Despite positive signals coming out of the European Union's Brexit summit on Friday, French President Emmanuel Macron said "there is a lot of work still to be done" on negotiating Britain's exit from the EU in the next 18 months.
Klaus Mangold, a German businessman with good connections in Russia, and who provided a jet for Commission vice-president Guenther Oettinger, played a crucial role in Hungary's controversial Paks nuclear deal with Russia, Direkt36's investigation has found.
EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.
Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said Friday that the Spanish state is "obliged to restore its legality" in Catalonia after the region's leader refusal to annul a declaration of independence. Article 155 of the constitution, which allows a suspension of Catalonia's autonomy, "will be agreed tomorrow," he told journalists in Brussels, adding that he has an agreement with the two main opposition parties, the Socialist Party and the centrist Ciudadanos.
The European Commission said in a statement published on Friday afternoon that "as of 16 October 2017, its officials carried out an unannounced inspection at the premises of a car manufacturer in Germany". It said that the commission is concerned "that several German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules". The move follows German media reports last summer that said .
As Russia’s cultural hub, St. Petersburg delights millions of tourists every year. Founded by Peter the Great, the city was renamed Petrograd during World War I then Leningrad upon the death of Lenin. It became St. Petersburg again when the Soviet Union collapsed. Although the city’s identity was forged by all of these eras, it was the 900-day Nazi siege during World War II that left the deepest scars. Today, survivors of the siege or their descendants can be found in almost every family.
Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite said on Friday in Brussels the bloc should adopt new legislation to clarify whether non-EU states that build pipelines to the EU must abide by its energy market rules. She said the lack of clarity has prompted a legal "battle" between EU Council and European Commission lawyers on which rules applied to Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which she described as a "geopolitical" issue.
EU leaders agreed on Thursday (19 October) at their summit in Brussels to launch the beefed-up defence cooperation among EU countries by December. The of the summit encourage participating member states of so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) to notify the council and high commissioner Federica Mogherini of their intention to join. The aim is, among other things, to pool resources, and launch joint procurements.
European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said after the summit in Brussels on Thursday that there was not enough appetite among member states for his officials to negotiate the terms of a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. "I don't feel we'll have unanimity on this issue in the coming months," he said. He said "quite a number" of states did want EU-level intervention, amid concerns over Russian energy bullying.
Andrej Babis, the second-richest man in the Czech Republic and often compared to US president Donald Trump, looks likely to become the country's next leader following elections on Friday and Saturday, according to polls. In 2013, Babis's party, the Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO), won 18.65% of the vote. Babis became finance minister and deputy prime minister in Bohuslav Sobotka's government, but was fired in May 2017.
Two of Italy's wealthiest regions are holding non-binding referendums on greater autonomy on Sunday, following a trend of other European regions gaining power. Veneto and Lombardy are both led by governors from the populist Northern League party, and want more local control over immigration, education and business. The Italian constitution allows regions to seek more powers, but in dialogue with the central government and with approval from parliament.
EU leaders have declined to mediate the Catalonia crisis, saying it is for Madrid and Barcelona to resolve. "There is no room, no space for any kind of mediation or international initiative or action," European Council president Donald Tusk said Thursday. Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo confirmed that the Spanish Cabinet will hold an extraordinary meeting on Saturday to approve what further steps to take.