Latest news from EUobserver. Making sense of the EU.
Updated: 2 min 35 sec ago
EU leaders will discuss deepening monetary union at a special summit "in December", European Council head Donald Tusk said on Thursday. The meeting, to discuss creating a eurozone budget and finance ministry and to advance steps on banking union, is to be held in an "inclusive format", Tusk said, indicating that non-members of the 19-nation euro bloc, except the UK, would be welcomed. The talks are part of post-Brexit reforms.
A day before UK PM Theresa May sets out her Brexit strategy in Florence, top EU negotiator Michel Barnier told lawmakers in Rome: there can be no transitional deal for the UK without a withdrawal agreement.
Faced with the growing tension between the Spanish and Catalan governments, the member states and EU institutions would prefer not to get involved.
UK prime minister Theresa May is preparing to ask the EU for a two-year transition deal after Britain leaves the bloc in 2019, the BBC reported, amid final tweaks to her speech in Italy on Friday. She will call for deeper ties than Canada has with the EU (free trade only), but fewer obligations than Norway has (such as free movement of EU migrants), the BBC said.
US and EU officials have said Privacy Shield, a data pact, provided "a high level of data protection for EU individuals" and that over 2,400 entities had signed up to it since it began in mid-2016. Thursday's joint statement came after EU commissioner Vera Jourova spent four days in Washington reviewing the Shield's "commercial and national-security" aspects. The EU court struck down a previous deal, Safe Harbour, in 2015.
The EU said Iran respected its nuclear non-proliferation accord with world powers and the treaty should stay in place, despite US criticism. "There's no need to renegotiate parts of the agreement," EU envoy Federica Mogherini said at the UN in New York Thursday. US leader Donald Trump said Tuesday that the pact, negotiated also with China, France, Germany, Russia, and the UK, was "one of the worst" in US history.
Ninety-eight percent of products can be sold tariff-free between the EU and Canada after a free-trade pact, Ceta, provisionally entered into force on Thursday. Some services, such as transport and telecommunications, can also be sold freely. The EU's 38 national and regional parliaments must still ratify the text. Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, and Spain are the only ones to have done so.
A group of 25 environmental activists are trying to stop a ship carrying Volkswagen (VW) diesel cars to the UK, Greenpeace said on its website Thursday. "They won't give up until VW commits to send it's toxic cars away from the UK and ditch diesel for good," Greenpeace said. Monday marked two years since Volkswagen Group was outed by US authorities as having cheated in emissions tests.
An EUobserver access to documents request
has revealed the countries that have replied to the European Commission's request to comment
on its proposal to renew the license for the weedkiller, glyphosate. They are: Austria, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and the UK. The contents of their papers remain confidential until a decision on renewing glyphosate has been taken - next month at the earliest.
In the year 2015 alone, the EU spent a total €1.2 billion in grants in order to support European NGOs, which lobby the EU institutions.
The EU commission published a paper that outlined several options on how to increase tax income from internet companies' activities, but fell short of proposing legislation.
Industry commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska often finds herself on opposite sides to the car industry, referring to diesel engines as the 'technology of the past'.
The number of asylum seekers "in limbo" in the EU is likely to be greater than the combined populations of Cyprus and Malta, estimates indicate.
Florian Philippot, a vice-president of the French far-right National Front (FN), announced Wednesday that he is quitting the party. Philippot, who is an MEP, had been considered the architect of FN leader Marine Le Pen's failed presidential campaign this year. He was blamed for Le Pen's insistence on defending a French euro exit, an idea rejected by voters. Le Pen was also unhappy about Philippot founding his own political movement.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy called on the Catalan government to stop the "escalation of radicalism and disobedience once and for all," and to cancel the 1 October independence referendum. In a TV address, he said the vote was a "chimera". Spanish police had earlier raided Catalan ministries and arrested officials
, prompting mass protests in Barcelona and other Spanish cities.
The Dutch government said Wednesday that it will ask the Supreme Court to overrule a ruling,
which partially blamed the Netherlands for the 1995 massacre of Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica. In June, an appeals court said: "the state is liable for 30 percent of the losses suffered by the relatives" because Dutch peacekeepers handed men over to Bosnian Serb forces. A government spokesman had said the ruling was "incomprehensible".
Northern Ireland could stay in the single market after Brexit as a way of avoiding a hard border with the Republic of Ireland, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, said in Belfast on Wednesday. The idea was rejected by unionist parties in the region, especially the DUP, which is the party that helps provide UK prime minister Theresa May with a parliamentary majority in Westminster.
European officials have faced strong criticism for prioritising security interests over the rights of vulnerable people, in their efforts to stem migration flows.
Turkey's envoy to the EU says accusations that Turkey stifles free press are "false claims".
The British PM will give her first substantial speech on Brexit since notifying the EU-27 that the UK is leaving. Negotiations have been stalled, but May could give them a boost if she talks money.