European Union

  • UK, EU clinch post-Brexit free trade agreement, hail biggest bilateral deal
    London, December 24 (PTI): Britain clinched a historic deal with the European Union on Thursday as both sides managed to thrash out a post-Brexit free trade agreement (FTA) just days before the December 31 deadline. Thousands of pages of legal text accompanies the deal, with details of the agreement set to emerge in the course of the next few days, including the final ratification of the FTA by Parliaments on both sides. "The deal is done," was the message posted on soc
  • EU leaders seek common ground on COVID tests as virus spreads
    BRUSSELS, October 29 (Reuters): EU leaders aim to make progress on common testing and vaccination strategies at a video conference on Thursday and step up coordination in fighting the fast-expanding COVID-19 pandemic, officials said. The late-afternoon e-meeting is the first of a planned series of video conferences leaders will dedicate in the coming weeks to the health crisis, with one official saying two more may take place before an EU summit scheduled for mid-December. A
  • A good chance we can get a deal with EU, says UK minister Lewis
    LONDON, October 25 (Reuters): Britain and the European Union have a good chance of striking a deal on future relations, the British government's Northern Ireland minister Brandon Lewis said on Sunday. The United Kingdom left the EU in January but the two sides are trying to clinch a deal that would govern nearly a trillion dollars in annual trade before a transition period of informal membership ends on Dec. 31. Talks resumed last week after Britain walked away in frustr
  • EU environment ministers strike deal on climate law, leave out 2030 target
    BRUSSELS, October 23 (Reuters): European Union environment ministers struck a deal on Friday to make the bloc's 2050 net zero emissions target legally binding, but left a decision on a 2030 emissions-cutting target for leaders to discuss in December. The landmark climate change law will form the basis for Europe's plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions, which will reshape all sectors, from transport to heavy industry, and require hundreds of billions of euros in annual inves
  • In WHO overhaul push, EU urges changes to handling of pandemics
    BRUSSELS/BERLIN, October 22 (Reuters): The European Union wants the World Health Organization to become more transparent about how states report emerging health crises, a draft proposal on reforming the U.N. agency says, following criticism of China's initial handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paper, drawn up by the German government after discussions with other member states, is the latest to outline the EU's months-long plans to address the WHO's shortcomings
  • EU negotiators expect to resume trade talks with UK, EU sources say
    BRUSSELS, October 21 (Reuters): Negotiators from the European Union are expected to travel to London on Thursday to resume talks with Britain, two EU sources said, a move, that if confirmed, would mark a new push to protect billions of dollars worth of trade. Both the EU and Britain have spent days calling on the other side to offer more concessions in talks, which have been all but deadlocked since the summer, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson walked away from the negotiation
  • EU tells Britain to make up its mind as Brexit deal 'within reach'
    BRUSSELS, October 21 (Reuters): The European Union told Britain on Wednesday to make up its mind on Brexit, putting the onus back on London to unlock trade talks as the bloc's chief negotiator said an agreement was still within reach with 10 weeks to go. A frustrated European Union and piqued Britain both exhorted each other this week to compromise to avoid a disruptive finale to the five-year Brexit drama that would add to economic pain from the coronavirus crisis. &quo
  • Global powers push to end Nagorno-Karabakh fighting
    YEREVAN/BAKU, October 21 (Reuters): Armenia's president headed to Brussels for talks with the European Union and NATO military alliance on Wednesday in a renewed drive to end the heaviest fighting since the 1990s over the mountain enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. As part of a wide diplomatic push from major global powers, the Azeri and Armenian foreign ministers also flew to Moscow for talks with Russia, which has brokered two ceasefires but failed to end clashes killing hundre
  • EU takes legal action against 'golden passport' schemes in Cyprus, Malta
    BRUSSELS, October 20 (Reuters): The European Union's executive said on Tuesday it was launching legal action against Cyprus and Malta over their investor citizenship programmes, also known as "golden passport" schemes. The schemes allow wealthy foreigners to buy citizenship in exchange for an investment of around 1 million euros ($1.2 million) in Malta and 2 million euros in Cyprus. The European Commission said the decision was taken because the two member stat
  • Brexit breakthrough? UK, EU agree to intensify trade talks
    LONDON/BRUSSELS, October 19 (Reuters): Britain and the European Union agreed on Monday to intensify trade talks and work on legal texts, a breakthrough of sorts after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would walk away from negotiations that had been deadlocked for weeks. After a weekend of both sides trading blame for the lack of movement in talks and calling on the other to move first, chief negotiators David Frost and Michel Barnier agreed to a British demand to start
