Timeline European Union: Common Market (A) thru 2020
Return to homeThe EU was initially formed as an economic trading
block. It has continued to grow and develop as a broad-based social
entity with open internal borders. May 9 is Europe Day.
(Econ, 7/28/07, p.55) EU Timeline (Univ. of Leiden): http://tinyurl.com/awlef
EU History: http://www.historiasiglo20.org/europe/integra.htm 1306
Pierre Dubois, a counselor for the Duke of Burgundy, called for a
(Econ, 1/3/04, p.39)
1789-1848 In 2015 Adam Zamoyski covered this
period in Europe in “Phantom Terror: The Threat of Revolution and
the Repression of Liberty 1789-1848."
(Econ, 11/15/14, p.84)
1939-1945 Norman Davies covered this period in his
2006 book “Europe at War 1939-1945: No Simple Victory." His central
theme was the Western alliance with Stalin and its consequences. In
2012 Max Hastings authored “All Hell Let Loose: The World At War:
1939-1945." On average nearly 30,000 people were killed every day.
(Econ, 11/11/06, p.94)(Econ, 6/9/12, p.87)
1947 Jun 5, Secretary of State
George C. Marshall in a speech at Harvard Univ. called for a
European Recovery Program to be initiated by the European powers and
supported by American aid (Marshall Plan). The program was intended
to assist European nations, including former enemies, to rebuild
their economies. In 2007 Greg Behrman authored “The Most Noble
Adventure: The Marshall Plan and the Time When America Helped Save
(EWH, 1968, p.1207)(SFEC, 5/25/97, p.A10)(AP,
6/5/97)(HN, 6/5/98)(WSJ, 8/7/07, p.D6)
1948 The 10-nation Western
European Union defense alliance was formed. It was set to close in
(SFC, 6/4/99, p.A14)(Econ, 6/26/10, p.63)
1949 May 5, The treaty
constituting the Statute of the Council of Europe was signed by ten
countries: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the
United Kingdom, accompanied by Ireland, Italy, Denmark, Norway and
Sweden. Robert Schuman, foreign minister of France, defined a
country as European by its democratic and institutional adherence to
common European values.
(http://tinyurl.com/tye8k)(Econ, 11/18/06, p.21)
1950 May 9, The first step in
the process of foundation of the European Community was given by the
French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman. In a speech inspired by
Jean Monnet, Schuman proposed that France and Germany and any other
European country wishing to join them pool their coal and steel
resources. This plan of economic integration looked for developing
the approach between France and Germany, moving definitively away
the haunt of war in Europe.
1950 Jul 1, The European
Payment Union (EPU) came into being, by agreement of the country
members of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation
(OEEC). The latter had replaced the original Committee of
European Economic Cooperation (CEEC), in April, 1948, and is an
organization of European recipients of U.S. economic assistance.
1951 Apr 18, Jean Monnet,
French civil servant, and Robert Schuman, French foreign minister,
helped found the European Union with agreements between 6 countries
on the pooling of coal and steel resources. Ministers from Belgium,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, West Germany, Italy and France put
their names on the Treaty of Paris, the founding document of what in
four decades would become the European Union.
(Econ, 9/25/04, Survey p.3)(Econ, 6/18/16, p.45)
1954 May 18, European
Convention on Human Rights went into effect.
1954 Aug, The French National
Assembly rejected the European Defense Community with a vote of 319
(Econ, 6/18/16, p.47)
1954 Oct 23, Following a London
Conference, agreements on a modified Brussels Treaty were signed in
Paris and the Western European Union (WEU) came into being.
1955 Jun 1, The 3-day Messina
Conference opened in Sicily. This conference of the foreign
ministers of the six member states of the European Coal and Steel
Community (ECSC) led to the creation of the European Economic
Community in 1958.
1956 Nov 6, Pressure from the
US and USSR effected a cease-fire in the Middle-East. The UN created
an emergency force (UNEF) to supervise a cease fire. Britain’s PM
Anthony Eden called French PM Guy Mollet to tell him that Britain
was aborting operations in Egypt. German chancellor Konrad Adenauer,
meeting with Mollet, remarked that Europe must unite to counter the
influence of the United States.
(TOH, 1982, p.1956)(EWH, 1968, p. 1242)(Econ,
1956 The Eurovision Song
Contest, the brainchild of French music producer Marcel Baison,
began with 7 contestants.
(Econ, 5/14/05, p.57)
1957 Mar 25, The Treaties
establishing the European Economic Community and the European Atomic
Energy Community were signed in Rome by six member countries. The
Treaty of Rome enabled people, goods, services and money to move
unchecked throughout the Union. The Council of Ministers represents
the governments of the members. Major decisions are made by the
Council of Foreign Ministers. A 20-member Commission composed of
appointed representatives of each member state serves as the
administrative arm and members represent the Union. The Commission
proposes and executes laws and policies. A European Parliament is
composed of 626 members elected by the electorates of the member
states and they sit in party groups. The Commission proposes, the
Parliament advises, and the Council decides. The goal was to create
a common market for all products but especially coal and steel.
1957 Mar 25, The Euratom Treaty
established the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom).
The international organization was founded with the purpose of
creating a specialist market for nuclear power in Europe, developing
nuclear energy and distributing it to its member states while
selling the surplus to non-member states.
1958 Jan 1, Treaties
establishing the European Economic Community went into effect.
1959 Jan 21, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR or ECtHR), also known as the Strasbourg Court,
was established in Rome on the basis of Article 19 of the European
Convention on Human Rights.
1959 Nov 20, Seven European
nations (Austria, Britain, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden,
Switzerland) signed the Stockholm Convention to form the European
Free Trade Association (EFTA). The organization becoming operative
on May 3 1960.
1961 Jul 31, Ireland formally
applied for membership in the European Community.
1961 Aug 9, The United Kingdom
applied for membership in the European Community.
1961 Aug 10, Denmark formally
applied for membership in the European Community.
1962 Nov 1, Greece entered the
European Common Market.
1963 Sep, The Treaty of Ankara
on reducing duties implicitly recognized Turkey’s right to join the
European Economic Community.
(WSJ, 10/6/04, p.A17)
1963 The EU signed a trade deal
in Yaounde, Cameroon, to keep markets open to former European
colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands (ACP).
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.78)
1967 May 11, The United Kingdom
re-applied to join the European Community. It was followed by
Ireland and Denmark and, a little later, by Norway. General de
Gaulle was still reluctant to accept British accession.
1967 May 11, French President
Charles de Gaulle for a second time said he will veto Britain's
application to join the Common Market. One reason he gave was the
incompatibility of its farming policies.
1969 Dec 1, On the initiative
of the French President, Georges Pompidou, the Heads of State or
Government of 6 European countries met in The Hague in order to
define the methods of reviving the European integration process. The
Hague Summit was held to establish the goal of European monetary
1971 Oct 28, Britain's House of
Commons voted to join the EEC, European Economic Community. The yes
vote passed with a majority of 112.
(Econ., 1/2/21, p.42)
1972 Oct 17, The European
Communities Act, an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom,
legislated for the accession of the United Kingdom to the European
1972 Interrail was launched to
mark the 50th anniversary of an int’l. rail industry group. It
provided single ticket access to a large part of Europe’s rail
network. In 1994 it expanded to the ex-communist east.
(Econ, 9/5/15, p.55)
1973 Jan 1, The European
Economic Community (EEC), the forerunner to the EU, admitted
Britain, Ireland and Denmark even though they made chocolate
containing a small percentage of vegetable fat. Members as required
handed away control of trade-deal negotiation. The EEC's common
agricultural policy (CAP) extended to the new members.
12/4/97, p.A22)(Econ, 7/16/16, p.47)(Econ., 11/28/20, p.15)
1973 Jan 1, New Zealand’s
preferential access to British markets ended with Britain’s
accession to the European Economic Community (EEC).
(Econ, 2/11/17, p.60)
1973 Jul 3, The Conference on
Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE) opened in Helsinki with
35 states sending representatives.
1973 Sixteen countries signed a
convention establishing a European patent. The first applications
were filed 5 years later. By 2012 signatory countires reached 38
including the EU’s 27 members.
(Econ, 12/15/12, p.66)
1973 A Frenchman invented a
standard Eurobarometer poll to show how various member countries
agreed and disagreed. The first poll was published in 1974.
1975 Jun 5, The outcome of a
British referendum revealed that 67.2% of voters were in favor of
the United Kingdom remaining a member of the Community. The Labor
Party under PM Harold Wilson had renegotiated Britain’s terms of EU
membership. The changes were largely cosmetic, but this allowed him
to persuade the electorate that Britain’s position was profoundly
p.62)(Econ., 4/4/15, p.78)
1975 Jun 5, The Scottish
National Party (SNP) wanted to leave the European project in a
referendum as Britain voted to stay.
(Econ, 3/18/17, p.60)
1975 Feb 28, The EU signed
another trade deal in Lome, Togo, to keep markets open to former
European colonies in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific Islands
1975 May 20, The European
Economic Community adopted a trade agreement with Israel.
1979 Mar 13, European Monetary
System (EMS) entered into force.
1979 May 28, The acts relating
to Greece's accession to the European Communities were signed in
1979 Jun 7-1979 Jun 10, The
first elections to the European Parliament by direct universal
suffrage were held. The turnout for the vote was 63%.
1979 Jun 7-1979 Jun 10, Belgian
PM Leo Tindemans led his party during the first direct elections to
the European Parliament, winning with 983,000 votes, still a record
for any election in Belgium.
1979 Jun 28, The Greek
Parliament ratified the Treaty of Accession.
1979 Jul 17, Simone Veil
(1927-2017) of France began serving as the 12th president of the
1979 Sep 19, The Bern
Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural
Habitats was signed. It became effective as of June 1, 1982.
1981 Jan 1, Greece joined the
European Union. It joined the Eurozone on Jan 1, 2001, allowing it
to be among the first group of countries that issued euro banknotes
on Jan 1, 2002.
1982 Feb 23, In a consultative
referendum, Greenland, which became a member of the European
Community as part of Denmark, opted for withdrawal from the
1982 Oct 1, The framework
agreement on cooperation between the European Community and Brazil
entered into force.
1983 Dec 17, An Economic
cooperation agreement between the Community and the Andean Pact
countries was signed in Cartagena, Colombia.
1984 Mar 12, The EU Council
signed an agreement on future relations between Greenland and the
1984 Jun 25-1984 Jun 26, A
European Council is held in Fontainebleau, France. The Ten reach an
agreement on the amount of compensation to be granted to the United
Kingdom to reduce its contribution to the Community budget.
1984 Oct 9, A cooperation
agreement between the European Community and the Yemen Republic was
signed in Brussels.
1984 The EU introduced milk
quotas. They were designed when low market prices and high subsidies
were filling EU warehouses with surplus “butter mountains" and
mounds of milk powder, at ever greater cost to the EU budget. The
quotas were abolished in 2015.
1985 Feb 1, Greenland left the
European Community but remains associated with it as an overseas
1985 Mar 29-1985 Mar 30, A
European Council is held in Brussels, Belgium. It accepts the
adhesion of Spain and Portugal in the European Communities and
agrees on the Integrated Mediterranean Programmes (IMP) as proposed
by the Commission.
1985 Jun 12, Spain and Portugal
signed Accession Treaties to the European Community.
1985 Jun 14, European states
signed the Schengen Agreement, which allowed for the abolition of
systematic border controls between the participating countries. The
agreement was incorporated into EU law in 1997.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_treaty)(Econ, 10/13/07, p.53)
1985 Dec 2-1985 Dec 4, A
European Council was held in Luxembourg. The Ten agreed to amend the
Treaty of Rome and to revitalize the process of European integration
by drawing up a Single European Act.
1985 The EU instituted the
Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought as a tribute to the Soviet
dissident Andrei Sakharov.
(SFC, 10/25/96, p.A17)
1985 The EU began its "Culture
Capital" program to promote European integration.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A8)
1985-1995 Frenchman Jacques Delors served as
president of the European Commission.
(Econ, 2/14/04, p.50)
1986 Feb 17, The Single
European Act modifying the Treaty of Rome was signed a 1st time in
Luxembourg. [see Feb 28] The single European Act was passed to end
trade restricting regulations and create a true single European
market by 1992.
(Econ, 9/25/04, Survey
1986 Feb 28, The Single
European Act modifying the Treaty of Rome was signed a 2nd time in
1986 Mar 1, In Sweden Social
Democrat Ingvar Carlsson became prime minister. He served until
October 1991. Under his administration Sweden made the decision to
apply to join the EU.
1986 Sep 15-1986 Sep 20, In
Punta del Este, Uruguay, the Ministers of ninety-two nations agreed
to a new round of multilateral trade negotiations (Uruguay Round).
1986 Nov, The European
Commission decided on GSM as the first digital standard.
(Econ, 2/3/07, SR p.8)
1986 Portugal and Spain entered
the European Union expanding the membership to 12.
(WSJ, 5/23/96, p.A-1)(SFC, 7/18/03, p.D5)(Econ,
6/13/09, SR p.3)
1987 Apr 14, The Turkish
Government formally applied to join the European Communities.
1987 May 13, The Bank of Spain
signed an agreement to join the European Monetary System.
1987 Nov 10, The Bank of
Portugal signed an agreement to join the European Monetary System
1987 The EU inked its first
fishing deal with Mauritania.
(WSJ, 1/18/07, p.A13)
1988 Sep 26, A Trade and
economic cooperation agreement between the European Community and
Hungary was signed in Brussels. The European Council adopted a
declaration regarding the American law on trade and competitivity
(the "Trade Act"). It expresses its preoccupations about the
protectionist potential of the law.
1989 Jun 19, The Spanish peseta
entered the European Monetary System (EMS) exchange-rate mechanism;
the composition of the ECU is adjusted following the inclusion of
the Spanish peseta and the Portuguese escudo.
1989 Jul 17, Austria formally
applies to join the European Community.
1989 Sep 19, The trade and
commercial and economic cooperation agreement between the Community
and Poland signed in Warsaw, Poland.
1989 Oct 3, The EU Parliament
issued its “Television Without Frontiers" directive.
1989 Dec 18, An agreement on
trade and commercial and economic cooperation between the European
Community and the Soviet Union is signed in Brussels, Belgium.
1989 Dec 20, The European
Commission advised against Turkey’s membership in the EEC.
(Econ, 10/23/10, SR
1990 Apr 18, A Franco-German
proposal was made at the Dublin summit for the political union of
the 12 European Community member countries.
1990 May 17, The effective date
for pension rights for both men and women as ruled by a European
court in 1994.
1990 Jun 15, The Dublin regime
was established by the Dublin Convention and signed in Dublin,
Ireland. It first came into force on 1 September 1997. The EU’s
Dublin Rule said that people applying for asylum in an EU country
other than the one they first entered should be returned to that
1990 Jul 1, The first phase of
the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) comes into force. Four Member
States (Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ireland) are granted an
exceptional regime given their insufficient progress towards
1990 Oct, French Pres. Francois
Mitterand called for an economic government of Europe during a
Franco-German summit in Paris.
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.58)
1990 Dec 15, European Community
leaders wrapped up a historic summit in Rome committed to creating a
politically unified federation.
1990 The Venice Commission was
created by 18 member states to advise the Council of Europe on
constitutional matters after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Its
official name is the European Commission for Democracy through Law.
By 2012 it included 47 members.
1991 Apr 14, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development is inaugurated in London, United
1991 Oct 21-1991 Oct 22, The
European Community and the European Free Trade Association concluded
a landmark accord to create a free trade zone of 19 nations by 1993.
1991 Nov 8, The European
Community and Canada imposed economic sanctions on Yugoslavia in an
attempt to stop the Balkan civil war.
1991 Dec 9-1991 Dec 11,
European Community leaders meeting in the Dutch city of Maastricht
tentatively agreed to begin using a single currency by 1999. The
European Council reached an agreement on the draft Treaty on the
1991 Dec 11, European Community
leaders meeting in the Dutch city of Maastricht hammered out a
compromise for a loose federation of their countries. The Maastricht
treaty was signed on February 7, 1992, and entered into force on
November 1, 1993. It set entry terms for joining a European monetary
(WSJ, 11/18/96, p.A10)(WSJ, 3/3/97, p.A1)(AP,
1991 Dec 16, "Europe
Agreements" are signed with Poland, Hungary and Czechoslovakia.
1992 Feb 7, The Maastricht
Treaty to integrate Europe was signed in Maastricht by the Foreign
and Finance Ministers of the Member States. Upon its entry into
force on 1 November 1993 during the Delors Commission, it created
the three pillars structure of the European Union and led to the
creation of the single European currency, the euro.
1992 Mar 18, Finland formally
applies to join the European Communities.
1992 May 11, 12 European
countries recalled their ambassadors from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia
to protest Serb involvement in Bosnia's ethnic war.
1992 May 20, Switzerland
formally applies to join the European Communities.
1992 Jun 2, Danish voters
rejected the Maastricht union treaty.
1992 Jun 18, A referendum is
held in Ireland, the people vote in favor of the ratification of the
Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Jul 2, Luxembourg ratifies
the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Jul 31, Greece ratifies
the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Sep 16, Black Wednesday
occurred in the United Kingdom when John Major's Conservative
government was forced to withdraw the pound sterling from the
European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) after it was unable to keep
the pound above its agreed lower limit in the ERM. The day became
known as “Black Wednesday." George Soros pocketed $2 billion on his
short sale of $10 billion. The event is documented in Robert
Slater's Soros: "The Life, Times and Trading Secrets of the World's
Greatest Investor." Britain’s Conservative government was forced to
withdraw the Pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM)
due to pressure by currency speculators.
p.A1)(Econ, 3/25/06, p.62)
1992 Sep 20, French voters
narrowly approved the Maastricht Treaty on European union.
1992 Oct 26, Italy ratifies the
Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Nov 4, Belgium ratifies
the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Nov 25, Norway formally
applies to join the European Communities. Spain ratifies the Treaty
on the European Union.
1992 Dec 2, Germany's lower
house of parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Maastricht
Treaty on European unity.
1992 Dec 6, A narrow majority
of Swiss referendum voters rejected the idea of joining the European
Economic Area, a free trade club embracing the EU and Liechtenstein.
1992 Dec 11, Portugal ratified
the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Dec 15, The Netherlands
ratified the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Dec 18, Germany ratified
the Treaty on the European Union.
1992 Britain exited from the
European exchange-rate system.
(Econ, 9/16/17, p.78)
1992 Customs barriers within
the EU were abolished.
(Econ, 4/8/17, p.48)
1992 Jacques Delors, president
of the European Commission, almost scuppered the Uruguay round of
world trade talks rather than cut farm spending.
(Econ, 11/5/05, p.58)
1993 Jun, EU membership
criteria were laid down at the European Council in Copenhagen,
Denmark. Under the “Copenhagen criteria" would-be EU members were
required to show that they meet the political and institutional
standards of membership.
1993 Dec 14, The United States
and European Community set aside a bitter fight over films,
unlocking the door to the world's biggest-ever trade reform package.
1994 Jun 24, The EU and Russia
signed a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). It went into
force on Dec 1, 1997.
1995 Jan 1, Austria, Finland
and Sweden joined the European Union. Sweden held their elections to
the parliament later that year on 17 September. Austria held its
elections on 13 October, 1996 and Finland on 20 October, 1996.
1995 Jan 1, The Conference on
Security and Co-operation in Europe (CSCE), formed in 1973, was
renamed the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
1995 Nov, The Barcelona
Process, launched by Euro-Mediterranean Foreign Ministers, formed an
innovative alliance based on the principles of joint ownership,
dialogue and co-operation. It brings together the 27 Members of the
European Union and 12 Southern Mediterranean states. Economic
incentives and the strengthening of civil society were used to
1995 The EU banned Sudan 1, a
red dye and genotoxic carcinogen, from use in food.
(Econ, 2/26/05, p.56)
1995 The European Commission
implemented the flagship Data Protection Directive.
1996 Mar 1, The first
Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) opened in Bangkok, Thailand, with 25
countries and the EU Commission participating.
(Econ, 10/9/10, p.63)(http://tinyurl.com/25mhkw7)
1996 Mar 27, The European Union
imposed a global ban on British beef and beef products due to
concerns over mad cow disease.
(SFC, 6/14/96, p. A17)
1996 Apr, The EU decided to
allow Monsanto to begin selling genetically modified soybeans in
(WSJ, 11/30/99, p.A1)
1996 Jun 9, The latest average
unemployment rate was 11%.
(SFC, 6/9/96, Parade, p.9)
1996 Jun 11, A trade pact
between the EU and Algeria was passed along with an agreement to
provide $3.6 million to help pay for elections in Bosnia.
(SFC, 6/11/96, p.A15)
1996 Jun 19, The European Union
approved a British plan for wiping out “mad cow" disease.
(SFC, 6/20/96, p.A10)
1996 Jul 12, The EU warned that
it would freeze US assets and impose visa requirements on Americans
if European companies are penalized for investing in Cuba.
(SFC, 7/13/96, p.A9)
1996 Oct 2, The EU said that it
will challenge the US Helms-Burton law in a new court of world
(SFC, 10/2/96, p.A8)
1996 Oct 16, The EU began its
campaign against the US Helms-Burton Act by asking the WTO (World
Trade Organization) to set up a panel to resolve differences over
(SFC, 10/17/96, A9)
1996 Oct 24, The EU voted to
block hundreds of millions in aid to Turkey for failure to
sufficiently improve human rights.
(SFC, 10/25/96, p.A17)
1996 Tony Judt authored
“Europe: The Grand Illusion," his pessimistic take on the EU’s
(Econ 7/29/17, p.46)
1996 EU law required all EU
countries to move forward by an hour on the last Sunday of March and
back by an hour on the final Sunday in October.
1997 Jan 1, The EU introduced
the Pan-European Cumulation System (PECS) to turn a latticework of
bilateral trade rules into a single multilateral umbrella. It
extended the system to include Turkey in 1999.
1997 Apr 11, The EU postponed
for 6 months a WTO case that charged the US with unfair trade
(WSJ, 4/14/97, p.A1)
1997 Jul, The EU established a
stability pact that included a member limit of 3% on deficits and a
goal of avoiding a national debt bigger than 60% of GDP. The EU's
Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) was first outlined by a resolution
and two council regulations. The vade mecum, first published in May
2013, is a manual prepared by DG ECFIN presenting the procedures and
methodologies for implementing the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP),
the rule-based framework for fiscal policy in the European Union.
p.55)(Econ., 10/31/20, p.64)
1997 Oct 2, The EU formally set
up a common foreign and security policy in the Amsterdam Treaty. It
set to adopt key asylum and immigration measures within five years
of the treaty's entry into force, expected in 1999. A protocol to
the 1997 Treaty of Amsterdam reclassified animals as sentient
1997 Nov 11, The EU high court
upheld hiring and promotional preferences for women.
(SFC, 11/12/97, p.C2)
1997 Dec 1, The Partnership and
Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between Russia and the EU came into
force. It was signed in June 1994 to encourage political,
commercial, economic and cultural cooperation.
1997 Dec 4, The EU banned
tobacco advertising and gave cigarette makers until 2006 to end
sponsorship of major sports and cultural events. Governments get 3
years to enact the ban beginning Oct 1988 on all advertising except
at stores that sell cigarettes.
(SFC, 12/5/97, p.B2)
1997 John Laughland authored
“The Tainted source: The undemocratic origins of the European idea."
(Econ, 1/3/04, p.39)
1997 The EU made labels
compulsory for genetically modified (GM) food.
(Econ, 11/2/13, p.32)
1998 Mar 25, The executive body
of the EU endorsed a proposal for 11 nations to be part of the new
system. These included Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the
Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, Finland, Ireland, Austria and
(SFC, 3/26/98, p.B3)
1998 Mar 31, The EU set this
date for membership talks with Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic,
Slovenia, Estonia and Cyprus. Preliminary talks were also set with
Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.
(SFC, 12/13/97, p.A12)
1998 May 3, European leaders
selected Dutchman Wim Duisenberg as chief of the new European
Central Bank (ECB), with the proviso that he leave in 2002 and allow
Jean-Claude Trichet of France to take over.
(BS, 5/3/98, p.21A)
1998 May 20, The EU approved a
rescue package to save the French Credit Lyonnais banking group. In
exchange the state bank would be privatized and assets would have to
(SFC, 5/22/98, p.D4)
1998 Jun 1, The European
Central Bank (ECB) was established by the Treaty of Amsterdam. It is
headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. It began operating on Jan 1,
1998 Jun 4, The first meeting
of the Eurogroup was held at Senningen Castle in Luxembourg.
Formerly known as the Euro-X and Euro-XI in relation to the number
of states adopting the euro, the group was established at the
request of France as a policy co-ordination and consultation forum
on eurozone matters.
1998 Jul 1, The European
Central Bank was inaugurated with headquarters in Frankfurt under
Pres. Wim Duisenberg.
(SFC, 5/1/98, p.A18)(SFC, 7/2/98, p.C3)
1998 Nov 9, The Human Rights
Act 1998, an Act of the Westminster Parliament, made the European
Convention on Human Rights part of the law of all parts of the UK.
It did not come fully into effect until 2 October 2000.
1998 Dec, A Dutch auditor
working for the European Commission charged that commissioners were
awarding contracts to friends and relatives.
(SFC, 1/12/99, p.A8)
1998 The EU agreed to ban
asbestos by 2005.
(WSJ, 12/9/02, p.A1)
1999 Jan 1, The Maastricht
Treaty specified that a monetary union will be established by this
date, and laid down several criteria that EU nations must fulfill in
order to join. Some of the criteria are: maximum budget deficits of
3% of GDP, a cap on government debt of 60% of GDP. The European
economic and monetary union (EMU) was scheduled to start with a new
"Euro" currency. Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany,
Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain made
(WSJ, 9/25/95, p.A-12)(WSJ, 12/5/95, p.A-14)(SFC,
11/16/96, p.A1)(SFC, 1/1/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 1, When the euro was
launched the US dollar-euro ($:€) exchange rate stood at $1.16:€1.
1999 Jan 1, Weimar, Germany,
began its tenure as the EU Culture Capital for the year.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A8)
1999 Jan 4, The euro, the new
money of 11 European nations, got off to a strong start on its first
trading day, rising against the dollar on world currency markets and
closed in New York at $1.181. A founding principal of the euro area
held that national central banks be independent of their
(SFC, 1/5/99, p.C2)(AP, 1/4/00)(HN, 1/4/01)(Econ,
1999 Jan 25, The US planned to
notify the World Trade Organization that it planned sanctions on the
European Union and 100% tariffs on a wide range of products due to a
dispute over EU banana import laws.
(SFC, 1/13/99, p.A11)
1999 Jan 14, The EU voted
against censure after EU Pres. Jacques Santer of Luxembourg pledged
to impose a reform program to prevent fraud.
1999 Mar 15, All 20 members of
the EU executive body, the European Commission led by Jacques
Santer, resigned in the wake of charges of fraud, corruption and
(SFC, 3/16/99, p.A1)(Econ, 9/13/03, p.50)
1999 Mar 24, The EU leaders in
Berlin chose Romano Prodi, former prime minister of Italy, as the
new chief executive.
(SFC, 3/25/99, p.A5)
1999 Apr 8, The EU cut interest
rates by .50% from 3% to 2.5% in an attempt to stave off a
(WSJ, 4/9/99, p.A9)
1999 Apr 14, The EU countries
proposed a peace plan for Kosovo, wherein the province would be
placed under temporary European administration if Pres. Milosevic
withdraws his forces and allows refugees to return.
(SFC, 4/15/99, p.C2)
1999 May 1, The Treaty of
Amsterdam Treaty, signed on October 2, 1997, entered into force. Its
full official title was: the Treaty of Amsterdam amending the Treaty
on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European
Communities and certain related acts. In Article 7 it said
governments that violate the union’s fundamental values would be
threatened with sanctions.
1999 May 3, EU scientists said
that the hormone, 17 beta-oestradiol, used by American cattle
farmers is carcinogenic. The EU 10 year ban on the use of hormones
in beef would likely be maintained.
(WSJ, 5/4/99, p.A14)
1999 May 5, The EU endorsed
Romano Prodi, the former prime minister of Italy, as the next
president of the European Commission.
(WSJ, 5/6/99, p.A1)
1999 Jun 3, The 15-member EU
announced plans to establish itself as a military power with a
60,000-troop force. A day later the EU named Javier Solana as the
1st foreign policy and security czar of the union.
(SFC, 6/4/99, p.A14)(SFC, 6/5/99, p.A12)
1999 Jun 4, The EU named Javier
Solana as the 1st foreign policy and security czar of the union.
(SFC, 6/5/99, p.A12)
1999 Jun 14, Voters in the
15-nation bloc of the European Union overturned socialist dominance
with the election of the center-right European People's Party.
(SFC, 6/15/99, p.C16)
1999 Jun 19, The Bologna
process for the creation of the European Higher Education Area
started. 29 European Ministers responsible for higher education
signed the Bologna declaration in which they undertake to create a
European Higher Education Area.
1999 Jul 14, The EU agreed to
resume British beef exports on Aug 1, ending a 3-year ban due to mad
(WSJ, 7/15/99, p.A13)
1999 Jul 20, Nicole Fontaine of
the European's People's Party was elected as leader of the European
(WSJ, 7/21/99, p.A19)
1999 Aug 1, The EU cleared
British beef for export. A ban had followed the 1996 mad cow crises.
(SFC, 8/3/99, p.A9)
1999 Oct 11, South Africa and
the European Union signed a free-trade pact.
(SFC, 10/12/99, p.C16)
1999 Oct 29, An EU Commission
ruled that British beef was safe to eat despite French arguments for
a ban to guard against mad cow disease.
(SFC, 10/30/99, p.A12)
1999 Nov 24, Mexico and the EU
agreed on terms for a free trade treaty.
(SFC, 11/25/99, p.A14)
1999 Nov 30, It was reported
that the EU passed the Electronic Signature Directive, a law that
gave legal status to digital signatures.
(WSJ, 12/1/99, p.A24B15)
2000 Jan 11, An EU court ruled
in favor of a German woman who claimed that a German constitutional
ban against women bearing arms amounts to sexual discrimination.
(SFC, 1/12/00, p.A11)
2000 Jan 26, The EU and
Yugoslavia crafted a $24 million plan to clear Danube River bridge
debris due to NATO bombing.
(WSJ, 1/27/00, p.A1)
2000 Jan 31, The European Union
warned Austria that its 14 members would diplomatically isolate
Austria if the Freedom Party of Joerg Haider entered into a
(SFC, 2/1/00, p.A10)
2000 Mar, EU leaders met in
Lisbon, Portugal, and agreed to turn Europe into the world’s most
competitive economy by 2010. this became known as the Lisbon Agenda.
(Econ, 3/19/05, p.15)(Econ, 3/25/06, p.58)
2000 May 19, China and the EU
agreed to open markets.
(SFC, 5/20/00, p.A8)
2000 Jun 23, The Cotonou
Agreement, a treaty between the European Union and the group of
African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP countries), was signed in
Cotonou, the largest city in Benin, by 79 ACP countries and the then
fifteen Member States of the EU. It entered into force in 2002 and
is the latest agreement in the history of ACP-EU Development
Cooperation. As of Dec 31, 2007, the Cotonou Agreement ceased to be
legal under the rules of the WTO.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.78)(Econ, 1/5/08,
2000 Sep 12, The EU lifted
diplomatic sanctions against Austria.
(SFC, 9/13/00, p.A12)
2000 Oct 25, Europe with
support from Canada and Japan announced a $280 million support
package for Colombian efforts to make peace with leftist rebels.
(SFC, 10/26/00, p.D8)
2000 Nov 20, The EU began to
build its own defense force, a 60,000 man, rapid reaction corps. EU
defense chiefs pledged 100,000 soldiers, 400 planes and 100 ships
for a rapid-reaction force.
(SFEC, 11/19/00, p.A16)(WSJ, 11/21/00, p.A1)
2000 Dec 6, A European Union
summit began in Nice to prepare for expansion to 27 or more members.
(SFC, 12/6/00, p.C5)
2000 Dec 11, The EU in Nice
reached a compromise in the early hours on a treaty that gave the 4
most populous countries a stronger voice in decision making and
paved the way for as many as 13 new members over the next decade.
(SFC, 12/11/00, p.A12)(Econ, 3/17/07, SR p.9)
2000 Larry Siedentop authored
“Democracy in Europe."
2000 EU Implementation of new
anti-pollution laws began. The EU in 1998 announced plans for
tougher anti-pollution laws to take effect to make car engines and
fuels burn cleaner.
(SFC, 7/3/98, p.D2)
2001 Jan 1, Sweden took over
the 6-month rotating presidency of the EU. Its priorities centered
on enlargement of the union, along with environment and employment
(WSJ, 1/04/00, p.A15)
2001 Mar 6, The EU ordered all
livestock markets closed for 2 weeks to contain foot-and-mouth
(SFC, 3/7/01, p.A10)
2001 Mar 13, US regulators
moved to ban all live animals and uncooked animal products from the
EU following the discovery of hoof-and-mouth disease in France.
(SFC, 3/14/01, p.A1)
2001 Mar 24, EU leaders ended a
2 day meeting in Stockholm announced that they would dispatch a team
of mediators to help the peace process between North and South
(SSFC, 3/25/01, p.C6)
2001 Mar 28, The EU expressed
concern over Pres. Bush’s abandonment of the Kyoto Treaty for
cutting carbon dioxide emissions.
(WSJ, 3/29/01, p.A1)
2001 Apr 30, It was reported
that Germany’s Chancellor Schroeder had proposed a draft for turning
the EU Executive Commission into a European government and giving
the EU Parliament full power over the 15-nation budget.
(SFC, 4/30/01, p.A8)
2001 May 14, The European
Commission announced that it would establish diplomatic ties with
(WSJ, 5/15/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 8, Irish voters
rejected the EU’s Nice treaty to pave the way for 12 new members.
The Irish reportedly feared immigrants in search of jobs and
participation in an EU Rapid Reaction Force.
(SFC, 6/9/01, p.A9)(Econ, 3/17/07, SR p.10)
2001 Jun 14, Pres. Bush clashed
with EU leaders in Sweden over his global warming policy. The EU
leaders said they would move to implement the Kyoto treaty without
(SFC, 6/15/01, p.A1)
2001 Jun 16, In Goteborg,
Sweden, 15 EU leaders ended a 3-day summit and agreed to a firm
timetable to admit new members by 2004.
(SSFC, 6/17/01, p.A12)
2001 Sep 9, EU foreign
ministers agreed on the need for a new int’l. military force to
provide security in Macedonia after NATO withdrawal.
(SFC, 9/10/01, p.B1)
2001 Oct 4, The EU made a joint
announcement with Spain that the Basque ETA would be put on the list
of terrorist organizations whose assets would be frozen by the EU.
(WSJ, 10/5/01, p.A1)
2001 Oct 10, The EU and leaders
of several African nations agreed on a “Marshall Plan for Africa" to
combat poverty and disease and allow access to markets in the
(SFC, 10/11/01, p.C2)
2001 Oct 19, EU leaders pledged
their continued support for the US-led campaign in Afghanistan.
(SSFC, 10/21/01, p.A16)
2001 Dec 14, European nations
began distributing a “Eurokit" of euro coins in advance of the Jan 1
day when the euro becomes legal tender.
(SFC, 12/15/01, p.A3)
2001 Dec 15, EU leaders
concluded a 2-day Council at Laeken, Belgium. The adoption of the
Laeken Declaration on the Future of Europe, established the European
Convention. A constitutional convention was planned. This process
was supposed to simplify the EU’s legal architecture. The admittance
of 10 new members over the next 2 years was also planned. The EU
declared their nascent joint military force operational.
12/17/01, p.A14)(Econ, 10/27/07, p.16)
2001 Dec 28, The EU expanded
its list of terrorist organizations to include Irish, Basque, Greek
and Middle Eastern extremist groups.
(SFC, 12/29/01, p.A11)
2001 An EU directive gave
member nations until 2006 to comply with an art sale levy, droit de
suite (right of continuation), allowing artists to claim a sliding
scale royalty on the resale price of their works selling for over
(WSJ, 1/13/06, p.P14)
2001 The EU began work on the
Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals
(REACH). The final package was expected to come into force in April,
(Econ, 12/9/06, p.70)
2001 At Washington’s request
the UN Security Council ordered that the assets of Yassin Qadi, a
Saudi businessman and multimillionaire, be frozen soon after the Sep
11 attacks in NYC. He was alleged to be a financier of Islamic
terrorism with close links to al-Qaida. The EU froze the assets of
Yasin al-Qadi, a Saudi businessman, and the Al-Barakaat
International Foundation, a Sweden-based charity suspected of
funding al-Qaida terror groups. In 2008 the EU's highest court
overturned the decision saying the order failed to offer those on a
terror blacklist any legal rights to a judicial review under
European law. Also frozen were the assets of Omar Mohammed Othman,
also known as Abu Qatada, an extremist Muslim preacher from Jordan.
In 2009 an EU court voided the freeze on Othman due to lack of
proper judicial review. Othman has lived in Britain since 1993, has
been arrested several times there under anti-terrorist legislation
and currently faced deportation to Jordan.
(WSJ, 8/29/07, p.A1)(AP, 9/3/08)(AP, 6/11/09)
2002 Jan 1, In Europe 50
billion new euro coins and 14 billion new euro notes began
circulating in 12 participating countries in the most ambitious
currency changeover in history.
(SFC, 1/2/02, p.A8)(AP, 1/1/03)
2002 Feb, The EU complained
that Thailand’s 10-baht coin, introduced in 1988, was being used in
vending machines all over Europe due to its similarity to the new
(SSFC, 2/24/02, p.C7)
2002 Mar 4, European Union’s 15
members ratified the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, but failed to
set pollutant-emission levels to meet the accord’s targets.
2002 May 28, The EU announced
plans to overhaul its 100,000-vessel fishing industry with some
national fleets to be cut by up to 60% due to overfishing.
(SFC, 5/29/02, p.A12)
2002 May 29, The EU upgraded
Russia to the status of a full market economy.
(SFC, 5/30/02, p.A8)
2002 May 31, EU members
ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on climate change.
(SFC, 6/1/02, p.A9)
2002 Jun 19, Air traffic
controllers in France and other nations went on strike to protest a
plan to dramatically reorganize the use of Europe's skies.
2002 Jun 22, Tens of thousands
of people banged drums, blew whistles and danced their way through
Seville's streets in a rally against globalization. The EU Summit
ended with new measures to deter illegal immigration.
(AP, 6/22/02)(SSFC, 6/23/02, p.A22)
2002 Jul 24, The European Union
will give an extra $32 million to the U.N. Population Fund to help
replace the U.S. money being withheld because of concerns about
2002 Aug 30, The WTO ruled that
the EU can impose $4 billion in penalties on the US because of an
American tax break that promotes exports. The EU planned to give the
US time to change the law.
(SFC, 8/31/02, p.A7)
2002 Oct 3, NATO and European
Union called on Croatia to cooperate with the U.N. War Crimes
Tribunal, urging the government to hand over indicted war crimes
suspect Gen. Janko Bobetko.
2002 Oct 15, In northern Russia
a Soyuz-U rocket carrying an EU research communications satellite
exploded several seconds after liftoff from a launch pad, killing
(AP, 10/16/02)(WSJ, 10/17/02, p.A1)
2002 Nov 20, The EU, except for
Portugal. banned Belarus Pres. Lukashenko and top aides to protest
human rights abuses under his rule.
(WSJ, 11/20/02, p.A1)
2002 Dec 6, The EU agreed to
ban single-hull tankers, likely to be effective in 2010.
(SFC, 12/7/02, p.A15)
2002 Dec 20, The European Union
agreed to cuts in its fleet and cod catch quotas, but ignored
scientific advice to ban cod fishing altogether to save stocks from
near extinction in EU waters.
2002 The EU set up Eurojust to
help prosecutors with the worst cross-border crimes.
(Econ, 6/10/06, p.52)
2002 An EU regulation forced
banks to charge no more for cross-border transfers within the euro
area of up to 12,500 euros than they did for domestic ones.
(Econ, 3/31/07, p.82)
2002 The EU decided to go ahead
and launch a satellite navigation network, Galileo, to rival
America's Global Positioning System (GPS). Operations were scheduled
to begin in 2008.
(Econ, 1/31/04, p.78)
2002 The European hedge fund
charity ARK (Absolute Return for Kids) was established to provide
AIDS treatment in Africa, to help children in orphanages in eastern
Europe and to finance education in Britain.
(Econ, 6/2/07, p.80)
2003 Jan 10, The European Union
proposed a diplomatic initiative to avoid war against Iraq and
increased pressure on Washington to pursue a peaceful solution to
the crisis over Iraq's arms programs.
2003 Jan 15, The EU Parliament
voted to ban the use of animals to test cosmetics by 2009. Imports
of cosmetics using animal testing would also be banned.
(WSJ, 1/16/03, p.A1)
2003 Jan 16, The European
Union's Court of Justice ordered Spain and Italy to drop national
rules on what constitutes chocolate, saying they can no longer bar
British and Irish confections made with vegetable fats instead of
2003 Feb 6, Belgium asked the
European Union to call an emergency meeting to discuss a peaceful
way out of the Iraq crisis.
2003 Feb 17, European Union
leaders declared their solidarity with the United States, warning
Saddam Hussein that Iraq faced one "last chance" to disarm
peacefully but calling war a last resort.
2003 Mar 10, The
European Union opened a new office in Cuba.
2003 Mar 17, Berlin Plus
agreement, a short title for a comprehensive package of agreements
between NATO and EU, was based on conclusions of the NATO Washington
2003 Mar 27, EU governments
agreed to ban single-hulled oil tankers carrying heavy fuel in an
attempt to reduce the risk of slicks.
2003 Mar 31, In Macedonia the
EU began its first military operation by taking over peacekeeping
duties from NATO.
2003 Apr 1, Seven EU nations,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Portugal and
Belgium, said they oppose a proposal by larger countries for a new
permanent European Union presidency.
2003 Apr 7, Cuba handed down
sentences of 15-27 years to the 1st 7 of 80 recently rounded
dissidents. Activists of Oswaldo Paya’s Christian Liberation
Movement made up more than two-thirds of those arrested. In response
the EU imposed diplomatic sanctions and Cuban officials boycotted
embassy functions in what came to be called the “cocktail war." The
sanctions were suspended in 2005 and lifted in 2008.
(AP, 4/8/03)(Econ, 12/17/05, p.38)(Econ, 6/28/08,
2003 Apr 8, Twenty-two European
countries submitted a proposed resolution to the UN’s top human
rights body accusing Russia of grave rights violations in the
breakaway republic of Chechnya.
2003 Apr 9, The European
Union's parliament ratified a historic expansion, making it nearly
certain that 10 mostly eastern European countries will join the bloc
2003 Apr 16, Leaders of 25
European nations gathered in Athens to sign treaties sweeping away
the 20th century's Iron Curtain divide. The 10 new EU members will
formally join May 1, 2004 following ratification of treaties.
2003 May 15, The economies of
Germany, Netherlands and Italy contracted during the first three
months of 2003 as the European Union as a whole showed no growth for
the first time in almost two years.
2003 Jun 13, European Union
delegates agreed on a draft constitution that details how the
coalition of nations will be run as it adds new members and evolves
into what many hope will be a world power to rival the United
2003 Jun 19, European leaders
gathered at a secluded Greek seaside resort for a three-day summit
to discuss Middle East peace, illegal immigration, and the
contentious draft of a first-ever European Union constitution.
2003 Jul 10, Framers of the
European Union's first constitution finalized their draft charter
but failed to settle differences over how much power national
governments would cede to Brussels.
2003 Jul 29, A heat wave and a
drought gauged a multibillion-dollar hole into Europe's economy,
crippling shipping, shriveling crops and driving up the cost of
2003 Sep 6, The European Union
said it will declare all wings of the militant Palestinian group
Hamas a terrorist organization and freeze its assets after dozens of
deadly attacks in Israel.
2003 Sep 9, The European
Union's high court ruled that Italy and other EU governments can
temporarily ban genetically modified foods while they examine health
risks, but must provide "detailed grounds," not general fears, to do
2003 Sep 27, Europe's first
mission to the moon blasted off aboard a European Ariane rocket from
French Guiana. The SMART-1 probe made it to within 3,100 miles of
the moon on Nov 15, 2004, and proceeded to move into an elliptical
orbit. The spacecraft ended its mission Sep 3, 2006, when it crashed
into the lunar surface.
(AP, 9/28/03)(SFC, 11/17/04, p.A3)(SSFC, 9/3/06,
2003 Oct 17, The EU pushed
ahead with efforts to build its own defense arm but sought to ease
U.S. concerns by insisting the plan would neither duplicate nor
2003 Oct 21, A top European
Union official defended the bloc's $233 million contribution for
Iraqi reconstruction and said that more could be forthcoming next
2003 Nov 3, The EU condemned
lingering anti-Jewish bias it said was reflected in a new survey,
which found that many Europeans see Israel as a threat to world
2003 Nov 24, British PM Tony
Blair and French President Jacques Chirac confronted the sensitive
issue of European defense and in a show of unity announced plans for
a small rapid-reaction force of EU peacekeepers.
2003 Nov, Wim Duisenberg,
president of the European Central Bank, retired and presented a bell
to his successor Jean-Claude Trichet for keeping order during
(WSJ, 12/2/03, p.A16)
2003 Dec 13, EU efforts to seal
its first-ever constitution collapsed, after leaders in Brussels
could not agree on the best way to divvy power once the bloc adds 10
new members next year.
2003 Dec 19, Fisheries
ministers of the 15 European Union nations reached a compromise deal
to protect dwindling stocks of cod, hake and other species.
2003 The European Union's
anti-fraud office, OLAF, alerted French prosecutors to a "vast
enterprise of Looting" at Eurostat, the commission’s statistical
(Econ, 7/26/03, p.51)
2004 Jan 5, A letter bomb
addressed to a senior member of the European Parliament burst into
flames. Italian anarchists were suspected in the 7 mail attacks
since Dec 27.
