The two leaders wielding the most influence over the outcome of today’s European Council aren’t even from the EU. The spectre of Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump loomed large over the summit in Brussels.
Thursday’s summit of EU leaders (15 December) will be a “minefield”, senior EU officials warned on Wednesday (14 December), citing a list of “sensitive, explosive stuff” that could blow up in their faces.
The manager of the EU’s Trust Fund for Syria, Nadim Karkutli, told EurActiv in an exclusive interview at this year’s AidEx conference that the fund – helping the five million refugees in neighbouring countries – probably should have started in 2012.
Russia on Thursday (27 October) denied any involvement in deadly air strikes on a Syrian school and rejected a UN-led investigation showing its ally Damascus had carried out chemical attacks, as Moscow's relations with the West took another hit.
British Prime Minister Theresa May today (21 October) insisted that EU leaders’ response to Moscow’s bombing of Aleppo was a success, as Russian warships passed through the English Channel on their way to Syria.
During a meeting with journalists on Tuesday (20 October), Knut Fleckenstein, the Vice-President of the Socialists and Democrats, said that now was not the time to discuss a European army, arguing that it would provoke Russia.
The EU is finally waking up to the desperate crisis unfolding in the Mediterranean and North Africa, and tomorrow’s extraordinary Council summit is a step towards dealing with its consequences, writes Mirjam van Reisen.
The European Union will press Turkey to cooperate more closely in the fight against Islamic State and urge it not to undermine EU sanctions on Russia on a visit this week intended to give new impetus to often fraught EU-Turkish relations.
While tragedies at sea involving African and Arab refugees continue to shock Europeans, Italy intends to push the migratory issue up the political agenda during its presidency, as Rome feels alone in dealing with what it considers a European "emergency".