British-born radicalised attacker killed four people and wounded dozens over Westminster Bridge, near the Houses of Parliament
A year after the deadly terrorist attacks in Brussels, terror has returned to London as well. A lone attacker last Wednesday afternoon killed two people and wounded about 40, seven of them critically, and then stabbed a policeman before being shot dead. The attack unfolded at about 14.40 GMT when the attacker drove a grey Hyundai i40 along a pavement over Westminster Bridge before crashing into railings outside the Houses of Parliament. The attacker, armed with a knife, ran to Parliament where he was confronted by an unarmed policeman.
The UN-backed administration in Tripoli asks for cash to curb the number of illegal migrants
In attempt to search for a sustainable way to curb illegal migration from the shores of North Africa to Europe, foreign ministers from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Malta, Slovenia and Switzerland met last Monday with their counterparts from Algeria, Libya and Tunisia in Rome.
 
British PM Theresa May is to trigger Article 50 on 29 March
British PM Theresa May is going to formally start the EU exit by triggering the Lisbon Treaty Article 50 on 29 March, the government spokesman announced last Monday. The move, which comes nine months after a referendum, will officially start the process of negotiations about Britain's EU exit.
 
Strengthening EU-Japan ties
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Looking through the progress in the ongoing talks on the Free Trade Agreement with Tokyo, launched in 2013, topped the agenda of the European Union-Japan Leaders meeting that was held on 21 March in Brussels. During their discussions, European Council President Donald Tusk, EC Pre­sident Jean-Claude Jun­cker and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe underlined as well the importance of the Stra­tegic Partnership Agre­e­ment that is being negotiated in parallel between the two parties.
Protectionism would undermine prosperity
European Union finance ministers expressed on 21 March worries about the surge of protectionism particularly prompted by the United States and vowed efforts to safeguard free trade after what one of them called a "surreal" meeting of finance chiefs of the world's 20 biggest economies on 18-19 March, Reuters and Xinhua reported.
New reform aims to better shield customers online
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Rules that will ensure effective detection and breaking online breaches of consumers’ rights across the EU were backed on 21 March with a wide majority by the members of the EP Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.
Giving people's say on Europe's future
Maria Koleva, Brussels
A few days before the official celebration of the Treaties of Rome in the Italian capital, the European Parliament in Brussels on 21 March hosted a unique session of the so-called “Citizens' Parliament”.
BGN 220m more in revenues
The state coffers have been replenished with BGN 220m more in tax and non-tax revenues, the Council of Ministers’ press office announced after the cabinet’s regular meeting on 22 March. According to figures of the National Revenue Agency and the Customs Agency, tax and non-tax revenues for the period from 27 January 2017 to 20 March 2017 amounted to BGN 3.23bn. This means that revenues increased by BGN 220m compared with the same period of last year.
IT specialists choose Sofia over London
Yana Yordanova
There really is an upturn in job creation. The question is whether the labour market will be able to provide suitable candidates for the positions. Unemployment has been steadily falling at the end of last year and the beginning of this but at the same time employment growth has been slowing down. In other words, jobs are being created but not with the rate of the early 2016.
What will Europe look like in 2077
Giles Merritt
With the European Union's 60th birthday upon us, it seems appropriate to look ahead to the next 60 years: what will Europe look like in 2077? An alpine valley springs to mind. The years since the signing of the Treaty of Rome are sunlit meadows that stretch gently downhill. The six people strolling along the slope are quite soon joined by three more, even if one of them seems reluctant and a bit sulky. With a pleasant breeze at their backs, the going is fairly easy.
In search of patriotism
Dr Ahmed Dogan
The birth of Bulgaria’s unifying patriotism in a democratic environment is a unique phenomenon in cultural, historical and political terms. I revere the legacy of Vasil Levski, the apostle of freedom, and what I want to say is the fruit of the seeds he once sowed in the soil of the collective spiritual make-up. This unifying patriotism markedly differs from European and regional nationalisms in that it does not view the ethnic-based nation as an end in itself or a prerequisite for consolidating processes in society to occur.
Macedonia locked in crisis
The EU made new diplomatic efforts last week to help the Macedonian parties to resolve the government crisis, but hopes for the outcome are not great. Street demonstrations against the so-called "Albanian Platform" continue. President Gjorge Ivanov has not made any new steps to overcoming the crisis after he refused to hand over the Social democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) and Albanian coalition partners the mandate to form a government.
Defeating ISIS: number one goal
Defeating ISIS is the United States number one goal in the Middle East, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said last Wednesday, addressing at the State Department in Washington top diplomats of the 68-nation anti Islamic State coalition.
G20 turns its back to anti-protectionism
Finance ministers from the G20 concluded talks in the German city of Baden-Baden last Saturday without agreeing on a joint position that would have explicitly renewed their long-standing pledge to free trade, news wires reported. Following pushback from US officials, led by US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, the G20 finance ministers' communique backtracked on past commitments, such as promoting open trade and an outright rejection of protectionism.
Robots rule at CeBIT, firms showcase future
The CeBIT, Germany's largest digital trade fair, was last Sunday officially opened in the northern German city of Hanover with the main aim to showcase the technologies of the future. The fair lasted for five days with more than 3,000 exhibitors from 70 different countries presenting their latest achievements.
Gazprom, Eni bet on southern gas corridor
Italian oil and gas company Eni and Russian state giant Gazprom signed last Tuesday a memorandum of understanding to jointly develop the so-called Southern Gas Corridor from Russia to Europe.
Too talented for too short
Until 16 July the Palazzo Ducale in Genoa is hosting an exhibition highlighting the artistic path of the great Italian sculptor and painter Amedeo Modigliani. The show is allowing visitors the opportunity to view the most popular works in Modigliani’s short but exceptionally prolific career. The exhibition tells of his friendship with Constantin Brancusi and his passion for art from Africa, Egypt and ancient Greece - notable sources of influence on Modi­gliani’s early sculptures.
Conscience is the toughest inspector
Irina Gigova
There could be no independence in art without dedicated people who religiously believe in artistic freedom. You need people willing to stand up for their artistic credo and be guided by the idea that they should be explorers in the world of art and not manufacturers.
Plamen Trifonov's shy photography
Street photography as a demonstration of mutual trust between photographer and model - the young artist Plamen Trifonov shows his series of portrait pictures taken between 2014 and 2016.
Legion's home
Adelina Lozanova
Just 4 km east of the city of Svishtov and 80 km north of Veliko Tarnovo lie the ruins of an ancient Roman military camp, which grew over the years to become a town on the River Danube.
In Brief
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Merkel meets Abbas in Berlin
 