(AP, 1/5/04)(SFC, 1/6/04, p.A10)
2004 Jan 13, The European
Commission proposed an initiative aimed at creating a single market
for services within the European Union (EU), similar to the single
market for goods act of 1986. It came to be known as
Bolkestein Directive after the Dutch Commissioner Frits Bolkestein
(b.1933), who launched it. Trade unions opposed it. On 16 February
2006, the European Parliament in plenary session in Strasbourg voted
in favor of a compromise proposal that went a long way towards
meeting the trade union demands
2004 Apr 24, Greek Cypriots
overwhelmingly rejected a UN plan, the Annan Plan, to reunite
Cyprus. The European Union pledged to start searching for ways to
extend a hand of friendship to the island's long-ostracized Turkish
side. It meant that only the Greek side of Cyprus would join the
European Union on May 1.
(AP, 4/25/04)(WSJ, 4/26/04, p.A13)(Econ, 5/1/04,
2004 Apr 27, Russian Foreign
Minister Sergey Lavrov and EU officials signed an accord extending
the EU-Russia partnership accord to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania,
Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Cyprus and
Malta, which join May 1.
2004 May 1, Revelers across
ex-communist eastern Europe celebrated their historic entry to the
European Union. 10 new members joined. Malta joined with 70
exemptions to EU rules. Poland had 43 exemptions. Latvia had 32.
(AP, 5/1/04)(Econ, 2/28/04, p.50)
2004 May 19, The European Union
lifted its 6-year-old ban on biotech products by approving imports
of an insect-resistant strain of sweet corn for human consumption.
2004 May 21, The European Union
confirmed its backing for Russia to join the World Trade
Organization, and Russian President Vladimir Putin said Moscow in
turn would speed up ratification of the troubled Kyoto accord on
2004 May, The EU and the USA
reached a deal regarding US security interests and the transfer of
passenger data from European airlines. The deal was challenged by
civil liberty groups. In 2006 a court upheld that the agreement
lacked an adequate legal basis.
(Econ, 6/3/06, p.47)
2004 Jun 10, Europeans began
casting ballots across 25 member nations of the expanded European
Union for a new European Parliament.
(Econ, 6/19/04, p.49)
2004 Jun 13, EU balloting,
begun June 10, ended. Some 150 million Europeans cast ballots across
25 member nations of the expanded European Union. Turnout was 45.3
(AP, 6/14/04)(Econ, 6/19/04, p.49)
2004 Jun 18, European Union
leaders sealed a hard-fought deal on a new constitution. It needs
approval by all 25 member states before it can take effect, expected
2004 Jun 21, Local and
international police officials warned that Europe is awash in
counterfeit euro bills of excellent quality.
2004 Jun 28, The European Union
denied China's request to be officially recognized as a market
economy, saying that an assessment of the Chinese economy showed too
much state interference and poor corporate governance.
2004 Jul 20, EU lawmakers
elected a pro-European from Spain to be its next president as the
expanded European Parliament met for the first time. The 732-member
assembly chose Josep Borrell, a relatively unknown Spanish
Socialist, to its top job.
2004 Sep 10, European finance
ministers chose Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker to represent the
group of 12 European Union countries that share the euro currency.
2004 Sep 22, The European
Commission approved a multi-billion pound bailout of the nuclear
group British Energy, after securing guarantees that the company
would not breach EU competition rules.
2004 Sep 22, The European Union
agreed in principle to lift an arms embargo on Libya after pressure
2004 Oct 6, The EU recommended
Turkey be put on the path to full membership.
2004 Oct 11, The European Union
ended 11 years of sanctions against Libya and eased an arms embargo
to reward the North African country for giving up plans to develop
weapons of mass destruction.
2004 Oct 20, The EU revamped
its trade rules. Nations with more than 15% of European market share
of any goods were set to lose their discounted tariffs. China and
India were expected to be the main losers.
(WSJ, 10/20/04, p.A15)
2004 Oct 22, The EU said its
member states will contribute $125 million to an African Union (AU)
force in Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
2004 Oct 29, European leaders
signed the EU's first constitution.
2004 Nov 5, The DJ rose 72 to
10,387. The euro reached a new high of 1.2962 to the dollar. The US
dollar fell to an all-time low against the euro as EU political
leaders signaled they have no unified plan to stem the rise in their
(SFC, 11/5/04, p.C1)(AP, 11/5/04)
2004 Nov 17, The EU will
consider giving Greece until the end of 2006 to cut its budget
deficit below 3 percent of gross domestic product.
2004 Nov, Manuel Durao Barroso,
former PM of Portugal, took over as head of the European Commission.
(Econ, 2/19/05, p.52)
2004 Dec 2, The European Union
began its biggest-ever military operation, formally taking over
NATO's peacekeeping mission in Bosnia with 7,000 troops.
2004 Dec 8, The European Union
and China agreed to boost relations, but the EU made clear there can
be no early lifting of its 15-year-old arms embargo until Beijing
improves its human rights record.
2004 Dec 17, European Union
leaders and Turkey agreed on a compromise formula to overcome
differences over Turkish recognition of Cyprus' government as a
condition for opening EU membership talks.
2004 Dec 22, A European Union
court ruled that Microsoft Corp. must immediately divulge some trade
secrets to competitors and produce a version of its flagship Windows
operating system stripped of the program that plays music and video.
2004 T.R. Reid authored “The
United States of Europe: The new Superpower and the End of American
(WSJ, 11/2/04, p.D6)
2004 The European Union
launched its European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) after the
enlargement of the EU with 10 new member countries, in order to
avoid creating new borders in Europe.
2004 Frontex, a Warsaw-based
agency, was created to manage the EU’s external borders. The agency
started to be operational on October 3, 2005 and was the first EU
agency to be based in one of the new EU states.
2005 Jan 1, Europe’s 7,000
listed companies adopted int’l. financial reporting standards
(IFRS), replacing the mishmash of 25 local accounting regimes with
one set of rules. Over 90 countries began switching to a new int’l.
(WSJ, 12/9/04, p.C1)(Econ, 6/18/05, p.73)
2005 Jan 11, The EU and the US
agreed to settle their dispute over subsidies to Airbus SA and
Boeing Co. through bilateral talks rather than asking the WTO to
2005 Jan 12, The European
Parliament gave its overwhelming endorsement to the European Union's
first-ever constitution and urged EU governments to quickly follow
2005 Jan 13, The European-built
space probe Huygens entered the atmosphere of Saturn's largest moon,
2005 Jan 31, EU foreign
ministers agreed to restore normal diplomatic relations with the
Cuban government while pledging to increase contacts with critics of
Pres. Fidel Castro.
2005 Jan, The EU Emissions
Trading Scheme (ETS), a market for carbon emission permits, was
(Econ, 5/6/06, p.75)
2005 Feb 2, The EU told Italy,
France and Germany, to do more to bring their budgets in balance as
required by the rules of Europe's single currency.
2005 Feb 7, The EU head office
called for closer coordination among all member governments to hunt
down and prosecute those illegally spreading unsolicited e-mails, or
spam, across the 25-nation bloc.
2005 Feb 17, EU finance
ministers warned Greece to get its finances in order by the end of
2006 and bring its annual budget deficit in line with EU spending
rules or face hefty fines.
2005 Feb 21, In Brussels
President Bush appealed to Europe to move beyond animosities over
Iraq and join forces in encouraging democratic reforms across the
Middle East. He also prodded Russia to reverse a crackdown on
political dissent, demanded that Iran end its nuclear ambitions and
told Syria to get out of Lebanon.
(AP, 2/21/05)(SFC, 2/22/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 22, The EU intends to
end its ban on arms sales to China, French Pres. Jacques Chirac said
after talks with Pres. Bush, who highlighted Washington's security
2005 Apr 6, The European
Commission proposed a major boost in EU spending in the 2007-2013
period to create jobs, spur growth and fund programs to make the
25-nation European Union safer and healthier for its 455 million
2005 Apr 6, Under pressure to
stem a rising tide of textile imports from China, the European
Union's executive unveiled guidelines for imposing curbs on a
country which already has 20 percent of a $400 billion market.
2005 Apr 8, The EU’s executive
commission said it had recommended guidelines to member states to
boost the market for low-cost, high-speed Internet access delivered
over electricity power supply lines.
2005 Apr 13, The European
Parliament approved the entry of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU in
2007, but it said both countries still need to carry out necessary
2005 Apr 25, EU trade ministers
backed a full investigation into allegations that cheap textiles and
clothing from China were flooding the EU market, but disagreed on
imposing fast action to block imports.
2005 Apr, The Council of
Europe, Europe's top human rights body, rejected euthanasia as a
legitimate means to end life.
2005 May 10, Russian Pres.
Vladimir Putin and top European Union leaders unveiled a new
partnership accord which aims in particular to deepen ties in the
economic sphere, where Europe's thirst for energy dovetails with
Russia's need for investment.
2005 May 11, The European Union
parliament voted to abolish loopholes that give member states,
especially Britain, a way around the bloc's 48-hour maximum
2005 May 11, Austria's
parliament overwhelmingly ratified the European Union's
constitution, the seventh nation to do so.
2005 May 24, The EU announced
that its members would double their aid to poor countries by 2015.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.77)
2005 May 27, The EU
constitution cleared its final legislative hurdle in Germany, two
days before French voters have their say on the document. The Prum
Treaty was signed by Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg,
Netherlands, Austria and Belgium (Italy has since said it wants to
join too). It covers a series of justice and home affairs issues
including the "exchange of information" (in effect, the "principle
2005 May 29, French voters
rejected the EU's first constitution, dealing a potentially fatal
blow to the charter. In 2007 it was repackaged as the Lisbon treaty.
(AP, 5/30/05)(Econ, 10/10/09,
2005 May, Italy reported that
it had fallen back into recession for the 1st quarter of 2005.
(Econ, 5/21/05, p.13)
2005 May, In Portugal an audit
estimated that the nation’s deficit could reach 7% of GDP this year,
well over the 1999 EU limit of 3%.
(Econ, 5/28/05, p.53)
2005 Jun 1, Dutch voters
worried about social benefits and immigration overwhelmingly
rejected the European Union constitution in what could be a knockout
blow for a charter meant to create a power rivaling the United
States. Slow economic growth in the Netherlands was seen as a key
reason for the massive rejection of the EU constitution
2005 Jun 2, Latvian lawmakers
voted to ratify the European Union constitution and challenged other
European nations not to give up hope that the charter can be
2005 Jun 5, A narrow majority
of Swiss voters approved joining a European Union passport-free
zone, abolishing checks on the country's border by 2007, according
to final results from a two-issue national referendum.
2005 Jun 7, The EU head office
said that Italy broke the bloc's budget rules with excessive
deficits in 2003 and 2004 and is likely to breach the limit again
this year and in 2006.
2005 Jul 1, An EU directive
took effect banning lead, mercury, cadmium, hexavalent chromium, and
2 types of brominated flame retardants. Some exceptions were
(SSFC, 2/27/05, p.E1)
2005 Jun 15,The EU commission
slapped a 40 million pound fine on pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca
for illegally pushing rivals of a stomach ulcer medicine out of the
2005 Jun 18, EU leaders blamed
each other after a summit collapsed without any real agreement on
what lies ahead for the half-century project of uniting the
continent. But they agreed Europe is in a crisis.
2005 Jun 20, European Union
agriculture ministers agreed to share out an annual 12.7
billion-euro ($15.51 billion) package to support rural development.
2005 Jun 22, The European
Commission unveiled proposals for a radical overhaul on EU sugar
(Econ, 6/25/05, p.73)
2005 Jun 22, The European
Union's head office told Portugal to cut its burgeoning budget
deficit and public debt, saying the country's economic slowdown was
no excuse for violating euro-zone rules on sound finances.
2005 Jun 29, The EU gave Italy
until the end of 2007 to cut its budget deficit in line with
euro-zone rules, a warning that is powerless as it carries no
2005 Jun 30, The EU and China
plunged into a 2nd trade row, this time over shoes, but Brussels
said a deal was still possible over Beijing's surging footwear
2005 Jul 7, Luxembourg PM
Jean-Claude Juncker asked his citizens to pass a referendum in favor
of the EU Constitution.
(WSJ, 7/8/05, p.A5)
2005 Jul 18, The EU said it
will allow member countries to adopt different approaches in
patenting biotech drug innovations.
(WSJ, 7/19/05, p.A12)
2005 Aug 8, The EU head office
gave its clearance for the import of a genetically modified corn
product made by American biotechnology company Monsanto Co. for use
in animal feed.
2005 Sep 1, The European
Commission proposed new rules for the 25 European Union nations to
establish common standards on immigration and asylum.
2005 Sep 1, Turkey insisted
that it has fulfilled conditions for EU membership, as foreign
ministers of the 25-nation group started meeting in Wales to assess
the predominantly Muslim nation's efforts to join the bloc.
2005 Sep 2, EU governments said
Europe will dip into its emergency stocks of gasoline to help the US
through an energy crisis due to Hurricane Katrina.
2005 Sep 4, European Union and
NATO said the US has asked for emergency assistance, requesting
blankets, first aid kits, water trucks and food for the victims of
2005 Sep 5, China and the EU
reached an agreement to unblock some 77 million garments held up at
European borders after Chinese textile imports broke through 2005
2005 Sep 7, European Union
governments backed a deal to unblock Chinese textiles held at EU
borders, ending a trade dispute that saw some 77 million garments
pile up after imports broke through 2005 limits.
2005 Sep 21, EU nations agreed
that Turkey must recognize EU member Cyprus during its membership
talks, warning that non-recognition could lead to paralysis in the
2005 Sep 30, The EU insisted
that governments and the private sector must share the
responsibility of overseeing the Internet, setting the stage for a
showdown with the United States on the future of Internet
2005 Oct 3, EU nations reached
a tentative agreement on pursuing full membership talks with Turkey,
diplomats said. A spokesman for the Turkish prime minister denied
reports that Ankara had agreed to the deal.
2005 Oct 3, The EU imposed an
arms embargo on Uzbekistan, cut aid, and suspended a cooperation
accord to punish the increasingly isolated country for refusing to
investigate the violent suppression of an uprising in May.
2005 Oct 4, In London Russia’s
Pres. Putin met with EU leaders for talks on expanding cooperation
in the fight against crime, including terrorism, and strengthening
2005 Oct 4, Croatia began
delayed EU membership talks, after UN chief war crimes prosecutor
Carla del Ponte endorsed Zagreb's cooperation with her court.
2005 Oct 12, The European
Commission said companies that want to sell music online in the
European Union can now get a single license to operate in all 25
2005 Oct 12, The EU agreed to
legally require telecommunications companies to keep records of
phone and e-mail traffic for up to one year as part of the bloc's
2005 Oct 12, The European
Commission presented a new development aid strategy focused
primarily on easing poverty in Africa and on holding EU member
states to their promises to double aid to the continent.
2005 Oct 13, The EU said the
bird flu virus found in Turkish poultry was the H5N1 strain that
scientists worry might mutate into a human virus and spark a
pandemic. Turkey's health minister said the outbreak had been
2005 Oct 17, The European Union
unblocked $87 million in development aid for Haiti, ending a freeze
imposed almost five years ago because of allegedly flawed elections
in the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation.
2005 Oct 21, The European
Commission agreed to open talks with Bosnia on a cooperation
agreement that could lead to full EU membership for the Balkan
2005 Oct 25, The EU's highest
court finally settled the fate of feta cheese, decreeing it a
traditional Greek product deserving protection throughout the
25-nation bloc in a ruling that went against other European
2005 Oct 26, The EU said the
dangerous H5N1 strain of bird flu has been found in Croatia.
Authorities said a 2nd parrot that died in quarantine in Britain was
also infected with the virus.
2005 Oct 28, The EU offered to
reduce average agricultural tariffs by 46 percent, its steepest ever
farm tariff cuts, in a proposal aimed at breaking a deadlock in
world trade talks.
2005 Nov 3, European Union
officials said they would investigate a report that the CIA set up
secret jails in Eastern Europe to interrogate top al-Qaida suspects.
The international Red Cross also said it asked the US to let a
representative visit detainees if such a facility exists. At least
10 nations denied that the prisons were in their territory. Human
Rights Watch in New York said it has evidence indicating the CIA
transported suspected terrorists captured in Afghanistan to Poland
2005 Nov 7, The EU agreed to
monitor a Gaza-Egypt border crossing that serves as the main gate to
the world for Palestinians.
2005 Nov 7, EU foreign
ministers agreed to launch a three-year police training mission to
help the Palestinian Authority build up a new "sustainable and
effective" police force.
2005 Nov 8, The EU said Morocco
will join its Galileo satellite navigation program, becoming the
first African nation to participate in the project that aims to
rival the US' GPS system.
2005 Nov 9, Europe's first
mission to Venus was successfully launched from the Baikonur
cosmodrome in Kazakhstan and emitted a first signal at the start of
its 163-day journey to the turbulent planet.
2005 Nov 14, EU Council
decision Nr. 2005/815/EB officially gave Vilnius, Lithuania, and
Linz, Austria, status as a European Capital of Culture for the year
2005 Nov 21, EU defense
ministers adopted a plan to open up their $35 billion arms industry
to increased cross-border competition within the 25-nation bloc, a
landmark move designed to cut costs for tight military budgets.
2005 Nov 21, EU foreign
ministers authorized the start of negotiations on an agreement to
prepare Bosnia for EU membership a decade after the Balkan nation
was ravaged by Europe's worst fighting since World War II.
2005 Nov 25, EU Enlargement
Commissioner Olli Rehn officially opened landmark negotiations on
closer ties between Bosnia and the 25-member European Union.
2005 Nov 25, Slovakia joined
the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM) as a first step towards
adopting the European Union's common euro currency.
2005 Nov 28, EU Justice and
Home Affairs Commissioner Franco Frattini warned that that any of
the 25 bloc nations found to have operated secret CIA prisons could
have their EU voting rights suspended.
2005 Nov 28, The European Union
managed to get Israel and its Arab neighbors to endorse an
anti-terrorism code of conduct at the end of a fractious two-day
2005 Dec 7, The EU and host
Canada piled pressure on the US to join an international pact to
curb greenhouse gas emissions and limit the predicted chaos from
2005 Dec 7, European businesses
rushed to sign up for the new ".eu" Internet domain name, putting in
100,000 Web site applications by the end of its first day available.
2005 Dec 15, European and US
officials said the EU has formally protested to Russia about its
sale of sophisticated missiles to Iran, saying the diplomatic row
reflected disarray on how to pressure Tehran to scale back its
suspect nuclear program.
2005 Dec 15-2005 Dec 16, Tony
Blair’s EU presidency culminated in the summit in Brussels.
(Econ, 12/10/05, p.13)
2005 Dec 17, EU leaders agreed
on a 7-year spending plan for the 25-nation bloc, a hard-won deal
seen as key to shaping the future of an enlarged EU and to restoring
faith in its unity.
2005 Dec 17, Macedonia moved a
step closer to realizing its dream of EU membership when the bloc's
leaders gave their blessing for it to start membership talks.
2005 Dec 22, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) ordered Turkey to put in place within three
months an effective reparations mechanism for Greek Cypriots who
were stripped of their possessions in the 1970s.
2005 Dec 26, The EU announced a
166 million euros ($196.9 million) aid package for 10 African
countries. The aid will go to Sudan, the Democratic Republic of
Congo, Burundi, Chad, Tanzania, Uganda, Liberia, the Ivory Coast,
Madagascar and Comoros.
2005 Dec 28, The EU launched
the first satellite in its Galileo navigation program, which
officials expect one day will end the continent's reliance on the US
Global Positioning System.
2005 Dec 29, France reported a
second death from freezing temperatures as blizzards swept through
northern and central Europe, forcing flight cancellations at Prague
airport and cutting power lines and rail links in Scandinavia.
2005 Dec 30, Europe's second
snowstorm this week piled drifts on tracks and roads, slowing rail
service, stranding motorists and causing hundreds of traffic
accidents. At least four deaths were attributed to a week of icy
2005 Mark Leonard authored “Why
Europe Will Run the 21st Century."
(Econ, 2/26/05, p.83)
2006 Jan 10, European airlines
lost a legal bid that aimed to strike down new EU rules guaranteeing
passengers compensation for flight delays or cancellations.
2006 Jan 12, EU governments
refused to ascribe market-economy status to 13 Chinese shoemakers,
opening the way for duties to be imposed on their imports to Europe.
2006 Jan 18, The European
Parliament rejected plans to liberalize port services across the
European Union that had sparked mass strikes by dock workers and a
violent protest in front of the EU legislature in France.
2006 Jan 28, A 2-day European
conference on the future of the EU ended in Salzburg, Austria.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said that Europe
must face globalization head-on and not shy away from the issue.
2006 Jan 30, European Union
foreign ministers called on Hamas to recognize the state of Israel,
renounce violence and disarm.
2006 Feb 16, Serbia rejected
European Union's guidelines for an independence vote in Montenegro,
increasing tensions within the troubled Balkan state.
2006 Feb 24, The EU opened an
in-depth antitrust probe into mining company Inco Ltd.'s $11 billion
planned purchase of Falconbridge Ltd., a deal that would create the
world's largest nickel producer.
2006 Feb 27, EU foreign
ministers threatened to freeze talks with Serbia on its membership
bid, setting a March deadline for Belgrade to hand over war crimes
fugitive Ratko Mladic.
2006 Feb 27, The EU agreed to
grant $145 million in urgent aid to the Palestinians before a
government led by the Islamic militant group Hamas takes power, a
move aimed at preventing a financial collapse that could add to the
chaos in the Middle East.
2006 Mar 2, The European
Central Bank raised its key interest rate by a quarter percentage
point to 2.5 percent amid worries about inflation.
2006 Mar 3, In Austria talks
between EU negotiators and Iran over its nuclear ambitions broke up
without any agreement, paving the way for potential UN Security
Council action against Tehran as early as next week.
2006 Mar 3, An EU executive
said Sweden's first case of mad cow disease has been confirmed by
the European Union's central laboratory.
2006 Mar 10, The EU threatened
legal action against member states that create biotech-free growing
zones in their countries, warning that doing so would violate EU
2006 Mar 10, The EU threatened
to cut off aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government "unless it
seeks peace by peaceful means," its strongest signal to the new
2006 Mar 10, The EU and the US
signed a new wine deal that allows the US to export wines made using
practices many European vintners shun. The bilateral accord resolved
most elements of a 2-decade-long dispute over wine making methods
(SFC, 3/11/06, p.C1)(WSJ, 3/11/06, p.A4)
2006 Mar 14, EU trade chief
Peter Mandelson told China to remove barriers on imports of European
goods if it wants to be recognized as a market economy by the
2006 Mar 21, The EU said it
would pay for half of a 16 million euro ($19 million) international
promotion campaign to sell European-produced foods such as fruits,
cheese and wine in 11 countries, including the United States, China,
Japan and Canada.
2006 Mar 22, The EU approved a
first-ever joint blacklist of nearly 100 mostly African airlines
considered to be unsafe, in a move spurred by a spate of fatal
crashes last year. The list, effective March 25, bans 92 airlines
from plying EU skies all together and puts restrictions on another
three from flying certain types of airplanes into the 25-nation
2006 Mar 31, The EU gave Serbia
an extra month to hand over genocide suspect Ratko Mladic or face
suspension of its talks on closer EU ties, after being reassured of
progress in the manhunt.
2006 Apr 7, The EU said it has
cut off direct aid payments to the Hamas-led Palestinian government
because of its refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel.
2006 Apr 10, The EU barred
Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and dozens of his senior
officials from entering any bloc countries to protest his
re-election last month in a vote that international observers said
2006 Apr 10, EU foreign
ministers endorsed a freeze of aid to the Palestinian government but
said they would seek alternative ways of providing money for
2006 Apr 11, A European
spacecraft went into orbit around Venus on a mission to explore the
mysterious atmosphere of Earth's nearest planetary neighbor.
2006 Apr 26, EU Parliament
investigators said the CIA has conducted more than 1,000 undeclared
flights over European territory since 2001, a clear violation of an
2006 May 3, The European Union
suspended aid and trade talks with Serbia after Belgrade failed to
deliver fugitive Gen. Ratko Mladic to the U.N. war crimes tribunal.
2006 May 3, The European
Commission fined 7 companies a total of $489.8 (388.1 euros) for
running a cartel in bleaching chemicals.
(WSJ, 5/4/06, p.A2)
2006 May 5, The European
Commission said safety belts will have to be used in all seats on
tour buses and vans across the European Union.
2006 May 11, The EU and Latin
America opened a three-day summit in Vienna with over 60 national
leaders attending, including Venezuela's fiery, often
anti-Washington President Hugo Chavez. Bolivian President Evo
Morales said that foreign oil companies would not be compensated for
oil and gas resources that have been nationalized, and European
Union president Austria called for explanations.
2006 May 15, A top official
said the EU will support an Iranian nuclear program that cannot be
put to military use and will boost political and economic
cooperation if Tehran accepts international oversight.
2006 May 22, The NYSE under
John Thain made a $10.2 billion cash and stock bid for Euronext NV,
a European exchange operator, in an attempt to become the world’s
first transatlantic stock trading center. Euronext had formed
earlier as a combination of the Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels
(SFC, 5/23/06, p.C3)(Econ, 5/27/06, p.66)
2006 May 25, Russian President
Vladimir Putin and EU leaders met for a summit focused on EU
concerns about Russia's reliability as a key energy supplier.
2006 May 27, The EU agreed to
give itself another year to sort out the impasse over its troubled
constitution and build confidence in the bloc's plans for further
2006 Jun 8, The European
Central Bank (ECB) meeting in Madrid raised its key interest rate by
a quarter point to 2.75% amid worries that high oil prices would
spur inflation. Stock markets in Asia tumbled to their lowest levels
in months and European shares also declined amid anxiety that
possible US interest rates hikes will slow global growth.
(SFC, 6/9/06, p.D3)(AP, 6/8/06)(Econ, 6/10/06,
2006 Jun 12, EU foreign
ministers reached agreement with Cyprus on a formula to enable
Turkey to take its first step in detailed accession talks with the
2006 Jun 16, EU leaders gave
Slovenia a green light to join the eurozone next year, launching a
new wave of expansion for the currently 12-nation single currency
club. EU leaders also gave their backing to the assessment of the
EU's executive arm that Lithuania would not be ready to join the
eurozone next year because inflation had overshot the limit required
2006 Jun 16, EU leaders agreed
to channel aid to cash-starved Palestinians for health care,
utilities and social services while still maintaining a funding
freeze on the Hamas-led government.
2006 Jun 26, The EU urged all
nations to sign a global convention against torture, calling the
practice "cruel, inhuman and degrading" not only to victims but to
those who inflict such treatment on people.
2006 Jun 29, Trade ministers
struggled for a breakthrough in deadlocked global free trade talks
as the US and EU accused each other of failing to come up with the
2006 Jul 6, The European
Central Bank held its key interest rate steady at 2.75% as was
widely anticipated but pledged to exercise "strong vigilance" on
2006 Jul 11, EU finance
ministers made Slovenia the 13th member of the euro zone. This gave
Slovenia 5 months to print and mint euro notes to replace the tolar
on January 1.
(WSJ, 7/12/06, p.A10)
2006 Jul 12, The EU fined
Microsoft Corp. $357 million and threatened new penalties of $3.82
million a day beginning July 31 because it says the software maker
failed to obey a 2004 antitrust order to share program code with
2006 Jul 12, The EU joined the
US in warning Iran it faced UN Security Council action if no
solution could be found to a stand-off over its nuclear program.
World powers agreed to send Iran back to the UN Security Council for
possible punishment, saying the clerical regime has given no sign it
means to negotiate seriously over its disputed nuclear program.
2006 Jul 13, The EU criticized
Israel for using "disproportionate" force in its attacks on Lebanon
following the cross-border raid by Hezbollah guerillas who captured
2 Israeli soldiers.
2006 Jul 24, WTO members in
Geneva called a halt to more than five years of commerce
liberalization talks (the Doha talks) as differences over farm aid
proved unbridgeable. The 25-nation EU criticized US intransigence
over agricultural subsidies for the breakdown, while the US blamed
Brazil and India for being inflexible on cutting barriers to
industrial imports and the EU for refusing to make deeper cuts in
its farm import tariffs.
2006 Jul, Mauritania netted
$700 million from the EU for fishing rights over 6 years.
(WSJ, 1/18/07, p.A13)
2006 Aug 3, A pair of European
central banks raised interest rates, increasing expectations on Wall
Street that the Federal Reserve would follow suit next week. The
European Central Bank hiked rates .25% to 3%, with a similar hike by
the Bank of England to 4.75%.
2006 Sep 3, The SMART-1
spacecraft, Europe's first moon probe launched Sep 27, 2003, signed
off its mission on schedule by crashing into the lunar surface,
completing a project scientists hope will tell them more about the
(Reuters, 9/3/06)(SSFC, 9/3/06, p.A5)
2006 Sep 13, The EU's foreign
policy chief and Iran's top nuclear negotiator abruptly postponed
talks on easing tensions over the refusal of the Tehran regime to
suspend uranium enrichment.
2006 Sep 15, The US joined with
the EU and Canada charging that China has erected illegal barriers
to the sale of U.S. and other foreign-made auto parts there.
2006 Sep 20, EU regulators
fined 30 companies a total of $399.1 million for fixing prices for
(WSJ, 9/21/06, p.A8)
2006 Sep 26, The European
Commission recommended that Bulgaria and Romania join the EU next
year, but under some of the harshest terms ever faced by new
2006 Sep 27, EU air safety
officials backed tightened rules on the amount of liquids and size
of carry-on baggage passengers can bring onto commercial flights.
2006 Oct 5, The European
Central Bank, sticking to its tough line on inflation, raised its
key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.25% and
hinted that another rate increase is in the offing before next year.
2006 Oct 5, EU ministers
endorsed a plan to make permanent joint patrols that pick up
migrants on the high seas, moving to end internal divisions over
dealing with a surge of illegal immigration from Africa.
2006 Oct 5, US-based Human
Rights Watch (HRW) said the EU's decision to abandon a trade pact
with the reclusive Central Asian state of Turkmenistan was a
"landmark move against tyranny."
2006 Oct 6, US and European
negotiators reached an interim deal on sharing trans-Atlantic air
passenger data for anti-terrorism investigations.
2006 Oct 13, The EU condemned a
French bill making it a crime to deny that the World War I-era
killing of Armenians in Turkey was genocide, calling it unhelpful at
a critical stage in the Muslim country's EU entry talks.
2006 Oct 13, EU and Indian
leaders agreed to boost cooperation in fighting terrorism,
particularly by focusing on improving the flow of intelligence.
2006 Oct 17, The EU said it
felt obliged to back limited sanctions against Iran's nuclear
program after Tehran refused to halt uranium enrichment as a
condition to start negotiations.
2006 Oct 20, In Lahti, Finland,
25 EU leaders held a one-day summit on energy. Russian President
Vladimir Putin defended his government's tough stance on Georgia and
dodged EU leaders' demands that he commit to a legally binding
energy charter that would guarantee better access to Russia's oil
and gas fields.
2006 Oct 24, Britain said
Bulgarians and Romanians will have only limited rights to work in
Britain for at least a year after their countries join the European
Union on January 1.
2006 Oct 25, In Finland the US
and the EU ended a 2-day meeting on cleaner energy. They agreed on
tighter cooperation on renewable energy and other environmental
policies despite splits over the UN’s Kyoto Protocol on global
(WSJ, 10/26/06, p.A6)
2006 Oct 26, Belarusian
opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich was awarded the Sakharov
Prize by the EU Parliament for his fight for democracy in the former
2006 Oct 26, Europe's six
largest countries agreed on ways to pre-empt terrorist attacks
through sharing intelligence about threats and driving extremists
from the Internet. The six states also signaled increased
cooperation in stopping criminal gangs from defrauding the EU of
billions of euros a year in tax revenue, amid fears terrorists might
(AFP, 10/26/06)(AP, 10/26/06)
2006 Nov 8, The European
Commission set Turkey a mid-December deadline to open its ports to
shipping from Cyprus or face consequences for its troubled EU
2006 Nov 21, The UN Security
Council voted to extend the EU peacekeeping force in Bosnia for a
year, welcoming "tangible signs" of the Balkan nation's progress
toward EU membership.
2006 Nov 22, The European
Commission said Russia had told the 25-nation bloc it intends to ban
all animal product exports from the EU starting next year because
Moscow claimed new members Bulgaria and Romania had poor animal
2006 Dec 3, Andris Piebalgs,
the EU Energy Commissioner from Latvia, signed an accord on nuclear
cooperation with Kazakhstan. The EU hoped to increase Kazakhstan
uranium sales to the EU from 3% to 20%.
(WSJ, 12/4/06, p.A6)
2006 Dec 5, The EU presidency
backed a proposal to partially suspend EU membership talks with
Turkey because of Ankara's refusal to open up to trade with Cyprus.
2006 Dec 7, Turkey offered to
open a major seaport and an airport to longtime foe Cyprus to try to
keep its EU entry talks on track. The EU called the step positive
2006 Dec 11, European Union
foreign ministers decided to suspend 8 out of 35 parts of
entry talks with Turkey over Ankara's refusal to open its ports to
trade with EU member Cyprus.
(AP, 12/11/06)(Econ, 12/16/06, p.53)
2006 Dec 15, The US and the EU
stepped up calls for Sudan to let international troops in to support
African Union forces in Darfur amid growing talk of sanctions on
2006 The European Commission
issued a services directive to cut red tape and make it easier for
firms to establish operations abroad. The scope was limited and
(Econ, 7/16/16, p.44)
2006 The European Court of
Human Rights overturned a Russian ban on the Salvation Army’s
(Econ, 2/2/13, p.73)
2007 Jan 1, Bulgaria and
Romania joined the EU. Some 30,000 Israelis gained EU citizenship
due to their dual registration in Romania.
(WSJ, 10/4/07, p.A11)(AP, 1/1/07)
2007 Jan 1, Slovenia adopted
the euro, becoming the 13th EU nation to use the single European
currency. The transition to the euro included a 14-day period for
dual use of the euro and Slovene tolar.
(WSJ, 12/30/07, p.A4)(AP, 1/1/07)
2007 Jan 16, The European
Parliament elected German conservative Hans-Gert Poettering as
president of the chamber to replace outgoing Spanish Socialist Josep
2007 Jan 19, Europeans labored
to restore services across the continent after hurricane-force winds
toppled trees, brought down power lines and damaged buildings,
killing at least 47 people and disrupting travel for tens of
(AP, 1/19/07)(SFC, 1/20/07, p.A3)
2007 Jan 19, The EU said it has
donated an additional 3.95 million euros ($5 million) to support the
implementation of the Nigeria-Cameroon boundary demarcation project.
2007 Jan 22, The EU threatened
Sudan with sanctions if it refused to allow UN peacekeepers into
war-torn Darfur, but rights groups and analysts said the warning was
not enough to stop the killings.
2007 Jan 23, A special
committee of the European Parliament approved a report alleging EU
nations including Britain, Poland, Germany and Italy were aware of
secret CIA flights over Europe and the abduction of terror suspects
by US agents into clandestine detention centers.
2007 Feb 7, Michel Niaucel, a
French diplomat with the European Union in Ivory Coast, was shot to
death in his home overnight. Niaucel was in charge of West Africa
security operations for the EU.
2007 Feb 12, EU foreign
ministers approved plans for implementing UN sanctions against Iran,
a move that is meant to punish Tehran over its refusal to halt
2007 Feb 14, The European
Parliament approved a controversial report accusing Britain,
Germany, Italy and other European nations of turning a blind eye to
CIA flights transporting terrorism suspects to secret prisons in an
apparent breach of EU human rights standards.
2007 Feb 19, The EU extended
sanctions on Zimbabwe for another year including an arms embargo,
travel ban and asset freeze on President Robert Mugabe and other top
2007 Feb 20, EU ministers
agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 20% below their 1990 level
(SFC, 2/21/07, p.C5)
2007 Feb 21, Europol said
Police in seven European countries have broken up a network that
carried out more than 200 carefully choreographed armed robberies of
jewelry stores, and channeled $53 million in loot into drugs and
2007 Mar 1, EU officials
launched the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, an effort to stamp
out intolerance in the 27-nation bloc under a crush of immigrants.
(SFC, 3/2/07, p.A14)
2007 Mar 2, Checkpoint Systems
Inc. said it will provide Reno GmbH with RFID (radio frequency
identification) tags and store tagging systems. Reno GmbH plans to
embed wireless chips in shoes sold at hundreds of stores across the
2007 Mar 8, The European
Central Bank raised its key interest rate a quarter percentage point
to 3.75%, a move aimed at keeping growth from moving too quickly.
2007 Mar 9, EU leaders agreed
on a bold set of measures to fight global warming, pledging that a
fifth of the bloc's energy will come from green power sources such
as wind turbines and solar panels by 2020 and that 10% of European
cars will run on biofuels.
(AP, 3/9/07)(Econ, 3/17/07, p.59)
2007 Mar 14, Italy and Russia
said they wanted talks between Moscow and the European Union on a
new strategic partnership agreement to start as soon as possible.
2007 Mar 15, The EU said it
would put pressure on members of the Southeast Asian regional
grouping ASEAN at talks in Germany to urge Myanmar to improve its
human rights record.
2007 Mar 15, The European
Commission and the UN Development Program said Malaysia should
empower its forest-dependent indigenous people to alleviate poverty
and safeguard their environment.
2007 Mar 21, The EU and the UN
eased their diplomatic boycott of the Palestinian government,
holding talks with non-Hamas ministers.
2007 Mar 22, The EU approved an
aviation deal with the US that opens up restricted trans-Atlantic
routes to new rivals, but bowed to British concerns in delaying when
the agreement takes effect. The EU said Boeing has benefited from
$23.7 billion in illegal state aid, hitting back at the US in a
tit-for-tat row at the World Trade Organization (WTO) over plane
(AP, 3/22/07)(Reuters, 3/22/07)
2007 Mar 25, European Union
leaders celebrated half a century of unity by hailing the bloc's
achievements in bolstering peace, democracy and prosperity, then
pledged to end two years of deadlock over plans to radically
overhaul the way the EU does business.
2007 Mar 25, European leaders
called for new international sanctions on Sudan over its treatment
of civilians in Darfur, where the new UN humanitarian chief warned
that humanitarian efforts were at risk of collapse.
2007 Mar 31, EU foreign
ministers backed an Arab peace initiative and agreed to engage with
ministers of the new Palestinian national unity government who are
not members of the Islamist Hamas movement.
2007 Apr 10, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that a British woman left infertile after
being treated for ovarian cancer has no right to frozen embryos
against the wishes of her former fiancé, who provided the sperm.
2007 Apr 13, Five European
countries and the European Commission signed an accord on under
which they will give 5.2 million dollars for administrative reforms
within the Palestinian presidency.
2007 Apr 19, European Union
members agreed to new rules to combat racism and hate crimes across
the 27-nation bloc, including setting jail sentences against those
who deny or trivialize the Holocaust.
2007 May 2, The US and EU
warned Turkey's military to stay out of the country's political
showdown between the Islamic-rooted government and those in the
secular establishment who fear the country will shift toward Islamic
2007 May 3, Russia lashed out
at the EU and NATO for supporting Estonia in its row with Moscow
over the relocation of a Soviet war monument.
2007 May 7, South Korea and the
European Union started free trade talks aimed at linking Asia's
third largest economy to the world's biggest trading bloc.
2007 May 7, A large explosion
in Ukraine knocked out of service one of the main pipelines which
carries Siberian gas through Ukraine to Germany and other EU
clients. Shifting soil led to a break in the pipeline.
(AP, 5/7/07)(AP, 5/8/07)
2007 May 14, EU foreign
ministers gave the green light for a 40-million euro aid package to
the African Union peacekeeping force in the troubled Sudanese
province of Darfur.
2007 May 14, EU foreign
ministers decided to drop a visa ban against four Uzbek officials,
while extending other sanctions against the Central Asian nation
imposed after a crackdown on an uprising in 2005.
2007 May 18, In Russia EU
leaders criticized Russia's human rights record, and were faulted in
return, at the end of a summit that produced no formal agreements
but helped illustrate the widening political chasm between Moscow
and the West.
2007 May 28, Officials said
heavy storms, landslides, flash floods and lightning have killed at
least 23 people in Europe and Turkey.
2007 Jun 21, Leaders of the
EU's 27 nations gathered to discuss a new EU treaty.
2007 Jun 21, The European Court
of Human Rights found the Russian authorities responsible for the
killings of four members of a Chechen family in 2003 and ordered
Moscow to pay a relative $114,000.
2007 Jun 21, Talks in Germany
between the US, EU, India and Brazil to save the World Trade
Organization’s (WTO) Doha round of free trade negotiations
2007 Jun 22, Southeastern
Europe baked under soaring temperatures, with nearly 30 deaths
across the region blamed on the year's first major heat wave.
2007 Jun 23, European Union
leaders agreed on a "precise mandate," no longer called a
constitution, that will guide and govern the expanded EU. They
agreed on the key points of a treaty meant to strengthen the bloc's
foreign policy role and eliminate unwieldy bureaucracy.
(AP, 6/23/07)(WSJ, 6/25/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 28, The European
Commission said all Indonesian airlines and several from Russia,
Ukraine and Angola will be banned from flying to the EU due to
2007 Jul 4, On the historic
occasion of their first summit, the EU and Brazil decided to
establish a comprehensive strategic partnership, based on their
close historical, cultural and economic ties. Brazil and EU leaders
met in Lisbon, Portugal.
2007 Jul 6, EU officials said
they have asked Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to join patrols of
Europe's border control agency in a bid to stop massive clandestine
2007 Jul 9, The EU's top
justice official said EU citizens will be protected by the US
Privacy Act under an anti-terror deal with Washington on the sharing
of trans-Atlantic air passenger data.
2007 Jul 10, Cyprus and Malta
received approval from EU finance ministers to join the euro.
(Econ, 7/14/07, p.57)
2007 Jul 12, France told Serbia
its EU bid depends on letting Kosovo break away.
(WSJ, 1/13/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 20, A heat wave
sweeping central and southeastern Europe killed at least 13 people
this week, with soaring temperatures sparking forest fires, damaging
crops and prompting calls to ban horse-drawn tourist carriages.
2007 Jul 23, The European Union
took the first step towards sending forces to Chad and the Central
African Republican to help the United Nations protect refugees
trapped in the violent region bordering Darfur.
2007 Jul 24, Heavy rain and
extreme temperatures continued to batter Europe, with Britain caught
in its worst floods in living memory while the Balkans sizzled in
heatwaves that killed at least 35 people.
2007 Jul 26, The European Court
of Human Rights ordered the Russian government to pay damages of
$196,000 to the family members of 11 Chechen civilians killed by
Russian soldiers in 2000, when security forces rampaged through
Novye Aldi, setting fire to houses and killing at least 50
2007 Jul 30, The European
Commission said it was seeking a court injunction against Polish
plans to build a key continental highway to prevent permanent damage
to the Rospuda Valley, a "unique environmental site."
2007 Aug 6, The European
Commission announced a formal EU-wide import ban on meat and
livestock from the British mainland following the outbreak there of
foot and mouth disease.
2007 Aug 10, The European
Central Bank injected another $83.8 billion into the banking system
amid signs that bad US mortgages were digging deeper into the world
economy. Europe's main stock markets slumped further, with London
and Paris shedding more than 3.0 percent, amid turmoil ignited by
concerns about a weak US housing sector.
2007 Aug 19, Israel opened a
crossing with the Gaza Strip to let in fuel shipments, but tens of
thousands of homes remained without electricity because fuel for a
major Gaza power company hadn't arrived. The EU cut off vital
funding to a Gaza power plant, forcing it to shut down the last of
its generators and darken tens of thousands of Palestinian homes.
Palestinian Information Minister Riad Maliki said the EU ceased
payment "because Hamas took over the electric company and started
collecting the revenues and taking them to its pocket."
(AP, 8/19/07)(AP, 8/20/07)
2007 Aug 21, The European
Central Bank provided more cash for banks that have been clamoring
for money, injecting $370.6 billion in its normal weekly
2007 Aug 21, The EU said it
will resume vital fuel aid to the Gaza Strip's electric company,
money the bloc suspended because of suspicions that Gaza's Hamas
rulers were diverting revenues.
2007 Aug 22, Russia nominated
Josef Tosovsky, a former Czech prime minister and head of that
country's central bank, to head the International Monetary Fund, a
move that put the Kremlin and the European Union at odds.
2007 Aug 23, The EU relaxed a
ban on exports of British livestock, meat and dairy products that
was imposed after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in
southeastern England earlier this month.
2007 Aug 23, Sudan summoned the
envoy of the European Commission and the Canadian charge d'affaires
and informed them they were considered persona non grata because
they interfered in Sudanese affairs. The UN chief called on the
Sudanese military to remove troops remaining in southern Sudan,
expressing disappointment that a July 9 deadline was not met as
called for in a 2005 peace deal.
(AFP, 8/24/07)(AP, 8/24/07)
2007 Aug 25, Sudan said it will
allow an EU envoy it ordered out of the country to remain until his
tenure expires next month, following an EU apology.
2007 Sep 11, The European
Commission has ditched its attempt to impose the metric system on
Ireland and Britain, where a grocer was once convicted of selling
bananas by the pound rather than by the kilo. The EU said it will
lift all remaining restrictions on British meat and livestock next
month after veterinary experts agreed that the threat from a
foot-and-mouth disease outbreak was over.
(AP, 9/11/07)(AFP, 9/11/07)
2007 Sep 15, EU finance
ministers and central bankers agreed in Portugal to step up
co-operation among themselves to improve their handling of
cross-border financial crises.
2007 Sep 17, Microsoft lost its
appeal of a European antitrust order that obliges the technology
giant to share communications code with rivals, sell a copy of
Windows without Media Player and pay a $613 million fine, the
largest ever by EU regulators.
