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Creţu: ‘I will cut financing to luxury investment’

28 Octobre, 2014 - 10:30

"My intention as a social democrat is to cut financing of projects that involve luxury investments which are not absolutely necessary, like fitness and SPA centres," Corina Creţu, the new Romanian commissioner for Regional Policy, told EurActiv Romania in an exclusive interview.

Corina Creţu, a former journalist and former spokesperson of President Ion Iliescu, has been an MEP for almost eight years, and held the post of Vice-President of the European Parliament before she was approved as Commissioner.

She spoke to EurActiv Romania’s Ioana Morovan.

West hails Ukraine’s election

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:54

Pro-Western parties will dominate Ukraine's parliament after an election handed President Petro Poroshenko a mandate to end a separatist conflict and steer the country towards mainstream Europe.

> Read: Pro-EU parties win Ukrainian election

Anglican Church leader troubled by Britain's anti-immigration rhetoric

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:52

The Archbishop of Canterbury, spiritual leader of the Anglican Church, said on Monday (27 October) that he had seen evidence of a rising tide of xenophobic sentiment within British society and was worried by the tone of the country's political debate over immigration.

Spain moves to block Catalonia’s independence ‘consultation’

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:30

Spain's central government took the first step on Monday (27 October) towards blocking a "consultation of citizens" that the Catalonia region intends to hold next month in the place of a full referendum on independence from Spain that was barred by a court.

The wealthy, northeastern region earlier this month dropped plans to hold the referendum planned for 9 November, but said it would still stage a non-binding vote that would be open to anyone who wanted to cast their ballot.

France hosts Armenia-Azerbaijan summit over Nagorno-Karabakh

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:29

Armenian and Azeri leaders have agreed to pursue talks over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region after resuming direct contacts at a meeting in Paris Monday (27 October), the French government said.

"Status quo is not sustainable," the office of French President François Hollande said after he hosted talks between Azerbaijan's Ilham Aliyev and Armenia's Serzh Sargsyan, following an increase in clashes over the region during the summer.

France, Italy trim 2015 budgets to win EU approval

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:26

France and Italy unveiled plans on Monday (27 October) to trim their deficits more than previously planned in last-minute pitches to get clemency from the European Commission on their 2015 budgets.

Stylianides: Ebola threat extends far beyond West Africa

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:21

Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides, whom EU leaders appointed on 24 October as EU Ebola Coordinator, said Monday (27 October) that the epidemic threatens to extend far beyond Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, and confirmed his intention to visit the region during the second week of November.

New EU Development Commissioner 'has no vision', activists say

28 Octobre, 2014 - 08:05

Despite one year of experience in Brussels, the EU’s new Development Commissioner Neven Mimica is still a rookie and low in the hierarchy of the Juncker Commission, leaving him with much to prove on development policy, according to aid groups interviewed by EurActiv Germany.

Budget row escalates as UK bill could reach €3.6bn

28 Octobre, 2014 - 07:58

The row over a hefty top-up to the UK’s contribution to the EU budget worsened Monday (27 October) as Prime Minister David Cameron repeated he would not pay, and the EU Budget Commissioner warned there was no possibility of delaying payment without re-opening questions over the UK’s rebate on the European budget.

Failure to pay could result in a fine of up to €250,000 per day, a sum which could double if the bill remained unpaid after a year, EurActiv understands.

Eurozone lending to business and households slows more gradually

27 Octobre, 2014 - 17:02

Lending to eurozone households and companies contracted at a slower pace in September, and money supply grew faster than expected, suggesting that a cycle of tightening credit conditions in the bloc is gradually coming to an end.

Data released by the European Central Bank on Monday (27 October) showed loans to the private sector fell by 1.2% in September from the same month a year earlier, after a contraction of 1.5% in August. Eurozone M3 money supply grew at an annual pace of 2.5%, up from 2.1% in August. A Reuters poll had pointed to a reading of 2.2%.

