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Some coal plant exports should get financial aid, says EU policy paper

16 Janvier, 2015 - 14:25

European makers of equipment for coal-fired power plants should receive financial help to export it, an EU discussion paper seen by Reuters says, in a clash with the bloc's declared aim to lead the global fight against climate change.

For a fair, transparent and effective ISDS in TTIP

16 Janvier, 2015 - 11:57

TTIP stands to deliver enormous benefits to both the EU and US economies at a time of low growth and high unemployment in many parts of Europe, writes Diego Zuluaga Laguna.

In Belgium and France, marginalised Muslims fight in Syria ‘out of despair’

16 Janvier, 2015 - 11:47

Western fighters in Syria and Iraq have found some of their most willing recruits in tiny Belgium, a chilling trend highlighted by the killing of suspected terrorists by police on Thursday (15 January) and which likely has its roots in the despair many feel at home.

Belgian police killed two men who opened fire on them during one of about a dozen raids against an Islamist group that federal prosecutors said was about to launch "terrorist attacks on a grand scale".

Romania hopes to end EU monitoring by 2020

16 Janvier, 2015 - 10:32

The new Romanian President Klaus Iohannis made his first visit abroad to Brussels yesterday (15 January). Speaking alongside Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, he said that his country hoped to get rid of the EU monitoring on its deficient law-enforcement system before the end of their respective five-year mandates.

Iohannis, an ethnic German former mayor of the city of Sibiu, won the Romanian presidential election on 16 November and took office on 21 December.


Greeks step up bank withdrawals fearing election aftermath

16 Janvier, 2015 - 08:58

Greeks stepped up bank withdrawals last month when the threat of a government collapse grew, but the money has largely remained in the country with no sign so far of a full-blown capital flight as in 2012, Greek bankers familiar with the matter said.

Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on 8 December brought forward a presidential vote, creating uncertainty that revived fears of a Greek eurozone exit. The ultimately unsuccessful vote triggered snap elections slated for 25 January.


Bulgaria says it will start talks to join the euro

16 Janvier, 2015 - 08:45

Bulgaria will begin talks on adopting the euro, its finance minister said on Thursday (15 January), adding that the Balkan country may join the preliminary exchange-rate mechanism for eurozone entry by the end of 2018, Nova television reported.

Vladislav Goranov said Sofia would seek answers from the eurozone's 19 member states on what it should do to be allowed in to the initial two-year ERM-2 exchange rate mechanism.

Foiled Belgium terror attacks fuel fears of radical Islam in Europe

16 Janvier, 2015 - 08:33

Belgian police killed two men who opened fire on them during one of about a dozen raids on Thursday (15 January) against an Islamist group that federal prosecutors said was about to launch "terrorist attacks on a grand scale".

Ansip: 'Digital Single Market strategy will be ready in May'

16 Janvier, 2015 - 07:55

SPECIAL REPORT: Andrus Ansip, the European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, says he will launch a new digital strategy this Spring, including milestones and methods for monitoring progress effectively in the member states.

Health NGO: 'Endocrine disruptors are one of the biggest public health threats of this century'

16 Janvier, 2015 - 07:48

Although hormone-disrupting chemicals are recognised as a global public health threat by the World Health Organization (WHO), the European Commission's public consultation on the matter, which closes today (16 January), is only meant to delay action and regulation, argues Génon K. Jensen.

Génon K. Jensen is director of the not-for-profit organisation Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). Jensen answered questions by EurActiv's Henriette Jacobsen

Open labour markets more resilient to crisis, EU report finds

16 Janvier, 2015 - 07:40

A European Commission review of employment and social policies shows that countries which had reformed their labour markets and invested in human capital proved to be more resilient during the economic crisis.

The Commission's review, published on Thursday (15 January), looked into the lessons that could be learnt from the recession.

It found that the negative impact on employment and incomes was smaller for countries with more open labour markets and stronger investment in lifelong learning.

Agriculture Commissioner promises GMO labelling, despite TTIP

16 Janvier, 2015 - 07:35

If a product contains genetically modified corn, it will still be labelled as such in the future, assured EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan, seeking to dispel fears that consumer protection standards could suffer under planned trade agreements with the US and Canada. EurActiv Germany reports.

Turkish PM: If Europe persists in its ‘Holy Roman attitude’, it is over

16 Janvier, 2015 - 07:28

As a consequence of the Eurozone crisis, racism is on the rise, in the same way that the 1929 crisis inspired anti-Semitism. But this time the scapegoats are Muslims, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told a Brussels audience on Thursday (15 January).

Davutoğlu, who came to Brussels to meet with Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, first addressed a conference organised by Friends of Europe, a Brussels think tank.

Oettinger playing ‘catch-up’ on EU digital infrastructure

16 Janvier, 2015 - 07:09

During a visit to Berlin, Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger called for increased investment in Europe’s digital infrastructure, explaining that the economy alone will not be able to close the significant investment gap. EurActiv Germany reports.

GM crops to be fast-tracked in UK following EU vote

15 Janvier, 2015 - 17:12

GM crops could be speedily brought to the UK market after MEPs voted to allow countries to choose whether to grow the crops on Tuesday. The new EU law, which comes into force this spring, will allow states to cultivate GM crops that have already been approved by the European Food Safety Authority (Efsa).

European spies want more powers, but face uphill battle

15 Janvier, 2015 - 16:40

From allowing spies greater access to communications and extending phone taps to collating databases of air passengers, European governments are looking to expand the powers of their security agencies after last week's Paris attacks.

Why competition is vital to Europe’s investors

15 Janvier, 2015 - 15:22

Pension and insurance savers’ income depends on institutional investors having a full choice of fund managers. This is why the European Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EVCA) supports the proposed introduction of a third-country passport allowing non-European managers to market their funds to European investors, writes Michael Collins.  

Michael Collins is public affairs director at the EVCA, which represents the private equity and venture capital industry in Europe.

The last emperor of GDP

15 Janvier, 2015 - 15:20

Gross Domestic Product is a measure of the size of a country's economy. It represents the value of all goods and services produced over a specific period of time, with year-on-year growth generally considered a sign of good economic health, writes Éloi Laurent.

More biofuels with low environmental impact possible, scientists say

15 Janvier, 2015 - 15:06

EU countries could increase their production of biofuels with a minimum impact on the environment, Utrecht University scientists concluded in a study published on Tuesday (13 January). 

Biofuels are the main green alternative to fossil fuels used in transport, but they compete with feed crops that share the same agricultural land.

EU to publish details of Amazon Luxleaks probe

15 Janvier, 2015 - 14:55

European Union antitrust regulators will publish details on Friday of their investigation into Amazon's tax-minimising arrangements with Luxembourg.

The European Commission, which made the announcement on Thursday (15 January), opened its investigation in October, making the US company the latest global firm to have its tax practices assessed by the EU.

The investigation focuses on whether Luxembourg broke EU state aid rules by agreeing a deal which allows Amazon to operate almost tax-free in Europe.

Swiss franc unpegged from euro, value soars

15 Janvier, 2015 - 14:35

The Swiss franc soared by almost 30% in value against the euro today (15 January) after the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoned its three-year old cap at 1.20 Swiss francs per euro.

In a chaotic few minutes on markets after the SNB's announcement, the franc broke past parity against the euro to trade at 0.8052 francs per euro before trimming those gains to stand at 1.0350 francs.

It also gained 25 percent against the dollar to trade at 0.8900 francs per dollar.