Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
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.

Oct 17, 2013

EU, Canada near trade pact after breaking impasse

BRUSSELS, Oct 17 (Reuters) – The European Union and Canada
are expected to close negotiations on a multi-billion-dollar
trade deal on Friday if they can overcome final disagreements
ranging from medicine patents to feta cheese and integrate two
of the world’s biggest economies.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European
Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will meet at around
midday (1000 GMT) in Brussels to wrap up talks that were
launched in 2009 but which stalled early this year over demands
for greater access to each other’s markets.

Oct 15, 2013

Germany digs in heels as Europe moves towards banking union

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – EU finance ministers agreed on Tuesday to give the European Central Bank sweeping supervisory powers in the euro zone but Germany dug in its heels on how to deal with failing banks, the second stage in building a banking union.

The European Union ministers gave their final approval for the ECB’s regulatory role nearly 1-1/2 years after the idea was first floated, with Britain dropping opposition to a plan it feared might threaten its control of London’s financial centre.

Oct 15, 2013

British blessing fails to break banking union impasse

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 15 (Reuters) – Britain dropped its
objections to granting the European Central Bank sweeping powers
of supervision in the euro zone, but EU governments remained
divided on Tuesday over how to deal with failing banks ahead of
a rapidly approaching December deadline.

Europe’s finance ministers are striving to agree the next
big step in European integration by setting up a banking
framework chiefly for the euro zone that would not only police
the bloc’s banks but find joint solutions to their problems.

Oct 14, 2013
Oct 14, 2013

Franco-German divisions cloud efforts to fix broken banks

LUXEMBOURG, Oct 14 (Reuters) – The euro zone debated on
Monday how to prop up banks likely to be declared unstable next
year, but France’s blunt criticism of Germany before the meeting
laid bare the tensions surrounding the far-reaching financial

Bank health checks by the European Central Bank are a
critical step in establishing a single banking framework for the
euro zone, giving credibility to ECB supervision and paving the
way for the bloc to cooperate on saving bust banks.

    • 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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