2007 Sep 21, Google filed with
the EU competition regulator for permission to buy rival DoubleClick
for $3.1 billion.
2007 Sep 25, The UN Security
Council unanimously passed a French resolution endorsing sending a
European Union-UN force to Chad and the Central African Republic to
protect civilians reeling from a spillover of the Darfur conflict.
2007 Sep 26, The EU accused the
US of trying to weaken aircraft maker Airbus and causing 27 billion
dollars (19 billion euros) in losses by paying subsidies to US rival
2007 Aug 9, The US Federal
Reserve injected $24 billion to the banking system in the wake of a
credit squeeze due to failing subprime mortgages and another $38
billion the next day. The European Central Bank (ECB) offered
unlimited loans at 4% to stem the credit squeeze as it extended to
(Econ, 8/18/07, p.64)(WSJ, 11/6/07, p.A1)
2007 Oct 4, Egypt sent a
high-level protest to dozens of European nations expressing
"astonishment and regret" at their refusal to endorse Cairo's call
for a Middle East nuclear free zone at a conference last month. At
last month's IAEA session, 25 of the 27 EU nations abstained as did
other countries hoping to join the union. In all, 47 nations
abstained. Israeli objections forced a vote in which 53 countries,
Muslim states and their supporters from the developing world, backed
2007 Oct 5, Europe's .eu
Internet domain registrar EURid said the Internet address
www.sex.asia is likely to be the domain name most in demand next
week when dot Asia Web sites are launched.
2007 Oct 15, European Union
foreign ministers gave their final approval to deploy a 3,000-strong
EU peacekeeping force for one year to help refugees and displaced
people living along Darfur's borders with Chad and the Central
2007 Oct 19,
European Union leaders in Portugal endorsed a reform treaty to
replace their failed European constitution and give the 27-nation
union a more influential say in world affairs. The new Treaty of
Lisbon created 2 new posts, a European foreign minister in all but
name and a new standing president of the European Council.
(AP, 10/19/07)(Econ, 10/27/07, p.64)
2007 Oct 22,
Microsoft Corp. dropped a nearly decade-long legal battle with
European regulators, agreeing to key parts of an antitrust ruling
that has already led to hundreds of millions in fines.
2007 Oct 29, In Portugal senior
officials from the EU, three US states (California, New York, New
Jersey), Canada, Norway and New Zealand launched the International
Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP), an international effort to fight
climate change by building a global carbon trading market.
2007 Nov 1, The Markets in
Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) went into effect across 30
countries in Europe. Approved in 2004 it drops traditional rules
that required banks and brokers to use national exchanges for
reporting and trading equities, opening Europe's exchanges to the
threat of new competition.
10/27/07, p.83)(Econ, 4/26/14, p.67)
2007 Nov 5, Authorities said
police from across Europe have arrested 92 suspects linked to an
alleged network that produced and sold child abuse videos to 2,500
customers around the world. The 15-month investigation was triggered
by an Australian police discovery in July 2006 of a video depicting
a Belgian father raping his daughters, aged 9 and 11.
2007 Nov 14, The EU reached an
accord with the East African Community (EAC) states of Burundi,
Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. They will enjoy duty free, quota
free access to the EU for all products, except sugar and rice, from
January 1. Originally established in 1967, the EAC collapsed a
decade later amid diverging economic philosophies. It was
resurrected in 2000 as Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda agreed to create
an EU-style common market for their 90 million citizens. Rwanda and
Burundi became members in July this year.
(AP, 11/17/07)(Econ, 9/5/09,
2007 Nov 29, The European
Parliament voted to allow Britain and Ireland to keep some of their
old imperial measurements so pubs can still serve pints and road
signs can show miles instead of kilometers.
2007 Dec 12, The European
Central Bank said it would take joint action with the US Federal
Reserve and other institutions to offer short-term funding to the
money markets to help ease a global credit squeeze. The ECB said it
would provide as much as $20 billion to European banks, in part to
fill their demand for dwindling dollars.
2007 Dec 13, EU leaders signed
the Treaty of Lisbon to reform the bloc's institutions and give it
stronger leadership, marking the end of a difficult process that has
lasted nearly a decade.
2007 Dec 14, EU leaders held a
formal meeting in Brussels, where they agreed in principle to send
1,800 policemen, judges and officials to Kosovo. They also agreed to
set up a reflection group to think about challenges facing the EU
between 2020 and 2030.
(Econ, 12/22/07, p.87)
2007 Dec 16, The EU signed a
new trade agreement with the 15-member Caribbean Forum.
(Econ, 1/5/08, p.74)
2007 Dec 17, US trade officials
said the US has reached a deal with the EU, Japan and Canada to keep
its Internet gambling market closed to foreign companies, but is
continuing talks with India, Antigua and Barbuda, Macau and Costa
2007 Dec 18, EU regulators said
Mastercard must drop fees it charges for cross-border transactions
or face daily fines of 3.5 percent of daily global turnover.
2007 Dec 20, Estonia, Latvia
and Lithuania halted land and sea border controls at midnight,
becoming the first in a wave of new members of Europe's
passport-free Schengen zone.
2007 Dec 27, The Afghan
government expelled UN advisor Mervyn Patterson and EU official
Michael Semple, on accusations they held unauthorized meetings with
Taliban militants. A spokesman for the UN mission said the diplomats
had traveled to Musa Qala, a former Taliban stronghold in southern
Helmand province on Dec 24, where they met with local leaders.
2007 Dec, The European Council
adopted a set of Council Conclusions on flexicurity, by which the
common principles of Danish flexicurity will guide EU member states
when implementing reforms in order to meet the aims of the Lisbon
Strategy of Growth and Jobs.
2008 Jan 1, Slovenia became the
first of 12 newcomers to take over the rotating presidency of the EU
Union, a big psychological boost to a nation that gained
independence from the ruins of the former Yugoslavia 16 years ago.
2008 Jan 1, EU newcomers Cyprus
and Malta adopted the euro, bringing to fifteen the number of
countries using the currency with increasing clout over the slumping
2008 Jan 3, A bitterly cold
winter storm pummeled parts of Europe, killing at least three
sailors when a ship sank in rough seas, and piling up snow that
stranded thousands at airports, on mountain roads and in remote
2008 Jan 11, The EU food-safety
agency endorsed meat and milk derived from cloned animals.
(WSJ, 1/12/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 17, Members of the
European Parliament adopted a resolution criticizing Egypt's human
rights record, even after Cairo summoned EU ambassadors to complain
about the text.
2008 Jan 21, President Pervez
Musharraf in Brussels pledged to hold free elections as he began a
European trip aimed at bolstering outside support, but urged the
West not to hold Pakistan to unrealistic rights standards.
2008 Jan 23, The EU unveiled
its comprehensive climate and energy proposals.
2008 Jan 28, The EU launched
its long-awaited peacekeeping force for Chad and the Central African
Republic to help protect hundreds of thousands of refugees from
2008 Jan 31, The EU ordered
Italy to clean up Naples within a month, or face legal action.
2008 Jan 31, Human Rights Watch
charged that Europe and the US increasingly tolerate autocrats
posing as democrats out of pure self-interest, in countries such as
Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria and Russia, as human right abuses go on.
2008 Jan 31, It was reported
that the EU is suing Malta for permitting residents to hunt 2
species of birds in the spring. The Maltese government said it
qualifies for an exemption under EU rules.
(WSJ, 2/1/08, p.A6)
2008 Feb 4, EU nations gave
preliminary approval to plans to send a 1,800-strong policing and
administration mission to the breakaway province to replace the
current UN mission.
2008 Feb 8, Officials said that
the WTO has ruled against the EU's import tariffs for bananas,
possibly opening the door to millions of dollars in US commercial
2008 Feb 12, European Union
antitrust regulators raided Intel Corp. and computer resellers
searching for evidence that they may have broken cartel or monopoly
2008 Feb 12, The EU resumed
deployment of a much-awaited peacekeeping force for two countries
neighboring Sudan's troubled Darfur region.
2008 Feb 13, The EU's top
justice official called for a massive shake-up of the bloc's border
security, recommending that all visitors be screened and
fingerprinted and a satellite surveillance system be set up to keep
illegal migrants out.
2008 Feb 16, The EU gave the
final approval for the deployment of a 1,800-member policing and
administration mission in Kosovo.
2008 Feb 27, The EU fined
Microsoft Corp. $1.3 billion for charging rivals too much for
software information. The fine is the largest ever for a single
company and the first time the EU has penalized a business for
failing to obey an antitrust order.
2008 Feb 28, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that a government may not deport an individual
to a state where he may be at risk of torture or other
(Econ, 3/1/08, p.63)
2008 Mar 3, The US and EU filed
a WTO case against China demanding that it loosen restraints on
foreign companies vying for a greater slice of the country's
lucrative market for financial information.
2008 Mar 5, The EU urged Serbia
to make clear it saw its future with Europe and laid out incentives
on visas, education and transport to try to boost the bloc's image
in the Balkans.
2008 Mar 11, EU regulators
cleared Google's $3.1 billion bid for online ad tracker DoubleClick,
saying the acquisition won't curb competition for online ads.
2008 Mar 11, Serbia and Russia
demanded that the UN administration in Kosovo halt the transfer of
authority to the European Union, calling a handover illegal and
declaring they will never recognize the independence of the Serb
2008 Mar 17, An EU force of
3,700 troops still deploying in Chad and the Central African
Republic (CAR) announced the official start of its year-long mission
to protect refugees and displaced people.
2008 Apr 7, The EU opened the
way for air travelers to use mobile phones to talk, text or send
e-mails on planes throughout Europe's airspace.
2008 Apr 14, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel arrived in Dublin to discuss a European Union reform
treaty that still bemuses most Irish voters ahead of a June
referendum that will determine the pact's fate.
2008 Apr 16, The euro struck an
all-time peak of 1.5969 dollars as eurozone inflation spiked to a
2008 Apr 29, European nations
failed to convince Lithuania to allow the EU to launch talks on a
new partnership pact with Russia.
2008 May 20, The European
Parliament censured Italy for its treatment of Gypsies.
(Econ, 5/24/08, p.71)
2008 May 25, EU foreign
ministers approved much delayed plans to begin talks with Russia
aimed at forging a new "strategic partnership."
2008 Jun 5, The European
Parliament called for the peacekeeping mandate for Russian troops in
the breakaway Georgian region of Abkhazia to be revised. The chamber
also demanded the EU sends its own border mission into the conflict
zone in Abkhazia.
2008 Jun 10, President Bush,
speaking in Slovenia at his final EU-US summit, said the United
States and Europe must rally to keep Iran from developing a nuclear
weapon, calling the threat an incredible danger to world peace.
2008 Jun 11, The Committee of
Ministers of the Council of Europe adopted a Resolution establishing
the election procedure of the members of the Group of Experts on
Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA). By mid August it
was ratified by 17 countries.
2008 Jun 12, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told Kosovo's leaders he intends to
reshape the UN mission there to allow the EU to take on key tasks,
according to a letter in the letter to Kosovo President Fatmir
Sejdiu. Russia demanded disciplinary action against the head of the
UN mission in Kosovo for preparing to hand over powers to a EU
mission that Moscow says is illegal.
2008 Jun 13, Substantial
election returns showed that Ireland's voters have rejected the EU
reform treaty, a blueprint for modernizing the 27-nation bloc that
cannot become law without Irish approval. A majority of voters
appeared determined to register their opposition to the growth of a
continental government that would erode Ireland's sense of
2008 Jun 14, Rebels in Chad
attacked the eastern town of Goz-Beida, and Irish EU troops took up
defensive positions between the fighting and a refugee camp.
2008 Jun 14, The EU presented
Iran with a modified package of incentives to suspend its uranium
enrichment program, but an Iran government spokesman said the
country would reject the offer if it requires a halt to sensitive
nuclear work. As part of the package Western nations told Iran that
they could cut off any new help to Iran's anti-drug units unless the
Islamic regime halts uranium enrichment.
(AP, 6/14/08)(AP, 6/24/08)
2008 Jun 15, The EU threatened
to impose sanctions against Sudanese who do not cooperate in
bringing those accused of war crimes in Darfur to the international
2008 Jun 18, The European
Parliament approved controversial new rules for expelling illegal
immigrants from the bloc, overcoming opposition from left-leaning
lawmakers and ignoring protests from human rights activists.
2008 Jun 18, A European Union
delegation met Fiji's coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama, seeking
assurances that he will stick to a pledge to hold elections to
restore democracy by March 2009.
2008 Jun 19, The EU agreed to
lift its diplomatic sanctions against Cuba, but imposed tough
conditions on the communist island to maintain sanction-free
2008 Jun 23, European Union
nations approved new sanctions against Iran, including an assets
freeze of the country's biggest bank. The sanctions also include a
travel ban on high-level experts dealing with Iran's nuclear
2008 Jun 24, The EU named
Iran's largest commercial bank, the chief of the Revolutionary
Guards and the head of the country's nuclear program as the targets
of new sanctions imposed over Tehran's nuclear defiance as part of
an updated blacklist of nuclear experts and companies in Iran being
targeted under new sanctions.
2008 Jun 27, EU and Russian
leaders, meeting in Siberia, agreed to launch formal negotiations on
a new strategic agreement governing relations. A first round of
negotiations will be held in Brussels on July 4.
2008 Jul 7, European Union
nations gave their backing to a French-drafted pact calling for
tightening immigration and asylum rules across the 27-nation bloc.
2008 Jul 8, The EU formally
invited Slovakia to join the euro zone on Jan. 1, 2009.
2008 Jul 10, The European
Parliament called the fingerprinting of Gypsies in Italy a clear act
of racial discrimination and urged the authorities to stop it.
2008 Jul 10, European Union
lawmakers called for tougher EU sanctions against Zimbabwe,
including putting businessmen who finance Pres. Mugabe's regime on a
visa ban list.
2008 Jul 15, The EU agreed to
an emergency aid package for its fishing industry to cope with fuel
(WSJ, 7/17/08, p.A8)
2008 Jul 23, The European
Commission froze almost euro500 million ($800 million) in aid to
Bulgaria, citing corruption, organized crime, severe spending
irregularities and alleged vote-buying in a country that only joined
the EU last year.
2008 Jul 25, The EU and South
Africa began their first-ever summit in the French city of Bordeaux.
Brussels solidly backed Pretoria's mediating role in Zimbabwe as the
only way of ending ruinous political chaos.
2008 Aug 5, The EU said it will
give Haiti $4.6 million to help pay for food in the world's poorest
2008 Aug 8, The EU tightened
trade sanctions against Iran to punish Tehran for not committing to
a long-standing demand of the international community that it freeze
its nuclear enrichment program.
2008 Sep 5, EU nations called
for an international probe to find out which country should shoulder
responsibility for starting the conflict between Georgia and Russia.
2008 Sep 7, Italy's foreign
minister, after meeting US Vice President Dick Cheney, said the EU
wants to work closely with the United States in resolving the
2008 Sep 9, The 27-member EU
stopped short of offering Ukraine membership during an EU-Ukraine
summit hosted by French President Nicolas Sarkozy. But the two sides
began work on an "association accord," a step that offers closer
political and economic ties and in the past has been designed to
prepare nations for eventual membership.
2008 Sep 9, Serbian lawmakers
ratified a pre-membership agreement with the EU and an oil and gas
deal with Russia after months of heated debate over the direction of
the country's policies.
2008 Sep 15, Europe's major
central banks moved quickly to calm markets, pumping billions of
euros and pounds into the financial system to shore up confidence in
the aftermath of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s bankruptcy filing
in the United States.
2008 Sep 16, Urgently trying to
keep cash flowing amid a Wall Street meltdown, the Federal Reserve
pumped another $70 billion into the nation's financial system to
help ease credit stresses. Late in the day the Federal Reserve
agreed to a 2-year $85 billion loan to insurance giant American
International Group (AIG) in exchange for a 79.9% equity stake in
the form of warrants called equity participation notes. Central
banks in the US, Europe and Japan pumped tens of billions into their
banking systems to keep money flowing.
(AP, 9/16/08)(SFC, 9/17/08, p.A1)(WSJ, 9/17/08,
2008 Sep 19, Singapore banned
all dairy imports from China and the European Union demanded answers
from Beijing as the baby formula scandal, which left 4 babies dead
and over 6 thousand infants ill across China, spread to liquid milk.
2008 Sep 24, The European Union
warned that Iran is nearing the ability to arm a nuclear warhead
even if it insists its atomic activities are peaceful.
2008 Sep 25, The EU banned
imports of baby food containing Chinese milk as tainted dairy
products linked to the deaths of four babies turned up in candy and
other Chinese-made goods that were quickly pulled from stores
worldwide. More than a dozen countries have banned or recalled
Chinese dairy products as melamine was found in milk products from
22 Chinese dairy companies.
(AP, 9/25/08)(SFC, 9/25/08, p.A3)
2008 Sep 29, In Georgia almost
300 monitors from 22 EU nations were in place to oversee Russia's
promised troop withdrawal from the large swaths it has occupied
since the August war.
2008 Sep 30, Bank rescues
spread in Europe and some investors expressed faith that the US
Congress would eventually pass a $700 billion bailout plan for the
2008 Oct 1, The EU imposed one
of its highest ever cartel fines on a "paraffin mafia" accused of
fixing prices and markets for everyday household products like
chewing gum, tires and candles.
2008 Oct 1, EU monitors began
patrolling Georgian territory and Russian troops allowed some of
them into a buffer zone around the breakaway region of South Ossetia
despite earlier warnings from Moscow they would be blocked.
2008 Oct 8, Six central banks
jolted markets by cutting interest rates together in an attempt to
shore up confidence in the world's crisis-stricken financial system.
The US Fed reduced its key rate from 2 percent to 1.5 percent. The
Bank of England unexpectedly slashed its key lending rate by a
half-point to 4.50 percent. The Bank of Canada cut its key interest
rate by 50 basis points to 2.50 percent. China also cut its key
interest rates for a second time in less than one month. The
European Central Bank sliced its rate by half a point to 3.75
percent. Sweden, and Switzerland also cut rates. Earlier in a day
Japan's Nikkei showed its biggest drop since the October, 1987 stock
(AP, 10/8/08)(AFP, 10/8/08)
2008 Oct 12, European leaders
hammered out action to confront the financial crisis, adding their
voices to a global chorus of demands for coordinated action against
2008 Oct 13, Europe put $2.3
trillion on the line to protect the continent's banks, a figure that
dwarfed the Bush administration's $700 billion rescue program.
2008 Oct 13, The EU temporarily
lifted a travel ban on the president of Belarus, a country regarded
as Europe's last dictatorship, as relations with the country start
2008 Oct 13, The EU condemned
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe's "unilateral decision" to form a
new government and threatened fresh sanctions unless he respects a
power-sharing deal. Mugabe swore in his two vice presidents, casting
doubt on a new mediation effort aimed at saving a power-sharing deal
with the opposition.
2008 Oct 15, EU leaders agreed
to stick to ambitious plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions 20% by
2020, but divisions over how to share out the cuts were widened by
fears over the impact of the financial crisis.
2008 Oct 15, In Barbados 13
Caribbean countries approved a new Economic partnership Agreement
(EPA) with the EU.
(Econ, 10/18/08, p.50)
2008 Oct 16, The European
Commission announced 15 million euros (20 million dollars) of
emergency food aid for victims of drought and soaring food prices in
five east African countries. The biggest share will go to Ethiopia
and Somalia and smaller amounts to Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti.
2008 Oct 16, The European
Central Bank extended emergency loans to Hungary’s central bank. The
ECB said it will lend up to $6.75 billion.
(SFC, 10/17/08, p.A5)
2008 Oct 21, EU lawmakers
joined US civil liberty campaigners in criticizing a new scanner
that allows airport security to see through passengers' clothes,
calling it a virtual strip search that should only be used as a last
2008 Oct 22, Officials said the
EU, the US and other international donors have pledged more than
$4.5 billion for rebuilding parts of Georgia that were damaged in
its war with Russia.
2008 Oct 23, The European
Parliament awarded a prestigious rights prize to jailed Chinese
dissident Hu Jia on the eve of a key Beijing summit and despite
pressure from Beijing not to honor him.
2008 Oct 23, A European Union
court has ruled that EU governments should no longer freeze the
funds of People's Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, an Iranian
opposition group on the bloc's terror blacklist. A British court
ruled in its favor last year.
2008 Oct 23, Cuba and the
European Union ended a five-year standoff by signing an agreement
that calls for EU members to send the island euro2 million (US$2.6
million) in immediate hurricane recovery aid and up to euro30
million (US$38.8 million) more in financing next year.
2008 Oct 24, Asian and European
leaders, meeting in Beijing, called for a coordinated response to
the global financial meltdown and prepared to endorse a critical
role for the International Monetary Fund in aiding the hardest-hit
2008 Oct 25, In China a 2-day
economic summit closed. 43 Asian and European leaders pledged around
$4 trillion to support banks and restart money markets to try to
stem the global crisis.
2008 Oct 26, Hungary reached
agreement with the IMF and the EU on a broad economic rescue
package, including substantial financing, steadying its battered
currency. The deal was expected to be finalized over the next few
2008 Oct 29, Officials said
that EU governments promised to lend Hungary 6.5 billion euros ($8.1
billion) as part of a 20 billion euro ($25 billion) international
rescue package to help it weather a financial crisis that has
sharply devalued its currency.
2008 Nov 6, The European
Central Bank cut its key interest rate by half a percentage point to
3.25% and the Bank of England made an even more aggressive reduction
of 1.5% in an effort to ease the financial crisis and boost their
2008 Nov 13, The European Union
proposed plans to toughen up rules covering taxes on foreign
accounts in an effort to stop tax evasion which has been endemic in
some EU nations.
2008 Nov 13, China signed an
agreement in Geneva to loosen controls on financial news providers
in an out-of-court settlement of a dispute with the US, the EU and
2008 Nov 14, The EU said that
the 15 countries that use the euro are officially in a
recession, as their economies shrank for a second straight
quarter because of the world financial crisis and sinking demand.
2008 Nov 20, The European Union
formally recognized Welsh, which dates back to the 6th century, as a
minority tongue. It became an official tongue in Wales in 1993, 450
years after British rulers gave it the boot in favor of English.
2008 Nov 25, EU ministers
sought to enlist counterparts from 27 African countries in a new
effort to curb the flood of illegal immigration.
2008 Nov 26, European ministers
pledged euro10 billion ($12.8 billion) to an ambitious list of 30
space missions, including one to put a robotic rover on Mars.
2008 Nov 26, The UN Security
Council approved the deployment of a EU mission (Eulex) throughout
Kosovo under the UN umbrella.
(AP, 11/26/08)(Econ, 11/15/14, p.55)
2008 Nov 27, Switzerland
reached an agreement with the EU to join the European Union's
Schengen passport-free travel zone effective next month.
2008 Dec 4, Europe's top human
rights court ruled that storing DNA from people with no criminal
record is in breach of their rights, a landmark decision that could
force Britain to destroy the samples of nearly 1 million people on
2008 Dec 4, The
Luxembourg-based European Court of First Instance said EU
governments "violated the rights of defense" of the People's
Mujahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), and that the EU nations have
not provided sufficient proof to blacklist the group.
2008 Dec 8, The EU formally
launches its anti-piracy task mission off the Somali coast,
preparing to take over from the NATO flotilla guarding one of the
world's most important shipping lanes.
2008 Dec 8, The EU joined calls
for President Robert Mugabe to step down after 28 years ruling
Zimbabwe, where spreading cholera and food shortages have worsened a
desperate humanitarian crisis.
2008 Dec 9, The European Union
and Canada reached a deal to open their aviation markets to each
other by removing restrictions on direct flights and foreign
ownership in airlines.
2008 Dec 10, The European
Commission awarded the first Chaillot Prize to the Al-Nahda
Philanthropic Society for Women, a Saudi charity which helps
divorced and underprivileged women.
2008 Dec 12, European Union
leaders agreed to give concessions to Ireland so it will hold a new
referendum on the EU's stalled Lisbon reform treaty, which aims to
make the 27-nation bloc a stronger player on the world stage.
2008 Dec 12, Switzerland became
the 25th member of the passport-free zone of the Schengen countries,
after interior and justice ministers of the 27 EU member states
formally approved the accession of this non-EU country on Nov 27.
The number of Chinese visitors quickly soared.
2008 Dec 15, Europe's biggest
bank, HSBC, joined a list of top names in world finance admitting
huge potential losses in a suspected pyramid fraud scam run by Wall
Street figurehead Bernard Madoff.
2008 Dec 17, The European
Parliament gave a jailed Chinese dissident a one-minute standing
ovation as it honored him in absentia with its top human rights
2008 Dec 19, France’s finance
ministry unveiled a package of financial aid from the EU and others
totaling $10.7 billion to help Latvia.
(WSJ, 12/20/08, p.A8)
2008 Anand Menon authored
“Europe: The State of the Union," a history of the EU.
(Econ, 5/17/08, p.103)
2008 In Europe an upward trend
in suicides began as the euro zone entered a recession. The term
“economic suicides" was soon adopted by media outlets to describe
(SFC, 8/15/12, p.A2)
2009 Jan 1, Slovakia became the
16th European Union member state to adopt the euro. This day also
marks 10 years since the euro was introduced.
2009 Jan 2, Ukraine sought
support in European capitals a day after Russia cut off gas supplies
and hardened its stance on prices. The cutoff came after Ukraine
made a $1.5 billion overdue payment, but Russia demanded another
$600 million, including $450 million penalties for the late payment
for gas shipped in November and December. The two sides also have
not agreed on prices for 2009. Russia accused Ukraine of stealing
gas destined for the rest of Europe.
(AP, 1/2/09)(Reuters, 1/2/09)
2009 Jan 4, Russia asked the EU
to provide monitoring of Ukraine's gas transit system and charged
Ukraine was stealing gas bound for Europe, as Kiev leveled its own
charges. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that the state-controlled
company wanted $450 per 1,000 cubic meters, up from its last offer
of $418. The reductions in gas supplies spread to the Czech Republic
(AP, 1/4/09)(Reuters, 1/4/09)
2009 Jan 6, A natural gas
crisis loomed over Europe, as a contract dispute between Russia and
Ukraine shut off Russian gas supplies to six countries and reduced
gas deliveries to several others. Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia,
Romania, Croatia and Turkey all reported a halt in gas shipments.
2009 Jan 6, Signs mounted that
the conflict in Gaza is starting to spill over into violence in
Europe's towns and cities, with assaults against Jews and arson
attacks on Jewish congregations in France, Sweden and Britain.
2009 Jan 7, The EU said Russia
and Ukraine will accept using international monitors to verify the
transit of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine's pipelines.
Russia's gas giant Gazprom completely stopped sending gas to
European consumers at 7:44 a.m. (0544 GMT). 80% of Russian gas
shipped via Ukraine.
2009 Jan 7, Freezing
temperatures and exceptional snowfall caused travel delays across
Europe and were blamed for at least 12 deaths, including that of a
man in Milan who was crushed when a canopy collapsed under the
weight of snow.
2009 Jan 8, Russia's
state-controlled gas monopoly said it would restore supplies to
Europe through Ukraine, cut off after a dispute between Moscow and
Kiev, as soon as international monitors are in place.
2009 Jan 10, Russia and the EU
took a step toward securing the resumption of gas flows to Europe
when the two signed a deal on monitoring the supplies through
Ukraine. PM Vladimir Putin said Russia will restart gas supplies to
Europe once an EU-led monitoring mission begins to track gas transit
(AP, 1/10/09)(Reuters, 1/10/09)
2009 Jan 11, Russia, Ukraine,
and the EU struck an agreement to try to resume Russian supplies
through Ukraine to Europe. President Dmitry Medvedev said energy
giant Gazprom would only resume gas supplies once Russia had a copy
of the document signed by Ukraine and once the various teams of
international observers were in place. The text of the accord calls
for the EU, Russia and Ukraine to each provide 25 experts to "carry
out checks on the basis of equal parity both on Ukrainian and
(Reuters, 1/11/09)(AFP, 1/11/09)
2009 Jan 12, Russia's state-run
monopoly Gazprom announced it will resume shipping natural gas to
Europe, where tens of thousands of homes and buildings have been
left without heat in freezing weather.
2009 Jan 13, Russia and Ukraine
hotly blamed each other as Russia restarted natural gas supplies but
little or no gas flowed toward Europe. EU officials watched in
dismay and criticized both nations for their intransigence.
2009 Jan 15, Ukraine rejected
Russia's latest request to pipe natural gas westward to increasingly
frustrated EU consumers, deepening the bitter economic and political
dispute that has paralyzed energy shipments to Europe.
2009 Jan 16, The EU threatened
new sanctions against Robert Mugabe's government in Zimbabwe, blamed
for political deadlock, a surging cholera epidemic and runaway
inflation. The UN said the death toll from the cholera outbreak had
risen to 2,201 and that the epidemic is still not under control.
2009 Jan 15, The European
Central Bank cuts its key rate by half a point to 2%, matching its
lowest level ever, set in December 2005.
(WSJ, 1/16/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 17, Russia and Ukraine
held gas crisis talks in Moscow that the European Union said were
the "last and best chance" to resolve the row that has left Europe
struggling without key gas supplies.
2009 Jan 18, Russia and Ukraine
announced a deal to end the bitter dispute that has blocked Russian
natural gas from Europe following talks between Russian PM Vladimir
Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko. Under the
terms, Ukraine will pay 20 percent less than the European "market
price" price for gas this year, which Russia says is $450 per 1,000
cubic meters. That's more than twice as much as the $179.50 Ukraine
paid in 2008.
2009 Jan 19, Russia and Ukraine
signed a deal that restores natural gas shipments to Ukraine and
paves the way for an end to the nearly two-week cutoff of most
Russian gas to a freezing Europe.
2009 Jan 20, Russian gas
reached Europe via Ukraine for the first time in two weeks after
Moscow and Kiev ended a contract row that cut supplies to about 20
2009 Jan 22, European Union
antitrust regulators said they raided Slovakia's main telecom
operator last week on suspicion of monopoly abuse.
2009 Jan 26, European Union
leaders said they were willing to take in prisoners being released
from the US detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, but stressed that
American authorities must show ex-inmates pose no security threat
before they can be resettled.
2009 Jan 26, The European Union
decided to remove an Iranian opposition group from the EU's terror
list and lift the restrictions on its funds, a move likely to
further damage relations strained over Tehran's nuclear program.
2009 Jan 26, European Union
nations announced the addition of 26 Zimbabwean officials and 36
companies to the EU's visa and assets freeze blacklist to pressure
President Robert Mugabe to share power with Zimbabwe's opposition.
2009 Jan 28, The European Union
promised billions of dollars in aid to the world's poorest nations
to entice them to sign a new global climate change pact.
2009 Jan 29, The European Union
signed an agreement to give Ethiopia 251 million euros (322 million
dollars) in aid to boost development projects across the Horn of
2009 Feb 8, Voters in
Switzerland approved an expanded labor deal with the European Union
that allows Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the Alpine republic.
2009 Feb 10, The European Union
announced that it has signed a pact with 17 social networking
providers including Facebook, MySpace and Google to improve
safeguards against the bullying of teenagers online.
2009 Feb 10, EU ministers
demanded the reopening of negotiations with Liechtenstein on
(Econ, 2/21/09, p.53)
2009 Feb 19, Europe's highest
human rights court has awarded Abu Qatada, an extremist Muslim
preacher, euro2,800 ($3,550) for being held unlawfully by British
authorities during an anti-terrorist probe. A day earlier Britain's
highest court ruled that Abu Qatada could be deported to Jordan
despite fears he could face torture there. The European Court of
Human Rights ruled that Qatada and 10 other detainees had their
right to liberty violated when they were held in high-security
2009 Feb 22, The heads of
Europe's largest economies agreed on the need for greater regulation
of financial markets and of products such as hedge funds, as they
met in Berlin to hammer out a joint European position for the G20
meeting in London on April 2.
2009 Feb 24, China’s state
media reported that a Chinese delegation will buy as much as $15
billion worth of machinery, automobiles and food products while on a
trip to Europe this week.
(WSJ, 2/25/09, p.A11)
2009 Feb 25, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development said that it would invest a
record 7.0 billion euros this year in the former Soviet bloc to
combat an economic crisis in eastern Europe.
2009 Feb 27, Leading
international financial institutions said Eastern Europe's
struggling banks will receive euro24.5 billion ($31.1 billion) worth
of emergency help to shore up their battered finances. Regional
leaders were scheduled to meet this weekend. The Hungarian, Polish
and Czech currencies strengthened on the news of the aid package.
2009 Mar 5, The European
Central Bank cut its main interest rate by a half percentage point
to 1.5 percent, dropping the cost of borrowing in the 16 countries
that use the euro to a new record low amid grim economic news.
2009 Mar 5, The European Court
of Justice said Britain's law requiring retirement at age 65 is
legal under EU rules. The advocacy group Age Concern took the
British government to court in 2006 to demand the reversal of the
forced retirement rule.
2009 Mar 6, The EU and Kenya
agreed to allow the country to prosecute suspected pirates captured
by European forces on the high seas.
2009 Mar 20, EU leaders pledged
a 125 billion euros in support for eastern Europe and the IMF after
rejecting calls to plough more taxpayer cash into their own
2009 Mar 25, Czech PM Mirek
Topolanek, the current rotating president of the EU, slammed US
plans to spend its way out of recession as "a road to hell."
2009 Mar 25, The EU laid
out new labeling rules laid allowing Rose wine customers to know
exactly how their grapes were treated to turn their tipple a
2009 Mar 25, Romania was given
a loan totaling 20 billion euros (27 billion dollars) by the IMF,
the EU, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (EBRD). An austerity program accompanied the loans.
2009 Apr 6, The US Federal
Reserve said it will supply new lines of credit worth up to $287
billion to the central banks of Japan, Switzerland, the United
Kingdom and EU.
2009 Apr 14, The EU started
legal action against Britain for not applying EU data privacy rules
that would restrict an Internet advertising tracker called Phorm
from watching how users surf the Web.
2009 Apr 15, A blockade by
French fishermen angry at EU quotas cut ferry links with Britain for
a second day as a union official threatened to block the Channel
Tunnel in support of the movement.
2009 Apr 16, French fishermen
allowed traffic to resume to three English Channel ports after
receiving a government promise of euro4 million ($5.27 million) in
aid, but they vowed to keep up their fight against European fishing
2009 Apr 22, With almost all
stocks overfished, the European Commission called for drastic cuts
in the EU's 90,000-strong fishing fleet and subsidies to safeguard a
sustainable and economically viable fishing industry.
2009 Apr 23, The EU development
commissioner said an international conference has already pledged
over 250 million dollars to help Somalia improve its security.
2009 Apr 27, Belarus'
authoritarian Pres. Lukashenko met with Pope Benedict XVI on his
first trip to Western Europe since the European Union lifted a
travel ban imposed in 1999 over his dismal human rights record. The
EU lifted the ban to allow Lukashenko to attend an East-West summit
in Prague, Czech Republic, in May.
2009 Apr 27, In Kosovo Serbs
protesting the building of homes for ethnic Albanians in northern
Kosovo threw two hand grenades and fired gunshots at European Union
police officers, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades to
drive the crowd away.
2009 Apr 27, America, Canada,
Europe and Japan promised to cooperate on validating alternatives to
using animals in medical research. An estimated 50-100 million
animals were used in research annually around the world.
(Econ, 5/9/09, p.18)
2009 May 3, Swine flu extended
its reach through Europe and Latin America, with at least five
countries reporting new cases. Health experts were investigating a
case of the virus jumping from a person to pigs, trying to determine
if the disease was reaching a new stage.
2009 May 4, The EU admitted
that its previous forecasts were way off the mark. It now predicts
"a deep and widespread recession" across the continent and said
unemployment among the 16 nations that use the euro will rise to a
postwar record of 11.5 percent in 2010.
2009 May 5, The European
Parliament voted to update the rules on the use of animals in
research and to ban imports of seal products, including fur coats
and even omega-3 pills, trying to force Canada to end the annual
seal hunt that animal rights groups call barbaric.
(AP, 5/5/09)(Econ, 5/9/09, p.84)
2009 May 6, Canada and the EU
signed an "open skies" pact under which airlines from the two
trading partners will be able to fly freely between any airport in
the 27-country EU and any in Canada.
2009 May 6, New H1N1 flu cases
across Europe and a second US death kept health officials on alert
despite signs Mexico's epidemic had passed its peak. Mexican health
officials said that testing of backlogged cases has increased the
confirmed swine flu death toll from 31 to 42, including three new
deaths in the past two days.
(Reuters, 5/6/09)(AP, 5/6/09)
2009 May 7, The European Union
extended its hand to former Soviet republics, holding a summit to
draw them closer into the EU orbit despite Russia's deep misgivings.
Presidents, premiers and their deputies from 33 nations signed an
agreement meant to extend the EU's political and economic ties. The
six ex-Soviet republics to whom the “eastern partnership" would
apply are Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and
(AP, 5/7/09)(Econ, 1/10/15, p.49)
2009 May 7, The European
Central Bank cut interest rates a quarter point and said it would
buy euro-denominated bonds as well as offer longer-term credit to
banks as it moves to get more money flowing through the 16-nation
euro zone economy.
2009 May 13, The European
Commission, after an eight-year investigation, fined Intel Corp a
record 1.06 billion euros ($1.45 billion) and ordered it to halt
illegal rebates and other practices it used to squeeze out its
2009 May 15, Among perks
enjoyed by EU Parliament lawmakers: flying no-frills and expensing
the cost of a full fare ticket, listing spouse or child as aides and
paying them fat salaries, wining-and-dining friends at
Michelin-starred restaurants and billing the taxpayer. Unprecedented
reforms, agreed in long and difficult negotiations, mean the
incoming 736 assembly members of the EU assembly will earn far less
than their predecessors and face far stricter spending rules.
2009 May 20, EU and Chinese
leaders met in Prague to tackle the economic crisis and turn the
page on tensions over the Dalai Lama. Lingering differences cast a
shadow over the talks.
2009 May 22, Russian President
Dmitry Medvedev challenged EU leaders meeting at a summit in
Khabarovsk to help Ukraine pay its gas bills in order to prevent
disruption of Russian supplies to Europe.
2009 May 25, Dairy farmers
created traffic chaos in Berlin, blocked milk processing plants in
France and protested at EU headquarters in Brussels, seeking more
aid to cope with a sharp drop in milk prices.
2009 May 28, In Senegal UN,
African Union, EU and Arab League representatives met with Mauritian
political parties in Dakar to discuss upcoming polls and a political
stalemate since a coup.
2009 Jun 4, About 375 million
voters across the 27-nation European Union began 4 days of voting,
to appoint candidates to 736 seats on the assembly in the
second-largest election in the world after India's. Voting began in
Britain and the Netherlands.
2009 Jun 7, Europe leaned to
the right as tens of millions of people voted in European Parliament
elections, with conservative parties favored in many countries
against a backdrop of economic crisis. Center-right parties won the
most seats in the election. Only 43% of 375 million eligible voters
cast ballots. In Bulgaria the xenophobic Ataka party won 12% of the
(AP, 6/7/09)(Reuters, 6/8/09)(SFC, 6/8/09,
p.A5)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.58)
2009 Jun 8, Final results
showed a British far-right party won its first-ever parliamentary
seats in EU elections. The British National Party, which does not
accept nonwhite members and calls for the "voluntary repatriation"
of immigrants, won two of Britain's 72 seats in the European
Parliament. Austria's Freedom Party, which also campaigned on an
anti-Islam platform, more than doubled its share of the vote to
13.1%. Hungary's Jobbik party, which describes itself as
Euro-skeptic and anti-immigration and wants police to crack down on
what it calls "Gypsy crime," won three of the country's 22 seats and
almost 15% of the vote. The Greater Romania Party, which is, among
other things, pro-religion, anti-gay and anti-Hungarian, made
surprise gains, winning almost 9% of the vote and taking two of
Romania's 33 seats. A bloc of center-right parties remained the
2009 Jun 15, The European Union
agreed to help the administration of President Barack Obama "turn
the page" on Guantanamo, saying individual EU nations will take
detainees from the American prison in Cuba.
2009 Jun 19, EU leaders agreed
to establish a European System Risk Board. It was intended to sound
an alarm over the build up of risk and to create new European
supervisory authorities to keep an eye on big cross-border financial
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.73)
2009 Jun 23, US Trade
Representative Ron Kirk said the United States is launching a World
Trade Organization case against China over its export restrictions
on raw materials. The EU said it was joining the US in the action,
which follows failure to persuade China to reduce its export tariffs
and raise quotas on materials such as zinc, tin, tungsten and yellow
2009 Jun 25, The EU said it
will give China up to euro50 million ($70 million) to build a carbon
capture and storage plant that will test a technology aimed at
limiting climate change.
2009 Jun 29, The European Union
Chamber of Commerce in China urged Beijing to reconsider
implementing a controversial Internet filter, saying it raised
serious concerns about security, privacy and user choice.
2009 Jun 29, The European
Commission said top mobile telephone suppliers have agreed to back
an EU-wide harmonization of phone chargers, hailing the pact as good
news for consumers and the environment.
2009 Jul 1, Sweden took over
the rotating presidency of the EU.
(Econ, 7/4/09, p.51)
2009 Jul 13, Turkey and four EU
countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary) formally agreed
to route the Nabucco natural gas pipeline across their territories,
pushing ahead with a US- and EU-backed attempt to make Europe less
dependent on Russian gas.
(AP, 7/13/09)(Econ, 7/18/09, p.47)
2009 Jul 14, The European
Parliament elected ex-Polish Prime Minister Jerzy Buzek as its
president, making him the first leader from a former Soviet bloc
country to hold one of the top European Union posts.
2009 Jul 15, The EU urged
Canada to restore visa-free travel for Czech visitors, removed by
Ottawa after hundreds of Roma from the central European country
2009 Jul 23, Iceland formally
applied to join the European Union but said it would not accept a
"rotten deal" for its fishing industry, a key sector of the island
nation's troubled economy.
2009 Jul 27, European Union
nations gave their final approval to a ban on imports of seal
products in an effort to force Canada to end its annual seal hunt.
2009 Aug 13, The EU said it was
extending its sanctions on Myanmar to cover members of the judiciary
responsible for the verdict in the trial of opposition leader Aung
San Suu Kyi.
2009 Aug 22, The EU published a
list of nearly 4,000 airlines that it says should reduce their
impact on the environment from 2012 or face being banned from
2009 Aug 29, The EU signed a
temporary trade pact with Mauritius, Seychelles, Zimbabwe and
Madagascar calling for tariffs on European goods to be removed over
the next 15 years.
2009 Aug 31, The European
Commission said an EU-wide transition of power-draining light bulbs
to more energy efficient ones will start Aug 1. The new rules follow
an agreement reached by the 27 EU governments last year to phase out
the traditional incandescent light bulb over three years starting
this year to help European countries lower greenhouse gas emissions.
2009 Sep 3, EU regulators
launched an antitrust probe into US software maker Oracle Corp.'s
takeover of Sun Microsystems Inc., saying they wanted to make sure
Oracle was committed to developing Sun's rival open-source database
2009 Sep 8, The EU said that a
member states could be allowed to ban gambling websites if its
intention was to stop crime.
2009 Sep 11, South Africa and
the European Union started a summit expected to be dominated by
calls from African nations for sanctions against Zimbabwe to be
2009 Sep 12, Zimbabwe’s
President Robert Mugabe welcomed the first top-level European Union
delegation to visit in seven years with "open arms" and said talks
on implementing a power-sharing deal went well.
2009 Sep 13, Zimbabwe's PM
Morgan Tsvangirai accused President Robert Mugabe of violating a
fledgling power-sharing deal. The EU said ties with Zimbabwe would
only normalize once a unity accord is properly implemented, but
pledged a further 90 million euro this year to assist the troubled
2009 Sep 16, The European
Parliament gave Jose Manuel Barroso another five-year term as
European Commission president, but its vote reflected lingering
misgivings about the conservative ex-Portuguese premier.
2009 Sep 17, In Brussels French
Pres. Sarkozy said EU leaders have agreed to impose a cap on
(SFC, 9/18/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 22, A sharply divided
EU failed to protect the threatened bluefin tuna, as the bloc's
Mediterranean nations refused to back even a temporary a ban on
catching the fish prized by sushi aficionados. Greece, Cyprus,
Malta, Spain, France and Italy, with strong fishermen's lobbies at
home, insisted on continuing the hunt despite the precarious state
of the species. Conservation groups had earlier criticized the EU
for not pushing to list the bluefin tuna under the Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species.
2009 Sep 23, Europe laid out
new proposals to police its banks and financial markets, seeking to
set an example on the eve of a summit of G20 major economies.
2009 Sep 24, Swiss lawmakers
decided not to join the European Union's anti-piracy efforts, amid
concern that participating in the mission off Somalia could violate
the Alpine nation's long-standing neutrality.
2009 Sep 30, An EU-commissioned
report said Georgia's attack on its breakaway South Ossetia region
marked the start of last year's war with Russia, which retaliated
with excessive force.
2009 Oct 2, Ireland voted 67%
to 33% in favor of the EU's Lisbon Treaty, overturning a previous no
vote and taking a key step towards ending the 27-nation bloc's
(AFP, 10/3/09)(Econ, 10/10/09, p.25)
2009 Oct 5, In Belgium hundreds
of dairy farmers drove tractors into Brussels to pressure EU farm
ministers on declining milk prices, as 20 of 27 member nations
called for more protection from the volatile world market.
2009 Oct 5, Drugmaker
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. said its new diabetes drugs, Onglyza, has
been approved for sale in the European Union's 27 countries.
2009 Oct 9, Czech Rep. Pres.
Vaclav Klaus set out his terms for signing the Lisbon Treaty,
demanding an exemption to protect Prague from post-war property
claims and safeguard the sovereignty of the judiciary.
