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Mar 5, 2015

Europe’s top court rejects Iranian trade bank’s sanctions challenge

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s highest court threw out a challenge by a Hamburg-based Iranian trade bank to its inclusion on the European Union’s sanctions list on Thursday, a victory for the EU after a number of its Iran sanctions rulings were overturned by courts.

The EU had imposed an asset freeze on Europaeisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH) in 2011 as part of sanctions aimed at forcing Iran to address concerns over its nuclear program.

Mar 4, 2015

EU defence industry seen threatened by fall in research spending

BRUSSELS, March 4 (Reuters) – Europe’s defence industry is
under threat unless the continent tackles a worrying drop in
spending on research and technology, the new chief executive of
the European Defence Agency said on Wednesday.

Many European governments have cut spending on defence and
related research and development since the 2008 financial
crisis, squeezing defence contractors. Only now, with the
Ukraine conflict stoking tensions, are some governments pledging
to spend more on defence.

Mar 4, 2015

Ukraine crisis prompts EU to shake up stance on neighbors

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union launched a review of the way it handles neighboring nations on Wednesday after its policy of offering closer ties to former Soviet republics led it unwittingly into confrontation with Russia.

The EU’s executive Commission also began work on a new immigration policy, which will offer expanded opportunities for legal migration as a way of reducing a wave of illegal migrants that has led to thousands of deaths in the Mediterranean sea.

Mar 3, 2015

Ebola-hit countries seek help to repair their economies

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The three West African states hardest hit by the Ebola outbreak asked for help from donors on Tuesday to repair the damage to their economies now that the epidemic seems to be waning.

Leaders of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone voiced confidence at a major international conference on the Ebola outbreak in Brussels that they were winning the battle but said they must remain focused on stamping out new infections.

Mar 2, 2015

EU seeks to bolster Middle East Quartet via Arab involvement

JERUSALEM/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – High-level discussions are underway on increasing involvement of Arab powers to reinvigorate a four-member group overseen by Britain’s Tony Blair that has been seeking to mediate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since 2002.

Rather than formally expanding the Middle East Quartet’s membership, the idea is to have more frequent top-level meetings with at least Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt to ensure the region is more closely engaged at a time of tumultuous change, senior diplomats based in the Middle East and Europe said.

Feb 26, 2015

Georgia says Russia bent on ‘creeping annexation’ of breakaway regions

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia is moving ahead with the “creeping annexation” of two breakaway Georgian regions as part of an aggressive strategy to broaden its influence in the region, Georgia’s foreign minister said on Thursday.

In talks with EU and NATO officials in Brussels this week, Tamar Beruchashvili said she had underlined Georgia’s concern about agreements Moscow has signed deepening integration with the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Feb 26, 2015

U.S. deserter needs Iraq war crimes evidence to be refugee: EU court

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A U.S. soldier who deserted because he thought the Iraq war was illegal could have grounds for seeking asylum in Germany but only if he can show he would have been involved in war crimes, Europe’s highest court said on Thursday.

The European Court of Justice added that even if Andre Shepherd could prove war crimes were very likely to have been committed, he would still have to show he had no alternative to desertion, such as becoming a conscientious objector.

Feb 19, 2015

After Ukraine mediation, EU looks to embrace Lukashenko

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko’s hosting of Ukraine peace talks may have a side effect at home – helping thaw relations between the European Union and a man the West calls “Europe’s last dictator”.

A meeting in Minsk on Friday with the foreign minister of neighbouring Latvia, travelling in his capacity as chair of the EU ministerial council, will mark another step in what diplomats say is an accelerating process that could see some easing of sanctions on Lukashenko and even an invitation to a May summit.

Feb 17, 2015

EU hangs tough, waiting for Greece to bend as euro wilts

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union finance ministers piled pressure on Greece on Tuesday to remain in an international financial rescue program as the euro weakened on fears of disruption when Athens’ credit lines expire in 10 days time.

But as he returned to meetings on other, routine, matters with his EU counterparts in Brussels after the collapse of talks on Monday night, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis dismissed their argument that his only option is to come back to them and ask to extend a bailout rejected by Greek voters.

Feb 12, 2015

EU leaders to urge stricter border checks in counter-terror drive

BRUSSELS, Feb 12 (Reuters) – European Union leaders are set
to call on Thursday for stricter checks on travellers entering
the passport-free Schengen area and increased
information-sharing as part of a revamped counter-terrorism
strategy following the Paris attacks.

Spain had suggested that the agreement governing the
26-nation Schengen zone might have to be amended to permit more
border checks on people suspected of terrorist links after 17
people were killed in a wave of violence in France last month
that began with an attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.

    • About Adrian

      "I am part of Reuters UK reporting team, writing mainly about UK politics and foreign policy. My previous postings with Reuters were in Spain, Belgium, the United States, Colombia, Nicaragua and South Africa."
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