Senior correspondent, Brussels
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Jun 11, 2015

EU disappointed over breakdown in Macedonia talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A senior European Union official criticised Macedonian political leaders on Thursday after talks to end a crisis there broke down over a plan for a transitional government to prepare the ground for elections.

“Very disappointed about lack of responsibility and leadership by some,” EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said on Twitter after chairing 12 hours of talks between leaders of Macedonia’s four main political parties that ended shortly before midnight on Wednesday.

Jun 11, 2015

Europe tries to compete with China’s influence in Latin America

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Unable to match China’s offer of $250 billion in investment in Latin America, the EU sought ways on Thursday to avoid being marginalized in the region, offering new trade deals, visa-free travel and deeper ties.

At a two-day summit with Latin American leaders in Brussels, European leaders briefly put aside concerns about Greece, Ukraine and Britain’s future in Europe to stress they had not forgotten former colonies.

Jun 9, 2015

Divided EU lawmakers postpone vote on U.S. trade deal

BRUSSELS, June 9 (Reuters) – The European Parliament failed
on Tuesday to agree a unified stance on a proposed trade deal
with the United States, postponing a vote that was meant to
cement its support for the biggest accord of its kind.

The failure to agree on a resolution meant that the
parliament would merely debate the proposed deal in Strasbourg
on Wednesday, but not hold a vote, highlighting the growing
doubts in the European Union about its benefits.

May 28, 2015

EU lawmakers back arbitration in U.S. trade deal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European lawmakers supported on Thursday including investor arbitration in a free-trade deal with the United States, a breakthrough on one of the biggest obstacles to a transatlantic accord.

A trade agreement between the United States and the European Union would be the world’s largest, but Washington says any deal must include ways for investors to settle disputes, while some Europeans fear large U.S. companies would use arbitration to bully governments and challenge EU food and environmental laws.

May 26, 2015

Only new refugees to benefit from EU quotas in migrant crisis: draft

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union will consider new refugees reaching Italy and Greece in its migrant quotas, not those already in camps, according to a proposal seen by Reuters to be presented on Wednesday, a concession to EU governments against the plan.

Seeking to share out asylum-seekers fleeing chronic conflict in Africa and the Middle East, the EU executive’s proposals have been met with scepticism from governments that are facing rising anti-immigrant sentiment at a time of economic austerity. But the recent deaths of thousands of migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean means the bloc needs an emergency response.

May 20, 2015

EU lawmakers seek ban on “blood metals” in surprise vote

BRUSSELS, May 20 (Reuters) – The European Parliament voted
on Wednesday to ban all products that contain “blood metals”
sold by African warlords, but the legislation is likely to be
blocked by EU governments who fear it would impose an
unrealistic burden on business.

The surprise result marked a defeat for the pro-business
European People’s Party (EPP), the parliament’s biggest
grouping, who need fellow centrist allies to pass laws following
last year’s EU elections where protest parties did well.

May 19, 2015

EU migrant quotas ‘insane’, Hungary’s Orban says

BRUSSELS/BUDAPEST (Reuters) – Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban decried EU proposals for migrant quotas as “bordering on insanity” on Tuesday, and defended his recent calls for the possible reintroduction of the death penalty.

Orban made a combative appearance before the European Parliament in Strasbourg, where lawmakers challenged the centre-right leader over his increasingly tough anti-immigration stance.

May 18, 2015

EU agrees Mediterranean naval mission to tackle people smugglers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union agreed a naval mission on Monday to target gangs smuggling migrants from Libya but parts of a broader plan to deal with the influx began to unravel in a row over national quotas for housing asylum seekers.

Many hundreds of deaths at sea, including the drowning of up to 900 on a single vessel in the Mediterranean last month, have jolted European governments into a more robust response, but beyond greater funding for rescue operations, the EU is divided on how to act as anti-immigrant parties gain support at home.

May 18, 2015

Europe wants central role in Middle East peace, Mogherini says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union wants a more active role in seeking peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the bloc’s foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said on Monday on the eve of her first visit to the region.

Six months into her tenure, the 41-year-old former Italian foreign minister is eager to leverage Europe’s position as Israel’s biggest trade partner and as the Palestinians’ main aid donor after last year’s failure by the United States to make progress in the latest efforts to broker a two-state peace deal.

May 18, 2015

EU seeks naval mission in Mediterranean to go after smugglers

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The EU’s foreign policy chief pushed on Monday for a naval mission in the Mediterranean to target Libyans smuggling people to Europe, saying that an EU agreement would hasten the U.N. mandate that the plan needs to succeed.

The European Union ultimately wants to capture smugglers and destroy their boats off the Libyan coast to help it tackle the rising number of migrants fleeing war and poverty in North Africa, but many EU countries want U.N. authorization to act.

    • 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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