Finnish MEP Heidi Hautala won a trailblazing court case two decades ago for the right of EU citizens to receive 'partial access' to documents. Now she says it is "outrageous" the European Investment Bank is refusing to release Volkswagen documents.
The European Commission "will not shy away from consequences" if the inquiry into the 2017 murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia finds who ordered the killing, "even if that would have other implications pertaining to authorities in Malta or other economic structures," first vice president Frans Timmermans declared on Monday. Timmermans said that recent revelations by an international consortium of journalists will be "carefully ascertained" by the commission.
The European Commission opened an investigation on Monday over a €900m loan from the Italian government to Alitalia last year. "The commission has a duty to make sure that loans given to companies by member states are in line with the EU rules on state aid," said EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager. The loan was given to avoid bankruptcy, after the airline was placed under extraordinary administration in May 2017.
The only surviving suspect from the 2015 terror attacks in Paris was sentenced to 20 years in prison by a Belgian court on Monday, for his part in a shoot-out with Brussels police in March 2016. Salah Abdeslam injured four Belgian police who were trying to arrest him in connection with the Paris attacks, which left 130 dead. Abdeslam will go on trial for the Paris attacks in 2020.
Former and current members of the parliamentary assembly, including Spain's current state secretary for defence, broke codes of conduct, according to a damning new report.
French lawmakers are cracking down on asylum seekers in a bid to send those rejected back home. Controversial measures they passed over the weekend will now be debated in the French senate in June.
German chancellor Angela Merkel and Mexican president Enrique Pena Nieto hailed on Sunday the EU-Mexico trade agreement reached in principle on Saturday. At a trade fair in Hanover, they insisted on the need for "free international trade based on common rules." The agreement, when confirmed after more technical talks, will abolish duties on "practically all trade in goods" between the EU and Mexico.
Andrea Nahles was elected leader of Germany's Social Democratic Party (SPD) on Sunday - the first woman to reach this position. Nahles' result - 66.35 percent of the delegates' votes - highlighted the party's division after its electoral defeat last year and the debate over whether to participate in the 'Grand Coalition' with Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats. Nahles insisted on the need to reform the party while supporting SPD ministers.
EU funds could be redirected from eastern to southern member states, according to a draft European Commission proposal seen by the Financial Times. Under the post-2020 EU budget, cohesion funds would be distributed on the basis of GDP per head, but also according to criteria such as unemployment, education, migration and innovation. This would move funds away from countries like Poland and Czech Republic to Spain or Greece.
Years of heavy-duty and expensive lobbying, including of a European commissioner for health, has not opened the way for mouth tobacco sales in the EU. The EU court in Luxembourg last week refused to lift the ban.
The European Commission will present proposals to protect whistleblowers, combat fake news and organise the digital single market. The international community will gather in Brussels to discuss how to help Syrians in the current war and after.
MEPs are using so-called 'friendship groups' to cater to foreign governments without oversight and little public scrutiny. Initially set up to promote cultural exchanges, some have become lobbying platforms to push state views from governments with poor human rights records.
The UK's actual 'divorce' bill from the EU could be billions of pounds higher than the current estimated figure of £35-£39bn (€39.8-€44.4bn), the UK's official government National Audit Office warned in a report on Friday. The spending watchdog said London could be responsible for an extra £3bn in EU budget contributions plus an additional £2.9bn to the European Development Fund.
France and Germany have pledged to forge a joint position on euro reform by June, despite German reluctance on deeper monetary union.
The EU must better protect journalists and whistle-blowers, MEPs said in a resolution Thursday. The non-legislative decision said that Slovakia must ensure an independent and international investigation into the murder of Jan Kuciak, a journalist murdered last month. MEPs also urged the creation of a permanent EU scheme to support independent investigative journalism, a draft EU directive to protect whistle-blowers and better monitoring of media ownership concentration in the EU.
Two groups are meant to provide expert advice on how to spend EU money on a new military research programme - but much is unclear about how and even if they operate.
The EU's latest funding rules for European political parties and their think tanks fails to address the underlying problems of abuse. Instead of tackling the loans and donations culture, it has simply made access to EU funds a lot easier.
The European Parliament on Thursday voted in favour of a reform of the system of car approvals, proposed after the emissions cheating scandal Dieselgate. The new rules give the European Commission the right to carry out tests if member states are unwilling to do so. It will also be able to hand out fines. The majority was large, with 547 in favour, 83 against, and sixteen abstentions.
The European Parliament adopted a regulation on Thursday that lays down new rules for organic farming, with 466 votes against 124. Lead MEP Martin Hausling, a German organic farmer himself, said the rules will deliver "significant benefits for both consumers and farmers". The lobby group for organic farmers IFOAM however told EUobserver that the regulation's text, which was agreed behind closed doors after 19 months, was "not ideal".
The EU granted protection to 538,000 people in 2017, a decrease of 25% compared to 2016, Eurostat said Thursday. The largest group, 33%, were Syrians, ahead of Afghans (19%) and Iraqis (12%). Some 50 percent were granted refugee status, 35% subsidiary protection, 14% authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons. Germany accepted the most requests (325,400), ahead of France (40,600), Italy (35,100) and Austria (34,000).