European Union

Le Pen's chief of staff indicted in European Parliament jobs probe

The chief of staff of Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate for president in upcoming French elections, was indicted Wednesday over allegations of irregular reimbursements from the European Parliament, a judicial source told dpa.

Serbia's EU negotiator says minority rights neglected

The head of the Serbia's European Union accession negotiation team, Tanja Miscevic, said in Novi Sad on Wednesday that minority rights had been neglected for many years and added that positive results in that regard cannot be achieved over night, the Beta news agency has reported. 

Croatian PM receives EIB Vice-President

Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic met on Wednesday with European Investment Bank (EIB) Vice-President Dario Scannapieco for talks on the bank's contribution to a new investment cycle in Croatia and its support to the Croatian government to implement key projects, a press release from the government's office said.

EU calls on Germany to reduce large current account surplus

The European Commission on Wednesday called on Germany, the bloc's biggest economy, to reduce its large current account surplus and focus on boosting domestic consumption.

EU seeks to fine Austria for misrepresenting debt data

The European Commission was seeking to slap a fine of close to 30 million euros (31.5 million dollars) on Austria after one of its states reported incorrect debt data to the EU's statistical office, EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen said Wednesday.

Croatian crime victims still not exercising rights enjoyed by victims in other EU countries

Victims of crime in Croatia still cannot exercise the rights exercised by victims of crime in other EU member-countries, and the biggest problem is that the national legislation still does not incorporate the EU directive on the protection of victims of crime, heard a conference held in Zagreb on Wednesday on the occasion of the European Day for Victims of Crime.

Brexit bill: House of Lords says public can change mind on leaving EU

The British public should be able to change their minds on Brexit - just as Prime Minister Theresa May did, the upper chamber of parliament heard Tuesday during a marathon debate on legislation to kick off EU negotiations.

EU countries agree new rules to avoid tax evasion

European Union finance ministers in Brussels on Tuesday reached a political agreement on new rules to ensure that multinational corporations do not declare profits in the countries where they pay the least tax but in the countries where they generate it.

Juncker: Not good for W. Balkans that some in Washington want to water down EU

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Tuesday it was not good for Western Balkan countries that some people in the new US administration gave the impression of being against the European Union because those countries needed the prospects of EU membership.

Energy consumption in EU below its 1990 level but dependency on fossil fuel imports on the rise

In the period from 1990 to 2015 energy consumption in the EU decreased but there was an increase in dependency on fossil fuels, which continued to represent by far the main source of energy, even though all member-countries reduced their share in energy consumption, shows the latest Eurostat report.

Greece's creditors want sweeping reforms before next bailout payment

Greece must make sweeping reforms to its labour market, pension system and collective bargaining agreements in order to receive its next vital bailout payment, the country's European creditors said Monday.

Wigemark says election legislation amendments of utmost importance for Bosnia

Wigemark said that amending the election legislation and continuing the process for joining the EU were the most important political processes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Pence reaffirms commitment to 'continued cooperation' with the EU

The United States remains committed to a "continued cooperation and partnership" with the European Union, US Vice President Mike Pence said Monday during his first official visit to Brussels.

Turkey's Erdogan to bring constitutional reform campaign to Europe

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is preparing to bring a campaign for constitutional reform to Turks living in the European Union, his premier told journalists in Munich on Sunday.

EC: Letter to Croatia regarding Teran does not prejudge further steps

The European Commission on Friday confirmed having received a complaint from Slovenia against Croatia over breaches of rules that refer to the protection of interests of Slovenian producers of the Teran wine, which is protected at EU level, and that it had sent a letter to Croatia which however does not in any way prejudge further steps by the EC against Croatia.

Blair urges Britons to rise up and reverse Brexit

Britain's departure from the European Union is not inevitable, former prime minister Tony Blair said Friday, calling for the creation of a cross-party movement to persuade the public they can change their minds on Brexit.

EU approves EUR 102m grant for LNG terminal in Croatia

The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Coordination Committee on Friday approved a EUR 102 million grant for the construction of a floating LNG terminal off the northern Adriatic island of Krk and another EUR 40.5 million for Sincro.Grid, a Croatian-Slovenian project aimed at improving the transfer of electricity.

Blair to call on Britons to rethink Brexit

Former British prime minister Tony Blair is set to challenge the government on Friday on its commitment to leave the European Union.

International community warns Congo against postponing elections

The United Nations, the African Union and the European Union on Thursday expressed concern over Congo's lack of progress in organizing the elections due this year, urging the "full and timely implementation" of the plan.

