Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
Dec 19, 2014

Merckx and Ickx feted as Belgium’s speed demons

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Eddy Merckx did it on a bicycle, Jacky Ickx drove fast for Formula 1. Now that both are approaching 70, an exhibition is celebrating their feats as two of history’s speediest Belgians.

The stunning accomplishments of the “fast friends” are chronicled in an exhibition that runs until June 21, just after Merckx’s 70th birthday on June 17. Ickx turns 70 on Jan. 1.

Dec 17, 2014

EU lawmakers fail to approve tar sands oil veto

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – An attempt by some European
politicians to veto the import of tar sands oil failed on
Wednesday after a European Parliament vote, giving a boost to
Canada but dismaying green campaigners.

After years of lobbying from Canada, the European Commission
published a new plan in October on reporting the greenhouse gas
intensity of transport fuels. It abandoned the idea of labelling
tar sands oil as highly polluting.

Dec 17, 2014

EU member states oppose to plans to scrap environment law

BRUSSELS, Dec 17 (Reuters) – European environment ministers
opposed plans on Wednesday from the EU executive to scrap draft
laws on waste and air quality, saying they sent a “negative
signal” about Europe’s ambition to curb climate change and were
at odds with a push for growth.

The European Commission on Tuesday laid out its legislative
plans for 2015 with a promise to focus on priorities such as
jobs and boosting the economy.

Dec 17, 2014

Italy says will oppose EU plans to scrap environment law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Plans by European policymakers to scrap a draft EU law on air quality and waste send a “negative signal” about Europe’s ambition to curb climate change and governments will challenge them, the Italian environment minister said on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the European Commission laid out its legislative plans for 2015, saying it would focus on priorities such as jobs and economic growth. At the same time, it planned to withdraw some proposals made by the previous EU executive, including on improving air quality and cutting waste.

Dec 16, 2014

EU bosses to focus pared-down agenda on growth, jobs, energy

BRUSSELS, Dec 16 (Reuters) – EU policymakers promised on
Tuesday to focus on core issues such as jobs and growth as they
unveiled legislative plans for 2015, but drew charges they had
sacrificed the environment to appease Eurosceptic critics.

Following a year of dispute with the European Union’s top
energy supplier Russia over its treatment of Ukraine, the EU
executive said energy security was also a priority in the
slimmed-down work plan it presented to the European Parliament.

Dec 15, 2014

Italian shoemakers urge EU to tread carefully on sanctions

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Bad relations between the EU
and Moscow have helped cut exports of Italian shoes to Russia by
around a fifth, the sector said in a letter to the bloc’s
foreign policy chief, urging consideration of economic effects
before more sanctions are imposed.

The EU has imposed measures including economic sanctions in
response to Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in
March and the months of unrest that have followed. In turn
Russia has taken measures against imports, particularly food.

Dec 15, 2014

Ukraine secures 300 mln euros in bank loans for gas link repairs

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Kiev secured 300 million euros
($374 million) in development loans to repair the leaking
pipeline that is the main gas route from Russia to the EU, under
a deal on Monday that the lenders said was a step towards making
Ukraine a gas-trading hub.

European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
officials, in Brussels to hand over to Ukraine 150 million euros
on top of 150 million already promised by the European
Investment Bank, also said the bank was considering financing
gas purchases.

Dec 15, 2014

After “Hoovergate”, EU torn over power-saving rules

BRUSSELS, Dec 15 (Reuters) – When word of an EU ban on
high-power vacuum cleaners hit Eurosceptic British tabloids in
August, “Hoovergate” brought home a dilemma for the bloc that
goes well beyond house-proud devotees of deep-pile English
carpet.

Now, fear of fuelling rage at Brussels bureaucracy,
especially in Britain where critics branded the “Hoover ban” a
foreign attack on consumer freedoms, is pushing new EU leaders
to axe a host of planned regulations in proposals expected on
Tuesday.

Dec 12, 2014

EU seeks to end misleading food labels from Saturday

BRUSSELS, Dec 12 (Reuters) – EU shoppers and
restaurant-goers should know more about what they are eating
under EU labelling law that takes effect from Saturday to
protect allergy-sufferers, promote healthier eating and give
consumers an informed choice.

The law is supposed to prevent consumers from being misled
and insists on minimum font sizes to ensure they can read the
information they are given.

Dec 4, 2014

EU’s Juncker says South Stream pipeline can still be built

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has insisted the $40 billion South Stream natural gas pipeline can still go ahead and accused Russia of holding EU-member Bulgaria to ransom when it said it had abandoned the project.

Speaking after talks with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boiko Borisov, whose country South Stream would traverse making it a major beneficiary, Juncker rebutted Russia’s statement that EU competition rules had killed it.