EU leaders push to step up COVID vaccinations

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said the European Union must prepare to vaccinate for new coronavirus variants across the coming years after EU leaders discussed ways to fight new variants of the virus, step up inoculations and save Europe’s tourism industry from another ruinous summer. The 27 EU leaders agreed on Thursday to keep “tight […]

Venezuela expels head of EU delegation after new sanctions

Venezuela expelled the head of the European Union’s delegation in Caracas, Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza announced on Wednesday, in response to fresh sanctions imposed by the EU. Speaking on national Venezuelan television, Arreaza said Isabel Brilhante had 72 hours to leave the country. “Today, by decision of President Nicolas Maduro, we have delivered in Isabel […]

UK agrees to EU request for more time to ratify Brexit deal

The delay by a month brings more uncertainty to an already fragile start to a new economic relationship. The U.K. agreed to allow the European Union to delay ratification of their post-Brexit trade deal by a month, injecting more uncertainty into the already fragile start to the two sides’ new relationship. In a letter to the European […]

EU agrees to sanctions on Myanmar military, Russian officials

European Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions on Myanmar’s military over its coup earlier this month and withhold some development aid, as well as blacklist Russian officials for the jailing of Kremlin critic Alexey Navalny. The bloc’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Monday the EU would not curb trade ties with […]

EU considers sanctions on Russia, Myanmar

At a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council, European Union foreign ministers are expected to weigh fresh sanctions on Russia over the imprisonment of Alexey Navalny, consider penalising Myanmar officials over the recent coup, and discuss efforts to save the imperilled 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. Top diplomats from the 27-nation bloc will meet at […]

Biden tells Munich Security Conference ‘America is back’

In his first big appearance on the global stage, President Joe Biden promised the Group of Seven (G7) leaders during the virtual Munich Security Conference that the United States was recommitted to multilateral engagement. “America is back,” he said on Friday, breaking away from his predecessor Donald Trump’s isolationist foreign policy that saw the US […]

EU nations unite ahead of WhatsApp, Skype privacy talks

European Union members’ decision to take a joint stance in the privacy talks represents the end of a three-year impasse. European Union countries on Wednesday agreed to take a joint position in forthcoming negotiations with EU lawmakers and the European Commission on planned privacy rules governing Facebook’s WhatsApp and Microsoft’s Skype, ending a three-year impasse. […]

Left out by EU, Balkan nations turn to Russia, China for vaccine

Nearly two months after the European Union started its vaccination campaigns, four out of six countries in the Western Balkans have yet to begin. With climbing coronavirus cases and still no clear timeline on when vaccines from the COVAX mechanism and EU procurement scheme will be delivered, many countries are now looking towards China and […]

US annual trade deficit largest since 2008 financial crisis

The gap in the trade of goods and services widened to $678.7bn in 2020 from $576.9bn in 2019, the US Department of Commerce said. The U.S. last year posted its biggest annual trade deficit since 2008 as the global health crisis depressed export markets for American companies. The gap in trade of goods and services […]

Iran installs new centrifuges as nuclear deal impasse continues

Experts say new centrifuges do not present significant hurdle if Iran, US agree on a way to restore nuclear deal. Tehran, Iran – Iran says it has installed new and more advanced centrifuges at its two main nuclear sites, a development that has been confirmed by the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog. Kazem Gharibabadi, Iran’s envoy to […]

Euro economy, dragged down by COVID, lags behind US and China

The European economy shrank 0.7 percent in the last three months of 2020 as businesses were hit by a new round of lockdowns aimed at containing a resurgence of the coronavirus pandemic. The quarterly drop in the official figure released Tuesday was not as sharp as experts had feared. But that couldn’t erase a gloomier […]

Ireland says not informed by EU about triggering Brexit protocol

Brussels reversed plan to invoke Article 16 of post-Brexit deal on Northern Ireland to restrict COVID vaccine exports. Ireland was not consulted by the European Commission before it briefly sought to restrict some exports of COVID-19 vaccines by invoking an emergency Brexit clause related to Northern Ireland, Ireland’s European Affairs Minister said. The EU abruptly […]