US: Burden-sharing message to NATO was 'well received'

The US call for NATO members to increase their defence spending was "expected" and "well received," US Secretary of Defence James Mattis said on Thursday after attending his first meeting for NATO defence ministers.

Canada's Trudeau brims with optimism in European Parliament address

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau referred to the European Union on Thursday as a "remarkable achievement and an unprecedented model for cooperation" in a speech to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

EU countries struggle to return migrants to other countries

Countries in the European Union struggled with returning migrants to third countries with less than 60 per cent of return decisions implemented in 2016, the EU border protection agency Frontex said in a report Wednesday.

US to reduce commitments to NATO unless allies increase spending

The US will reduce its commitment to NATO unless allies increase their defence spending, the US defence secretary threatened on Wednesday.

Europeans affirm support for "two-state solution" in Middle East

The German government and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini affirmed their support for the "two-state solution" to finding peace between Israelis and Palestinians on Wednesday.

EU issues final warning to five countries over air pollution breaches

The European Commission sent final warnings on Wednesday to Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Britain for failing to address repeated breaches of air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide (NO2).

European Parliament approves EU-Canada trade deal amid protests

The European Parliament approved a controversial trade deal between the European Union and Canada on Wednesday.

UN, EU labour bodies promote proper pay for after-hours remote work

As mobile devices allow more and more employees to work at all hours of the day, governments should make companies pay for this type of telework, the labour bodies of the United Nations and the European Union said Wednesday.

Most MEPs endorse draft report on Bosnia

A majority of members of the European Parliament, who on Tuesday evening participated in a discussion on a draft progress report on Bosnia and Herzegovina prepared by EP rapporteur Cristian Dan Preda, described the document as a well-balanced report that points out the changes which that EU aspirant should make while abiding by the principles of federalism, decentralisation and full equality of the three constituent peoples.

Croatia posts highest industrial production growth in EU

In December 2016, industrial production in the European Union decreased 1% on the month, while Croatia recorded the highest increase, the EU statistical office Eurostat has said.

Izetbegovic lobbying against federalisation in EP resolution on Bosnia

The Bosniak member of the Presidency of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Bakir Izetbegovic, held talks in Strasbourg on Tuesday with European People's Party (EPP) officials, saying he was against mentioning federalisation in a resolution on BiH's progress because it might encourage demands for dividing the country on the ethnic principle.

Eurozone economy growth stagnates at end of 2016

Economic growth in the eurozone rose by 0.4 per cent at the end of 2016 compared to the previous quarter, while growth for the whole of the European Union stood at 0.5 per cent, the EU's statistics office said Tuesday.

Austrian president urges strong support for EU to defeat nationalism

EU countries need leaders who are "convinced" that the European project makes their countries stronger if they are to fight back the rise of nationalism and anti-EU sentiments, new Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen said Monday.

Croatia can't meet relocation quota since refugees doesn't want to come

Croatia's Interior Minister Vlaho Orepic has said in an interview with Deutsche Welle that Croatia is committed to fulfilling its obligation in connection with the migrant relocation quota, but the problem is that migrants do not see Croatia as their desirable destination.

European Commission chief Juncker won't run for another term

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says he won't run for another term as the head of the EU's executive when his term ends in 2019.

Croatian MEP calls on govt to propose Croatia as European Medicines Agency centre

Croatian MEP Biljana Borzan on Friday said that the government should start lobbying and propose that the European Medicines Agency (EMA) moves its headquarters from London to Croatia.

EU commission approves 600-million-euro loan to Ukraine

Ukraine will receive an EU loan worth 600 million euros (640 million dollars) in the coming weeks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday, after a meeting in Brussels with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman.

EU's Hahn urges Macedonia's feuding leaders to form government

European Union Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn visited Skopje on Thursday and urged feuding Macedonian leaders to form a new government two months after snap elections.

British parliament's upper house urged not to block Brexit bill

The British government has urged parliament's upper house not to block its bill on starting Brexit negotiations, amid warnings that trying to delay the bill could cause a "constitutional crisis."

Germany posts record trade surplus adding to tensions with Trump

Germany reported a record trade surplus in 2016 adding to tensions with the Trump White House, which claims Europe's biggest economy is using a "grossly undervalued" euro to boost its export machine.

European nations hit back at Trump's anti-abortion measure

Four European nations will host an international meeting next month aimed at countering President Donald Trump's order that blocks US funding for charities that provide abortion-related services.

