Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
Alastair's Feed
Oct 15, 2015

EU sees progress on Turkey refugee talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union negotiators have made good progress in talks with Turkey on cooperation on aiding Syrian refugees and stemming the flow of migrants to Europe, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Wednesday.

As EU leaders gathered in Brussels for a summit that will be dominated by a dinner discussion on Turkey and Syria, Juncker said his deputy, Frans Timmermans, had called from Turkey to say there was a “prospect of success” after late-night talks there.

Oct 14, 2015

EU gropes forward on refugee plans, wooing Turkey

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders meeting in Brussels must deliver on promises of cash and immigration officers to tackle the refugee crisis, the European Union’s executive said on Wednesday as it stepped up negotiations with Turkey.

“Promises are not enough. There has to be proof of action,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told the European Parliament in a speech outlining his expectations for a summit of the 28 heads of state and government on Thursday.

Oct 14, 2015

‘Takes two to tango,’ EU’s Juncker warns before Cameron meeting

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker pledged on Wednesday to work for fair new membership terms for Britain but warned David Cameron to respect Europe’s interests as well, saying “it takes two to tango”.

The European Commission president, who will meet the British prime minister over lunch on Thursday ahead of a summit of EU national leaders, repeated in a speech to the European Parliament that he wanted “a fair deal with Britain”.

Oct 13, 2015

EU’s Tusk warns Turkey to cut refugee flow if it wants favors

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Council President Donald Tusk warned Turkey on Tuesday that it will only win concessions from the EU, such as easier travel visas, if it successfully reduces the flow of refugees reaching Europe.

In a letter to EU leaders setting the agenda for a summit he will chair in Brussels on Thursday, Tusk noted the start this month of negotiations on the migrant crisis with Turkey, which EU officials say wants more visa waivers, more EU funding and progress on its longstanding application to join the bloc.

Oct 13, 2015

EU sees Ukraine winter gas funded, wants more in storage

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union officials who brokered the Russian gas supply deal to see Ukraine through the winter are confident it is funded and would like Kiev to top up its stocks by up to 20 percent before the cold sets in.

Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission vice president for energy, told Reuters that a deal agreed in Brussels on Sept. 26 set a formula that would give Ukraine Russian gas at a price similar to others in the region, and notably Poland.

Oct 13, 2015

EU migrant arrivals 170,000 in September: Frontex

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Some 170,000 irregular migrants entered the European Union in September, the bloc’s border agency Frontex said on Tuesday, taking the total for the year so far to 710,000.

That compares with 282,000 migrants crossing irregularly for the whole of 2014 as Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since World War Two. Some of the increase may reflect double-counting, notably due to a surge in people arriving in Greece but then crossing the Balkans and re-entering the EU in Hungary.

Oct 13, 2015

EU migrant arrivals 170,000 in Sept – Frontex

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Some 170,000 irregular migrants entered the European Union in September, the bloc’s border agency Frontex said on Tuesday, taking the total for the year so far to 710,000.

That compares with 282,000 migrants crossing irregularly for the whole of 2014 as Europe faces its biggest refugee crisis since World War Two. Some of the increase may reflect double-counting, notably due to a surge in people arriving in Greece but then crossing the Balkans and re-entering the EU in Hungary.

Oct 12, 2015

With UK renegotiation ahead, Brussels “waits for David”

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – David Cameron will have an expectant but not especially patient, or even attentive, audience when he meets fellow European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels at the end of this week.

“Waiting for David” has become something of a catchphrase among diplomats and officials, who say the British prime minister is frustrating them by not yet detailing his demands for new EU legislation ahead of the membership referendum he plans to hold within the next couple of years.

Oct 11, 2015

Brussels ‘waits for David’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – David Cameron will have an expectant but not especially patient, or even attentive, audience when he meets fellow European Union leaders at a summit in Brussels at the end of this week.

“Waiting for David” has become something of a catchphrase among diplomats and officials, who say the British prime minister is frustrating them by not yet detailing his demands for new EU legislation ahead of the membership referendum he plans to hold.

Oct 9, 2015

Exclusive: EU set to suspend Belarus sanctions for four months after vote

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will lift its sanctions on Belarus, including those on authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko, for four months after Sunday’s vote barring any last-minute crackdown, diplomatic sources said.

EU foreign ministers will take the decision on Monday, diplomats said, ending three weeks of difficult talks to respond to his pardoning of six jailed political prisoners in August and hosting of peace talks for Ukraine in February.

    • 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
    • More from Alastair

    • Contact Alastair

    • Follow Alastair