Senior correspondent, Brussels
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Apr 14, 2015

“Blood-free” minerals scheme must be binding, EU lawmakers say

BRUSSELS, April 14 (Reuters) – European importers of
minerals from conflict zones should be forced to certify their
goods “blood-free”, an influential group of EU lawmakers said on
Tuesday, seeking to toughen a proposal to prevent the financing
of warlords in Africa.

Much of the gold, tantalum, tin and tungsten used in
electronics and lighting is mined in areas of civil conflict in
Africa and the European Commission, the EU executive, last year
presented a plan for a voluntary certification scheme.

Apr 1, 2015

Exclusive: EU cannot maintain protection against Chinese imports, EU lawyers say

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European fears of being forced to lower tariff defenses against cheap Chinese imports have grown following a confidential warning from the EU’s own lawyers, who say the bloc should not ignore changes to global trade rules set to favor Beijing.

In a draft letter seen by Reuters, the head of the European Commission’s Legal Service, Luis Romero Requena, warned the head of the trade directorate that the EU would not have a good case to disregard the effects of the World Trade Organization viewing China as a more market-based economy — a status that will make it harder for other powers to justify current high tariffs.

Apr 1, 2015

EU cannot maintain protection against Chinese imports, EU lawyers say

BRUSSELS, April 1 (Reuters) – European fears of being forced
to lower tariff defences against cheap Chinese imports have
grown following a confidential warning from the EU’s own
lawyers, who say the bloc should not ignore changes to global
trade rules set to favour Beijing.

In a draft letter seen by Reuters, the head of the European
Commission’s Legal Service, Luis Romero Requena, warned the head
of the trade directorate that the EU would not have a good case
to disregard the effects of the World Trade Organization viewing
China as a more market-based economy — a status that will make
it harder for other powers to justify current high tariffs.

Mar 30, 2015

Confidence in euro zone economy near a four-year high

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Confidence in the euro zone’s economy rose for a fourth straight month in March to its highest since July 2011, a European Commission survey showed on Monday, suggesting the weak euro and lower oil prices are spurring the recovery.

The European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator rose by 1.6 points to 103.9, better than the 103.1 economists had forecast in a Reuters poll and building on a recovery that began in December. Business morale improved by 0.14 points to 0.23.

Mar 26, 2015

Exclusive: West holds off on Ukraine aid pledges, seeking reforms

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – International lenders are delaying plans to offer Ukraine billions of dollars on concerns Kiev cannot yet prove the cash will not vanish into a corrupt economy which EU officials fear could remain a “bottomless pit”.

Ukrainian authorities are still preparing a much-anticipated donor conference for April 28 but EU officials told Reuters that Western governments and agencies are now expected to meet in Kiev only late in the year, giving Ukraine longer to draw up more detailed proposals for how it would spend the money efficiently.

Mar 26, 2015

Migrant job-seekers can be denied benefits, EU lawyer says

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union nations can deny benefits to EU migrants unless they have previously worked in their host country, the EU’s top lawyer said on Thursday, in a case brought by Germany and keenly watched in Britain.

Even actively seeking work is not enough of a justification to claim benefits at the same time, European Court of Justice Advocate General Melchior Wathelet said.

Mar 20, 2015

Cameron sees hope for his EU ‘Mission Impossible’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday he was ready to discuss the “mission impossible” of changing the European Union’s treaty to accommodate the British prime minister’s calls for radical reform of the 28-country bloc.

Tusk, who chairs EU summits and represents EU governments in managing the bloc, has made plain the difficulty of accommodating David Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Europe, saying in a recent interview the demands were akin to the ‘Mission: Impossible’ action movies.

Mar 20, 2015

Britain’s Cameron sees hope for his EU ‘Mission: Impossible’

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday he was ready to discuss the “mission impossible” of changing the European Union’s treaty to accommodate the British prime minister’s calls for radical reform of the 28-country bloc.

Tusk, who chairs EU summits and represents EU governments in managing the bloc, has made plain the difficulty of accommodating David Cameron’s promise to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with Europe, saying in a recent interview the demands were akin to the ‘Mission: Impossible’ action movies.

Mar 19, 2015

EU joins U.S. to try to stop China’s new technology rules

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union on Thursday sharply criticized China’s new cyber security rules, joining a global effort to challenge measures that U.S. and EU companies say could force them out of the Chinese market.

Calling them a “tremendous barrier” for foreign companies competing in the information technology sector, the European Commission said the rules proposed late last year went far beyond other security standards around the world.

Mar 18, 2015

EU seeks solution to keep arbitration in U.S. trade deal

BRUSSELS, March 18 (Reuters) – The EU’s trade chief sought
on Wednesday to overcome one of the biggest disputes blocking an
accord with the United States, offering to radically change the
way companies would resolve conflicts in transatlantic business.

Cecilia Malmstrom, the European Union’s trade commissioner,
said arbitration must be part of any EU-U.S. free-trade pact,
which would be the world’s biggest, but that “it has to be a
different animal” from current investment courts.

    • 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:
      2002
      Languages:
      Spanish, French
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