2009 Oct 10, Polish President
Lech Kaczynski signed the EU’s reform treaty, the Lisbon Treaty,
into law, leaving the Czech Republic as the only country still to
ratify the document.
2009 Oct 15, Top EU and South
Korean trade officials signed a free trade deal which the EU said
could boost trade between the two by euro19 billion ($28 billion).
2009 Oct 16, The European
Commission called for sharp cuts in cod quotas, up to 25% in some
areas, saying the prized fish is sliding toward commercial
extinction in several historic Atlantic fishing grounds.
2009 Oct 18, The EU used the
world's biggest book fair in Frankfurt to launch the EU Bookshop's
digital library, making more than 50 years of documents in about 50
languages available for free on the Internet. The files dated back
to 1952 when six countries created the High Authority of the Coal
and Steel Community, the EU's precursor.
2009 Oct 19, The EU agreed to
give the dairy sector an extra $420 million in special aid in an
effort to quell a season of unrest in agriculture. Meanwhile angry
farmer pelted riot police with eggs and buckets of milk in
(SFC, 10/20/09, p.A2)
2009 Oct 22, The EU's
parliament awarded its annual Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought
to three prominent Russian rights activists, in recognition of the
difficult conditions they face in defending human rights in Russia
today. The prize was awarded to Lyudmila Alexeyeva (82), Sergei
Kovalyov (79) and Oleg Orlov (56) on behalf of the human rights
organization Memorial and "all other human rights defenders in
2009 Oct 22, The EU said it has
launched an investigation into a prized Spanish wetland that has
turned bone dry through mismanagement of water resources and is now
on fire underground, white smoke now rising from areas where fish
once swam. The EU wants the Spanish government to explain how it
plans to save Las Tablas de Daimiel National Park in the central
Castilla-La Mancha region. It is classified as a UNESCO biosphere
site and an EU-protected area because of its birdlife.
2009 Oct 29, The EU's stalled
reform treaty overcame a crucial hurdle after EU leaders agreed to
last-minute demands from the Czech Republic in return for the
country's ratification of the ambitious deal. Czech President Vaclav
Klaus had refused to sign the treaty until his country was an
offered an opt-out from its Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Czech
leader asked for the option over worries of property claims by
ethnic Germans stripped of their land and expelled after World War
2009 Oct 30, European Union
leaders agreed to contribute to a euro50 billion ($74 billion)
annual aid fund that would help developing nations adapt to climate
change, but failed to set a firm figure for exactly how much the EU
2009 Nov 3, Europe's court of
human rights ruled the display of crucifixes in Italian public
schools violates religious and education freedoms under the
continent's rights convention. The court ordered Italy to pay a
$7,390 fine to a mother who has fought for 8 years to have
crucifixes removed from public school classrooms. The Vatican
denounced the ruling.
(AP, 11/3/09)(SFC, 11/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 6, Turkey rebuffed an
EU call to reconsider its decision to allow Sudanese President Omar
al-Beshir, who is accused of war crimes in Darfur, to attend a
summit in Istanbul. Turkey has not signed the Rome Statute which set
up the ICC and has said previously the ICC arrest warrant for Beshir
could hurt moves to end the conflict in Darfur.
2009 Nov 16, The EU Commission
said over 45 countries who catch tuna have agreed to cut catches of
the threatened Atlantic bluefin tuna next year.
2009 Nov 16, The Palestinians
asked the European Union to support their plan to ask the UN to
recognize an independent Palestinian state without Israeli consent.
2009 Nov 17, The European Union
joined the US in discouraging Palestinian intentions to seek
international recognition of an independent state, urging instead a
return to stalled peace talks with Israel.
2009 Nov 19, Herman Van Rompuy,
Belgium's Prime Minister and former economist, was named the
European Union's first permanent President. Baroness Catherine
Ashton, Britain's European Commissioner, was appointed as the EU’s
Foreign Minister-designate, with the unwieldy title of High
Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
2009 Nov 19, The European
Commission signed a 677 million euro (one billion dollar) deal in
Brussels to help Nigeria tackle challenges in its restive
oil-producing region, promoting peace.
2009 Nov 26, European banks
were hit by concern about potential exposure to debt problems in
Dubai, while companies where Middle Eastern investors own big stakes
also came under pressure.
2009 Nov 30, The EU Council of
Ministers for Interior and Justice abolished visa requirements for
citizens of the Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia.
2009 Dec 1, The new EU Treaty
of Lisbon went into effect. It provided the EU with modern
institutions and optimized working methods to tackle both
efficiently and effectively today's challenges in today's world.
2009 Dec 1, Israel sternly
warned the EU against recognizing east Jerusalem as the Palestinian
capital, saying such a move would damage Europe's credibility as a
Mideast mediator. Sweden, the current EU president, was floating an
initiative to recognize east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
2009 Dec 4, Major European
public financial institutions launched a pan-European equity fund to
boost key EU policies in areas such as climate change, energy
security and transport networks.
2009 Dec 8, EU nations agreed
that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and a future
Palestinian state, assuaging Israeli anger over earlier mention of
east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. An earlier proposal by
the Swedish EU presidency, to explicitly support the idea of east
Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, was dropped
by the foreign ministers.
2009 Dec 11, EU leaders agreed
to commit euro2.4 billion ($3.6 billion) a year until 2012 to help
poorer countries combat global warming, as they sought to rescue
their image as climate change innovators and bolster the talks in
Copenhagen. A new draft agreement at the climate talks pulled
together the main elements of a global pact but left gaping holes on
financing and cutting greenhouse gas emissions for world leaders to
fill in next week.
2009 Dec 15, Ecuador said that
it had reached a deal with the EU aimed at ending a long-running
dispute between Latin American nations and the EU over tariffs on
2009 Dec 17, Oxfam said some
areas of East Africa had received less than 5% of the normal
November rains and that many people are malnourished in Uganda,
Tanzania, Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia. It was the sixth failed rainy
season for war-ravaged Somalia and the worst drought there for 20
years. The European Commission announced that it would immediately
release an extra $75 million to fund emergency relief for
drought-stricken areas of East Africa. It estimated that 16 million
people will need aid in the coming months.
2009 Dec 18, The European
Medicines Agency (EMEA) recommended the withdrawal of all medicines
containing benfluorex, a diabetes and weight-loss drug, in the
European Union. In 2010 French officials said the drug, marketed as
mediator, may have been linked to the deaths of 500 people over the
33 years it was on the market. Fenfluramine, a related drug, had
been withdrawn from the market in 1997 after reports of heart valve
disease, pulmonary hypertension, and development of cardiac
2009 Dec 19, The European Union
opened its borders unrestricted to more than ten million Serbs,
Montenegrins and Macedonians after nearly 20 years, a major boost
for the troubled region's hopes for closer ties with the 27-nation
2009 Dec 20, Tens of thousands
of European travelers were stranded in rail stations, traffic jams
and airports as heavy snow and ice caused massive disruption at the
start of the Christmas holiday season.
2009 Dec 21, Eurostar halted
services for a third day to probe a breakdown of trains through the
Channel Tunnel that stranded thousands, prompting an angry French
government to demand an explanation and call its own inquiry.
President Nicolas Sarkozy summoned the head of the French train
authority to the Elysee Palace and ordered him to get the Eurostar
moving again after a three-day suspension of the cross-Channel train
service that has wreaked havoc on the holiday travel plans of some
40,000 people. The death toll from winter storms across Europe rose
to at least 80 as transport chaos spread amid mounting anger over
the failure of high-speed trains.
(AP, 12/21/09)(AFP, 12/21/09)(Reuters, 12/21/09)
2009 Dec 22, Hansjoerg Haber,
EU monitoring mission chief, said Russia has failed to fully observe
an EU-brokered peace deal that ended last year's war with Georgia.
He said Russia has not met an obligation to withdraw its forces to
positions held before the August 2008 conflict.
2009 Dec 22, The EU Court of
Human Rights said Bosnia’s constitution discriminates against Jews
and Roma because it does not allow them to run for parliament of
president. Only Bosnians, Serbs and Croats are allowed to run for
(SFC, 12/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Dec 23, Thousands of
Eurostar passengers anxious to get away for Christmas battled for
train places out of London as heavy rains and freezing conditions
sparked yet more travel chaos across Europe.
2009 Dec 28, Slovakia said that
Russia had warned it might halt oil supplies through Ukraine to
three European Union countries over a price dispute.
2009 Luuk van Middelaar, Dutch
political philosopher, authored “The Passage to Europe: How a
Continent Became a Union." In 2012 it won the European Book Prize.
In 2013 it came out in English.
(Econ, 5/25/13, p.86)
2010 Jan 1, Spain took over the
presidency of the EU, with PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero promising
to work to end the continent's economic crisis.
2010 Jan 7, Eurostar passengers
faced further disruption after one of its high-speed trains got
stuck for 2 hours in the Channel Tunnel again, weeks after a major
breakdown due to the cold.
2010 Jan 8, The beleaguered
Eurostar train service cancelled half of its trains between London
and Paris because of freezing temperatures.
2010 Jan 8, The EU said it will
pursue a new deal on global warming through the Group of 20, since
last month's UN climate conference of nearly 200 nations led to
unwieldy negotiations that didn't accomplish much.
2010 Jan 9, Germans faced the
cancellation of hundreds of flights as fresh snow blew in from the
south, and Britons shivered through the country's longest cold snap
in three decades as icy weather maintained its grip on Europe.
2010 Jan 10, Heavy snowfall
caused havoc in parts of Europe, causing hundreds of traffic
accidents, downing power lines in Poland, halting flights out of
southern France and trapping more than 160 people overnight on a
frozen highway in northeastern coastal Germany.
2010 Jan 12, The European Court
of Human Rights condemned British anti-terror legislation allowing
people to be searched by police without reasonable suspicion of
2010 Jan 13, Major Inuit
organizations said Canada's Inuit people have filed a lawsuit
against the European Union in a bid to overturn an EU ban on imports
of seal products. The EU ban was imposed in July after decades of
protests from animal activists, who said the annual seal hunt was
cruel and inhumane. The ban will go into effect in time for the 2010
2010 Jan 18, EU finance
ministers began 2 days of talks with worries over Greece's swelling
debt expected to dominate the session, as the euro fell to a ten-day
low against the dollar.
2010 Jan 18, The European Union
said some 200,000 people may have been killed in the magnitude-7.0
quake, quoting Haitian officials who also said about 70,000 bodies
have been recovered so far.
2010 Jan 18, The OSCE, Europe's
main security and human rights watchdog, said that Turkey was
blocking some 3,700 Internet sites for "arbitrary and political
reasons" and urged reforms to show its commitment to freedom of
2010 Jan 21, General Motor
Co.'s Opel unit will cut 8,300 jobs across Europe, including 4,000
in Germany, and close a plant in Antwerp, Belgium, cutting over
2010 Jan 28, Toyota Motor Corp
extended its safety recall of millions of its most popular cars to
Europe and China in a further blow to the reputation of the world's
largest auto maker.
2010 Jan 30, The European Union
said Italy is to stop fishing for bluefin tuna, the lucrative but
over-exploited species beloved of Japanese sushi fans, for 12
2010 Feb 3, The EU backed
Greece's “stability and development" plan to shrink a massive budget
gap as "achievable," but warned it would demand tougher cutbacks if
Athens does not stick to promised spending curbs and reforms.
(AP, 2/3/10)(Econ, 2/6/10, p.55)
2010 Feb 11, The Philippines
launched a European-funded program to reduce the country's large
number of extralegal killings and disappearances of activists,
journalists and union workers. The EU has pledged euro3.9 million
($5.36 million) for the EU-Philippines Justice Support Program to
provide technical aid and training to bolster the country's criminal
2010 Feb 15, Libya suspended
the issuing of entry visas to European citizens apart from British
nationals. Italy's foreign ministry confirmed the measure and said
it was in retaliation for Switzerland's recent decision to publish a
blacklist of 180 Libyans banned from entering the country.
2010 Feb 16, In Austria 14
countries and the European Commission adopted the Danube River Basin
Management Plan, a cleanup plan for the Danube River and its
tributaries. Participating countries included Austria, Bosnia,
Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro,
Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia and Ukraine.
2010 Feb 18, Microsoft won
unconditional European Union approval for its planned search deal
with Yahoo Inc to challenge market leader Google.
2010 Feb 28, A violent late
winter storm named Xynthia battered France, Spain, Portugal and
Germany with fierce rain and hurricane-strength winds. The storm
smashed sea walls and killed at least 62 people across western
(AP, 2/28/10)(AP, 3/1/10)(SFC, 3/2/10, p.A2)
2010 Mar 1, The European Union
urged Greece to take extra austerity measures within days to tackle
a debt crisis that has shaken the euro zone and promised to help
Athens overcome the problem.
2010 Mar 1, Ukraine’s Pres.
Viktor Yanukovych visited Brussels saying "Our priorities will
include integration into the European Union, bringing up
constructive relations with the Russian Federation, and developing
friendly relations with strategic partners such as the United
2010 Mar 8, The EU said it
plans to create a European Monetary Fund to better coordinate the
economies of the 16 countries that use the euro and prevent
financial debacles such as the Greek debt crisis from undermining
the credibility of Europe's single currency.
2010 Mar 23, Luxury goods
manufacturers said a ruling from the EU's highest court will stop
Google Inc. selling their brand names as advertising keywords to
unauthorized sellers or counterfeiters.
2010 Mar 23, The EU Naval Force
said Somali pirates have hijacked the Malta-flagged MV Frigia, a
Turkish ship with 21 crew on board.
2010 Mar 25, Leaders of the 16
eurozone countries agreed to a plan to rescue Greece if it finds
itself unable to borrow.
2010 Mar 27, Libya lifted a
visa ban on citizens of 25 European countries after EU president
Spain said a Swiss-instigated visa blacklist against 188 Libyans in
those countries had been scrapped.
2010 Mar 30, Amnesty
International said Europe had its first year without executions in
2009. But the London-based organization said the spell was recently
broken by the execution of two men in Belarus.
2010 Apr 8, The European Space
Agency launched CryoSat 2 on a Russian rocket from the Baikonur
Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The satellite was designed to measure the
effects of climate change on the Earth’s polar ice caps.
(SFC, 4/9/10, p.A2)
2010 Apr 13, Ethiopian
authorities and the European Union signed accords allowing EU
observers to monitor May's general elections in the Horn of Africa
2010 Apr 15, British airport
operator BAA Ltd. said all flights at London's Heathrow Airport have
been suspended for the rest of the day, causing travel chaos as ash
clouds from Iceland's spewing volcano halted air traffic across
2010 Apr 16, Volcanic ash
blanketed parts of rural Iceland and left a widening arc of grounded
aircraft across Europe, as thousands of planes stayed on the tarmac
to avoid the hazardous cloud. Travel chaos engulfed major European
cities and the UN warned of possible health risks from falling ash.
2010 Apr 17, A lingering
volcanic ash plume forced extended no-fly restrictions over much of
Europe, as Icelandic scientists warned that volcanic activity had
increased and showed no sign of abating, a portent of more travel
chaos to come. Nearly 17,000 flights to and from Europe were
cancelled out of about 22,000 on a normal day.
(AP, 4/17/10)(Econ, 4/24/10, p.63)
2010 Apr 20, Airplanes
gradually took to the skies after five days of being grounded by a
volcanic ash cloud that has devastated European travel. Only limited
flights were allowed to resume at some European airports and UK
authorities said London airports would remained closed for at least
another day due to new danger from the invisible ash cloud.
2010 Apr 20, India’s trade
ministry said it will launch a formal dispute against the EU at the
World Trade Organization (WTO) over EU seizures of Indian generic
2010 Apr 22, European airports
sent thousands of planes into the sky after a week of unprecedented
disruptions, with airlines piling on more flights and bigger planes
to try to get as many people home as possible.
2010 Apr 22, Markets hammered
Greece after the EU revised the debt-ridden country's deficit and
debt figures upwards, sending the country's borrowing costs to
unsustainably high levels and pushing Athens closer to calling for
an expensive rescue.
2010 Apr 28, EU Pres. Herman
Van Rompuy said he is fully confident that debt-laden Greece will
receive the financial assistance it needs in time to address its
debt problems and to preserve eurozone stability. Greece faced a May
19 deadline, when around euro 10 billion of debt comes due.
2010 Apr 29, Thailand's "Red
Shirt" protesters called on the European Union to send observers to
prevent a crackdown by the army, but the government warned others
not to meddle in its internal affairs. Theo-establishment activists
demanded military action against anti-government protesters and an
end to "anarchy" in the capital.
(AFP, 4/29/10)(AP, 4/29/10)
2010 Apr 30, The EU's foreign
affairs chief Catherine Ashton said that China is willing to discuss
sanctions on Iran as long as they are carefully targeted and bolster
efforts to curb the Iranian nuclear program.
2010 May 2, Greece reached
agreement with the EU and the International Monetary Fund on rescue
loans, a lifeline worth $146 billion, to keep Athens from defaulting
on its debts, a deal that will impose harsh cuts on the county's 11
million people for years.
(AP, 5/2/10)(SFC, 5/3/10, p.A2)
2010 May 4, Iceland's volcanic
ash renewed its threat to European air space, forcing Ireland to
shut services temporarily for the first time in 12 days. Ireland and
Britain lifted flight restrictions after temporarily closing
airspace due to the return of ash.
(AP, 5/4/10)(AFP, 5/4/10)
2010 May 8, Hundreds of flights
between Europe and North America were either delayed or canceled due
to the spreading cloud of volcanic ash stretching across much of the
northern Atlantic. Spain shut 19 northern airports including
Barcelona because of the cloud of ash.
(AP, 5/8/10)(Reuters, 5/8/10)
2010 May 9, European Union
leaders agreed to provide $572 billion in new loans and $78 billion
under an existing lending program to contain its spreading
government debt crisis and keep it from tearing the euro currency
apart and derailing the global economic recovery. An IMF
contribution of $325 million would raise the amount to over $975
million. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) fund was
conjured up as a backstop for Eurozone countries should they shut
out of bond markets. On Sep 20 it was given a AAA grade by the three
major ratings agencies.
5/10/10)(SFC, 5/10/10, p.A2)(SFC, 5/11/10, p.D2)(Econ, 9/25/10,
2010 May 9, A plume of volcanic
ash snaked its way through southern France, Switzerland, Italy and
Germany, shutting down airports and disrupting flights across
2010 May 10, EU finance
ministers agree to a €500 billion “stabilization fund" for euro-zone
(Econ, 6/12/10, p.83)
2010 May 12, The European Union
set out plans to vet member state budgets before national
parliaments do in a power-grab that could trigger a divisive
referendum in Britain and provoked Swedish anger. Spain announced
big public sector wage cuts and market sentiment buoyed by positive
growth figures as several states shook off recession.
2010 May 18, Britain’s new
chancellor George Osborne called for a freeze to the EU's 2011
budget, saying it was "unacceptable" for Brussels to demand a huge
2010 May 18, Greece received a
14.5 billion euro ($18 billion) loan from the EU and can now repay
its immediate debt, but still faces a mammoth task to claw its way
out of recession.
2010 May 21, European Union
finance ministers started laying out new, tougher rules for their
public finances in the hopes of winning back market confidence and
preventing a repeat of the debt crisis that is threatening the euro.
2010 May 29, The 55th annual
Eurovision song competition was expected to be watched by more than
120 million viewers in 39 European countries as well as in Burma,
Australia and New Zealand. Norway's public broadcaster NRK spent 200
million kroner (25 million euros, 30 million dollars) to host the
2010 Jun 3, The European
Commission announced it has sent a final warning to Britain over its
failure to comply with EU air quality rules, due to the levels of
dangerous airborne particles in London and Gibraltar.
2010 Jun 17, European Union
leaders agreed tighter sanctions against Iran, including measures to
block oil and gas investment and curtail its refining and natural
2010 Jun 24, The
Strasbourg-based European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that
European law does not require countries to grant same-sex couples
the right to marry, even if some states have already done so. The
ECHR is part of the Council of Europe, which promotes democracy and
the rule of law among its 47 member states.
2010 Jun 24, Noorsat, the
operator which handles the broadcasting of Al-Aqsa TV to parts of
Europe and throughout the Middle East, shut down the broadcasts of
Al-Aqsa TV, a Gaza-based television station accused of inciting
hatred of Jews and Israel.
2010 Jul 6, EU foreign affairs
chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran to stop the execution of three
people including a woman who faces death by stoning for adultery.
Ashton said she was "deeply concerned" about reports that the
executions of Mohammad Reza Haddadi, who was sentenced to hang for a
murder he committed when he was a minor, and the woman, Sakineh
Mohammadi-Ashtiani, "may be imminent." She also renewed her call for
Iran to drop the death sentence against Zeynab Jalalian, a Kurd who
awaits execution for being an "enemy of God."
2010 Jul 6, An EU lawmaker
urged member governments to open their secret files on UFOs. Mario
Borghezio, an Italian member of the European Parliament, said that
the EU needs its own "X Files" archive where anyone can see
information on UFOs, including data gathered by the military.
2010 Jul 6, The EU banned most
of Iran Air's jets from flying to Europe because of safety concerns,
emphasizing that the move was not related to UN sanctions against
Iran over its nuclear program.
2010 Jul 7, European Union
lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to cap bankers' short-term cash
bonuses from next year, a move that European leaders hope other
parts of the world will follow.
2010 Jul 23, Seven out of 91
banks failed European stress tests, which were organized in hope of
reviving investor confidence in Europe's embattled banking sector.
German state-owned lender Hypo Real Estate, five regional savings
banks in Spain and ATEBank of Greece failed the test of whether they
could resist a new financial shock. All have been ordered to
recapitalize or take state aid.
2010 Jul 26, The EU adopted
tighter sanctions on Iran over its disputed nuclear program, with
steps to block oil and gas investment and curtail Tehran's refining
and natural gas capability.
2010 Aug 14, The EU told
military-run Myanmar that its Nov. 7 elections, the first in two
decades, will not be considered legitimate in the eyes of the world
unless it can ensure the vote is free and fair.
2010 Aug 20, The European
Union's high court temporarily exempted Inuit hunters in Canada and
Greenland from the bloc's new trade ban on seal products, while
asking European Parliament and EU governments to justify the ban.
2010 Aug 26, The archbishop of
Paris joined the tide of criticism over France's crackdown on
Gypsies, calling it a "circus," while the EU's justice commissioner
denounced French officials' discriminatory tone about the vulnerable
2010 Sep 3, Finland and Sweden
urged the European Union to create an independent peace institute to
broaden the scope of the bloc's peacekeeping efforts around the
2010 Sep 7, The EU condemned
the stoning to death sentence passed against Sakineh Mohammadi
Ashtiani, an Iranian woman convicted for adultery, saying it was
2010 Sep 9, The European
Parliament called on France to suspend its expulsion of gypsies. The
rare criticism of an EU state was backed by 337 lawmakers meeting in
Strasbourg, France, with 245 opposed and 51 abstentions. To date
France had deported 8,000 people to Romania and Bulgaria this year
(AP, 9/9/10)(Econ, 9/18/10, p.73)
2010 Sep 12, In Kosovo a French
Gendarme was shot and wounded during clashes between ethnic
Albanians and Serbs in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica as
European Union police fired tear gas to disperse the violent crowd.
2010 Sep 14, The European
Commission threatened legal action against France over its crackdown
on Roma minorities, drawing a parallel between their treatment and
World War II-era deportations.
2010 Sep 22, The European Union
Parliament approved new financial oversight institutions aimed at
preventing another financial crisis like the one that led to massive
bank bailouts at taxpayer expense.
2010 Sep 24, European coastal
nations agreed to review rules for offshore drilling, but said each
country should decide individually on how to improve safety oil rig
safety to avoid disasters like the Gulf of Mexico spill.
2010 Sep 29, The European Union
decided to launch legal action against France over its expulsions of
Gypsies, or Roma, to poorer EU nations.
2010 Sep 29, Anti-austerity
protests erupted across Europe. Greek doctors and railway employees
walked out, Spanish workers shut down trains and buses, and one man
even blocked the Irish parliament with a cement truck to decry the
country's enormous bank bailouts.
2010 Oct 1, European oil majors
resisted pressure from the US to stop all business with Iran, in
spite of Washington's drive to isolate Tehran over a nuclear program
the West suspects is aimed at making bombs.
2010 Oct 1, The European
Commission said it has decided to more than double its Pakistan
flood aid to 150 million euros (205 million dollars). The UN has
issued a record two-billion-dollar appeal for funds to cope with the
disaster, which UN agencies say affected 21 million people and left
12 million in need of emergency food aid.
2010 Oct 4, In Belgium European
and Asian leaders opened a formal summit amid high security and
palace opulence, hoping to agree on commitments to keep the global
financial system on an even keel and find a better balance on the
2010 Oct 4, The European
Commission offered Libya up to 50 million euros (70 million dollars)
in aid to stop the flow of illegal migrants to Europe and protect
refugees. Cecilia Malmstroem, EU home affairs commissioner, and
European neighbourhood policy commission Stefan Fuele signed a
migration cooperation agenda with Libya.
2010 Oct 6, The US and EU said
that UN climate talks in Ttianjin, China, were making less progress
than hoped due to rifts over rising economies' emission goals, while
China pushed back and put the onus on rich nations.
2010 Oct 8, Organizers said a
ticket-holder in Britain has won a record 129 million euros (181
million dollars) on the Euromillions lottery, although nobody has
yet come forward to claim the prize. The Euromillions lottery,
launched in 2004, is now played by nine countries across western
2010 Oct 18, Germany, yielding
to French pressure, softened its stance on stricter eurozone budget
rules, angering governments that counted on Berlin to force through
sanctions for nations living beyond their means.
2010 Oct 19, European Union
finance ministers sealed a deal to regulate the trillion-dollar
hedge fund industry after Britain and France settled a long-running
2010 Oct 19, The European
Commission said it will temporarily suspend its human rights
complaint against France for its expulsions of Gypsies, or Roma,
after Paris promised to alter some of its laws to match EU
2010 Oct 19, The EU announced
plans for a five-year ban on animal cloning for food production as
well as a traceability system for imports of semen and embryos of
2010 Oct 19, Iran said some
Western companies were refusing to refuel its planes in Europe and
warned it would "confront" such measures, which it deemed illegal
under international law.
2010 Oct 21, The European
Parliament awarded its annual human rights prize to Guillermo
Farinas (48), the Cuban dissident whose 134-day hunger strike helped
draw attention to the plight of political dissidents jailed in a
2003 crackdown on dissent.
2010 Oct 23, The European
Commission warned Italy that it may face sanctions if it doesn’t
remove some 2,400 tons of trash piled up in the streets of Naples.
(SSFC, 10/24/10, p.A6)
2010 Oct 29, Britain’s PM David
Cameron claimed that the days of "crazy" European Union spending are
finished after a deal to keep Brussels in line with reduced national
2010 Oct 29, Iran notified the
EU that it is willing to restart international negotiations over its
nuclear program after Nov. 10, potentially reviving talks that
foundered a year ago.
2010 Nov 4, European computer
guards battled against a simulated attempt by hackers to bring down
critical Internet services in the first pan-continental test of
cyber defenses. All 27 of the EU member nations as well as Iceland,
Norway and Switzerland took part in the simulation. The USA held its
own major exercise against a large-scale cyber attack on critical
infrastructure in late September with 12 international partners and
60 private companies. Cyber security will be one of the top issues
that NATO leaders will tackle at a summit of the 28-nation military
alliance in Lisbon on November 20-29.
2010 Nov 10, Human rights
groups said they have filed a complaint with the EU accusing the
Czech government of failing to comply with a court order that it
stop placing thousands of healthy Roma children in schools for the
(SFC, 11/11/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 11, An EU indictment
revealed that at least seven people, including former Kosovo senior
health ministry official Ilir Rrecaj, were suspected of involvement
in an international network that falsely promised poor people
payment for their kidneys and then sold the organs for as much as
euro100,000 ($137,000). Five Kosovo nationals, Turkish doctor Yusuf
Sonmez and Moshe Harel, an Israeli citizen, were listed as wanted by
2010 Nov 16, The European Union
issued a stark assessment of the Irish debt crisis, warning that the
future of the 27-nation bloc was at risk as ministers headed for
talks on an increasingly probable rescue.
2010 Nov 17, Ireland agreed to
work with an EU-IMF mission on urgent steps to shore up its
shattered banking sector.
2010 Nov 22, Ireland's the
government said banks will be pruned down, merged or sold as part of
a massive EU-IMF bailout taking shape. Ireland's Greens pulled the
plug on the deeply unpopular coalition government by calling for a
national election in January after an EU/IMF bailout package is in
(AP, 11/22/10)(Reuters, 11/22/10)
2010 Nov 23, The European Union
urged Ireland to adopt an austerity budget on time to unlock
promised EU/IMF funding, responding to a deepening political crisis
that threatens to derail the financial rescue.
2010 Nov 23, The EU’s
anti-piracy naval force said that have caught 16 suspected Somali
pirates over the past 5 days in the Indian Ocean with the help of
the Seychelles coast guard.
(SFC, 11/24/10, p.A2)
2010 Nov 25, The EU high court
ruled that there is no such thing as "pure chocolate," ending an
EU-Italy food fight over chocolate labels. It also said the EU's
1999 chocolate labeling rules make no room for a "pure chocolate"
reference like the one Italy enacted in a 2003 law.
2010 Nov 25, European lawmakers
voted in favor of an independent, UN-backed investigation into
violence in Western Sahara that has left up to 11 people dead in the
2010 Nov 28, The EU's finance
ministers agreed in an emergency meeting in Brussels to give Ireland
a euro67.5 billion bailout to help it survive its massive banking
crisis, and sketched out new rules for future emergencies to restore
faith in the euro currency.
2010 Nov 30, The EU announced
that Iran has agreed to discuss its nuclear program at a meeting
next week in Geneva.
2010 Nov, A Eurobarometer
survey showed that faith in the courts was the lowest in Lithuania
among 27 European Union member states.
2010 Dec 6, European nations
wrestled over whether to commit more money to help stabilize the
euro, as finance ministers gathered in Brussels to find ways to
fight the debt crisis that has rocked the currency bloc.
2010 Dec 7, The EU conceded
that its previous bank stress tests were not stringent enough as it
confirmed that it will start a new round in February, while the
continent's strongest economies bet they can sort out the region's
debt crisis without the need to top up bailout funds.
2010 Dec 8, The EU competition
watchdog fined 5 Taiwanese and South Korean electronics companies
euro649 million ($857 million) for fixing prices on LCD panels
between 2001 and 2006. Samsung Electronics Co., also participated in
the price fixing but escaped a fine because it blew the whistle on
2010 Dec 10, EU banking
supervisors agreed on finalized mandatory guidelines for awarding
bank bonuses, saying key requirements can be "neutralized" for less
risky firms and staff.
2010 Dec 13, The EU said it
will impose sanctions on Ivory Coast unless the incumbent president
recognizes his rival as the winner of last month's election, as
panic spread in Abidjan after shots were briefly fired.
2010 Dec 14, EU Parliament
President Jerzy Buzek said that Guillermo Farinas, whose 134-day
hunger strike helped draw attention to the plight of Cuban political
dissidents, would be represented by an empty chair at the midweek
ceremony to award the Sakharov Prize for the Freedom of Thought.
2010 Dec 14, Amnesty
International accused the European Union and Libya of cooperating to
prevent migrants from Africa from reaching Europe.
2010 Dec 15, Cuban dissident
Guillermo Farinas (48) used a video address at today’s award of the
EU's main human rights prize, to call for the release of political
prisoners in his homeland and for the government to end attacks on
the opposition. Farinas was not allowed by Cuba to travel to receive
the prize in Strasbourg, France.
2010 Dec 16, Human Rights Watch
urged the EU to stop returning migrants and asylum seekers to
Ukraine, saying that they faced abuse and torture in the former
2010 Dec 18, Fresh snow brought
much of Britain to a standstill, on what is traditionally the
busiest weekend for shopping and travel in the run-up to Christmas.
Blizzards and freezing temperatures shut down runways, train tracks
and highways across Europe.
(Reuters, 12/18/10)(AP, 12/18/10)
2010 Dec 19, Europe saw little
respite from the Arctic conditions that have closed airports and
disrupted travel on the weekend before Christmas.
2010 Dec 20, The European Union
Divorce Law Pact or Rome III Regulation, formally Council Regulation
(EU) No. 1259/2010, implementing enhanced cooperation in the area of
the law applicable to divorce and legal separation is a regulation
concerning the applicable law regarding divorce valid in 16
countries. In 2016 Estonia became the 17th country to sign the
2010 Dec 20, Snow and frigid
temperatures caused disruption across northern Europe for a third
day, stranding travelers, snarling traffic and shutting schools, and
the bad weather is likely to run through Christmas.
2010 Dec 23, The EU and the US
jointly threatened to review ties with Belarus following an
opposition crackdown after elections that kept President Alexander
Lukashenko in power.
2010 Dec 24, Heavy snow
stranded thousands of Christmas travelers in Europe, with Belgium's
main airport closed for landing and icy roads in Sweden choked with
2010 Dec 29, The spokesman for
the EU's anti-piracy force said Somali pirates over the Christmas
weekend unsuccessfully targeted two ships, going farther south than
ever before to attack vessels.
2011 Jan 1, The new European
External Action Service (EEAS) came into being.
(Econ, 2/5/11, p.64)
2011 Jan 1, In Hungary a new
media law went into effect the same day Hungary took over the
rotating EU presidency from Belgium. The law greatly expanded the
state's power to monitor and penalize private news outlets,
including on the Internet. Publications deemed to be unbalanced or
offensive in their coverage could face large fines.
2011 Jan 11, Japan said it
plans to buy at least a fifth of the initial installment of the
bonds being sold to finance Europe's bailout fund, which is aimed at
2011 Jan 15, The EU raised
pressure on Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo to step down, freezing
assets of the country's cocoa-exporting ports, its state oil firm
and three banks.
2011 Jan 19, The European
Commission, which regulates the trading of carbon emissions
certificates, shut the carbon credit trading system down following a
spate of computer attacks that stole certificates worth about $62
million. The shutdown was expected to last a week.
(SFC, 1/20/11, p.D3)(Econ, 2/5/11, p.88)
2011 Jan 26, The European
Union's top competition regulator blocked the merger between Greek
airlines Olympic Air and Aegean Airlines SA, saying a combined
carrier could monopolize Greek air travel.
2011 Jan 27, The European
Commission launched legal action against Sweden for allowing hunters
to shoot 20 wolves this year even though the species is threatened
2011 Jan 30, Israel signed an
agreement with the European Space Agency for cooperation on space
technology and exploration of the solar system.
2011 Jan 31, The EU said that
the World Trade Organization found US aid to Boeing violated
international rules, confirming a preliminary ruling in the
long-running subsidy battle between the Chicago-based plane maker
and European rival Airbus.
2011 Jan 31, European Union
foreign ministers agreed to freeze the assets of Tunisia's former
President Zine-al Abidine Ben Ali and his wife.
2011 Jan 31, The US and the EU
imposed sanctions against Belarus Pres. Lukashenko and scores of
other officials for a broad crackdown on the opposition following
fraudulent elections last year.
(SFC, 2/1/11, p.A2)
2011 Feb 1, Maj. Gen. Buster
Howes, commander of the EU Naval Force, said Somali pirates have
begun systematically torturing hostages and using them as human
2011 Feb 4, European leaders
launched a trillion-euro bid to slash dependency on Middle East oil
and Russian gas, clearing the way to place nuclear power at the
center of 21st century needs.
2011 Feb 11, Canada asked the
World Trade Organization to set up a panel to resolve its dispute
with the European Union over the EU's ban on trade in seal products.
2011 Feb 12, Greece slammed EU
and the IMF inspectors overseeing efforts to reform its
debt-crippled economy. The IMF, the European Central Bank and the
European Commission said Greece must privatize $68 billion in state
assets and speed up structural reforms. Unemployment was at 13.5%
and was forecast to reach 15%.
(SSFC, 2/13/11, p.A4)(Econ, 2/5/11, p.62)
2011 Feb 14, European ministers
in Brussels fought over the best way to combat the debt crisis that
has crippled the eurozone over the past year.
2011 Feb 15, The European Union
said it is extending visa bans and an asset freeze against President
Robert Mugabe and 163 individuals and 31 companies in Zimbabwe.
2011 Feb 21, Egypt asked
Britain for its support in seeking debt forgiveness from Europe, in
the latest push to boost an economy bruised by weeks of protests
that toppled Pres. Mubarak. Egypt owed the EU member states about $9
billion. According to central bank figures the country's total
foreign debt stood at about $34.7 billion as of the end of September
2011 Feb 22, A French creator
of specialized search engines filed a new complaint with the
European Union about alleged anticompetitive behavior by Google Inc.
2011 Feb 28, The European Union
slapped its own arms embargo, visa ban and other sanctions on Libyan
leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime.
2011 Mar 1, The European Court
of Justice said insurers must stop setting prices based on gender,
in a move that could raise costs for women drivers, cut male
pensions, and prompt more legal challenges to insurance pricing
2011 Mar 8, The European Union
agreed to slap new sanctions on Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi's
regime, notably targeting the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), the
overseas investment vehicle for Tripoli's oil revenues.
2011 Mar 11, Euro-zone leaders
began a 2-day summit to launch the “pact for the euro," a pledge to
align members’ economic policies and enhance their competitiveness.
(Econ, 3/19/11, p.62)
2011 Mar 16, Europol said
police in several countries have arrested 184 alleged members of an
online pedophile ring and rescued 230 children in one of the biggest
operations of its kind. Dubbed Operation Rescue, Europol said the
probe started three years ago.
2011 Mar 18, The European Court
of Human Rights in Strasbourg France, ruled that crucifixes in
public schools do not violate a student’s freedom of conscience.
(SFC, 3/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Mar 21, The European Union
froze the assets of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and 18
people in his inner circle.
2011 Mar 21, The European Union
agreed new economic sanctions against Moamer Kadhafi's regime,
targeting both individuals and economic entities.
2011 Mar 25, European leaders
agreed a new package of anti-crisis measures at a two-day summit,
but were forced to delay increasing their rescue fund and
acknowledged they faced new threats from a government collapse in
2011 Mar 25, European Union
leaders called for worldwide stress testing of nuclear plants and
committed to putting their 143 reactors through the toughest
security checks possible.
2011 Apr 8, According to a
study about one in 10 cancers in men and one in 33 in women in
western European countries are caused by current and past alcohol
2011 Apr 8, Europe's top
financial officials said that debt-ridden Portugal will need around
euro80 billion ($114 billion) in rescue loans and that negotiations
over a full, multiyear bailout program will begin immediately.
2011 Apr 11, The European Union
agreed to impose sanctions on 32 Iranian officials for human rights
2011 Apr 17, A train carrying
Tunisian immigrants from Italy was halted at the French border in an
escalation of an international dispute over the fate of North
African migrants fleeing political unrest for refuge in Europe,
unprecedented since the introduction of the Schengen travel-free
2011 May 3, Portugal announced
a bailout of 78 billion euros by the IMF, the EU and the European
Central Bank to avoid default. The conditions as well as the key
reaction of opposition parties remain unclear.
2011 May 4, The European Union
said six Zimbabwean state-media journalists are on a sanctions list
because they incite hatred in their reporting. The journalists who
fiercely support President Robert Mugabe are among some 200
individuals linked to Mugabe's party who face banking and travel
bans from the EU, the US and Britain.
2011 May 6, The EU agreed to
place sanctions on Syrian officials next week as it tries to halt a
government crackdown against protesters.
2011 May 7, Europe faced the
specter of Greek calls for new financial aid as Athens'
"catastrophic" finances returned to haunt stressed eurozone states,
despite efforts to prevent panic. The Greek public deficit for 2010
was recently revised upwards, from 9.4 percent of gross domestic
product to 10.5 percent.
2011 May 10, The Court of
Justice of the EU ruled that gay couples in civil partnerships
should enjoy the same rights as heterosexual married couples.
(SFC, 5/11/11, p.A2)
2011 May 10, Iran said it has
accepted the European Union's proposal for more talks about the
country's controversial nuclear program.
2011 May 22, The European Union
established formal diplomatic contact with the opposition seeking to
topple Moammar Gadhafi by opening an office in the eastern rebel
stronghold of Benghazi and promised support for a democratic Libya.
2011 May 23, EU foreign
ministers decided to impose asset freezes and travel bans on more
Iranian officials and companies with links to the nuclear program.
It was not yet clear how many officials and companies were involved.
2011 May 23, The EU imposed
sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad because of his
government's continuing crackdown on anti-government protesters,
condemning the violence in which more than 900 people have
reportedly been killed.
2011 May 26, African leaders
demanded an outright end to NATO air strikes on Libya. Spain says it
and other European governments have received a message from Libyan
PM Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi proposing an immediate cease-fire in his
country's war. Global Witness said Goldman Sachs and HSBC together
held $335 million of the Libyan oil fund's assets, while Societe
Generale held $1 billion in structured products for the fund.
(AFP, 5/26/11)(AP, 5/26/11)(Reuters, 5/26/11)
2011 May 28, Japan and the EU
agreed at a summit meeting to begin negotiations on a free trade
agreement that would deepen economic ties between two of the world's
largest economies. As a bloc, the EU is the world's largest economy;
Japan is number four.
2011 May 30, European
anti-trust regulators launched in-depth probes into proposed US
takeovers of South Korean and Japanese businesses manufacturing
computer hard disk drives (HDD). The planned acquisitions of the
hard disk drive operations of South Korean electronics giant Samsung
by Seagate Technology, and the storage business of Japan's Hitachi
by Western Digital Corporation in a sector with just five
manufacturers worldwide have raised concerns. Brussels officials
have until October 10 to decide what action if any they will take.
2011 May 31, Europe's human
rights court ruled that Russia was guilty of violations in its
jailing of former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, but found no firm
proof that the case was politically motivated.
2011 Jun 2, Spain's prime
minister hit out at the European Commission and Germany for singling
out the country's produce as a possible source of a deadly bacterial
outbreak in Europe, and said the government would demand
explanations and reparations. The World Health Organization said the
E. coli bacteria responsible for a mysterious outbreak that has left
18 people dead and sickened hundreds is a new strain that has never
been seen before. The illness had now spread to at least 10 European
countries and fanned uncertainty about eating tomatoes, cucumbers
2011 Jun 7, The EU imposed
sanctions on 6 ports still held by Colonel Qaddafi. Russian
President Dmitri Medvedev sent an envoy to Libya For the first time
to meet with rebel leaders in the city of Benghazi and promise
support. At least 40 NATO strikes hit Tripoli as Khadafy spoke in an
audio address and vowed never to surrender.
(Econ, 6/18/11, p.53)(AFP, 6/7/11)(SFC, 6/8/11,
2011 Jun 16, Palestinian
foreign minister Riyad al-Malki urged Spain and the rest of the EU
to recognize a Palestinian state with borders from before the 1967
Six Day War.
(AFP, 6/16/11)(AFP, 6/16/11)
2011 Jun 19, European aerospace
giant EADS unveiled its "Zero Emission Hypersonic Transportation"
(Zehst) rocket plane it hopes will be able to fly from Paris to
Tokyo in 2.5 hours by around 2050.
2011 Jun 20, Euro zone finance
ministers applied intense pressure on Greece, saying it had to
approve stricter austerity measures before a final decision is made
on a further 12 billion euros in loans.
2011 Jun 22, Russia and the EU
signed a deal agreeing conditions for the resumption of EU fresh
vegetable imports to Russia, which banned them because of a deadly
2011 Jun 24, European Union
leaders appointed Italy's Mario Draghi as the next president of the
European Central Bank, a move that gives investors much-needed
certainty over who will lead the institution in its pivotal role in
the fight against the crippling debt crisis.
2011 Jun 24, EU officials said
Croatia will become a European Union member in two years, making it
the first new country to join the bloc since 2007 and offering hope
to other nations from the former Yugoslavia seeking to join.
2011 Jul 1, Poland took over
the rotating presidency of the EU.
(Econ, 6/25/11, p.66)
2011 Jul 4, The European Union
said it will restart food aid to North Korea after the country's
repressive communist regime agreed to an unprecedented monitoring
system as it suffers through its worst food crisis in years. The WFP
will check delivery at every stage and pay more than 400 visits a
month to distribution sites, hospitals, child-care facilities and
2011 Jul 5, The EU announced
action against Egyptian bean and seed imports, after tests indicated
that a 15-ton batch of Egyptian fenugreek seeds imported in 2009 to
Germany and then distributed elsewhere was at the root of an E.coli
outbreak that killed 50 people.
2011 Jul 5, Moody’s Investor
Service cut Portugal’s debt to junk status, a decision condemned by
all of Europe. Europe Central Bank pres. Jean-Claude Trichet called
for a European-based rating agency.
(SSFC, 7/10/11, p.A4)
2011 Jul 6, The EU Parliament
passed a resolution calling for EU-wide legislation stipulating that
at least 40% of seats on listed companies’ supervisory boards be
reserved for women by the year 2020.
(Econ, 7/23/11, p.61)
2011 Jul 11, The European Union
signed an agreement to provide 2.5 million euros ($3.5 million) to
help care for rape victims in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
2011 Jul 14, Switzerland
suspended imports of some seeds, beans and sprouts from Egypt, after
the EU blamed Egyptian fenugreek seeds for E.coli outbreaks in
Germany and France. The temporary ban would expire in October 31,
2011, in line with the EU's suspension.
2011 Jul 19, The European
Commission resumed aid to Niger, releasing 25 million euros ($35
million) after the west African nation returned to democracy this
year following a coup.
2011 Jul 21, Eurozone leaders
agreed to give Greece euro109 billion ($156 billion) in new
financing in a complex package that includes new loans, buybacks of
Greek debt, and credit guarantees under the deal agreed.
