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Forging a truly Transatlantic digital economy

20 Juillet, 2015 - 14:59

With Transatlantic Week starting tomorrow in Washington, TTIP remains an opportunity for the US and Europe to show that free data flow is good for innovation and economic growth, write Dean Garfield and John Higgins.

Dean Garfield is President and CEO of the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). John Higgins is Director General of DIGITALEUROPE.

The Addis Agenda: An ambitious and comprehensive financing framework?

20 Juillet, 2015 - 13:17

Addis Abbaba is the place birthplace for one of the most important international frameworks for the next decade and beyond, writes Sabine Terlecki.

Sabine Terlecki is head of policy and advocacy of CONCORD, the European confederation of Relief and Development NGOs.

Mental healthcare 50 times more accessible in wealthy countries

20 Juillet, 2015 - 11:13

Nearly one in every 10 people has a mental health disorder, but just 1% of the global health workforce are working as psychiatrists, occupational therapists or social workers, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed in a report that highlights deepening inequality in access to mental health treatment.

Greek banks reopen, Merkel urges swift bailout talks

20 Juillet, 2015 - 07:58

Greeks queued outside banks Monday (20 July) as they reopened three weeks after closing, the first sign of a return to normal after a deal to start talks on a new package of bailout reforms.

However, capital controls will remain and payments and wire transfers abroad will still not be possible. The stock market will also remain closed until further notice.

Queues formed outside bank branches in central Athens, as Greeks waited to take care of business frozen during the three week-long bank holiday.

Hollande pays tribute to Delors, calls for euro ‘vanguard’

20 Juillet, 2015 - 07:48

France favours a "stronger organisation" behind the euro led by "a vanguard of countries", President François Hollande said in an interview in which he pays respect to former Commission President Jacques Delors, who turns 90 today.

In the past week "the European spirit prevailed" in addressing the Greek crisis, he told the weekly Journal du Dimanche.

Korčok: The last 6 years have been the most dramatic in the EU’s history

20 Juillet, 2015 - 07:00

The years between 2009 and today will perhaps be seen as the most dynamic period of the EU’s history, Ivan Korčok, Slovakia's Ambassador to the EU, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview.

Korčok, whose term as Permanent Ambassador of Slovakia to the EU will expire at the end of this month, has been designated as head of the team in charge with the Slovak Presidency of the Council of the EU (July-December 2016).

He spoke to EurActiv’s Senior Editor Georgi Gotev.

Reformers call for new thinking on ways to finance the CAP

20 Juillet, 2015 - 06:42

Under pressure from farm ministers and food producers, the European Commission is working to simplify agricultural rules that took effect this year. But some analysts say what the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) really needs is a radical change in the way it is financed.

Simon Coveney: CAP simplification will ease the burden on farmers

20 Juillet, 2015 - 06:27

Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, was a lead negotiator of the 2014-2020 Common Agricultural Policy during his country’s EU presidency in the first half of 2013.

Today, he supports efforts to make the CAP less of a burden on food producers and those who administer the programme.

Farmers look to EU food aid to boost meat market

17 Juillet, 2015 - 17:07

French farmers are feeling the heat, as prices stagnate and bankruptcy threatens more and more businesses. EurActiv France reports

Addis Ababa development financing conference stumbles on tax evasion

17 Juillet, 2015 - 17:02

The Addis Ababa conference on development financing has ended in agreement on the 2030 plan, but OECD members proved unwilling to address tax evasion. EurActiv France reports

Czech bankers fear EU bail-in rules' impact

17 Juillet, 2015 - 16:36

New EU rules that will force losses on big depositors and bondholders over the heads of national regulators could detstabilize banks in some countries and pose a systemic risk at the European level, Czech bankers have warned. EurActiv Czech Republic reports.

Work on new European standards for national regulators is underway. But the Czech Banking Association (ČBA) said if real risks, specific business models, and other country specific elements are not properly addressed, market stability could be hit.

Spanish FM calls for speeding up EU-Mercosur trade talks

17 Juillet, 2015 - 14:50

The European Union and South America's Mercosur bloc need to accelerate negotiations on a trade accord, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said on Thursday (16 July).

"The time has come to accelerate Mercosur," he said in Sao Paulo during the latest installment of the "Efe Breakfast" discussion series, organized by Agencia EFE, Spain's international news agency.

Mercosur comprises Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela.

German MPs back Greece bailout

17 Juillet, 2015 - 14:20

German lawmakers gave Chancellor Angela Merkel the green light Friday (17 July) to resume talks on a new EU-IMF bailout deal for Greece, after she passionately argued it was the last chance to prevent "chaos" in the crisis-hit country.

Merkel, like Greece's hard-left Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, faced rebels in her own party ranks, but still won broad approval from the chamber where her "grand coalition" commands an overwhelming majority.

Financing sustainability: Pathways to scale

17 Juillet, 2015 - 11:27

A business as usual aproach is not enough to bring the estimated $90 trillion required between now and 2030 for critical infrastructure needed in developing countries, writes Achim Steiner. 

Achim Steiner is UN under-secretary-general and executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme. 

Has financing for development woken up to the mounting costs of climate change?

17 Juillet, 2015 - 11:26

Climate action needs to be enshrined in the global fight against poverty and inequality. but the Financing for Development Conference in Addis Ababa failed to build strong momentum towards fossil fuel-free economies and climate resilience, argues Maeve McLynn.

Maeve McLynn is climate and development policy coordinator at Climate Action Network Europe.

Steinmeier's first visit paves way for stronger German ties with Cuba

17 Juillet, 2015 - 10:44

Cuban President Raul Castro received German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter in Havana yesterday (16 July), in a first visit by a German foreign minister to Cuba.

The visit comes days before the scheduled reopening of the US and Cuban embassies next Monday in Havana and Washington, ending nearly 50 years of hostility, and is expected to revive bilateral ties between Germany and the Communist-run island state.

Parliament vote makes arbitrators roll their eyes over ISDS

17 Juillet, 2015 - 07:59

While EU and US negotiators meet for a new round of trade talks this week, experts are questioning Parliament's rejection of arbitration mechanisms in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) on 9 July.

“ISDS cannot be dead, as there will always be investment-state disputes and someone will have to settle them,” said independent arbitrator Vera Van Houtte, Vice-President of the ICC Court of Arbitration.

Juncker praises Cyprus, urges reunification

17 Juillet, 2015 - 07:57

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker praised Cyprus yesterday (16 July) for its budding economic recovery after harsh bailout terms saved the eurozone member from meltdown, and urged re-unification of the divided island.

"Cyprus found itself in a difficult economic position in 2013, but the Cyprus I am visiting today is very different," he said after talks with President Nicos Anastasiades on his first official trip to the island.

UK makes the biggest contribution to the Juncker Plan

17 Juillet, 2015 - 07:54

The UK may be a Eurosceptic country, but it has made the biggest contribution to the flagship project of the Commission led by Jean-Claude Juncker – the €315 billion Investment Plan for Europe designed to stimulate the EU's post-crisis economy.

The UK announced yesterday (16 July) it will contribute £6 billion (about €8.5 billion) to projects benefiting from finance by the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI),better known as the Juncker Plan. This is in fact the biggest contribution so far.

Amid growing demand, German organic farming suffers first decline

17 Juillet, 2015 - 07:51

The organic foods sector is booming, but in Germany, farming is decreasing, with the number of acres devoted to cultivation shrinking for the first time. EurActiv Germany reports.