BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States and the European Union sought on Thursday to counter rising opposition to transatlantic trade talks as hundreds of activists protested against the plans that they say would only benefit big companies fixated on maximizing profits.
A year into talks to create the world’s largest free-trade pact, European farmers, unions and nationalist politicians are trying to sway an uncertain public against the plans, despite studies showing an accord could increase economic growth.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The center-right is set to win the most seats in European Parliament elections next week, but its wafer-thin poll lead suggests the chances of securing the presidency of the European Commission are uncertain.
The European People’s Party (EPP) will take 212 seats in the May 22-25 vote, according to an analysis of national polls on Wednesday by PollWatch 2014, only three more seats than its center-left rivals, the Socialists and Democrats (S&D).
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Growing support for far-right parties has dominated the run-up to next week’s European Parliament elections but a lesser noticed theme is lurking: that protest parties on both right and left will try to scupper EU free trade talks.
With parliament determined to exercise new powers after May 22-25 elections and opinion polls showing almost a third of the chamber’s seats will go to anti-EU groups on the right and left, there is scope for disruption.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and Japan agreed on Wednesday to try to conclude talks on an ambitious free-trade deal next year that would encompass about a third of the global economy, despite European carmakers’ scepticism about Tokyo’s commitment.
An EU-Japan trade pact, potentially one of the world’s biggest, would be part of an emerging patchwork of sophisticated accords between the world’s richest countries as they search for growth following the worst financial crisis in a generation and the failure of global free-trade talks. “We confirmed the importance of an early conclusion and 2015 is the target date for a basic agreement,” Abe told a joint news conference with European Council President Herman van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso after a summit at which they also discussed the Ukraine crisis.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union and Japan called on Russia on Wednesday to avoid worsening the crisis in Ukraine and Brussels threatened further sanctions, seeking to calm growing violence that could put Ukraine’s presidential elections at risk.
Seeking to forge a united front, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and EU leaders agreed to try to wrap up talks on an ambitious free trade deal next year that would encompass about a third of the global economy.