2011 Aug 16, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy and Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel called for
greater economic and political unity among the 17 nations that share
2011 Aug 18, Four EU countries
(Austria, Netherlands, Slovakia, Slovenia) said they want hundreds
of millions of euros in collateral as security for a bailout of
Greece. Finland had just struck a deal with Greece for cash
collateral on Aug 16.
(SFC, 8/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug 18, Stock markets
around the world plunged as rising signs of a US recession combined
with renewed worries over the financial health of Europe's banks.
2011 Aug 18, Syrian President
Bashar Assad told the UN chief that military operations in his
country have ended. The EU urged Syria's President Assad to resign
amid a mounting crackdown on an anti-government revolt. Activists
reported intense shooting around noon in the flashpoint city of
2011 Aug 24, The EU announced
that it was leveling sanctions against Iran’s Al Quds military
force, saying it had given technical and material aid to Pres. Assad
of Syria in his efforts to quell a 5-month old uprising against his
(SFC, 8/25/11, p.A2)
2011 Aug, Belgium, France,
Italy and Spain introduced bans to prevent the short selling of
financial stocks. The EU banned naked shorting of shares in October,
effective in Nov, 2012.
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.88)
2011 Sep 2, The EU banned oil
imports from Syria in a move that will cost the embattled regime
millions of dollars each day as it uses deadly force to try to crush
a 5-month-old uprising. Activists said at least six people were
killed in the crackdown.
2011 Sep 5, The EU's
counter-terrorism coordinator said Al-Qaeda's north African branch
has acquired a stockpile of weapons in Libya, including
surface-to-air missiles threatening air travel.
2011 Sep 16, The EU said
helicopters are being used to ferry staff and supplies to border
crossings in the north after minority Serbs blocked main roads in
anger over Kosovo's efforts to take over customs posts. Both
northern crossings remained closed for commercial goods, but
Kosovo's trade minister Mimoza Kusari said Serbian goods started
entering Kosovo's eastern border with Serbia minutes after the EU
mission took over control.
2011 Oct 11, Slovakia's
parliament rejected a bill that would have strengthened the powers
of the regional rescue fund to help bail out strapped economies in
the eurozone. Outgoing PM Iveta Radicova and her main opponent said
they will work to try to get the bill through Parliament.
2011 Oct 12, Serbia received
European Union notice for recommendation to become an official EU
candidate. The recommendation must formally be approved by the EU's
Council of Ministers on Dec 9. A date to begin formal accession
talks depended on the country and neighboring Kosovo to improve
(AP, 10/12/11)(AP, 10/15/11)
2011 Oct 18, The EU’s top court
ruled that scientists cannot patent stem cell techniques that use
human embryos for research.
(SFC, 10/19/11, p.A2)
2011 Oct 27, Europe sealed a
last-ditch deal to fix its festering debt crisis by shoring up its
bailout fund, pledging new funds for Greece and pushing banks to
share the pain at a summit vital to the health of the global
economy. Greece was provided with a second bailout package worth
€130 billion ($184 billion) to stave off bankruptcy.
(AFP, 10/27/11)(AP, 10/28/11)
2011 Oct 27, Five Arab Spring
activists won the European parliament's Sakharov prize awarded to
campaigners for freedom. They include Mohamed Bouazizi of Tunisia,
awarded posthumously, Egyptian militant Asmaa Mahfouz, Libyan
dissident Ahmed al-Zubair Ahmed al-Sanusi, Syrian lawyer Razan
Zeitouneh and Syrian cartoonist Ali Farzat.
2011 Oct 28, Committee of
Ministers of the Council of Europe opened Medicrime convention for
signature. It aimed to punish drug counterfeiters and speed
information sharing. As of 2012 it was signed by 18 European
countries, but ratified only by Ukraine.
2011 Oct 31, In Zimbabwe a $430
million fund was launched with the help of the EU and UNICEF to give
children and pregnant women free medical care at public hospitals.
2011 Nov 1, Mario Draghi
succeeded Jean Claude Trichet as president of the European Central
(Econ, 10/22/11, p.16)
2011 Nov 3, Officials close to
the Greek PM Papandreou said he has scrapped his plan to hold a
referendum on the latest European debt deal for Greece after the
main opposition leader said would back it. A spokesman for Greece's
government says it is prepared to discuss an opposition demand for
the creation of a transitional government to approve the latest
European bailout deal and secure the next installment of rescue
loans for the country.
2011 Nov 12, EU foreign policy
chief Catherine Ashton officially opened a delegation in Tripoli
before holding talks with Libya's interim leaders as the bloc moved
to cement relations.
2011 Nov 14, EU foreign
ministers decided to impose additional sanctions on 18 Syrians in
response to the killings of protesters by Syrian President Bashar
Assad's regime. The sanctions also include suspending the
disbursement of European Investment Bank loans.
2011 Nov 15, Europe's top court
barred Britain from enacting a corporate tax reform in its tiny
territory of Gibraltar, ruling the scheme would amount to illegal
state aid for offshore companies.
2011 Nov 15, The EU said it has
tightened controls on imports of Chinese rice products after a
growing number of shipments were contaminated by unauthorized
2011 Nov 18, The European
Commission said an extra 10 million euros ($13.5 million) in
humanitarian funding will go on addressing "major shortfalls" in
food in the Sahel region. The crisis is affecting 7 million people
in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Nigeria.
2011 Nov 22, The European
Commission announced that it will send additional aid to Afghanistan
to help drought victims in need of food for themselves and their
animals before winter snows block roads. That brings the total
commission response to the Afghan drought to euro4.5 million, or
about $6.1 million.
2011 Nov 24, The EU said that
protecting civilians caught up in Syria's crackdown on
anti-government protests "is an increasingly urgent and important
aspect" of responding to the bloodshed there. At least three more
people were killed by Syrian security forces. The British-based
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination
Committees said 15 defectors were either killed or wounded in
clashes near Rastan. 6 elite pilots and 4 technical officers were
killed in an ambush in Homs. The Arab League gave Syria 24 hours to
agree to an observer mission or face sanctions.
(AP, 11/24/11)(AP, 11/25/11)
2011 Nov 30, Amid fears of a
eurozone collapse, central banks of the United States, the eurozone,
Britain, Japan, Canada and Switzerland said that they would cut the
cost of providing dollars to banks. The move pushed the DJIA up 490
points, its biggest gain since March 2009.
(AFP, 12/1/11)(SFC, 12/1/11, p.D1)
2011 Dec 1, Berlin-based
Transparency International (TI) said corruption is hampering efforts
to tackle the eurozone debt crisis, as Greece (80) and Italy (69)
scored badly in a list of nations seen to be the most sleaze-ridden.
Nepal ranked 154th out of 183 countries. New Zealand ranked the
cleanest, while the US ranked 24th.
2011 Dec 2, Britain’s PM David
Cameron held emergency talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy,
while France and Germany tried to drum up support for a new EU
treaty to enforce budget discipline.
2011 Dec 2, Kosovo and Serbia
have agreed on normalizing border procedures, one of the thorniest
issues in current talks between the two rivals. An EU statement
said, "The parties will gradually set up the joint, integrated,
single and secure posts at all their common crossing points."
2011 Dec 2, In Syria hours of
intense shooting and clashes killed at least four people and wounded
dozens more, including an 11-year-old girl who was struck by stray
bullets that whizzed across the border into Lebanon. The European
Union released the names of Syrian officials and companies to be
added to a growing sanctions blacklist.
2011 Dec 5, France and Germany
reached a compromise agreement to seek mandatory limits on budget
deficits among debt-laden European governments.
(SFC, 12/6/11, p.A9)
2011 Dec 8, The European
Central Bank (ECB) lowered its benchmark rate from 1.25 to 1
percent, the second quarter point cut in as many months.
(Econ, 12/17/11, p.127)
2011 Dec 9, The EU said that 26
of its 27 member countries are open to joining a new treaty tying
their finances together to solve the euro crisis. Only Britain
remained opposed, creating a deep rift in the union. Britain's
leaders argued that the revised treaty would threaten their national
sovereignty and damage London's financial services industry.
2011 Dec 13, European
Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso said that a demand by Britain
for its financial services industry to be exempted from EU
regulation threatened to break up the single market.
2011 Dec 14, European
Parliament lawmakers blocked a deal allowing special access for EU
fishermen to Moroccan waters, prompting Rabat to issue an immediate
ban on European fishing boats. European lawmakers said they wanted
to wanted to wait until the interests of Western Sahara trawlers
were taken on board before agreeing to a 12-month extension.
2011 Dec 16, Europol said
police have arrested 112 people in 22 countries after a yearlong
investigation into child pornography, warning that technology is
making combating the spread of child abuse images ever more
2011 Dec 20, The European Court
of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay more than €1 million ($1.3
million) to dozens of plaintiffs over the country's bungled efforts
to end a 2002 Moscow theater siege by Chechen militants.
2012 Jan 1, As of today the EU
began billing all the world’s airlines for the carbon emissions into
and out of the EU.
(Econ, 1/7/12, p.58)
2012 Jan 6, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy vowed to push ahead with a new tax on financial
transactions, also known as a Tobin tax, even without France's EU
partners, in the face of stiff British resistance. The EU's
executive European Commission adopted plans last September for a
financial transaction tax under which stock and bond trades would be
taxed at the rate of 0.1 percent, with derivatives taxed at 0.01
2012 Jan 8, Britain’s PM David
Cameron said he would veto a European-wide financial transaction tax
unless it was imposed globally, deepening a confrontation with
European Union heavyweights France and Germany. Cameron also
suggested that legislation to curb excessive executive pay,
including giving shareholders new voting powers, could be set out in
2012 Jan 17, The European Union
and Hungary brought their fight over democratic rights fully into
the open, with the EU Commission launching legal challenges against
the former Soviet-bloc country many fear may be slipping back into
2012 Jan 17, The European Court
of Human Rights blocked Britain from extraditing Abu Qatada (aka
Omar Mohammed Othman), an alleged top aide of Osama bin Laden to
Jordan, saying evidence against him may have been obtained through
2012 Jan 18, The EU said it is
doubling humanitarian aid to Africa's Sahel area to 95 million euros
in a "race against time" to lift two million people facing food
shortages out of danger.
2012 Jan 20, The European
Medicines Agency said it is investigating a multiple sclerosis drug
made by Novartis after at least 11 patients taking the drug died.
The drug, Gilenya, was licensed last year in the EU to treat
patients with a severe type of multiple sclerosis.
2012 Jan 22, Croatians voted in
a referendum on whether to join the European Union. 68% approved the
referendum with a turnout of 47% of eligible voters. Croatia signed
an EU accession treaty last year and is on track to become a member
in July 2013.
(AP, 1/22/12)(SFC, 1/23/12, p.A2)
2012 Jan 25, The Haitian
government and European Union signed an agreement for building a
road to connect the capital with the country's second largest city.
2012 Jan 27, Fitch ratings
downgraded the debt of Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain
even as European finance chiefs gathering in Davos sought to
reassure global business leaders that Europe is on track to solve
its debt crises.
(SFC, 1/27/12, p.A4)
2012 Jan 30, Across eastern
Europe heavy snow and a severe cold snap have killed at least 36
people and many areas were under emergency measures as schools
closed down, roads became impassible and power supplies were cut
2012 Jan 31, Ukrainian
authorities said that the number of people who died of hypothermia
in recent days has reached 30 as the country grapples with an
unusually severe cold spell. In all, at least 58 people have died
from the cold in Europe over the last week.
2012 Feb 1, The death toll from
a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe rose to 71, including 43 in
the Ukraine, most of them homeless people.
2012 Feb 2, At least 11,000
villagers have been trapped by heavy snow and blizzards in Serbia's
mountains, as the death toll from Eastern Europe's weeklong deep
freeze rose to 122, many of them homeless people.
2012 Feb 3, The death toll from
a severe cold spell in Eastern Europe rose to 222, including 101 in
the Ukraine, 37 in Poland, 24 in Romania and 16 in Bulgaria.
2012 Feb 8, A senior European
Union official said the EU will impose harsher sanctions on Syria,
as Russia tried to broker talks between the vice president and the
opposition to calm violence. Activists reported at least 50 killed
in military assaults targeting government opponents in Homs.
2012 Feb 11, In Europe snow
drifts reaching up to rooftops kept tens of thousands of villagers
prisoners in their own homes as the death toll from the big freeze
rose past 550. On the French Mediterranean island of Corsica snow
was up to one meter thick in the higher villages and all flights
were cancelled from Bastia airport.
2012 Feb 14, China's Premier
Wen Jiabao said his country was ready to increase its participation
in efforts to resolve Europe's debt crisis, after meeting EU
president Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission president Jose
Manuel Barroso in Beijing.
2012 Feb 15, China's top
central banker expressed confidence in the euro and pledged to
continue buying European sovereign debt, as the Asian giant seeks to
shore up support for its biggest trading partner.
2012 Feb 15, United Nations and
EU aid chiefs called for "urgent" assistance for West Africa's
drought-hit Sahel region, saying it needed $725 million (552 million
euros) this year.
2012 Feb 16, The European
Parliament approved a divisive new fishing and farming accord with
Morocco that will reduce customs costs and boost trade across the
2012 Feb 17, The EU partially
lifted sanctions on Zimbabwe to encourage further progress in
political reforms but kept restrictions on veteran President Robert
2012 Feb 21, Greece reached an
agreement on a $172 billion in loans through 2014 from the EU
governments and the IMF.
(SFC, 2/22/12, p.A4)
2012 Feb 27, European Union
foreign ministers said they were increasingly appalled by the Syrian
government's ruthless campaign of repression against civilians, and
imposed new sanctions in hopes of pressuring the regime to change
2012 Feb 28, The EU announced
the withdrawal of its envoys from Belarus, hours after Belarus asked
the head of the EU's delegation in Minsk and the Polish ambassador
to leave and said it was withdrawing its own from Brussels and
Warsaw. The tit-for-tat followed EU sanctions passed a day earlier
on Belarus over repression of the political opposition.
2012 Mar 1, The European Union
formally granted Serbia the status of a candidate for membership in
the bloc during their summit in recognition of its government's
efforts to round up war crimes suspects and normalize relations with
Kosovo, its former province.
2012 Mar 2, Leaders of 25 EU
countries signed a new treaty in Brussels designed to limit
government overspending. Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy said he would miss
deficit targets this year to spare his country from austerity
(SFC, 3/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Mar 5, The Institute of
International Finance, the group representing private creditors in
talks on Greek debt, said a dozen banks, insurers and investment
funds holding Greece's bonds will participate in a massive debt
relief plan for the country.
2012 Mar 13, Japan, the EU and
the US brought a case to the World Trade Organization (WTO) alleging
that China was exporting too little of tungsten, molybdenum and 17
rare earth elements.
(Econ, 3/17/12, p.86)
2012 Mar 15, European Union
nations agreed to ban financial transfers such as SWIFT payments to
hundreds of Iranian firms and individuals blacklisted by the bloc
over Tehran's contested nuclear drive.
2012 Mar 19, EU nations backed
a complete ban on removing shark’s fins before throwing them into
the sea to die.
(SFC, 3/20/12, p.A3)
2012 Mar 21, European Union
anti-trust regulators approved British government plans to provide
pension relief and slash the debt of Royal Mail Group as part of its
2012 Mar 29, The European
Parliament voted through the European Market Infrastructure
(Econ, 4/7/12, p.83)
2012 Apr 2, The Eurozone
reported that unemployment now totaled 17.1 million, its highest
level since the Euro was introduced in 1999.
(SFC, 4/3/12, p.A2)
2012 Apr 3, The European
Commission prohibited Conviasa, Venezuela’s state airline, from
flying into the EU due to safety concerns. Venezuela called the
(SFC, 4/4/12, p.A2)
2012 Apr 10, Europe's human
rights court ruled that Britain can extradite radical Muslim cleric
Mustafa Kamal Mustafa, also known as Abu Hamza al-Masri (53), and
four other suspects to the United States to face terrorism charges.
2012 Apr 19, The European Union
said it will suspend most sanctions against Myanmar for a year while
it assesses the country's progress toward democracy.
2012 Apr 20, The Council of
Europe's 47 member states agreed to a declaration aimed at making
the European Court of Human Rights more efficient.
2012 Apr 20, The European Union
parliament condemned Argentina's move to seize control of the YPF
division of Spanish oil and gas giant Repsol and demanded that EU
takes action against Buenos Aires at the World Trade Organization.
2012 Apr 20, European
regulators recommended approval of a new type 2 diabetes drug from
AstraZeneca, Britain's second biggest drugmaker, and Bristol-Myers
Squibb, in a decision that contrasts starkly with its failure to win
approval in the United States.
2012 Apr 21, The EU missions in
Jerusalem and Ramallah condemned the recent eviction of a
Palestinian family from its east Jerusalem home, ahead of its
inhabitation by Jewish settlers.
2012 Apr 30, The EU announced a
further €20 million in aid to victims of Pakistan's 2011 monsoon
floods, as well as people displaced by conflict, bringing funding
this year to €55 million.
2012 May 3, The European Union
slapped an assets freeze and travel ban on six coup leaders in
2012 May 15, The EU naval force
patrolling the Indian Ocean carried out its first air strikes
against pirate targets on shore, with a pirate reporting that the
raid destroyed speed boats, fuel depots and an arms store.
2012 May 19, The European Bank
for Reconstruction and Development approved investment of 1.0
billion euros for expansion into north Africa and the Middle East
under its first British president, Suma Chakrabarti, who a day
earlier replaced Thomas Mirow from Germany. The EBRD is planning to
invest specifically in Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia and Jordan.
2012 May 31, The EU
strengthened its sanctions against Guinea-Bissau's military junta,
slapping an asset freeze and visa ban on a further 15 people.
2012 Jun 9, Euro zone finance
ministers agreed to lend Spain up to 100 billion euros ($125
billion) to help its battered banks.
(Reuters, 6/10/12)(SSFC, 6/10/12, p.A6)
2012 Jun 18, European leaders
at the G-20 summit in Mexico struggled to reassure the world that
they were on the path to solving their continent's relentless
2012 Jun 25, The European Union
imposed fresh sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's regime,
targeting six government ministries as well as a bank and television
company. This was the 16th round of sanctions agreed by the bloc's
foreign ministers since the repression of anti-Assad protests began
in March 2011.
2012 Jun 29, Leaders of the
full 27-member EU, following an all night session, agreed they will
let funds intended to bail out indebted governments funnel money
directly to struggling banks as well. They also agreed to a
long-term framework toward tighter budgetary and political union,
though those plans will require treaty changes and won't be realized
(AP, 6/29/12)(SFC, 6/29/12, p.A2)
2012 Jul 1, An EU embargo on
Iranian oil went into effect, provoking anger in Tehran which said
the measure will hurt talks with world powers over its sensitive
2012 Jul 4, The European
Parliament in Brussels overwhelmingly defeated the international
ACTA anti-piracy trade agreement after concern that it would limit
Internet freedom mobilized broad opposition across Europe.
2012 Jul 5, Capital Economics,
a British-based consultancy, scooped the Wolfson Economics Prize for
coming up with the best method for an "orderly exit" of one or more
member countries wishing to leave the European Monetary Union.
2012 Jul 5, The European
Central Bank cut its key interest rate a quarter point to 0.75%. Its
rate on deposits dropped to zero percent.
(SFC, 7/6/12, p.A2)(Econ, 7/14/12, p.66)
2012 Jul 16, The EU formally
agreed to a two-year mission from next month to help Niger fight
organized crime and terrorism in the Sahel, where armed groups are
threatening regional stability.
2012 Jul 18, The Council of
Europe released a report showing the Vatican had received compliant
or largely compliant grades on nine of the 16 "key and core"
internationally recognized recommendations to fight money laundering
and terrorist financing. The Vatican had submitted itself to the
Moneyval evaluation process more than two years ago after it signed
onto the 2009 EU Monetary Convention.
2012 Jul 20, Finance ministers
from the 17 countries that use the euro unanimously approved the
terms for a bailout loan for Spanish banks of up to €100 billion
2012 Jul 23, The European Union
said it was ready to back the deployment of an African stabilization
force under UN mandate in Mali, and threatened sanctions against
those posing a threat to democratic change.
2012 Jul 23, The European Union
promised to lift most of the sanctions slapped against Zimbabwe a
decade ago if the country holds a "credible" vote on a new
2012 Jul 26, Mauritania and the
European Union signed a new fishing accord after months of heated
debate to agree on the EU's exact financial contribution.
2012 Sep 6, The European Union
launched an anti-dumping probe into Chinese solar panels after an
industry association claimed the products were being exported for
less than it costs to make them.
2012 Sep 6, The European
Central Bank unveiled a new bond-buying program that is largely
designed to keep a lid on Spain’s borrowing rates.
2012 Sep 11, Russia’s Gazprom
accused the European Commission of pressuring the Russian firm into
slashing gas prices for its customers soon after President Vladimir
Putin signed a decree that could hinder the EU probe. Putin signed a
decree barring strategic Russian enterprises from disclosing
information to foreign regulators, changing contracts and selling
property abroad without government permission.
2012 Oct 12, The European Union
was named as winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for fostering peace on
a continent ravaged by war.
2012 Oct 15, The European
Union, concerned by what it called Iran's refusal to come clean on
its nuclear program, imposed a new range of sanctions intended to
hit the country's treasury and increase pressure on its Islamic
regime. German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said the EU is
banning the import of Iranian natural gas into European Union
2012 Oct 18, The European Court
of Justice ruled that Britain faces large fines for breaching EU law
on water treatment after plants in northern England and London
dumped raw sewage into waterways.
2012 Oct 19, The EU mediated
the first official talks between the leaders of Serbia and Kosovo,
the bitter Balkan rivals, and Serbian PM Ivica Dacic said he is
ready for a "historic compromise."
2012 Oct 26, The European
Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to
Iranian film director Jafar Panahi and imprisoned dissident lawyer
2012 Nov 14, Workers across the
European Union sought to present a united front against rampant
unemployment and government spending cuts with a string of strikes
and demonstrations across the region. In Belgium a 24-hour rail
stoppage and scattered strikes through the south of the nation
disrupted daily life. A Spanish strike shut down most schools and
while hospitals operated with a skeleton staff. In Portugal the
second general strike in eight months left commuters stranded as
trains ground to a virtual halt.
2012 Nov 22, European leaders
gathered in Brussels for what promised to be a turbulent and lengthy
summit on the 7-year budget for the 27-country European Union.
2012 Nov 23, In Brussels a
summit of the European Union's 27 national leaders, charged with
agreeing on a long-term budget for the bloc, broke up without being
able to reach a deal.
2012 Nov 27, The 17 European
Union nations that use the euro struck an agreement with the
International Monetary Fund on a program to reduce Greek debt and
put Athens on the way to get the next installment of its bailout
loans. The first disbursement is set to take place Dec 13.
2012 Dec 10, EU foreign
ministers approved the concept of an EU training mission for an
attempt by Malian and other African troops to deprive the Islamists
of a haven and training sites in north Mali.
2012 Dec 16, The EU and
Singapore signed a regional trade agreement.
(Econ, 12/22/12, p.118)
2012 Dec 21, The European Union
said it has agreed to re-launch €174.3 million in development funds
2012 Ann Glover (b.1956),
Scottish molecular biologist, became the EU’s first chief scientific
advisor. She continued to 2014 when her mandate expired without
(Econ, 12/20/14, p.83)
2013 Jan 8, A European court
ruled that Italy's woefully overcrowded prisons violate the basic
rights of inmates, fined the government €100,000 ($131,000) and
ordered it to make changes within a year. The finding came three
years after Italy's government recognized the problem itself but
failed to pass legislation designed to correct it.
2013 Jan 15, Europe's top court
said religious freedom is a right but not an absolute one, ruling
that British Airways discriminated against a devoutly Christian
employee by making her remove her crucifix, but backing a UK charity
that fired a marriage counselor who refused to give sex therapy to
2013 Jan 15, Russian
authorities charged Yelena Kotova, a former Russia director at the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with conspiracy to
take a $1.4 million bribe.
2013 Jan 17, EU foreign
ministers approved sending a military training mission to Mali, to
shore up the Malian army and enable the country's government to
regain control of all its territory.
2013 Jan 22, Eleven EU
countries received the green light to plan a financial transaction
tax that could generate billions of dollars in revenue for
(SFC, 1/23/13, p.A4)
2013 Jan 23, British PM David
Cameron promised to give Britons a referendum choice on whether to
stay in the European Union or leave if he wins an election in 2015.
2013 Feb 4, The EU police
organization Europol said a wide-ranging match-fixing investigation
has uncovered more than 380 suspicious matches, including World Cup
and European Championship qualifiers and two Champions League games,
and found evidence that a Singapore-based crime group is closely
involved in match-fixing.
2013 Feb 5, European Union
regulators gave approval for Britain's 600 million pounds of public
support for the "Green Deal" energy-efficiency scheme. Britain's
Green Deal permits loans to homeowners to help them pay for
efficiency measures such as loft insulation, modern boilers, draught
proofing and other materials.
2013 Feb 8, EU leaders agreed
to a significantly reduced 7-year budget worth €960 billion ($1.28
trillion) — the first cut in spending in the 27-country group's
2013 Feb 12, President Obama
made his State of the Union address. He announced plans with the EU
to pursue talks aimed at achieving an overarching trans-Atlantic
free trade deal. Obama also said that the first 34,000 troops will
leave Afghanistan within a year and more in 2014, when all foreign
combat forces are to leave the country.
2013 Feb 13, The EU and the US
announced that they have agreed to pursue talks aimed at achieving
an overarching trans-Atlantic free trade deal.
2013 Feb 15, The EU agreed to
begin random DNA checks on meat products in a bid to put a lid on a
spreading scandal over horsemeat.
(SFC, 2/16/13, p.A2)
2013 Feb 18, The European Union
officially launched a training mission with the goal of making the
disparaged Malian army good enough to patrol the whole country.
2013 Feb 18, EU finance
ministers, condemning the Feb. 12 nuclear test by North Korea,
imposed more trade and economic sanctions on the Asian nation.
2013 Feb 18, EU foreign
ministers announced that they are keeping current sanctions against
Syria in place for three months, rejecting any attempt to ease the
arms embargo so military aid could be funneled to rebel forces.
2013 Feb 18, The European Union
said it has removed 21 loyalists of Zimbabwe's president from a
sanctions list of people facing travel and banking bans. It said the
decision to remove those restrictions was a result of a "step
forward" in finalizing a draft constitution which is set to go voted
on in a national referendum on March 16.
2013 Mar 5, EU finance
ministers decided that European bankers’ bonuses should be capped at
a meximum of one times their base salary, rising to two times if
shareholders explicitly agree.
(Econ, 3/9/13, p.72)
2013 Mar 16, In Cyprus anxious
depositors drained cash from ATMs after European officials ruled
that part of a new 10-billion-euro bailout must be paid for directly
from the bank accounts of ordinary savers. An emergency deal in
Brussels set a one-time levy of 9.9% on Cypriot bank deposits of
more than 100,000 euros. Deposits under that would be taxed at
(SSFC, 3/17/13, p.A3)
2013 Apr 6, In Kazakhstan Iran
and six world powers failed to reach agreement on an approach to
reducing fears that Tehran might use its nuclear technology to make
weapons. The EU's foreign policy chief declared that the two sides
"remain far apart on substance."
2013 Apr 12, European Union
finance ministers said they've agreed to extend the repayment of
emergency loans to Ireland and Portugal for a further seven years,
easing the pressure on both countries to exit their bailout programs
and resume normal borrowing.
2013 Apr 15, The EU took to
task member states for not implementing new rules on human
trafficking. Only 6 countries had translated the rules into national
legislation by the April 6 deadline.
(SFC, 4/16/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 16, A European court
blocked Britain from extraditing a mentally ill suspect accused of
trying to set up a terrorist training camp in Oregon. The European
Court of Human Rights ruled that sending Haroon Aswat to a prison in
the United States would breach his human rights due to the "severity
of his mental condition." Aswat was arrested on a US warrant in
2005, and has been fighting extradition ever since.
2013 Apr 16, EU officials said
that over 7,000 tests of food products across the EU have shown that
nearly 5% of food labeled as beef contained horse meat.
(SFC, 4/17/13, p.A2)
2013 Apr 19, Kosovo and Serbia
reached a potentially historic agreement to normalize relations
between the Balkan neighbors, end years of acrimony and put them
both on a solid path to EU membership.
2013 May 11, Marcin Skowronek,
an investigator at Europol's European Cybercrime Center in The
Hague, said "We are seeing an unprecedented number of cyberscams
that include phishing for financial data, viruses, credit card fraud
and others." Police Maj. Gen. Pisit Paoin, chief of Thailand's
Technology Crime Suppression Division, said in a telephone interview
that Thai police have arrested more than 20 suspects involved in the
recent $45 million cyber heist including those from Bulgaria,
Bangladesh and eastern Europe.
2013 May 14, The European Court
of Human Rights found that Swiss laws on passive assisted suicide
are unclear and need revising to clarify when people are entitled to
a medical prescription for a lethal dose of drugs.
2013 May 14, The European
Union's executive arm, the Commission, said it had raided the
offices of a number of oil industry companies for possible
2013 May 15, The recession
across the economy of the 17 EU countries that use the euro extended
into its sixth quarter, longer than the calamitous slump that hit
the region in the financial crisis of 2008-9.
2013 May 24, The EU approved
restrictions on 3 pesticides to better protect dwindling bee
(SFC, 5/25/13, p.A2)
2013 May 29, The European Union
granted France, Spain, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Slovenia
more time to bring their budget deficits under control to support
the bloc's shrinking economy.
2013 May 30, The EU agreed to
drastically reform its fishing policy, aiming to end decades of
overfishing that has depleted many species in its Atlantic and
2013 May 31, Eurostat, the EU's
statistics office, said that the unemployment rate rose to 12.2% in
April from the previous record of 12.1% the month before.
Unemployment across the 17 EU countries appeared to be on course to
hit 20 million this year.
2013 Jun 4, The European
Union said it is imposing anti-dumping levies on imports of Chinese
solar panels. The 27-country bloc will impose a tariff of about 12%
immediately. It will increase that to 47% starting in August.
2013 Jun 5, The EU gave
approval to Latvia to become the 18th member of the troubled euro
currency union — despite doubts among many of its people and
international concerns about its banking system. A final decision
will be made by eurozone finance ministers July 9.
2013 Jun 14, EU trade ministers
at a meeting in Luxembourg agreed to France's demand to keep its
movie and television industry out of the hotly anticipated
2013 Jun 24, The European
Commission confirmed approval of InterContinental Exchange's
proposed $8.2 billion takeover of NYSE Euronext, saying the two are
not direct competitors in most markets and will continue to face
2013 Jun 27, Top EU officials
hashed out a last-minute deal on a 960 billion euro ($1.3 trillion)
budget for the bloc for the next seven years.
2013 Jul 1, Croatia became the
28th EU member, the bloc's first addition since Bulgaria and Romania
joined in 2007. In its first day as an EU member, Croatia pledged to
help other Balkan countries move closer to the bloc and to help
bring lasting stability to a region which was engulfed in conflict
20 years ago.
(AP, 6/30/13)(AP, 7/1/13)
2013 Jul 1, The German
government said if media reports of large-scale US spying on the
European Union were confirmed, it would be unacceptable Cold
War-style behavior between partners who require mutual trust to
forge a new transatlantic trade area.
2013 Jul 1, Lithuania took the
reigns for its six-month presidency of the European Union.
2013 Jul 8, The US and 28
countries of the EU began negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade
and Investment Partnership.
(SFC, 7/8/13, p.D1)
2013 Jul 9, EU finance
ministers in Brussels officially agreed to make Latvia the 18th
member of the eurozone currency union. Latvia will start using the
new currency on Jan 1, 2014.
2013 Jul 11, Malta's PM Joseph
Muscat called for a regional approach to tackle the flood of African
immigrants landing on the shores on the tiny island after meeting EU
and Libyan officials.
2013 Jul 16, Israel condemned
new guidelines by the European Union which ban EU funding and
cooperation with Israeli institutions that operate in territory
captured by the Jewish state in the 1967 Mideast war.
2013 Jul 18, The European
Union's top court ruled that EU authorities unfairly froze assets of
Yassin Kadi, a Saudi businessman who was accused of financing
al-Qaida, by failing to explain why he was targeted.
2013 Jul 19, The European Union
published new guidelines explicitly banning any EU funding of
Israeli institutions operating in territories occupied since the
1967 Mideast war, amid vigorous Israeli objections.
2013 Jul 22, The EU agreed to
put the armed wing of Hezbollah on its terrorism blacklist, a move
driven by concerns over the Lebanese militant group's roles in a bus
bombing in Bulgaria and the Syrian war.
2013 Jul 24, The EU said it
will give Kenya 40 billion shillings ($458.45 million) between 2014
and 2020, for use in agriculture and other sectors, extending an aid
program to the African country.
2013 Jul 27, China and the EU
announced a truce on solar panel and related component tariffs. The
EU planned to set a minimum sales price and a quota. An August 8
deadline loomed on the dispute.
(Econ, 8/3/13, p.36)
2013 Aug 6, The EU said the
Maltese government, which has refused entry to a tanker carrying 102
African migrants, had a "humanitarian duty" to allow them to land as
soon as possible. Malta faced a record influx of African migrants,
with 1,000 arriving in the past month.
2013 Aug 9, European scientists
reported their finding of traces of antibodies against the MERS
virus in dromedary, or one-humped, camels, but not the virus itself.
Some experts think bats might be infecting other animals like camels
with MERS before passing it to humans. Since the virus was first
identified last September, there have been 94 illnesses, including
46 deaths, from MERS, or Middle East respiratory syndrome.
2013 Aug 21, The EU decided to
suspend exports of weapons and goods that could be used for internal
repression but did not halt aid programs for fear of hurting
ordinary Egyptians already hit hard.
2013 Sep 7, The European
Union's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU's 28
nations agreed that available information seemed to show strong
evidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical attack on
civilians in August.
2013 Sep 11, The European Union
rejected Russian pressure to deter Ukraine and other former Soviet
republics from deepening trade ties with Europe, saying any kind of
retaliation was unacceptable.
2013 Sep 13, Lithuania made a
formal protest to Russia over extra border checks imposed over the
last month that are hampering trade as the countries spar over trade
relations with Ukraine. Russia and the EU, of which Lithuania holds
the rotating presidency, are each trying to convince Georgia,
Moldova and Ukraine to join their respective trade blocs.
2013 Sep 19, In Kosovo gunmen
shot dead an EU police officer from Lithuania in a mainly Serb
region, dealing the mission its first fatality since deploying in
2008 and shaking a fragile accord between the Balkan country and its
former master Serbia.
2013 Sep 25, Amnesty Int’l.
said more than 10,000 Roma, also known as Gypsies, have been evicted
from French squatter camps from January to August, with many forced
to return to Romania and Bulgaria despite EU rules requiring free
movement for all EU citizens.
(SFC, 9/25/13, p.A2)
2013 Oct 2, Albania said it has
signed on former British PM Tony Blair as an adviser and lobbyist in
its uphill struggle to join the 28-nation EU.
2013 Oct 9, The head of the
European Commission announced during a visit to Lampedusa that Italy
would receive an additional 30 million euros ($40 million) in EU
funds to help settle and receive new refugees, after the sinking of
a migrant boat off the Sicilian island killed at least 297 people.
2013 Oct 10, Pakistani teenager
Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Taliban for campaigning
for education for girls, won the European Union's annual human
rights award, beating fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward
2013 Oct 14, Germany blocked
the introduction of tougher EU emissions rules for cars. A week
earlier Chancellor Angela Merkel's party received a large donation
from three major BMW shareholders.
2013 Oct 18, Canada and the EU
struck a tentative Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)
meant to boost growth and employment.
(AP, 10/18/13)(Econ, 10/26/13, p.18)
2013 Oct 21, Europe's top human
rights court ordered Spain to release a Basque separatist militant,
saying her extended detention was illegal, a ruling victims groups
warned would let dozens of prisoners walk free. Ines del Rio was
jailed in 1989 for her role in 23 assassinations and car bombings
carried out by the Basque independence movement ETA.
2013 Oct 21, The party of
Ukraine's jailed opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko (52) rejected
President Viktor Yanukovich's terms for her release and European
envoys said time was running out to solve a row threatening
agreements with the EU.
2013 Oct 24, An Austrian
student group fighting for online privacy in Europe got the go-ahead
for a legal challenge in Ireland's High Court over the transfer of
personal data to a US spy agency.
2013 Oct 25, Italian vessels
rescued another 700 migrants while the two-day EU summit was going
on. EU leaders failed to take new action to ease the plight of
thousands of boat refugees trying to cross from North Africa.
2013 Nov 2, Europe's
heaviest-ever cargo carrier to the International Space Station
burned up in Earth's atmosphere in a controlled manoeuver after a
five-month mission. It was filled with about six tons of garbage and
waste produced on board the ISS.
2013 Nov 5, The European Union
resumed membership talks with Turkey. They were stalled for 3½ years
mainly because of the country's ongoing dispute with Cyprus.
2013 Nov 7, The EU’s top court
ruled that refugees facing imprisonment in their home country
because they are gay may have grounds to be granted asylum in the
(AP, 11/7/13)(Econ, 11/16/13, p.59)
2013 Nov 7, The European
Central Bank startled investors with a surprise cut in its benchmark
interest rate aimed at boosting a hesitant recovery in the 17
countries that use the euro.
2013 Nov 8, A European Union
prosecutor indicted 15 former ethnic Albanian rebels suspected of
torturing, mistreating and murdering civilians detained in central
Kosovo during the 1998-99 war against Serbia.
2013 Nov 11, The EU and United
States began a second round of talks on the world's largest
free-trade accord despite damaging revelations of US spying on its
2013 Nov 11, The European Space
Agency says one of its research satellites re-entered the Earth's
atmosphere early today on an orbit that passed over Siberia, the
western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica. The
Gravity field and Ocean Circulation Explorer (GOCE) was launched in
2009. Most of the 2,425 lb satellite disintegrated, but about 25%
slammed into the Atlantic Ocean a few hundred miles from the
(AP, 11/11/13)(SFC, 11/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 11, Japan switched on
the first turbine at a wind farm 12 miles off the coast of
Fukushima, the site of the March, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.
(SFC, 11/12/13, p.A2)
2013 Nov 12, The
Strasbourg-based Council of Europe, a leading human rights body,
urged President Vladimir Putin to overhaul Russia's creaking
judicial system, long criticized as vulnerable to political meddling
and as an obstacle to business.
2013 Nov 14, EU officials
welcomed the end of bailout support for Spain and Ireland, saying
that showed the effectiveness of more than four years of efforts to
cut excessive government debt.
2013 Nov 15, The EU executive
said it had found no proof of British claims that Spain had violated
European Union rules on border and customs checks at Gibraltar's
2013 Nov 19, The European
Union's parliament finally approved the first spending cut in the
history of the 28-nation group.
2013 Nov 19, Bosnia's state war
crimes court said it had freed 10 convicted war criminals and would
give them new trials after the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
ruled their legal rights had been violated.
2013 Nov 20, European Union
lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to meet only in Brussels and avoid
costly monthly treks to Strasbourg, France. The proposal must be
approved by the 28 EU governments and France is certain to nix any
change under the current conditions.
2013 Nov 20, The European
Commission said Austria should pay a daily fine of more than 40,000
euros ($54,000) for breaking EU policy on renewable energy.
2013 Nov 22, Russia's space
agency successfully launched three European Space Agency's
satellites intended to study Earth's magnetic field. A Rokot booster
rocket at the Plesetsk launchpad in northwestern Russia put the
three Swarm satellites into their designated orbits.
2013 Nov 25, The EU expressed
strong disapproval of Russian pressure on Ukraine to reject an EU
trade deal, while police fired tear gas at pro-Europe protesters in
the former Soviet republic.
2013 Nov 28, EU leaders meeting
in Vilnius sought to revive a stalled agreement with Ukraine after
the former Soviet republic shocked the 28-country bloc last week by
opting for closer ties with Russia instead.
2013 Dec 4, The European
Commission fined a group of major global banks a total of 1.7
billion euros ($2.3 billion) for colluding to profit from the
manipulation of key interest rates. The banks named as participating
in cartels were Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland,
Societe Generale, Credit Agricole, HSBC, JPMorgan, UBS and
2013 Dec 15, In Ukraine about
200,000 anti-government protesters converged on the central square
of Kiev in a dramatic show of morale after nearly four weeks of
daily protests. The EU said it has suspended association talks with
Ukraine until it receives a firmer commitment from Yanukovych that
Ukraine was serious about the deal.
(AP, 12/15/13)(AFP, 12/15/13)
2013 Dec 16, European Union
foreign ministers pledged "unprecedented" amounts of political,
financial and security support for Israel and the Palestinians if
they come to a peace agreement.
2013 Dec 16, More than 50 top
European and US scientists wrote to the European Commission
President urging him to press ahead with a plan to label tar sands
as more polluting than other forms of oil, in defiance of intensive
lobbying from Canada.
2013 Dec 16, Turkey signed a
long-awaited deal with the European Union to send back people who
enter the bloc illegally from its territory in exchange for talks on
visa-free travel for its citizens.
2013 Dec 17, The European Union
said it has warned Israel against any new West Bank settlement
construction following an upcoming Palestinian prisoner release,
saying it will be held responsible for any resulting failure of the
ongoing peace talks.
2013 Dec 18, EU finance
ministers reached a banking union accord which will hand Brussels
unprecedented new powers to prevent failing banks from wrecking the
2013 Dec 18, The heads of the
UN and European Union aid agencies called for a "humanitarian
ceasefire" in Syria to allow convoys to deliver help to areas that
aid workers cannot reach.
2013 Dec 19, The European Space
Agency launched its star-surveying satellite Gaia into space, hoping
to produce the most accurate three-dimensional map of the Milky Way
and to better understand the evolution of our galaxy.
2013 Dec 23, The European Union
banned the export of arms and the sending of mercenaries to Central
2013 David Marsh authored
“Europe’s Deadlock: How the Euro crisis Could Be Solved – And Why It
(Econ, 7/20/13, p.73)
2014 Jan 1, The European
Commission said Romanians and Bulgarians now have the right to work
in any of the European Union's 28 countries but "no major increase"
in emigration is expected.
2014 Jan 8, Greece formally
assumed the European Union's rotating six-month presidency with a
ceremony attended by EU commissioners.
2014 Jan 9, A European
Parliament committee voted to invite Edward Snowden to testify via
video link in its investigation of US surveillance practices.
2014 Jan 14, The European
Investment Bank (EIB) said it has raised a further 350 million euros
($477.9 million) on its Climate Awareness Bond (CAB), making it the
largest ever "green bond" at 1.5 billion euros.
2014 Jan 20, The EU foreign
ministers decided to send up to 1,000 soldiers to help stabilize
Central African Republic, deploying its first major army operation
in six years.
2014 Jan 20, Iran halted
production of 20 percent enriched uranium, marking the entry into
force of an interim deal with world powers on its disputed nuclear
program. The United States eased some sanctions on Iran, pausing
efforts to reduce Iranian crude oil exports, as part of a nuclear
deal between Tehran and world powers that went into effect. The EU
also agreed to suspend some economic sanctions against Iran as part
of the ground-breaking nuclear deal.
(AFP, 1/20/14)(Reuters, 1/20/14)
2014 Jan 21, Serbia began
accession talks with the EU.
(Econ, 1/11/14, p.44)
2014 Jan 27, The EU announced
the release of 140 million euros in aid to Guinea, its first
development package to the West African nation after a five-year
2014 Jan 28, The UN Security
Council authorized the deployment of an EU force to bolster French
and African troops in the Central African Republic.
(SFC, 1/29/14, p.A2)
2014 Jan 28, European Union
officials demanded Croatia slash its budget shortfall and reduce
spending to bring the country's deficit back under the bloc's
2014 Jan 28, Europe's top human
rights court in Strasbourg, France, ruled that Ireland's government
failed in its duty to protect children in the case of a woman
sexually abused by a lay teacher at a state-backed Roman Catholic
school in 1973. Louise O'Keeffe (48) said she was abused by her
teacher during lessons in his classroom when she was 9 years old.
She argued that the Irish state failed to put in place appropriate
measures to stop "systematic abuse" at the Dunderrow National
2014 Feb 3, An official EU
report said corruption affects all member countries of the European
Union and costs the bloc's economies around 120 billion euros
($162.19 billion) a year.
2014 Feb 5, The European
Union's antitrust watchdog accepted "far-reaching" concessions
offered by Google to settle allegations it is abusing its dominant
position in Internet searches, bringing the three-year-old case
close to an end.
2014 Feb 5, Uke Rugova, a
Kosovo lawmaker who is also a son of late President Ibrahim Rugova,
was arrested by European Union police and justice workers for
alleged involvement in organized crime and fraud.
2014 Feb 7, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel expressed outrage over a leaked phone conversation in
which Victoria Nuland, a top US diplomat, used the f-word regarding
the European Union's handling of the crisis in Ukraine. An angry US
State Department pointed the finger at Russia for allegedly bugging
the diplomats' phones.
2014 Feb 9, Swiss voters
narrowly backed proposals to reintroduce immigration quotas with the
European Union. 50.3% backed the so-called "Stop mass immigration"
2014 Feb 10, The EU agreed to
launch negotiations with Cuba to increase trade, investment and
dialogue on human rights in its most significant diplomatic shift
since Brussels lifted sanctions on the island in 2008.
2014 Feb 19, Poland's deputy
foreign minister said consensus has been reached among EU states
about imposing sanctions on Ukrainian officials over the violence in
Kiev that has killed dozens of people.
2014 Feb 25, Members of the
European Parliament voted through the world's toughest carbon
dioxide standards for new cars, prompting a cautious welcome from
2014 Feb 26, EU lawmakers voted
for the larger warning labels with the inclusion of gruesome
pictorials plus a ban on most flavored tobacco products and tighter
regulation of e-cigarettes.
