Correspondent, Brussels
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Nov 28, 2013

Europe’s top court strikes down sanctions on Iranian company

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s highest court struck down EU sanctions against an Iranian power company on Thursday, the latest legal ruling against measures that the European Union has imposed over Iran’s nuclear program.

While sanctions are set to be relaxed under a deal last week in which Tehran promised to limit parts of its nuclear work, the EU is still keen to have the option to impose trade restrictions in the future should Iran waver.

Nov 27, 2013

ECB supervisor promises to come clean on banks’ health

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro zone’s future bank supervisor on Wednesday promised a warts-and-all probe into the bloc’s still fragile financial system, conceding that she and other supervisors had made mistakes in the past.

Seeking the backing of the European Parliament to become the supervisor for euro zone banks, Daniele Nouy listed sovereign debt among the banks’ potentially riskiest assets as she laid down her ambitions for testing the health of lenders.

Nov 27, 2013

EU says won’t suspend data sharing accords with U.S.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union backed down on Wednesday from threats to suspend agreements granting the United States access to European data, rejecting calls for a tougher stance over alleged U.S. spying.

The move marks an abrupt about-turn for the European Commission, the EU executive, after warnings it issued in July to U.S. officials following revelations that Washington had spied on European citizens and EU institutions.

Nov 26, 2013

EU demands protection against U.S. data surveillance

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission called on Tuesday for new protection for Europeans under United States’ law against misuse of personal data, in an attempt to keep in check the U.S. surveillance revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

EU justice commissioner Viviane Reding said she wanted Washington to follow through on its promise to give all EU citizens the right to sue in the United States if their data is misused. “I have … made clear that Europe expects to see the necessary legislative change in the U.S. sooner rather than later, and in any case before summer 2014,” she said.

Nov 20, 2013

EU lawmakers back watered-down rules to help women into top jobs

BRUSSELS, Nov 20 (Reuters) – European Union lawmakers have
backed rules that would give women preference for non-executive
posts at companies, after plans for a mandatory quota to get
women into top jobs were scrapped.

The rules demand that companies give non-executive
directorships to women, where there is no male candidate who is
better qualified, until they reach a target of four in ten.

Nov 16, 2013

Reluctant Germany casts cloud over Europe’s bank revamp

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European countries pledged on Friday to stand by banks found to be struggling after health checks next year as Germany pushed for investors to bear the brunt of repairing lenders to spare the use of euro zone funds.

In a statement designed to underscore Europe’s readiness to act following the checks, ministers spelt out how they would have funds in place to help, overcoming German objections to eventually allow euro zone funds be used as a last resort.

Nov 15, 2013

Germany challenges European blueprint for banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s attempts to complete a banking union encountered opposition on Friday from Germany, which demanded that countries and investors bear the brunt of repairing stricken lenders to spare the use of euro zone funds.

Berlin’s objections to using euro zone money, backed only by Finland and opposed by France and Spain, threaten to undermine Europe’s attempt to tackle troubled banks and spoil tests next year intended to make a clean sweep of their problems.

Nov 15, 2013

Cyprus to fully lift capital controls within months

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Cyprus is likely to completely lift state controls on capital movement within months, the country’s finance minister Harris Georgiades told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Cyprus introduced controls on the movement of capital in March to prevent huge capital outflows after the small Mediterranean island was forced to close down one of its two biggest banks and restructure the other.

Nov 14, 2013

Germany challenges use of euro zone cash to repair banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany challenged a central plank of plans to forge a banking union in the euro zone on Thursday, arguing against the use of the currency bloc’s funds to help lenders exposed as dangerously weak by health checks next year.

As finance ministers gathered in Brussels to outline plans to deal with banks still in difficulty, Germany’s finance minister hardened his stance on the use of the bloc’s emergency fund, according to people close to the talks.

Nov 14, 2013

Europe seeks united front to back troubled banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European finance ministers will pledge on Friday to stand by any banks that are exposed as dangerously weak by health checks next year, but Germany does not want euro zone money to be used for the clean-up.

Ministers will make their joint statement to reassure investors following a meeting in Brussels, taking Europe a step closer to coming clean on the banking problems that have dogged it for more than half a decade.

    • About John

      "I am a Reuters correspondent in Brussels, writing about the European Union. I moved here last year from Germany, where I had reported about the financial crisis, turning up numerous scoops and even winning a prestigious business reporting award. Beforehand, I worked with The Sunday Times in London."
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