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Waiting for EU leadership: The worsening crisis in Macedonia

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:53

The EU's reaction to the latest political crisis in Macedonia crisis has been very slow, and gives the impression that the EU seems out of touch with reality on the ground, writes Erwan Fouéré.

Erwan Fouéré is Associate Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and former ambassador to Ukraine. The op-ed was first published on the CEPS website.

Dutch denounce gas extraction in Groningen

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:50

Concerned groups and opposition political parties in Holland's Groningen province dragged the Dutch government to court to demand a halt to gas extraction from the field where production has hit 50 billion cubic metres annually (bcm/y).

"For the time being, gas may be extracted in and around Loppersum only if extraction from other locations is no longer possible and if required to ensure supply security," said the highest administrative court in the Netherlands, the Council of State.

Eyeing kingmaker role, Britain's Liberal Democrats pitch manifesto

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:44

The Lib Dems will make their bid for a seat at the top table Wednesday (15 April) after May's national election, launching a centrist manifesto designed to win over swing voters and lay the groundwork for coalition talks. 

Expert slams EU’s handling of Kosovo corruption case

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:38

A French law professor criticised yesterday (14 April) the European Union's handling of corruption allegations involving an EU mission in Kosovo, the bloc's biggest civilian mission abroad.

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini asked Jean-Paul Jacqué to investigate last November, after allegations emerged in the media that the EU mission had covered up evidence of bribe-taking by senior staff in cases of murder and corruption.

Greece casts shadow as ECB money printing buoys eurozone

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:30

European Central Bank policymakers may sanction possible further emergency funding for Greece's banks on Wednesday (15 April), amid the first clear signs that the eurozone economy is picking up.

400 immigrants drown off of Libya, say survivors

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:26

Up to 400 illegal migrants died after their vessel capsized off the Libyan coast on Sunday (12 April), said survivors who were brought to Italy, where tension is mounting over a surge in boat arrivals from North Africa.

The Italian coastguard on Monday said they had managed to rescue 144 of the people on the sunken vessel, while nine bodies were also recovered.

The International Organization for Migration, and the charity Save the Children, said between 144 and 150 survivors arrived at Reggio Calabria, on Italy's southern tip, on Tuesday.

Germany criticises Russia’s decision to sell Iran missiles

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:14

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke out yesterday (14 April) against Russia's decision to prepare to deliver missile systems to Iran, before a meeting of G7 foreign ministers in the northern German city of Lübeck.

The officials were protected by 3,500 police, many clad in riot gear and equipped with water canon, amid fears of another anti-capitalist rally like the violence that broke out in Frankfurt last month in front of the European Central Bank.

Merkel, Modi aim for free trade agreement between EU and India

15 Avril, 2015 - 07:01

In Berlin, Germany and India expressed their intention to work together more closely on economic and political matters, while emphasising closer cooperation on military sales. EurActiv Germany reports.

France sends EU civil servants back to school

15 Avril, 2015 - 06:47

Harlem Désir, France's Secretary of State for European Affairs, launched the EU's "Back to School" programme in France on Monday. The initiative aims to spread knowledge of the Union to a generation that has "only known the euro". EurActiv France reports

Baltic power plans may increase tensions with Russia

15 Avril, 2015 - 06:36

The Baltic states' goal of integrating with Europe's power grid risks cutting off an exclave of Russian territory, exacerbating regional stresses created by the Ukraine crisis.

German government poised to tackle healthcare corruption

15 Avril, 2015 - 06:29

Under a bill drafted by Justice Minister Heiko Maas, doctors charged with corruption could face up to five years in prison or a fine, closing a legal loophole that has for years hindered the fight against corruption in the medical sector. EurActiv Germany reports.

MEPs want health excluded from TTIP talks

15 Avril, 2015 - 06:19

Members of the Parliament's Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) on Tuesday (14 April) voted in favour of an opinion which calls for five health-related areas to be excluded from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment partnership (TTIP) negotiations between the EU and the United States.

With 59 votes to eigth and two abstensions, the MEPs want to exclude public health services, genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), the use of hormones in the bovine sector, chemical legislation REACH and its implementation, and cloning from the talks.

Outcry over French Intelligence Bill

15 Avril, 2015 - 06:11

Despite the heated debates around the implications of the French Intelligence Bill on civil liberties, a tentative agreement between right and left may guarantee its adoption. EurActiv France reports

Poland says allowances, not reforms start date, focus of carbon talks

14 Avril, 2015 - 16:14

The focus of EU talks on carbon market reform has moved on to spare allowances from debate over when reforms should begin, Poland's climate envoy said on Tuesday (14 April), adding a deal by the end of June was possible.

A closed-door meeting of diplomats in March said member states had agreed to a 2021 start date for a carbon market stability reserve, after weeks of haggling among the 28 EU states.

Lawmakers agree to limit food-based biofuels

14 Avril, 2015 - 15:19

MEPs approved a compromise agreement on Tuesday (14 April) on a law limiting the use of harmful biofuels, following extensive negotiations with the Council of Ministers.

The new legislaton will cap the amount of biofuels from agricultural crops used to achieve the EU’s transport targets of 10% renewable energy by 2020.

A call from Europe’s filmmakers

14 Avril, 2015 - 14:45

As the core principles of copyright are called into question, it is time to find a new way of exhibiting European cinema and redefine how cinema can circulate from one country to the next, writes a group of filmmakers. 

MEPs back ringfencing Juncker Plan money by a single vote

14 Avril, 2015 - 14:44

By a single vote, MEPs today (14 April) passed an amendment ringfencing up to €5 billion of Juncker Plan money for energy efficiency projects.

The unexpected victory on Tuesday means Kathleen Van Brempt, a Belgian Socialist, now has the mandate to negotiate a dedicated efficiency fund with the Council of Ministers.

“It will be a tough battle,” Van Brempt, of the Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) Committee told EurActiv, “but I am ready to fight for it”.

EU report on airliner incidents makes no mention of Russia

14 Avril, 2015 - 13:31

The European Aviation Safety Agency published a report today (15 April) bearing the title Occurrences over the high seas involving military aircraft in 2014.

The report analyses the rising number of airliner incidents involving Russian military aircraft, most of which take place in the Baltic. Bizarrely, the name ‘Russia never appears in the report.

Ukraine crisis, anti-corruption drive, boost Romanian energy reform

14 Avril, 2015 - 11:27

Recent investigations of “smart guys” contracts have helped reduce corruption within the Romanian energy sector, and have accelerated the country’s market liberalisation, at a time when the Ukraine crisis has forced Bucharest to assume a more important role in region. EurActiv Romania reports.

The Romanian energy sector has undergone important changes in recent years. Through consistent judicial and legislative efforts, both the fight against corruption and the legal framework regulating the sector have greatly improved.

Wilders woos Pegida followers in Germany

14 Avril, 2015 - 07:59

Dutch far-right populist lawmaker Geert Wilders and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV) rallied thousands of Pegida followers in eastern Germany yesterday (13 April) to counter society's "Islamisation" but failed to draw the record crowds organisers had hoped for.

The so-called "Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident", founded half a year ago in the city of Dresden, had aimed to top their previous record from January of 25,000 people joining a rally.