Specialist Desk Editor, World Desk, London
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May 21, 2015

Wary EU hosts hopeful ex-Soviets, under Russian glare

RIGA (Reuters) – European Union leaders began a tense summit in Latvia on Thursday with ex-Soviet neighbors that was overshadowed by the continuing confrontation with Russia triggered by the last such event 18 months ago.

Disagreement over the conflict in Ukraine, and over the EU’s reluctance to hold out membership prospects to the six states in its “Eastern Partnership”, has marked the preparations.

May 20, 2015

EU faces awkward meeting with ex-Soviet ‘partners’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders begin a tense summit on Thursday with ex-Soviet neighbours that will be overshadowed by the continuing confrontation with Russia triggered by the last such event 18 months ago.

Disagreement over the conflict in Ukraine, and over the EU’s reluctance to hold out membership prospects to the six states in its “Eastern Partnership”, have held up drafting of a joint communique to be issued in Riga on Friday, diplomats said.

May 19, 2015

EU plan for leaner lawmaking praised by British business

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union executive agreed a plan on Tuesday to streamline how EU law is made and make the process more transparent, in a bid to defuse growing hostility from voters and complaints from business about red tape.

Among employers groups welcoming the “Better Regulation” proposal was the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) which said EU reforms strengthened its case for Britain not to quit the bloc.

May 18, 2015

EU to present plan for leaner lawmaking

BRUSSELS, May 18 (Reuters) – The European Union executive
will present proposals on Tuesday to streamline how EU law is
made, in a bid to defuse growing hostility from voters and
complaints from business about regulatory red tape.

A draft seen by Reuters of a plan from European Commission
deputy head Frans Timmermans suggests making the European
Parliament and member states carry out more cost-benefit
analysis of amendments they want to make to the executive’s
legislative proposals.

May 18, 2015

Russia, Ukraine, EU say trade deal talks were ‘constructive’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia avoided further diplomatic confrontation with Ukraine and the European Union at three-way trade talks on Monday and did not renew previous demands for Kiev’s duty-free deal with the bloc to be put on hold.

Echoing comments from EU and Ukrainian officials, Russian Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters in Brussels that he had not raised the issue of postponing implementation of the EU-Ukraine free trade pact from its Jan. 1, 2016 start date.

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.

    • 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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