Brexit Bill passed in House of Lords
Theresa May has won the first round in her battle with the Lords to secure authority for triggering the Brexit process by the end of next month as last Tuesday House of Lords gave an unopposed second reading to the EU Notification of Withdrawal Bill after a marathon two-day debate involving more than 180 speakers, news wires reported.
Enforcing protection of customers shopping online
At the first Competitiveness Council under the Maltese Presidency that took place in Brussels on 20 February, industry and research ministers from EU countries agreed on a general approach to strengthen consumer protection cooperation in the internal market.
Energy consumption below its 1990 level
In 2015, gross inland energy consumption, which reflects the energy quantities necessary to satisfy all inland consumption, in the EU amounted to 1626 million tonnes of oil equivalent (Mtoe), which is below its 1990 level (-2.5%), although not much, and down by 11.6% compared to its peak of almost 1840 Mtoe in 2006, the Eurostat announced in a special report.
Deporting migrants easily
Germany has called for the EU to scrap human rights safeguards so migrants can be deported to countries currently considered unsafe, according to a leaked government paper cited by news agencies.
Dutch MPs vote Ukraine treaty
Dutch lower house voted last Tuesday in favour of Ukraine association compromise, although 61% of voters had rejected it at referendum held last April. As expected, the compromise struck between PM Mark Rutte and the Commission was backed by the parliament. Last December, Rutte managed to add amendments to the deal which make clear what it is actually about.
Romania scraps decree on graft
Romania's governing coalition proposed a new justice minister last week as part of a cabinet reshuffle aimed at putting an end to a period of upheaval triggered by a decree on graft that was later scrapped.
EU further tightens screw on corporate tax dodgers
The EU continued its battle to close tax avoidance loopholes as last Tuesday finance ministers agreed their position on rules to close down 'hybrid mismatches' with the tax systems of third countries, news wires reported.
Italy ruling party threatened by schism as Renzi quits
Former Italian PM Matteo Renzi quit as head of the ruling Democratic Party (PD) last Sunday, in order to trigger the process for a new congress via which he is expected to seek a fresh mandate.
Spain starts investigation on €60bn bank bailouts
Spanish parliament voted last Wednesday to form a commission to investigate the 2012 financial and banking crisis, which lead to bank bailouts worth over €60bn, news wires reported.
Mass demonstration in Malta against press law reform
Thousands of people demonstrated in Malta last Sunday, answering a call by the main opposition party to protest against what it described as a threat to democracy and freedom of expression, news wires reported.
Eastern Europe revolts over lower food quality
The Czech Republic will push the EU to ban the sale of lower quality food in Eastern Europe under the same brand name, while the better one is sold in the west, Reuters reported citing the country's agriculture minister.
EU agri-food exports reach record high
The annual value of EU agri-food exports in 2016 hit a new record level with total exports reaching €130.7bn, up €1.7bn compared to 2015.
Study shows who gains what from Single Market
The EU Single Market generates important gains for citizens and businesses, shows a new study on the topic, which found that it contributed to creation of 3.6 million additional jobs and also helped boosting the EU’s GDP by 1.7% or nearly €250bn a year.
Bavaria to ban full-face veil
The German state of Bavaria has announced plans to ban the full-face veil in government workplaces, schools, universities and while driving. “Communication happens not only via language but also looks, facial expressions and gestures,” Bavaria's Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said.