Senior correspondent, Brussels
Robin's Feed
Nov 20, 2013

EU lawmakers seek to end their costly ‘travelling circus’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Parliament will agree on Wednesday to scrap its second headquarters in Strasbourg and end what lawmakers say is a 200-million-euro-a-year travelling circus between the French city and Brussels.

But France, keen to keep a symbol of its status as a founding member of the European Union, is likely to veto the decision when it is taken before national leaders.

Nov 19, 2013

ECB, urged by OECD to buy assets, says all options on the table

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – All policy options are open for the European Central Bank and it has discussed the broad possibility of asset buying, its vice-president said, as the OECD urged it to consider such action to aid a weak recovery.

Paris-based think tank the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development called on the ECB on Tuesday to emulate U.S.-style quantitative easing, or QE, to help the single currency area avoid a Japanese-style deflationary spiral.

Nov 19, 2013

OECD urges ECB to buy euro zone assets to revive economy

BRUSSELS/FRANKFURT (Reuters) – A leading international think-tank urged the European Central Bank on Tuesday to loosen the purse strings further and buy euro zone government and corporate bonds to accelerate a weak recovery.

One of the bank’ hawks, Joerg Asmussen, said separately that more action was possible, but only if deemed necessary.

Nov 19, 2013

OECD calls on ECB to buy euro zone assets A

BRUSSELS, Nov 19 (Reuters) – The European Central Bank must
consider buying government and corporate bonds to help the euro
zone avoid a Japanese-style deflationary spiral, the OECD said
on Tuesday.

It was a direct call for the ECB to undertake quantitative
easing (QE), a policy that currently divides the bank, in the
face of what the think-tank said was a risk of deflation.

Nov 15, 2013

EU, U.S. say trade deal won’t pander to big business

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – U.S. and EU trade negotiators rejected accusations on Friday that they are pandering to multinational companies in their push to agree the world’s largest free-trade deal, saying food safety and the environment will not be put at risk.

Consumer and green groups say a deal encompassing half the world’s economic output threatens the standards governing products from medical devices to toys, because companies are pressing for lower costs and fewer barriers to trade.

Nov 15, 2013
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.

    • 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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