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Mimica: ‘I will be the most vocal male feminist’

26 Mars, 2015 - 12:27

Development Commissioner Neven Mimica said that he would be the most vocal defender of gender equality in his work on Thursday (26 March), two days after he returned from a global forum in Addis Ababa dedicated to the role of women in politics.

Mimica met with a small group of Brussels journalists to debrief after his first 100 days in office, but gender equality dominated the discussion.

Mimica said that when he chose his own priorities in the Juncker Commission, he realised that gender equality was an overarching issue in development cooperation.

EU antitrust regulators to investigate e-commerce

26 Mars, 2015 - 11:45

European Union regulators plan a year-long investigation into e-commerce to help remove barriers to cross-border trade in the 28-nation bloc, the EU's antitrust chief said on Thursday.

Statoil sees stricter CO2 constraint pushing demand for gas

26 Mars, 2015 - 10:54

Stricter emission rules in Britain and Germany are more likely to boost natural gas consumption than stalled EU efforts to reform its carbon market, the head of marketing and trading at Norway's Statoil said.

EU slaps anti-dumping duties on China, Taiwan steel

26 Mars, 2015 - 08:48

The EU announced that it will impose anti-dumping duties for six months on some steel imports from China and Taiwan on Wednesday (25 March), as a new trade row erupted between Brussels and Beijing.

The tariffs will affect imports of flat-rolled stainless steel used to make products like washing machines, dishwashers, medical tools and automobiles.

The European Union and China have already clashed over the alleged dumping of products ranging from wine to solar panels to steel pipes.

Brussels tackles territorial copyright in digital strategy

26 Mars, 2015 - 08:38

The European Commission is preparing to unlock territorial copyright protection for TV, film and music, as part of its Digital Single Market (DSM) blueprint, unveiled on Wednesday (25 March). But it will also include key exemptions for the audiovisual sector, officials told EurActiv.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, announced yesterday (25 March) that the forthcoming strategy will be divided into three sections, and published on 6 May.

Hungary says EU authorised its nuclear fuel supply deal with Russia

26 Mars, 2015 - 08:18

Hungary said on Wednesday (25 March) that it has reached a compromise with EU nuclear body Euratom over plans for Russia to be the sole supplier of nuclear fuel to the country's Paks power plant.

Under the new deal, Russia would be able to supply fuel for two new reactors at the plant in central Hungary over a ten year period.

"We have an agreement on what basis and in what form fuel supply is acceptable to all sides -- Hungary, Euratom and Russia," government spokesman Zoltan Kovacs told AFP.

Pathologist: Cholesterol is a much bigger problem than we previously thought‏

26 Mars, 2015 - 08:13

SPECIAL REPORT / Some diseases related to cholesterol are more prevalent than previously thought. Therefore, politicians have to recognise that they should be allocating more money for research and screening, says Dr. Robert Cramb. 

Dr. Robert Cramb is a consultant chemical pathologist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. He spoke with EurActiv's Henriette Jacobsen and Evan Lamos at the European Atherosclerosis Society's (EAS) conference in Glasgow

Helping the homeless is not a political choice

26 Mars, 2015 - 08:01

Athens this week defied the Commission by enacting new social inclusion measures for the homeless. But denying Greek citizens their fundamental right to housing assistance would be a breach of EU law, argue Freek Spinnewijn and Marc Uhry. 

Juncker chooses Ukraine for first trip abroad

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:57

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker yesterday (25 March) said he will visit Kyiv next week on his first bilateral trip since taking office in November, in a show of support for Ukraine's embattled government.

Juncker, who will be accompanied by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, will jointly lead a cabinet meeting with President Petro Poroshenko during the visit on Monday.

EU gives boost to Guinea-Bissau after years of instability

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:51

International donors pledged more than €1 billion for Guinea-Bissau on Wednesday to support a 10-year development plan aimed at giving the country a new start after prolonged political instability.