2014 Feb 26, Estonian Foreign
Minister Urmas Paet told EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton in
a phone call that the Ukrainian opposition to president Viktor
Yanukovych may have been involved in sniper attacks. News of the
call was leaked in early March and prompted Russian Foreign Minister
Sergei Lavrov to call for an OSCE investigation.
2014 Mar 5, The EU prepared a
$15 billion aid package to Ukraine and froze the assets of 18 people
blamed for looting the treasury of the nearly bankrupt country.
2014 Mar 6, European leaders
said Russia will face sanctions over its military incursion in
Ukraine's Crimean peninsula unless it withdraws its troops or
engages in credible talks to defuse the situation. The EU froze the
assets of ousted Ukraine leader Viktor Yanukovych, ex-premier Mykola
Azarov and 16 former ministers, businessmen and security chiefs, all
on grounds of fraud.
(AP, 3/6/14)(AFP, 3/6/14)
2014 Mar 8, EU foreign policy
chief Catherine Ashton arrived in Tehran to discuss issues including
Iran's disputed nuclear program, before another round of talks
between Iran and world powers.
2014 Mar 11, The European
Commission agreed to extend nearly 500 million euros worth of trade
benefits to Ukraine, removing duties on a wide range of agricultural
goods, textiles and other imports in an effort to support the
Ukrainian economy. G7 leaders called on Russia to stop all
efforts to "annex" Ukraine's Crimea region.
(Reuters, 3/11/14)(Reuters, 3/12/14)
2014 Mar 12, European Union
member states agreed on the wording of sanctions on Russia,
including travel restrictions and asset freezes against those
responsible for violating the sovereignty of Ukraine.
2014 Mar 14, EU officials said
they have drawn up a list of 120-130 names of Russians who could be
hit with travel bans and asset freezes to punish Russia for its
seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region.
2014 Mar 17, Ukraine's Crimean
peninsula declared itself independent after its residents voted
overwhelmingly to secede and join Russia, while the United States
and the European Union slapped sanctions against some of those who
promoted the divisive referendum. Ukraine recalled its ambassador to
Russia for consultations on the international ramifications of the
situation in its Crimea region.
(AP, 3/17/14)(Reuters, 3/17/14)
2014 Mar 18, The United States
and European Union (EU) accused China of using arrests and
harassment to silence human rights activists, also voicing
consternation at the death in custody of a prominent dissident.
2014 Mar 19, The European Union
said it has fined two EU and four Japanese companies a total of
nearly 1 billion euros ($1.4 billion) for rigging the market of key
components in the car and truck industry at the expense of
2014 Mar 20, Pro-Russian crowds
seized two Ukrainian warships and Ukraine said its troops were being
threatened in Crimea as the European Union considered new sanctions
against Russia for its annexation of the Black Sea peninsula.
2014 Mar 21, The European Union
and Ukraine signed a landmark political cooperation accord,
committing to the same deal former president Viktor Yanukovich
rejected last November, a decision that led to his overthrow.
2014 Mar 24, The EU approved
sanctions and said it will no longer import any fish caught by
vessels from Cambodia, Belize and Guinea, accusing their governments
of failing to cooperate in fighting illegal fishing.
2014 Mar 26, In Brussels Pres.
Barack Obama and EU leaders presented a unified front against
Russia's annexation of Crimea, promoting trans-Atlantic trade as an
antidote to Russia's influence in the region and a way to help
Europe become less dependent on Moscow for energy.
2014 Apr 1, The EU’s economy
chief Olli Rehn's said the EU will make a swift payment of financial
aid to Ukraine and dismissed the possibility of economic sanctions
against Russia unless it takes more action.
2014 Apr 2, The EU and the US
sought ways to reduce the political clout Russia gets from its vast
energy reserves by promising to wean Ukraine and the rest of the
continent off those supplies.
2014 Apr 2, The European
Union's antitrust authority said it is imposing a 302 million-euro
($416 million) fine against 11 producers of high voltage power
cables for operating a cartel. Six European companies, three
Japanese and two South Korean producers reportedly colluded to
allocate customers between themselves from 1999 for about 10 years
on an almost worldwide scale.
2014 Apr 2, A study by Europe’s
Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature
(IUCN) said almost a quarter of Europe's bumblebees are at risk of
extinction due to loss of habitats and climate change, threatening
pollination of crops worth billions of dollars.
2014 Apr 2, The Swiss
government said it has decided not to adopt European Union sanctions
against 33 people in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea,
but will prevent them from using Switzerland to get around the visa
bans and asset freezes.
2014 Apr 3, The European
Parliament voted to stop Internet providers from charging for
preferential access to their networks, a step cheered by consumer
groups but bemoaned by the telecommunications industry.
2014 Apr 3, The European Space
Agency launched its Sentinel 1A satellite on a Russian Soyuz rocket
from French Guiana. It was the first of six satellites for a new
system designed to better monitor climate change, environmental
disasters and catastrophes like floods, volcanic eruptions and
(AP, 4/3/14)(SFC, 4/5/14, p.A2)
2014 Apr 4, European Union
foreign ministers gathered in Athens for two days of an informal
meeting where attention focused on the crisis in Ukraine and the
civil war in Syria.
2014 Apr 5, The European Union
said it plans to set up an international court in Kosovo to deal
with alleged crimes committed by ethnic-Albanian guerrillas during
the war with Serbia.
2014 Apr 8, The European
Union's highest court overthrew a rule that required telecoms
companies to store the communications data of EU citizens for up to
two years, on the grounds that it infringed on basic rights.
2014 Apr 9, The EU published
new rules on green energy designed to replace subsidies with
market-based schemes. The rules take effect from July 1 this year
and from 2017 all member states will have to hold tenders to support
new green power facilities following a pilot phase from 2015-16.
2014 Apr 10, Europol, the EU
police organization, said law enforcement authorities have arrested
70 people at airports around the world in a meticulously coordinated
crackdown targeting criminals using fake or stolen credit cards to
buy airline tickets.
2014 Apr 10, President Vladimir
Putin warned European leaders Russia would cut natural gas supplies
to Ukraine if it did not pay its bills and said this could lead to a
reduction of onward deliveries to Europe.
2014 Apr 14, The EU threatened
Russia with more sanctions over its actions in eastern Ukraine.
2014 Apr 15, The EU's
Parliament completed the biggest overhaul of the bloc's financial
system since the introduction of the euro currency, passing laws to
minimize the risk and cost posed by failing banks.
2014 Apr 17, In Ukraine 3
pro-Russian protesters were killed and 13 injured during an
attempted raid overnight on a National Guard base in the Black Sea
port of Mariupol. High-level talks aimed at calming soaring tensions
over the crisis in Ukraine went into overtime with top diplomats
from the United States, European Union, Russia and Ukraine
attempting to forge a common position on how to de-escalate the
situation. Ukrainian town councilor Volodymyr Rybak and a second man
disappeared. He was seen being bundled into a car by masked men in
camouflage. His body was found on April 29 near Slaviansk.
(AP, 4/17/14)(Reuters, 4/23/14)
2014 Apr 28, The European Union
added 15 more officials to its Russian sanctions list to protests
Moscow's meddling in Ukraine.
2014 Apr 28, Moldovans with
biometric passports — containing a chip with a photo and fingerprint
data — began traveling without visas across 26 European nations, the
so-called Schengen area. The European Parliament had approved
visa-free travel across most of Europe for Moldovan citizens in
2014 Apr 29, The EU released
the names of 15 new people it is targeting for sanctions because of
their roles in the Ukraine crisis.
2014 Apr 30, The Council of
Europe said Hungary's prison system needs to reduce overcrowding,
stop discrimination against Roma prisoners and offer inmates work or
recreational activities so they don't spend 23 hours a day in their
2014 May 1, The EU as of today
banned imports of Indian mangoes including the Alphonso, considered
the king of all the mango varieties grown in South Asia, because a
large number of shipments were contaminated with fruit flies. The
pests are considered a threat to crops grown in Europe.
2014 May 6, Austrian Finance
Minister Michael Spindelegger said a group of 11 European Union
countries have agreed to introduce a financial transaction tax from
2014 May 12, A European human
rights monitor urged Georgia to improve its justice system, promote
tolerance and avoid the selective prosecution of officials who
served former president Mikheil Saakashvili.
2014 May 13, Europe's highest
court said people should have some say over the results that pop up
when they conduct a Google search of their own name online. The
European Court of Justice (ECI) embraced the idea of a digital
“right to be forgotten." It found in favor of a Spanish man who
wanted Google to remove old references to his history of
(AP, 5/13/14)(Econ, 11/5/16, p.51)(Econ.,
2014 May 13, Ukraine's PM
Arseny Yatseniuk and EU officials signed a deal for 1 billion euro
($1.37 billion) in EU aid for Kiev's beleaguered government as well
as for assistance to help build Ukrainian institutions.
2014 May 14, Azerbaijan took
over as chairman of the Committee of Ministers, the Council of
Europe’s decision-making body which brings together the member
states' foreign ministers.
2014 May 19, European law
enforcement officials announced that police worldwide, acting
on an FBI tipoff, have arrested 97 people in 16 countries suspected
of developing, distributing or using malicious software called
BlackShades that allows criminals to gain surreptitious control of
personal computers. French detectives said they arrested more than
two dozen people during their May 13 raids.
2014 May 20, EU regulators
charged banks JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole with colluding to
manipulate the price of financial products linked to interest rates.
2014 May 20, The European
Commission paid out a first loan tranche of 100 million euros ($137
million) to Ukraine, launching a 1.6 billion euro macro-financial
assistance loan program to prop up the beleaguered economy.
2014 May 22, Britain voted in
local and European elections. An opinion poll exposed a paradox: The
anti-EU UK Independence Party was forecast to win the vote yet
public opinion favored staying inside the EU.
2014 May 22, EU parliamentary
elections began in Britain and the Netherlands at the start of 4
days of balloting across the 28 members.
(SFC, 5/23/14, p.A5)
2014 May 23, Europe's main
human rights and democracy forum accused Azerbaijan of intimidating
and repressing its critics.
2014 May 25, European elections
culminated today as the remainder of the EU's 28 countries went to
the polls. Official but still partial returns from the European
Parliament elections showed an unprecedented surge by Euroskeptics
and outright anti-EU politicians.
(Reuters, 5/25/14)(AP, 5/26/14)
2014 May 30, The Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe lost contact with a
five-member team in east Ukraine, where four members of another OSCE
mission are still being held by pro-Russian rebels.
2014 Jun 3, The European Union
told Bulgaria to suspend preparatory work on the Russian gas
pipeline South Stream, which will bypass Ukraine to bring supplies
into the heart of Europe. The EU said that work on the line should
not proceed until the Bulgarian government gives clear answers on
antitrust concerns over ownership.
2014 Jun 4, Lithuania welcomed
a preliminary decision by the European Union to accept the Baltic
country's application to adopt the joint currency.
2014 Jun 9, In Spain a
Eurofighter jet crashed while landing at the Moron air base near
Seville. Media reported that the pilot had died in the crash.
2014 Jun 10, The European
Commission delivered a formal warning to the Philippines and Papua
New Guinea over illegal fishing, a step that could lead to a ban on
exporting to the EU.
2014 Jun 11, Taxi drivers
staged protests in London, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid and Paris.
Cabbies and train workers walked off the job, leaving traffic
snarled, as they protested changes to the travel industry that they
say could endanger passengers and give untested upstarts an unfair
2014 Jun 12, The European Union
said it will finance projects worth 50 million euros ($68 million)
in Moldova as the former Soviet republic prepares to sign an
association agreement with the 28-nation bloc amid protests from
2014 Jun 17, Ukraine received
500 million euros ($680 million) from the EU to help stabilize the
country and shore up its ailing economy.
2014 Jun 20, European Union
finance ministers in Luxembourg agreed on a reform to close a
loophole that allowed companies to shift some of their profits
between different country divisions to avoid taxation.
2014 Jun 23, The European Union
said it is suspending all official visits to and from Thailand and
shelving important agreements, to protest last month's military
coup. It is putting on hold the signing of an agreement to deepen
political and business ties with Thailand "until a democratically
elected government is in place."
2014 Jun 24, The EU set Albania
on the road to membership, granting the small Balkan state the
status of candidate to join in recognition of recent reforms, while
warning the government that progress was conditional on further
2014 Jun 27, European Union
leaders nominated former Luxembourg PM Jean-Claude Juncker (59) to
become the 28-nation bloc's new chief executive. He was chosen by an
indirect system known as Spitzenkandidaten (lead candidate). Juncker
still needed to be confirmed by the European Parliament before
taking office on Nov 1.
(AP, 6/27/14)(SFC, 6/28/14, p.A2)(Econ, 6/28/14,
2014 Jun 27, European Union
leaders signed broad trade and economic deals with non-member
countries Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.
2014 Jun 27, EU leaders set
June 30 as the deadline for the release of prisoners in east Ukraine
and for the terms of a lasting ceasefire, warning Moscow they were
ready to impose further sanctions.
2014 Jun 27, In Ukraine
pro-Russian separatist leaders and mediators for the Kiev government
met in the city of Donetsk in new consultations on ending the
fighting in Ukraine's Russian-speaking east. President Petro
Poroshenko told EU leaders he was extending a ceasefire in east
Ukraine for three days. Rebels in the southeast released four out of
eight OSCE observers, captured over a month ago.
2014 Jul 1, The European Court
of Human Rights upheld France's law banning face-covering Muslim
veils from the streets.
2014 Jul 3, A European Union
court annulled sanctions placed by the 28-nation bloc on a leading
Iranian university because of its alleged involvement with the
country's nuclear program due to insufficient evidence. An asset
freeze will remain in place for another two months to hinder
Tehran's Sharif University of Technology from instantly withdrawing
its frozen funds.
2014 Jul 7, In an open letter,
more than 190 neuroscience researchers on called on the EU to put
less money into the effort to "build" a brain, and to invest instead
in existing projects. The 10-year $1.6 billion Human Brain Project
is largely funded by the European Union.
2014 Jul 10, A European Union
court ruled that Germany can't require the spouses of Turkish
immigrants to show basic knowledge of the German language as a
condition for being granted a visa.
2014 Jul 10, The European Union
slapped a travel ban and asset freeze on two South Sudanese military
leaders for committing atrocities and obstructing the peace.
2014 Jul 12, The EU moved to
impose sanctions on 11 leaders of Ukraine’s pro-Moscow rebellion.
Targets of the asset freeze and travel ban included two Russian spin
doctors, Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the separatist Donetsk
People's Republic, and his counterpart in the Luhansk People's
Republic, Marat Bashirov.
2014 Jul 15, Jean-Claude
Juncker, former Luxembourg PM, won broad endorsement from the
European Parliament to be the next head of the executive European
2014 Jul 17, A European court
ordered Russia to pay damages for putting defendants in metal cages
in court, a practice it condemned as "degrading treatment." The
enclosures have held opposition figures, Greenpeace activists and
untold numbers of less-prominent suspects across the country.
2014 Jul 18, The European Union
took the next step towards imposing tougher sanctions on Russia for
its role in the Ukraine crisis by agreeing the legal basis for
widening its list of targets.
2014 Jul 22, The EU agreed to
impose new sanctions against officials deemed responsible for
Russia's actions in Ukraine, amid mounting international anger after
a Malaysia Airlines plane was shot down over rebel-held territory.
2014 Jul 23, The European Union
gave Lithuania the green light to adopt the euro currency starting
2014 Jul 24, Europe's aviation
regulator said it will cancel its warning that recommends airlines
do not fly to Israel, after the Federal Aviation Authority cleared
US carriers to resume flights.
2014 Jul 24, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Poland violated the rights of two terror
suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish
soil in 2002 and 2003 and facilitating conditions for torture. Abd
al-Rahim al-Nashiri, a Palestinian terror suspect, and Abu Zubaida,
a Saudi national charged with orchestrating the 2000 attack on the
USS Cole, were currently imprisoned at Guantanamo.
(SFC, 7/25/14, p.A5)
2014 Jul 25, The European Union
extended its Ukraine-related sanctions to target top Russian
intelligence officials and leaders of the pro-Russia revolt in
eastern Ukraine. The action brought the total number of people under
EU sanction in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea and the
revolt in eastern Ukraine to 87.
2014 Jul 29, US officials said
that roughly 30 percent of Russia's banking sector assets are now
constrained by sanctions. The West halted future sales to lucrative
Russian economic sectors, with the US announcing plans to block
future technology sales to the oil industry and Europe approving an
arms embargo. The Europeans also backed sanctions against
state-owned banks and the energy sector.
2014 Jul 30, The EU targeted
Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle for the first time
for the Kremlin's actions in Ukraine.
2014 Aug 6, After a journey of
6.4 billion km (4 billion miles), Europe's unmanned Rosetta probe
reached its destination, a milestone in mankind's first attempt to
land a spacecraft on a comet.
2014 Aug 14, Agricultural
officials from all 28 European Union countries began emergency talks
to weigh the impact of Russia's ban on Western food imports and
whether to compensate EU farmers.
2014 Aug 15, The EU sought to
forge a unified response to the rapid advance of Islamic militants
in Iraq and the resulting refugee crisis, with several nations
pledging more humanitarian aid and raising the possibility of
directly arming Kurdish fighters battling Sunni insurgents.
2014 Aug 19, The EU’s
Single Resolution Mechanism entered into force. It is directly
responsible for the resolution of the entities and groups directly
supervised by the European Central Bank as well as other
2014 Aug 22, Serbia said it
would not subsidize exports to Russia, after the European Union
urged the Balkan country - a candidate for accession to the bloc -
not to exploit the Kremlin's ban on Western food imports.
2014 Aug 27, The European
Commission agreed to Italian demands to replace the “Mare Rostrum"
refugee rescue operation with an EU-wide project.
(SFC, 8/28/14, p.A2)
2014 Aug 30, EU leaders agreed
to ask the executive European Commission to draw up more sanctions
measures against Russia, as armored columns of Russian troops came
to the aid of the rebellion in eastern Ukraine.
2014 Aug 30, EU leaders chose
Polish PM Donald Tusk as the new president of their Council and
Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini as the bloc's new
foreign policy chief.
2014 Aug 31, Russian President
Vladimir Putin called for immediate talks on "statehood" for
southern and eastern Ukraine, although his spokesman said this did
not mean Moscow now endorsed rebel calls for independence for
territory they have seized.
2014 Aug 31, Slovakia's PM
Robert Fico slammed EU sanctions on Russia as "meaningless and
counterproductive" and threatened to veto additional measures,
highlighting the internal divide within the EU over its tough stance
2014 Sep 3, The EU said it is
deploying dozens of experts to Ukraine to help reform police forces
and bolster the new West-leaning government's commitment to the rule
2014 Sep 5, NATO leaders
meeting in Wales approved plans to create a rapid response force
headquartered in Eastern Europe that could quickly mobilize if an
alliance country in the region were to come under attack.
2014 Sep 11, The EU slapped
more sanctions on Russia for helping separatists in Ukraine.
(SFC, 9/12/14, p.A2)
2014 Sep 22, The UN, the EU and
13 countries, including those suspected of supporting rival sides in
Libya, signed an agreement that calls for an end to any "outside
interference" in the country that is plagued by violence and torn
between two governments and parliaments.
2014 Sep 24, Europol Director
Rob Wainwright said law enforcement agencies across the EU have
arrested more than 1,000 people in a closely coordinated nine-day
sweep. Operation Archimedes targeted almost all kinds of crime
ranging from drug trafficking to illegal immigration, tax fraud,
counterfeiting and theft.
2014 Sep 26, European Union
leaders said a major trade agreement with Canada has the backing of
all 28 EU countries after last minute opposition from Germany had
threatened to scuttle the deal.
2014 Sep 30, The European
Commission announced a new set of measures, worth up to 165 million
euros, to help fruit and vegetable producers hit by a Russian ban on
2014 Sep 30, The EU published a
warning to Ireland that the country had granted Apple tax advantages
the could amount to illegal state aid.
(SFC, 10/1/14, p.C1)
2014 Sep, The European RoboLaw
project, set up in 2012, presented a report titled “Guidelines on
Regulating Robotics" to a special session of the European
(Econ, 12/6/14, TQ p.7)
2014 Oct 3, The EU's antitrust
authority says it has approved Facebook's proposed $19 billion
takeover of the messaging service WhatsApp.
2014 Oct 7, Kurdish protesters
clashed with police in Turkey and forced their way into the European
Parliament in Brussels, part of Europe-wide demonstrations against
the Islamic State group's advance on a town on the Syrian-Turkish
2014 Oct 8, The EU approved
Britain's bid to heavily subsidize a new nuclear power plant,
overriding opposition from environmentalists and questions over the
project's 24.5 billion pound ($39 billion) price tag.
2014 Oct 16, EU judges struck
down anti-terrorism sanctions against the Tamil Tigers that were
imposed by the EU inm 2006 but said that the assets of the Sri
Lankan group should remain frozen for the time being.
2014 Oct 22, The European
Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to
Congolese gynaecological surgeon Dr. Denis Mukwege (59) for risking
his life to treat women and end the use of mass rape as a weapon of
(SFC, 10/23/14, p.A4)
2014 Oct 23, The EU came up
with another 24.4 million euros ($31 million) to fight Ebola and
agreed to up its aid for the fight against Ebola in west Africa to
one billion euros. Christos Stylianides, the incoming Cypriot
Humanitarian Aid Commissioner, was named an Ebola "czar".
(AP, 10/23/14)(AFP, 10/24/14)
2014 Oct 23, EU leaders
overcame deep divisions to agree on cutting greenhouse gas emissions
by at least 40 percent compared to 1990 levels. They also agreed on
27-percent targets for renewable energy supply and efficiency gains.
2014 Oct 24, Britain’s PM David
Cameron furiously rejected a surprise demand from Brussels for more
than two billion euros in backdated charges, setting up a new
showdown over Britain's place in the EU.
2014 Oct 24, Russia’s
agricultural safety agency said some 600 tons of banned meat from
Europe were discovered disguised as other items such as frozen
mushrooms, juice, fruit jellies and chewing gum.
2014 Oct 27, UN chief Ban
Ki-moon announced at the start of a visit to Ethiopia that the EU
and several regional development banks have pledged $8 billion in
development aid for projects across eight countries in the Horn of
Africa. Countries targeted are Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya,
Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.
(AFP, 10/27/14)(AP, 10/27/14)
2014 Oct 30, Moscow, Kiev and
the European Union clinched an agreement to resume supplies of
Russian gas to Ukraine over the winter and secure transit of gas via
Ukraine to Europe.
2014 Oct 31, The EU said it
will take another step towards normal relations with Zimbabwe by
ending restrictions on aid, paving the way for 234 million euros
($293 million) of new funding.
2014 Nov 6, The European Court
of Justice upheld a decision against Italy over toxic waste
treatment, ruling it had failed to act against illegal dumps dotting
the countryside around the southern city of Naples.
2014 Nov 7, The EU said Britain
will have to pay only around 1 billion euros, rather than more than
2 billion, more to the European Union budget as a result of a
Europe-wide revision of statistics, because the British rebate will
2014 Nov 12, Global regulators
announced $4.3 billion in fines against six major US and European
banks for attempting to manipulate foreign exchange markets. UBS,
Royal Bank of Scotland, JPMorgan, Citigroup, HSBC and Bank of
America were nabbed tinkering with a widely used benchmark for
(AFP, 11/12/14)(Econ, 11/15/14, p.78)
2014 Nov 12, Europe’s Rosetta
spacecraft released its Philae lander toward the icy, dusty surface
of a speeding comet. Rosetta was launched a decade ago to study the
4-km-wide (2.5-mile-wide) 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comet. Philae
bounced and came to rest in the shadow of a cliff, posing a
potential problem for its solar panels. Data was sent for about 60
hours before the solar batteries were depleted. On June 13, 2015,
Philae began sending more data as the solar panels recharged.
(AP, 11/12/14)(AP, 11/13/14)(Econ, 11/22/14,
p.76)(SFC, 6/15/15, p.A3)
2014 Nov 25, Pope Francis spoke
before delegates of the EU Council in Strasbourg, France. He warned
them that Europe had become too fearful and self-absorbed urged them
to focus on poverty, immigration and joblessness.
(SFC, 11/26/14, p.A2)
2014 Nov 27, EU governments
agreed to add 13 Ukrainian separatists and five organizations to the
bloc's sanctions list.
2014 Nov 28, European Union
police coordination agency Europol said police around the world have
arrested 118 suspects in a global investigation into online fraud
that targets the travel industry, a crime said to cost airlines $1
billion a year.
2014 Dec 11, The EU banned
Libya's seven airlines from operating in European skies, citing
safety concerns linked to the ongoing fighting there.
2014 Dec 12, EU governments
agreed to ban the export of jet fuel to Syria from Dec 14, saying it
was being used by the Syrian air force for indiscriminate attacks
2014 Dec 17, An EU court ruled
that the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas should be removed from the
EU terrorist list, saying the decision to include it was based on
media reports not considered analysis.
2014 Dec 18, The European Court
of Justice ruled that obesity can be a disability, a decision that
could have widespread consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the
way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff.
2014 Dec 18, The EU's top court
found Britain at fault for demanding that non-EU citizens with
resident permits issued in other member states must obtain a visa
before entering the country.
2014 Dec 18, The EU imposed
additional sanctions on Crimea, banning all investment and cruise
ships from its ports to force home the message the bloc will not
recognize Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine territory.
2015 Jan 1, Lithuania welcomed
a New Year and a new currency, becoming the 19th member and last
Baltic nation to adopt the euro in a bid to boost stability despite
fears of inflation and eurozone debt woes.
2015 Jan 8, The European Union
offered to lend Ukraine a further 1.8 billion euros ($2.12 billion)
on the condition that Kiev respects the terms of an international
bailout and continues its reform program.
2015 Jan 13, The European
Parliament lifted the EU-wide ban on genetically modified (GM) crops
allowing national governments to impose their own restrictions.
(Econ, 1/17/15, p.52)
2015 Jan 15, The EU parliament
condemned Russia as a "potential threat to the European Union
itself" even as the EU foreign policy chief sought to resume
dialogue with Moscow to help end the conflict in Ukraine.
2015 Jan 22, The European
Central Bank began 2015 with a QE (quantitative easing) stimulus,
revealing plans for a massive trillion-euro bond purchase program to
ward off deflation and end stagnation in the eurozone economy.
2015 Jan 22, A European Union
high court annulled sanctions that the 28-nation bloc imposed on an
Iranian bank and a shipping line and companies linked to it, over
Tehran's nuclear program.
2015 Jan 23, The European Union
said it is withholding $37 million in aid slated for Guyana because
the government of the South American country is operating without a
2015 Jan 26, The European Union
blacklisted Sri Lanka for failing to combat illegal fishing,
officially banning imports of fisheries products from Sri
Lanka-flagged vessels into the EU.
2015 Jan 26, Poland led EU
criticism of bilateral farm deals with Moscow following a French
accord with Russia to lift its ban on live pig and pork imports.
2015 Jan 27, EU finance
ministers agreed to loan Ukraine 1.8 billion euros ($2.0 billion) to
help save it from bankruptcy, leaving open the option of increasing
aid at a later stage.
2015 Jan 29, The EU extended by
six months an existing set of sanctions against Russia and
pro-Russian separatist officials because of continued fighting in
(SFC, 1/30/15, p.A7)
2015 Feb 10, The European Union
said it is providing 100 million euros ($113 million) in loans to
Jordan to help it deal with the fallout from crises like the
conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
2015 Feb 16, The European Union
published a new sanctions list of individuals and entities. It added
9 more entities and 19 more individuals, including a Russian deputy
minister of defense, for their actions linked to the fighting in
eastern Ukraine. There was a week's lapse in the publishing of the
list because of the negotiations which led to an agreement between
Ukraine and Russia on Feb 12.
2015 Feb 16, Greece offered to
accept conditions on an extension to its loan agreements with the
euro zone, and even an inspection by the European Commission, at a
fraught meeting in Brussels.
2015 Feb 20, Greece and its
creditors in the 19-nation eurozone reached an agreement to extend
the country's rescue loans for four months.
2015 Feb 23, Bosnia's
parliament adopted an economic and social reform plan that could
unblock the country's path toward EU membership.
2015 Feb 24, Eurozone finance
ministers announced they have approved a list of reforms submitted
by Greece in exchange for a four-month extension to its
2015 Feb 25, The EU unveiled a
vast plan to boost coordination between its 28 national energy
markets to wean Europe off unstable Russian gas supplies and provide
cheaper energy for consumers.
2015 Mar 2, The EU approved new
rules that clamp down on the use of flimsy plastic bags hazardous to
(SFC, 3/3/15, p.A2)
2015 Mar 8, The European Union
said it has imposed sanctions on Syrian businessman George Haswani,
who it says bought oil for the Syrian government from Islamic State
militants who have seized wide areas of the country including its
2015 Mar 9, The European
Central Bank confirmed a 1.1 trillion euro ($1.2 trillion) stimulus
program by starting to buy government bonds.
2015 Mar 10, Israeli
authorities demolished an EU-funded shelter in Arab east Jerusalem.
The process was initiated by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority
because the structures were in a national park within the
jurisdiction of the Jerusalem municipality.
2015 Mar 11, The euro fell to
its lowest level against the dollar since April 2003, at $1.0557.
The main reason is the European Central Bank has not only cut
interest rates but also started creating more euros to put into the
2015 Mar 12, The European
Parliament called on Venezuela to release students and opposition
figures "arbitrarily detained" during protests against left-wing
President Nicolas Maduro.
2015 Mar 12, Iceland announced
that it was suspending its application to join the 28-nation EU.
2015 Mar 16, The European Union
gave the green light to a long-awaited pact with Bosnia, a first
step toward possible membership of the bloc after years of political
and economic stagnation.
2015 Mar 19, European Union
heads of state and government gathered in Brussels for a two day
meeting to talk about economic and energy policies, and the crises
in Ukraine and Libya.
2015 Mar 19, Switzerland signed
a preliminary agreement with the European Union that will make it
much harder for the 28-nation bloc's citizens to evade taxes by
hiding money in Swiss vaults.
2015 Mar 20, The EU and Balkan
countries launched a campaign aimed at stemming the flow of fighters
from southeastern Europe to join jihadists in the Middle East. The
Balkans are generally considered to include Albania, Bulgaria,
Bosnia and Herzegovina, about half of Croatia, Greece, the Republic
of Macedonia, Montenegro, most of Serbia, and the European part of
2015 Mar 20, The EU committed 2
billion euros ($2.15 billion) to help Athens deal with what even EU
leaders now call the "humanitarian crisis" hitting Greeks in the
wake of the financial crisis that left the nation on the brink of
2015 Mar 20, EU leaders agreed
to increase cooperation with Tunisia following an Islamist attack on
tourists in the capital this week, saying they would also offer more
economic assistance to the new Arab democracy.
2015 Mar 20, EU leaders,
concerned about migrants using Libya as a jumping-off point to reach
the continent, pledged to help the conflict-torn country regain
stability but ruled out deploying any security operation.
2015 Apr 15, The European Union
charged Google with abusing its overwhelming dominance in Internet
searches and opened a probe into its Android mobile system,
massively raising the stakes in the five-year antitrust battle.
2015 Apr 22, Margrethe
Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, sent Russia’s Gazprom a
charge sheet alleging market abuses.
(Econ., 4/25/15, p.59)
2015 Apr 23, EU leaders met to
discuss possible military action against human traffickers in Libya
in a desperate effort to halt the tidal wave of refugees trying to
reach Europe by sea. EU leaders agreed in Brussels to treble funding
for EU maritime missions and pledged more ships and aircraft.
(AFP, 4/23/15)(Reuters, 4/24/15)
2015 Apr 24, The European Union
cleared the import of 10 new types of genetically modified crops and
two more kinds of cut flowers, its first authorizations in more than
a year after a review of its blocked approval process.
2015 Apr 24, Euro zone finance
ministers warned Greece that its leftist government will get no more
aid until it agrees a complete economic reform plan.
2015 Apr 28, The European
Parliament approved rules to clamp down on the use of flimsy plastic
bags that are hazardous for the environment, removing the last major
hurdle to pass the legislation. 28 member nations have already
approved the measure once and their final backing should be
confirmed later this year.
2015 Apr 28, Google says it
will give European publishers 150 million euros ($162.33 million) to
help them adapt to the challenge of selling news online.
2015 May 4, The European Union
approved 20 million euros ($22 million) in financial support and
emergency aid to help Nepal deal with the April 25 earthquake.
2015 May 7, Romania’s PM Victor
Ponta said the European Union has suspended 1 billion euros ($1.13
billion) in funding for Romanian projects because of allegations of
corruption and irregularities.
2015 May 12, The European
Central Bank raised the cap on emergency liquidity assistance (ELA)
that Greek banks can draw from the country's central bank by 1.1
billion euros, taking the ceiling to 80 billion euros.
2015 May 19, European
governments agreed to synchronize their laws to bar citizens from
going abroad to fight for the Islamic State group and other
2015 May 27, In Kosovo EU
judges sentenced 11 former Kosovo Albanian guerrillas, two of them
close to ex-prime minister Hashim Thaci, to prison terms for war
crimes committed during Kosovo's 1998-99 pro-independence uprising.
2015 May 28, The EU added a
high-ranking Syrian military official to its sanctions list as it
extended measures against supporters of Pres. Bashar al-Assad for
2015 May 29, Japanese and
European leaders agreed to step up defense and economic ties, and
expressed concern about rising tensions in the South China Sea.
2015 May 28, Moscow released a
blacklist of 89 European Union politicians barred from Russia in
response to EU sanctions over Crimea and Ukraine.
2015 Jun 5, Europe's rights
court backed the decision of a French court to allow a man in a
vegetative state to be taken off life support.
2015 Jun 6, The EU extended
sanctions imposed on three people Ukraine suspects of having
embezzled funds under former President Viktor Yanukovich. Asset
freezes on ex-justice minister Olena Lukash, former education and
science minister Dmytro Tabachnyk and Serhiy Klyuyev, the
businessman brother of Yanukovich's former chief of staff, were to
have expired today.
2015 Jun 10, The EU urged its
28 nations to swiftly endorse its plan to relocate 40,000 migrants
as 1,000 more migrants arrived in Greece in just one day.
2015 Jun 17, The EU’s tax
watchdog unveiled a plan for tackling corporate tax avoidance. The
EU’s executive commission published a blacklist of 30 countries it
says are not doing enough to crack down on tax avoidance.
(SFC, 6/18/15, p.A2)
2015 Jun 17, European Union
governments agreed to extend economic sanctions on Russia over its
actions in Ukraine by six months until Jan. 31.
2015 Jun 22, The EU extended
economic sanctions against Russia until January to keep pressure on
Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine. Russia in turn planned
to extend a ban on Western food imports for six months starting from
(AP, 6/22/15)(Reuters, 6/22/15)
2015 Jun 26, The EU decided to
share 40,000 refugees landing in Greece and Italy.
(SFC, 6/27/15, p.A3)
2015 Jun 29, China's Premier Li
Keqiang said he wants to see Greece remain in the euro zone and
promised that Beijing would make investments in the European Union's
new infrastructure fund.
2015 Jun 30, Greek Finance
Minister Yanis Varoufakis confirmed that the country will not make
its 1.6 billion euro payment due today to the International Monetary
Fund. Greece requested a two-year rescue deal with the EU to save
the crisis-hit country, just hours before its international bailout
(AP, 6/30/15)(AFP, 6/30/15)
2015 Jul 3, Slovakia's spy
agency in its annual report said Russian agents have significantly
increased their activities in Slovakia and all other NATO and
European Union countries in connection with the crisis in Ukraine.
2015 Jul 6, The European
Central Bank maintained a key financial lifeline to Greek banks in
the wake of Greece's historic referendum but with tougher conditions
for liquidity. The IMF told Greece it could not provide funds to
countries that had missed payments due to the international lender.
(AFP, 7/6/15)(Reuters, 7/6/15)
2015 Jul 7, The EU extended the
suspension of sanctions on Iran until July 10 to allow ongoing talks
on a long-term nuclear agreement with it to succeed.
2015 Jul 8, The European
Parliament approved a proposal to begin reform of the world's
biggest carbon market in 2019.
2015 Jul 8, Greece made a
request for aid from Europe's bailout fund as it rushed to deliver
details of its proposed economic reforms in time to secure the
country's future in the euro and avoid a descent into financial
chaos. Greece promised to implement pension and tax reforms as early
as next week as the first step to securing a three-year rescue loan
to cover debt obligations.
(AP, 7/8/15)(Reuters, 7/8/15)
2015 Jul 9, European Union
chairman Donald Tusk joined growing international calls for Greece
to be granted debt restructuring as part of any new loan deal if it
delivers convincing reforms to avert imminent bankruptcy.
2015 Jul 10, The European Union
extended a suspension of sanctions on Iran until July 13 to allow
ongoing talks about the country's nuclear ambitions to succeed.
2015 Jul 12, Euro zone leaders
told near-bankrupt Greece at an emergency summit on that it must
restore trust by enacting key reforms before they will open talks on
a new financial rescue to keep it in the European currency area.
2015 Jul 13, Euro zone leaders
made Greece surrender much of its sovereignty to outside supervision
in return for agreeing to talks on an 86 billion euros ($95 billion)
bailout to keep the near-bankrupt country in the single currency.
2015 Jul 13, EU authorities
fined Spain almost 19 million euros ($21 million) for manipulating
economic statistics for one of its regions, the first penalty of its
2015 Jul 15, The European
Commission published its assessment of Greece's bailout request,
taking a different view of Athens' debt sustainability than the IMF,
but also signaling a possibility of debt relief.
2015 Jul 16, Greek PM Alexis
Tsipras won the backing of parliament in the early hours for the
stringent reform measures demanded by creditors. Hours later Europe
moved to re-open funding to Greece's stricken economy.
2015 Jul 16, EU finance
ministers agreed to use the European Financial Stability Mechanism
for a 7 billion euro bridge loan to Greece until the country
negotiates its next full bailout.
2015 Jul 17, The EU approved a
short-term loan of 7.16 billion euros ($7.8 billion) to Greece
allowing it to meet a huge payment to the ECB and repay the IMF
while a new bailout is still being ratified.
2015 Jul 23, The European Union
launched an antitrust case against six major US movie studios and
British satellite broadcaster Sky UK, in a move that could
profoundly shake up the highly lucrative pay-television market in
2015 Jul 27, EU foreign
ministers formally approved the launch of the first phase of a
military operation to target people smugglers in the Mediterranean.
2015 Jul 28, Iran and the
European Union said they have agreed to start talks on issues
including confronting terrorism.
2015 Aug 4, The EU and Vietnam
announced a free trade deal removing nearly all tariffs, with
Brussels calling it a "milestone" on the way to a region-wide
agreement with Southeast Asia.
2015 Aug 7, The European Union
appealed to member countries to live up to pledges to provide planes
and other assets so that its border agency can help Greece and
Hungary cope with a migrant influx.
2015 Aug 10, The European
Commission approved 2.4 billion euros ($2.6 billion) of aid over six
years for countries including Greece and Italy that have struggled
to cope with a surge in numbers of immigrants.
2015 Aug 14, Eurozone finance
ministers approved a third bailout worth up to 86 billion euros to
keep Greece in the single currency in return for an unprecedented
package of reforms that Athens had previously rejected.
2015 Aug 26, The Swedish ship
Poseidon, working with the European Union's border control agency
Frontex, found 51 migrants dead in the hold of a boat off the coast
of Libya. Rescue operations saved over 700 other people.
(Reuters, 8/26/15)(SFC, 8/27/15, p.A4)
2015 Sep 1, In Hungary hundreds
of angry migrants demonstrated outside Budapest's Eastern Railway
Terminus demanding they be allowed to travel on to Germany, as EU
asylum rules came close to collapse under the strain of
2015 Sep 3, France and Germany
agreed that the European Union, facing an unprecedented influx of
migrants, should impose binding quotas on the numbers member states
2015 Sep 4, In a joint
statement the prime ministers of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland
and Slovakia rejected any quota system for accepting migrants in the
European Union's 28 members.
2015 Sep 7, The EU announced it
will release 500 million euros to aid European farmers suffering
plunging milk and meat prices partly blamed on a Russian embargo, as
thousands of farmers protested outside EU headquarters in Brussels
to demand more aid and higher prices for their milk and pig meat.
(AFP, 9/7/15)(AP, 9/7/15)
2015 Sep 8, European lawmakers
voted overwhelmingly to strengthen an EU ban on seal products,
narrowing exceptions made for Canada's indigenous Inuits.
2015 Sep 8, Tens of thousands
of migrants massed on Greek islands as EU President Donald Tusk
warned the refugee crisis would last for years.
2015 Sep 9, EU leader
Jean-Claude Juncker proposed a plan to distribute 160,000 people
throughout the member nations, even while acknowledging that the
plan was inadequate to the depth of the crisis.
(SFC, 9/10/15, p.A2)
2015 Sep 14, EU member states
approved plans for military action against people smugglers in the
Mediterranean, seizing and if necessary destroying boats to break up
the networks operating out of Libya.
2015 Sep 14, The Netherlands
said police will carry out spot border checks in response to a surge
in asylum seekers into the European Union.
2015 Sep 15, Germany called for
an EU summit on Europe's biggest migrant crisis since World War II
as Hungary's right-wing government shut the main land route for
migrants into the EU, taking matters into its own hands to halt
Europe's influx of refugees. Berlin called for financial penalties
against countries that refused to accommodate their share of
migrants, drawing a furious response from central Europe.
(Reuters, 9/15/15)(AFP, 9/15/15)
2015 Sep 15, Switzerland said
it is ready to accept a migrant quota on the lines proposed by
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, providing the EU
accepts the plan.
2015 Sep 17, The EU announced
its leaders would hold an emergency summit on Sept. 23 to try to
resolve the migration crisis.
2015 Sep 22, EU interior
ministers approved plans that require all to take their share of the
hundreds of thousands of migrants who have overwhelmed states such
as Greece and Italy, overriding opposition from eastern states.
2015 Sep 23, EU leaders agreed
to boost border controls and to send $1.1 billion to int’l. agencies
helping refugees at camps near their home countries.
(SFC, 9/24/15, p.A2)
2015 Oct 1, The UN refugee
agency said it expects 700,000 migrants and refugees to reach Europe
via the Mediterranean this year and projected at least the same
amount again in 2016.
2015 Oct 4, The European
Commission said nineteen EU member states have requested opt-outs
for all or part of their territory from cultivation of a Monsanto
genetically-modified crop, which is authorized to be grown in the
2015 Oct 6, Europe's top court
ruled that data stored on US servers is potentially unsafe because
of government spying, a blow to companies such as Facebook that
might need to change the way they handle private data from the
region. The European Court of Justice (ECJ) struck down the
“safe-harbor" privacy pact between the European Union and America.
It was originally signed in 2000 to bridge cultural and political
differences regarding online privacy.
(AP, 10/6/15)(Econ, 10/10/15, p.61)
2015 Oct 6, The European
Union's 28 finance ministers agreed to share details of tax deals
their countries reach with big multinational companies. The rule
would be enacted across the 28 member states by the start of 2017.
2015 Oct 8, European Union
governments agreed to step up deportations of illegal immigrants and
discussed creating a border guard force among measures to cope with
a surge in refugees from Syria's civil war.
2015 Oct 12, The EU demanded
the "immediate" halt of Russian air strikes against moderate Syrian
rebel groups and warned a lasting peace was impossible under
Moscow-backed President Bashar al-Assad.
2015 Oct 13, European lawmakers
rejected a proposal that would have allowed countries to restrict or
ban the use of imported GM crops that have secured EU approval.
2015 Oct 14, The EU parliament
lifted immunity for Bela Kovacs, a member of Hungary's far-right
Jobbik party. Hungarian prosecutors suspected him of spying on EU
institutions for Russia. Covert contacts between Kovacs and Russian
intelligence officers were first detected in 2010.
2015 Oct 15, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled Switzerland had violated Turkish politician
Dogu Perincek's right to freedom of speech by convicting him for
denying that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915
amounted to genocide.
2015 Oct 15, Turkey demanded
that the European Union start easing restrictions next year on Turks
traveling to the European Union if it wants full cooperation to stem
the flow of Syrian refugees.
2015 Oct 21, The European Union
demanded that Starbucks and Fiat repay up to 30 million euros ($34
million) each in back taxes.
2015 Oct 25, Central and
eastern European leaders met in Brussels to draw up a common
approach to dealing with the thousands of migrants streaming into
the EU every day from the Middle East, North Africa and Afghanistan.
The leaders committed to bolster the borders of Greece as it
struggles to cope with the wave of refugees from Syria and beyond
who cross over through Turkey.
(Reuters, 10/2515)(AP, 10/2615)
2015 Oct 27, Kosovo took a step
towards possible European Union membership, signing a trade and
political pact with Brussels less than a decade after unilaterally
declaring independence from Serbia.
2015 Oct 27, The UN said more
than 700,000 refugees and migrants have reached Europe's
Mediterranean shores so far this year, amid the continent's worst
migration crisis since World War II.
2015 Oct 29, The EU said it
will suspended most sanctions against Belarus for four months as of
Oct 31, citing "improving relations" after authoritarian President
Alexander Lukashenko released all remaining political prisoners.
2015 Oct 30, The European
Parliament narrowly adopted a nonbinding measure urging the 28 EU
members to recognize Edward Snowden as a whistleblower and int’l.
human rights defender.
(SFC, 10/30/15, p.A4)
2015 Nov 2, The Organization
for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) charged in a damning
report that Turkey's election was marred by a media crackdown,
violence and other security concerns.
2015 Nov 10, The EU accused
Ankara of backsliding on rule of law, rights and the media and urged
it to react swiftly, in a sensitive report on Turkey's candidacy for
the bloc that Brussels had delayed until after elections.
2015 Nov 11, The European Union
backed the labelling of products from Israeli settlements, sparking
fresh tensions with a furious Israel, which said the move could harm
the peace process with the Palestinians.
