EU unblocks ‘unprecedented levels’ of cash to secure gas for Ukraine

EU Active - 31 oktober, 2014 - 08:12

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.

Germany's new road toll to cost foreign drivers up to 130 euros

EU Active - 31 oktober, 2014 - 08:08

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.

EU millions go to gas infrastructure, despite regulation

EU Active - 31 oktober, 2014 - 08:04

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.

Barroso, Rehn 'unfairly criticised' for eurozone austerity

EU Observer - 31 oktober, 2014 - 08:03
As Jose Manuel Barroso steps down as European Commission President, one of his few left-wing colleagues says that he was unfairly labelled as an austerity ideologue during his time in office.

EU, US say hard to imagine trade deal without investor protection

EU Active - 31 oktober, 2014 - 08:02

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.

Daily Press Summary

Open Europe - 31 oktober, 2014 - 01:00
Howarth: European Arrest Warrant opt-out ???could have provided the basis for Britain to negotiate a new deal???

EU mission in Kosovo rocked by corruption allegations

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 19:27
The EU’s rule of law mission in Kosovo is fighting to maintain credibility after allegations of bribe-taking and attempts to gag press.

Oettinger stirs controversy ahead of new role as digital commissioner

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 18:29
Recent statements by the next EU digital commissioner Gunther Oettinger on imposing a special tax on Google has drawn carefully worded criticism from within the current EU commission.

[Ticker] Poland wants 'strong, active' German army

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 16:27
Polish defence minister Tomasz Siemoniak said while visiting Germany Wednesday: "Poland wants a strong, active Bundeswehr [German army], which does not avoid responsibility for defending its allies". Siemoniak spoke amid Polish and Nato concerns over Russia's aggressive behaviour and following news reports that the German military is badly undersupplied.

EU anti-discrimination law one step closer to adoption

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 16:00

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.

Sweden recognises Palestinian state

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 15:34

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.

Pierre Moscovici's departure threatens French Socialists' parliamentary majority

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 14:05

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. reports

[Ticker] EU taking Kosovo mission allegations 'seriously'

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 13:01
An EU spokeswoman Thursday said its mission in Kosovo, Eulex, is taking "seriously", corruption allegations by a whistleblower, Maria Bamieh. Bamieh, who leaked documents to press, has said she was fired for her actions, that she is being threatened by a hit man, by Kosovo politicians, and by Eulex ex-colleagues.

[Ticker] Barroso not putting pressure on Kiev in gas talks, EU says

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 13:01
An EU spokeswoman said Thursday the fact the EU's Barroso spoke "several times" with Ukraine's Poroshenko during ongoing talks on gas supplies, but not with Russia's Putin, doesn't mean the EU is putting pressure on Kiev: "Nothing should be read into this that Ukraine is the obstacle to an agreement".

[Ticker] Russia seeks EU-Ukraine gas payment contract

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 13:01
Russia has said if the EU and Ukraine sign a binding deal on how to pay for winter gas, then Russia will sign guarantees on supplies. “Once there’s money, there’s gas,” Russian energy minister Novak said, amid ongoing talks in Brussels. An EU spokeswoman said a deal is "very close".

Europe under massive virtual cyber attack

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 12:38

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.

Vestager needs to blaze a new trail in public communication

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 11:39

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.

France denies warship delivery, as Russian bombers skirt EU airspace

EU Observer - 30 oktober, 2014 - 09:57
France has said it has not yet decided whether to go ahead with a delivery of a warship to Russia, after a Russian minister published an invitation to the delivery ceremony mid-November.

Germany may cut coal-fired energy to protect climate

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 09:55

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).

Oxfam: Global inequality 'out of control'

EU Active - 30 oktober, 2014 - 09:44

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.

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