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Latest news from EUobserver. Making sense of the EU.
  1. [Investigation] The mysterious German behind Orban's Russian deals
    Klaus Mangold, a German businessman with good connections in Russia, and who provided a jet for Commission vice-president Guenther Oettinger, played a crucial role in Hungary's controversial Paks nuclear deal with Russia, Direkt36's investigation has found.
  2. Mogherini urged to do more on Russian propaganda
    Eight member states have urged the EU's foreign service to significantly expand its work on countering Russian propaganda.
  3. Turkey funding cuts signal EU mood shift
    EU leaders at their summit spent some three hours deliberating on relations with Turkey before asking the EU commission to come up with a plan on cutting and reorienting some €4.5 billion in pre-accession aid.
  4. [Agenda] Posted workers top EU agenda This Week
    The posted workers file will be on the table of ministers and MEPs this week, while budget, journalism, Schengen and party funding are also on the EP's plenary menu.
  5. Leaders lobby to host EU agencies at summit's margins
    The official agenda point on where to relocate the EU medicines and banking agencies after Brexit was over in "one minute", but lobbying took place in the corridors.
  6. Legal tweak could extend EU control on Russia pipeline
    The Commission is preparing to amend an EU energy law in order to rein in Russian plans for a new gas pipeline to Germany.
  7. [Ticker] Rajoy to trigger Article 155 on Saturday in Catalan crisis
    Spanish prime minister Mariano Rajoy said Friday that the Spanish state is "obliged to restore its legality" in Catalonia after the region's leader refusal to annul a declaration of independence. Article 155 of the constitution, which allows a suspension of Catalonia's autonomy, "will be agreed tomorrow," he told journalists in Brussels, adding that he has an agreement with the two main opposition parties, the Socialist Party and the centrist Ciudadanos.
  8. [Opinion] Ukraine language law does not harm minorities
    Some European politicians keep spreading fictitious arguments on Ukraine's language law as being an impediment to minority rights, Ukraine's education minister says.
  9. [Ticker] EU conducts unannounced inspection of German car firm
    The European Commission said in a statement published on Friday afternoon that "as of 16 October 2017, its officials carried out an unannounced inspection at the premises of a car manufacturer in Germany". It said that the commission is concerned "that several German car manufacturers may have violated EU antitrust rules". The move follows German media reports last summer that said five German carmakers had colluded in a cartel.
  10. EU begins preparations for Brexit trade talks
    The EU has launched internal preparations for phase two of Brexit talks, but a December breakthrough only possible if UK gives more detail on divorce issues first.
  11. [Ticker] Lithuania calls for new EU energy laws
    Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite said on Friday in Brussels the bloc should adopt new legislation to clarify whether non-EU states that build pipelines to the EU must abide by its energy market rules. She said the lack of clarity has prompted a legal "battle" between EU Council and European Commission lawyers on which rules applied to Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which she described as a "geopolitical" issue.
  12. [Ticker] EU leaders aim for December for defence cooperation
    EU leaders agreed on Thursday (19 October) at their summit in Brussels to launch the beefed-up defence cooperation among EU countries by December. The conclusions of the summit encourage participating member states of so-called Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) to notify the council and high commissioner Federica Mogherini of their intention to join. The aim is, among other things, to pool resources, and launch joint procurements.
  13. [Focus] EU summit text on tech tax aims to please both sides
    EU leaders have not yet decided how to make digital companies pay their fair share of taxes, but spoke of creating a "global" level-playing field.
  14. Merkel: EU to cut Turkey pre-accession funds
    Merkel has said EU states will cut pre-accession funds to Turkey, but called to maintain dialogue on the shape of future relations.
  15. [Ticker] Juncker says hands tied on Russia pipeline
    European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said after the summit in Brussels on Thursday that there was not enough appetite among member states for his officials to negotiate the terms of a new Russia-Germany gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2. "I don't feel we'll have unanimity on this issue in the coming months," he said. He said "quite a number" of states did want EU-level intervention, amid concerns over Russian energy bullying.
  16. [Ticker] Czechs set to elect billionaire Andrej Babis
    Andrej Babis, the second-richest man in the Czech Republic and often compared to US president Donald Trump, looks likely to become the country's next leader following elections on Friday and Saturday, according to polls. In 2013, Babis's party, the Action of Dissatisfied Citizens (ANO), won 18.65% of the vote. Babis became finance minister and deputy prime minister in Bohuslav Sobotka's government, but was fired in May 2017.
  17. [Ticker] Italian regions hold referendums on more autonomy
    Two of Italy's wealthiest regions are holding non-binding referendums on greater autonomy on Sunday, following a trend of other European regions gaining power. Veneto and Lombardy are both led by governors from the populist Northern League party, and want more local control over immigration, education and business. The Italian constitution allows regions to seek more powers, but in dialogue with the central government and with approval from parliament.
  18. [Ticker] EU leaders refuse to mediate Catalonia conflict
    EU leaders have declined to mediate the Catalonia crisis, saying it is for Madrid and Barcelona to resolve. "There is no room, no space for any kind of mediation or international initiative or action," European Council president Donald Tusk said Thursday. Spanish government spokesman Inigo Mendez de Vigo confirmed that the Spanish Cabinet will hold an extraordinary meeting on Saturday to approve what further steps to take.
  19. [Analysis] May on mission impossible in Brussels
    UK prime minister called on other EU leaders to "step forward together", but she has almost nothing to offer them except the threat of walking away.
  20. EU seeks to shut down Libya sea route
    EU leaders are aiming to reach a consensus on the Dublin asylum reforms by early next year, announced European Council chief Donald Tusk. But first, they want to shut down the Central Mediterranean route from Libya.