Cry for help from Kobane: Why it is necessary to prevent another Srebrenica

27 Octobre, 2014 - 16:42

For more than a month, a bitter struggle has ensued between Kurds and Islamists in Kobane (Arabic: Ain al-Arab). If the Syrian Kurdish town, on the border with Turkey, falls into the hands of the IS, this will be more than just another military victory for the "Islamic State". If the international community continues just watching, Kobane may soon be mentioned in the same breath as Srebrenica and Rwanda, as a synonym for the failure of the international community.

Associate Prof. Dr. Gülistan Gürbey is a political scientist at the Free University of Berlin.

Hungarian parliament chief: We could leave the EU

27 Octobre, 2014 - 15:43

If the European Union wants to dictate to Hungary, then the country should consider slowly backing out of the union, Parliamentary Speaker and Fidesz MP László Kövér said on 24 October, as quoted by the Hungarian press.

According to Hungarian online daily, Kövér said that if Brussels wants to tell a country how it should be governed, then it resembles Moscow before the change of regime in 1989.

Europe struggles with digital education

27 Octobre, 2014 - 15:35

European higher education remains too conservative to adapt to technological innovations, said a Commission High Level Group on the Modernisation of Higher Education in its report published last week (22 October).

The group, which was launched in 2012 to examine such challenges, makes 15 recommendations to EU member states about how to integrate digital teaching and learning methods in their educational curricula. 

Britain 'under siege' from migrant EU workers, says defence chief

27 Octobre, 2014 - 08:34

Limiting the number of European Union citizens who are allowed to work in Britain is among proposals to curb immigration being looked at by the government, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said on Sunday (26 October).

ECB fails 25 banks in health check, 9 in Italy

27 Octobre, 2014 - 08:28

Roughly one in five of the eurozone's top banks failed landmark health checks at the end of last year, with nine Italian lenders falling shorts in a comprehensive assessment released on Sunday (26 October) by the European Central Bank. 

Hungarians protest Internet tax

27 Octobre, 2014 - 08:27

Thousands of Hungarians protested in Budapest yesterday (26 October) against a planned new tax on Internet data transfers, which they said would not only increase the tax burden, but would also curb fundamental democratic rights and freedoms.

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's government, which has been widely accused of adopting anti-democratic policies, first unveiled plans for the new tax late on Tuesday in the draft 2015 tax bill submitted to parliament.

Swiss business leaders campaign against limiting immigration

27 Octobre, 2014 - 08:14

Prominent Swiss business leaders and politicians urged the country on Sunday to reject a referendum next month that aims to impose strict limits on immigration, warning that the measure would damage the economy.

Switzerland will vote on 30 November on an initiative put forward by environmentalist group Ecopop, which proposes capping the number of immigrants at just 0.2% of the resident population, or the equivalent of 16,000 people per year.

Pro-EU parties win Ukrainian election

27 Octobre, 2014 - 08:08

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko hailed a sweeping victory for pro-Europe parties in an election Sunday (26 October), saying the vote showed people backed his plan to end a separatist conflict, his pro-Western policies, and democratic reforms.

Poroshenko's party was barely ahead of the party of his ally, Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk, with both taking over 21% of the votes cast from a field of 29 competing parties, early figures from the vote count showed today.

France and Italy promise to reform, EU leaders vow closer economic coordination

24 Octobre, 2014 - 18:30

At a summit meeting in Brussels on Friday (24 October), EU leaders asked the European Commission to come up with a plan for better coordinating economic policies.

With a troubled European economy, and Germany’s reluctance to invest more in the eurozone, EU leaders agreed to work on a better governance structure, in order to coordinate actions that would boost growth in the 28 country bloc.

"We still have fairly big economic challenges such as unemployment. We also need to work for a better inflation rate,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

New climate intergovernmentalism: Will the EU deliver?

24 Octobre, 2014 - 16:38

EU leaders have agreed on Europe’s 2030 climate ambition – now they need to show how they will deliver, writes Martin Schoenberg.