France’s Le Pen, at record high in a poll, proposes hijab ban

French far-right leader Marine Le Pen proposed a ban on Muslim headscarves in all public places, seeking to build on a record recent poll putting her almost neck-and-neck with President Emmanuel Macron. The hijab policy, which would be contested in court and almost certainly be ruled unconstitutional, saw the 53-year-old return to a familiar campaign […]

EU sets coronavirus vaccine export controls

European Union trade commissioner says monitoring and controls of exports would initially last until the end of March. The European Commission said on Friday that it had agreed on a plan to control exports of vaccines from the European Union, including to the United Kingdom, arguing it needed to do so to ensure its own […]

EU regulator approves AstraZeneca COVID vaccine for all over-18s

The shot is the third COVID-19 vaccine given the green light by the European Medicines Agency, after ones made by Pfizer and Moderna. The European Union medical regulator has authorised AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine for use in people 18 and over throughout the bloc, amid criticism the EU is not moving fast enough to vaccinate its […]

Vaccine spat heats up as AstraZeneca confirms plans for EU talks

Spat between AstraZeneca and the EU raises concerns about vaccine nationalism, as nations jockey for limited supplies. The European Union’s dispute with AstraZeneca intensified Wednesday with the Anglo-Swedish drugmaker denying the EU’s assertion that it had pulled out of talks on COVID-19 vaccine supplies. AstraZeneca said in a statement that it still planned to meet […]

The ‘darker sides’: EU urges US to join fight to rein in Big Tech

The European Union has called on US President Joe Biden to help draw up a common rule book to rein in the power of Big Tech companies such as Facebook and Twitter and combat the spread of fake news that is eating away at Western democracies. In a speech to the Davos World Economic Forum, […]

EU, Turkey to work on improving relations after tumultuous 2020

The European Union and Turkey have pressed each other to take concrete steps in order to improve relations long strained by disagreements over a number of issues including energy and migration. Turkey, which remains an official candidate for EU membership despite the tensions, is facing the threat of economic sanctions by the bloc over a […]

‘Can’t cope’: After Brexit, UK border customs system hits limit

A key U.K. government customs system has been overwhelmed within weeks of Brexit and threatens to trigger more disruption as freight traffic rebounds. Exporters say they are struggling to acquire transit documents, which allow goods to enter the European Union without delay, because of a shortage of agents with the authority to issue them. Agents […]

Laschet succeeds Merkel as German CDU party leader

Armin Laschet wins 521 of 991 votes cast during conservative party’s first ever digital convention. Centrist Armin Laschet was elected chairman of Germany’s Christian Democrats (CDU) on Saturday, succeeding Angela Merkel and putting him on course to run as the conservative party’s candidate for chancellor in federal elections in September. Laschet, the premier of the […]

Softened stance: Erdogan promises to put EU ties ‘back on track’

A day after announcing fresh diplomatic talks with rival neighbour Greece, Turkish president offers an olive branch to the EU and France. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he wants to improve relations with the European Union, following a longstanding dispute with Greece and recent feuds with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. During a […]

EU chief warns members cannot negotiate separate vaccine deals

European Union member states will not be permitted to negotiate separate vaccine deals with pharmaceutical companies, in parallel to the bloc’s efforts as a whole, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday. She told reporters at the EU’s headquarters in Brussels that the 27-member bloc would continue to work as one to […]

In post-Brexit UK, quiet ports hide mounting transport chaos

A week on from Brexit, the main road to Dover has been so quiet that officials were able to close half of it Thursday for a litter-picking operation without causing delays for drivers. But behind such placid scenes, many truckers are still warning of chaos as they struggle to adjust to the new paperwork required […]

‘Worst situation you can ever be in’: What Gen Z thinks of Brexit

The United Kingdom has started the new year working on its new relationship with the European Union, after leaving the bloc’s political and economic orbit at the end of 2020. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson hailed the move, claiming Brexit would allow the UK to take back control of its “laws and destiny”. But many […]