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Oct 30, 2013

‘Nationalism and xenophobia’ on rise ahead of European elections

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned against nationalism, xenophobia and racism ahead of European Parliament elections next year, when anti-EU and protest parties are expected to do well.

Opinion polls months ahead of the vote, which takes place in all EU countries on May 22-25, suggest candidates on the far left and far right will gain support as voters express frustration with Europe after three years of financial turmoil, contracting growth and job losses.

Oct 30, 2013

U.S. debt problems ‘casting global shadow’: EU’s Barroso

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Persistent doubts about the ability of the United States to resolve its debt problems are putting U.S. credibility in the world at stake, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has warned.

The White House won a brief respite this month when the Republicans backed down after a 16-day government shutdown. But the temporary fix has only pushed the problem into early 2014, with no comprehensive solution in sight.

Oct 29, 2013

EU’s Barnier: ready to compromise on bank resolution

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission is ready to compromise on how many banks will fall directly under the scope of the euro zone’s banking resolution authority, potentially limiting it to the largest institutions, the EU’s financial markets chief says.

Michel Barnier, the European commissioner for financial regulation and the single market, said he was prepared to compromise with Germany, which has strong reservations about a single resolution authority having the power to shut down small local banks, such as its ‘Sparkassen’ lenders.

Oct 29, 2013

Derivatives dispute harming EU-U.S. free-trade talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ambitious plans for an EU-U.S. free-trade agreement may be put in jeopardy by Washington’s failure to finalize a deal coordinating rules in the $630 trillion derivatives market, the EU’s financial markets chief has warned.

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission agreed in July this year on a common position with the European Commission and other global regulators that aimed to iron out differences in how they police derivatives trading worldwide.

Oct 25, 2013

Germany, France demand ‘no-spy’ agreement with U.S.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel demanded on Thursday that the United States strike a “no-spying” agreement with Berlin and Paris by the end of the year, saying alleged espionage against two of Washington’s closest EU allies had to be stopped.

Speaking after talks with EU leaders that were dominated by allegations that the U.S. National Security Agency had accessed tens of thousands of French phone records and monitored Merkel’s private mobile phone, the chancellor said she wanted action from President Barack Obama, not just apologetic words.

Oct 24, 2013

Merkel frosty on the U.S. over ‘unacceptable’ spying allegations

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel accused the United States of an unacceptable breach of trust on Thursday after allegations that the U.S. bugged her personal mobile phone, and she indicated data agreements with Washington may have to be revised.

Arriving for a two-day summit in Brussels overshadowed by the allegations of eavesdropping by the U.S. National Security Agency against Italy, France and Germany, Merkel said she had told President Barack Obama in a telephone conversation late on Wednesday that the acts were unacceptable.

Oct 24, 2013

Exclusive: EU graft inquiry shifts to ex-health chief’s overseas activity

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU investigators have expanded an anti-corruption investigation into former European health commissioner John Dalli, who was forced out last year after an associate was accused of attempted bribery, to include his overseas dealings while in office.

Dalli’s overseas activities, including business links or undeclared visits to countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are new strands in a case that has already looked into the propriety of his dealings with tobacco company Swedish Match and whether a number of trips he made to the Bahamas broke European Commission rules.

Oct 24, 2013

Germany, France to unite in anger over U.S. spying accusations

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – German and French accusations that the United States has run spying operations in their countries, including possibly bugging Chancellor Angela Merkel’s mobile phone, are likely to dominate an EU leaders’ meeting starting on Thursday.

The two-day Brussels summit, called to tackle a range of social and economic issues, will now be overshadowed by debate on responding to the alleged espionage by Washington against two of its closest European Union allies.

Oct 22, 2013

Google has nothing to fear from new EU data law

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Google, Facebook and other U.S. technology companies have been given a wake-up call with moves by Europe to impose stricter rules on data protection, but have nothing to fear from them, one of the architects of the legislation said.

The European Parliament’s civil liberties committee voted overwhelmingly in favor of a tougher data privacy regime on Monday, including fines of up to 100 million euros for companies that violate the rules, which limit how data is shared with non-EU countries, among other things.

Oct 21, 2013

Europe pushes ahead with stricter data privacy rules

BRUSSELS, Oct 21 (Reuters) – The European Parliament will
vote on proposals to strengthen Europe’s data protection laws on
Monday, including plans to impose fines of up to 100 million
euros on companies such as Yahoo!, Facebook or Google if they
break the rules.

If approved as expected, the vote in parliament’s civil
liberties committee will open the way for further negotiations
with EU member states and the European Commission on the plans,
the first revision to Europe’s data laws since 1995.

    • 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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