May gets lawmakers' backing to start Brexit negotiations

British lawmakers approved Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to trigger formal talks on Britain leaving the European Union by a large majority on Wednesday.

16 European states agree stronger cooperation to prevent new migrant flow

Sixteen central and southeast European countries, including Croatia, agreed in Vienna on Wednesday to draw up plans in late April for stronger military and civil cooperation so as to secure their borders in case the European Union-Turkey agreement on refugees failed, Reuters reported.

Auto industry growth in Europe to slow to 1 per cent in 2017

Growth in the European car industry is expected to slow to 1 per cent in 2017 but remain stable amid market uncertainties that include Britain's pending exit from the EU, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) said Wednesday.

Are we there yet? The next steps on the road to Brexit

In June last year, Britain voted in a referendum to leave the European Union. But, as they say, breaking up is hard to do.

Merkel and Szydlo put aside differences to plot unified course

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Warsaw looking to criticize perceived democratic deficits in Poland, but also to nurture an improving relationship between the two countries.

Scottish Parliament stages protest vote against Brexit launch bill

Scotland's parliament voted by 90 to 34 against the Brexit trigger bill on Tuesday afternoon in reaction to their exclusion from the debate taking place in British parliament.

Irish court hears challenge to Facebook's EU data transfer to US

A case that could settle whether Facebook can continue to send EU citizens' data to the United States should be referred to the European Court of Justice, argued the Irish government Tuesday as deliberations began in the High Court in Dublin.

Stricter controls of Schengen border to continue in five countries

The Council of the European Union on Tuesday adopted a recommendation by the European Commission to prolong internal border controls within the Schengen area currently implemented in five countries.

Minister says EU-funded project to restore dignity to Slavonia

The Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry said on Tuesday that the project "Slavonia, Baranja and Western Srijem" had been launched to secure EUR 2.5 billion (HRK 18.75 billion) from EU funds for projects in five Slavonian counties, with Minister Gabrijela Zalac saying that the purpose of the project was to restore dignity to that region, which used to be Croatia's granary.

47 pct of Serbian citizens in favour of EU entry, 29 pct against

Euro-optimism is on a descending line in Serbia, show the latest opinion polls according to which 47% of Serbian citizens are in favour of the country's EU entry, 29% are against.

EP committee calls for reducing gender inequality

Women in the European Union on average have lower salaries and pensions, they are not equally represented in powerful positions in politics and the economy and, at the current pace, equality will be achieved only in 70 years, the European Parliament's gender equality committee says in a report adopted on Monday, asking the EU and the member states to invest more effort in reducing gender inequality.

Germany: EU's Mediterranean anti-migrant mission helping smugglers

The European Union's anti-migrant smuggling mission in the Mediterranean, Operation Sophia, is actually helping people traffickers, the German government has admitted.

May anxious to avoid Brexit bill delay as Commons debates amendments

British lawmakers kicked off another three days of wrangling over Prime Minister Theresa May’s bill to launch Brexit negotiations, amid government concerns that amendments to the bill could slow it down or even scupper it completely.

ECB president Draghi to US: "We are not currency manipulators"

European Central Bank President Mario Draghi rejected US accusations of currency manipulation during a briefing before a committee of the European Parliament on Monday.

Croatian FM expects USA to keep supporting southeast Europe's stability

Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Davor Ivo Stier said on Monday that he expected the United States to continue supporting the stability in the southeast of Europe and called on the European Union to play a more active role in that part of the continent.

Le Pen slams EU, migration, Islamic fundamentalism at campaign launch

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen turned fire on the European Union, mass immigration and Islamic fundamentalism as she launched her bid for the French presidency on Sunday in the city of Lyon.

Lavrov rejects step-by-step removal of sanctions against Russia

Russia will not engage in a reciprocal process with the West to remove Ukraine-related sanctions step by step, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made clear in an interview that was published online on Sunday.

Merkel advocates EU trade deal with South American countries

German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out in favour of a free trade agreement between the European Union and South American states.

Leaders aware unity needed for EU's survival

The heads of state or government of European Union member states have sent at their informal summit a clear signal about the need for unity in dealing with internal and external challenges, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Valletta on Friday.

Belarus emphasizes independence while posturing between Russia, EU

Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko emphasized his country's independence on Friday while posturing between its main ally, Russia, and the European Union, with which its relations have considerably improved in recent years.

Frontex officers begin patrolling Greek-Macedonian border

Officers from European border agency Frontex have begun patrolling the border between Greece and Macedonia, Frontex said Friday.

