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28/09/2016

Bulgaria to ask EU leaders for €160 million to police border

Items by Georgi Gotev


Global Europe 28-09-2016

Breaking: Borissov nominates Georgieva for UN top job

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov today (28 September) nominated Commission Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva to be his country’s candidate to run for the post of UN Secretary-General.
Europe's East 28-09-2016

Aliyev says Azerbaijan stronger after referendum

The President of Azerbaijan said his country has never been stronger, more free and independent, in a speech following a referendum on constitutional reform held on Monday (26 September) and backed by over 91% of the population.
Enlargement 27-09-2016

World Bank: Western Balkans economically resilient despite setbacks

The World Bank published  a report today (27 September) revealing that the economies of the six Western Balkans countries have performed rather well despite Brexit, the slow recovery in the EU and enlargement fatigue.
Global Europe 27-09-2016

Georgieva close to UN nomination, but obstacle remains

European Commission Vice President Kristalina Georgieva, who doesn’t make a secret of her ambition to run for the post of UN Secretary General, has never been closer to obtaining the nomination of her government. But an important obstacle remains.
Global Europe 26-09-2016

Commission deplores Swiss canton referendum

The Italian-speaking Swiss canton of Ticino voted decisively yesterday (25 September) in favour of tougher controls on foreign workers. The European Commission deplored this development, which arrives at a time when a solution is sought to keep alive the EU-Switzerland Free Movement of Persons agreement.
Europe's East 26-09-2016

Azerbaijan referendum to give more powers to Aliyev

Azerbaijanis went to the polls today (26 September) in a controversial referendum on handing extra powers to long-serving President Ilham Aliyev, with opposition and human rights groups criticising the proposed constitutional changes as undemocratic.
Global Europe 26-09-2016

'Balkan route' nations turn away from EU solution to refugee crisis

European countries on the route used by more than a million migrants to reach the continent last year agreed on Saturday (24 September) to focus on the more easily achievable ways of preventing another influx than the big issues the EU is divided over, Austria said.
Global Europe 26-09-2016

US, European allies call on Russia to save Syria truce

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini joined the foreign ministers of France, Italy, Germany, the UK and the US on Saturday (24 September) in ordering Russia to take "extraordinary steps" to bring about a truce in its ally Syria. But renewed attacks by Syrian forces on Sunday prompted  stronger criticism by the US.

Europe risks exclusion from key UN climate body

The ratification of the Paris deal on slashing greenhouse gas emissions by the USA and China has caught the EU by surprise. In a stunt never seen before, EU countries will make efforts to pass the deal through national parliaments by 7 October.

Analysts: Expect visa liberalisation for Turkey by early 2017

Turkey analysts said today (22 September) that the lifting of the visa requirement for Turkish citizens will likely not materialise before the year's end, if not in early 2017.

Flexible solidarity: Slovakia gives 550 scholarships to refugees

In a gesture illustrating the concept of “flexible solidarity”, Slovakia announced that it will offer 550 state scholarships to young people that will be able to come to Slovakia to study in its universities, but it will not grant them asylum.
Public Affairs 22-09-2016

Racism row hits campaign to boost Italian birthrate

An Italian government campaign hoping to boost the country's flagging birthrate was yesterday (21 September) condemned as racist, just weeks after its original promotional material was panned for being sexist.

Slovakia becomes fourth EU country to ratify the Paris Agreement

The Slovak parliament today voted today (21 September) to ratify the Paris Agreement, the landmark international treaty in the fight against climate change. After France, Hungary and Austria, Slovakia, who holds the rotating presidency of the EU, is the fourth country to ratify the deal.
Europe's East 21-09-2016

Azerbaijan says US pressure led to OSCE Baku closure

The closure of the OSCE office in Baku was the result of US pressure, Ilham Aliyev told the EU-Azerbaijan parliamentary committee yesterday (20 September). EurActiv.com broke the news of its shuttering in June 2015.
Global Europe 21-09-2016

EU adds its voice condemning attack on Syria humanitarian convoy

The EU has added its voice to the international row over the deadly attack on a humanitarian convoy near Aleppo on Monday (19 September), but - unlike the USA - it did not point its finger at Russia.
Enlargement 21-09-2016

EU accepts Bosnia and Herzegovina’s membership application

The European Union's 28 member states yesterday (20 September) accepted Bosnia and Herzegovina's membership application and ordered the Commission to prepare an assessment of the Balkan country's readiness to join the bloc.
Elections 20-09-2016

Envelope manufacturers deny responsibility for Austrian election meltdown

The Austrian government said the rerun of the presidential election has been delayed because defective glue caused mail-in ballot envelopes to open, rendering the vote invalid. But the European Federation of Envelope Manufacturers (FEPE) replied that envelopes are not to blame.
Europe's East 20-09-2016

Russian MP: ‘We will buy Bulgaria, we already bought half of the coast’

A statement by a Russian MP has sent wave shocks in Bulgaria, the country beginning to realise that the many Russians who bought real estate to Bulgaria may sooner or later become a powerful political force,

Hungary readies attacks on Juncker over migration referendum

A spokesman for the Hungarian government, Zoltán Kovács, told a group of Brussels journalists yesterday (19 September) that the so-called ‘migrant quota’ referendum to be held next month in Hungary will expose the "stealth way the EU is working" during the past two years of the Juncker Commission.
Enlargement 19-09-2016

Serbia’s media privatisation leaves bitter aftertaste

The privatisation of media in Serbia has left the sector looking bleak. Many media providers have been shut down, more than 1,000 journalists and other media professionals have lost their jobs, and the survival of many of the privatised media is uncertain. EurActiv Serbia reports.

‘Flexible solidarity’ becomes new tool in response to refugee crisis

The Bratislava summit marks a turning point in the evolution of the EU’s response to the migration crisis, as Germany and other Western nations appeared to accept the Visegrad Group's alternative to relocation and migrant quotas, called "flexible solidarity”.
UK & Europe 16-09-2016

Tusk in Bratislava: Maybe the EU will be stronger after Brexit

The Bratislava summit, which ended on Friday (16 September), was supposed to focus on security and border control as well as other consensual issues following Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

Schulz admits mandatory relocation of refugees has failed

Speaking to journalists at the start of the Bratislava summit today (16 September), Parliament President Martin Schulz admitted that the system of relocating refugees based on mandatory quotas isn't working, and that the Visegrad group is expected to table an alternative proposal.

Bulgaria to ask EU leaders for €160 million to police border

Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov has slammed the EU for lack of solidarity and said he will request leaders at tomorrow’s EU summit in Bratislava for the immediate release of €160 million of aid for strengthening the country’s borders.