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One-man rule in Malta poses challenge for EU

Malta's prime minister has far too much power and its judges and prosecutors lack independence, Europe's constitutional watchdog has said.

The new report sheds light on the erosion of rule of law that led to the murder of the country's top journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, in 2017 and ...

yesterday 11:18 open_in_new
Orban protests target state media in new front

Protests continued in Hungary on Monday (17 December) for the fifth consecutive day, sparked by a controversial labour law that grew into demonstrations against right-wing prime minister Viktor Orban and his increasingly autocratic "illiberal democracy".

Around 2,000 people showed up at ...

yesterday 08:47 open_in_new
Brexit and the Queen Sacrifice

I don't consider myself an accomplished chess player.

But I do know that, in a chess game, it is not uncommon that a sacrifice brings success.

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yesterday 06:36 open_in_new
EU gives Switzerland another six months for a deal

The EU Commission said on Monday (17 December) it would allow another six-month period for the Swiss stock exchange to maintain access to the EU market - but by then it wants Switzerland to endorse a new treaty with the bloc.

The move extends until the end of June the existing ...

2018-12-17 19:42 open_in_new
Fiscal discipline rules in eurozone are devastating

The conflict between Italy and the EU is a symptom of the devastating rules of the eurozone, and the social turmoil in France may well have the same origin.

In suburbs and in the countryside, social unrest has given rise to political polarisation in Italy and France and other southern ...

2018-12-17 12:15 open_in_new
EU capitals see weekend of tear gas and water cannon

Ninety people were arrested and six are to face criminal charges following rowdy anti-immigrant protests outside the EU institutions in Brussels on Sunday (16 December).

The unrest came after a fifth Saturday of 'yellow vest' protests in French cities and other anti-government rallies in ...

2018-12-17 11:03 open_in_new
Bulgarian 'EU passports' whistleblower wants justice

An electric pole in a Bulgarian village is part of a nationwide scam to sell the fraudulent certificates needed to obtain Bulgarian citizenship, says Katya Mateva, a former director in charge of citizenship at Bulgaria's ministry of justice.

Speaking to EUobserver in Brussels, Mateva says ...

2018-12-17 09:48 open_in_new
No further Brexit talks planned, despite May's pleas

EU leaders said on Friday (14 December) at their meeting in Brussels that it was up to the UK to decide how to proceed with Brexit.

They repeated there could be no renegotiation of the Brexit deal agreed in November after British prime minister Theresa May had asked for further Brexit ...

2018-12-14 21:05 open_in_new
EU leaders stuck on asylum reform

EU leaders pushed back European asylum reform to their ministers on Friday (14 December), without deciding on key obstacles to any progress.

It means it is unlikely that a common asylum policy reform can be agreed before the EU elections next May.

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2018-12-14 19:59 open_in_new
Orban and other PMs spread fake news, says Juncker

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday (14 December) that "some of the prime ministers" present at the EU summit, including Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, are partly responsible for spreading fake news.

"When Mr Orban for example is saying that I am ...

2018-12-14 19:59 open_in_new
Fishing quota and no-deal Brexit preparation This WEEK

Some EU institutions are slowly winding down towards the Christmas break, while others have a flurry of activity at the end of the year.

The week after the last EU summit of the year will still see plenty of action in the building of the Council of the EU, the institution where member ...

2018-12-14 18:52 open_in_new
Kosovo has right to its own army, Germany and US say

Germany and the US have defended Kosovo's "sovereign right" to create an army, despite Serbia's abhorrence of the move.

"Kosovo, as a sovereign state, has the right to create regular armed forces," German foreign ministry spokesman Rainer Breul said in Berlin on Friday (14 December). ...

2018-12-14 18:52 open_in_new
EU needs election-meddling stress tests

In 170 days, Europeans will go to the polls, but the right to freely choose their representatives is under threat.

With election after election facing hacking and manipulation, no-one should be naive about what is at stake in Europe.

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2018-12-14 10:27 open_in_new
Russian and US obstruction was 'insult' to climate scientists

The refusal of Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia and the US to officially welcome a report on the consequences of 1.5C of global warming at the annual UN climate talks is "insulting", according to a leading European climate scientist.

"The UN specifically asked for this report," said Richard ...

2018-12-14 09:15 open_in_new
EU-27 unimpressed by May, offer little on Brexit

The EU-27 leaders offered mild political assurances to British prime minister Theresa May on Thursday (13 December), but expect more clarity from her on what she needs to get the Brexit deal through the UK parliament.

The EU-27 toned down their final conclusions on Brexit after meeting ...

2018-12-14 09:14 open_in_new
Rutte: New EU sanctions are informal 'Magnitsky law'

A new EU human rights sanctions regime ought to be named after Sergei Magnitsky, but only informally, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte has said.

"Whenever we speak about it, we shall, I think, just refer to it as 'the Magnitsky law' or 'the Magnitsky initiative'," Rutte told MPs in a ...

2018-12-13 23:36 open_in_new
EU summit hits asylum fatigue as deadlock continues

The topic of migration at the EU summit in Brussels has been shuffled to the sidelines, alongside a package of other issues to be discussed on Friday (14 December) morning.

The move follows a recent backlash among a half dozen EU states against a UN global migration pact that imposes no ...

2018-12-13 19:06 open_in_new
Battered May seeks Brexit 'assurances' from EU

British prime minister Theresa May, on the back of surviving a confidence vote back home, said on Thursday (13 December) she did not expect a quick "breakthrough" at the EU summit as she seeks assurances on the Brexit deal from EU leaders to help her get the deal through the British parliament. ...

2018-12-13 19:06 open_in_new
Lost in Brexit chaos - abortion rights in Northern Ireland

On the 26 May 2018, the day that Ireland voted 'yes' to repeal the eighth amendment from its constitution, I sat with other pro-choice activists in one of the few Irish pubs in Brussels as we watched the results roll in.

As the only person from Northern Ireland in the group, my emotions ...

2018-12-13 15:25 open_in_new
Court confirms EU illegally relaxed diesel emission rules

The previous fears of a high-ranking European Commission official was confirmed on Thursday (13 December), when the General Court of the European Union ruled that a 2016 relaxing of car emissions limits was, indeed, illegal.

"The commission did not have the power to amend the Euro 6 ...

2018-12-13 14:12 open_in_new
Raw materials: 'holy grail' of 21st century industrial policy

Raw materials are indispensable for carbon-neutral solutions in all sectors of the economy.

This is among key messages presented in the European Commission's strategy towards a climate neutral Europe by 2050.

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2018-12-13 10:44 open_in_new