EU wants stable Libya to stem migrant flow

The European Union vowed on Friday that it will contribute to Libya's stabilisation and help the Libyan government acquire control over its territory and the land and sea borders to fight human trafficking, while Italy committed to financing refugee camps in Libya with the EU's support.

Trump woes loom over EU summit as leaders agree to migration plan

EU leaders agreed on a plan to stem the flow of migrants via the Mediterranean at a summit in Malta on Friday, yet they repeatedly found themselves addressing the elephant in the room: US President Donald Trump.

Court blocks new Brexit legal challenge on European Economic Area

A British court blocked a new legal challenge to Brexit on Friday, ruling out a review of Prime Minister Theresa May's right to remove Britain from the European Economic Area (EEA).

EU commissioner slams Trump as 'unpredictable' and 'erratic'

EU Commissioner Guenther Oettinger on Friday called for unity among European leaders when dealing with the new US administration, describing President Donald Trump as "unpredictable" and "erratic."

Croatian PM calls for unity and new cohesive narrative in EU

The European Union must maintain its unity in the new global context and seek a new cohesive narrative, Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said in Valletta on Friday where he arrived for an informal summit meeting of EU heads of state or government who are expected to discuss the Central Mediterranean migratory route and Libya as well as preparations for the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties.

Merkel: Europe must define its role in the world

Europe must clearly define its role in the world in response to US President Donald Trump's actions, says German Chancellor Angela Merkel before an EU leaders' summit in the Maltese capital.

Austria's Kern: US shares responsibility for migrant flows

US President Donald Trump's travel ban and halt to refugee admissions are worrying, Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern says at the sidelines of an EU summit in Malta, noting that the US has a share of the responsibility for the flow of migrants.

EU calls on Belgrade, Pristina to avoid inflammatory rhetoric

The European Union has called on Belgrade and Pristina to defuse tensions and stick to their agreement on avoiding inflammatory rhetoric as well as to focus on the job that lies ahead, the Belgrade electronic media reported on Thursday evening, quoting a statement from Brussels.

May to stress Trump's NATO commitment, push spending at EU talks

Prime Minister Theresa May plans to brief EU leaders on her meeting last week with US President Donald Trump, who gave her a "guarantee that he was 100 per cent supportive of NATO," British officials said on Thursday.

Nine arrested for stealing EU funds for the needy in Italy

Italian police on Thursday arrested nine people they say conspired to embezzle large amounts of European Union funds meant for needy families in the southern Calabria region.

May publishes plan to leave EU single market, customs union

The British government on Thursday published Prime Minister Theresa May's strategy for withdrawing from the European Union, committing her to leaving the EU single market and customs union.

Grabar-Kitarovic: Croatia will stay committed to promoting healthy lifestyles

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic on Thursday received EU Commissioner for Health and Food Safety Vytenis Andriukaitis, whom she informed about matters pertaining to Croatia's public health policy, her office said.

Hungary slams EU's Russia sanctions amid loss of 6.7 billion dollars

EU member Hungary has lost out on 6.7 billion dollars in exports since the bloc imposed sanctions against Russia over the conflict in Ukraine, Hungary's top diplomat said Thursday.

EU encouraged by Belgrade-Pristina dialogue

Dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina is important for the region and the European Union, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, said late on Wednesday after a new round of talks between Serbian and Kosovo delegations in Brussels.

British lawmakers give May green light for Brexit talks

Lawmakers backed Prime Minister Theresa May's plan to trigger formal talks on Britain leaving the European Union on Wednesday, voting for her Brexit bill by a large majority. 

EU: 379 billion euros needed annually to modernize energy sector

The European Union needs an annual investment of 379 billion euros (407 billion dollars) from 2020 to 2030 to meet its climate-friendly energy targets, EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic said Wednesday.

Wigemark: Plans about new entities or seccession in Bosnia impossible to implement

All those talking about the creation of new entities in Bosnia and Herzegovina or the secession of parts of its territory pose a threat to the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity and that must stop because such plans are impossible to implement and talking about it directly harms ordinary people, the head of the Delegation of the European Union in the country, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, said in an interview with the Banja Luka-based Nezavisne Novine daily.

EU warns Romania not to backtrack on fighting corruption

Romania should not backtrack on its efforts to fight corruption, the European Commission said Wednesday, warning that the country's newly approved decree decriminalizing certain abuse of power offences was of "great concern."

