Europe-East

Articles from October 27

Angela Merkel Confirmed as New German Chancellor
Germany will have its first female Chancellor after it was confirmed that Angela Merkel will take over from Gerhard Schroder in a grand coalition of CDU/CSU and SPD. Following weeks of negotiations between the two largest parties, Mrs Merkel said at...
Animal Health: Bird Flu Hits Eu as Suspected Cases Found on Greek Island
Greek case. Greece's Agriculture Ministry confirmed on October 18 that the H5 strain of avian flu has been discovered on the small island of Inousses. Although there have been sporadic cases of bird flu in Europe in the past, including outbreaks...
Animal Health: Eu Bans Birds from Markets, Extends Russia Embargo in Avian Flu Fight
Russia ban. The EU's ban on imports of Russian birds and feathers follows the Russian authorities' confirmation of a new outbreak of the H5N1 bird flu virus 200 kilometres South of Moscow. The new ban applies to all of Russia (with the exception...
Council of Ministers: Ombudsman Calls on Ministers to Open Up Their Meetings
The Ombudsman's inquiry follows a complaint from German Christian Democrat MEP Elmar Brok and a member of the CDU's youth wing alleging that the Council's own rules of procedure are not in conformity with the Article 1 (2) of the Treaty which says...
Defence: Eu 'Must Maintain' Bosnian Presence
Ministers were reviewing the evolution of the 6,600-strong EUFOR military operation in the Balkan country, the EU's largest military undertaking to date, which took over from NATO in December 2004. Decisions on the operation's future will prospectively...
Esdp Mission to Assist Palestininan Police from January 2006
The EU is to launch a mission supporting the Palestinian police from January 2006 under European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The mission will consist of some 30 European police officers charged with advising their Palestinian counterparts over...
Eu/australia: Visa Arrangements for New Member States Broached
Mr Frattini wants all EU member states on ETA as soon as possible, just like he wants all EU-25 on the US visa-waiver programme. His meeting with Ms Vanstone, which focused on visas, border controls and passport security, came at the request of the...
Eu/balkans: Bid to Improve Access to Caspian Sea Gas Via South-East Europe
The Regional Gas Infrastructure Financing Working Group was meeting for the second time following the meeting of the Infrastructure Regulatory Group on September 30 in Zagreb. These working groups have been set up in preparation for the Gas Forum in...
Eu/bosnia: Launch of Talks on New Euro-Integration Accord Recommended
SAA. The Stabilisation and Association Agreement is seen as a major stepping stone towards EU membership. The SAA should held help integrate BiH into EU programmes and structures, promoting harmonisation with EU standards and legislation. The aim...
Eu/bosnia: Police Reform Agreement Opens Door to Talks on New Accord
Progress towards the creation of an effective, state-wide police force has been the main outstanding condition attached to the launch of negotiations on an EU-BiH Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA). BiH risks lagging behind other countries...
Eu Budget: Barroso Rejigs Medium-Term Financial Framework to Restart Debate
Presenting his proposals to the European Parliament on October 20, Mr Barroso said that the challenge following the failed negotiations on the financial perspective in June was to reconcile the different views of those member states who wanted spending...
Eu/bulgaria/romania: Get Ready for Membership or Face Delay, Commission Reports Will Say
The EU has said that it could delay Bulgarian and/or Romanian membership by twelve months if accession preparations are deemed insufficient. The Commission's upcoming reports are not expected to take a position at this stage on the 'postponement clause'....
Eu/croatia/turkey: Screening of Candidates' Legislation Begins
Commission officials kicked off the screening process by explaining EU legislation on science and research to Croatian and Turkish representatives sitting together in the same room. The Commission will ultimately explain all areas of the EU acquis,...
Eu/iran: European Diplomats Still Hopeful Nuclear Talks Will Resume
And when will they have The Bomb? Just when Iran's nuclear programme will enable it to produce nuclear arms is a subject which divides even the experts, with forecasts varying from 10 to 2 years. On September 20, the National Council of Resistance...
Eu/mediterranean States: Commission to Propose Emergency Fund to Deal with Influx of Immigrants
"We have to make the most of the opportunity presented by Ceuta and Melilla in order to move forward", explained a Commission source. This is why Mr Frattini is going to Madrid as soon as possible, then to Rome before visiting all the Mediterranean...
Eu/middle East: Eu Mission to Rafah Dependent on Sharon-Abbas Agreement
The meeting between Mr Sharon and Mr Abbas, scheduled for October 11, has to be postponed. Israelis and Palestinians explained that they had failed to reach agreement on an agenda for the discussions but confirmed that the meeting would take place...
