EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier ruled out concessions would be needed by both sides
The Brexit talks were officially launched last Monday in Brussels with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, pointing out that he was “not in the frame of mind to make concessions or ask for concessions,” news wires reported. British media commented his words as a hint that the negotiations are going on a road to hard Brexit. Barnier also said that there would be “substantial” consequences from Brexit for both sides.
Panama Papers exposed the complex cross-border schemes
The Commission proposed last Wednesday tough new transparency rules for intermediaries - such as tax advisors, accountants, banks and lawyers - who design and promote tax planning schemes for their clients.
 
More equitable Dublin Regulation that ensures redistribution of responsibility is needed
A day before the important European Council meeting where migration is topping the agenda, a conference on migration management was held at the European Parliament in Brussels.
 
Romania left party ousts its own PM
Romanian PM Sorin Grindeanu was last Wednesday forced from power by his own party, in a no-confidence vote in parliament, news wires reported. He lost the censure motion by 241 votes to 10 after beeing at the post for less than six months.
Effective values-based Union to guard the future of Europe
European Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans hosted last Monday a high-level meeting with fourteen representatives from philosophical and non-confessional organisations from across Europe with the aim to discuss the future of Europe, the EU press service reported.
Burning hell under Portugal sky
More than 2,000 firefighters battled Portugal's deadliest wildfires in the central region of the country, where one blaze killed 64 people, while authorities came under mounting criticism for not doing more to prevent the tragedy.
Grand German, true European
Svetoslav Stefanov
He would be remembered as the Unification Chancellor and as the leader without whom the EU in its current form would be impossible. Helmut Kohl, who died on 16 June at the age of 87, was no doubt great German, but even greater European, although he was far from flawless.
EU citizens in UK to register
The British government is to announce a registration process for the millions of EU citizens living in the UK, as a first step towards regulating their legal status once the UK leaves the EU.
Counter-terrorism is EU's highest security priority
Counter-terrorism is the highest security priority for the EU, foreign affairs ministers declared at their meeting last Monday, as they debated the EU response to the recent attacks across continent.
First ever EU-Cuba deal backed
Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs gave last Tuesday their consent to the first ever EU-Cuba cooperation agreement, the EP press service reported.
Macron has no time to enjoy the victory, top ally resigns
France`s President Emmanuel Macron, faced last week serious problems within his government, only days after his party Republic on the Move (REM) in an alliance with small centrist MoDem party won majority in the parliament.
Member States discuss agencies relocation
The 27 EU Member States that will remain after Britain's exit from the bloc discussed last Tuesday a possible process for relocating two London-based EU agencies during an EU ministerial meeting, news wires reported.
Sweden remains innovation leader
The EU's innovation performance last year continued to grow despite somewhat uneven progress observed around Europe.
Wildfires are annual scourge for the southern country
Portugal's leading environmental lobby group, Quercus, blamed the blazes on "forest management errors and bad political decisions" by governments over recent decades.
In Brief
.
EU awarded Premio Princesa de Asturias de la Concordia
 
The EU was awarded last week one of the highest Spanish prizes - Princesa de Asturias de la Concordia. In a joint statement, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Parliament President Antonio Tajani and Council President Donald Tusk stated that the award was a significant recognition of the EU's deeds so far. “Six decades ago, the founding fathers of the EU sowed the seeds of a united Europe in the ashes of a devastating war. Since then, the path we have followed has helped us develop a union of peoples, allowing Europeans to embark upon a project of peace, democracy and prosperity,” they said.

MEPs: Changing constitution will slam door to Turkey
 
Turkey's EU accession talks should be suspended if the proposed changes to the constitution go ahead, Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs warned last Tuesday. In an annual assessment of Turkey's reform progress, they expressed concerns about the country backsliding in the rule of law, human rights, media freedom, and the fight against corruption. The resolution recognises the importance of good EU-Turkey relations and proposes upgrading the EU-Turkey Customs Union, by making human rights and fundamental freedoms part of a new agreement, rapporteur Kati Piri (S&D, NL) said.

Commission takes European drone sector to new heights
 
The Single European Sky Air traffic management has unveiled its blueprint to make drone use in low-level airspace safe, secure and environmentally friendly. The move comes following a request by the Commission. The so-called U-Space regulation covers altitudes of up to 150 metres and will pave the way for the development of a strong and dynamic EU drone services market. Registration of drones and drone operators, their e-identification and geo-fencing should be in place by 2019. The paper is part of the Commission's ambitious Aviation Strategy and aims at unleashing the full economic potential of drones.

Italy to receive €1.2bn from Solidarity Fund
 
The Commission proposed last week the allocation of  €1.2bn under the EU Solidarity Fund for Italy to cover the damage caused by the earthquakes of 2016 and 2017 in the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Marche and Umbria. "It is the biggest allocation of money the Commission has ever proposed since the creation of the fund," Regional Affairs Commissioner Corina Cretu (pictured) said. The Solidarity Fund will support reconstruction operations and regenerate economic activity in the affected regions, as well help the restoration of the cultural heritage monuments. 

.