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EU legal fog lets Scots bank on politics to keep them in

15 Septembre, 2014 - 07:50

If Scots vote for independence, it will be in part because they believe assurances that their small Atlantic peninsula can quit the United Kingdom without ever leaving the secure embrace of the European Union.

MEPs could block Scotland's EU membership if it pushes for euro opt-out

15 Septembre, 2014 - 07:39

EXCLUSIVE: Members of the European Parliament could block an independent Scotland’s EU membership if it insists on keeping currency and border treaty opt-outs negotiated by the UK, sources in the two largest political groups in Brussels told EurActiv.

Scotland will likely have to reapply for EU membership as any other prospective member state, if it votes yes to independence on Thursday, 18 September, according to MEPs and EU officials.

Russia slams Washington for fuelling Ukraine crisis

15 Septembre, 2014 - 07:33

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov blamed the USA and some of their closest political friends in the EU and Ukraine for sowing discord between Ukraine and Russia and driving “a deep and wide wedge between Russia and Europe”.

In a move seen as an appeasement gesture to Russia, the European Commission decided on 12 September to delay the entering into force of its Association Agreement with Ukraine until the end of 2015. But apparently the Ukrainian leadership remains divided on its tactics vis-à-vis Russia.

Reinfeldt steps down as Swedes vote for centre-left government

15 Septembre, 2014 - 07:25

Sweden's centre-left parties won big gains in Sunday's (14 September) general elections. However, despite winning more than 30% of the votes, Stefan Löfven, the Social Democrats' leader and the country's next prime minister, will form a minority government in a hung Parliament after the far-right Sweden Democrats became the country's third-biggest party.

The climate: biggest loser of the new Commission?

12 Septembre, 2014 - 16:28

The nomination of Miguel Arias Cañete for the position of Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy has been roundly criticised.

Broken French promise irks eurozone finance ministers

12 Septembre, 2014 - 16:06

France faced harsh criticism on Friday for failing to meet a deadline to put its finances in order, as frustrated eurozone ministers struggled to keep alive their post-crisis strategy for the bloc's stagnating economy.

Commissioner Vassiliou: Sport is a crucial means of encouraging social inclusion

12 Septembre, 2014 - 15:27

Commissioner Vassiliou said the lack of exercise is a problem affecting all social groups that is why the Commission will have a dedicated budget for sports activities as part of the new Erasmus+ programme. The European Commission is also a partner in the special Olympics European summer games 2014 that are taking place in Belgium from 2-20 September.

Androulla Vassiliou is the EU Commissioner for education, culture, multilingualism and youth. EurActiv inteviewed the Commissioner in writing. 

New EU air pollution rules underway for ‘non-road mobile machinery’

12 Septembre, 2014 - 14:03

Noxious emissions from everyday cars and trucks have long been regulated at European level. But the European Commission believes pollution from so-called non-road mobile machinery – which includes everything from bulldozers to chainsaws – is a problem and is seriously considering imposing emission limits on them. 

The EU and Thailand: Challenges ahead

12 Septembre, 2014 - 14:02

The EU’s reaction to the military coup in Thailand is arguably the first time the EU has taken the global lead in a foreign-policy crisis, with the rest of the world taking cue and following suit. Measures have included sanctions, an indefinite postponement of trade talks, a moratorium on signing of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, suspension of official visits and a review of military ties.

Germany's 2015 budget leaves overseas aid 'by the wayside'

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:54

The Bundestag's 2015 budget plan includes a €1.8 million increase in funds for development cooperation. However, civil society organisations are criticising the sum as being marginal, calling for a considerably larger increase. EurActiv Germany reports.

Undeclared work increased with the economic crisis

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:50

A group of EU member countries will help tackle the problem according to a new opinion by the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), an advisory body to the EU institutions.

“We need to create a positive environment for workers and businesses, so there is less of a temptation to turn to the black market,” said Stefano Palmieri, who drafted the EESC opinion.

Railways derailing EU-Japan talks?

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:41

Since the mid-2000s, the EU has made the opening of public procurement markets one of its key priorities in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and in the bilateral agreements it negotiates with the US and Japan.

Sikorski: If Poland is a hawk, Russia is what?

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:38

EXCLUSIVE -  If Europe’s reaction to Crimea annexation had been more vigorous, as Poland advocated, and if the EU had adopted more immediate sanctions at the time, the current war in Donetsk would not have happened, Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Free trade matters more now than ever

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:34

EU trade policy is at a crossroads at a time when more and more voices are questioning the approach to trade that has made Europe strong, writes Jan Eggert.

It's time to take action against Islamophobia in Europe

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:32

Islamophobia is one of the most violent and frequent forms of racist violence and discrimination in Europe today. But it remains unrecognized, leaving the EU powerless in quantifying and countering this phenomenon, writes Elsa Ray.

Commission opposes European Citizens' Initiative against TTIP

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:15

The European Citizens' Initiative STOP TTIP has been dismissed by the European Commission. Its organisers now want to take the decision to the European courts.

Spain divided over Cañete appointment

12 Septembre, 2014 - 13:03

The designation of Miguel Arias Cañete as Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Policy in the new Commission has divided the Spanish political establishment, with the right-wing government stressing the importance of the position in Brussels, and the opposition denouncing it as "nonsense”.

Although Spain hasn’t managed to get any of the economic portfolios it coveted, it is satisfied with climate and energy, as the government sees it more relevant than Research and Innovation, which it was rumoured to get.

German renewables sector urged to step up investments

12 Septembre, 2014 - 11:27

Germany's renewable energy sector must shoulder its market burden as it emerges from an era of comfortable subsidies, high-ranking policymaker Rainer Baake said on Thursday (11 September), as Berlin pushes for more private sector investment.

The UK bagged a great Commission portfolio, now it must deliver

12 Septembre, 2014 - 09:39

Jonathan Hill’s appointment to an influential portfolio provides an opportunity for the UK to work for the British people who see reform and change in the EU, not defeat and exit, as the real prize, writes Peter Wilding.

Vulture funds could hold crisis-hit EU nations to ransom

12 Septembre, 2014 - 08:50

The UN General Assembly’s landmark resolution to create a legal framework for sovereign debt restructuring will change how future debt crisis are managed. Although European Union countries are vulnerable to vulture funds, which recently held Argentina to ransom, some EU nations voted against, writes Bodo Ellmers.