Eu/morocco: Meps and Human Rights Groups Urge Probe into Ceuta and Melilla Crisis
Frattini's frustrations. The emotionally-charged debate came after EU Justice, Freedom and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini told the committee about a recent technical mission he sent to the enclaves. Mr Frattini voiced frustration with the...
Europeans Welcome Successful Referendum in Iraq
EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner underlined the courage of the Iraqi people who turned out to vote in the constitutional referendum on October 15 despite threats of an attack by insurgent forces. Participation is estimated...
Eu/russia Energy Dialogue Makes Steady Progress
The Sixth Progress Report on the EU-Russia Energy Dialogue, prepared by the Russian Minister of Industry and Energy, Victor Khristenko, and European Commission Energy Director-General, Francois Lamoureux, was one of the key elements discussed during...
Eu/russia: Visa Facilitation and Readmission Agreements Initialled
The initialling formally marks the end of negotiations that have lasted more than five years. It is also a procedural prelude to the actual signing of the agreements. Mr Frattini indicated that he was looking for the agreements' "ratification and simultaneous...
Eu/serbia and Montenegro: Talks on New Agreement Launched
Speaking in Belgrade at a ceremony formally marking the start of negotiations, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn talked of a new stage in relations between the 25-member bloc and Serbia and Montenegro. "This agreement will deepen our relationship,...
Eu/south Caucasus: Stronger Ties in Limbo Due to Azerbaijan-Northern Cyprus Flights
It had been hoped that the EU would finalise bilateral 'action plans' with Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia by the end of the year under European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). This is the policy that looks to enhance the EU's relations with its post-enlargement...
External Relations in Brief
Bulgaria has made significant efforts to adapt to the EU acquis, but there are areas that still need work to ensure full compliance with the bloc's requirements before accession, said Health and Consumer Protection Commissioner Kyprianou ahead of an...
Informal Summit: Budget Debate to Move Up Eu Leaders' Agenda
The main focus of the summit continues to be, on official level at least, the debate on how the EU should respond to the social and economic challenges of globalisation. In his letter, Mr Blair says that the task facing the EU is to "uphold European...
Information Society: Concerns over Human Rights in Tunisia as World Summit Approaches
Concerns were voiced at a preparatory summit in Geneva in September by numerous states and organisations (including Canada, the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Australia and the United States) over the Tunisian government's commitment to free speech and uncensored...
Justice and Home Affairs Council: Frattini Urges Help for Morocco in Tackling Illegal Immigration
Migrant flow increase. Commissioner Frattini briefed Ministers on the findings of the technical mission he sent to Ceuta and Melilla from October 7-10, following reports of migrants being shot dead at the border and abandoned in the desert. "Illegal...
Justice and Home Affairs: Meps Report Back on Visit to Lampedusa Immigrant Holding Centre
There was unanimous backing for the report compiled by French Socialist MEP Martine Roure, with her Italian colleague from the Lampedusa delegation, Committee Vice-Chairman Stefano Zappala (EPP-ED), calling it oa perfect snapshot of what we sawo. The...
Regional Policy: 'Jaspers' and 'Jeremie' to Improve Use of Eu Structural Funds
The idea behind JASPERS is to offer financial and technical assistance to national and regional authorities preparing projects for co-financing through the EU structural funds. The aim is to ensure these authorities present high-quality projects, thereby...
Research: Directive to Attract More Non-Eu Scientists Adopted
The Directive applies to non-EU national university graduates selected to carry out a project by a research organisation recognised by an EU country. Member states should approve research bodies for a minimum period of five years, although 'in exceptional...
Satellite Navigation: Galileo Still Grounded as Funding Blocked
One ESA source said that, given this "serious blockage", the Agency is now considering a Plan B which would enable it to sign a contract in November so as to avoid interrupting work on verification satellites. The fear is that the programme would once...
The Borders of Europe's Vision
The new report on migration from the southern and eastern Mediterranean from the Consortium for Applied Research on International Migration (section II) is doubly interesting in light of the European Union's struggle to respond to events on the outskirts...
Wallstrom Says Plan D "Not Rescue Plan for Constitution"
Mrs Wallstrom explained that the paper was the Commission's response to the decision by EU leaders at their June summit meeting to have a period of reflection on the future of Europe in the wake of the referendum votes against the Constitution in France...