Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
Nov 15, 2013

Exclusive: Europe moves to ban South African citrus imports

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is preparing a ban on South African citrus imports that could take orange juice off Europe’s breakfast tables next summer and sour efforts in Brussels to broaden trade with Africa’s biggest economy.

The move follows the interception of 35 citrus shipments this year from Europe’s chief summer supplier that were contaminated with the fungal black spot disease, which growers in southern Europe fear could take hold in their citrus groves.

Nov 11, 2013

Exclusive: EU to offer South Africa end to block on sugar exports

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Monday will propose lifting its block on South African sugar and allow more duty-free access for wine in return for help with Europe’s stalled trade deals with sub-Saharan Africa, people familiar with the matter said.

EU trade chief Karel De Gucht will make the offer to South African officials in Johannesburg, two people close to the talks told Reuters, on his first stop in a week-long tour of Africa that is seen as a last big push to salvage trade deals across the continent.

Nov 5, 2013

EU Commission predicts euro will get even stronger

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The euro will appreciate at a record pace this year and continue to gain in value in 2014, the European Commission predicted, a spiral that could hamper the currency bloc’s export-driven recovery.

A stronger euro, which despite a recent slide is still up nearly six percent against the U.S. dollar in the last four months, makes the euro zone’s exports more expensive and could dampen the bloc’s recovery from its long recession.

Oct 25, 2013

France resists British push to cut EU regulation

BRUSSELS, Oct 25 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David
Cameron pressed European leaders on Friday to scrap EU red tape
that London says is strangling small companies, but France
warned it would not accept changes that threatened workers, food
safety or the environment.

Backed by a perception that Brussels sets overbearing rules
on everything from the shape of bananas to high heels in
hairdressers, Cameron set out to tackle the grievances of
British Eurosceptics who complain the bloc’s rules are petty.

Oct 25, 2013

Britain presses EU to drop ‘pointless’ regulation

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – British Prime Minister David Cameron pressed European leaders on Friday to scrap red tape that London says is strangling small companies, but won from them only a vague commitment to lighten regulation.

Armed with a 60-page report and accompanied by prominent business leaders, Cameron set out to tackle the grievances of British Eurosceptics who complain the bloc’s rules are petty, pernicious and overbearing.

Oct 24, 2013

China and Europe make up after averting trade war

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – China and the European Union sought to mend ties on Thursday after narrowly avoiding a trade war this year, but the EU’s trade chief told Beijing to stop handing out state subsidies that Brussels says are illegal.

Europe is China’s most important trading partner and for the EU, China is second only to the United States, but the bilateral relationship has been bedevilled by a series of damaging trade rows ranging from steel and wine to solar panels.

Oct 23, 2013

EU lawmakers seek to block U.S. financial spying

BRUSSELS, Oct 23 (Reuters) – The European Parliament called
on Wednesday for U.S. access to a global financial database in
Belgium to be suspended due to concerns that the United States
is snooping on the European Union, not just combating terrorism.

EU lawmakers voted to freeze Washington’s ability to track
international payments because of suspicions that it has abused
an agreement giving it limited access to the SWIFT database.

Oct 18, 2013

EU members agree to enter investment negotiations with China

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – European Union governments agreed on Friday to start talks with China to remove restrictions on foreign investment and set clearer rules on doing business after months of trade disputes over Chinese solar panels and EU wine.

The decision by trade ministers from the EU’s 28 member states means negotiations with China can start at a summit in Beijing on November 21, with the aim of sealing an investment agreement in the following two-and-a-half years.

Oct 18, 2013

Say cheese: EU strikes trade deal with Canada, looks to U.S

BRUSSELS/LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – The European Union and Canada agreed a multi-billion-dollar trade pact on Friday that will integrate two of the world’s largest economies and paves the way for Europe to clinch an even bigger deal with the United States.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso sealed the pact – the EU’s first with a member of the Group of Eight biggest world economies – by resolving outstanding issues in Brussels.

Oct 17, 2013

Argentina ready to take EU to WTO in biodiesel row -sources

BRUSSELS, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Argentina is preparing to take
the European Union to the World Trade Organisation to challenge
punitive duties on its biodiesel exports, two people familiar
with the matter said on Thursday.

Argentina and the EU are embroiled in a row over the fuel,
made mostly from soybean oil, and Brussels accuses Buenos Aires
of using unfair subsidies to sell biodiesel at below cost in
Europe, imposing temporary levies on the imports in May.

    • 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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