Orban condoles with Salvini’s “fellow combatant” because of his resignation

Orban condoles with Salvini’s “fellow combatant” because of his resignation

Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orbán commiserated Thursday (29 August) with Italy’s outgoing far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, calling him a “fellow combatant” in the fight for the “preservation of European Christian heritage and against migration”. In a letter published by the Hungarian news agency MTI, Orbán thanked Salvini for his work “not only for Italy but for Europe, including Hungary”. Salvini is the hardline leader of Italy’s far-right League party which spent a controversial 14 months in government in coalition with the anti-establishment Five Star Movement (M5S). Salvini pulled…

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Europhile Sylvie Gulyar offered as Commissioner from France

Europhile Sylvie Gulyar offered as Commissioner from France

France has proposed Sylvie Goulard as its European Commissioner candidate. An expert on European issues, the former centrist MEP was central to helping Emmanuel Macron develop his European contacts during his successful 2017 presidential campaign. EURACTIV France reports. Two days after an informal deadline (26 August) to submit nominations, the French government finally proposed Sylvie Goulard to take on the position of European Commissioner. If her nomination is successful, she will be France’s representative in Ursula von der Leyen’s college of Commissioners, pending approval from the new president and the…

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50 months later, Greece ceases to control capital

50 months later, Greece ceases to control capital

The Greek government fully lifted the capital controls introduced during the crisis in 2015 on Monday (26 August), in a sign of its growing economic confidence following the end of the bailout programme last year. “In cooperation with the Bank of Greece, the free movement of capital has been fully restored. The capital controls now belong to the past,” Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, adding that economic insecurity is now gone. Athens imposed capital controls in June 2015, when Greece was embroiled in a dispute with lenders over how…

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UK officially refuses to name new EU Commissioner

UK officially refuses to name new EU Commissioner

The UK government confirmed on Friday (23 August) that it would not nominate a European Commissioner candidate, branding the issue “a distraction” as Britain prepares to leave the EU on 31 October. Sir Tim Barrow, head of the UK’s delegation to the EU, said in a letter to the Commission and Council that his government will not put forward a candidate’s name by today’s informal 26 August deadline. In his Friday letter, Sir Tim cites Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s 25 July pledge not to pick someone to serve in Ursula…

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Boris Johnson feels “very much at home” at Emmanuel Macron’s office

Boris Johnson feels “very much at home” at Emmanuel Macron’s office

It was only his second visit to Britain as a new British Prime Minister, but Boris Johnson seemed to feel at home yesterday in the Elysée, the official residence of French President Emmanuel Macron. A little too good perhaps, because “BoJo” promptly planted his foot on top of a coffee table of the stately palace. Johnson made every effort in the world yesterday to show himself at his best in Paris and was very friendly with the French president and his furniture. While the cameras were turning to record the…

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Merkel meets Orban on the anniversary of the Iron Curtain amid new disagreements

Merkel meets Orban on the anniversary of the Iron Curtain amid new disagreements

German Chancellor Angela Merkel recalled the importance of a “humane” Europe Monday (19 August) as she took part in commemorations in Hungary to mark the 30th anniversary of a pivotal moment in the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989. Speaking alongside her Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban – with whom she has clashed in recent years over the issue of migration – Merkel said the “Pan-European Picnic” held at the Austro-Hungarian border in 1989 reflected the values of “solidarity, freedom and a humane Europe”. The two leaders were addressing a…

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West calls Kosovo, Serbia to “urgently” resume negotiations

West calls Kosovo, Serbia to “urgently” resume negotiations

Western powers on Tuesday (13 August) urged foes Serbia and Kosovo to reboot their stalled dialogue “with urgency”, warning that the lack of progress is hindering their dreams of joining the European Union. Serbia and its former province Kosovo, which is mainly ethnic Albanian, still have a bitter and tense relationship two decades after Pristina broke away in a separatist war and went on to declare independence. EU-led talks to normalise their ties have sputtered out in recent months over a series of diplomatic clashes. In a joint statement, the…

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No-deal Brexit will hurt Britain the most – Jean-Claude Juncker

No-deal Brexit will hurt Britain the most – Jean-Claude Juncker

A no-deal Brexit would hurt Britain more than the rest of Europe no matter how much Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government pretends otherwise, outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in remarks published on Saturday (10 August). Britain has been pressing the European Union to amend the terms of Britain’s withdrawal agreement, saying Brussels would have to take responsibility for a no-deal Brexit if it does not compromise. But at the end of the day that would do the most harm to Britain, Juncker told a regional newspaper in the…

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“World leaders must prove that they listened to climate activists” – Greta Tunberg

“World leaders must prove that they listened to climate activists” – Greta Tunberg

World leaders must prove that they have listened to young climate activists after a year of protests has not led to any progress in the reduction of greenhouse emissions, leading activist Greta Thunberg said on Monday (5 August). World leaders have an opportunity at the climate summit in September in New York to address the “ecological emergency”, said the Swedish teenager, who will attend the UN talks, crossing the Atlantic by boat. Some 450 activists from 38 European countries brought their #FridaysforFuture movement to the Swiss city of Lausanne, calling…

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Romania disregard EU shipping sheep in summer heat

Romania disregard EU shipping sheep in summer heat

Under the burning sun in Romania’s Midia port on the Black Sea, the Lady Maria stands ready to embark its passengers – thousands of sheep to be shipped to Libya for the Eid al-Adha holiday. Despite a warning from the EU and shock footage released last year of heat-stricken sheep struggling to breathe on ships travelling from Australia to the Middle East, Romania continues to export livestock during the height of summer. A Midia port operator official insists conditions aboard the Lady Maria, which flies a Tanzanian flag and has…

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