2015 Nov 12, European Food
Safety Authority (EFSA) said glyphosate is unlikely to cause cancer
in humans. It nevertheless proposed limits on the amount of residue
of the weedkiller widely used by farmers deemed safe to consume.
2015 Nov 17, France made an
unprecedented demand that its EU allies support its military action
against the Islamic State group. EU nations unanimously backed the
French request. French police named two of the Nov 13 French
attackers as Ismael Omar Mostefai, 29, from Chartres, southwest of
Paris, and Samy Amimour, 28, from the Paris suburb of Drancy.
(AP, 11/17/15)(Reuters, 11/17/15)(AFP, 11/17/15)
2015 Nov 20, EU interior and
justice ministers in Brussels pledged solidarity with France in the
wake of the Paris attacks a week ago and agreed a series of new
measures on surveillance, border checks and gun control.
2015 Nov 26, Ten European
governments signed a letter to the European Commission calling for a
summit-level debate on the Nord Stream II project, Russia's plans to
extend its gas link to Germany.
2015 Nov 27, Slovakia's economy
minister said his country will join forces with other Central and
Eastern members of the European Union to protest a recent deal to
expand a pipeline that delivers natural gas directly from Russia to
2015 Nov 29, Turkish PM Ahmet
Davutoglu struck a deal with EU leaders to prevent migrants from
traveling to Europe in return for 3 billion euros (dollars) in cash,
a deal on visas and renewed talks on joining the 28-nation bloc.
2015 Dec 2, The EU and Vietnam
signed a free trade deal that removes nearly all tariffs between
Europe and one of the world's last communist states.
2015 Dec 2, Slovakia filed a
lawsuit at the European Court of Justice against a European Union
decision to redistribute 120,000 asylum seekers among member
2015 Dec 3, EU member Denmark
voted in a referendum on adopting the union's justice rules, with
the Paris terror attacks and immigration both major issues in the
campaign. 53 percent of Danish voters decided to continue a
decades-old opt-out from justice affairs in the European Union.
(AFP, 12/3/15)(AP, 12/4/15)
2015 Dec 4, The European Union
agreed on a system to share airline passenger information, paving
the way for closer scrutiny of extremists.
2015 Dec 10, EU lawmakers
backed plans to track airline passenger names as part of efforts to
prevent a repeat of the Paris attacks.
2015 Dec 10, The European
Commission launched an "infringement case" against Hungary over its
asylum legislation, a move Budapest dismissed as an act of revenge
for its rejection of mandatory migrant quotas.
2015 Dec 10, The European
Commission said it has decided to take Poland to court over its
failure to address its poor air quality.
2015 Dec 14, The EU pledged to
spend $88 million to house migrants in Greece as it seeks tougher
procedures for asylum-seekers traveling to the continent.
(SFC, 12/15/15, p.A4)
2015 Dec 15, The EU unveiled
plans for a new border and coast guard agency that can intervene
even without the host country's consent, saying it had to restore
security threatened by the migration crisis.
2015 Dec 18, EU leaders in
Brussels pledged an uncompromising fight against terrorism and
called for wide-ranging countermeasures including beefed-up
immigration controls and a crackdown on illicit weapons trafficking.
(SFC, 12/19/15, p.A5)
2015 Dec 21, The EU extended
sanctions against Russia for six months for fueling the separatist
war in Ukraine and its annexation of Crimea.
(SFC, 12/22/15, p.A6)
2015 Dec 23, It was reported
that the European Commission has more than doubled its assistance to
Papua New Guinea as El Niño-related drought and frost have triggered
severe food and water shortages.
2015 A study funded by the
European Commission found that palm oil and soybean oil had the
highest indirect greenhouse gas emissions because of the
deforestation and the drainage of peatlands associated with their
2016 Jan 1, In the EU new rules
known as Solvency 2 came into effect. They required European
insurers to follow uniform rules on cpital designed to make the
firms more robust and allow others to assess their strength more
(Econ, 1/2/16, p.56)
2016 Jan 1, Ukraine's
free-trade deal with the EU came into effect, coinciding with the
start of Moscow's food embargo against Kiev that will force the
impoverished former Soviet republic to revisit its economic model.
2016 Jan 3, The European
Commission said it would debate the rule of law in Poland this month
in the first stage of a potentially-punitive procedure after Warsaw
seized control of public broadcasters.
2016 Jan 5, European equities
staged a timid rebound, winning moderate support after Beijing
pumped cash into the money market to soothe worries over the slowing
2016 Jan 11, The European Union
ordered Belgium to recover some $760 million in illegal tax breaks
from 35 multinationals, its latest ruling against the sweet deals
many member states offered to some of the world's biggest companies.
2016 Jan 13, The European Union
escalated its standoff with Poland over the rule of law under the
new government, deciding to open a case over legislation on the
constitutional court and media that has been criticized as running
counter to the bloc's fundamental principles.
2016 Jan 20, The European Union
ordered Belgium to recoup $230 million from the Duferco steel group
because of illegal state aid that distorted competition.
2016 Feb 12, EU member states
gave Greece a three-month ultimatum to remedy "deficiencies" in
controlling the influx of migrants or face border controls with the
rest of the Schengen passport-free zone.
2016 Feb 12, European
scientists said that they have stopped sending commands to the
Philae space probe, which became the first to touch down on a comet
more than a year ago.
2016 Feb 15, Thousands of steel
workers from across the EU demonstrated against the import of cheap
Chinese products warning EU leaders not to exacerbate the situation
by granting Beijing market economy status.
2016 Feb 15, Bosnia formally
applied for membership of the EU, although Brussels says it must
carry out a series of reforms before the application can even be
2016 Feb 18, EU leaders began
meeting to thrash out a deal that aims to keep Britain in the bloc.
2016 Feb 18, EU Migration
Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos wrote to the Austrian government
to warn Vienna that its plan for a daily cap on the number of asylum
seekers it would let across its border would break EU law.
2016 Feb 18, The European
Union's top court ruled that the EU unfairly froze the funds of
Iran's Bank Mellat for six years when it claimed the bank was
backing the Islamic Republic's nuclear and missile programs. The EU
lifted the freeze in January as part of an international agreement
over Iran's nuclear program.
2016 Feb 19, Britain’s PM David
Cameron faced a second day of tough talks with European Union
partners after arguing for much of the night over concessions to
help keep Britain in the bloc.
2016 Feb 20, British PM David
Cameron called a June 23 referendum on membership of the European
Union as he sought to rally his divided Conservative Party behind a
deal which he said would guarantee Britain's prosperity and security
in the bloc.
2016 Feb 23, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia violated opposition leader Alexei
Navalny's right to a fair trial, and has ordered the government to
pay him €56,000 euros ($61,700) in legal costs and damages.
2016 Feb 25, The European
Parliament called on the EU to impose an arms embargo against Saudi
Arabia, saying Britain, France and other EU governments should no
longer sell weapons to a country accused of targeting civilians in
2016 Feb 25, NATO envoys set
out how ships already sent to the Aegean will pass reconnaissance to
Turkish and Greek coastguards and the EU border agency Frontex, as
well as returning to Turkey any migrants in distress that NATO crews
2016 Mar 1, The Council of
Europe told Georgia to improve its anti-discrimination policies and
legislation, saying it was worried by an increase in cases of hate
speech and violence against religious and sexual minority groups.
2016 Mar 1, Greece said it has
asked the EU for nearly half a billion euros in emergency funds to
help shelter 100,000 refugees. There were currently some 25,000
refugees and migrants on Greek soil and around 1,000 continued to
arrive on a typical day.
2016 Mar 2, The EU launched a
new aid program worth an initial 700 million euros that mirrors the
kind of disaster relief it offers developing nations. Greece, the
main gateway to Europe, would initially be the main beneficiary of
the emergency scheme. The number of migrants awaiting passage to
central and northern Europe swelled on Greece's border with
Macedonia as the frontier remained shut.
2016 Mar 3, EU Council
President Donald Tusk told illegal economic migrants not to risk
their lives or money to make a perilous trip to Europe "for nothing"
but said unilateral actions by European Union states to deal with
the crisis must stop.
2016 Mar 4, The European
Commission set out a timetable to restore the fraying 26-nation
Schengen open border area by year-end, warning that failure to do so
would cost the European economy up to 18 billion euros ($19.7
billion) a year.
2016 Mar 4, The European Union
said that it had added 16 people and 12 companies to its sanctions
list following North Korea's latest nuclear test and rocket launch.
2016 Mar 7, Turkey offered the
EU greater help to stem a flood of migrants into Europe but demanded
more money, faster accession talks and quicker visa-free travel for
its citizens in exchange. EU leaders reached a tentative outline for
a possible deal with Ankara and hoped to finalize a deal at 2-day
summit beginning on March 17.
(Reuters, 3/7/16)(SFC, 3/8/16, p.A4)
2016 Mar 10, European Union
governments extended sanctions on Russians and Ukrainians targeted
in 2014 over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
2016 Mar 14, The European Union
said it is suspending direct financial support for the Burundian
government after concluding that it had not done enough to find a
political solution to conflict that has so far cost more than 400
2016 Mar 14, In Kazakhstan a
joint European-Russian mission aiming to search for traces of life
on Mars blasted off for the start of a seven-month unmanned space
journey to the Red Planet.
2016 Mar 15, European Union
lawmakers and member states agreed on a long-term plan to end over
fishing of cod, sprat and herring stocks in the Baltic Sea, the
first such plan of its kind under the EU's reformed fisheries
2016 Mar 18, EU leaders
approved a controversial deal with Turkey intended to halt illegal
migration flows to Europe in return for financial and political
rewards for Ankara.
2016 Mar 18, The European Union
called for more countries to impose sanctions on Russia over its
annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula two years ago, but the
Kremlin said Crimea was Russian land and its status non-negotiable.
2016 Mar 23, More aid agencies
helping refugees and migrants arriving in Greece said they were
joining a boycott of detention centers, angered at an EU deal they
say runs roughshod over human rights.
2016 Apr 1, The European Union
reported sanctions on three Libyan officials accused of hindering
the new UN-brokered unity government there from beginning its work.
2016 Apr 6, Dutch voters went
to the polls and rejected a key EU pact with Ukraine in a referendum
triggered by grassroots eurosceptic groups and seen as a yardstick
on ties with Brussels.
(AFP, 4/6/16)(Reuters, 4/7/16)
2016 Apr 7, the EU's executive
said European Union states should agree on a common list of tax
havens in the next semester and impose sanctions on countries that
hide EU-taxable revenues in the wake of the Panama leaks.
2016 Apr 14, The European
Parliament voted to force airlines to share passenger information
with EU countries to help detect jihadists, ending five years of
debate that intensified after the Paris and Brussels attacks.
2016 Apr 21, European Union
Commissioner Johannes Hahn said on a visit to Kiev that the new
Ukrainian government must use its first 100 days in office to
implement reforms needed to secure 600 million euros in new aid.
2016 Apr 27, The EU's police
mission in Kosovo conducted a major operation against an
Albanian-Serb organized crime ring. Six people were arrested and
authorities were hunting for a governing party lawmaker suspected of
being the ringleader.
2016 Apr 29, The European Union
said it was giving an additional 38 million euros in cash aid to
Haiti, which is combatting drought and a migration crisis with
neighboring Dominican Republic.
2016 May 4, The European
Union's top court dealt a blow to the tobacco industry by approving
sweeping new rules that will require plain cigarette packs, ban
menthol cigarettes and regulate the growing electronic cigarette
2016 May 4, Central European
countries dismissed the EU executive's proposals to share out
migrants among member states, saying any plans for forced relocation
of people were unacceptable or, in Hungary's view, amounted to
2016 May 4, The European
Commission, the executive arm of the 28-nation EU, gave conditional
backing for Turks to get visa-free travel as part of a deal to solve
the migrant crisis.
2016 May 9, The Republic of
Congo called on the EU to recall its ambassador to Brazzaville over
EU criticism of President Denis Sassou Nguesso's controversial
re-election in March. In its response on May 17, Brussels expressed
its unwavering support for EU representative Saskia de Lang.
2016 May 25, The European
Union's agency for judicial cooperation said a Portuguese national
and a Russian were arrested in Rome last week on suspicion of being
involved in espionage for hire.
2016 May 26, The European Union
issued a warning to Hungary about discrimination against Roma
children in the country's education system.
2016 May 27, The European Union
said it is launching an effort to contain the so-called "grey
economy" of undeclared and untaxed work. Under its new plan, the EU
will seek to exchange best practices to combat undeclared work among
the 28 member states and boost common projects.
2016 May 27, The European Union
said it has committed to provide Colombia with a package of 575
million euros ($645 million) to help the nation recover from a half
century of civil war.
2016 May 27, The EU announced
additional sanctions against North Korea because of the regime’s
continued nuclear and missile testing programs.
(SFC, 5/28/16, p.A2)
2016 May 30, European Union
ministers meeting in the Dutch capital endorsed a "Pact of
Amsterdam" aimed at improving living conditions in towns and cities
throughout the 28-nation bloc.
2016 May 31, The European Union
reached an agreement with some of the world's biggest social media
firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread
of hate speech online.
2016 Jun 1, The European Union
said Poland's government is not following the rule of law as
required by the bloc's membership and has taken a step toward
2016 Jun 2, The European Union
and United States signed a deal aimed at protecting personal data
shared by law enforcement authorities in the EU and US as they
tackle major crime.
2016 Jun 6, EU nations refused
to back a limited extension of the herbicide glyphosate's use,
threatening withdrawal of Monsanto's Roundup and other weed-killers
from shelves if no decision is reached by the end of the month.
2016 Jun 7, The European Union
unveiled plans to seal agreements with African and Middle East
countries in an effort to persuade refugees to stay close to home
and to discourage people looking for jobs from heading to Europe.
2016 Jun 7, The European Union
warned Thailand to take "swift and determined action" by next month
to improve its fisheries and labor practices or face a serious
economic threat of an EU ban on Thai seafood.
2016 Jun 9, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Bosnia is violating human rights by not
letting a Muslim Bosniak residing in the Serb part of the country
run for president. Bosnia has three months to appeal.
2016 Jun 10, EU countries
agreed on new measures to tighten gun controls in the wake of the
deadly attacks in Paris last year.
(SFC, 6/11/16, p.A4)
2016 Jun 15, Poland said will
not meet the European Union's deadline of today to respond to
concerns about the country's political crisis.
2016 Jun 16, The European
Commission said Iran's state airline, which has just reached an
agreement with Boeing Co to purchase new jetliners, can resume
flights in the EU.
2016 Jun 17, The EU rolled over
for another year sanctions imposed to protest Russia's 2014
annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, which the bloc deems illegal.
2016 Jun 21, The European
Union's Brussels envoys agreed to extend until the end of January
the energy, financial and defense sanctions on Russia over the
conflict in Ukraine, but formal approval is still pending.
2016 Jun 22, The European Union
agreed to set up a new border and coast guard agency to better
manage migrant arrivals after more than a million people came to the
EU in search of jobs or sanctuary last year.
2016 Jun 23, Britons voted to
exit the European Union. Scotland voted decisively to stay in the EU
by 62 to 38 percent in the referendum, putting it at odds with the
United Kingdom as a whole, which voted 52-48 percent in favor of an
exit from the EU, or Brexit. 17.4 million people voted to leave.
(Reuters, 6/23/16)(Reuters, 6/24/16)(Econ,
2016 Jun 23, Gibraltar citizens
voted 19,322 to 823 to remain in the EU, a margin of 96%.
(Econ, 7/2/16, p.50)(Econ, 7/16/16, p.43)
2016 Jun 24, EU chairman Donald
Tusk said European Union leaders are determined to keep the unity of
the EU after Britain voted to leave the 28-nation bloc, noting the
EU had been prepared for such an outcome. Britain's vote to leave
the EU fired up populist eurosceptic parties across the continent,
giving fresh voice to their calls to leave the bloc or its euro
currency. Global financial markets plunged as results from the
referendum defied bookmakers' odds to show a 52-48 percent victory
for the leave campaign.
(Reuters, 6/24/16)(AP, 6/24/16)
2016 Jun 25, The six founding
members of the European Union sent a clear message to Britain to
leave the bloc as soon as possible after Britons voted to quit in
the biggest blow to the project since World War Two.
2016 Jun 25, European
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement that VP
Valdis Dombrovskis, a former PM of Latvia, will take over the EU's
financial services portfolio, following the resignation of Britain's
2016 Jun 25, Slovakia's far
right People's Party launched a petition for a referendum on the
country's EU membership, the latest state to see a challenge
following Britain's vote to leave the bloc.
2016 Jun 26, Eight members of
Britain's opposition Labour party said they had withdrawn support
for the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, plunging the party into crisis
in the wake of Britain's vote to leave the European Union.
2016 Jun 28, European Union
leaders began plotting a future without Britain, urging the island
nation and economic powerhouse to disentangle itself as fast as
possible from the other 27 nations in the bloc to avoid extending
the turmoil that has been roiling European and global markets.
2016 Jun 29, The European
Union's executive Commission gave the go-ahead for the popular weed
killer glyphosate to be used for up to 18 months longer amid
concerns about its possible links to cancer.
2016 Jun 29, Scottish First
Minister Nicola Sturgeon made a dash to Brussels to tell the EU that
Scots were intent on staying in the bloc, hours after David Cameron
told a summit that Britain was pulling out.
2016 Jul 1, The European Union
extended its economic sanctions on Russia until the end of January
next year in a widely expected decision after EU leaders called for
more progress in bringing peace to eastern Ukraine.
2016 Jul 4, The European
Commission ordered seven Spanish football clubs including Barcelona
and Real Madrid to give back to the government a total of around 70
million euros ($78 million). The commission said state funding gave
them an unfair advantage over other clubs, and breached EU rules.
2016 Jul 6, EU lawmakers
endorsed plans for a new border and coast guard agency to
helps manage thousands of people trying to reach Europe for
sanctuary or jobs.
(SFC, 7/7/16, p.A2)
2016 Jul 12, The EU launched a
controversial deal with the United States aimed at curbing
government spying on the personal internet infomation of European
2016 Jul 18, The EU announced a
further 500 million euros ($553 million) for farmers to help reverse
the plunge in prices shaking a dairy industry hit by overproduction
and a Russian embargo.
2016 Jul 29, The European Union
said that it had set definitive anti-dumping duties on certain
Chinese steel bars at rates higher than initially proposed,
following a 2015 investigation prompted by complaints from European
steelmaking association Eurofer. The announcement drew an immediate
response from the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, which said the EU
"unfairly" set new tariffs based on higher profit margin targets for
2016 Aug 4, The European Union
extended its civilian mission in Libya by a year and allocated a
$18.92 million budget for the task.
2016 Aug 12, Staff on the
Eurostar rail service between Britain and mainland Europe started
four days of strike action although the company insisted there would
be minimal disruption to services.
2016 Aug 23, The European
Commission reimposed anti-dumping duties on three Chinese exporters
of solar modules and cells citing breaches to terms of an agreement
they had reached with Brussels not to sell below a minimum price.
2016 Aug 30, The EU ordered
Apple to pay a record 13 billion euros in back taxes in Ireland,
saying deals allowing the US tech giant to pay almost no tax were
illegal. Apple derided the ruling. Ireland’s tax collection agency,
the Revenue Commissioners, insisted that Apple hasn’t dodged a penny
of lawfully calculated tax in Ireland.
(AFP, 8/30/16)(AP, 8/30/16)
2016 Sep 1, The European Union
said that the official announcement of election results in Gabon had
plunged the African country into a "deep crisis" and said that
verification of each polling station result was required. Clashes
across Libreville led to at least 3 deaths and up to 1,100 arrests.
(Reuters, 9/1/16)(Reuters, 9/2/16)
2016 Sep 15, The European Union
said it has admitted Indonesia to a special licensing system it
hopes will prevent the illegally felled tropical timber that makes
up a substantial part of the country's wood production from being
shipped to the 28-nation bloc.
2016 Sep 15, The European
Union's border agency Frontex said some 23,000 irregular migrants
arrived in Italy in August, most crossing the Mediterranean from
Libya on what has become the main immigration route into Europe.
2016 Sep 24, The African Union,
European Union, UN and the 57 International Organization of La
Francophonie made a joint appeal to the government and opposition in
the Democratic Republic of Congo to exercise restraint amid violent
2016 Oct 19, The European Court
of Justice ruled that internet-protocol addresses are subject to
Europe’s data protection laws.
(Econ, 11/5/16, p.59)
2016 Oct 27, EU governments put
10 more people under sanctions over the crisis in Syria, targeting
high-ranking military officials and senior figures linked to
President Bashar al-Assad.
2016 Oct 27, Two Yazidi women
who survived a nightmare ordeal of kidnapping, rape and slavery at
the hands of Islamic State jihadists won the European Parliament's
prestigious Sakharov human rights prize. Yazidis are followers of an
ancient religion with more than half a million believers
concentrated in northern Iraq.
2016 Oct, The European Union
and Canada formally signed the Comprehensive Economic and Trade
Agreement (CETA). The accord, which had yet to be ratified,
eliminates 98 percent of tariffs between the EU and Canada.
2016 Nov 6, British PM Theresa
May said she would deliver a full exit from the European Union,
hitting back at critics of her Brexit strategy who have threatened
to try to block the process in parliament.
2016 Nov 8, European Union
finance ministers agreed on new targeted sanctions against Crimean
officials, adding to restrictive measures adopted after Russia's
annexation of Crimea in 2014.
2016 Nov 15, The European Union
agreed to increase its military research budget for the first time
since 2010 after Britain softened its opposition, a breakthrough
that may signal British support for defense co-operation even once
outside the bloc.
2016 Nov 17, European Union
states agreed to waive visas for Ukrainians on short visits, but
only after the bloc beefs up a mechanism to suspend visa-free
agreements in an emergency.
2016 Nov 22, The European Union
judicial agency Eurojust said police forces across Europe and the
United States arrested 178 people last week as part of a crackdown
on money laundering and identified some 23 million euros ($24.46
million) in stolen funds.
2016 Nov 22, The leaders of the
European Parliament's two largest groups called for the EU to halt
membership talks with Turkey because of its post-coup purges.
2016 Nov 24, The European
Parliament voted to freeze membership talks with Turkey over its
"disproportionate" post-coup crackdown, further escalating tensions
with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
2016 Nov 24, European
Parliament lawmakers backed a data-sharing deal with the United
States for security and terrorism investigations which aims to
safeguard data exchanged between national authorities.
2016 Nov 30, EU regulators set
a path for renewables to power half of Europe by 2030, with plans to
cut energy use, phase out subsidies for coal and enforce greater
2016 Nov 30, The European Union
unveiled its biggest defense funding and research plan in more than
a decade to reverse billions in cuts and send a message to US
President-elect Donald Trump that it wants to pay for its own
2016 Nov, In Germany the Pulse
of Europe, a pro-European citizen's initiative, was founded in
Frankfurt. It aimed at encouraging citizens of the European Union to
speak out publicly in favor of a pan-European identity.
(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse_of_Europe)(Econ 5/13/17, p.48)
2016 Dec 1, Europol said police
across the globe have smashed a massive criminal network, known as
“Avalanche," providing online services including malware attacks
that infected half a million computers worldwide.
2016 Dec 8, The European Union
banned Iran's Aseman Airlines from operating within the EU due to
safety concerns, in a blow to Tehran which is buying new jets to
renew the country's ageing fleet following the lifting of long-term
2016 Dec 8, The European Union
said it will allow Ukrainians and Georgians to visit the bloc
without a visa after diplomats and lawmakers struck a deal to end an
internal EU dispute that had been holding up the plan.
2016 Dec 8, The European
Central Bank said it will pour another half-trillion euros ($579
billion) in newly printed money into the eurozone economy to support
its recovery as the currency union heads into what could be a
tumultuous election year.
2016 Dec 8, The European Union
started legal action against seven countries including Germany and
Britain for failing to police emissions test cheating by carmakers
after the Volkswagen scandal.
2016 Dec 12, The European Union
imposed sanctions on seven Congolese officials it says illegally
suppressed anti-government protests in September, when dozens of
demonstrators were killed.
2016 Dec 14, Euro zone lenders
put on hold the implementation of a short-term debt relief deal for
Greece after the Greek government proposed to make a one-off payout
to pensioners in December.
2016 Dec 15, Europe's Galileo
satnav system went live after 17 years, numerous setbacks and three
times over budget, promising to outperform rivals and guarantee
2016 Dec 15, European Union
diplomats said Israel demolished 866 structures in 2016, leaving
1,221 Palestinians homeless, almost half of them children.
2016 Dec 15, The European Union
offered 610 million euros ($635 million) to Niger on for keeping a
lid on migration from Africa through the Mediterranean to Europe.
2016 Dec 16, A World Trade
Organization dispute panel ruled that the EU had been largely within
its rights to impose anti-dumping duties on Indonesian fatty
alcohols, rejecting most of Indonesia's complaint at the
Geneva-based trade body.
2016 Dec 19, The European Union
extended economic sanctions against Russia by six months after
completing the legislative process for a decision endorsed last week
by national leaders at an EU summit.
2016 Dec 19, A draft report
released by a European Parliament probe accused France, Italy and
Spain of trying to slow down the introduction of tougher auto
emissions tests despite knowing that the old ones were causing more
2016 Dec 20, EU nations backed
measures to strengthen new on-road emissions tests to supplement
laboratory-based ones, whose flaws were laid bare by the Volkswagen
2016 Dec 21, The European
Union's high court said that EU agreements on closer ties and trade
with Morocco should not apply to the disputed Western Sahara region.
2016 Dec 21, Spanish banks
faced the prospect of having to pay back several billion dollars to
clients following a European Court of Justice ruling over mortgage
agreements that insured that interest rates did not fall below a
2016 Joseph Stiglitz authored
“The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe."
(Econ, 8/20/16, p.72)
2017 Jan 9, Italy's
anti-establishment 5-Star Movement voted to cut its ties with the
anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP) and to hook up instead with the
Liberals in the European Parliament. The liberal group rejected the
request, ending a short-lived courtship.
(Reuters, 1/9/17)(AP, 1/9/17)
2017 Jan 10, A European court
rejected an appeal by a Turkish-born couple who were fined in
Switzerland for keeping their daughters out of mixed-gender,
mandatory public school swimming lessons for reasons linked to their
2017 Jan 10, EU anti-trust
regulators cleared the French government's massive restructuring of
troubled state-owned nuclear reactor builder Areva.
2017 Jan 10, UKIP founder Nigel
Farage said Farage said that all differences with 5-Star had been
resolved and that Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement has
backtracked from plans to quit the UKIP grouping in the European
2017 Jan 11, Aid agencies said
dozens of migrants are at risk of freezing to death in Europe after
heavy snowfall and bitterly cold temperatures hit Greece and the
Balkans. The UN Missing Migrants Project has recorded 11 migrant
deaths in the Mediterranean since the start of the year. The recent
cold snap was blamed for at least 73 deaths.
(AP, 1/11/17)(SFC, 1/12/17, p.A2)
2017 Jan 12, Human Rights Watch
on issued a sharp warning that the rise of populist politicians in
the United States and Europe threatened modern rights movements and
potentially even Western democracy.
2017 Jan 17, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia's policy of refusing to allow
Americans to adopt Russian children was discriminatory, a decision
Moscow said it would appeal.
2017 Jan 17, The EU said
Lithuania can use EU funds to install surveillance systems on its
border with Russia's militarized Kaliningrad exclave but not to
build a fence.
2017 Jan 17, Britain will quit
the European Union's single market when it exits the bloc, PM
Theresa May said, in a decisive speech that quashed speculation she
would seek a compromise deal to stay inside the world's biggest
2017 Jan 19, The European Union
said it has given Zambia about $69 million to expand electricity
supply in the continent's second biggest copper producer, which
faces a power deficit that has hit mining and agriculture.
2017 Jan 24, EU security
commissioner Julian King says Europe faces a growing threat of
cyber-attacks from criminals and those plotting to destabilize the
28-nation bloc politically.
2017 Jan 25, The EU's executive
arm said Bulgaria and Romania must do more to meet European Union
standards on crime, corruption and judicial reform.
2017 Jan 25, The EU unveiled
plans to increase training for the Libyan coast guard as part of new
measures to stop African migrants leaving for Europe in a feared
2017 Jan 26, Britain’s
Conservative government introduced a long-awaited bill to start the
country's exit from the European Union and gave the House of Commons
less than two weeks to consider it.
2017 Jan 27, The European
Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on steel products from China
and Taiwan to stop them flooding Europe's struggling steel market.
2017 Jan 27, The European Union
prolonged for a year sanctions against dozens of Tunisians,
including ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, accused of
illegally using state funds.
2017 Jan 31, Peter Navarro,
Pres. Trump’s senior trade advisor, declared the Transatlantic
Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a half-negotiated trade
pact between the EU and America, to be dead.
(Econ, 2/4/17, p.21)
2017 Feb 1, The EU and Mexico
said they would accelerate free trade talks amid a wave of
protectionist threats by US President Donald Trump.
2017 Feb 1, In South Africa
workers and managers in the chicken industry marched to the office
of the EU delegation in Pretoria, alleging their livelihoods are in
jeopardy because of allegedly illegal dumping of EU chicken meat in
the local market.
2017 Feb 2, European Union
lawmakers sealed an agreement to allow Georgian citizens into
Europe's passport-free area without visas for short stays.
2017 Feb 2, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia violated the rights of opposition
politician and anti-corruption campaigner Alexei Navalny by breaking
up demonstrations and detaining him on seven occasions between 2012
2017 Feb 3, EU leaders met in
Malta to discuss how to slow migration and recommit to their union
following Britain’s decision to leave and a perceived threat to the
bloc from US Pres. Donald Trump.
(SFC, 2/4/17, p.A3)
2017 Feb 6, The EU’s top
diplomats vowed to uphold sanctions against Russia for destabilizing
(SFC, 2/7/17, p.A2)
2017 Feb 7, The European Union
appointed 19 international judges to a special court that will
prosecute ethnic Albanian rebels for crimes during and immediately
after Kosovo's war for independence (1998-2000). The Kosovo
Specialist Chambers judges come from 12 EU countries and the United
States and Canada.
2017 Feb 8, A majority of
British MPs authorized the government to begin withdrawal from the
EU by triggering Article 50 of the EU Treaty. The cost of Brexit was
estimated at €40bn to €60bn.
(Econ, 2/11/17, p.46)
2017 Feb 8, In Austria interior
and defense ministers from 15 European countries agreed to come up
with new measures to ensure that the overland route from Greece
remains shut for migrants seeking new lives in other EU nations and
those trying to bring them in illegally.
2017 Feb 9, The European Union
announced aid worth 225 million euros ($240 million) for Gambia as
President Adama Barrow warned that the nation was "virtually
bankrupt" due to economic mismanagement by the former regime.
2017 Feb 15, The European
Parliament backed a contested EU-Canada free trade deal, facing down
protests by activists and Donald Trump-inspired calls for
protectionism. It also voted for a plan to raise the cost for firms
to produce carbon.
(AFP, 2/15/17)(Econ, 2/18/17, p.62)
2017 Feb 17, Polish
environmental groups filed a complaint with the European Union
against national and local authorities for failing to fight lethal
levels of smog. Antiquated coal-fired power plants generate nearly
all of Poland's electricity, giving it some of the most toxic air in
the 28-member EU.
2017 Feb 20, Greece agreed to
compromise on new bailout reforms in a bid to break a deadlock with
its EU-IMF creditors that has sparked fears of a new Grexit crisis.
2017 Feb 22, France and Germany
won backing from the European Union's executive for proposals to
tighten security across Europe, which include giving more powers to
governments to monitor frontiers with other EU states.
2017 Feb 27, The EU extended
its arms embargo and some targeted sanctions against Belarus for
another year after it saw insufficient progress to end them.
2017 Feb 27, EU member states
approved visa-free travel for Georgia, after agreeing safeguards to
prevent any upsurge in arrivals from the former Soviet satellite.
2017 Mar 1, Polish European
Parliament lawmaker Janusz Korwin-Mikke told the European parliament
that "women must earn less than men because they are weaker, they
are smaller, they are less intelligent." Two days later in Warsaw he
said it is a "20th-century stereotype that women have the same
intellectual potential as men," and that the stereotype "must be
destroyed because it is not true."
2017 Mar 2, The Czech Republic,
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia urged the European Union to boost the
role of national parliaments under a planned overhaul of the bloc's
2017 Mar 3, The 28-nation EU's
executive Commission said that it and the US Food and Drug
Administration have endorsed an accord that updates a 1998 agreement
on manufacturing practices. It means that EU and US regulators will
be able to rely on each other's information on premises that make
medicines or their ingredients.
2017 Mar 6, The European Union
approved plans for a military headquarters to coordinate overseas
security operations. The facility will initially run three
operations: civil-military training missions in Mali, the Central
African Republic and Somalia.
2017 Mar 6, The European Union
said it has cleared Hungary to build two nuclear reactors with
Russian help after Budapest made commitments to safeguard
competition in the energy sector.
2017 Mar 6, North Korea fired
four banned ballistic missiles that flew about 1,000 km (620 miles)
on average, with three of them landing in waters that Japan claims
as its exclusive economic zone. The EU condemned North Korea for
firing four banned ballistic missiles and said it would consult with
Japan and international partners on how to react.
2017 Mar 7, Europe’s top court
ruled that EU member states are not obliged to grant humanitarian
visas to people who want to enter their territory to apply for
(SFC, 3/8/17, p.A3)
2017 Mar 7, A European Union
court struck down a 2013 decision by EU regulators to block a
planned takeover of Dutch-based package delivery company TNT Express
by United Parcel Services Inc.
2017 Mar 8, The European
Anti-Fraud Office said that from 2013 to 2016, criminals evaded
customs duties with false invoices and wrong declarations upon
arrival in the UK The textiles and shoes shipped from China were in
fact destined for black market sales on the European mainland.
2017 Mar 8, The European
Union's police agency said an international operation has dismantled
a crime network smuggling live eels to China, describing it as the
EU's biggest success in recent years against trafficking in
2017 Mar 8, The European Union
said it has fined six makers of car air conditioning and
engine-cooling components a total 155 million euros ($163 million)
for their involvement in supply cartels.
2017 Mar 8, Poland cautioned
other European Union countries that extending Donald Tusk's mandate
as chairman of EU leaders against Warsaw's will would undermine the
2017 Mar 9, European Union
leaders confirmed Donald Tusk for a second term as council
president, overcoming weeks of strong opposition from his native
2017 Mar 13, The EU said it has
prolonged for six months until Sept. 15 a blacklist of Russian and
Crimean individuals and firms accused of undermining Ukraine's
integrity and independence.
2017 Mar 14, The European
Union's top court ruled that companies may bar staff from wearing
Islamic headscarves and other visible religious symbols under
certain conditions, setting off a storm of complaint from rights
groups and religious leaders.
2017 Mar 14, The European
Parliament suspended Polish lawmaker Janusz Korwin-Mikke for 10 days
after he said during a March 1 debate that women should earn less
than men because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent.
2017 Mar 14, EU lawmakers
backed more ambitious recycling targets, setting Europe on track to
drastically reduce reliance on landfill sites to dispose of waste
2017 Mar 14, EU lawmakers voted
to toughen the bloc’s gun laws and close loopholes exploited by
attackers in France.
(SFC, 3/15/17, p.A2)
2017 Mar 15, The European Union
gave its blessing to AT&T's proposed $85 billion purchase of
Time Warner, saying that it raises no competition concerns in
Europe. The deal still needs approval from US regulators.
2017 Mar 16, The European Union
called for the United Nations to send an international fact-finding
mission urgently to Myanmar to investigate allegations of torture,
rapes and executions by the military against the Rohingya Muslim
2017 Mar 16, The European
Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration, in
a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to
regulate to protect the region.
2017 Mar 16, The European
Parliament overwhelmingly approved a law requiring firms to ensure
they do not use so-called conflict minerals from Africa and other
areas that end up funding warlords.
2017 Mar 16, The European
Commission agreed to send Ukraine 600 million euros ($643.20
million) to help its finances, ending months of delays over EU
conditions linked to the loan.
2017 Mar 17, The European Union
re-imposed a fine on 11 air cargo companies totaling $835 million
after the original decision was thrown out by a high court on a
2017 Mar 18, Meeting in Cairo
representatives of the United Nations, European Union, Arab League
and African Union supported efforts by Libya's unity government to
assert control over Tripoli after days of fighting with rival
2017 Mar 20, The European Union
said it is slapping sanctions on four high-ranking military
officials in Syria over the use of chemical weapons in the war-torn
2017 Mar 25, On the 60th
anniversary of the founding of the EU, 27 European leaders signed a
document in Rome enshrining a pledge to give member nations more
freedom to form partial alliances and set policy when unanimity is
out of reach.
2017 Mar 27, Fraport Greece
said the European Union is clearing a 280 million euro loan from the
European Investment Bank to the company, which won the tender to
upgrade and operate 14 regional Greek airports.
2017 Mar 28, The central
European Visegrad Group (Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland and Slovakia)
rejected a European Union policy that calls for all member states to
receive migrants, protesting suggestions that the level of their
compliance could be linked to the availability of EU funds to them.
2017 Mar 29, Theresa May sent a
six-page document to the EU summit chair to trigger a two-year
countdown to withdrawal from the EU.
2017 Mar 29, Luxembourg claimed
the legal right to host the London-based European Banking Authority
after Brexit. PM Xavier Bettel made his case in a letter to EU
Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission head
2017 Mar 30, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) accused Greece of failing to protect migrant
workers who had been subject to "forced labor" and shot at by
security guards when they protested over unpaid wages. It ordered
Athens to pay 16,000 euros each to the workers whose case had
triggered outrage across the country.
2017 Mar 31, Credit Suisse
issued a brief statement saying that local authorities had made
"visits" to its offices in Amsterdam, Paris and London in connection
with unspecified client tax issues. The European Union judicial
agency Eurojust said it had helped coordinate cross-border
investigations in a major tax evasion investigation involving
millions of euros and spanning several European countries and
(AP, 3/31/17)(Reuters, 3/31/17)
2017 Apr 1, Hungary launched an
anti-EU campaign that asked households in a survey their advice on
how to deal with Brussels policies that it says threaten Hungarians'
2017 Apr 4, A lawmaker said
Britain will get 60 million euros (51.3 million pounds) from the
European Union to repair damage caused by the floods last year.
2017 Apr 5, European Union
lawmakers adopted a resolution setting their red lines for the
two-year divorce talks with Britain and rejected attempts by British
MEPs to recognize Gibraltar's pro-EU stance in the Brexit
2017 Apr 6, The European
Commission imposed anti-dumping duties on steel products from China
to stop them flooding Europe's struggling steel market.
2017 Apr 6, The European Union
expanded sanctions against North Korea over the country's nuclear
tests and launches of ballistic missiles. The new sanctions are
aimed at the country's metalworking, aerospace and arms-related
industries, and services in computing, mining, chemicals and
2017 Apr 6, European lawmakers
voted 521 to 75 to grant Ukrainians holding biometric passports the
right to visit for up to 90 days for tourism, business or visiting
relatives and friends.
2017 Apr 7, The European
Commission cleared the multi-billion dollar buy-out bid for European
pay-TV giant Sky by 21st Century Fox without conditions as the
tie-up does not undercut competition.
2017 Apr 11, The European Union
extended until April 2018 sanctions against Iran for "serious human
rights violations", a narrower measure than restrictions the bloc
had already lifted after an international accord on Tehran's nuclear
2017 Apr 11, Several EU and
NATO countries signed up to establish a center in Helsinki to
research how to tackle tactics such as cyber-attacks, propaganda and
disinformation. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Sweden,
Poland, Finland, Latvia and Lithuania signed the Memorandum of
Understanding for the membership. More countries were due to come on
board in July.
2017 Apr 13, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia failed to adequately protect
victims of a 2004 school siege in the city of Beslan that left more
than 330 people dead. Moscow said it would appeal.
2017 Apr 19, China and the EU
held their first high-level talks since US Pres. Donald Trump took
office in January. Top diplomats pledged closer cooperation,
highlighting their common interests in peace and security and
pushing a message of free trade and open engagement in contrast to
fears that the US is turning inward.
2017 Apr 29, European Union
leaders approved guidelines for their chief Brexit negotiator,
Michel Barnier, setting priorities that the Union of 27 governments
staying in the bloc wants to achieve in talks on Britain's
2017 Apr, The European Court of
Human Rights ruled in favour of three transgender people in France
who had been barred from changing the names and genders on their
birth certificates because they had not been sterilized.
(SFC, 4/13/17, p.A2)
2017 May 14, The head of the
European Union police agency said the recent cyber assault hit
200,000 victims in at least 150 countries and that number will grow
when people return to work on May 15.
2017 May 16, The EU announced
it is restoring a preferential tax concession for goods imported
from Sri Lanka that it withdrew seven years ago over alleged human
2017 May 17, EU lawmakers
called on Hungary to withdraw tough new laws on asylum seekers and
2017 May 18, The EU fined
Facebook 110 million euros ($122 million) for providing misleading
information over its 2014 buyout of mobile messaging service
2017 May 18, Officials said the
Philippines will no longer accept new grants from the EU. The bloc
had earlier warned that the Philippines risked losing tariff-free
exports due to the thousands killed in a war on drugs and moves to
revive the death penalty.
(SFC, 5/19/17, p.A2)
2017 May 27, Turkish President
Tayyip Erdogan said the European Union had presented Turkey with a
new 12-month timetable for renewing their relations. Erdogan said
Turkey and the EU had agreed on giving a new impetus to relations
and added Turkey's foreign and EU affairs ministries would work
towards the timetable.
2017 May 29, The EU extended it
sanctions over the deteriorating situation in Congo, imposing travel
bans and asset freezes on nine more senior security officials.
2017 May 29, The European Union
has approved the takeover of the reactor business of Areva by
nuclear giant EDF in an all-French transaction, arguing it will not
affect healthy competition in the sector.
2017 May 31, A senior EU
official said the European Union and China will reaffirm their
commitment to the Paris climate change accord this week regardless
of whether US President Donald Trump pulls out of the pact.
2017 May 31, OLAF, the EU's
anti-graft watchdog, said it has been "flooded" with alleged fraud
cases in the European Parliament and other bodies that have dragged
in France's far-right National Front.
2017 Jun 1, The European
Commission said it had agreed to in principle to a bail-out by the
Italian government of Monte dei Paschi di Siena, the world’s oldest
(Econ 6/10/17, p.74)
2017 Jun 2, The EU said that it
would increase cooperation with China to curb climate change after
President Donald Trump pulled the US out of the Paris accord on
climate change, triggering a furious global backlash.
2017 Jun 3, Mali's military
chief said the countries of West Africa's Sahel region are
requesting 50 million euros ($56 million) from the European Union to
help set up a multinational force to take on Islamist militant
groups. the so-called G5 Sahel countries included Chad, Niger,
Burkina Faso, Mali and Mauritania.
2017 Jun 6, The EU's drug
monitoring body released a report warning that death by drug
overdose is on the rise in Europe spurred by more lethal strains of
2017 Jun 6, The European
Central Bank declared that Banco Popular, Spain’s sixth-biggest
bank, to be in death throes. The Single Resolution Board (SRB) put
the bank into “resolution" and overnight it was sold to Santander,
Spain’s biggest lender for €1.
(Econ 7/1/17, p.61)
2017 Jun 7, The EU unveiled an
unprecedented plan for common defence spending on to help Europe
stand alone as a global military power, while urging the United
States under Donald Trump to remain on the world stage.
2017 Jun 8, The European Union
announced expanded its sanctions against North Korea adding 14 more
people to an asset freeze and travel ban because of the country's
continuing work on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
2017 Jun 8, European police and
naval chiefs called for migrant trafficking of the kind currently
taking place in Libya to be declared a crime against humanity.
2017 Jun 11, Ukrainians
celebrated the first day of visa-free access to the European Union,
with thousands crossing the border as President Petro Poroshenko
proclaimed a dramatic "exit" from Moscow's grip.
2017 Jun 13, The European
Commission said that Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have
breached their legal obligations to take some refugees as part of
the 2015 plan, which is aimed at sharing the burden of 160,000
migrants at camps in Italy and Greece.
2017 Jun 13, Turkey's PM Binali
Yildirim said his country wants to continue membership talks with
the European Union, in an effort to ease months of tension.
2017 Jun 14, The European
Commission launched legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary
and Poland for failing their commitment to take in refugees.
2017 Jun 15, The EU announced a
support package of nearly $160 million for recovery and
reconstruction in Nigeria's Borno state, which has been devastated
by attacks from homegrown Islamic extremist group Boko Haram.
2017 Jun 15, the 19-country
eurozone agreed late today to release a further 8.5 billion euros
($9.5 billion) from its current, third bailout after the Greek
government delivered on an array of reforms.
2017 Jun 19, The European Union
discouraged Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region from holding an
independence referendum in September.
2017 Jun 19, The European
Union's police agency said dozens of suspected human traffickers
have been arrested in a weeklong and continent-wide operation last
month targeting criminal gangs.
2017 Jun 19, The European Union
approved 377 million euros ($420 million) in state aid from France
and Germany for the development of a new Airbus helicopter.
2017 Jun 20, The European Court
for Human Rights ruled that Russia’s law banning dissemination of
so-called gay propaganda to minors violates the right to freedom of
(SFC, 6/21/17, p.A2)
2017 Jun 21, The European Union
received the prestigious Princess of Asturias Award for Concord,
seen as the Hispanic world's Nobel Peace Prize, for its achievements
over the six decades since its formation.
2017 Jun 22, The EU began a
two-day summit in Brussels.
2017 Jun 22, The EU pledged 85
million euros ($95 million) to Uganda, ahead of a summit to raise
twenty times that amount to help it deal with nearly one million
refugees from South Sudan.
2017 Jun 23, The European
Central Bank declared that Italy’s Banca Popolare di Vicenza and
Veneto Banca were failing or likely to fail. Two days later the
Italian government pronounced them dead.