  • 'Door is ajar' on Brexit trade talks if EU is serious: UK's Gove
    LONDON, October 18 (Reuters): The door is still ajar for Britain and the European Union to strike a post-Brexit trade deal but the bloc needs to change its approach and show it is serious before talks can resume this week, senior British minister Michael Gove said. The bloc had squandered some of the progress made in negotiations because it had not been willing to intensify talks or produce detailed legal texts, Gove said. "We hope that the EU will change their position
  • UK will explore every avenue for EU deal, PM Johnson tells France's Macron
    LONDON, October 10 (Reuters): Britain will explore every avenue for a trade deal with the European Union but progress to bridge significant gaps needs to be made in the coming days, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday. Johnson has set a deadline of the Oct. 15 EU summit for agreement on a deal, and the EU is seeking a few more concessions before entering the final phase of negotiations. "(Johnson) confirmed the UK's
  • EU's tussle over climate change ambition heats up after Parliament vote
    BRUSSELS, October 7 (Reuters): The European Parliament has voted in favour of a legally binding target for the European Union to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2030, against 1990 levels, according to vote results released on Wednesday. The goal is more ambitious than the net emissions cut of "at least 55%" by 2030 proposed by the European Commission, which wants to finalise the target by the end of the year. To do that, Parliament will need to agree the
  • Britain will take back 'full control' from the EU on Jan. 1, says PM Johnson
    LONDON, October 7 (Reuters): Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday Britain would take back "full control of our money, our borders and our laws" on Jan. 1 when a status-quo transition arrangement with the European Union ends. "This country has not only left the European Union but on January 1 we will take back full control of our money, our borders and our laws," he told parliament, repeating a mantra that helped him win an election last year. &n
  • September was the world's hottest on record, EU climate change service says
    LONDON, October 7 (Reuters): Last month was the world's hottest September on record, with unusually high temperatures recorded off Siberia, in the Middle East, and in parts of South America and Australia, the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service said on Wednesday. Extending a long-term warming trend caused by emissions of heat-trapping gases, high temperatures this year have played a major role in disasters from fires in California and the Arctic to floods
  • Top court rules EU states must curb mass spying on data
    PARI0S, October 6 (Reuters): The European Union's top court ruled on Tuesday that unrestrained mass surveillance of phone and internet data is unlawful, in a move which could curb the powers of spying agencies in France and other EU countries. Privacy rights advocacy groups brought the case and the outcome is likely to reverberate outside the EU as governments in the United States and China have ramped up surveillance tools in the name of national security. The EU court
  • European Parliament set for tight vote on 'historic' climate law
    BRUSSELS, October 6 (Reuters): Lawmakers in the European Parliament expect a tight vote on Tuesday on the European Union's new climate target for 2030, with support splintered over the bloc's green ambitions. The assembly will vote in the evening on a landmark bill to make EU climate targets legally binding. The most contentious part is a new target for emissions cuts this decade. The EU's current goal is to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030, against 19
  • Merkel says no breakthrough in Brexit talks but remains 'optimistic'
    BRUSSELS/LONDON, October 2 (Reuters): German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had no breakthrough to announce in EU talks with Britain but remained optimistic on Friday that sealing a deal on a new trade relationship after Brexit was still possible before the end of the year. With just two weeks before what both British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the EU have set as a deadline for reaching a trade agreement, there are still major hurdles to ensuring smooth ties after a st
  • Belarus announces retaliatory sanctions against EU as Putin and Lukashenko talk
    MINSK/MOSCOW, October 2 (Reuters): President Alexander Lukashenko's government announced that it had drawn up a list of people banned from entering Belarus in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the European Union on Friday. After hours of summit talks, EU member states agreed to sanction about 40 Belarusian officials accused of rigging the Aug. 9 presidential election that handed Lukashenko a sixth term and sparked a wave of mass protests and strikes. Belarus did
  • EU takes action over UK's blow to Brexit bill
    BRUSSELS/LONDON, October 1 (Reuters): The European Union launched a legal case against the United Kingdom on Thursday for undercutting their earlier divorce deal and a senior UK minister said differences remained in talks on a post-Brexit trade agreement. Controversy over the Internal Market Bill has thrown the tortuous Brexit process into a new crisis while disagreements over corporate subsidies, fisheries and ways to solve disputes overshadow paralell trade negotiations. &