.

Bulgaria wants the European Commission to revive plans for the Nabucco pipeline that would bring gas from the Shah Deniz gas field in the Azeri territorial waters of the Caspian Sea, Borissov said Wednesday (4 March), following talks with Aliyev.

[Ticker] Industry lobbyists roll back EU air pollution limits

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:53
The Guardian on Thursday reported industry lobbyists were instrumental in weakening EU air pollution rules. Citing research by Greenpeace, the paper says the EU's standard toxic emission levels from coal plants will be lower than those in China. Around half the people working on the rules are industry employees.






[Ticker] Cuba and EU hold third round of talks

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:53
Negotiators for Cuba and the EU met on Wednesday for a third round of talks to improve relations. The two sides hope to reach a trade and political agreement by the end of 2015. On Thursday, they will discuss trade, and human rights.






[Ticker] Italy rescues 1,000 migrants in 48 hours

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:51
Italy has rescued over 1,000 migrants from boats in the Mediterranean, reports the Guardian. Around 940 were rescued on Tuesday with another 94 saved on the next day from small boats in distress 65km off the Libyan coast. Ten people died after one of the large boats capsized.






[Analysis] No strategy for Bosnia - other than enlargement

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:45
For the first time in seven years, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s bid to join the European Union has received a boost.

[Analysis] No strategy for Bosnia - other than enlargement

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:45
For the first time in seven years, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s bid to join the European Union has received a boost.

[Analysis] No strategy for Bosnia - other than enlargement

EU Observer - 5 March, 2015 - 08:45
For the first time in seven years, Bosnia and Herzegovina’s bid to join the European Union has received a boost.






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