Correspondent, Brussels
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May 8, 2014

Draghi, worried by strong euro, says ECB poised to act as soon as June

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank is ready to take action next month to boost the euro zone economy if updated inflation forecasts merit it, its president said on Thursday, warning outsiders not to pressure the bank into action.

Stressing that the euro’s strength was “a serious concern”, ECB chief Mario Draghi said the exchange rate would have to be addressed, adding that the bank’s policymakers held a discussion about “all instruments” at their meeting in Brussels.

Apr 29, 2014

Ukraine separatists seize second provincial capital, fire on police

LUHANSK, Ukraine, (Reuters) – Hundreds of pro-Russian separatists stormed government buildings across one of Ukraine’s provincial capitals on Tuesday and opened fire on police holed up in a regional headquarters, a major escalation of the rebellion in defiance of new Western sanctions.

Meanwhile Russian share prices rose in relief at the mildness of the newly announced U.S. and European sanctions over Moscow’s involvement in the crisis, which amounted mainly to adding a small number of names to existing blacklists while putting off threats to take more serious measures.

Apr 29, 2014

EU imposes more sanctions on Russia over Ukraine crisis

BRUSSELS/MOSCOW (Reuters) – The European Union announced asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine, but the measures were seen as less aggressive than sanctions imposed this week by the United States.

The EU list published on Tuesday included senior Russian politicians but did not extend to companies, several of which were singled out by Washington when it extended its sanctions list on Monday.

Apr 29, 2014

European Union moves to end smartphone patent wars

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission moved on Tuesday to stem aggressive patent lawsuits by smartphone and tablet makers against rivals, ruling that Motorola Mobility had broken EU law by taking such action against Apple.

In a dual ruling, the European Union’s anti-trust enforcer said that it had also accepted a pledge by Samsung Electronics not to seek injunctions against rivals if they had signed up to a licensing agreement for smartphones or tablets.

Apr 29, 2014

EU sanctions 15 politicians and military leaders over Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians, including a Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, over Moscow’s action in Ukraine, but steered clear of any sanctions on business leaders.

The latest list included Ludmila Ivanovna Shvetsova, a deputy chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia’s parliament, Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, as well as separatist leaders in Ukraine.

Apr 28, 2014

Salmond says Scotland would be better EU member than Britain

BRUGES, Belgium, April 28 (Reuters) – An independent
Scotland would be a more constructive member of the European
Union than a reluctant Britain, Scottish first minister Alex
Salmond said on Monday.

He believed EU members would welcome an “enthusiastic”
Scotland into the bloc should it vote to end the 307-year-old
union with England in a referendum on Sept. 18, he said.

Apr 24, 2014

Anti-graft group accuses EU of complacency on corruption

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European lobbyists carry out much of their work in secrecy and there is widespread complacency in Brussels about tackling corruption or conflicts of interest, Transparency International said on Thursday.

In the first report of its kind, the anti-graft campaign group shone an unflattering light on the bodies that draft and police law for the European Union’s 28 member states, concluding their lack of interest could prompt more corruption scandals.

Apr 23, 2014

In bid for top EU job, Juncker promises fair deal for Britain

BRUSSELS, April 23 (Reuters) – Britain should get a fair
hearing for its concerns about the European Union but must not
block extra powers for the euro zone, Jean-Claude Juncker, a
leading candidate to take one of the bloc’s top posts, said on
Wednesday.

The remarks, twinned with his pledge to halt expansion of
the 28-member union for five years, offers the prospect of a
face-saving compromise for British Prime Minister David Cameron
should Juncker become president of the European Commission.

Apr 21, 2014

Bankers win friends again in Europe with lure of easy money

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Jacques de Larosiere says he is an isolated and modest man. Yet the 84-year-old former head of the International Monetary Fund is one of the most influential voices in European and global finance.

An eminence grise as respected among France’s political elite as in the heart of the law-drafting European Commission, de Larosiere finds himself at the nexus of finance and rulemaking, treading a fine line between lobbying and advice.

Apr 15, 2014

Europe reaches end of crisis-driven reform trail to banking union

STRASBOURG, April 15 (Reuters) – European lawmakers finally
signed off on Tuesday on new laws to make it easier to shut
problem banks after long wrangling over rules for an industry
blamed for triggering the worst economic slump in a generation.

The vote in the European Parliament, shortly before it
breaks up for May elections, gives the final stamp of approval
for an agency to shut weak lenders in the euro zone, the last in
a line of major reforms to create a banking union for the 18
countries sharing the euro.

    • 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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