Meeting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Berlin on 24 March, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said there is “no reasonable alternative to the goal of a two-state solution". Photo: EPA 

Mogherini at Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference
 
Arms race is not the solution to any of the security threats the world faces, HR/VP Federica Mogherini said at the Carnegie Nuclear Policy Conference, Washington, 20 March. Photo: EPA

Brussels terrorist attacks commemorated
 
Belgium Red Cross workers lay roses on a monument to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks in Brussels on 22 March, which left 31 people killed and hundreds injured. Photo: EPA

Terror attack prevented in Belgium's Antwerp
 
Belgian police arrested a man on 23 March after he tried to drive into a crowd at high-speed in a shopping area in the port city of Antwerp, a police chief said. The man was of North African origin and used a car with French registration plates. Belgian prosecutor in charge of the case said that a rifle and bladed weapons were found in the car, and the suspect is a French national. The incident came a day after the London attack, as well as after the first anniversary of the Brussels attacks in which 32 people died.

EU financial services market to be opened up
 
The Commission announced last Thursday an action plan to open up Europe's market in financial products such as insurance, pensions, loans, and current or savings accounts to the benefit of consumers. The plan sets out ways to provide European consumers with greater choice and better access to financial services across the Union and focuses on technology and innovative online services to drive progress towards a more integrated European market for financial services, Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis pointed out.

Eurozone growth speeds up, nears six-year high
 
Eurozone businesses grew at the fastest rate in nearly six years in March, led higher by France and Germany, according to a closely-watched survey. The latest Markit Composite Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) rose to 56.7 from February's 56.0. The findings signalled the Union's recovery was “surging higher”, the report's authors said adding that job creation was at its best level for almost a decade. The data could encourage the ECB to move towards raising interest rates, analysts said.

Polish Oak Jozef won Tree of the Year’s crown
 
The oak tree Jozef, which adorns Wisniowa in the Strzyzow district of Poland, was crowned European Tree of the Year at a ceremony hosted by MEPs Pavel Poc and Bronis Rope, on 21 March at the European Parliament. This 650-year old oak sheltered a Jewish family during WWII. It was also depicted on the 100 zloty note. Oak Jozef receives many visitors and it is likely that it will attract many more now after the award, Robert Godek, head of the Strzyzow District Council, said.

Jesus tomb restored
 
Tourists and worshippers wait to access the newly restored Edicule at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, traditionally believed to be the burial site of Jesus Christ, in Jerusalem's Old City. The ornate shrine surrounding Jesus's tomb was reopened following months of delicate restoration work. Photo: EPA

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