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Apr 29, 2014

Chaos and control: Europe’s debt crisis from two perspectives

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Perhaps the darkest moment of the euro zone debt crisis came in the middle of 2012 when Greece stood on the brink of being forced out of currency bloc and a question mark hung over whether Cyprus would remain in if Athens left.

Two new books closely examine the tumultuous years from 2010 to 2013, but take a very different approach to describing the critical events of May-September 2012, when the long-term future of the European project was genuinely in doubt.

Apr 28, 2014

EU politicians focus on economy in first TV debate

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The four main candidates to head the European Commission held a televised debate on Monday, the first of its kind as the European Union seeks to show its relevance to increasingly hostile voters ahead of an EU election.

Although EU citizens do not directly elect the Commission – the body that drafts and enforces EU legislation – the debate by representatives of the four main groups in the European Parliament showed voters the main political stances on offer at elections to the assembly to be held on May 22-25.

Apr 17, 2014

Did Europe misdiagnose debt crisis and make it worse?

BRUSSELS, April 17 (Reuters) – At the height of the euro
zone debt crisis, with Portugal’s economy nearing collapse, the
European Commission told the government in Lisbon that it had to
slash wages if it was ever going to boost competitiveness and
grow again.

Portuguese shoemakers – one of the economy’s main export
sectors – steadfastly ignored the advice and found a way to
bounce back while actually increasing workers’ pay.

Apr 16, 2014

EU lays out impact of financial sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission handed documents to EU member states on Wednesday explaining the potential impact on their economies of imposing stricter trade and financial sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, diplomats said.

Worried about potential leaks of the sensitive data, the Commission informed each country only about the risks it would face, rather than sharing full details with all 28 member states. The assessments were handed out in brown paper envelopes to individual EU ambassadors during a meeting in Brussels.

Apr 15, 2014

In Ukraine, NATO sticks to a war of words against Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – From the moment Russia first moved on Ukraine and seized Crimea, NATO has not lost an opportunity to admonish Moscow for its actions, warning that peace in Europe is under threat and the sovereignty of a friend being violated.

Yet between NATO’s tough rhetoric and its ability and willingness to act, there is now a substantial gap, one that Russia is exploiting.

Apr 14, 2014

Europe’s Eurosceptics more united than many think: poll

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Far-right Eurosceptics in France, Britain, the Netherlands and Belgium have far more in common than just animosity towards the European Union or opposition to migration, according to a new survey.

Rather than being single-issue voters with narrow national interests, the survey suggests far-right Eurosceptics share a common set of values and concerns that could potentially make them a meaningful bloc in the European Parliament.

Apr 2, 2014

Zuma, Mugabe stay home as EU and African leaders meet in Brussels

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Presidents and prime ministers from Europe and Africa gathered in Brussels on Wednesday for an EU-Africa summit designed to promote peace and investment on the world’s poorest continent.

But cracks emerged even before the conference got underway, with some African leaders, including Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe and South Africa’s Jacob Zuma, deciding not to attend following a dispute over the invitation list.

Mar 31, 2014

Erdogan victory puts icy Turkey-EU relations in deep freeze

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Sunday’s resounding victory by the ruling AK Party in Turkey’s local elections, undiminished by what some call an authoritarian turn by Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, is likely to put already cool relations between Ankara and Brussels in the chiller.

After months of revelations of high-level corruption and the furore caused by the government’s blocking of Twitter and YouTube, Turkey finds itself at sharp odds with the European Union, which it has been negotiating to join since 1999.

Mar 21, 2014

Europe adds 12 names to Russia sanctions, plans broader move

BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) – European leaders added 12
people to a list of those subject to travel bans and asset
freezes for their part in Russia’s seizure of Crimea on Thursday
and begin preparations for economic sanctions if Russia expands
its footprint in Ukraine.

French President Francois Hollande declined to give details
of the names added to the list, which was agreed among the EU’s
28 leaders after six hours of talks, but said it included
Russians and Crimeans and raised the total number of people
subject to EU sanctions to 33.

Mar 20, 2014

Europe set to add names to Russia sanctions list, weigh energy issues

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European leaders will agree to expand a list of those subject to travel bans and asset freezes on Thursday but stop short of harder-hitting measures against Russia over Crimea, biding their time to retain EU unity and gauge Moscow’s reaction.

With Russian officials so far mocking the EU’s response to the seizure of Crimea, leaders are expected add around a dozen names to the 21 Russians and Crimeans placed under EU travel bans and asset freezes last week.

    • 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:
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