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Greece risks bankruptcy by 20 April

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 08:06

Greece risks running out of cash by April 20 unless it secures fresh aid, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters yesterday (24 April), leaving it little time to convince sceptical creditors it is committed to economic reform.

After talks with EU leaders including German Chancellor Angela Merkel this week, Athens said it will present a package of reforms to its eurozone partners by Monday in the hope of unlocking aid and avoiding a messy default.

"It will be done at the latest by Monday," government spokesman Gabriel Sakellaridis told Mega TV.

EU, Cuba to speed up talks, seek deal by end of 2015

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 07:56

The European Union and Cuba agreed to speed up the pace of talks on improving bilateral relations, hoping to reach the basics of a deal by the end of 2015, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Tuesday (24 March).

EU court ruling on e-books opens VAT Pandora’s Box

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 07:49

A ruling this month by the EU's top court on e-books taxation in France and Luxembourg has forced the European Commission to embark on a tricky reform of European VAT rules. EurActiv France reports.

Commission to reframe 'geopolitical' trade strategy

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 07:41

A new EU trade strategy will be launched later this year responding to the growing number of global trade deals under discussion, and their increasingly high profile and political nature, Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said on Monday (23 March).

EU officials stated that the issue will be discussed by trade ministers from member states meeting informally in the Latvian capital Riga Thursday and Friday (26th-27th March).

EU raids online retailers over cartel concerns

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 07:36

The European Commission said Tuesday (24 March) its officers had raided several companies involved in selling consumer electronics online, concerned that firms may have worked together to distort prices.

"The European Commission can confirm that on 10 March 2015, Commission officials initiated unannounced inspections in several member states at the premises of a number of companies active in the online sale of consumer electronics and consumer electrical products," the Commission, which is the EU's antitrust regulator, told Reuters in an email.

Lords slams UK’s ‘splendid isolation’ on EU justice opt-out

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 07:33

The House of Lords has called on the British government to abandon its “legally unsustainable” interpretation of EU justice and home affairs law, and drop its unnecessarily confrontational strategy.

EU countries dilute draft law capping food-based biofuels

EU Active - 25 March, 2015 - 07:18

The European Parliament is losing the battle on limiting the use of food-based biofuels, after it made major concessions to member states following negotiations with the Council, according to a leaked document seen by EurActiv.

A draft law capping the use of biofuels derived from food crops is currently being negotiated in so-called trilogue talks between legislators (the Commission, the Parliament and the EU Council representing member states).

[Ticker] Schulz: Greek deal likely this week

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 18:28
European Parliament president Martin Schulz thinks Greece will strike an agreement with its creditors this week. "By the end of this week a new deal will be reached that should be sufficient to release the most urgent financing," Schulz told Italian newspaper La Repubblica in an interview published Tuesday.






EU's youth job scheme criticised on money and targets

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 18:03
The youth guarantee plan needs to be more specific about money and targets, says the EU's Court of Auditors.






Ukraine brings its lustration controversy to Brussels

EU Active - 24 March, 2015 - 16:30

A Ukrainian civil society activist and MPs, from the country’s ruling parties disagreed on the role of lustration in building a more just society, during a public event in Brussels today (24 March).

The roundtable, organised by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, in cooperation with Poland's Open Dialog Foundation, was dedicated to the fight against reform, and on justice reform, in Ukraine.

EU leaders express shock after plane crash in France

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 15:34
European leaders have expressed their sorrow and offered their condolences to the families and friends of the 150 people who died on Tuesday following the crash of a Germanwings flight in the French Alps.






[Ticker] Yanukovych's son buried in Crimea

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 13:56
Russian newswire Tass reports that Viktor Yanukovych jr., son of the deposed Ukrainian president, has been buried in Crimea, a Ukrainian region annexed by Russia. It says the 33-year old, who was on an EU blacklist, died on 20 March when his vehicle drove into Lake Baikal, in central Russia.






[Ticker] Ukip expels MEP after expenses sting

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 13:55
Ukip has expelled one of its MEPs, Janice Atkinson, and her chief of staff, Christine Hewitt, after The Sun, a British tabloid, published details of a recorded conversation in a hotel in Kent, south-east UK, in which Hewitt tried to fiddle the hotel bill. Atkinson is "disappointed" and will appeal.






[Ticker] 150 presumed dead after plane crash in French Alps

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 12:47
An Airbus A320 carrying 150 passengers, that was flying from Barcelona to Dusseldorf, crashed Tuesday in the French Alps. "The conditions of the accident, which have not yet been clarified, lead us to think there are no survivors", French president Francois Hollande said.






Auditors unaware if “Youth Guarantee” has provided a single job yet

EU Active - 24 March, 2015 - 12:36

Officials from the European Court of Auditors (ECA) responsible for screening the flagship Youth Guarantee initiative have admitted that they have yet to see a single young person who has found a job through it.

On Tuesday (24 March), the European Court of Auditors published its first report on the youth employment effort, which aims at providing a “good quality” job to young persons within four months of becoming unemployed. The initiative was established in response to declining job prospects for youth, exacerbated by the eurozone crisis (see background).

UKIP expels MEP Janice Atkinson

EU Active - 24 March, 2015 - 12:06

Britain's populist UKIP party said it has expelled Janice Atkinson, a member of the European Parliament, following her suspension last week over what it called "allegations of a serious financial nature", the BBC reported.

Armenia's anti-NGO laws inspired by Moscow

EU Active - 24 March, 2015 - 11:25

Moscow’s push for Yerevan to adopt anti-NGO legislation is just the latest sign of its determination to mold Armenia into a loyal vassal that does its bidding with no questions asked, writes Armine Sahakyan.

Armine Sahakyan is a human rights activist based in Armenia.

Some countries in the former Soviet Union have viewed non-governmental organizations as positive forces in the building of their societies and have taken steps to foster them.

Draghi says ECB didn't 'blackmail' Greece

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 11:04
ECB chief Draghi has rejected accusations his bank is blackmailing Greece by making it tougher to access funding amid a bailout dispute.






[Ticker] Crimean Tatars criticise Russian occupation in EU hearing

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 10:28
The leader-in-exile of the Crimean Tatars, Refat Chubarov, told the EU parliament Tuesday that Moscow's attempt to Russify the territory since it annexed it from Ukraine last year has led to systematic violations of Tatars' rights, including closing down Tatar schools. He said he fears all Tatars could be deported.






[Opinion] Reform of EU emissions trading system likely to fail

EU Observer - 24 March, 2015 - 09:24
EU member states are to decide this week on reforms of the emissions trading system, risking legal disputes if affecting national competence to decide energy mixes.






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