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EU leaders to face off in 'very tough' budget summit

EU leaders to face off in 'very tough' budget summit EU leaders to face off in 'very tough' budget summit
EU leaders are to hold a Brussels summit Thursday to set a seven-year budget despite splits between some stingy rich nations, poorer ones wanting...
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Germans urged to 'defend democracy' 75 years after Dresden bombing

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President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Germans to "defend democracy" on the 75th anniversary of the destruction of Dresden...
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Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says

Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says
Albania will not "stay at Europe's door and cry" for it to open, Prime Minister Edi Rama told AFP, stressing that the Balkan state must focus...
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France's Macron seeks 'turning point' in ties with Poland

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Iran's Rouhani sounds alarm for 'democracy' after candidates barred

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Iran's president warned Monday of threats to the Islamic republic's "democracy and national sovereignty", after a body dominated by his ultra-conservative...
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Brexit to be sealed with final Brussels vote

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Brexit Day is to be set in stone Wednesday when the European Parliament in Brussels casts a vote ratifying the terms of Britain's divorce deal...
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Emotional final week for British MEPs

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  Some will walk away with bitter regret. Others will march off with their flag held high. But British MEPs of every stripe face an emotional...
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Britain's years-long battle over Brexit

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The curtain comes down on Britain's membership of the European Union on January 31 after more than three and a half years of disagreements...
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Netanyahu condemns 'tyrants of Tehran' in Holocaust speech

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged action against "the tyrants of Tehran" in a Holocaust memorial speech Thursday, comparing what...
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Barnier warns of post-Brexit 'consequences' for UK, EU citizens

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Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, warned Tuesday that "concrete consequences" would follow for EU and UK citizens as Britain...
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Latest News

EU leaders to face off in 'very tough' budget summit

EU leaders to face off in 'very tough' budget summit EU leaders to face off in 'very tough' budget summit
EU leaders are to hold a Brussels summit Thursday to set a seven-year budget despite splits between some stingy rich nations, poorer ones wanting...
Read More...

Germans urged to 'defend democracy' 75 years after Dresden bombing

Germans urged to 'defend democracy' 75 years after Dresden bombing Germans urged to 'defend democracy' 75 years after Dresden bombing
President Frank-Walter Steinmeier urged Germans to "defend democracy" on the 75th anniversary of the destruction of Dresden...
Read More...

Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says

Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says Albania will not 'cry at Europe's door', PM says
Albania will not "stay at Europe's door and cry" for it to open, Prime Minister Edi Rama told AFP, stressing that the Balkan state must focus...
Read More...

France's Macron seeks 'turning point' in ties with Poland

France's Macron seeks 'turning point' in ties with Poland France's Macron seeks 'turning point' in ties with Poland
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday sought a "turning point" in strained ties with Poland, saying Brexit requires a new dynamic among...
Read More...

Iran's Rouhani sounds alarm for 'democracy' after candidates barred

Iran's Rouhani sounds alarm for 'democracy' after candidates barred Iran's Rouhani sounds alarm for 'democracy' after candidates barred
Iran's president warned Monday of threats to the Islamic republic's "democracy and national sovereignty", after a body dominated by his ultra-conservative...
Read More...

Brexit to be sealed with final Brussels vote

Brexit to be sealed with final Brussels vote Brexit to be sealed with final Brussels vote
Brexit Day is to be set in stone Wednesday when the European Parliament in Brussels casts a vote ratifying the terms of Britain's divorce deal...
Read More...

Emotional final week for British MEPs

Emotional final week for British MEPs Emotional final week for British MEPs
  Some will walk away with bitter regret. Others will march off with their flag held high. But British MEPs of every stripe face an emotional...
Read More...

Britain's years-long battle over Brexit

Britain's years-long battle over Brexit Britain's years-long battle over Brexit
The curtain comes down on Britain's membership of the European Union on January 31 after more than three and a half years of disagreements...
Read More...

