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UK, Central Europe frown at Juncker’s European army

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 15:16

During an interview on 8 March, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said that the EU needed its own military, in order to deal with the Russian threat, as well as to restore the bloc's standing around the world.

Not everyone agrees. Germany and France support Juncker's idea, while Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia insist that NATO should remain the guarantor of security on the European continent. The EurActiv network reports.

MEPs retaliate against EU countries on biofuels draft law

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 13:01

The European Parliament has resisted pressure from member states to water down the draft law on biofuels after five-hour long negotiations yesterday afternoon (25 March).

A second trilogue meeting between the co-legislators ended without a compromise text on limiting the use of food-based biofuels. The European Parliament’s Rapporteur on Indirect Land-Use Change (ILUC), MEP Nils Torvalds (ALDE) refused the Council’s proposal to make a number of provisions weaker, or optional.

Latvian minister: Greater youth participation “beneficial” for all

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 12:51

Enhanced political participation of young people will be beneficial both for society and decision makers, said Latvia's Minister for Education and Science Mārīte Seile, in an interview with EurActiv.

Seile spoke to Sarantis Michalopoulos at the EU Youth Conference, Empowering Youth Political Participation, in Riga. 

Refat Chubarov: Crimean Tatars are the missing piece in Putin’s puzzle

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 12:14

Like Stalin, Putin views Crimea's Tatars as a threat, and is sowing fear in the peninsula's population, to help facilitate their ethnic cleansing, Refat Chubarov told EurActiv.

On a visit to Brussels, the leader of the Crimean Tatar national movement in Ukraine, and worldwide, called the annexation of Crimea by Russia in March 2014 “a tragedy”.

Chubarov said that Russia has probably thought that the annexation would be “digested” quickly by the international community. But now, the prevailing opinion is that the international order should be restored.

EU report blames Israel for Jerusalem violence

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 10:05
An internal EU report heaps blame on Israel for last year’s violence in Jerusalem and recommends sanctions. But they’re unlikely to be implemented.






EU-US data pact skewered in court hearing

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 09:28
A lawyer for the European Commission told an EU judge on Tuesday he should close his Facebook page if he wants to stop the US snooping on him.






ECB to tighten noose on Greek government

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 09:25
The European Central Bank is set to make it illegal for Greek lenders to increase their purchases of short-term government bonds in a move that will tighten the funding noose on the Greek government.






[Ticker] Hungarian central bank cuts key interest rate

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 09:25
Hungary's central bank lowered its most important interest rate from 2.1 percent to 1.95 percent on Tuesday, the first interest cut since July last year. "Today's rate reduction reflects the lower inflation path forecast and higher growth expectations", the bank's president Gyorgy Matolcsy told reporters.






[Ticker] Ukraine's default 'virtually 100%' certain

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 09:23
The Moody's rating agency downgraded Ukraine's rating on Wednesday (25 March) to Ca, the second-worst level. Moody's notes that the Ukrainian government plans "to restructure the majority of its outstanding Eurobonds". That means that the risk of "a default on government debt taking place is virtually 100%", writes Moody's.






EU innovation institute under fire by MEPs

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 09:15
MEPs have taken aim at the ballooning costs of a nuclear fusion reactor in France and lack of financial transparency on the EU's innovation institute.






Lifting the visa barrier for Georgians should be the EU response to Russia’s bullying tactics

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:44

A first and immediate step to respond to Russia’s objective to annex the territory of the former Soviet Union is visa liberalisation, writes David Bakradze.

David Bakradze is State Minister of Georgia for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration

Commission seeks to reach disenfranchised youth

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:42

In an effort to tackle youth political absenteeism, the European Commission is partnering with youth organisations to find ways to reach the young people ‘out of the system’. EurActiv reports from Riga.

“European elections [in 2014] have shown that there is still a high level of youth absenteeism, with only 28% of young people under 25 who actually voted,” Johanna Nyman, President of the European Youth Forum, told EurActiv.

[Ticker] Marine Le Pen promises referendum on French EU exit

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:36
Far-right MEP Marine Le Pen told Greek TV channel Mega Tuesday that if she is elected French president in 2017, she will hold a referendum later that year on whether France should exit the EU. She already promised a referendum on reintroducing the death penalty.






[Ticker] EU-Cuba deal 'perhaps by the end of the year'

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:35
The EU is "in the process of accelerating the pace of negotiations" on a political and trade deal with Cuba, the EU's foreign affairs chief Mogherini said after a visit to the Caribbean island. She added a deal may be clinched "perhaps by the end of the year".






Health experts link cholesterol to other unexpected diseases‏

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:32

SPECIAL REPORT / As a silent killer, where symptoms are often invisible before it's too late, high levels of bad cholesterol do not get much attention. But researchers are making the case that the condition, which is known to cause cardiovascular diseases, can also cause brain disorders such as Alzheimer's, and dementia.  

National plans on roaming are 'a joke', EU says

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:26
The EU’s digital economy chief has branded government proposals on mobile roaming charges “a joke”.






UK lags behind the rest of EU in cancer treatment

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:24

Cancer survival rates in Britain are “stuck in the 1990s”, trailing behind comparable EU countries both in terms of regular treatment and cutting edge technology.

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, in the UK, five year survival rates for a range of common cancers are trailing 10 years behind other European countries. Austria had better lung cancer survival rates between 1995-1999 (14%) than Britain had between 2005-2009 (10%).

German Minister plans ‘Green Revolution’ to combat world hunger

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:19

With green innovation centres “Made in Germany”, Development Minister Gerd Müller hopes to eradicate world hunger by 2030, while critics warn the biggest winners in the new initiative could be the wrong ones. EurActiv Germany reports.

Following Cameron, Marine Le Pen pledges EU exit referendum

EU Active - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:10

Marine Le Pen, the head of France's far-right National Front party, has said she will ask the French people to vote on pulling out of the EU if she is elected president in 2017.

"My idea is to tell the French people that if they elect me," in 2017, "six months later there will be a referendum," Marine Le Pen told Greek TV channel Mega.

[Interview] Screenwriters call for EU rights on royalties

EU Observer - 25 maart, 2015 - 08:10
Robert Alberdingk Thijm has written dozens of TV series, but hardly receives any royalties. He hopes to benefit from an upcoming review of EU copyright law.






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