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Middle East, Messi and missing MEPs on the agenda This WEEK

The prospects for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process will be on EU foreign affairs ministers' plates on Monday (22 January) next week, during an informal lunch with the Palestinian Authority's president Mahmoud Abbas.

The process seems to be stuck again, after Palestinian leaders voted ...

2018-01-19 19:38 open_in_new
Instagram and Google Plus join EU anti-hate speech drive

Social media outlets Instagram and Google Plus are joining ranks with other IT firms as part of a broader European Commission effort to remove online hate speech.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels on Friday (19 January), EU justice commissioner Vera Jourova said the two firms would now ...

2018-01-19 17:32 open_in_new
EU wants 'entrepreneurship' in education systems

The European Commission said on Wednesday (17 January) that pupils' education has to be improved through work experiences while at school, a wider knowledge of the European Union and better digital skills.

These proposals are part of a wider EU strategy that concerns the future of ...

2018-01-19 13:20 open_in_new
UK loses EU satellite centre to Spain

The EU is to relocate a satellite centre from Britain to Spain "as a consequence of the UK's withdrawal from the EU," the European Commission said on Thursday (18 January).

It said a large majority of member states backed the move on the Galileo Satellite Security Monitoring Centre (GSMC). ...

2018-01-19 11:14 open_in_new
Pay into EU budget for market access, Macron tells May

French president Emmanuel Macron warned British prime minister Theresa May on Thursday (18 January) that if the UK wants to maintain the level of access for London's financial centre to the EU's single market, Britain would have to pay into the EU budget after Brexit.

"The choice is on the ...

2018-01-19 11:14 open_in_new
EU to lend Greece up to €7bn more next week

Greece could obtain the green light for €6 billion to €7 billion of new credit at next Monday's (22 January) Eurogroup meeting.

The decision on the next bailout tranche will be taken after eurozone finance ministers assess the latest measures adopted by Greek authorities, ...

2018-01-19 10:11 open_in_new
Ethiopian regime to get EU migrants' names

Ethiopia is negotiating a deal with the European Union to deport nationals without the proper paperwork back to the east African country.

The discussions include dispatching agents from Ethiopia's intelligence and security agency to EU member states to identify people and then getting the ...

2018-01-19 10:11 open_in_new
Spitzenkandidat system 'difficult to get rid of', hopes lead MEP

The example of Jean-Claude Juncker becoming European Commission president in 2014 is a strong precedent to keep the controversial 'Spitzenkandidat' system, says the lead MEP in charge of constitutional affairs ahead of a likely battle with the national governments over the issue.

"We ...

2018-01-18 19:29 open_in_new
Nato prepares to take in Macedonia

Macedonia could be invited to join Nato as soon as it solves its name dispute with Greece, Nato has indicated.

Jens Stoltenberg, Nato's top official, gave the upbeat assessment on his first-ever visit to Skopje on Thursday (18 January).

"The allies agreed that Nato would invite ...

2018-01-18 19:29 open_in_new
Taking full benefit of supercomputers in Europe

Companies able to take full advantage of digital infrastructures, process and disseminate digital products and services will be the ones who will benefit the most of today's data economy and society.

However, among today's digital industry giants (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, ...

2018-01-18 19:29 open_in_new
Rights NGOs face fresh threats across the EU, agency says

Counterterrorism, anti-moneylaundering measures, shrinking budgets and threats curtail the work of civil rights' groups in the EU, a new report published on Thursday (18 January) by the EU's Vienna-based Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) has found.

Civil society as a whole – a key ...

2018-01-18 17:23 open_in_new
EIB 'more sensitive' to fraud after Dieselgate, chief insists

President Werner Hoyer of the European Investment Bank (EIB) had little of substance to say on Thursday (18 January) when asked to explain what the bank learned from its experience with a €400 million loan to German carmaker Volkswagen.

Last year, the EU's anti-fraud agency Olaf ...

2018-01-18 17:23 open_in_new
EU 'hypocrisy' condemns people to Libya, says NGO

The EU is condemning people to "nightmarish conditions" in Libya by training its coastguard to prevent them from fleeing towards Europe, according to Human Rights Watch.

Kenneth Roth, the NGO's executive director, said at a press conference in Paris on Thursday (18 January) that the EU ...

2018-01-18 15:17 open_in_new
Next year's EU election at risk of Russian meddling

EU elections in 2019 are likely to be the next big target for Russian propaganda, MEPs have warned.

"Next year the citizens of Europe will elect a new European Parliament. This raises an uncomfortable question: how many seats will Russia get?", Danish centre-left MEP Jeppe Kofod said in ...

2018-01-18 11:05 open_in_new
Hungary plan to tax NGOs that 'help' migration

The Hungarian government on Wednesday (17 January) said it would propose a set of new laws that would tax and possibly sanction Hungarian groups which "assist illegal migration" and receive foreign funding.

The package was named 'Stop Soros', referring to George Soros, the Hungarian-born ...

2018-01-17 20:23 open_in_new
Cyprus, Malta, and Russia gang up on whistleblower

Cyprus has put out an EU arrest warrant against a whistleblower on high-level corruption in Malta.

The Cypriot authorities acted "recently" on a criminal complaint against Maria Efimova, the Malta whistleblower, the Cyprus Business Mail reported on Wednesday (17 January), citing police ...

2018-01-17 17:14 open_in_new
'No backsliding' on Brexit promise, Irish PM warns

There can be "no backsliding" on the UK's guarantee to avoid a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, Irish prime minister Leo Varadkar told the European Parliament on Wednesday (17 January).

"The breakthrough achieved before Christmas means that the United ...

2018-01-17 16:11 open_in_new
Commission and council dig in on GMO opt-outs

The European Commission and the EU's national governments have passed each other the buck on who should make the first move on a heavily-criticised proposal on the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food.

The proposal would allow EU member states to ban GMOs - even if those ...

2018-01-17 15:08 open_in_new
Ombudsman asks ECB chief to quit secret bankers group

The EU Ombudsman has called on European Central Bank (ECB) top officials to stop participating in the Group of 30, a secretive international gathering of bankers.

In a set of recommendations published on Wednesday (17 January), Emily O'Reilly said that ECB president Mario Draghi should ...

2018-01-17 11:59 open_in_new
Catalonia prepares for rule by Skype

The two biggest parties in Catalonia have vowed to put Carles Puigdemont back in office despite Madrid's threat to maintain direct rule if they go ahead.

The Junts per Catalunya (JxCat) and ERC parties told El Nacional, a Spanish newspaper, on Tuesday (16 January), that Puigdemont was ...

2018-01-17 10:56 open_in_new
Macron eyes France-UK border agreement

French president Emmanuel Macron is set to discuss reforming a bilateral border agreement with UK prime minister Theresa May on Thursday (18 January) amid pressure to prevent migrants from settling around the port city of Calais.

The Le Touquet agreement from 2003 allows British border ...

2018-01-17 10:56 open_in_new