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Deep divisions on display over post-Brexit EU budget

Deep divisions among EU countries on the bloc's next long-term budget were on full display at the EU leaders' summit on Friday (18 October).

It was the first time leaders talked about the 2021-2027 budget's substance, and how to plug the gap created by the departure of a key net ...

2019-10-18 19:05 open_in_new
EU leaders spent just 12 minutes on climate

The EUʼs long-term strategy on climate change on the agenda of EU leaders for Friday's summit (18 October) - however, in the end heads of state spent only about 12 minutes discussing the topic.

Despite the protests and the calls for more ambitious proposals of the different ...

2019-10-18 19:05 open_in_new
Juncker: 'Historic mistake' against Balkan EU hopefuls

The EU institutional leadership lashed out against member states for having denied Albania and North Macedonia a chance to advance in their EU membership aspirations.

"Both countries passed their exams, I can't say that about our member states," EU council president Donald Tusk told ...

2019-10-18 19:05 open_in_new
Crunch Brexit vote in UK This WEEK

The future of Brexit continues to hang in the balance this week, with a crunch vote in Westminster on Saturday (19 October).

If British prime minister Boris Johnson fails to get his new Brexit deal through parliament, then the UK will either crash out of Europe with no legal safety net at ...

2019-10-18 18:02 open_in_new
EU fails to deliver on Albania and North Macedonia

Albania and North Macedonia had their hopes dashed after Denmark, France and the Netherlands scuppered any agreement on opening accession talks.

The deadlock at the EU summit in Brussels on Thursday (17 October) highlights divisions among EU states on advancing the two Balkan states onto ...

2019-10-18 10:41 open_in_new
EU envoy sheds light on weird US diplomacy

Remarks to Congress by the US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, have shed light on the unusual nature of American foreign policy under president Donald Trump.

Sondland testified in Washington DC on Thursday (17 October) as part of an impeachment enquiry into whether Trump blackmailed ...

2019-10-18 10:41 open_in_new
Europe's empty fortress

The first ideal image of a society was a fortress.

The Babylonian story of Gilgamesh praises cities for their sturdy walls. The Old Testament idealises societies with walls of bronze.

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2019-10-18 10:41 open_in_new
EU leaders back Brexit deal as Johnson faces Westminster

Leaders of the EU-27 member states on Thursday (17 October) evening unanimously endorsed the revised Brexit deal agreed earlier in the day by EU and UK negotiators.

"The European Council endorsed this deal and it looks like we are very close to the final stretch," EU council president ...

2019-10-17 23:08 open_in_new
Catalonia shows dangers of jail terms for non-violence

Catalonia has been marked by street violence ever since the judgment and sentencing of the nine leaders of Catalan independence movement earlier this week.

This has been grimly predictable in light of the Spanish government's overbearing criminal justice response to the non-violent ...

2019-10-17 18:56 open_in_new
New Brexit deal drops Irish border backstop

After marathon talks the EU and the UK agreed to a revised Brexit deal on Thursday (17 October), hours before EU leaders were due to meet in Brussels for a summit.

"We have arrived to an agreement on an orderly withdrawal and also on the framework on the future relationship," EU chief ...

2019-10-17 16:50 open_in_new
Brexit deal now hinges on Northern Irish unionists

A last-minute revised Brexit agreement, clinched by negotiators late on Wednesday night, appeared to be in tatters only hours before EU leaders were expected to discuss it in Brussels at their summit on Thursday (17 October).

The deal, and the EU-27 leaders' discussion on it later in the ...

2019-10-17 10:32 open_in_new
Macron warned on dangerous impact of Balkans veto

France's veto on enlargement will endanger the Serbia-Kosovo peace process, a senior EU official has warned.

It could also prompt the fall of North Macedonia's pro-EU government, Macedonia's prime minister indicated.

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2019-10-17 10:32 open_in_new
Crucial summit: last EU-28 format?

The EU summit starting on Thursday (17 October) will be crucial for the future of the whole EU, but especially for the UK since Brexit is imminent and the fate of the world's fifth-largest economy is still unknown.

The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October - British prime minister Boris ...

2019-10-17 10:32 open_in_new
EU parliament quietly hoards visitors' wi-fi data

Journalists and anyone else logging into the European Parliament's wi-fi may in the future want to think twice.

The Brussels-based institution says it reserves the right to monitor individual users on its publicly-financed wi-fi networks set up by commercial providers like UK firm BT. It ...

2019-10-17 10:32 open_in_new
EU leaders to warn von der Leyen over ‘giving in’ to MEPs

EU leaders are expected to tell European commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen to "rebalance" her priorities in line with that of member states - and not "give in" to the European parliament, several EU diplomats said on Wednesday (16 October).

Von der Leyen will meet all EU ...

2019-10-16 18:47 open_in_new
Not That Ambassador

Former US ambassador to the EU, Anthony Gardner, says the EU "needs to stand up and put on its big boy pants".

Referring to the involvement in the Ukraine affair by his successor, Gordon Sondland, a former hotel magnate picked by Donald Trump, with little diplomatic experience, Gardner ...

2019-10-16 14:35 open_in_new
Balkans row to hit EU summit after French veto

Thursday's (17 October) EU summit could see French and German leaders butt heads on enlargement after France blocked new Western Balkans talks.

"It'll be the first time the accession of North Macedonia and Albania will be discussed at the highest level," Finnish foreign minister Tytti ...

2019-10-16 11:26 open_in_new
Polish election: analysing why PiS won

Sunday's election in Poland saw a clear win for the ruling Law and Justice (PiS), with results likely to give the rightwing party led by Jarosław Kaczyński an overall majority in the parliament for the next four years.

The election solidifies the party's rule, allowing it to ...

2019-10-16 10:23 open_in_new
Catalonia demands EU intervenes, as crisis deepens

The representative of the Catalonian government to the EU, Meritxell Serret, demanded on Tuesday (15 October) that other political actors, including the European institutions, now intervene to pave the way for a political dialogue between Spain and Catalonia.

The Spanish Supreme court on ...

2019-10-15 17:35 open_in_new
France keen to pause EU enlargement

France wants to pause EU enlargement pending major reforms, in what some fear could "destabilise" the Western Balkans.

"We would like to see the [European] Commission put on the table a new methodology for accession negotiations that makes them less technocratic, more political, and ...

2019-10-15 10:14 open_in_new
Threat to Unesco park mars Montenegro's EU bid

"Durmitor, you are the leader of all mountains" - so goes a 1980s song about a spectacular mountain in Montenegro, a Unesco world heritage site, which survived the uncertainties of the last century, but which faces a new threat just as the Western Balkan country moves closer to the EU.

The ...

2019-10-15 10:14 open_in_new