Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Jun 25, 2013

German election puts Europe’s ambitions on ice

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – For the best part of a year, the minds of European policymakers have focused on one overriding issue – banking union.

By establishing stricter oversight of Europe’s banking sector and a unified system for dealing with any problems, they hope to draw a line under more than three years of debt and economic turmoil by separating countries from their banks.

Jun 11, 2013

G8 partners put out by Britain’s hefty summit bill

BRUSSELS, June 11 (Reuters) – Two days of accommodation at a
lakeside golf hotel in Northern Ireland don’t come cheap – and
Britain has irritated its fellow Group of Eight states by
sending them hefty advance bills for the summit it is hosting
there.

In charging 1,000 pounds ($1,600) for each delegate apart
from the leader and a chief adviser, Britain says it is only
doing what other G8 host countries have done.

Jun 5, 2013

Most Europeans, especially the French, unhappy about EU: survey

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Nearly two-thirds of French people think the European Union is headed in the wrong direction and more than half disapprove of President Francois Hollande’s leadership, according to a widely-watched survey released on Wednesday.

The poll, conducted in six EU countries by Gallup, also found most Britons want to leave the European Union, a higher figure than in other recent surveys. That is likely to fuel demands for an early British referendum on EU membership.

May 31, 2013

Paris, Berlin look to shake up euro zone leadership

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – France and Germany have thrown their weight behind creating a permanent president for economic policy in the euro zone, a role that would mark a fundamental overhaul of how the currency bloc is managed.

Their backing calls into question the performance of Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, who was appointed chairman of the Eurogroup of finance ministers of the 17-nation currency area in January, to serve initially for 2-1/2 years.

May 28, 2013

France and Britain roll the dice on Syria

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain and France claimed victory on Tuesday with an EU decision to let them supply arms to Syrian rebels but it brings many risks and was cast by other diplomats and regional experts as a “miscalculation”.

Shortly after midnight, after more than 12 hours of negotiation, the EU’s 27 member states failed to agree on how to renew their Syrian arms embargo. That means the restrictions expire as of June 1, allowing EU states to export arms if they want, although only Britain and France are inclined to do so.

May 28, 2013

Analysis: France and Britain roll the dice on Syria

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Britain and France claimed victory on Tuesday with an EU decision to let them supply arms to Syrian rebels but it brings many risks and was cast by other diplomats and regional experts as a “miscalculation”.

Shortly after midnight, after more than 12 hours of negotiation, the EU’s 27 member states failed to agree on how to renew their Syrian arms embargo. That means the restrictions expire as of June 1, allowing EU states to export arms if they want, although only Britain and France are inclined to do so.

May 22, 2013

EU leaders talk tough on tackling Amazon, Google over taxes

BRUSSELS, May 22 (Reuters) – Britain, France and Germany
called for stricter rules to stop companies such as Google,
Apple and Amazon aggressively avoiding taxes in austerity bitten
Europe, while acknowledging they had done nothing unlawful.

At a summit to discuss energy and tax policy, the leaders of
the three largest EU countries took the opportunity at news
conferences to lament the impact of corporate tax avoidance,
following several cases involving U.S. firms.

May 22, 2013

EU leaders shine spotlight on Amazon, Google over tax policy

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders will discuss how to combat aggressive tax avoidance by major companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple at a summit on Wednesday, and cut the estimated 1 trillion euros a year the EU loses to tax evasion or avoidance.

The four-hour summit was originally called to discuss energy policy, but investigations in Britain, France and the United States exposing how little tax major international companies have been paying by carefully structuring their European operations has forced the issue to the top of the agenda.

May 21, 2013

EU leaders look to end Apple-style tax avoidance schemes

BRUSSELS/PARIS, May 21 (Reuters) – Growing concern in
European capitals about aggressive tax avoidance by high-profile
corporations such as Amazon, Google and Apple looks set to steal
the agenda of a European Union summit in Brussels on Wednesday.

The summit was originally called to discuss energy policy
and tax coordination, but press reports in Britain, France and
the United States exposing how little tax major international
companies have been paying by carefully structuring their
European operations has forced the issue up the agenda.

May 17, 2013

Brussels, Berlin lukewarm on Hollande’s euro zone vision

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European officials gave a lukewarm response to French President Francois Hollande’s sweeping proposals for deeper euro zone integration on Friday, noting that many of his ideas were already in circulation.

In a 2-1/2-hour news conference at the Elysee Palace on Thursday, Hollande set out plans for an “economic government” for the 17 euro zone countries, including its own budget and a full-time president.

    • 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
    • More from Luke

      Publications:
      Under Fire: Untold Stories from the Front Line of the Iraq War
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