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EU leader urges MEPs to back green growth plan

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EU chief slams 'severe' budget cut threat

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EU calls for all sides in Hong Kong to avoid violence

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Belarus polls showed 'lack of respect' for democracy: monitors

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Dutch flaunt Brexit booty with EU agency opening

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EU changes title for migration commissioner after outcry

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Latest News

EU leader urges MEPs to back green growth plan

EU leader urges MEPs to back green growth plan EU leader urges MEPs to back green growth plan
The EU's top official Wednesday launched the bloc's new "Green Deal", hailing it as a strategy for jobs and economic growth, not just for cutting...
Read More...

From Algeria to Hong Kong, a year of anti-establishment rage

From Algeria to Hong Kong, a year of anti-establishment rage From Algeria to Hong Kong, a year of anti-establishment rage
Angry citizens have swelled the streets of cities across the globe this year, pushing back against a disparate range of policies but often...
Read More...

EU chief slams 'severe' budget cut threat

EU chief slams 'severe' budget cut threat EU chief slams 'severe' budget cut threat
  European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday slammed plans by member states to impose drastic cuts on the EU budget, which...
Read More...

Leaked EU audit shows Czech PM in conflict of interest: report

Leaked EU audit shows Czech PM in conflict of interest: report Leaked EU audit shows Czech PM in conflict of interest: report
A leaked European Commission audit has concluded that billionaire Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis has a conflict of interest as he still...
Read More...

NATO's birthday overshadowed by top-level feuding

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NATO marks its 70th birthday at a summit next week but the celebration could well turn into an arena of political combat between the alliance's...
Read More...

European centre-right new leader vows to fight populism

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Former EU Council President Donald Tusk pledged Wednesday to fight against political populism as he was set to be elected leader of Europe's...
Read More...

EU calls for all sides in Hong Kong to avoid violence

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The European Union on Monday (Nov 18) urged restraint on all sides in Hong Kong, where pro-democracy protesters have been clashing with police,...
Read More...

Belarus polls showed 'lack of respect' for democracy: monitors

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Parliamentary polls in Belarus lacked respect for democracy and denied basic freedoms to voters and candidates, international vote observers...
Read More...

Dutch flaunt Brexit booty with EU agency opening

Dutch flaunt Brexit booty with EU agency opening Dutch flaunt Brexit booty with EU agency opening
The Netherlands showed off the spoils of Brexit on Friday as it officially handed over the European Medicines Agency's new building in Amsterdam...
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EU changes title for migration commissioner after outcry

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The EU's top leaders said in a joint statement Thursday it is "time to start accession talks" with North Macedonia and Albania for them to join the European Union.

The combined call was issued by outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and his successor Ursula von der Leyen, as well as the EU Council chief and the head of the European Parliament.

The statement represented the strongest backing yet for the two western Balkan countries to be put on the path to EU membership. But not all EU member states agree.

Some, notably France and the Netherlands, are reluctant to open the door to new members while problems with corruption or rule of law in existing eastern members such as Romania and Hungary gnaw away at EU unity.

Still, the EU leaders noted that member states had agreed in principle more than a year ago that negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania should begin, and that they had promised a formal decision by this month.

"Whether the EU decides now to open accession talks with North Macedonia and Albania is a test of the Union?s ability to deliver on its promises and look to the future," the joint statement said.

It highlighted that "North Macedonia and Albania did what we asked them to do" in terms of reforms to prepare themselves for one day joining the EU. 

North Macedonia, for instance, changed its name from Macedonia to settle a festering row with neighbouring Greece.

The EU leaders warned that even if accession talks started, "there is no guarantee of success" and more reforms would have to be enacted. 

"Membership will not happen overnight," they said.

North Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister Radmila Sekerinska told AFP last month that, while she was "very optimistic", another disappointment would "empower autocrats and populists".afp

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