The total fell short of the €1.64 billion the tiny West African nation was seeking to finance the 115 projects in its 2015-2025 plan.

First Serbian politician accepts invitation to Kosovo

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:39

Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dačić became the first government official to visit Pristina at Kosovo's invitation since the territory unilaterally declared independence from Belgrade in 2008.

Dačić attended a Western Balkans conference on creating the infrastructure for a regional network of highways and railways on Wednesday (25 March) that was held under the auspices of the European Union.

Dačić's Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaçi was host of the event.

Member states face legal action over energy efficiency

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:34

EXCLUSIVE/ More than two thirds of EU countries face European Commission legal action and possible fines, after failing to translate the EU’s Energy Efficiency Directive into national law.

19 member states have missed the deadline by more than nine months, despite EU leaders at their summit last week calling for full implementation and rigorous enforcement of existing efficiency laws as part of the flagship Energy Union project.

Commission hopes to sue Germany over weak conservation efforts

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:26

Germany is is not fulfilling its responsibility to preserve biodiversity and maintain protected wildlife sites, causing Brussels to initiate infringement proceedings against Berlin. EurActiv Germany reports.

Study: Austerity undermines fundamental rights across the EU

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:17

Austerity policies in the EU have eroded the poorest citizens' access to education and healthcare. According to a European Parliament report, the situation is most dramatic in Greece, but other countries. EurActiv France reports.

Berlin pledges to cut red tape with 'bureaucracy brake'

26 Mars, 2015 - 07:08

Germany’s federal cabinet has signed off on a so-called “bureaucracy brake” in an effort to cut red tape for business, something European Commission special advisor, and former Bavarian leader Edmund Stoiber, has been promoting years. EurActiv Germany reports.

Commission publishes neighbourhood reports for 'test year 2014'

25 Mars, 2015 - 17:14

The European Commission published an avalanche of “progress reports” on Wednesday (25 March) covering 12 of the 16 countries in the EU’s neighbourhood for 2014, calling it a test year for the Union's relations with its neighbours.

The countries are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine for the Eastern Partnership, and Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia for the Mediterranean. (Belarus, Libya and Syria remains outside most of the structures of the neighbourhood policy. Algeria is currently negotiating an ENP Action Plan).

Latvia: EU, US 'likely' to miss year-end target for free trade deal

25 Mars, 2015 - 16:38

The EU and United States will likely miss a year-end target to seal the world's biggest-ever free trade deal, current European president Latvia said Wednesday (25 March).

"During our (EU) presidency and during the next presidency of Luxembourg, most likely these negotiations will not be concluded," Latvia's Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics told reporters in the capital Riga, referring to talks on the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP.

Latvia's six-month stint as EU president ends when Luxembourg takes over for half a year on July 1.

Poll: Support for UKIP lowest in over a year

25 Mars, 2015 - 15:54

The populist UK Independence Party has fallen to its lowest level in opinion polls in more than a year, ahead of a close-fought 7 May national election, survey results showed on Wednesday (25 March), after a spate of scandals involving its candidates.

UK, Central Europe frown at Juncker’s European army

25 Mars, 2015 - 15:16

During an interview on 8 March, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU needed its own military, in order to deal with the Russian threat, as well as to restore the bloc's standing around the world.

Not everyone agrees. Germany and France support Juncker's idea, while Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia insist that NATO should remain the guarantor of security on the European continent. The EurActiv network reports.

MEPs retaliate against EU countries on biofuels draft law

25 Mars, 2015 - 13:01

The European Parliament has resisted pressure from member states to water down the draft law on biofuels after five-hour long negotiations yesterday afternoon (25 March).

A second trilogue meeting between the co-legislators ended without a compromise text on limiting the use of food-based biofuels. The European Parliament’s Rapporteur on Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC), MEP Nils Torvalds (ALDE) refused the Council’s proposal to make a number of provisions weaker, or optional.