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Some of the protesters’ demands are the same all across Europe. Most of them relate to specific needs.

Map: farmers protests lead to concessions almost everywhere

Since the start of 2024, farmers have been demonstrating in almost every European country, winning concessions from national governments and opening the debate on measures at the EU level

The Code of Conduct for EU Commissioners states: ‘All options, including alternative time tables, should be carefully considered so that the aircraft is considered only as a last resort’.

President von der Leyen: big user of private planes

By: N. Peter Kramer | Friday, March 1, 2024

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen flew 23 times on a private plane last year

With Ukrainian forces short of ammunition and forced to retreat in some areas, Kyiv’s ability to repel Russia’s invasion depends heavily on Western military, financial, and political backing.

Toward a Ukraine settlement?

By: EBR | Friday, March 1, 2024

Is public opinion in EU countries pushing toward a settlement in Ukraine?

More specifically, the Commission has room for “improving the evidence trail of the assessment process by documenting better how the Commission decides which inputs to rely on and which issues to report on, and how it assesses the seriousness of those issues,” the report reads.

EU Commission’s rule of law reporting lacks transparency, auditors say

By: EBR | Thursday, February 29, 2024

While EU auditors found that the European Commission ’s annual rule of law reporting lacks transparency and accountability, EU lawmakers have voiced concerns about its susceptibility to political influence

Although Macron clarified already on Monday, following a gathering of European leaders in Paris, that there was ‘no consensus’ on the matter, his words stood in stark contrast to the Western European ‘red line’ when it came to putting boots on the ground in Ukraine.

EU capitals pour cold water on Macron’s ‘Western troops in Ukraine’ remarks

By: EBR | Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Several EU capitals, including Berlin, Warsaw, and Madrid, dismissed remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, who had suggested that a future deployment of Western troops in Ukraine should not be ultimately “ruled out”

So much so that the next European Parliament probably can’t be counted on to support some of the EU’s key ambitions. But disparaging populist policies as morally distasteful and unworkable clearly hasn’t worked, so it’s time to re-examine the reasons for their success and fashion a Europe-wide response to it.

Defeating populism: First, admit there are reasons for its success

By: EBR | Tuesday, February 27, 2024

There’s no denying that populist parties are popular with more and more voters

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The speeches of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky—and the distance between them—reflected the general mood.

The Slippery Slope of Speculating on Ukraine

By: EBR | Friday, February 23, 2024

Compared to 2023, the atmosphere at this year’s Munich Security Conference was much more somber

We should not repeat that error: US LNG is essential now for Western security for decades to come, and our leaders must say so and not stay quiet just for an easier life. Complacency today will preface crises tomorrow.

US ‘pause’ on new LNG exports undermines the energy security of its European allies

By: EBR | Friday, February 23, 2024

The US administration’s decision to suspend the granting of permits for new liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals will have major consequences for the energy security of the EU

“As real-economy investments reached €407 billion in 2022, this leaves a European climate investment deficit of €406 billion per year, or 2.6% GDP,” the report states, adding that investments “must still double for the EU to hit 2030 climate targets”. Frederic Simon has the details.

Climate investment gap looms over next EU mandate

By: EBR | Wednesday, February 21, 2024

If the EU’s 2030 climate goals are to be met, an annual investment gap of €406 billion must be filled, according to new research

Le Maire said there would be €5 billion in operating expenses cuts for all ministries and another €5 billion in public policies, notably €1 billion in public aid for development, and €1 billion on residential building renovation subsidies.

France announces €10bn cut in public spending as growth outlook darkens

By: EBR | Tuesday, February 20, 2024

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the government had lowered its forecast for 2024 GDP growth to 1% from 1.4% as war in Ukraine and Gaza and a slowdown at top trading partners Germany and China darkened the outlook

Instead of demonstrating in cities and towns, farmers protesting against Ukrainian food production flooding Poland’s domestic market are concentrating on blocking the country’s border with Ukraine to prevent lorries carrying Ukrainian products from entering Poland.

