Twenty-five EU states sign PESCO
European Union Member States on 11 December moved ever closer towards establishing a defence union, after the European Council adopted the creation of a new European defence and security cooperation network known as PESCO. The new defence union is expected to address immediate threats without having to rely on NATO for all of the EU's defence needs.
Farmers receive more tools for coping with market volatility
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Measures that make stronger farmers’ position in the food supply chain towards additional crisis-prevention and management instruments, stabilising farmers’ incomes and simplifying the EU farm policy were backed on 12 December by MEPs during their last for this year plenary session in Strasbourg.
World is losing battle against climate change
We're not moving quickly enough. We all need to act. We are losing the battle. With these words French President Emmanuel Macron welcomed last Tuesday dozens of world leaders and company executives at the One Planet Summit in Paris. Organised two years after the Paris Climate Conference, it was aimed at breathing new life into the battle against climate change after this summer US President Donald Trump announced he was pulling the US out of the international accord.
New PM, same old cabinet
Poland reshuffled its government mid-term hoping the change will somehow renew its energy and lessen the international difficulties encountered by the ruling Law and Justice Party (PiS).
Mexico seeks free trade deal with EU
Mexican Economic Minister Ildefonso Guajardo said on 13 December that his country could reach agreement on a major trade deal with the EU in a few weeks.
New tax guidelines to help cross-border investors
The Commission tabled last Monday new guidelines on withholding taxes to help Member States reduce costs and simplify procedures for cross-border investors in the EU, the EU press service reported. The new Code of Conduct offers solutions for investors who, as a result of how withholding taxes are applied, end up paying taxes twice on the income they receive from cross-border investments.
EP backs Schengen expansion
Bulgaria and Romania once again received the unequivocal support of the European Parliament for their accession to the Schengen area during a parliamentary session debate last Wednesday, BTA reports.
Investment plan for Europe: EFSI extended until 2020
The European Council extended on 12 December the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) until 31 December 2020, with a target of half a trillion euros of additional investments. EFSI is the central pillar of the Investment Plan for Europe, known as the Juncker Plan.
British parliament votes to have last say on Brexit deal
Prime Minister Theresa May's government was dealt last Wednesday a serious blow, when lawmakers voted changes to its Brexit blueprint, effectively handing themselves more say over a final exit deal with the EU, news wires reported.
EC renews glyphosate approval for 5 years
The Commission renewed last Tuesday EU approval of glyphosate for a period of five years, following scientific assessment that there is no link between the pesticide and cancer in humans, the EU press service reported.
Supporting regions in transition
Five European regions will benefit from tailored support under a new EU-funded pilot action aimed at helping them turn from coal to other sectors of economy, the EU press service reported. Hauts-de-France (France), Norra Mellansverige (Sweden), Piemonte (Italy), Saxony (Germany) and Wallonia (Belgium) have been selected after a call for interest launched by the Commission in September 2017.
Turning sunlight into sustainable fuel
The Commission launched last Tuesday a competition on artificial photosynthesis aimed at turning the sunlight into fuel, the EU press service reported.
Polish parliament votes to reshape judiciary
Poland's Parliament adopted last Friday widely condemned legislation to reshape the country's courts, shrugging off criticism from the EU that the measures would threaten the rule of law and place judges more firmly under government control.