Netanyahu condemns 'tyrants of Tehran' in Holocaust speech

Netanyahu condemns 'tyrants of Tehran' in Holocaust speech Netanyahu condemns 'tyrants of Tehran' in Holocaust speech
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged action against "the tyrants of Tehran" in a Holocaust memorial speech Thursday, comparing what...
Read More...

Barnier warns of post-Brexit 'consequences' for UK, EU citizens

Barnier warns of post-Brexit 'consequences' for UK, EU citizens Barnier warns of post-Brexit 'consequences' for UK, EU citizens
Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, warned Tuesday that "concrete consequences" would follow for EU and UK citizens as Britain...
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Four EU countries on Monday agreed a new temporary system to automatically distribute migrants arriving in Italy and Malta from across the Mediterranean which

will be discussed by the full EU next month.

The deal to determine which countries will welcome migrants rescued in the central Mediterranean hopes to end the long, drawn-out negotiations that have seen vulnerable asylum seekers including babies stranded at sea, sometimes for weeks.

"There is an agreement... that will be presented to the Council of Ministers of home affairs on October 8" in Luxembourg, Maltese Interior Minister Michael Farrugia told journalists after talks with his French, German and Italian counterparts.

"No country should be left alone under stress," Farrugia said of efforts to create an automatic distribution scheme until the current system, the "Dublin regulation", can be revised.

Critics have long argued that the regulation places an unfair burden on the Mediterranean frontier countries Italy, Malta, Greece and Spain.

Italy's new, pro-EU government has moved quickly to turn the page on the hardline anti-migrant policies pursued by former far-right interior minister Matteo Salvini, who closed the ports to those rescued.

A successful European migrant agreement would be a blow to Salvini, showing that cooperation gets better results than confrontation.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said that details of the plan would not immediately be made public.

"The document won't be released immediately... because we prefer to share it with other member states first," Castaner told AFP.

After a meeting last week, Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron both called for a reform of Europe's "ineffective" policy.

Countries that did not volunteer to take migrants should face financial penalties, they argued.

"Europe has to be better prepared and stand with frontline countries like Italy, Greece, Malta, Spain and Cyprus," European migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said as he arrived for the Malta talks.

Oxfam hailed the tentative agreement as "a positive first step to share responsibility between EU countries and the first moment of hope for a more humane system since European migration policies deteriorated in 2015."

- Rotation? -

In a sign of how things have changed over the last few weeks, Italy late Sunday authorised charity rescue vessel the Ocean Viking to disembark its 182 people rescued at sea in Messina, Sicily.

The decision "puts an end to five days of unnecessary suffering," said charities SOS Mediterranee and Doctors without Borders (MSF) which operate the ship.

Meanwhile Greece's government called for stronger border controls on the weekend after 439 migrants landed on the island of Lesbos on Friday.

Nearly 3,500 migrants have arrived on Lesbos since the start of September, according to the Aegean Boat Report.

At an informal meeting of foreign and interior ministers in Paris in June, 15 countries agreed to set up a "European Solidarity Mechanism".

Croatia, Finland, France, Ireland, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Portugal said they would "actively" take part.

But Hungary's nationalist prime minister, Viktor Orban, rejected redistribution quotas in comments made during a visit to Rome on Saturday.

Monday's talks sought to try to decide where those rescued can be relocated -- and whether that covers just those fleeing war and persecution, or economic migrants too.

France and Germany are reportedly willing to receive 25 percent of people plucked from the Mediterranean.

But they are not keen on Italy's idea for migrants to be sent to countries across southern Europe on a rotation basis.

Italy could take 10 percent of new arrivals -- a lower proportion because it has already hosted tens of thousands.

The number of migrants reaching Europe via the Mediterranean has dropped sharply in recent years. The UN's refugee body recorded nearly 115,000 arrivals in 2018, down from 170,000 in 2017 and over one million in 2015.afp

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