Ukraine threatens to ban Polish food imports in retaliation for border protests

By: EBR | Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Kyiv may limit imports of Polish agri-food production if Polish farmers do not stop blocking the country’s borders in Ukraine against the influx of Ukrainian grain and other products

The EU needs reform, including treaty change, and it needs leadership, but more than that, it needs people’s support for these reforms. At the end of the process, it will be up to the European Parliament to decide if von der Leyen has the potential to lead the way.

VDL is synonym for ‘more of the same’

By: EBR | Tuesday, February 20, 2024

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s CDU party announced her candidacy as the Spitzenkandidat for the European elections

“The ideal situation would have been to conclude all this [negotiations on the EU-Mercosur agreement] before the European elections. This is no longer possible,” Nils Schmid, German MP and foreign affairs spokesman for the Socialist Group in the Bundestag (SPD), told Euractiv France.

EU-Mercosur unlikely to be finalised before the EU elections

By: EBR | Wednesday, February 14, 2024

It is highly unlikely that the hotly-contested EU-Mercosur free trade agreement will be concluded before the EU elections in June

The high share of Russian gas is partly caused by rapidly falling gas consumption in Austria – from 100 TWh down to 75 TWh in 2023, according to figures from the energy ministry.

Austria’s dependence on Russian gas rises to 98%, two years after Ukraine war

By: EBR | Tuesday, February 13, 2024

Austria’s dependence on Russian gas has increased from 80% to 98% in two years, prompting the country’s energy minister to ring the alarm bell ahead of a national election due to take place in the Autumn

EU countries have previously expressed concern that the agreement, which provisionally entered into force in 2017, could effectively allow investors to sue member states if they impose more stringent environmental laws.

EU announces new ‘interpretation’ of Canada trade deal in bid to ensure ratification

By: EBR | Monday, February 12, 2024

The European Commission and Canada have agreed on the “interpretation” of parts of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)

Small EU member states—and Poland—are either opposed or hesitant. They worry they will lose influence; that the big member states will dominate, that adopting QMV would be a first step toward more institutional EU reforms.

How Small Member States Shape EU Narratives

By: EBR | Friday, February 9, 2024

Central European and Baltic states have been the driving force of the EU’s response to Russia’s war on Ukraine

The opening of negotiations with Kyiv is bound to change both enlargement and the EU itself. The bloc of twenty-seven tends to recoil in the face of complex challenges—and upcoming elections.

To Make Enlargement Happen, the EU Must Reform

By: EBR | Friday, February 9, 2024

The EU cannot afford to keep Ukraine and the Western Balkans in the waiting room

US officials defend LNG pause, say EU exports unaffected

By: EBR | Friday, February 9, 2024

A top US Department of Energy (DOE) official defended President Joe Biden’s pause on approvals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports at a Senate hearing called by a fellow Democrat who said he will investigate the decision

The law seeks to protect women in the 27-nation European Union from gender-based violence, forced marriages, female genital mutilation and online harassment.

EU agrees first law combatting violence against women

By: EBR | Wednesday, February 7, 2024

EU member countries and lawmakers reached an agreement on the bloc’s first rules to tackle violence against women, the European Parliament and officials said

Farmers have become an endangered species. The extinction of all but major landowners threatens widespread rural unemployment and the near-death decline of countless villages and small towns.

Rural decline and farmers’ anger risks fuelling Europe’s populism

By: EBR | Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Europe’s farmers are angry, and so are more and more voters in deprived rural communities throughout the EU

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EU Actually

VDL: Commission President and Candidate

N. Peter KramerBy: N. Peter Kramer

A week ago, at a press conference, Commission President von der Leyen nixed talk about the next step for Ukraine’s membership of the EU before this June’s EU Parliamentary elections

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Europe

Map: farmers protests lead to concessions almost everywhere

Map: farmers protests lead to concessions almost everywhere

Since the start of 2024, farmers have been demonstrating in almost every European country, winning concessions from national governments and opening the debate on measures at the EU level

Business

Artificial intelligence and competitiveness in the retail sector

Artificial intelligence and competitiveness in the retail sector

The importance of AI and machine learning in the retail market is confirmed by the projected dramatic growth of AI services worldwide, which will skyrocket from $5 billion to $30 billion by 2030

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