Brexit talks set to kick off on 19 June
First Brexit talks are expected to take place in the week starting on 19 June, the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier said last Monday after he received the legal mandate to lead the Article 50 negotiations with the UK. The first set of negotiating directives was approved by EU ministers.
European Investigation Order to help authorities fight crime
A new tool to help European authorities fight crime and terrorism came into force last Monday, simplifying the work of judicial authorities when they request evidence located in another EU country, the EU press service reported.
Terror attack bloodies concert in Manchester
At least 22 people, including children and youngsters, have been killed, while more than 50 were injured last Monday evening in a suicide bombing at a crowded pop concert in Manchester, news wires reported.
Pragmatic sheikh reformer wins
Iranians yearning for more freedom at home and less isolation abroad have emphatically re-elected President Hassan Rohani, throwing down a challenge to the conservative clergy that still holds ultimate sway. The architect of Iran's still-fragile detente with the West led with 57% of the vote, compared with 38% for his main challenger, hardline judge Ebrahim Raisi.
Mogherini courts Western Balkans
Federica Mogherini, EU foreign policy chief, encouraged leaders of six Western Balkans states to accelerate the necessary work in order to meet their citizens' expectations and move closer to their EU future, EEAS press service reported last Wednesday.
Germany, France agree to further reinforce Eurozone
The finance ministers of Germany and France agreed last Monday to further strengthen the Eurozone, giving a new impulse to stalled reforms and warning that if they fail, political extremists will take power, news wires reported.
Spain PM accuses Catalan regional leader of blackmailing state
Spain's PM Mariano Rajoy last Monday accused Catalonia's separatist government of blackmailing the state after El Pais newspaper reported it drafted secretly a law to declare independence unless Madrid lets the region hold a referendum on secession.
Greece fails to secure deal on getting next cash tranche
Greece and its European creditors failed last Monday to clinch a deal that would have given the cash-strapped country a chance to get its next batch of bailout loans ahead of huge repayment of some €7bn due in July, news wires reported. It also failed to secure an agreement on debt relief measures it can expect to get when its current bailout programme ends next year.
New system to resolve double taxation disputes agreed
European finance ministers agreed last Tuesday on a new system intended to help resolve disputes which arise between Member States from the interpretation of agreements on the elimination of double taxation, news wires reported.
Ombudsman deals most with transparency cases
European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly closed over 250 complaints last year with 86 of them dealing with transparency, the institution said in an annual report published last Wednesday.
Britain raises threat, deploys military
British authorities deployed last Wednesday troops and security officers on high-risk locations across the country after raising terror threat level to its highest in a decade, news wires reported. Intelligence officials were continuing to investigate whether the bomber has acted alone.
France to extend state of emergency until November
France’s President Emmanuel Macron said in a statement he will ask parliament to extend the state of emergency.