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

EU’s Juncker wrestles with Slovenian hitch to team’s approval

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The incoming head of the EU executive was in intensive talks with the European Parliament and the government of Slovenia on Thursday to try and unblock a final obstacle to legislative approval of his new team.

Jean-Claude Juncker welcomed a series of committee votes in parliament late on Wednesday that saw all but one of his line-up approved by a broad left-right coalition following several days of party wrangling that had threatened to disrupt the process.

Oct 9, 2014

EU’s new executive largely clears parliamentary hurdle

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A left-right alliance of big parties in the European Parliament delivered a near-complete endorsement of the new EU executive on Wednesday, after a week of partisan haggling that threatened to wreck Jean-Claude Juncker’s line-up.

The incoming president of the European Commission lost one casualty from the 27-strong team he had proposed to lawmakers; Slovenia will need to offer him a new candidate after its former premier Alenka Bratusek suffered a humiliating vote in committee on Wednesday night that found her unsuited to be a commissioner.

Oct 9, 2014
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.

    • 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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