EU

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First, Emmanuel Macron, the young economic adviser the French president promoted as economy minister in 2014, is to confirm his presidential bid, whether or not his mentor decides to seek re-election next year. Read more

Duncan Robinson

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By Stefan Wagstyl Read more

Duncan Robinson

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The gold gilded door, the grins, the open neck shirt. This was a chilling sight for the EU establishment. Donald Trump, the US president-elect, had made his first big overture to a politician on the continent. . . and his name was Nigel Farage. Read more

Jim Brunsden

“Their world collapses. Ours is built.” So said Florian Philippot, the main adviser to Marine Le Pen, hailing Donald Trump’s victory as the start of a new order in world politics. Elections in France, the Netherlands and Germany will give this theory a thorough real-world test in 2017.

 

France

In France, Ms Le Pen of the National Front leads the way in first-round voting, but lags comfortably behind potential rivals in polls on a presidential run-off. Now, after duff calls in both Britain and the US pollsters are viewed with scepticism.

“Before the American result, the question seemed absurd,” says the Economist. “Now, the unthinkable has become conceivable.” The FT’s Anne-Sylvaine Chassany quotes Dominique de Villepin, a former French prime minister: “France and the US are like twins. What is possible in the US is possible in France, even if the system is refusing to see it.” Read more

Duncan Robinson

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The rhetoric could hardly be nastier. With an update on Turkey’s bid to join the EU due later this week, politicians from Turkey and Europe took the opportunity to rip into each other. Read more

Jim Brunsden

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The North Africa to Italy migration route remains highly dangerous to those who attempt it, even busier than last year and seemingly impervious to EU action. Read more

Jim Brunsden

“We are sorry – due to technical complications, your journey towards Brexit has been temporarily interrupted. Theresa May will get back to you as soon as possible.”

Normally, court judgements are meant to settle difficult questions, but yesterday’s decision by the UK High Court that Britain’s parliament must vote on Brexit has instead thrown up a lot of tricky new ones.

The shock ruling gave fresh hope to Remainers, annoyed leading government ministers, challenged a key plank of Ms May’s Brexit strategy, and left leaders across the continent wondering what happens next.

It was not only the ruling itself that had people scratching their heads. Britain is now apparently a country where, when the government is defeated, the pound gets stronger;when parliamentary sovereignty is upheld, some parliamentarians are unhappy, and when judges listen to legal arguments in a courtroom, they are “Enemies of the people”.

 Read more

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Without much fanfare – without even a press conference – Margrethe Vestager on Wednesday slipped out one of the most important decisions of her time as competition commissioner. Known for her flinty approach to the likes of Apple and Google, Ms Vestager showed a different side: restraint. And this was no ordinary antitrust case. It was Gazprom. Read more

Jim Brunsden

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  Read more

Duncan Robinson

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On Monday, they came to pass: objections from Wallonia seemed to scupper CETA, the proposed EU-Canada trade deal, in an embarrassing setback both for Belgium’s federal government and the European Commission. Read more

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As Europe’s 28 heads of state or government gather again in Brussels this afternoon, it is worth recalling that special energy that European summits bring. This format is virtually unique in international affairs – even at G20 meetings “minders” are allowed in the room. It can make them wonderfully unpredictable and very human, especially (like today) when no big concrete decision needs to be taken. Here are three political live-rails to watch: Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Dutch voters opposed the deal with Ukraine by a margin of nearly two-to-one in a referendum in April, leaving diplomats in both Brussels and the Hague despairing over fate of the agreement. Things have not improved since. Read more

Jim Brunsden

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Matteo Renzi sent the European Commission some less-than-welcome news in the form of Italy’s 2017 budget plansRead more

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It’s summit week. The full roster of 28 EU leaders will gather in Brussels on Thursday for a two-day meeting. Compared to what we have grown accustomed to in recent years, it lacks the urgency of a hot-crisis. Migration numbers are a fraction of this time last year, and the crunch of Brexit and Greek debt are for another day. What we do have though is a big introduction (this is Theresa May’s debut summit) and some potentially significant debates: Read more

Duncan Robinson

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Britain faces having to pay €20bn to leave the EURead more

Duncan Robinson

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Warsaw tore up a mooted $3.5bn deal with Airbus, starting a diplomatic war with Paris and worsening an already strained relationship with Berlin in the process. Read more

Jim Brunsden

“We’ve had this discussion…before where a number of ministers say, look whatever happens in Basel it cannot lead to higher capital requirements, and I said then and now that I don’t think that is the right starting point,” Mr Dijsselbloem told reporters. “I think the approach should be different.”

Jim Brunsden

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Euro area finance ministers’ discussions about Greece have been known to be many things: long, tortuous, bitter and occasionally career-endingRead more

Duncan Robinson

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By Arthur Beesley Read more

Duncan Robinson

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A small region of Belgium may determine the fate of an EU free trade deal with Canada – and potentially the terms of any post-Brexit deal with the UK. Read more