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Now for the main event. Donald Trump finally takes office today after a noisy transition that served only to amplify many of the most unsettling questions that surround his incoming administration. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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But they are still trying. EU ambassadors will today discuss a so-called “line of protection”, where Libyan authorities – with “strong and lasting” EU support – will intercept people before they leave territorial waters, according to notes circulated before the meeting. Read more

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The Brexit plan she set out yesterday includes historic judgement calls on how to approach Britain’s most important postwar negotiation. Her speech mixed optimism, realism, veiled threats, open threats, clear red lines, blurred red lines, all cut with some creative (and some would say implausible) ideas to soften a hard Brexit. Sterling rallied, and so did the Tory party. The right-wing press was not far behind: Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Politicians across the EU were left to come up with a response to the president-elect actively championing the continent’s disintegration: many opted for anger and incredulityRead more

Duncan Robinson

“That’s not going to happen.” With these blunt words, Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte shot down the prospect of a coalition with anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders.

It all but shuts off the most likely route to power for Mr Wilders and throws a different light on the crucial elections coming up in the Netherlands, France and Germany. Read more

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Bill English, New Zealand’s prime minister for a month, made his European diplomatic debut this week and sat down with the FT. He is here to remind folks that European decisions “wash up on our shores, even at the other end of the world”. And when it comes to Brexit, they certainly will. Read more

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In Clermont-Ferrand on Tuesday, a reporter asked Manuel Valls how he felt about former economy minister Emmanuel Macron filling a 2,000-seat venue in the same town three days earlier (500 other fans were refused entry because it was just too packed). Predictably, Mr Valls, who not so long ago was Mr Macron’s boss, did not take it well. Read more

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A disaster at Christmas may have been averted, but don’t think Italy’s bank problems are over. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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In total, the whirlwind romance lasted two days. The plan was announced on Sunday and dead by Monday. MEPs in the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe blanched at the thought of joining up with the Italians (most of whom would be happy to see the back of the EU) and vetoed the move. Read more

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Donald Trump’s dismissal of intelligence reports on the Kremlin’s meddling in US politics has done nothing to ease anxiety in Europe about potential Russian interference in the French and German elections this year. Read more

Duncan Robinson

2017 is likely to go down as a year of historic elections with votes to determine who rules in Paris, Berlin and, err, Strasbourg.

The European parliament will decide its next leader on 17 January. In previous times, the role of president of the parliament was a stitch up between the two biggest groups: the centre-right EPP and the centre-left S&D. This time round, a proper race might develop. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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By Mehreen Khan Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Britain’s top man in Brussels is off. In a 1,400-word email to staff in Brussels, Sir Ivan Rogers calmly threw preparations for the first stage of Brexit negotiations – which are now barely two months away – into disarray by announcing that he will quit in a matter of weeks. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Brexit, briefly  Read more

Duncan Robinson

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In the central Mediterranean, Europe’s forgotten crisis grinds on: 4,752 are dead or missing, while 175,000 more have risked their lives by getting into unseaworthy vessels. The EU’s leaders will meet in Brussels today, once again, to try to come up with a solution, an explanation or perhaps a scapegoat. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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A draft “annex” prepared for the summit expects EU leaders to “nominate the European Commission as the Union negotiator”. This is good news for Michel Barnier, the Commission’s Brexit point-man. The hitch is that representatives of the EU member states (the Council staff and presidency) will be in the negotiating room as well, albeit “in a supporting role”. Read more

Jim Brunsden

 

 Read more

Duncan Robinson

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  Read more

Jim Brunsden

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Such were the first comments of Paolo Gentiloni, after being asked on Sunday by Italy’s president to become the country’s new prime minister. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Michel Barnier played his greatest hits during his first public foray as the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator. Read more