Politics 15-12-2017

WRAPUP – Final #EUCO summit yields few results and one major dispute

European Union leaders gather in Brussels on 14-15 December for the final European Council summit of the year. Follow our live coverage for all the latest developments.

The Brief: Money can’t buy you friends

Migration was confirmed to be the most divisive issue in European politics at the final 2017 EU summit. The Visegrad group (Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia) will pay €35 million, but calling this “solidarity” is ludicrous.

Brexit 15-12-2017

Court in the Brexit cross-fire

Honour on both sides of the Channel may have been satisfied, for now. The EU has a promise from London that it will pay around €40 billion and sufficient guarantees on the rights of EU citizens and the Irish border. And Prime Minister Theresa May has a commitment from Brussels to begin talks on a successor EU-UK trade deal.

Economy & Jobs 15-12-2017

Mercosur free trade deal could fail yet again

The risk that the EU-Mercosur trade talks get derailed yet again is high, writes Iana Dreyer, spelling out the warning signs.

Energy 15-12-2017

EU governments are self-sabotaging the clean energy drive

On Monday (18 December), the 28 European energy ministers will risk making the transition to a low carbon economy harder for themselves and more expensive for all of us, because of their self-sabotaging tendencies, warns Manon Dufour.

Politics 15-12-2017

Schuman overhaul to banish muddy puddles from roundabout

The drab mud and puddles that cover Schuman roundabout, the main feature of Brussels’ European quarter, will soon be a thing of the past after a winning design for its redevelopment was picked by an expert committee last week.

Freedom of thought 15-12-2017

Trans-Europe Express: Focusing on Venezuela to forget our own problems

This year, the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize went to the Venezuelan opposition, in the EU’s recognition of their fight for human rights.

Politics 15-12-2017

French anti-terrorism law normalises state of emergency

France’s constitutional council will be led in the coming months to decide on the constitutionality of the anti-terrorism law. The text, which extends certain measures of the state of emergency, worries jurists and defenders of human rights. EURACTIV France reports.

Romanian street protests continue as MPs press on with justice law change

Romanians took to streets to vent their anger with the parliament’s rush to change laws that govern the justice system, against the recommendation of both the local magistrates’ associations and foreign partners, including diplomats and the European Commission.

Politics 15-12-2017

Analyst: Most EU states sit on fence when it comes to frozen conflicts

EURACTIV.com asked Amanda Paul to comment on the annual report on common foreign and security policy adopted by the European Parliament on 12 December, with reference to the Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries.

Agrifood 15-12-2017

English rivers polluted by powerful insecticides, tests reveal

Rivers in England are contaminated with powerful insecticides, new testing has revealed, increasing concerns over the impact of the toxic chemicals on fish and birds. EURACTIV's partner The Guardian reports.

Enlargement 15-12-2017

Serbia judges want more transparency, independence, higher pay

There is a widespread lack of trust among judges and prosecutors in Serbia in the process of electing judiciary officials and climbing the career ladder, with eight out of ten believing that those processes are steered by connections and nepotism as much as by objective criteria.

Czech PM wants to convince Juncker to abandon refugee quotas

The Czech Republic insists that it will not accept any refugees under the EU relocation system, despite a legal case brought by the European Commission.

Global Europe 15-12-2017

EU leaders agree to roll over Russia sanctions ‘after intense discussion’

EU leaders yesterday (14 December) agreed to extend tough economic sanctions against Russia over its meddling in Ukraine for six months, EU Council President Donald Tusk said.

Future EU 15-12-2017

Polish PM expects ‘nuclear’ article 7 to be triggered next Wednesday

Poland's new prime minister said on Thursday (14 December) that he expects the EU to impose unprecedented sanctions next week that could strip his government of its voting rights over its controversial court reforms.

Brexit 15-12-2017

EU to move Brexit talks forward after praise for May

EU leaders are expected to unlock the next stage of Brexit negotiations at a summit on Friday (15 December) after applauding British Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce proposals.

Brexit 15-12-2017

Bulgarian PM on Brexit: ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov took the liberty to comment on Brexit on the sidelines of the EU summit on Thursday (14 December), using language that obviously diverges from the common line adopted by the EU27.

Energy 15-12-2017

UK gets Russian gas for Christmas, despite US sanctions

The United Kingdom will take direct delivery of Russian gas for the first time this month, after fears of a winter supply crisis pushed prices up. The deal is controversial because the provider is a Russian gas project that is the subject of US sanctions against Moscow.

Digital 15-12-2017

Estonia seeks deal on data flows to cap tech-focused Council presidency

Estonia wants to seal an agreement next week between member states that would allow data to move easily across the EU, a priority file that the Baltic country pushed for throughout its six-month role leading legal negotiations.

Climate change 15-12-2017

Climate change means meat taxes are ‘increasingly probable’

Investors claim that the implementation of the Paris Agreement will lead to some governments introducing a "livestock levy" that cuts meat consumption from diets, in a move that could avoid up to $600 billon in climate damages by 2050. EURACTIV’s partner edie.net reports.

Defence policy 15-12-2017

‘Bad news for enemies’: EU leaders officially launch defence pact

Flanked by soldiers in combat dress, European leaders inaugurated on Thursday (14 December) a landmark defence cooperation pact that EU Council President Donald Tusk said was "bad news for our enemies".

Brexit 15-12-2017

Tweets of the Week: Brexit, kebab, and diversity

Welcome to Tweets of the Week. Brexit talks are looking drab, MEPs love a kebab, and EU diversity needs big rehab.

Global Europe 14-12-2017

Migration row mars EU summit, exposes divides

EU leaders ended the first day of the end-of-year European Council summit with no sign of tensions thawing amid recent disagreements on migration, which have once again exposed divides between eastern members and 'old Europe'.

Climate change 14-12-2017

EU strikes deal on zero emission target for forest sector by 2030

EU member states reached a preliminary agreement with the European Parliament on the land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) regulation on Thursday (14 December), closing the trilogues ahead of a plenary vote in January.