Duncan Robinson

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Donald Tusk has not given up hope that Britain might stay in the EU. Speaking at the start of a two-day summit of the bloc’s leaders in Brussels, the European Council president channelled John Lennon: “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I am not the only one.” Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Zero. This is how many they have actually taken. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Elsewhere, True Finns were effectively kicked out of the Finnish government after their coalition partners refused to deal with their new leader, who has compared Islam to paedophilia and wants to leave the EU. In France, Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche trounced Marine Le Pen’s Front National in the legislative election. In Britain, UKIP’s share of the vote fell to 2 per cent from 12.6 per cent in 2015. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Donald Trump may feel like the biggest problem for Nato — but he is not the only one. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Talks between Athens’ euro area creditors and the International Monetary Fund have seen officials grapple with economic forecasts stretching decades into the future. Read more

Duncan Robinson

Sometimes Luxembourg provides something for all. The European Court of Justice’s ruling on the parameters of free trade agreements – which determined that only parts of FTAs required ratification at a national level – made nearly everyone happy.

The European Commission was delighted by its confirmed ability to agree trade deals on an EU level. But rebellious Walloons – who held a free trade deal with Canada hostage – welcomed the news that they could still make mischief over some issues such as investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms. Read more

Duncan Robinson

Perhaps the only phrase more stultifying than “any other business” is “General Affairs Council”. But that could change later today. Frans Timmermans will park the European Commission’s long-running fight with Poland over the rule of law in front of ministers during an “AOB” at the unfortunately named “GAC”. For the first time, member states will have a chance to officially respond – or not – to the growing problems surrounding Poland’s Law and Justice government. It is a small, but significant step from the commissioner responsible for fundamental rights. The long-term concerns about rule of law in the country – and the wider worries about democracy in countries such as Hungary – are arguably an even larger problem for the bloc than Brexit. It is hard to have a single market if there are fundamental worries about, say, the justice systems in some member states. For the past 18 months, it has been the commission leading the charge on the Polish issue. Exchanging letters, arguments and occasionally insults with peers in Warsaw. Now ministers will have their chance, too. 1648 and all that Historically, ministers have been reluctant to interfere in the affairs of other member states, especially when sat around a table in Brussels. Whether those who have been privately or informally critical of Poland will pipe up will be clear only later today, although the latest indications are that many will. (One thing is certain: Poland’s minister will offer a comprehensive retort to Mr Timmermans’ points.) There is some unease at the topic being raised with ministers at all. After all, if the commission thinks Poland has a problem, it has a power to act by itself. The commission can trigger Article 7 – the so-called “nuclear” (by bureaucrat standards) option – which could eventually result in Poland losing its right to vote as a member state. But this drastic move would still have to be approved by national capitals. To be blunt: involving ministers now keeps open the option of further action later. Email duncan.robinson@ft.com Twitter @duncanrobinson

Change on treaty change Emmanuel Macron met Angela Merkel met in Berlin. After cries of “Macron, Macron”, the two leaders opened the door to treaty change. Read more

Duncan Robinson

What is Uber? The EU’s top court tried to answer this question and decided Uber should be treated as a transport company (which leaves it beholden to local taxi regulations) rather than as an information society service (which would help it escape such rules).

The opinion is just that: an opinion. Whether Uber is in fact a $60bn minicab company will be decided by the court in a final judgment later this year. But the topic goes beyond Uber. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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And breathe. The relief in Brussels after Emmanuel Macron romped to victory in the French election was palpable. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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With the French election on Sunday, the big names came out to urge voters to back their horse. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Standing in front of 10 Downing Street, the prime minister thundered that Britain had been “misrepresented” by a perfidious foreign press and that “threats against Britain have been issued by European politicians and officials”. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Duncan Robinson

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The machine gun attack on the capital’s famous Champs-Elysées boulevard has left one policeman dead, two others seriously wounded and another person injured. The attacker was also killed, and ISIS has claimed responsibility. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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For the upcoming negotiations, the size of Mrs May’s majority in the House of Commons is of little concern when it comes to the EU27. Britain’s prospects during the Article 50 talks remain the same. Read more

Duncan Robinson

It was a tricky result. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan scraped a narrow victory – 51.4 per cent – in a referendum to hand himself more powers, amid concerns over the veracity of the vote.

European leaders faced walking a diplomatic tightrope in their responses over the Easter break. After all, Mr Erdogan is still a crucial Nato ally and a keystone in the bloc’s response to the migration crisis. Turkey is, ostensibly, still a candidate to join the EU (but for how long, we do not know). Read more

Duncan Robinson

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It takes a lot to shock people who work with migrants in north Africa, but revelations of active slave markets in Libya managed it. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Stockholm joined a miserable list on Friday. The Swedish capital became the latest European city – after London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin and Nice – to be hit by a recent terror attack. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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The Italian government has taken the lead in dealing with the Libyans (whose fractured state makes the plural appropriate). It is part of the wider EU strategy aimed at stopping people coming to Europe while simultaneously reducing the number of deaths at sea. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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A detailed letter was not strictly necessary. One diplomat explained that “We’re triggering Article 50 – suck it” would have sufficed. But the formal notification shed light on Theresa May’s strategy and expectations going into negotiation. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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