• EU to require biometrics on national ID cards

      EU to require biometrics on national ID cards

      The EU Council Presidency and European Parliament have reached a provisional agreement on the introduction of mandatory biometric national identity cards, which will include a photo and two fingerprints. This comes shortly after the European Commission estimated that around 80m Europeans had ID cards without biometric data which were, in addition, not machine readable.

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    • Romania takes over EU presidency

      Romania takes over EU presidency

      Romania took over the EU's rotating presidency on 1 January at a tumultuous time for the bloc and just days after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker voiced doubts about the country's ability to do the job. Brussels is already at loggerheads with the increasingly populist government in Bucharest on multiple fronts and Juncker's comments highlight some of the strains.

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    • Divorce deal is not open for rethink

      Divorce deal is not open for rethink

      At their last for this year European Council sitting, held in Brussels on 13 and 14 December, the EU leaders had a lot of pressing issues on their plates, starting with the common long-term budget for 2021-2027, migration, completion of the Single Market and the Economic and Monetary Union, among the long list of items. But they also had to put Brexit again on the table, just 19 days after they endorsed the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration, because in London the divorce deal was challenged not only from opponents of the government, but also from some Tory party members.

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    • Wanted: Fairer rules for truck drivers and hauliers

      Wanted: Fairer rules for truck drivers and hauliers

      The European Council presented its general approach on a key reform of the road transport sector, which includes drivers' working conditions, special posting rules for drivers in international transport, access to the haulage market, and improved enforcement. The reform is designed to ensure a balance between adequate working conditions for drivers and the freedom to provide cross-border services for operators, the Council said in its press release. It will also provide clarity for the sector and put an end to divergent national interpretations of rules.

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    • Leaders called the agreement with London the best possible

      Leaders called the agreement with London the best possible

      At their special summit on Sunday morning in Brussels the leaders of the EU 27 sealed the withdrawal agreement of London from the EU and the European Atomic Energy Community, and also signed a Political Declaration that sets the direction of the future relations between the two sides. After doing this they held a short meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May. It is expected the divorce deal to guarantee a smooth departure of the UK on 30 March 2019. 

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    • Push for stepping up EMU reform

      Push for stepping up EMU reform

      At the Euro summit held in Brussels on 18 October, with the participation of the Eurogroup President Mario Centeno and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi, leaders of EU27 focused on the state of play of the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) reform. It is well know that this track is not advancing with satisfactory pace and this sitting aimed to prepare the next Euro summit in December when important commitments are expected.

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    • EU summit reaches no deal on Brexit

      EU summit reaches no deal on Brexit

      The European Council meeting last week reached no deal on Brexit, and the extraordinary summit on the issue in November waas cancelled. In the beginning of the session British PM Theresa May addressed the EU27, giving the UK Government's assessment of the negotiations. Later the EU 27 leaders agreed not to make step back on Britain;s demands, but on the same take decided to take the negotiations forward taking in account the recommendation made by Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator.

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    • EU adopts new chemical weapons sanctions

      EU adopts new chemical weapons sanctions

      EU foreign ministers have approved in Luxembourg on Monday a new regime of restrictive measures to address the use and proliferation of chemical weapons all around the world. Under the 15 October decision of the EU Council, the EU will be allowed to impose asset freezes and visa bans on people and entities for the development and use of chemical weapons, regardless of their nationality and location.

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