Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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May 18, 2015

EU agrees Mediterranean naval mission to tackle people smugglers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union foreign ministers agreed on Monday to set up a naval mission in the Mediterranean to target gangs smuggling people from lawless Libya to Europe.

The EU’s foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the decision taken at a meeting of foreign and defense ministers in Brussels would “disrupt the business model of smugglers and traffickers networks in Mediterranean”.

May 13, 2015

EU plans migrant quotas, Britain opts out

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU announced a plan on Wednesday to distribute asylum-seekers more fairly around its member states and take in 20,000 more refugees, but Britain’s newly re-elected Conservative leaders rejected any quota system imposed from Brussels.

Shocked by thousands of deaths among people trying to reach Europe from North Africa across the Mediterranean, the European Union is trying to put in place a fairer way to resettle asylum-seekers at a time when anti-immigration parties are on the rise.

May 11, 2015

Cameron can count on friends in Brussels as he seeks EU reform

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – David Cameron is not the best liked European leader in Brussels, yet as he seeks changes in the EU to persuade Britons they should stay in, he will not lack offers of friendship

They will come from presidents and fellow prime ministers across the 28-nation European Union and its institutions, none of whom wants to lose the economic, geopolitical and military clout Britain brings to the bloc, however exasperating many find its traditional resistance to closer EU integration.

May 8, 2015

So, Mr Cameron, how can we help? EU seeks to avert Brexit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union reacted to David Cameron’s re-election on Friday by offering early talks on reform of the bloc and saying it was open to changes that would produce a “fair deal” for Britain.

But while few in Brussels or other European capitals would relish a British exit after a referendum he has promised by 2017, the EU executive was quick to warn the prime minister not to push his luck and seek to revise treaties on free migration.

May 7, 2015

Greece defies euro zone on pension, labor reform

ATHENS/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Greece defied its international creditors on Thursday by sticking to “red lines” on pension and labor market reforms and urging lenders to give ground, dimming prospects of progress next week toward securing desperately needed financial aid.

Despite efforts by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to coax leftist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras into moving on two key conditions for releasing EU/IMF bailout funds, the Greek government spokesman said lenders could not expect Athens to make all the concessions for a deal.

May 6, 2015

“Team Juncker” ham for cameras to push EU digital market

BRUSSELS, May 6 (Reuters) – Can a bunch of greying
politicians in Brussels really get with it and give Europe a
revolutionary open market in digital technology?

Jean-Claude Juncker and other EU executives poked fun at
their own generation in an online video posted on Twitter on
Wednesday to try and convince younger Europeans that they can.

Apr 30, 2015

U.S. firms lead EU lobbying league

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. companies, including tech rivals Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Google (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), were among leading spenders on corporate lobbying in Brussels last year, a Reuters review of new data showed (table below).

Companies had until Thursday to update public entries in the European Union’s newly revamped Transparency Register following a tightening of rules in January that obliges firms to register if they want to meet EU commissioners and senior staff.

Apr 30, 2015

Belgian Mertens dies after collapsing on pitch

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Belgium under-21 international Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, three days after collapsing with heart failure during a match, a spokesman for his club, Lokeren, said.

The 24-year-old defender had been in a coma since going into cardiac arrest early in a reserve team game on Monday.

Apr 30, 2015

Soccer-Belgian Mertens dies after collapsing on pitch

BRUSSELS, April 30 (Reuters) – Belgium under-21 international Gregory Mertens died on Thursday, three days after collapsing with heart failure during a match, a spokesman for his club, Lokeren, said.

The 24-year-old defender had been in a coma since going into cardiac arrest early in a reserve team game on Monday.

Apr 24, 2015

EU rescue ships head for Libya, as migrants die also in Balkans

BRUSSELS/SKOPJE, April 24 (Reuters) – British and German
warships made ready to sail for waters off Libya as Europe
ramped up rescue operations in the Mediterranean after up to 900
desperate migrants drowned last weekend on a boat heading for
Italy.

Yet hours after European Union leaders agreed in Brussels on
Thursday to treble funding for EU maritime missions and pledged
more ships and aircraft, 14 clandestine migrants were killed
when a train ploughed into dozens of Somalis and Afghans making
their way in darkness along a rail track in a Macedonian gorge.

    • 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."
      Joined Reuters:
      1990
      Languages:
      English, French, Russian, German, Italian
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