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September 17, 2010 | Ashton designates six new 'strategic partners'
EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton has indicated that Egypt, Israel, Indonesia, Pakistan, Ukraine and South Korea could join the EU's existing list of privileged or "strategic" partners. Ms Ashton put forward the new names in a powerpoint presentation at a meeting of EU leaders and foreign ministers in Brussels on Thursday (16 September). The roll-call of six countries ended with a "..." to indicate that the club remains open to other up-and-coming powers, an EU diplomatic source said.
September 16, 2010 | Brussels to tame 'Wild West' derivatives and short-selling
In the latest part of its endeavour to bring an end to the light-touch regulatory climate that produced the economic crisis, the European Commission has proposed a series of rules intending to shine a light on the until-now murky trading in some of the market's more complicated financial practices: derivatives and short-selling.
September 15, 2010 | EU bid for more rights at UN suffers surprise defeat
The European Union suffered a defeat at the United Nations on Tuesday (14 September) in its attempt to win most of the rights enjoyed by fully-fledged UN members after other regional blocs said it was unfair that Europe would get a boost in its standing at the global body but not them.
September 14, 2010 | MEPs to set up anti-intergovernmentalism group
Alarmed at what they see as a rise in the European Union of 'intergovernmentalism' some euro-deputies are mounting a counter-offensive to promote the importance of the EU and its institutions. To be known as the Spinelli group, after the Italian political thinker Altiero Spinelli and one of the "founding fathers" of the EU, the idea is the brainchild of Guy Verhofstadt, the head of the liberal group in the parliament, and his Green counterpart, Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
September 14, 2010 | EU set to take France to court over Roma policy
In a rare outburst of criticism against France, the EU commission said it will take Paris to court after leaked documents proved that French police were instructed to specifically target Roma in the accelerated expulsions which took place last month.
September 13, 2010 | EU urges Turkey to go further with internal reforms
Turkish citizens on Sunday (12 September) approved a constitutional reform that would weaken the influence of the military, but the EU has warned it will keep a close watch on the implementation of the changes and urged further fundamental rights reforms. The proposed changes, passed with an estimated 58 percent in favour and 42 against, would allow civilian courts to try military personnel for crimes against the state and opens the way to prosecuting those involved in the country's 1980 military coup.
August 10, 2010 | Budget reform debate
The first shots have been fired in what is likely to be a bitter debate over reforming the EU's budget, with Germany and the UK already coming out strongly against tentative plans by Brussels on an EU tax. EU budget commission Janusz Lewandowski is towards the end of September due to table proposals for overhauling the way the EU finances itself and how the money is spent.
August 09, 2010 | Brussels plans EU Tax
As the economic downturn sees many member states seek ways of cutting back on public spending, the European Commission believes the time is right to put the thorny idea of the EU raising its own taxes back on the table. EU budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski told German daily Financial Times Deutschland that the feelings on the idea of an EU tax had changed in national capitals.
July 28, 2010 | Brussels worried about falling support for EU in Iceland
The European Union formally launched negotiations with Iceland on Tuesday over the north Atlantic island's accession to the bloc even as negative opinion towards the EU mounts, a development that has not gone unnoticed in Brussels and other national capitals.
A member of a German quintet of professors that is currently challenging the legality of Europe's recently-devised support measures has said they threaten to create enormous tensions between EU citizens if allowed to stand. In a telephone interview with EUobserver on Thursday (22 July), Wilhelm Nolling, professor of economics at the University of Hamburg, said the idea that Greece would be able to pay back its loans to EU states was simply "ridiculous," given the country's level of indebtedness and lack of competitiveness. As a result, EU citizens in lender countries would increasingly begin to question the merits of this implicit system of wealth redistribution, he predicted. "A transfer union will destroy the social peace in Europe," he said. "Do you think the Germans will be able to keep quiet?"
July 22, 2010 | France and Germany to coordinate defence spending cuts
France and Germany are intending to co-ordinate defence spending cuts in a bid to ensure that joint programmes are not endangered by unilateral moves to rein in monies spent on military issues.
July 15, 2010 | June List and EUDemocrats debate the Euro
June List & EU Democrats in Almedalen Theme of the Seminar: "What is happening with the euro?" Thursday 8th of July 10.00-12.00 Hedbergs Music and Book Cafe, Visby, Sweden
July 13, 2010 | Sighs of relief as EU parliament approves 'Swift' deal
Top EU and US officials have breathed a collective sigh of relief after the European Parliament approved a new "Swift" deal on terrorism and bank data, closing a six-month "security gap" after it struck down an initial agreement in February.
July 06, 2010 | Breakthrough in Iceland
The biggest party in Iceland demands the withdrawal of the country’s EU application.
July 01, 2010 | Belgian presidency sets parliament in its sights
Belgium formally takes over the EU's six-month rotating presidency from Spain today (1 July), promising a slimmed-down but professional performance under the bloc's new Lisbon Treaty rules.
June 28, 2010 | Wins and losses for EU at G20
A range of compromise agreements enabled leaders to save face on Sunday (27 June) as the Group of 20 meeting in Canada drew to a close.
June 24, 2010 | EU democracy instrument continues to cause headaches
It is meant to be the most clear democratising feature of the EU's new rulebook, the Lisbon Treaty, but implementation of the "citizen's initiative" is a political minefield and is prompting much discussion about the danger of the tool turning into a mockery of democracy.
June 22, 2010 | Trichet: EU needs automatic budgetary sanctions
The European Central Bank has waded into the ongoing debate on toughening up the EU's budgetary rules, saying a "quantum leap" is needed to ensure member state compliance in the future.