Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
Jul 24, 2014

The next European Commission — nominees so far

BRUSSELS, July 24 (Reuters) – European Union governments
have to nominate candidates by the end of July to serve on the
executive European Commission, which proposes and enforces laws
affecting the bloc’s 500 million citizens.

Commission president-elect Jean-Claude Juncker will then
decide who gets which portfolio, with the economics, internal
market, competition, trade and energy jobs particularly coveted.

Jul 23, 2014

Russian ties, trade lie behind EU sanctions rift

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Germany and Italy have most to lose if the European Union makes good on its threat to impose harsher sanctions on Moscow, while Britain’s overseas territories are soaking up the lion’s share of capital streaming out of Russia.

The picture emerging from United Nations and European Union data shows the impact of restricting trade with Russia would be far from even, with Germany dwarfing others’ exposure and those urging sanctions loudest, such as Sweden, having less at stake.

Jul 18, 2014

AIDS community mourns as top experts feared killed in downed plane

MELBOURNE/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – The world of AIDS research was in shock on Friday after dozens of leading HIV experts were feared killed when a Malaysian plane was shot down over Ukraine, fuelling concerns that research on curing the disease could suffer.

Among them was Joep Lange, who researched the condition for more than 30 years and was considered a giant in the field, admired for his tireless advocacy for access to affordable AIDS drugs for HIV positive patients living in poor countries.

Jul 18, 2014

Restrained Dutch mark air tragedy in sorrow rather than anger

AMSTERDAM, July 18 (Reuters) – The Dutch nation mourned at
least 173 citizens lost in the Ukrainian air disaster in sorrow
rather than anger on Friday, holding back from immediately
pointing the figure of blame.

In a country which values restraint and avoids public
displays of strong emotion, politicians and media stuck largely
to reflecting sombrely on those who died when the Malaysian jet
came down on Thursday, including some noted citizens.

Jul 17, 2014

Ecuador joins Andean neighbours with EU free-trade deal

BRUSSELS/QUITO July 17 (Reuters) – Ecuador sealed a
free-trade deal with the European Union on Thursday, giving the
Andean nation greater access to the EU’s 500 million consumers
and offering the EU’s fragile economy another market for its
cars, whisky and luxury goods.

Ecuador joins Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru in the group
of Latin American economies that have free-trade pacts with the
European Union, the world’s biggest trading bloc.

Jul 9, 2014

Iraqi Christians’ flee violence, fear end of long history

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The violence in Iraq is hastening the end of nearly 2,000 years of Christianity there as the few remaining faithful flee Islamic State militants, archbishops from Baghdad, Mosul and Kirkuk said on Wednesday.

War and sectarian conflict have shrunk Iraq’s Christian population to about 400,000 from 1.5 million before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, and now even those who stayed are leaving for Turkey, Lebanon and western Europe, the prelates said on a visit to Brussels seeking European Union help to protect their flocks.

Jun 28, 2014

EU signs trade pact with Ukraine, ceasefire extended by 72 hours

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union signed an historic free-trade pact with Ukraine on Friday and warned it could impose more sanctions on Moscow unless pro-Russian rebels act to wind down the crisis in the east of the country by Monday.

Shortly after returning to Kiev from Brussels where he signed the pact, Poroshenko announced on his website that Ukraine had extended a ceasefire by government forces against pro-Russian separatist rebels by 72 hours until 10 p.m. on Monday.

Jun 27, 2014

EU signs trade pact with Ukraine, threatens sanctions on Russia

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union signed an historic free-trade pact with Ukraine on Friday and warned it could impose more sanctions on Moscow unless pro-Russian rebels act to wind down the crisis in the east of the country by Monday.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko came to Brussels to sign a far-reaching trade and political cooperation agreement with the EU that has been at the heart of months of deadly violence and upheaval in his country, drawing an immediate threat of “grave consequences” from Russia.

Jun 27, 2014

Factbox – The EU’s top jobs and who might get them

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders nominated Luxembourg’s Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next president of the European Commission on Friday, but the job is just one of several top posts to be filled as the EU overhauls its main institutions for the next five years.

Leaders are expected to hold another summit on July 16 or 17 to agree candidates for posts ranging from the foreign affairs chief to the powerful economics commissioner, with a view to getting them approved by the European Parliament before the Commission’s current term ends on Oct. 31.

Jun 27, 2014

Ukraine signs trade agreement with EU, draws Russian threat

BRUSSELS, June 27 (Reuters) – Ukraine signed on Friday an
historic free-trade agreement with the European Union that has
been at the heart of months of violence and upheaval in the
country, drawing an immediate threat of “grave consequences”
from Russia.

Georgia and Moldova signed similar deals, holding out the
prospect of deep economic integration and unfettered access to
the EU’s 500 million citizens, but alarming Moscow which is
concerned about losing influence over former Soviet republics.

    • About Robin

      "Robin is a Brussels-based correspondent covering Europe's debt crisis, and editor of the euro zone page on He joined Reuters from the Financial Times in Mexico City in 2002, moving to Panama City and then to Lima, Peru, before heading back to Mexico to cover the U.S.-Mexico border. He led the drugs war coverage that was nominated for an Overseas Press Club award in the United States in 2010. Robin started out in Amsterdam at Dutch financial daily Het Financeele Dagblad as an English-language staffer."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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