Correspondent, Brussels
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Mar 20, 2014

Europe strikes deal to complete banking union

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European policymakers agreed on Thursday to complete a banking union with an agency to shut failing euro zone banks, but there will be no joint backstop for a fund to pay the costs of closures.

The breakthrough ends an impasse with the European Parliament, which persuaded euro zone countries to strengthen the scheme. It completes the second pillar of banking union, starting at the end of the year when the European Central Bank takes over as watchdog.

Mar 20, 2014

Europe reaches deal to complete banking union – draft

BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) – European policymakers agreed
on Thursday to complete a banking union with an agency to shut
failing euro zone banks but there will be no euro zone backstop
for the new fund to help cover the costs of such closures.

All-night talks ended a stand-off between the European
Parliament and euro zone countries over the new scheme,
completing the second leg of banking union that is due to start
this year when the European Central Bank takes over as watchdog.

Mar 19, 2014

EU pledges action after 1.9 million citizens demand ‘right’ to water

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union’s executive pledged on Wednesday to improve access to clean water across the region, responding to a 1.9-million-strong petition from citizens demanding recognition of their right to water.

The “Citizens’ Initiative” is the first time ordinary Europeans have been able to influence legislation and provides a rare glimpse as to what many people expect of Brussels as the region prepares for EU elections.

Mar 19, 2014

EU pledges action after 1.9m citizens demand “right” to water

BRUSSELS, March 19 (Reuters) – The European Union’s
executive pledged on Wednesday to improve access to clean water
across the region, responding to a 1.9-million-strong petition
from citizens demanding recognition of their right to water.

The “Citizens’ Initiative” is the first time ordinary
Europeans have been able to influence legislation and provides a
rare glimpse as to what many people expect of Brussels as the
region prepares for EU elections.

Mar 18, 2014

ECB watchdog tells Europe to prepare to shut ‘zombie’ banks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone countries must prepare to shut their failing “zombie” banks and quickly pool the money to do it, the bloc’s top regulator said on Tuesday, ahead of a warts-and-all investigation of its still-fragile financial system.

Daniele Nouy’s comments, including her plea for countries to form a united front in solving the problem, give an early indication of how the bloc’s chief banking supervisor intends to tackle issues that show up in health checks this year.

Mar 12, 2014

Europe fails to bridge divide on banks reform

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – Europe appeared far away from
making good its crisis pledge to tackle weak banks as lawmakers
and country representatives failed on Wednesday to bridge
differences over how to close down troubled lenders.

Concluding the third day of unsuccessful talks on the
ambitious political project, negotiators disbanded still in
disagreement over central elements of banking union, a scheme to
police banks and shut those too weak to survive.

Mar 12, 2014

European lawmakers threaten US trade veto unless EU tackles snooping

BRUSSELS, March 12 (Reuters) – European lawmakers put
pressure on EU countries on Wednesday to shield citizens’
privacy, warning that they could block a trade deal with the
United States if governments did not take a tougher stance on
snooping.

Concluding its own investigation into leaks from former U.S.
data analyst Edward Snowden over government spying, an
overwhelming majority of lawmakers voted in favour of a
resolution warning that the world’s biggest trade deal “could be
endangered” unless EU countries stopped such surveillance.

Mar 11, 2014

Time runs short as Europe haggles over key bank reform

BRUSSELS, March 11 (Reuters) – European countries haggled on
Tuesday over a scheme to insulate taxpayers from the costs of
bank failures, redoubling efforts to avoid an embarrassing delay
to the euro zone’s centrepiece crisis reform.

The protracted talks show the politically charged nature of
the plan to disentangle states and the banks from which they
borrow. A future agency to wind down failing banks, and a fund
to pay for the clean-up, will complement European Central Bank
supervision of euro zone banks.

Mar 10, 2014

Europe reaches crunch point on banking union

BRUSSELS, March 10 (Reuters) – European governments and
lawmakers will try to reach a deal this week on how to wind down
failing banks, clearing the way for a landmark reform as time
runs out to win European Parliament approval before May
elections.

Negotiations are set to span days and may be the final step
in a European banking union that would mean one supervisor for
euro zone banks, one set of rules to close or restructure those
in trouble and one pot of money to pay for it.

Mar 7, 2014

EU veteran Juncker wins centre-right backing for top Brussels job

DUBLIN (Reuters) – Former Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, a fixture of Brussels politics for the past 25 years, won the backing of Europe’s center-right parties on Friday in the race to become European Commission president.

Juncker, who lost office last year after 18 years as prime minister, beat French rival Michel Barnier, the EU’s regulation chief, to become the European People’s Party (EPP) top candidate for the European Parliament elections in May.

    • 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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