BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Balkan countries seeking to join the European Union must do more to tackle organized crime and corruption, the European Commission said on Wednesday, while also urging Serbia to safeguard press freedoms.
Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo are all seeking membership of the world’s largest trading bloc and the EU has moved fastest to help integrate the Balkans. Near neighbor Turkey also wants to join.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union reprimanded EU candidate Turkey on Wednesday for political meddling in the judiciary, saying a response to a government corruption scandal has harmed the independence of the judiciary and weakened civil rights.
The unusually harsh language by the European Commission, the European Union’s executive, raises questions about Turkey’s chances of EU membership almost a decade after negotiations were launched.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission will criticise Turkey on Wednesday for failing to safeguard the independence of its judges and says it wants to have more discussion on rights as part of Ankara’s bid to join the European Union, according a senior EU official.
The Commission, the EU executive, will make the calls when it publishes its annual report to assess how far Turkey and other countries aspiring to EU membership have progressed in bringing their rules into line with EU standards and values.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The Dutchman set to help run the new EU executive promised on Tuesday to cut red tape, echoing a pledge by incoming European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to focus on priorities to regain voters’ trust.
The comments by Frans Timmermans, at a parliamentary hearing to confirm his nomination as Juncker’s first vice president, are likely to be welcomed by British Prime Minister David Cameron, who has urged Brussels to cut back on EU regulation to help him persuade Britons not to vote to quit the European Union.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is seeking to contain a new complaint that a trade deal with the United States would undermine Europe’s protection against dangerous chemicals, eager to avoid another front of resistance to the world’s biggest trade accord.
More than a year into negotiations, the European Commission, the EU executive, is engaged in a public relations battle to defend plans to deepen the transatlantic trading relationship and create a market of some 800 million people encompassing almost half the world’s economy.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union decided on Tuesday to keep in place a package of economic sanctions against Russia over its support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine despite what it called “encouraging developments” on the ground after a ceasefire deal.
The 28-nation EU has imposed sanctions on Russia’s finance, defence and energy sectors and has frozen the assets of some 140 Russian and Ukrainian individuals and companies over Moscow’s role in Ukraine.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s nominee for health chief pledged on Tuesday to oppose the import of some U.S. foodstuffs such as chemically-treated meat that Washington hopes to be able to sell to Europe under a planned multi-billion-dollar transatlantic trade deal.
In comments at his confirmation hearing in the European Parliament that will delight EU heavyweights France and Germany, Vytenis Andriukaitis also said genetically modified crops posed a “philosophical problem” that threatened Europe’s biodiversity.