Bureau Chief, Brussels
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Mar 2, 2014

NATO deplores Russia’s actions, but no hard response seen

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Russia’s seizure of Crimea is a threat to peace in Europe and the situation must be “de-escalated”, NATO’s secretary-general said on Sunday, but diplomats said the alliance was unlikely to agree on major steps to rein Russia in.

Speaking before chairing an emergency meeting of ambassadors from the 28 NATO member states, known as the North Atlantic Council, Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that Russia’s actions were unacceptable and could destabilize the continent.

Mar 2, 2014

NATO meets on Ukraine, says Russia risks destabilizing Europe

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – NATO’s secretary-general warned Moscow on Sunday it was threatening peace in Europe with its seizure of Crimea and should “de-escalate tensions”, but diplomats said the alliance was unlikely to agree on major steps to rein Russia in.

Speaking moments before chairing an emergency meeting of NATO ambassadors, Anders Fogh Rasmussen warned that Russia’s actions in Ukraine could destabilize the continent.

Feb 28, 2014

EU team to visit Ukraine to examine financial needs

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A small team of financial experts from the European Commission will travel to Ukraine on Monday to assess exactly how much financial assistance it needs, EU officials said on Friday.

The team from the Commission’s directorate-general for economic and financial affairs is expected to meet Ukrainian finance ministry and central bank officials to determine what the country’s budget shortfall and capital needs are.

Feb 28, 2014

Europe’s centrists set U.S.-style ‘primaries’ to boost voter interest

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe’s political landscape will take clearer shape in the coming week as the two main centrist political groups select candidates for the European Commission presidency in U.S.-style “primaries” aimed at making the vote more relevant to citizens.

Attracting more public interest is seen as vital given polls pointing to a major increase in votes for far-left, far-right and anti-EU protest parties, venting discontent with years of economic crisis, rising unemployment and low growth.

Feb 27, 2014

Europe invites Apple, Google to discuss ‘in-app’ purchases

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission announced plans on Thursday to tackle one of the scourges of the modern age – games on tablets and mobile phones that allow adults and children to rack up vast credit card bills by making “in-app” purchases.

After concerns were raised by consumer groups in Denmark, Britain, Italy and Belgium, the Commission will hold talks with the industry, policymakers and consumer protection authorities on Thursday and Friday to consider clearer guidelines.

Feb 24, 2014

EU examining immediate and long-term aid for Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Europe is discussing a range of options for short- and longer-term financial assistance to Ukraine, but any comprehensive package is only likely to take shape after elections in May and in coordination with the International Monetary Fund.

Ukraine’s finance ministry said on Monday it needed $35 billion to survive 2014 and 2015 and asked for the first payments to be made in the next one to two weeks, possibly alongside a donors’ conference.

Feb 20, 2014

Germany’s Schulz details plans for EU Commission presidency bid

BRUSSELS, Feb 20 (Reuters) – European Parliament President
Martin Schulz, a leading candidate to become the next president
of the European Commission, laid out his campaign proposals on
Thursday, saying it was essential to restore citizens’ trust in
the European Union.

Acknowledging that Europe had lost its way after four years
of economic crisis, Schulz, the German leader of the centre-left
Socialists and Democrats in the parliament, listed his campaign
goals as tackling youth employment, investing in renewable
energy and the digital economy, and strengthening education.

Feb 19, 2014

Reluctant EU shifts course towards sanctions on Ukraine

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union shifted course on Wednesday and moved to impose financial and travel restrictions on Ukraine after the death of two dozen protesters in Kiev, even though diplomats have doubts about the effectiveness of sanctions.

Having said less than a week ago that the time was not right for sanctions on President Viktor Yanukovich and his government, officials changed tack after a police crackdown in Kiev left at least 26 people dead on Tuesday.

Feb 17, 2014

‘Green and clean’ tech Finland looks to Israel for inspiration

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen is determined to overhaul his economy, and cites Israel’s success as a “start-up” nation brimming with high-tech innovation as his model.

With just 5.4 million people, a world-class education system and an international mindset, Finland can be more nimble than many of its competitors at a time when its industrial output is in decline and productivity falling.

Feb 14, 2014

Euro zone integration at a limit, more with next crisis: Bruegel head

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone economic integration may have reached its limits for now even though the 18-country monetary union needs a treasury to make it work better, the head of the influential Bruegel think-tank said on Friday.

Speaking at the Reuters Euro Zone Summit, Guntram Wolff said policymakers have used the sovereign debt crisis of the last three years to shore up the euro zone, but not impregnably.

    • 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."
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