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Jan 21, 2014

Jockying to head European Commission picks up pace

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The race to be the next head of the European Commission, a job with sweeping powers over policy affecting 500 million Europeans, became a little clearer on Tuesday with two of the EU’s main political groups now proposing single candidates.

ALDE, the alliance of Europe’s Liberal parties and the third largest bloc in the European Parliament, has decided to back Guy Verhofstadt, the former prime minister of Belgium, as its candidate for Commission president.

Jan 15, 2014

EU takes aim at Britain, others seeking migration limits

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission accused countries that want to limit the free movement of people in the European Union of indulging in chauvinism and stereotypes, an apparent reference to Britain’s increasingly staunch views on migration.

In a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did not refer to Britain or other countries by name, but made his target clear.

Jan 15, 2014

EU takes aim at member states seeking migration limits

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission accused European Union countries that seek to limit the free movement of people of chauvinism and pandering to stereotypes, an apparent reference to Britain’s increasingly firm views on migration.

In a speech to the European Parliament on Wednesday, Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso did not refer to Britain or other countries by name, but made his target clear.

Jan 8, 2014

Greece plays up progress as it takes on delicate EU presidency

ATHENS, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Greece took over the presidency of
the European Union on Wednesday and chose the moment to deliver
a staunch defence of its efforts to recover from six years of
recession and two bailouts that have cost it more than 200
billion euros.

Meeting Brussels-based journalists as Athens took on what is
largely a ceremonial EU role for the next six months, Foreign
Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Finance Minister Yannis
Stournaras were quick to highlight nascent signs of recovery,
with forecasts for the economy to grow marginally this year.

Jan 8, 2014

Greece talks up progress, sidesteps debt write-off issue

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek ministers delivered a staunch defense of their efforts to put the economy back on track on Wednesday and said they did not want any more conditional loans from the EU or IMF, although leeway would be helpful.

Meeting Brussels-based journalists on a visit to Athens as Greece takes over the presidency of the EU, Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos and Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras emphasized early signs of economic recovery while treading carefully around the issue of debt relief or renegotiation.

Dec 20, 2013

S&P cuts EU’s AAA rating, European officials dismiss move

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Credit agency Standard & Poor’s cut its triple-A rating of the European Union by one notch on Friday, saying it had concerns about how the bloc’s budget was financed, a view EU leaders and other officials dismissed as misguided.

S&P’s announcement came the day after the EU reached a deal to overhaul the region’s banking sector, an agreement many commentators said fell short of expectations, although S&P said it had not factored into its credit assessment.

Dec 20, 2013

S&P cut of EU rating dismissed by European officials

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Credit agency Standard & Poor’s cut its long-term rating of the European Union by one notch to AA+ on Friday, saying it had concerns about how the bloc’s budget was financed, a view EU leaders and other officials dismissed as misguided.

“In our opinion, the overall creditworthiness of the now 28 European Union member states has declined,” S&P said in a statement that came 11 months after it announced it had a ‘negative’ outlook on the bloc.

Dec 19, 2013

EU leaders face moment of reflection over Ukraine debacle

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders face a session of soul-searching and strategy planning over Ukraine at their year-end summit on Friday when they will discuss why Kiev rejected an EU free trade deal and took a bailout from Russia instead.

As well as weighing Ukraine’s decision to turn away and what Europe might have done to prevent it, leaders will debate the message they want to send to swathes of Ukrainians now protesting against President Viktor Yanukovich’s move.

Dec 16, 2013

Banking union: Nice idea but detail still devilish

BRUSSELS/DUBLIN (Reuters) – In the beginning, the European Union came up with two words: Banking Union. It sounded simple, solid, united, dependable.

But in the 18 months since the idea was put on paper, the phrase has come to mask a vastly complicated and not yet very united system that may fall short of resolving the problems afflicting Europe’s banks over the past five years.

Dec 11, 2013

EU talking to IMF, World Bank, others about Ukraine assistance

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials are in discussion with the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other major financial institutions on ways to help Ukraine if it decides to sign a free-trade agreement with the European Union.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov was quoted as saying on Wednesday he had asked the EU for 20 billion euros ($27 billion) in aid to offset the cost of signing the EU deal, which Kiev backed away from last month in favor of closer ties with Russia, sparking huge street protests and a financial crisis.

    • About Luke

      "Luke is bureau chief for Reuters in Brussels. The 25-strong, multimedia bureau covers all European Union issues, from trade, energy and agriculture to foreign policy, competition, regulation and economic affairs. The bureau is also responsible for coverage of NATO and Belgian politics, economics and company news. In his beat, Luke covers foreign affairs, with a focus on the Middle East and Iran, and writes about EU economic policy. He was previously based in London, where he was defence correspondent, and before that had postings in Jerusalem, Baghdad, Rome and Johannesburg."
      Joined Reuters:
      1997
      Languages:
      English, Italian, French, Spanish
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      Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War
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