Ukraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal Thursday (30 October) that will see Moscow resume vital supplies of gas to its ex-Soviet neighbour over the winter in return for payments funded in part by Kyiv's Western creditors.
After several failed rounds of talks in recent weeks as conflict rumbles on despite a ceasefire with pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, the accord also eases concerns that a new "gas war" could disrupt winter supplies if energy to EU states, notably through pipelines shut down across Ukraine since June.
The German government introduced a controversial road toll on Thursday which will force foreign car drivers to pay up to 130 euros a year for using Germany's Autobahn motorways. The plan, intended to help Germany fund the upkeep of its transport infrastructure, which is used by millions of foreign vehicles, may yet face a legal challenge in Brussels for discriminating against foreign motorists.
More than half of the first funding round of the EU’s flagship energy infrastructure project will go to gas, ignoring the Connecting Europe Facility’s underpinning regulation that calls for the majority of money to go to electricity.
A trade deal between the United States and Europe is hard to imagine without strong investor protection, US Trade Representative Michael Froman said on Thursday (30 October), hours after outgoing Commissioner Karel De Gucht said the US may break off talks unless Europeans show a firmer willingness to include investment-protection provisions in any deal.
Blocked by some member states, EU anti-discrimination rules could be pushed forward through enhanced cooperation, suggested European Commissioner Martine Reicherts, stressing that transgender people in more than half of EU countries must choose between getting sterilised or not having their identity recognised under national law.
The Swedish government officially recognised the state of Palestine on Thursday (30 October), the first Western European country to do so, reflecting growing international exasperation over the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told reporters her government hoped it would bring a new dynamic to the situation.
The slim Socialist majority in the French Parliament will come under threat on 1 November. Pierre Moscovici's move to the European Commission will force a by-election that could see the French government lose its absolute majority. EurActiv.fr reports.
More than 200 organisations from 25 EU member states are under virtual cyber-attack today (30 October), as part of the continent’s largest and most complex ever cyber security exercise.
Organised by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA), Cyber Europe 2014 is targeting security agencies, ministries, telecoms and energy companies, financial institutions and internet service providers.
As the new Competition Commissioner settles into the role, she should take the opportunity of her arrival to clarify how the EU executive communicates on competition cases, write Alec Burnside and Anne MacGregor, since the issue has landed her predecessor in hot water.
Burnside and MacGregor are partner and special counsel respectively at the Brussels office of law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham &Taft LLP.
Germany is considering removing some of its coal plant capacity as part of a raft of new policies to help Europe's biggest economy meet its greenhouse gas emissions goals, a state secretary at the economy ministry said on Wednesday (29 October).
Rising inequality could set the fight against poverty back by decades, Oxfam has warned in a new report. The EU can help offset the imbalance through a different tax policy and by promoting health and education in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US, the organisation says.