Deputy Energy Editor, EMEA
Barbara's Feed
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.

Dec 4, 2014

EU deal gives countries opt-out on growing approved GM crops

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union agreed a compromise on growing genetically modified crops on Thursday that gives nations the option to ban them, even if EU authorities have approved them for cultivation.

Environmental campaigners said the deal was an improvement on the current regime, but were concerned it would still make it easier to grow GM crops in Europe, while representatives of the GM industry also criticized the deal.

Dec 3, 2014

EU vote puts Canadian tar sands label back on the agenda

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe moved a small step back toward a plan to stigmatize Canada’s tar sands as highly polluting on Wednesday, despite years of Ottawa’s lobbying the EU bloc as part of its export drive.

European Parliament lawmakers put the plans back on the agenda by voting against the EU executive’s proposal to abandon the scheme.

Dec 3, 2014

EU, U.S. present Russia with united sanctions, energy front: draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. and EU leaders will on Wednesday pledge to work together on sanctions and on strengthening the energy security of Europe and Ukraine, as they seek to present a united front to Russia, a draft document said.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz are in Brussels for talks after a year in which the United States has led the push for tougher sanctions, while some governments in Europe, afraid economic measures against Russia will hurt them as much as they hurt Moscow, have been more cautious.