Senior correspondent, Brussels
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Jul 23, 2015

Europe readying sanctions against Burundians over election

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is ready to impose sanctions on Burundians failing to help end the Central African nation’s crisis, the EU’s foreign policy chief said on Thursday, following elections that Brussels and Washington say were not credible.

Facing its worst political crisis since the end of civil war in 2005, Burundi is awaiting the results of Tuesday’s vote in which President Pierre Nkurunziza ran for a third term, breaking the two-term limit agreed in a peace deal a decade ago.

Jul 20, 2015

EU countries fail to meet targets to take in migrants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union failed on Monday to agree on how to spread 40,000 asylum seekers in Greece and Italy among its members over the next two years, postponing the decision until the end of the year.

Following the deaths of 700 people on a fishing boat heading for Italy from Libya in April, EU leaders called at a summit in June for agreement on the relocation by the end of July – a potentially divisive move in some countries where far-right parties and populist anti EU movements are gaining ground.

Jul 20, 2015

Inspired by Iran deal, EU seeks coalition to revive Mideast peace push

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Inspired by Europe’s role in a nuclear deal with Iran, the European Union wants to form a broader, U.N.-backed coalition to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Taking up a French proposal, EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to try to create an “international support group” more than a year after the collapse of a U.S.-brokered peace push envisaging a Palestinian state co-existing with Israel. The EU wants to open the door to more countries to get involved.

Jul 20, 2015

Exclusive – Europe to hit Libyans with sanctions over peace impasse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is preparing sanctions against five Libyans accused of blocking a U.N.-backed peace deal, Western diplomats told Reuters on Monday, after EU foreign ministers agreed to pressure all sides to negotiate.

Three senior militants who have threatened violence against any future unity government, as well as two military leaders who say their faction cannot abide by any accord, will be hit with EU travel bans and asset freezes unless they change their position, diplomats said.

Jul 20, 2015

Europe threatens sanctions on Libyans over peace impasse

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union is considering sanctions against Libya’s warring factions who fail to agree to a U.N.-sponsored peace deal after one group controlling the capital Tripoli refused to sign up this month.

The European Union says a U.N-backed deal is the only way to end the war between rival governments vying for power in the oil producer four years after the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

Jul 20, 2015

EU countries seek agreement on coping with flood of migrants

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will try to reach an agreement on Monday to tackle the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean despite resistance from Spain and Poland, who say they are not ready to absorb large numbers of new asylum seekers.

Following the deaths of some 700 people on a fishing boat heading for Italy from Libya in April, the European Commission, the EU’s executive, has proposed a plan to keep more migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing. But it faces objections from EU governments dealing with anti-immigrant parties at home.

Jul 20, 2015

Europe backs Iran nuclear deal in signal to U.S. Congress

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union approved the Iran nuclear deal with world powers on Monday, a first step toward lifting Europe’s economic sanctions against Tehran that the bloc hopes will send a signal that the U.S. Congress will follow.

In a message mainly aimed at skeptical voices in the U.S. Congress and strong resistance from Israel, EU foreign ministers meeting in Brussels stressed that there was no better option available.

Jul 15, 2015

NATO plans biggest exercise since 2002 to counter Islamic State

BRUSSELS, July 15 (Reuters) – NATO and its allies will hold
their biggest military exercise in more than a decade from
October, deploying 36,000 personnel across the Mediterranean to
counter the threat of Islamic State on the alliance’s southern

Briefly turning attention away from Russia, NATO commanders
said on Wednesday the alliance would carry out some of its
toughest training yet in a complex “artificial threat scenario”
in which militants attack on land, from the air and at sea.

Jul 12, 2015

China’s bid to extend economic diplomacy entangled in EU fund rules

BRUSSELS, July 13 (Reuters) – China could invest up to 10
billion euros ($11.1 billion) in Europe’s new infrastructure
fund, but a final decision is being held up by the complex
mechanics of a deal to give Chinese technology companies a
greater role in Europe, people familiar with the talks say.

Premier Li Keqiang had been expected to put a figure on
China’s contribution to the EU’s 315 billion euro fund at an
EU-China summit on June 29, part of Beijing’s efforts to become
a more advanced economy and not just the world’s factory floor.

Jul 1, 2015

Proposed investor court might save EU-U.S. trade deal in European Parliament

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The president of the European Parliament has urged lawmakers to support a trade deal between Europe and the United States, telling them that setting up a new European court to settle trade disputes could overcome public resistance to the accord.

Europe’s assembly is divided over whether to approve the proposed pact, which would be the world’s biggest. It fears U.S. multinationals will use private arbitration, which the agreement provides for, to challenge European food and environmental laws on grounds they restrict commerce. A vote is expected on July 8.

    • About Robin

      "Robin Emmott is Reuters diplomatic correspondent in Brussels, covering the European Union’s foreign and security affairs and NATO. After spells in Amsterdam at Het Financeele Dagblad and in Mexico City with the Financial Times, Robin spent a decade covering Latin America for Reuters. Since 2011, he has been in Brussels writing on trade, foreign affairs and economics."
      Joined Reuters:
      Spanish, French
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