BRUSSELS, Jan 16 (Reuters) – The European Union has
cancelled a traditional dinner with President Vladimir Putin at
an EU-Russia summit in Brussels later this month to show there
is no “business as usual” after a tug-of-war with Moscow over
Putin will visit Brussels on Jan. 28 for his twice-yearly
summit with the EU’s top officials, despite relations being
under strain. The summit is usually over two days but will be
over in one this time, without the dinner on the night before.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union opened an investigation into licensing agreements between major U.S. film studios and European pay-TV broadcasters on Monday, saying they may break EU anti-trust rules.
The probe by the European Commission, the EU’s anti-trust watchdog, will focus on agreements requiring films licensed by U.S. studios to be shown exclusively in the EU member state where each broadcaster operates via satellite and the Internet.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union officials proposed on Wednesday that the EU move quickly send troops to Central African Republic, either to the capital Bangui or the west of the country, diplomatic sources said.
The proposals for an EU force of at least battalion-strength, roughly 700 to 1,000 soldiers, will please France, which has urged allies to do more to bolster the 1,600 troops it sent to its former colony last month to stop massacres between Muslim and Christian militias triggered by a March coup.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union sought to calm fears in countries like Britain, France and Germany that they face a mass influx of Romanians and Bulgarians following the lifting of restrictions on Wednesday, a change that risks fuelling anti-immigrant sentiment in Europe.
From January 1, seven years after their countries joined the EU, Bulgarians and Romanians are free to live and work anywhere in the 28-nation bloc without applying for work permits.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO and Afghan officials started work on Saturday on drawing up a framework for the alliance to stay on after 2014 despite the fact that a separate pact with the United States, which contributes the bulk of the forces, has still not been signed.
President Hamid Karzai last month defied a consensus in Afghanistan’s grand assembly in favor of the security agreement with the United States, and said he would not sign unless certain conditions were met, and even then, not until after April elections.
BRUSSELS, Dec 19 (Reuters) – European Union leaders agreed
on Thursday to work together more closely on defence and make
falling defence budgets stretch further, but British Prime
Minister David Cameron said London would resist any attempt to
form a European army.
Austerity-hit EU countries have slashed spending in response
to the financial crisis, scaling back on ships, tanks and
fighter jets and undermining Europe’s military strength, much to
the concern of the United States, its critical ally.
BRUSSELS, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine could have been in line
to receive at least 19 billion euros ($26 billion) in European
Union loans and grants over the next seven years if it had
signed a trade and cooperation agreement with the bloc,
according to internal EU estimates.
Ukraine last month abandoned plans to sign the trade
agreement with Brussels at the last moment in favour of closer
ties with former Soviet overlord Russia, sparking huge
demonstrations in protest.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The heads of the U.N. and European Union aid agencies called on Wednesday for a “humanitarian ceasefire” in Syria to allow convoys to deliver help to areas that aid workers cannot reach.
The officials urged all sides in the Syrian war to allow free access for humanitarian groups, saying aid should not be held hostage to political or military considerations.
BRUSSELS/BERLIN, Dec 17 (Reuters) – After many false starts,
Europe looks ready to back plans for a drone development
programme aimed at cutting its reliance on U.S. and Israeli
rivals and bolstering its position in the industry.
European Union leaders meeting in Brussels on Thursday and
Friday will throw their weight behind a drive to build a
next-generation European surveillance drone by 2020 to 2025,
according to a draft communique seen by Reuters.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union said on Monday it remained ready to sign a trade agreement with Ukraine, despite a snub by President Viktor Yanukovich, and it tried to reassure Moscow that closer EU-Ukraine relations posed no threat to Russia.
Brussels also sought to paper over apparent divisions in its approach to Ukraine, as the Dutch foreign minister slapped down a senior EU official for announcing on Twitter that he had suspended work on the trade pact.