Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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Sep 16, 2015

Insight – With Brexit deadlines tight, EU-UK talks start slow

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Jeremy Corbyn and George Osborne have combined to remind Europe that London is now fully embarked on a turbulent, quickfire negotiation with Brussels that may see Britons vote next year to quit the European Union.

As Osborne was in Luxembourg on Saturday securing goodwill from euro zone finance ministers for his call for fair play for sterling, his Labour opponents in London were electing a new left-wing leader, Corbyn, who warns his support for continued EU membership is no “blank cheque”.

Sep 16, 2015

With Brexit deadlines tight, EU-UK talks start slow

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Jeremy Corbyn and George Osborne have combined to remind Europe that London is now fully embarked on a turbulent, quickfire negotiation with Brussels that may see Britons vote next year to quit the European Union.

As Osborne was in Luxembourg on Saturday securing goodwill from euro zone finance ministers for his call for fair play for sterling, his Labor opponents in London were electing a new left-wing leader, Corbyn, who warns his support for continued EU membership is no “blank cheque”.

Sep 15, 2015

Europe’s Frontex gears up to thwart unwanted migrants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s border agency Frontex is preparing to speed up identification of illegal migrants and help deport them in large numbers as irregular arrivals this year topped a record half a million.

“When you have up to 40 percent of migrants coming from a third country not granted refugee status and if nothing happens, if they are not returned, what message does the EU convey to potential migrants?” Frontex head Fabrice Leggeri told Reuters a day after EU ministers agreed to grant the agency more powers and resources.

Sep 14, 2015

EU deadlocked on migrant relocation system

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU ministers failed on Monday to break a deadlock over sharing out responsibility for sheltering some of the hundreds of thousands of people who have sought asylum in Europe this year, leaving the shape of a final deal in doubt.

Determined opposition from a core of ex-Communist eastern states blocked efforts by Germany and France to secure agreement for a proposal by the EU executive to relocate 120,000 people from frontier countries according to mandatory national quotas.

Sep 13, 2015

EU backs German border controls, urges backing of migrant plan

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said Germany appeared legally justified in reimposing border controls with Austria on Sunday, saying the move showed the need for EU states to back the executive’s proposed plans for refugees.

“The temporary reintroduction of border controls between member states is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation,” the Commission said in a statement.

Sep 13, 2015

Schengen: Europe’s open borders in question

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany’s reimposition of border controls with Austria on Sunday has brought home the risks the summer refugee crisis poses to Europe’s system of open frontiers, commonly known as “Schengen”.

The Luxembourg village on the Moselle where old enemies France and Germany meet gave its name 30 years ago to the code which removed border checks between most European states. But hundreds of thousands of people arriving on the bloc’s external borders claiming asylum, and discord among governments over where to put them, has exposed weaknesses in the Schengen ideal.

Sep 13, 2015

Germany re-imposes border controls to slow migrant arrivals

BERLIN/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany re-imposed border controls on Sunday after Europe’s most powerful nation acknowledged it could scarcely cope with thousands of asylum seekers arriving every day.

Berlin announced that the temporary measure would be taken first on the southern frontier with Austria, where migrant arrivals have soared since Chancellor Angela Merkel effectively opened German borders to refugees a week ago.

Sep 11, 2015

EU, railways review security after train attack in France

BRUSSELS, Sept 11 (Reuters) – Security experts and European
rail operators discussed ways to counter threats on Friday,
after an attack on an Amsterdam-Paris express last month that
police said might have ended in carnage.

Any new security measures should remain “proportionate” to
the limited scale of the threat in relation to the millions
travelling daily on the continent’s railways, said the European
Union officials who hosted the meeting in Brussels.

Sep 11, 2015

EU split over refugee quotas before crunch meeting

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU diplomats are set to work through the weekend to try to settle arguments about how to tackle Europe’s refugee crisis before a crunch meeting of interior ministers on Monday.

Donald Tusk, who chairs the European Council of national leaders, warned that he would call them to a summit if there was no solution to a deadlock that has left Greece, Italy and Hungary over-burdened and migrants and refugees, many of them fleeing conflict in Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan, ignoring EU rules to stream across the continent’s open borders.

Sep 10, 2015

Juncker appeals to Europe on refugees, as more move on

STRASBOURG (Reuters) – European Union chief executive Jean-Claude Juncker appealed to European countries on Wednesday to share out a wave of refugees crowding in on their frontiers, but at the same time promised tougher border controls to keep unwanted migrants out.

As he spoke, disarray across the continent was driven home when police in Hungary, Austria and Denmark closed major highways as groups of migrants, hundreds strong, marched north. Defying Hungary’s new border fence and EU asylum rules, tens of thousands are crossing frontiers to reach Germany and Sweden.

    • 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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