The majority of Europeans are optimistic as to the future of EU

The majority of Europeans are optimistic as to the future of EU

The majority of Europeans (56%) are optimistic as to the future of EU, or an increase of six percentage points, compared to autumn 2016. This emerges from a Eurobarometer report, published on Wednesday by the European Commission. The most significant increases were seen in France (55%, up 14 points since last autumn), Denmark (70%, up 13 points) and Portugal (64%, up 10 points). In Belgium, 63% (an increase of 7 points) of those surveyed say they are “optimistic” as to the future of the Union. Trust within the EU is…

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The Netherlands refuses to hand over criminal suspects to Belgium

The Netherlands refuses to hand over criminal suspects to Belgium

The Dutch government has decided to suspend handing over criminal suspects to Belgium until it receives better clarity on Belgian prison conditions. The decision was taken on Tuesday by the International Tribunal in Amsterdam. It justifies its decision by referring to a report carried out by the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture, which is working under the mandate of The Council of Europe. The report has analysed the Belgian penal system and its current conditions. In its report, the committee denounces amongst other things the Belgian authorities “persistent…

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Brussels candidate to host two European agencies currently based in London

Brussels candidate to host two European agencies currently based in London

Brussels is one of the candidate cities to host the two European agencies currently based in London. The European Medicines Agency and The European Banking Authority are currently based in London and Brussels is one of the suggestions for their respective relocations following Brexit, according to an announcement on the European Council’s website. Eight cities are offering to host the European Banking Authority. Besides Brussels, Frankfurt, Luxemburg, Dublin, Paris, Prague, Vienna and Warsaw are under consideration. Dublin, Vienna, Warsaw and Brussels have also offered to host the European Medicines Agency….

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Brussels sends Poland a letter of formal notification over a judicial reform

Brussels sends Poland a letter of formal notification over a judicial reform

The European Commission has started the sanction procedure against Poland by sending them a letter of formal notification. This comes after it published a new law that the Commission thinks will take away the independence of ordinary Polish tribunals. “The European Commission has started the procedure to sanction Poland by sending them a formal notification letter. We made this decision after the new law on organising communal law jurisdictions was published in the official Polish newspaper on Friday the 28th of July”, it said in a press release. The European…

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EU court orders Poland to stop logging in Białowieża forest

EU court orders Poland to stop logging in Białowieża forest

European Union’s top court orders an immediate halt to large-scale logging in the Unesco-listed ancient forest. The European Union’s top court has ordered Poland to immediately halt large-scale logging in an ancient protected forest, one of many cases that has pitted the nationalist, eurosceptic government in Warsaw against the bloc. The EU’s executive commission earlier this year sued Poland at the European court of justice (ECJ) over logging in the Białowieża forest, a Unesco World Heritage site. Straddling the border between Poland and Belarus, it is one of Europe’s last…

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Political dialogue between EU and Turkey ends in disagreement

Political dialogue between EU and Turkey ends in disagreement

A high-level political dialogue between EU top officials and Turkish ministers took place this week (25 July) in Brussels in the framework of dialogue and cooperation between the two sides. It was described as open, frank and even constructive but did not result in any common statement on the outstanding issues besides an understanding that the dialogue should continue. Turkey was represented by its Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and EU Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik. On the EU side participated High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in charge of…

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Ukrainian MP Alexander Granovskiy accused of second citizenship

Ukrainian MP Alexander Granovskiy accused of second citizenship

Ukraine has strict laws prohibiting becoming the citizen of another country while holding Ukrainian passport. However it happens quite often. It is especially popular among politicians, businessmen and ethnic minorities to hold the second passport for ‘just in case scenarios’. One of the cheapest way to get the citizenship of European Union is to get the Romanian passport. MP Alexander Granovskiy (Granovski – EU) has managed to get one – and is now under fire of his fellow colleagues and law enforcers. It should be noted, that MP Alexander Granovskiy…

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EU minister says Turkey still on track to join bloc despite calls to stop accession

EU minister says Turkey still on track to join bloc despite calls to stop accession

Federica Mogherini says it is important to keep a dialogue open despite growing pressure for Brussels to condemn Ankara’s human rights abuses. The EU’s foreign policy chief defied calls for a tougher line on human rights abuses in Turkey to insist the country remains on track to join the bloc. Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, told reporters on Tuesday that it was important to keep a dialogue open with Ankara. “Clearly Turkey is and stays a candidate country,” she told reporters. “Many of our colleagues prefer…

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Pierre Moscovici observes “dramatic improvement” in Greece

Pierre Moscovici observes “dramatic improvement” in Greece

The European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, Pierre Moscovici, welcomed the “dramatic improvement” of the situation in Greece on Tuesday. This is enabling the country to have a “gradual return” to global markets. Greece is issuing a five-year bond. This is a first after a three-year absence from the bond market, and evidence of improvement in consumer confidence which the indebted country hopes to create. Mr Moscovici cited in a Presidential communiqué, “I would like to send a message today (Tuesday): we are seeing a dramatic improvement of the situation in…

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European and African ministers discuss plan to tackle flow of refugees

European and African ministers discuss plan to tackle flow of refugees

Meeting in Tunis follows pressure from UN refugee agency, which says EU efforts to train Libyan coastguard are not enough. European and African ministers are to meet in Tunis on Monday to discuss a plan to try to regularise the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe to about 20,000, coupled with a much tougher strategy to deport illegal migrants from Italy and break up smuggling rings. The plan to regularise the migrant flow is being pushed by the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, which warns that EU efforts to…

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