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EU's Baltic fishing plan is a first step, but with serious flaws

19 Février, 2015 - 08:45

The EU's new multi-year plan for managing Baltic commercial fish stocks is an important step towards more sustainable fisheries, but with flaws that need urgent attention, write researchers at the Baltic Eye think tank, at Stockholm University's Baltic Sea Centre.

Four years on, Europeans seek dialogue with Syria

19 Février, 2015 - 08:39

Some European Union countries which withdrew their ambassadors from Syria are saying privately it is time for more communication with Damascus, even though Britain and France oppose it, diplomats said.

Ukraine calls for UN peacekeepers to enforce truce

19 Février, 2015 - 08:29

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has called for UN forces to be deployed to monitor a ceasefire in east Ukraine, a proposal that pro-Russia rebels swiftly said would be in breach of a peace deal.

Vestager: Commission ready to move forward with Gazprom probe

19 Février, 2015 - 08:20

Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said that despite the Ukraine crisis, she will move forward with the two-and-a half year long probe into Gazprom.

In an interview in the Wall Street Journal, the Danish Commissioner said she believed that the executive could move the case forward in a relatively short time span.

The Commission opened an antitrust case against Gazprom in September 2012, having already raided some of its offices.

More 'emotional intelligence' seen as key to restoring trust in the EU

19 Février, 2015 - 08:10

The European Union should respond to public apathy and anger with emotional intelligence, two analysts have argued in a 30-page paper which is likely to spark some debate in policymaking circles.

Heather Grabbe, director of the Open Society EU policy Institute and Stefan Lehne, a visiting professor at Carnegie Europe, spoke to five average Europeans in Košice, Sofia, Lille and Athens to find out what people really expect from the European Union.

Poland to seek EU approval for state aid to coal mines

19 Février, 2015 - 07:45

Poland is to notify the European Commission this month of plans to give state aid to some loss-making coal mines, Polish news agency PAP said, quoting the country's minister in charge of restructuring the industry.

"We declared that we will submit the notification application on the aid programme in February," Wojciech Kowalczyk told PAP after a meeting at the Commission.

Poland's mining companies have been hit by falling coal prices, rising production costs, and a slump in demand, which resulted in mounting stockpiles of coal.

Orbán complains about Tusk over the EU's Russia policy

19 Février, 2015 - 07:34

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán stepped up his criticism on Wednesday (18 February) of his European allies for their policy of seeking to isolate Moscow over its intervention in Ukraine, naming top EU official Donald Tusk as one of its backers.

His comments come one day after a visit to Budapest by Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which the two leaders agreed for Russia to keep supplying gas to Hungary, cementing their growing ties.

EU introduces new rules to make cooking greener

19 Février, 2015 - 07:25

The sale of energy-wasting ovens and cooking hobs will be banned across the European Union after the latest set of rules to make household appliances more efficient takes effect on Friday, (20 February).

The European Commission said on Wednesday (18 February) that getting rid of inefficient appliances would cut consumer energy bills by around 50 euros ($57) per year, while the savings from the rules across the bloc would run into billions.

The policy, known as ecodesign, is intended to reduce fuel imports and CO2 emissions.

Uber files second complaint against French law

19 Février, 2015 - 07:19

Uber has filed a second complaint to the European Commission against a French law that the online taxi-booking service says favours regular taxis at its expense, the company said on Tuesday.

German study finds prevalence of prescriptions without benefit

19 Février, 2015 - 07:12

Doctors in Germany often prescribe medications without any proof of additional benefit, a recent study indicates, revealing that the reasons behind this are unscientific. EurActiv Germany reports.

Juncker appoints former rival Barnier as security advisor

18 Février, 2015 - 17:43

France's former Internal Market Commissioner is on his way back to Brussels in the guise of Jean-Claude Juncker's new special advisor on defence and security. EurActiv France reports.

EU law could boost 'safe' securitisation

18 Février, 2015 - 17:31

The European Commission will consider reducing how much capital banks must hold against risk for a new class of asset-backed securities, a process of packaging and selling loans blamed for the financial crisis.

EurActiv understands the most likely route to achieve that would be through new legislation proposed by the executive, which would have to be scrutinised by the European Parliament and EU Council before entering into force.

Timmermans urges EU nations to step up cooperation against terrorism

18 Février, 2015 - 14:21

During a visit to Paris on Tuesday (17 February), European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans told EU member states to improve cooperation on security, using the systems already in place. France called for better coordination of border checks for foreign fighters returning from Syria and elsewhere. EurActiv France reports.

Putin: We haven’t given up the South Stream project

18 Février, 2015 - 13:04

On a visit to Hungary, Russian President Vladimir Putin made a U-turn, announcing that his country has not given up the South Stream pipeline project, which he had himself declared dead in December.

According to the transcript of his press conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán, Putin said: “We didn’t give up South Stream, we were not allowed to implement it.”

Paris: Don’t leave out planes and ships

18 Février, 2015 - 13:03

There are a number of possible solutions to reduce emissions in the aviation and shipping sector. But the relevant UN bodies should identify an emission reduction pathway, and ensure that any measures adopted are done so in a fair and equitable way, writes Bill Hemmings.

Bill Hemmings is Aviation and Maritime Manager at Transport & Environment, a green NGO.

War of words rages between Athens and Berlin

18 Février, 2015 - 09:44

A war of words between Greece and EU paymaster Germany escalated on Tuesday (17 February) with Athens' new leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras rejecting what he called "blackmail" to extend an international bailout and vowing to rush through laws to reverse labour reforms.

A source close to the government said Greece intends to ask on Wednesday for an extension for up to six months of a loan agreement with the euro zone, on conditions to be negotiated.

War of words rages between Athens and Berlin

18 Février, 2015 - 09:31

A war of words between Greece and EU paymaster Germany escalated on Tuesday (17 February) with Athens' new leftist prime minister Alexis Tsipras rejecting what he called "blackmail" to extend an international bailout and vowing to rush through laws to reverse labour reforms.

A source close to the government said Greece intends to ask on Wednesday for an extension for up to six months of a loan agreement with the euro zone, on conditions to be negotiated. The source drew a distinction between a loan agreement and the full bailout programme which the government insists is dead.

All trade policy areas would benefit from Malmström's TTIP transparency initiative

18 Février, 2015 - 09:17

With the ongoing negotiations for the biggest free trade deal in history, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), transparency has become the new buzz word in trade policy, writes Christofer Fjellner.

UK's opposition Labour pressed to commit to EU referendum

18 Février, 2015 - 09:16

A major donor to the Labour Party is to urge Labour leader Ed Miliband on Wednesday (18 February), less than three months before a national election, to commit to holding a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.

Europe needs to introduce practical incentives for best biofuels

18 Février, 2015 - 09:11

MEPs must move beyond the polarised debate about biofuels and introduce practical measures that will pull Europe’s biofuels policy in the right direction, says Robert Wright.