At a summit meeting in Brussels on Friday (24 October), EU leaders asked the European Commission to come up with a plan for better coordinating economic policies.
With a troubled European economy, and Germany’s reluctance to invest more in the eurozone, EU leaders agreed to work on a better governance structure, in order to coordinate actions that would boost growth in the 28 country bloc.
"We still have fairly big economic challenges such as unemployment. We also need to work for a better inflation rate,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
EU leaders have agreed on Europe’s 2030 climate ambition – now they need to show how they will deliver, writes Martin Schoenberg.
Polish PM Ewa Kopacz said today (24 October) after the EU summit adopted a common EU position that her country had “won” and received from the EU everything that it asked for.
"The news for Poles is good," Kopacz told the press. This was her first appearance at an EU summit since she replaced Donald Tusk as head of a new government, her predecessor being elected as President of the European Council, a post he will take up starting 1 December.
A European Union goal to cut greenhouse gases by 40% by 2030, agreed early on Friday (24 October), sets the pace for a global deal to tackle climate change, pitting heavy industry against green business.
A furious David Cameron today (24 October) vowed the United Kingdom would not pay the €2.1 billion bill it was handed by the European Union last night.
The British Prime Minister branded the demand for a top-up to the UK’s contribution to the EU budget “an appalling way to behave”, which “certainly didn’t help make a strong case for Britain to remain in the EU.”
Striking workers took to the streets in cities across Italy on Friday (24 October) to protest against cuts to public services and labour reforms proposed by Prime Minister Matteo Renzi. The stoppages mainly affected the transport sector, with train and public bus travel disrupted after the USB union called a 24-hour strike.
As the eurozone struggles to restore its ailing economies, perhaps it is time for participant-states to look beyond their own backyards, writes Giorgi Meladze.
Giorgi Meladze is the director of the Ilia State University Center for Constitutional Studies and the executive director of the Liberty Institute, a libertarian think-tank in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Germany's potential for growth is far too low, and the country must invest more, Jyrki Katainen said on Friday. France is cutting its deficit less quickly than promised, raising the chances that the Commission will reject its 2015 budget.
Guntram B. Wolff is Director of Bruegel, the Brussels-based economic think tank.
The International Monetary Fund now estimates a 30% risk of deflation in the eurozone, and growth figures within the monetary union continue to disappoint. But policymakers seem trapped in a cat’s cradle of economic, political, and legal constraints that is preventing effective action. The fulfillment of policy rules appears to be impossible without growth, but growth appears to be impossible without breaking the rules.
French President François Hollande announced a major summit of Europe’s Socialists, to take place before this year's final European Council meeting on 18 December. EurActiv France reports.
With a lack of experience, a background in tourism and no clear distribution of roles with fellow commissioners, Maltese politician Karmenu Vella has much to prove as Europe's new Environment Commissioner, according to German activists. EurActiv Germany reports.
MEPs voted to extend the Council's proposed 2015 European budget by 2 billion euros, a position that may lead to tough negotiations. EurActiv France reports.
The European Commission may have changed its view over including investment arbitration in the EU-US trade agreement TTIP, a move that would be a wish-come-true for Economic Affairs Minister Sigmar Gabriel and others, who fear the measure could lead to companies influencing government policy. EurActiv Germany reports.
Greek President Nicos Anastasiades was hospitalised ahead of the first day of the EU summit yesterday (23 October), and was replaced at the summit by Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras. This is the first time that a leader from another country replaces a colleague at the EU summit table.
Anastasiades arrived in Brussels for the summit on 22 October. As Cypriot diplomats told EurActiv, the Cyprus President always comes to EU summits one day in advance, the main reason being the long flight. Cyprus is the EU country most distant from Brussels.
The United Kingdom is facing a shock demand from the European Commission to contribute an extra €2.1 billion to the EU budget, owing to the good health of the British economy.
EU leaders Thursday night (23 October) committed by 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%, and increase energy efficiency and renewables by at least 27%.
French President François Hollande said the deal would send a clear message to other countries such as China and the US ahead of the talks in Paris next year to agree global legally binding greenhouse gas emissions.
EU leaders on Thursday evening (23 October) named Christos Stilianides, the future Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, as a special coordinator on Ebola.
During the summit meeting in Brussels, EU heads of state confirmed the appointment of Stilianides who will be in charge of coordinating the EU's humanitarian efforts in West Africa in the fight against the deadly virus.
Urban density, congested slums and shantytowns with poor sanitation, drainage, and sewage, and weak health-care infrastructure in India – it is easy to imagine how the Ebola virus could spread rapidly. A single infected person who arrives from West Africa and is then untraceable could easily trigger an epidemic, write Hrishabh Sandilya and Dany Shoham.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk warned today (23 October) of possible attempts by Russia to disrupt Sunday's parliamentary election in Ukraine, and ordered a full security mobilisation to prevent "terrorist acts" being carried out.
"It is clear that attempts to destabilise the situation will continue and be provoked by the Russian side. They did not succeed during the presidential election [in May] ... but their plans have remained," he told a meeting of top security chiefs and election monitors.
There is still hope for meaningful decisions to be made at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Swedish Ambassador Staffan Herrström told EurActiv Poland in an exclusive interview.
EurActiv Poland’s Karolina Zbytniewska and Krzysztof Kokoszczyński asked the diplomat about the recent Swedish elections, energy, environment, gender policies, as well as the Ukrainian crisis.