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.

Global Europe 15-12-2017

EU leaders hope for migration breakthrough by June

EU leaders are preparing for a difficult start to 2018 when heads of state weigh new measures to deal with illegal migration. But the European Commission and European Council leaders agree that they want to avoid putting migration proposals to a vote that could divide member states.

Elections 15-12-2017

Macron and Merkel give last warning to Poland

French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will support the Commission if it decides to trigger Article 7 against Warsaw next week, the two told a joint press conference at the end of a two-day EU summit on Friday (15 December).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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'.

14-12-2017

The Brief: On three big issues, the EU stands united

It was a big surprise to see an institutional crisis unfold this week, with the harsh and undiplomatic reaction of Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos to a letter by Council President Donald Tusk. But this glitch aside, one has to praise the leaders of the EU countries for their unity over three other difficult issues.

Future EU 14-12-2017

New Polish PM Morawiecki makes summit debut

Poland's newly appointed Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki will attend his first  European summit in Brussels on Thursday (14 December), where leaders and policymakers hope he will be more cooperative than his predecessor Beata Szydło, who resigned this week.

Electricity 14-12-2017

France, Portugal and Spain to attend mini energy summit

Portugal will organise early next year a summit dedicated solely to energy interconnectors, as lawmakers work to end the Iberian peninsula’s energy market isolation.

Italy condemned again for failing to recognise same-sex marriages

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) condemned Italy on Thursday (14 December) for failing to recognise same-sex marriages, a ruling that will result in a token financial compensation for the plaintiffs and more negative publicity for the country.

Health 14-12-2017

Access to clinical trials and innovative treatments at risk after Brexit

LONDON: Patients in Britain risk delays to access life-saving medicines if the UK deviates from EU regulatory standards post-Brexit, a leading medical representative has warned.

Romania’s lower house passes judicial overhaul bills

Romania’s lower house of parliament approved yesterday (13 December) legislation to overhaul its justice system, legislation that the European Commission, the US State Department and the country’s president have criticised as threatening judicial independence.

Elections 14-12-2017

Czechia’s Babiš takes office just in time for EU summit

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, a billionaire businessman who ran on an anti-establishment ticket, took office with his cabinet on Wednesday (13 December) but it was unclear whether his tenure will survive a confidence vote next month.

Elections 14-12-2017

Weber says future of EU will dominate German coalition talks, calls for realism

The future of the EU will be one of the key issues for the coalition talks in Berlin, admitted Manfred Weber, the leader the centre-right European Peoples' Party group and member of the Christian Social Union (CSU) – the Bavarian sister party to the Christian-Democrats (CDU).

Brexit 14-12-2017

Theresa May suffers major parliamentary defeat ahead of EU summit

Prime Minister Theresa May’s government was defeated yesterday (13 December), when lawmakers forced through changes to its Brexit blueprint that ministers said could endanger Britain’s departure from the European Union.