France's Le Pen misses deadline to repay misspent funds to EU

French far-right leader and presidential hopeful Marine Le Pen missed the deadline to pay back 298,000 euros (318,000 dollars) of misused funds to the European Parliament, a spokeswoman for the parliament said on Wednesday.

EU, Mexico to speed up trade talks as prospects with Trump dwindle

The European Union and Mexico will speed up negotiations to update an existing free trade agreement for a more far-reaching deal, the European Commission said Wednesday.

Last hurdle cleared to end mobile roaming changes in the EU by June

The last hurdle has been cleared to finalize an agreement that will end mobile roaming charges in the European Union by mid-June, the European Commission said Wednesday.

Exports of Croatian food products to Bosnia possible again

A protocol to the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) enabling the duty-free export of Croatian food and agricultural products to BiH is applied as of February 1, and the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK) expects this to increase trade between the two countries.

Croatia's unemployment rate down, but still among highest in EU

In December 2016, Croatia was again among the European Union member states with the highest unemployment rates, but it saw the sharpest drop in unemployment annually, Eurostat data show.

German government to give more money to freely returning refugees

The German government plans to give more money to refugees who decide voluntarily to return to their homelands, the Interior Ministry announced on Tuesday.

EU commissioner: Ireland should collect tax benefits from Apple

The EU commissioner for competition called on Ireland on Tuesday to recover 13 billion euros (14 billion dollars) in tax benefits from US tech giant Apple after the company missed the payment deadline set by the EU.

Draft resolution on Bosnia calls for respecting principles of federalism

The European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs on Tuesday adopted a draft resolution on the progress of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) which calls for implementing the changes necessary for the creation of a functional state by respecting the principles of federalism, decentralisation and full equality of the constituent peoples and citizens.

EU president: Trump comments threaten EU, make future 'unpredictable'

"Worrying" statements from the new US administration are one of several external threats to the European Union and jeopardize the bloc's future, European Council President Donald Tusk wrote in a letter to EU leaders Tuesday.

British parliament to debate petition opposing Trump state visit

Britain's parliament will hold a debate in three weeks' time on a public petition signed by more than 1.7 million people opposing a planned state visit by US President Donald Trump.

EU leaders to meet in Malta to show unity, discuss migration crisis

EU leaders are meeting in Malta this week to discuss stemming the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean and to show unity in the face of Brexit and a new US president who has sown seeds of discord within the EU.

May, Kenny vow to protect Northern Ireland's open border after Brexit

British Prime Minister Theresa May and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny on Monday vowed to protect economic links and avoid the return of a "hard" border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland after Brexit.

Le Pen must pay back 340,000 euros in misspent funds to EU Parliament

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen must pay back almost 298,000 euros (318,000 dollars) of misused funds to the European Parliament by Tuesday, an EU parliamentary source confirmed to dpa on Monday.

Economic sentiment in Croatia, EU stable in January

The economic sentiment in Croatia in January 2017 stayed close to its highest level since the country joined the EU in mid-2013, on the back of improved expectations in the industrial sector that have offset subdued sentiments in other sectors of the economy, shows a report released by the European Commission on Monday.

Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish leaders to demand greater Brexit role

Leaders of devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are expected to demand a greater role in Brexit negotiations during a joint meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday.

New round of Serbia-Kosovo talks set for Feb 1

Serbia and Kosovo will hold a new round of talks on the relaxation of bilateral relations in Brussels on Wednesday under the European Union's mediation, and Serbia's top officials -- President Tomislav Nikolic and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic -- are expected to attend the talks, according to the RTS public broadcaster.

Trump, Merkel assert 'fundamental importance' of NATO alliance

New US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed the "fundamental importance" of the NATO alliance to transatlantic ties in their first telephone conversation on Saturday.

Turkey and Britain sign fighter jet deal during May visit

Turkey and Britain reached a deal worth 100 million pounds (125 million dollars) to build fighter jets together, during a visit by Prime Minister Theresa May which was focused on boosting trade links.

Germany's Gabriel pledges stronger EU in first foreign minister trip

Germany's new foreign minister, Sigmar Gabriel, made his first foreign visit to Paris on Saturday to hold talks with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, with the leaders vowing to work together to strengthen the European Union.

EU justice commissioner wants US reassurance on data protection deal

The European Union needs reassurance from the new US administration that an existing arrangement on protecting transatlantic data flows will continue, EU Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova said on Friday.

WTO rules against Russian tariffs on European vans

Russian duties on transport vans from Germany and Italy run counter to its free-trade obligations, the World Trade Organization (WTO) said in a ruling on Friday.