Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
Alastair's Feed
Oct 9, 2014
Oct 8, 2014

Ukraine ‘frozen conflict’ could hurt Europe: Foreign Minister Klimkin

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine warned the European Union on Wednesday not to accept pro-Russian rebels carving out a de facto state and said that unlike other “frozen conflicts” in the former Soviet Union it could destabilize all of Europe.

Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin, speaking to Reuters during a visit with EU and NATO officials in Brussels, urged Moscow to dissuade separatists from holding their own elections in the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk next month. He said local people would do better to vote in local elections organized by Kiev in December.

Oct 8, 2014

EU lawmakers throw out Juncker nominee, forcing reshuffle

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament rejected the appointment of a new energy chief for the bloc on Wednesday in a committee vote that will force the incoming head of the European Union executive, Jean-Claude Juncker, to reshuffle his team.

Alenka Bratusek, the former Slovenian prime minister chosen by Juncker to be his vice president for energy union, had looked set for a fall since a stumbling performance in a confirmation hearing on Monday. As a centrist who lacked the backing of her own government, she also fell victim to efforts by the main right and left parties in Brussels to share out key posts.

Oct 7, 2014
Oct 6, 2014
Oct 6, 2014

New EU executive hits obstacle in parliament

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The formation of a new EU executive hit a fresh snag on Monday when a parliamentary committee rejected the Hungarian nominated to run education and culture due to his record in a government accused of curbing civic rights.

The committee voted to accept Tibor Navracsics in another role on the European Commission but asked its incoming president, Jean-Claude Juncker, not to assign him the education, culture, youth and citizenship portfolio Juncker had proposed.

Oct 6, 2014

EU lawmakers reject Hungarian culture nominee, disrupting Juncker plan

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A European Parliament committee voted on Monday to reject the nomination of Hungarian Tibor Navracsics as education and culture commissioner, though it accepted that he could be a part of the EU executive in another role, lawmakers said.

“First defeat for Juncker!” tweeted Spanish Green Ernest Maragall, saying the vote in the culture and education committee went 14-12 against the Hungarian taking the post he was offered.

Oct 3, 2014

Moscovici set new quiz as EU executive hits political turbulence

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Pierre Moscovici, the French Socialist nominated to run the EU’s economic affairs, must answer a new round of written questions from skeptical conservative lawmakers after the vetting of a new EU executive became entangled in political score-settling.

Following a late-night decision in the European Parliament’s economic committee, the former French finance minister was spared the fate of Britain’s Jonathan Hill, who was ordered to face a second hearing in the same committee next week to defend his suitability to oversee banking and financial services.

Oct 3, 2014
Oct 2, 2014

France’s Moscovici struggles to convince EU lawmakers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France’s Pierre Moscovici struggled to convince European Union lawmakers on Thursday he could enforce budget rules that his own country has repeatedly breached, as the formation of a new European Commission turned into a tit-for-tat political battle.

The Socialist, who was finance minister in Paris until six months ago, promised to apply the bloc’s deficit rules equally to all euro zone states, including his own, if confirmed as economic and monetary affairs commissioner.

    • About Alastair

      "Editor for political and general news across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. In 21 years with Reuters, have reported widely on conflict, elections, society, economics, culture and sport from postings in Paris, Moscow, Berlin, London, Baghdad and Jerusalem."
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