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Germany's fear of 'chlorine chicken' complicates US trade talks

14 Juillet, 2014 - 11:23

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel once said she wished "for nothing more than a free-trade agreement between the USA and the EU". But, to the dismay of many in Brussels and Washington, Germans are now taking a very different view.

Europe's biggest exporter is becoming one of the most vocal opponents of the world's biggest trade deal. A transatlantic pact would create a market of 800 million people and allow Germany to sell more of its luxury cars, trains and chemicals in the United States, an attractive proposition for an economy that has faltered in recent months.

Juncker tries hard to get Georgieva on his team

14 Juillet, 2014 - 11:17

Jean-Claude Juncker, expected to be approved by the European Parliament for Commission President tomorrow (15 July) is trying hard to make sure that Kristalina Georgieva, the current Bulgarian Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, gets nominated by the outgoing cabinet in Sofia for the post of Commission Vice President and EU foreign Affairs Chief, Commission sources told EurActiv.

European Court of Justice bans German language requirement for Turkish spouse visas

14 Juillet, 2014 - 08:33

On Thursday (10 July) the EU’s top court ruled against Germany’s language requirement for Turkish spouses applying for residence in the country, rebuffing the German government and saying the right to family reunification is essential to integration in the member states. EurActiv Germany reports.

New EU rules seen as too timid to reduce airport noise

14 Juillet, 2014 - 07:58

SPECIAL REPORT / New rules on aviation noise that are due to take hold across the European Union in 2016 fall short of what is needed to protect people living near airports, the leader of a leading civil action groups says.

Wanted: a strong EU foreign policy chief

14 Juillet, 2014 - 07:51

The choice of the next high representative for foreign policy is crucial, given the threats to the EU's values and interests coming from armed conflict, dysfunctional democracy, and state failure, writes Michael Leigh.

Political novice wins Slovenia election

14 Juillet, 2014 - 07:49

Center-left political novice Miro Cerar led his party to victory in Slovenia's election yesterday (13 July), indicating he would rewrite a reform package agreed upon with the European Union to fix the euro zone member's depleted finances.

The result will test investor nerves, given Cerar's hostility to some of the big-ticket privatization programmes that the EU says are key to a long-term fix for Slovenia, which narrowly avoided having to seek an international bailout for its banks last year.

Jet engine executive: industry racing to reduce fuel use

14 Juillet, 2014 - 07:32

While global talks continue on a possible market-based approach to reduce aviation carbon emissions, jet engine manufacturers are “running as fast as we can in order to reduce the fuel burn", said Alan H. Epstein, stressing that engines are growing quieter and more efficient every year.

Carbon market pays off: €89m to fund French projects

14 Juillet, 2014 - 07:27

For the first time ever, the sale of carbon credits will finance projects that help tackle climate change. The EU Commission will fund 19 projects, two of which are in France. EurActiv France reports.

Russia threatens Ukraine with ‘irreversible consequences’

14 Juillet, 2014 - 07:24

Russia threatened Ukraine yesterday (13 July) with "irreversible consequences" after a Russian man was killed by a shell fired across the border, while Kyiv said Ukrainian warplanes struck again at separatist positions in the east of the country, inflicting big losses.

Although both sides have reported cross-border shootings in the past, it appears to be the first time Moscow has reported fatalities on its side of the border in the three-month conflict which has killed hundreds of people in Ukraine.

Digitise new Commissioners, Kroes tells Juncker

11 Juillet, 2014 - 16:37

European Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes called for Jean-Claude Juncker's new EU executive to be staffed with “digital commissioners”, as she launched a free website to encourage SMEs to adopt cloud computing yesterday (10 July).

The Cloud Scout site’s online questionnaire aims to allay SMEs fears over IT security, privacy and data protection. The Commission estimates widespread adoption of cloud computing could boost EU gross domestic product by 160 billion each year, creating 3.5 million new jobs by 2020.

Newborn babies

EEA urges for ‘systemic’ approach to environment, health concerns

11 Juillet, 2014 - 16:37

Governments need to study the connections between health and environmental concerns, which could save them money and improve societal well-being over the longer term, according to the European Environment Agency.

Common ragweed is a flowering plant native to North America, whose seeds probably crossed the Atlantic in agricultural produce for the first time in the 19th century.

The plant, which outcompetes unadapted local vegetation, can reduce crop yields, impacting on food availability. It can also cause significant irritation amongst those allergic to its pollen.

EU internet governance: Franco-German alliance

11 Juillet, 2014 - 16:29

A new report from the French Senate outlines a strategy for greater European internet governance spearheaded by the Franco-German alliance. Only then can the EU compete with US’s online hegemony. EurActiv France reports.

In a report published on 9 July, the French Senate proposed a new form of internet governance for Europe. The senators called on the EU to play a key role in ensuring that internet governance is independent and democratic.

UK cities will exceed EU pollution limits until 2030, figures show

11 Juillet, 2014 - 13:57

Air pollution levels in London, Birmingham, and Leeds will exceed European limits until at least 2030, newly-published figures show.

In a case at the European court of justice on Thursday, lawyers for the commission described the UK's failure to act on the breach as "perhaps the longest running infringement of EU law in history."

Brussels, Berlin bury hatchet over green energy rebates

11 Juillet, 2014 - 13:36

After months of tension, Germany and the European Commission have resolved their conflict over Berlin's support scheme for renewable energy, by agreeing on planned industry rebates. But this did not happen without concessions from the Merkel government. EurActiv.de reports.

French medicine agency clears new anticoagulants despite safety concerns

11 Juillet, 2014 - 12:44

A new generation of anticoagulants have been blamed for the deaths of patients in France. Studies from two leading French health agencies conclude that they do not pose a serious risk, but doubts remain. EurActiv France reports.

EU-US trade deal: people have the right to know

11 Juillet, 2014 - 11:11

Environmental campaigners have questioned the legality of the EU-US trade talks’ secrecy after a European Court of Justice ruling offered “a glimmer of hope” to see the negotiating mandate made public.

Natacha Cingotti is a transparency campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe

The key to tackling population dilemmas? Empowering women

11 Juillet, 2014 - 10:41

Today is World Population Day, a chance to reflect on the challenges population can pose. Whether a country is struggling with a rising or declining population, the solution is the same; the promotion of reproductive rights and gender equality, writes Jenny Tonge.

Juncker’s make-or-break presidency

11 Juillet, 2014 - 07:58

The EU elections highlighted the “big picture” of the EU’s accelerating unpopularity, but was quickly eclipsed by the much smaller question of who should head the European Commission. Let's get back to the big questions: Europe's influence, EU bureaucracy and how to rule over the EU citizen, writes Giles Merritt.

EU convenes emergency meeting to rescue Youth Employment Initiative

11 Juillet, 2014 - 07:50

Brussels is hosting a special seminar Friday (11 July) to help EU member states receive funding as soon as possible under the the EU's Youth Employment Initiative (YEI), which has so far failed to deliver results.

Until now, only France's operational plan has been approved by the European Commission, illustrating a wider failure to implement national schemes under the YEI, which aims to tackle unemployment among young people aged 18-25.

Germany pushes early adoption of EU banking union rules

11 Juillet, 2014 - 07:42

After years of resistance to plans for a European banking union, Germany has switched gear and has now decided to implement the EU rules one year in advance of schedule, sending alarm bells ringing among the country’s top banks and the Monopolies Commission. EurActiv Germany reports.