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Pierre Moscovici performs risk balancing act in French parliament

16 Octobre, 2014 - 07:38

The French parliament called future European Commissioner Pierre Moscovici to interview on Tuesday, 14 October. Mr. Moscovici was forced to play a delicate balancing act between his current role as a member of the French parliament and his future role as a European Commissioner, the day before France's controversial budget proposal was due for inspection by the European Commission. EurActiv France reports.

Germany plans first ever cut to green energy levy

16 Octobre, 2014 - 07:33

Germany's renewable energy surcharge is set to decrease for the first time in 2015, raising the prospect of lower energy prices for households. But the move attracted criticism from the Green Party, which pushed for deeper cuts. EurActiv Germany reports.

Šefčovič shuffled to Energy Union, Bulc gets transport

15 Octobre, 2014 - 18:07

European Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed tonight (15 October) he wants Slovakia’s Maroš Šefčovič to be his Vice-President for Energy Union, replacing Slovenia’s Alenka Bratušek, who quit after being rejected by MEPs.

Šefčovič  was originally pencilled in as Juncker’s Transport Commissioner, a role that now goes to Violeta Bulc, Bratušek's replacement as Slovenia's candidate Commissioner. 

France challenges EU rules with 2015 budget

15 Octobre, 2014 - 14:55

The European Union's budget rules faced their biggest test in over a decade on Wednesday, after France presented a draft 2015 budget breaking past commitments to rein its deficit back to within EU limits.

Spain's Rajoy says "chapter of dialogue" is opened with Catalonia

15 Octobre, 2014 - 14:05

Spain's Prime Minister said on Wednesday ( 15 October) that a new "chapter of dialogue" was being opened with Catalonia, after the northeastern region dropped plans to hold a referendum on independence next month.

UK bankers breaking bonus cap, says EU watchdog

15 Octobre, 2014 - 13:25

The bulk of a new type of allowance paid to bankers are in breach of the European Union's bonus cap and must be changed by the end of the year, the EU's banking watchdog said on Wednesday, raising the prospect that banks will have to bump up basic pay or risk losing top staff.

The sight of bankers pocketing hefty sums at a time when many people are hit by pay freezes and high unemployment across Europe prompted the EU to cap the bonuses of bankers earning more than €500,000 euros. The bonus cannot be more than basic pay, or twice that amount with shareholder approval.

Logistics sector sings ‘cut red tape’ tune in Parliament

15 Octobre, 2014 - 09:34

The logistics sector will lag behind if the EU does not regulate smarter, warned the Alliance for European Logistics (AEL) at a conference with legislators in the European Parliament transport committee last week.

As the new Commissioner for Transport and Space takes office in a few weeks’ time, industry representatives and MEPs outlined challenges and recommendations for the new Commission mandate

INFOGRAPHIC: Coding in the classroom

15 Octobre, 2014 - 09:29

SPECIAL REPORT: Which EU countries teach coding in the classroom and why? Computing Our Future, a European Schoolnet report, investigated the timetables to find out. 12 countries gave full responses to the survey, the findings of which are summarised in this infographic. 

Using TTIP to lift unnecessary trade burdens on textiles and clothing

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:56

The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership offers an opportunity to keep high consumer safety, user information, and environmental standards for the textiles and clothing industry, while removing unnecessary burdens to trade, writes Isabelle Weiler. 

US and EU standards broadly similar, new research claims

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:52

European opponents of TTIP fear reduced social, health and environmental standards. But new research claims that levels of protection in various domains are broadly similar on both sides of the Atlantic. EurActiv France reports.

In Milan, Putin and Poroshenko to discuss peace, gas

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:48

A long-running dispute over natural gas supplies will be on the agenda when Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Petro Poroshenko hold talks in Italy later this week, the Kremlin said.

A Kremlin statement issued late yesterday (14 October) said the Ukrainian and Russian presidents had spoken by telephone and discussed measures to restore peace in eastern Ukraine.

Ireland to phase out tax loophole

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:40

Ireland will phase out a tax loophole that multinationals use to save billions of dollars under sweeping changes to its corporate tax structure announced in its new budget yesterday (14 October), the first in seven years without new austerity measures.

With one eye on an election in 18 months' time, Finance Minister Michael Noonan also unveiled plans to cut the income tax burden on low and middle income earners frustrated by Ireland's uneven recovery from the global crisis, changes that will benefit workers at foreign as well as domestic companies.

Teachers urged to get on board with coding

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:30

SPECIAL REPORT: Computer coding classes at primary school have to be taught in a more playful way than reading, writing and maths, experts say. 

Neelie Kroes, the Dutch EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda, has called for mandatory coding classes in primary school curricula.

Pupils start learning coding as early as age five in some EU countries but, according to Kroes, one of the future challenges will be to "really get teachers onboard as well".

German Eurosceptics bullish as ECB court case opens

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:27

A complaint filed against the European Central Bank over its unlimited bond-buying programme known as OMT was up for debate in the European Court of Justice on Tuesday (14 October), with German Eurosceptic complainants issuing harsh criticism of the ECB's strategy to combat the debt crisis. EurActiv Germany reports.

Italy and Commission on collision course over budget

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:22

Italy and the European Commission are on a collision course over Rome's 2015 budget plan, which Brussels says flouts EU recommendations but Rome says it has no intention of changing, ahead of today’s (15 October) deadline.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, faced with a recession-bound economy, has set out an expansionary 2015 budget framework which funds tax cuts with new borrowing and targets only a marginal reduction in the budget deficit.

Juncker plans team reshuffle

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:16

Commission President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, has proposed a minor reshuffle of his team following the EU parliament's rejection of the Slovenian nominee to the European Commission.

In a statement yesterday (14 October) after meeting Slovenia's substitute candidate, Violeta Bulc, Juncker said he had proposed to the Council of EU government leaders a new list of commissioners. In this list, Bulc replaced former Slovenian premier Alenka Bratušek, whom lawmakers had refused to accept.

Germany lowers growth forecast amid eurozone 'doldrums'

15 Octobre, 2014 - 07:09

The German Ministry of Economic Affairs has drastically lowered its growth forecasts for this year and next, blaming crisis-ridden eurozone countries in particular for hampering the recovery. EurActiv Germany reports.

Luxembourg drops bank secrecy rules after years of pressure

14 Octobre, 2014 - 16:40

Luxembourg agreed on Tuesday (14 October) to end its bank secrecy rules from 2017, yielding to a decade of pressure from Germany and the United States, marking a breakthrough in global efforts to reduce tax evasion.

Luxembourg, whose banks hold deposits worth ten times the nation's annual economic output, said it would adopt an international standard for the automatic exchange of bank data, meaning EU citizens can no longer routinely hide money away in the Grand Duchy.

Ireland ditches tax loophole for multinationals in post-austerity budget

14 Octobre, 2014 - 16:37

Ireland will phase out a tax loophole that multinationals use to save billions of dollars, as part of sweeping changes to its corporate tax structure announced in Tuesday's  (14 October) first austerity-free budget in seven years.

The ailing eurozone has pointed to Ireland's economic resurgence as proof that its austerity policies can work. But Dublin has also faced criticism over the past 18 months from both the European Union and the United States for tax rules that have enabled firms such as Google and Apple to cut their overseas tax rates to single digits.

Aid programmes hit hard by EU budget woes

14 Octobre, 2014 - 16:04

The European Union's humanitarian aid and development aid programmes are being compromised by EU debts, and budget cuts forecast for 2015. EurActiv France reports