(Econ 7/1/17, p.61)
2017 Jun 27, The EU slapped
Google with a record penalty of $2.7 billion for taking advantage of
its dominance in online searches to direct customers to its own
(SFC, 6/28/17, p.C1)
2017 Jun 28, The European Union
officially extended economic sanctions against Russia by six months
for destabilizing Ukraine.
2017 Jun 29, The European
Commission presented “Pepp," a proposal for a pan-European
(Econ 7/8/17, p.62)
2017 Jun 29, Italy's Premier
Paolo Gentiloni pressed his European Union allies to take in more
migrants, saying the relentless arrival of tens of thousands on
Italy's shores is putting his country under enormous strain.
2017 Jun 30, Russia’s President
Vladimir Putin extended Russian counter-sanctions on the European
Union until the end of 2018. Russia said it has suspended payments
to the Council of Europe for this year, retaliation for its
delegation there being stripped of its voting rights after the
annexation of Crimea.
2017 Jul 3, The European Union
urged Myanmar to protect journalists from "intimidation, arrest or
prosecution" after several cases of reporters running into trouble
with the law, including three detained by the army last week.
2017 Jul 3, France, Germany and
the European Union pledged more money for Libya's coast guard and
more support for Italy to cope with a surge of migrant arrivals from
2017 Jul 4, EU chief executive
Jean-Claude Juncker called European lawmakers "ridiculous" for
failing to turn up to an address by Malta's PM Joseph Muscat, saying
they should show more respect for smaller members of the bloc. Malta
had has just completed a stint running the bloc's presidency.
2017 Jul 5, The European
Parliament overwhelmingly approved a first-ever cooperation deal
between the EU and Cuba, despite lingering concerns about human
rights violations in the communist-ruled country.
2017 Jul 5, The EU said it has
agreed "in principle" on a free trade deal with Japan that will
affect an overwhelming majority of commerce between the two economic
giants and will be officially endorsed at a summit of their leaders
2017 Jul 5, Croatia rejected a
European Commission call for the implementation of an international
arbitration ruling in a longstanding border dispute with Slovenia
that has caused tensions between the EU neighbors.
2017 Jul 6, The European
Parliament called for Turkey's European Union accession talks to be
suspended if Ankara fully implements plans to expand President
Tayyip Erdogan's powers, in a vote which Turkey dismissed as flawed
2017 Jul 11, The EU formally
approved a landmark cooperation accord with Ukraine meant to counter
a hostile Russia ahead of a high-profile summit in Kiev.
2017 Jul 11, The World Health
Organization said measles has killed 35 children in Europe in the
last year. The most recent death was a 6-year-old boy in Italy,
where there have been more than 3,300 cases and two deaths since
2017 Jul 12, The EU Commission
proposed to end the so-called "excessive deficit procedure" on
Greece following a sharp improvement in the country's finances after
years of spending cuts and tax increases and a recession that wiped
out a quarter of the economy and caused unemployment and poverty to
2017 Jul 13, The European Union
launched legal action against Hungary because of new rules governing
civic groups which receive funds from abroad. The European
Commission said that the law approved by Hungary's parliament in
June could prevent nongovernmental organizations "from raising funds
and would restrict their ability to carry out their work."
2017 Jul 13, European Union
leaders pushed Ukraine to step up its battle against corruption
after the 28-nation bloc agreed to ratify a landmark cooperation
2017 Jul 13, Britain published
legislation to sever political, financial and legal ties with the
European Union, an important step toward Brexit but one which the
opposition said it would challenge.
2017 Jul 16, Europol said 66
people have been arrested for trading horsemeat unfit for human
consumption and it had seized bank accounts, properties and luxury
cars following an investigation into a food scandal. Europol said 65
people were arrested in Spain, and the main suspect, a Dutch
citizen, was arrested in Belgium.
2017 Jul 17, EU foreign
ministers agreed to allow member countries to restrict sales of
inflatable boats and outboard motors to Libya in an effort to stop
dangerous migrant smuggling across the Mediterranean.
2017 Jul 17, The European Union
imposed sanctions on 16 Syrian scientists and military officials for
their suspected involvement in a chemical attack in northern Syria
in April which killed scores of civilians.
2017 Jul 19, In Hungary Israeli
PM Benjamin Netanyahu met with leaders of Poland, Hungary, the Czech
Republic and Slovakia at a regional summit. He was caught by a live
microphone railing against the European Union's "crazy" insistence
on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a precondition for
closer ties with the 28-state bloc, and trumpeting Israel as
essential to its prosperity and survival.
2017 Jul 20, European and US
authorities said they had shut down AlphaBay and Hansa Market and
arrested their operators. AlphaBay, the largest so-called darknet
market, was taken down in early July at the same time that
authorities arrested Alexandre Cazes (25), a Canadian man living in
Bangkok. Dutch police said they had taken control of Hansa market in
June. Two men accused of operating Hansa were arrested in Germany.
(SFC, 7/21/17, p.C1)
2017 Jul 25, The EU and Egypt
pledged to work together to develop the country's economy, promote
stability, counter extremism and manage migrant flows.
2017 Jul 26, The European
Commission said it would start legal action against Poland over an
overhaul of the judiciary that it says undermines the independence
of judges and so breaks EU rules.
2017 Jul 27, The European
Commission ordered France and Belgium to end tax breaks for ports,
saying they distort competition in the 28-nation European Union.
2017 Jul 27, The European
Commission announced a new emergency support package for Greece to
help it deal with the refugee crisis that has seen tens of thousands
of migrants and refugees stuck in the country.
2017 Jul 27, Slovakia’s PM
Robert Fico took a fight about the quality of food on his country's
supermarket shelves to the European Commission, calling for action
to stop companies selling lower-quality products in Central and
Eastern Europe than elsewhere in the continent.
2017 Jul 28, The European
Union's top court ordered Poland to immediately halt large-scale
logging in an ancient protected forest, one of many cases that has
pitted Brussels against the right-wing eurosceptic government in
2017 Jul 29, The European
Commission launched legal action against what it sees as Polish
government attempts to undermine the independence of judges.
2017 Jul 31, The European Union
condemned what it said was excessive use of force by state troops in
Venezuela and said it was unlikely to recognize results of elections
a day earlier that were marred by deadly clashes.
2017 Aug 10, The European Union
said it has added nine people and four entities to its North Korea
sanctions list, as part of new United Nations measures in the wake
of Pyongyang's latest missile tests.
2017 Aug 26, In Albania prime
ministers from Western Balkans countries agreed on a road map to
deepen their regional economic cooperation as part of the process
for joining the European Union. Albanian PM Edi Rama hosted his
counterparts from Serbia, Kosovo, Bosnia and Hercegovina, Macedonia
2017 Aug 31, Hungary's PM
Viktor Orban asked the European Union to pay for half of the cost of
anti-migrant fences it built on its southern borders, or about 440
million euros ($523 million).
2017 Sep 5, An EU official said
40 countries now have been affected by a Europe-wide contaminated
egg scandal, including 24 EU members and 16 non-members.
2017 Sep 6, The European
Union's highest court ruled that EU states must take in a share of
refugees who reach Europe, dismissing complaints by Slovakia and
Hungary and reigniting an angry row between east and west.
2017 Sep 12, The European Union
escalated its case against Poland over what it sees as democratic
backsliding, moving a step closer to a possible court case that
could result in financial penalties for Warsaw. The EU gave Warsaw
one month to address judicial changes which it believes violate the
rule of law.
2017 Sep 13, Europe's top court
ruled that Italy had been wrong to ban cultivation of an EU-approved
genetically modified (GMO) maize as it had failed to show there was
a serious risk to public health or the environment.
2017 Sep 14, The European Union
said it has extended sanctions by a further six months against
dozens of Russian citizens and companies deemed to have a role in
threatening the stability and independence of Ukraine.
2017 Sep 14, In Luxembourg
Ryanair lost an EU court battle in which the airline had sought to
continue forcing cabin crew based outside Ireland to take their
disputes to Irish courts, in a case with implications across the
low-cost airline sector.
2017 Sep 21, A landmark free
trade deal linking EU and Canada went into effect despite lingering
opposition from activists worried about the pact's consequences on
the environment and health.
2017 Sep 21, Africa's leading
anti-poaching coalition said the fight against poaching must be
treated as a war, as it called for the illicit wildlife trade to be
monitored like global conflicts. Enact, an EU-funded anti-poaching
analytical taskforce that includes Interpol, called for the
expansion of a media tracking system to track poaching incidents
similar to established conflict monitoring methods.
2017 Sep 26, The EU Commission
said that it is distributing guidelines to food and consumer
authorities so they can act against "dual quality products".
2017 Sep 27, The European Union
unveiled a new plan to resettle at least 50,000 refugees, the
majority of them from northern Africa.
2017 Sep 29, French President
Emmanuel Macron said European Union leaders agreed during a summit
dinner in Talinn that they should push ahead more quickly with
reforms of the bloc. Macron won backing from Angela Merkel for plans
to reform the European Union after Brexit.
2017 Sep 30, The fight to host
major EU agencies leaving London after Brexit reached a milestone as
Brussels gave its assessment of individual bids, though it stopped
short of ranking them.
2017 Oct 2, The EU executive
urged Spain to talk to Catalan separatists, condemning violence but
also calling for unity, a day after Spanish police beat people
trying to vote in an independence referendum in Catalonia.
2017 Oct 4, The EU said it was
"time to talk" to resolve the escalating political crisis in
Catalonia, as senior European politicians warned Catalan leaders
against declaring independence from Spain unilaterally. Catalonia
said it will move on Oct. 9 to declare independence from Spain
following Oct. 1's banned referendum.
(AFP, 10/4/17)(Reuters, 10/4/17)
2017 Oct 4, The European Union
ordered Amazon to pay $295 million in back taxes to Luxembourg, in
its latest attempt to tighten the screws on multinationals it says
are avoiding taxes through sweetheart deals with individual EU
2017 Oct 6, The European Union
and India agreed to step up cooperation in countering violent
extremism and radicalization, particularly online, and in enhancing
maritime security in the Indian Ocean and beyond in a joint
declaration issued at the end of the 14th EU-India Summit.
2017 Oct 6, The Our Ocean
conference concluded in the Maltese capital of Valletta. The global
conference organized by the European Union aimed at better
protecting marine life raised more than $7 billion.
2017 Oct 9, Britain and its
European Union partners clashed over which side should make the next
move to unblock Brexit talks, despite concerns they will miss a
deadline for a divorce deal and that London is heading for a chaotic
2017 Oct 10, European Union
lawmakers gave broad support to a law that could end the City of
London's global dominance in clearing euro-denominated financial
contracts after Brexit.
2017 Oct 11, The European Union
said it will not transfer a final tranche of loans worth 28 million
euros ($33 million) to support Moldovan justice reforms as
authorities have showed insufficient commitment to reforming the
2017 Oct 13, EU ministers said
border controls inside what should normally be Europe's cherished
zone of free travel are here to stay for now, citing continued
terrorist threats and the need to control migration.
2017 Oct 13, EU environment
ministers agreed national emissions-reduction targets in a push to
show how the bloc is delivering on its climate goals ahead of United
Nations talks next months to fight global warming.
2017 Oct 13, Austria said it
would launch a lawsuit against the European Union's approval of the
Russian-financed expansion of a nuclear plant in Hungary. The
approval, granted in March, removed the last major obstacle to the
12.5 billion euro ($13.2 billion) expansion of the Paks plant,
Hungary's only nuclear facility.
2017 Oct 13, Russia
successfully launched a satellite into orbit that will monitor
Europe's atmosphere, helping to study air pollution. The European
Space Agency's Sentinel-5P satellite was launched by a Rokot missile
from the northwestern Plesetsk launch pad.
2017 Oct 16, The EU reaffirmed
its support for a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers
despite sharp criticism of the accord by President Donald Trump, and
it urged US lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions on Tehran.
2017 Oct 17, Officials said an
EU-funded project that provides cash assistance to the most
vulnerable refugee families in Turkey has reached 1 million
beneficiaries a year after its launch.
2017 Oct 20, EU leaders threw
British PM Theresa May a lifeline in Brexit talks, agreeing at a
Brussels summit to start preparations for the next stage of
2017 Oct 20, The European Union
said it will cut some of the money earmarked for Turkey to join the
bloc, reflecting increasingly sour ties with Ankara but stopping
short of killing membership bid of the country it still sees as a
2017 Oct 23, An agreement
reached by EU member states limited the amount of time workers can
be "posted" from one EU country to another, but the agreement did
not cover the road transport sector.
2017 Oct 24, The European
Commission proposed to renew the license for the weedkiller
glyphosate for a shorter than usual five to seven years, as the EU
took into account fears it causes cancer. The shift came a day
before the EU's 28 member states vote on whether to renew the
glyphosate license in Europe and just hours after the European
Parliament approved a non-binding resolution calling for the
chemical be banned by 2022.
2017 Oct 25, The European Union
minus Britain held its first internal talks on how it envisages
future relations with London and what sort of transition period
there will be after Brexit in March 2019.
2017 Oct 26, Venezuela's
democratic opposition was awarded the European Union's human rights
award and the European Parliament called for a peaceful transition
to democracy in the troubled country.
2017 Nov 2, The European Court
of Human Rights blocked Cypriot authorities from extraditing
Egyptian hijacker Seif Eddin Mustafa to his homeland until it can
examine the case. Mustafa hijacked a domestic EgyptAir flight in
March 2016 using a fake suicide belt and diverted it to Cyprus.
2017 Nov 6, The EU denounced as
"shocking" revelations on the way top companies and dignitaries,
including Britain's Queen Elizabeth II, avoid taxes using offshore
2017 Nov 7, The EU pushed for
Europe to draw up a blacklist of tax havens after the "Paradise
Papers" revealed loopholes used by Apple and Nike as well as
celebrities including Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton.
2017 Nov 7, The British
government said that most European Union citizens currently living
in Britain will be allowed to remain in the country after Brexit in
2017 Nov 10, The European Union
unveiled plans to make it easier to move troops and military
equipment around the bloc, in a bid to boost defence in the face of
the growing threat posed by Russia.
2017 Nov 13, EU countries
officially launched a new era in defense cooperation with a program
of joint military investment and project development aimed at
helping the EU confront its security challenges. Twenty-three of the
EU's 28 member nations signed up to the process, known as permanent
structured cooperation, or PESCO. Those who didn't sign up can join
2017 Nov 13, The European Union
banned arms sales to Venezuela and set up a system to slap asset
freezes and travel restrictions on Venezuelan officials as it sought
to ramp up pressure on President Nicolas Maduro.
2017 Nov 13, European and
African ministers agreed to try to improve conditions for migrants
in Libya and seek paths such as scholarships for Africans to reach
Europe legally, to cut the death toll from smuggling across the
Sahara and Mediterranean.
2017 Nov 15, European lawmakers
triggered the first stage of a so-called rule-of-law procedure
against the Polish government amid concerns that new laws in Poland
undermine judicial independence and the rule of law. Poland's prime
minister reacted furiously over the call for the country to face EU
(AP, 11/15/17)(AFP, 11/15/17)
2017 Nov 17, European Union
leaders proclaimed a set of 20 "social rights" in an attempt to make
the EU more appealing to voters and counter rising eurosceptic
sentiment across the bloc.
2017 Nov 20, It was reported
that Albania's PM Edi Rama has sent a letter asking European Union
countries for support in cracking down on criminal gangs that profit
from drug sales, prostitution, human trafficking and other illicit
2017 Nov 24, The EU pledged to
deepen ties with six former Soviet states (Ukraine, Georgia,
Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Belarus), as part of efforts to
counter Russian influence, but warned them they had no chance of
joining the bloc any time soon.
2017 Nov 27, The EU approved a
five-year extension of the use of the weed killer glyphosate in a
move that failed to satisfy both environmentalists and farmers.
2017 Nov 29, The African Union,
the EU and the UN said they are setting up a special task force to
help protect migrants.
(SFC, 11/30/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 4, The Eurozone
elected Portuguese Finance Minister Mario Centeno to become the top
official of the 19-country group. He will succeed Dutchman Jeroen
(SFC, 12/5/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 4, Irish government
sources said Britain has agreed to keep Northern Ireland in
"regulatory alignment" with the EU after Brexit, raising hopes PM
Theresa May can strike a deal in Brussels to start free trade talks.
2017 Dec 5, The European Union
put 17 non-EU countries on a blacklist of those it deems guilty of
unfairly offering tax avoidance schemes. They Included: American
Samoa, Bahrain, Barbados, Grenada, Guam, South Korea, Macau,
Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Namibia, Palau, Panama, St. Lucia,
Samoa, Trinidad & Tobago, Tunisia and United Arab Emirates. Over
40 more were put on a "grey list" to be monitored until they are
fully committed to reforms.
2017 Dec 6, Bela Kovacs, a
Hungarian member of the European Parliament and a member of the
nationalist opposition Jobbik party, was indicted for allegedly
spying on the European Union. Charges also included fraud totaling
21,076 euros ($24,900) stemming from the fictitious employment of
interns in the EU parliament in 2012 to 2013.
2017 Dec 7, The European Union
announced that it is taking the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland
to court for failing to accommodate their fair share of refugees
under a plan agreed to by the 28-country bloc two years ago.
2017 Dec 7, EU negotiators
agreed new rules that give Brussels the power to check up on
national car approval authorities and set targets for emission
checks in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
2017 Dec 7, Arabs and Muslims
across the Middle East condemned the US recognition of Jerusalem as
Israel's capital as an incendiary move in a volatile region and
Palestinians said Washington was abandoning its leading role as a
peace mediator. The European Union and United Nations also voiced
alarm at President Donald Trump's decision to move the US Embassy in
Israel to Jerusalem.
2017 Dec 8, Britain's Theresa
May won a temporary reprieve from rival factions within her own
party by striking a overnight agreement with the European Union that
some business leaders hope will increase prospects of an orderly
exit from the bloc.
2017 Dec 11, The European Union
said it will resume political contact "at all levels" with Thailand,
after putting relations on hold following a 2014 coup by the Thai
2017 Dec 12, The European Union
said it has suspended funding for Cambodia's 2018 general election
because the vote cannot be credible after the dissolution of the
main opposition party.
2017 Dec 13, The European
Union's Sakharov Prize for human rights was awarded to Venezuela's
democratic opposition and its political prisoners.
2017 Dec 14, EU leaders
formally endorsed a pact a pact to fund, develop and deploy armed
forces together, known in EU jargon as the Permanent Structured
Cooperation, or PESCO. Britain may be able to join in later on, but
only on an exceptional basis if it provides funds and expertise.
2017 Dec 14, The EU extended
sanctions against Russia because of the stalled peace process in the
(SFC, 12/15/17, p.A2)
2017 Dec 15, Leaders of 27 EU
nations gave British PM Theresa May an early Christmas present,
declaring that Brexit talks can move on to their next phase:
transition and future relations.
2017 Dec 20, The European
Commission said that it wants a post-Brexit transition period,
during which Britain must continue to obey EU rules, to finish at
the end of 2020.
2017 Dec 20, The European
Union's top court ruled that the bloc's divorce regulations don't
cover private agreements, throwing a case back to a Munich court to
decide whether to recognize a divorce granted under religious Sharia
law to a couple who are both Syrian-German.
2017 Dec 20, The European
Commission launched the Article 7 procedure against Poland over
judicial reforms that Brussels says undermine Polish courts'
2017 Dec 20, European Court of
Justice struck down Uber's arguments that it is an information
services company, ruling that it should be regulated like a
transport company within EU member nations.
2017 Dec 21, The EU approved a
deal that will see Lufthansa take over part of defunct Air Berlin,
formerly the second-largest carrier in Germany.
2017 Harold Clarke authored
“Why Britain Voted to Leave the European Union."
(Econ, 4/29/17, p.68)
2018 Jan 1, Bulgaria, the
European Union's poorest country, assumed the six-month, rotating
presidency of the bloc for the first time since it joined the EU in
2018 Jan 3, Winter storm
Eleanor packing winds up to 100 mph (160 kph) battered parts of
western Europe, derailing trains, toppling trees, halting flights
and leaving hundreds of thousands of homes across France,
Switzerland, Britain and Ireland without power.
2018 Jan 11, Leading Brexit
campaigner Nigel Farage suggested that Britain hold a second
referendum on EU membership which he claims would silence those who
are against leaving the bloc, but the proposed new vote is getting
support from pro-EU politicians.
2018 Jan 16, The European
Union's legislature called for a ban on electric pulse fishing, seen
by some as a cruel way to kill fish. It was unclear whether such a
ban can be enacted because member states also need to approve it.
2018 Jan 17, The European Union
shelved a 3.6 billion shilling ($35 million) water conservation
assistance scheme to Kenya one day after forest guards killed a
member of a community indigenous to one of the forests involved in
the project. The bloc had told the government it would reconsider
financial support if the use of force against innocent locals
2018 Jan 18, The Council of
Europe's anti-corruption body called on Romania to do more to
prevent and combat high-level corruption.
2018 Jan 22, The EU assured
President Mahmoud Abbas it supported his ambition to have East
Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state, in the bloc's latest
rejection of US President Donald Trump's decision to recognize
Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
2018 Jan 22, The EU imposed
travel bans and asset freezes on North Koreans accused of helping
Pyongyang evade United Nations sanctions linked to the secretive
country's nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
2018 Jan 22, The EU announced
new sanctions on seven senior Venezuelan officials, saying this was
an expression of the bloc's concern with the political crisis under
President Nicolas Maduro.
2018 Jan 22, The prime
ministers of Bulgaria and the Czech Republic called for swift reform
of the European Union's asylum system.
2018 Jan 23, European Union
finance ministers agreed to remove eight jurisdictions from the
bloc's blacklist of tax havens, one month after the list was set up.
Barbados, Grenada, South Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Tunisia and the
United Arab Emirates joined Panama as jurisdictions delisted
following commitments made at a high political level to remedy EU
2018 Jan 24, The EU slapped a
$1.23 billion fine on US chipmaker Qualcomm for abusing its market
dominance in the lucrative sector of components in smartphones and
tablets for half a decade. EU Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said
that San Diego-based Qualcomm "illegally shut out rivals from the
market" for more than five years by paying key customer Apple to not
use chips made by Qualcomm's rivals.
2018 Jan 24, Russian opposition
leader Alexei Navalny took his battle with President Vladimir Putin
back to Europe's top rights court, complaining of his repeated
arrests ahead of elections in March.
2018 Jan 29, The European Union
approved negotiating guidelines for the transition period after
Brexit. The EU denied Britain any vote on EU policy issues during
its transition out of the bloc and warned London not to fall behind
on outstanding divorce matters.
(AP, 1/29/18)(Reuters, 1/29/18)
2018 Feb 6, The EU warned
Balkan countries hoping to join the bloc that none will be invited
until they have resolved all disputes with their neighbors. This
applied to Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro,
Serbia and its former territory of Kosovo.
2018 Feb 7, European Union
lawmakers rejected a proposal for pan-EU lists of candidates for
seats in the European Parliament, but French President Emmanuel
Macron said he would continue to press for such transnational lists.
2018 Feb 7, The European
Parliament voted to dismiss one of its vice presidents, Ryszard
Czarnecki of Poland, after he compared a rival Polish parliament
member to a Nazi collaborator.
2018 Feb 7, A senior Turkish
official said that the country has fulfilled all 72 requirements set
by the EU to secure visa-free travel for Turkish citizens to the
2018 Feb 12, The European Union
and Albania reached a deal to allow European police to deploy on
Albanian territory to handle immigration issues, which Brussels
hopes can be a model for other countries in the Western Balkans.
2018 Feb 16, The European
Commission approved a Belgian scheme of certificates for renewable
energy and high-efficiency cogeneration plant as in line with the
bloc's climate goals.
2018 Feb 20, It was reported
that the European Union is shutting down a border checkpoint scheme
with Ukraine. The 6 projects are now in the process of being closed,
and the unspent money reimbursed. They foundered after a series of
delays, missteps and cost overruns involving local officials and
2018 Feb 22, The European
Central Bank said it doesn't have the power to investigate money
laundering in individual nations, a thinly veiled hint that it is up
to member state Latvia to clear up its ongoing corruption scandal.
2018 Feb 22, A top EU court
said Poland has violated EU law on air quality by continuously
exceeding the bloc's pollution limit from 2007 through 2015. It did
not impose any fines. In reaction, Poland's government launched a
"Stop Smog" program limiting the use of coal for heating in private
homes, believed to be the main source of air pollution.
2018 Feb 22, Staunchly
anti-nuclear Austria lodged a legal complaint with the European
Court of Justice against the EU's March approval of the expansion of
a nuclear plant in neighboring Hungary.
2018 Feb 23, EU leaders and
int’l. donors in Brussels pledged 414 million euros ($510 million)
to help five countries in West Africa's vast Sahel region (Burkina
Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger) set up a new counterterror
force as a deadly jihadist threat grows.
(AP, 2/23/18)(AFP, 2/23/18)
2018 Feb 23, The EU called for
an immediate ceasefire and access for aid trucks, using a
strongly-worded statement to express its anger at bombing of Syria's
2018 Feb 24, The European
Central Bank said it has determined that Latvia's crisis-struck ABLV
Bank is failing or likely to fail along with a Luxembourg-based
subsidiary, ABLV Bank Luxembourg, and the bank will be wound up
under its home country's law. Latvian PM Maris Kucinskis said his
government won't put any taxpayer money into rescuing ABLV.
2018 Feb 26, US delivery giant
UPS said it is suing the European Union's antitrust regulator for
blocking a merger with Dutch firm TNT Express, which later was
snapped up by UPS rival FedEx Corp.
2018 Feb 27, The EU's top court
said a fisheries agreement the bloc has concluded with Morocco can't
include the waters off the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
2018 Feb 28, The European Union
laid out how it expected to regulate Northern Ireland's trade if no
better solution was found in the rapidly shrinking window before
Britain quits the EU, prompting furious reactions in London and
Belfast. The EU moved to force Britain's hand in Brexit negotiations
by publishing a draft text that distils into legal language what
they have, and even what they have not, agreed so far about
Britain's departure. British PM Theresa May immediately branded part
of the 120-page document unacceptable.
(Reuters, 2/28/18)(AP, 2/28/18)
2018 Feb 28, European
Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker told Bosnia's divided leaders
they must overcome their differences and work closely together if
they want their country one day to join the European Union.
2018 Feb 28, Europe's food
safety watchdog said wild bees and honeybees are put at risk by
three pesticides from a group known as neonicotinoids, confirming
previous concerns that prompted an EU-wide ban on use of the
2018 Mar 1, EU lawmakers
supported the European Commission's plans to take unprecedented
punitive steps against Poland over reforms of its judiciary and
state media that they say threaten the rule of law in the
2018 Mar 1, Heavy snowfall and
deadly blizzards lashed Europe. Exceptional snow and wind forced
airports to close in Scotland, Switzerland and France and stranded
several hundred drivers in their cars.
2018 Mar 2, Britain’s PM
Theresa May called for a wide-ranging free trade deal with the EU
after Brexit, but said it was time to face up to "hard facts" about
the economic consequences of leaving the bloc. May mixed concessions
with a plea for a deal that would keep trade flowing between the
world's biggest trade bloc and Britain's $2.7 trillion economy.
(AP, 3/2/18)(Reuters, 3/2/18)
2018 Mar 6, A group of 25
European Union countries agreed to develop their first joint defense
projects under a pact that excludes Britain, giving London a taste
of life outside the bloc's foreign policy decision-making process.
2018 Mar 7, The EU’s executive
branch pointed the finger at Belgium, Cyprus, Hungary, Ireland,
Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands for "aggressive" tax policies
designed to undercut others to attract multinational companies.
2018 Mar 7, The EU’s top court
said Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of France’s far-right National
Front, and a party official must repay nearly 600,000 euros
($744,550) to the European Parliament for wages wrongly paid to
alleged parliamentary assistants.
2018 Mar 7, European police
said they have smashed an international weapons-smuggling ring
operating in at least four countries. Police said the group traded
firearms in Austria, Germany, Switzerland and France.
2018 Mar 8, Women across Europe
and Asia shouted their demands for equality, respect and empowerment
to mark International Women’s Day. Protesters in Spain launching a
24-hour strike and crowds of demonstrators filling the streets of
Manila, Seoul and New Delhi.
2018 Mar 8, Poland’s PM Mateusz
Morawiecki met with top European Union officials in Brussels as part
of efforts to avert potential unprecedented EU sanctions over a
reform of Poland’s judiciary.
2018 Mar 10, US President
Donald Trump's trade envoy met with top European Union and Japanese
officials who were pushing back against new US steel tariffs that
have unleashed fears of a broader trade war.
2018 Mar 12, The European
Union's foreign policy chief said the EU will extend a 1
billion-euro ($1.2 billion) loan to struggling Ukraine.
2018 Mar 12, The EU said it has
prolonged sanctions against senior Russian officials, lawmakers and
military officers for a further six months over alleged meddling in
(SFC, 3/13/18, p.A2)
2018 Mar 15, The European
Commission published an updated draft text of the treaty that will
regulate Britain's exit from the European Union on March 29th, 2019,
but some of the key sticking points remain unresolved.
2018 Mar 19, Britain and the EU
reached a landmark deal on a transition phase that will see London
follow the bloc's rules for nearly two years after the Brexit
2018 Mar 19, The EU sanctioned
four senior Syrian officials over the use of chemical weapons
against civilians, amid reports President Bashar al-Assad's forces
have deployed chlorine gas in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern
2018 Mar 20, The European Union
said that the right of citizens from poorer member states to work in
richer ones on a low salary would be limited to 18 months under a
reform of the bloc's labor laws sought by France.
2018 Mar 20, The European Union
said international donors have raised 456 million euros ($560
million) to build a desalination plant in the Gaza Strip to provide
around 2 million people with safe drinking water.
2018 Mar 21, The EU unveiled
proposals for a digital tax that targets US tech giants, heaping
more problems on Facebook after revelations over misused data of 50
million users shocked the world.
2018 Mar 21, The European Union
approved Bayer's $57 billion buyout of Monsanto in a massive
agriculture business deal, but said they will have to shed over $7.4
billion in firms and other remedies to ensure fair competition in
2018 Mar 22, EU member states
agreed at a summit in Brussels to take further punitive steps
against Russia in the coming days for the nerve agent attack in
Salisbury, as Moscow accused the bloc of joining a London-driven
hate campaign against it.
2018 Mar 22, Europol, the
European Union's law enforcement agency, said police have smashed a
Nigerian organized crime ring in one of the largest European
operations against human trafficking. It says 89 people have been
arrested in Britain and Spain and 39 victims rescued. The gang had
trafficked victims to Europe through Libya and Italy, forcing women
into prostitution to pay for their journey.
2018 Mar 22, US Pres. Donald
Trump authorized initial exemptions for the EU, Australia,
Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, Canada and Mexico from looming steel
and aluminum tariffs.
2018 Mar 23, British PM Theresa
May welcomed the approval by European Union leaders of a transition
period to help business adapt after Brexit, telling the bloc to ride
the "new dynamic" in upcoming trade talks.
2018 Mar 25, The EU said it was
"extremely concerned" about DR Congo after the country announced it
would decline a $1.7 billion international aid package. The United
Nations has declared the humanitarian crisis in the DR Congo to be a
Level 3, the UN's highest-level emergency.
2018 Mar 27, Cypriot President
Nicos Anastasiades hailed as "unprecedented" the EU's condemnation
of Turkey for blocking his government's search for offshore oil and
2018 Mar 27, Europe's bailout
fund approved a 6.7 billion euro ($8.32 billion) loan installment to
Greece as part of its third international rescue program, with
payment of the first 5.7 billion euros expected this week.
2018 Apr 6, The European Union
said that Facebook has told it that up to 2.7 million people in the
28-nation bloc may have been victim of improper data sharing
involving political data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica.
2018 Apr 6, China called on the
EU to take a joint stand against US protectionism as Trump warned
that he could slap another $100 billion (86 billion euros) of extra
tariffs on China's imports.
2018 Apr 10, The EU's top court
dealt another blow to US ridesharing giant Uber by backing the right
of France and other member states to ban an illegal taxi service
without notifying Brussels regulators.
2018 Apr 12, The Council of the
European Union extended the sanctions put on Iran over human rights
violations by a year until April 2019.
2018 Apr 17, The European Court
of Justice (ECJ) said that Poland broke environmental laws with
large-scale logging in an ancient forest, a ruling that comes as its
nationalist government seeks to ease tensions with the bloc.
2018 Apr 17, A European high
court on ruled that migrants reaching the Greek islands who apply
for asylum will be allowed to travel to the mainland while their
applications are being processed.
2018 Apr 19, The European Union
imposed travel bans and asset freezes on four people suspected of
"deceptive financial practices" to benefit North Korea's arms
program. The EU did not name the four.
2018 Apr 19, The European Union
decided to ban meat imports from 20 Brazilian plants amid concerns
about sanitary controls.
2018 Apr 21, The EU agreed to a
sweeping new trade deal with Mexico. The preliminary deal, to be
finalized later this year, removes tariffs on cheese, chocolate,
pasta and other foods. It updates and expands a two-decade-old
agreement to include financial services and online commerce, among
2018 Apr 23, The European Court
of Human Rights rejected a case from a British mother and father who
want to take their terminally ill toddler, 23-month-old Alfie Evans,
to Italy for treatment instead of allowing a hospital to remove him
from life support. Justices in Britain previously upheld a lower
court's conclusion that it would be pointless to fly the boy to Rome
for treatment as he is in a "semi-vegetative state" that is
2018 Apr 24, The European Union
and the UN appealed for swift political talks to end the long war in
Syria, saying the latest territorial gains by Damascus and its
allies had not brought peace any closer.
2018 Apr 25, An
eagerly-anticipated catalogue was published compiled from data that
Europe's Gaia satellite gathered on some 1.7 billion stars from its
unique vantage point in space, about 1.5 million km (930,000 miles)
from Earth. The Gaia satellite produced a 3-D map, hailed as
revolutionary, of more than a billion stars in our Milky Way galaxy.
2018 Apr 26, The European Union
extended its arms embargo against Myanmar, following human rights
violations in the country, and was preparing sanctions against
individual army officials.
2018 Apr 27, The European Union
made a key breakthrough to completely ban pesticides that harm bees
and their crop pollination. The ban on the three prevalent
neonicotinoid pesticides will take effect at the end of the year.
The EU banned the outdoor use of neonics clothianidin, imidacloprid
and thiamethoxam. The United Nations says neonics are so hazardous
that they should be “severely" restricted. But in the US, neonics
are widely used. In 2021 it was reported that the company AltEn has
been using seed coated with fungicides and insecticides, including
those known as neonicotinoids, or “neonics", in its Nebraska
production process. Waste from the plant was at levels many times
higher than what is considered safe.
(AP, 4/27/18)(The Guardian, 1/10/21)
2018 May 2, The European
Union's executive branch proposed a budget to finance new priorities
like defense and border control as well as compensating for
Britain's departure from the bloc. Dutch PM Mark Rutte says the new
seven-year budget is unacceptable because it will mean the
Netherlands' EU bill will increase too much.
2018 May 7, The European Union
said it has appointed US prosecutor Jack Smith to head the special
prosecutor's office that investigates former members of the Kosovo
Liberation Army for crimes against ethnic Serbs in Kosovo's war for
2018 May 8, The EU restated its
support for the Iran nuclear deal in last-minute talks with Tehran,
just hours before US President Donald Trump announces whether he is
pulling out of the accord.
2018 May 14, The European
Commission gave Poland until late June to settle a dispute with the
EU over the independence of its courts that threatens Warsaw's
future access to funding from the bloc.
2018 May 17, The European
Commission said it will launch on May 18 the process of activating a
law that bans European companies from complying with US sanctions
against Iran and does not recognize any court rulings that enforce
2018 May 17, An EU court upheld
a partial ban on three insecticides known as neonicotinoids, saying
that the European Commission had been right in 2013 to restrict
their use to protect bees.
2018 May 19, The European
Union's energy chief sought to reassure Iran that the bloc remained
committed to salvaging a nuclear deal with Tehran despite US
President Donald Trump's decision to exit the accord and reimpose
2018 May 23, The European
Central Bank issued a report on the progress toward membership among
seven European Union member countries that have not yet joined the
19-country euro. the ECB expressed concern about Bulgaria's high
business debt, corruption and weak education and skills training.
2018 May 23, The British
government acknowledged it must pay its Brexit divorce bill before
securing a new trade deal with the EU, despite previously insisting
the cash could be a bargaining chip.
2018 May 24, The European Union
imposed obligations on Russian state-owned energy giant Gazprom to
improve the flow of gas at competitive prices in eastern EU nations,
but did not fine the company.
2018 May 25, Israel called on
the European Union to halt funding to more than a dozen European and
Palestinian non-governmental organizations that it says promote
boycotts against Israel, saying the financial support violates the
EU's stated policy that it opposes boycotts against the Jewish
2018 May 29, Europe's top court
said halal slaughter is only allowed in licensed slaughterhouses,
ruling that a Belgian ban on the ritualized religious slaughter by
Muslims elsewhere did not infringe on freedom of religion.
2018 May 29, Italy's political
turmoil sent a wave of concern through Europe's 19-country currency
union, with serious tremors hitting the country's government debt
2018 May 31, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Romania (2003-2005) and Lithuania
(2005-2006) allowed the detention and abuse of a Saudi and a
Palestinian at secret US prisons.
2018 May 31, The Trump
administration announced it will impose tariffs on steel and
aluminum imports from Europe, Mexico and Canada after failing to win
concessions. Europe and Mexico pledged to retaliate quickly,
exacerbating trans-Atlantic and North American trade tensions.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the tariffs would be 25 percent
on steel and 10 percent on aluminum, and go into effect on June 1.
2018 Jun 1, The EU fired its
first riposte against Washington's punishing steel and aluminum
tariffs, joining Canada and Mexico in a brewing global trade war
against US protectionism. The EU said it had opened legal challenges
to the United States at the World Trade Organization (WTO).
2018 Jun 1, The European Union
and China said they will do their utmost to keep afloat an
international agreement to stop Iran developing nuclear weapons
despite the US abandoning the pact.
2018 Jun 1, Payment systems
giant Visa experienced a hardware issue late today that had left it
struggling to process transactions at bars, shops and cash machines
2018 Jun 5, The EU's top court,
in a landmark ruling for gay rights in Europe, said that Romania
must grant residence to the American husband of a local man even
though Romania does not itself permit same-sex marriage.
2018 Jun 7, The European
Commission provided Bosnia with 1.5 million euros ($1.8 million) to
help the impoverished country cope with an influx of migrants
passing through on their way towards Western Europe. Countries along
a new Balkan migrant route pledged to work together to prevent a
repetition of the 2015 influx that brought more than a million
refugees into Europe from North Africa and the Middle East.
(AFP, 6/7/18)(Reuters, 6/7/18)
2018 Jun 12, The European
Union's top court defended French fashion designer Christian
Louboutin's claim to trademark red soled high-heel shoes.
2018 Jun 14, EU negotiators
agreed to phase out the use of palm oil in transport fuels from
2030, setting up a clash with producer countries such as Malaysia
2018 Jun 14, Italy's far-right
agriculture minister said his government would not ratify an
EU-Canada free trade deal, claiming it does not protect his
country's farmers. The 2016 accord, which has yet to be ratified,
eliminates 98 percent of tariffs between the EU and Canada.
2018 Jun 15, EU experts said
dry summer weather is causing sudden damage to wheat crops in Baltic
Sea countries, putting a question mark over wheat export supplies.
2018 Jun 18, The EU said it has
extended restrictions on doing business with companies or officials
in Ukraine's Crimea region an d the city of Sevastopol for a year
over Russia's annexation of the peninsula.
(SFC, 6/19/18, p.A2)
2018 Jun 19, A top European
Union court ruled that French far-right leader Marine le Pen must
return 300,000 euros ($346,000) to the European Parliament for funds
incorrectly paid to an assistant.
2018 Jun 20, The European Union
said it will from start taxing a range of imports from the US on
June 22, including quintessentially American goods like
Harley-Davidson bikes and cranberries, in response to President
Donald Trump's decision to slap tariffs on European steel and
2018 Jun 20, The European Union
adopted a support package to Lebanon of 165 million euros ($191
million) to help the country cope with hosting Syrian refugees.
2018 Jun 20, The European Union
finalized new climate rules after months of talks, targeting a total
energy saving of 32.5 percent and an uplift in the share of
renewable energy to 32 percent by 2030.
2018 Jun 22, The EU slapped
revenge tariffs on iconic US products including bourbon, jeans and
motorcycles in its opening salvo in a trade war with President
2018 Jun 22, Aviation giant
Airbus threatened to leave Britain if the country exits the European
Union without an agreement on trade relations, underscoring the
concerns of business leaders who say the government is moving too
2018 Jun 24, A majority of 16
of 28 EU national leaders gathered in Brussels for emergency talks
on migration. German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked EU leaders to
stop asylum seekers moving freely around the bloc, an issue that is
threatening her ruling coalition.
2018 Jun 25, EU lawmakers voted
for launching action against Hungary over allegations that PM Viktor
Orban's government is breaching the bloc's fundamental values.
2018 Jun 25, The EU hit seven
top Myanmar security officials with sanctions over the Rohingya
crisis, accusing them of serious human rights violations including
killings and sexual violence.
2018 Jun 25, The EU hit the
Venezuelan vice-president and 10 other officials with sanctions over
rights abuses and irregularities in the re-election of President
Nicolas Maduro, which the bloc condemned as "neither free nor fair".
2018 Jun 25, China and the EU
agreed to launch a group that will work to update global trade rules
to address technology policy, subsidies and other emerging irritants
and preserve support for international trade amid US threats of
2018 Jun 26, Britain's House of
Commons speaker announced that the bill enacting Britain's decision
to leave the European Union has become law after months of debate,
to cheers from eurosceptic lawmakers.
2018 Jun 28, European Union
leaders gathered in Brussels to examine new ways to stop migrants
entering Europe, desperate to ensure that their differences over
managing the flows do not tear the 28-nation bloc apart.
2018 Jun 29, EU leaders struck
a deal on migration after two days of talks wrapped up in Brussels.
EU leaders agreed to share out refugees on a voluntary basis and
create "controlled centers" inside the European Union to process
asylum requests. EU leaders agreed to increase funds for Spain and
Morocco to help deal with migration flows.
2018 Jun 29, The EU issued PM
Theresa May a final Brexit warning -- put your cards on the table,
offer ways to overcome "huge" differences and prevent Britain from
crashing out of the bloc without a deal.
2018 Jun 30, Austria took over
the rotating presidency of the European Union with a pledge to
better secure the 28-nation bloc's external borders.
2018 Jun 30, It was reported
that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has secured agreements with 14
European Union countries to rapidly return some asylum seekers as
she seeks to end a schism in her government over migration policy.
2018 Jun, Jean-Marie Le Pen,
founder of France's far-right National Front party, refused to
submit to police questioning as part of an EU funding inquiry,
claiming immunity as a European Parliament lawmaker.
2018 Jul 2, The EU opened
another rule-of-law procedure against Poland over what it sees as
flaws in the country's Supreme Court law, intensifying a standoff
that could threaten Poland's EU voting rights and funding. The move
comes a day before legislation takes effect that will force the
early retirement of 27 of 72 justices of the Supreme Court.
2018 Jul 2, The EU slammed the
Trump administration for considering tariffs on auto imports, saying
they could lead to global retaliation against some $300 billion in
US goods amid signs of a brewing trade war.
2018 Jul 3, The European
Commission called on Belarus to develop an action plan "to ensure
timely implementation of all safety improvement measures in
accordance with their safety significance" for the nearly completed
Astravets nuclear power plant.
2018 Jul 5, The European Union
extended sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine for
another six months.
2018 Jul 15, Hungarian PM
Viktor Orban denounced EU sanctions imposed on Russia, during a
visit to Pres. Vladimir Putin in Moscow ahead of the Moscow World
2018 Jul 16, The Trump
administration said it's filing a challenge at the WTO against
China, the European Union, Canada, Mexico and Turkey for tariffs
they imposed against the US in retaliation to earlier US actions.
2018 Jul 17, The European Union
and Japan signed a landmark deal in Tokyo that will eliminate nearly
all tariffs on products they trade.
2018 Jul 17, The European Court
of Human Rights ordered Russia to pay 20,000 euros ($23,442) in
damages to relatives of murdered investigative journalist Anna
Politkovskaya, saying it had failed to carry out an effective
investigation into her killing.
2018 Jul 18, British PM Theresa
May said her government had begun negotiations with the European
Union based on her hard-won Brexit plan, pressing on with a proposal
criticized by both wings of her Conservative Party.
2018 Jul 18, The EU hit Google
with its biggest ever fine, imposing a 4.34 billion euro ($5
billion) penalty on the US tech giant for illegally abusing the
dominance of its operating system for mobile devices.
2018 Jul 19, The European
Commission stepped up a legal battle with Hungary over EU migration
rules and denounced as illegal its "Stop Soros" law that
criminalizes support for asylum seekers.
2018 Jul 24, The European
Commission offered to shoulder the cost of taking in migrants from
boats in the Mediterranean, seeking to entice more governments to
shoulder the burden after Italy's new government closed the
country's ports to rescue vessels.
2018 Jul 24, British PM Theresa
May said she would now lead negotiations with the European Union,
shifting the focus of the Brexit department toward preparing for
Britain's departure from the bloc.
2018 Jul 25, Europe launched
four more Galileo satellites from French Guiana, taking the number
in orbit to 26 and moving a step closer to having its own navigation
system, just as the program has become the latest flashpoint in
Brexit negotiations. The satellites will be part of the EU's
alternative to the US Global Positioning System.
2018 Jul 25, The European Court
of Justice (ECJ) said mutagenesis-based gene-editing methods such as
CRISPR/Cas9, which can rearrange targeted bits of DNA, fall under
rules that now apply to genetic modification via strands of DNA from
a different species.
2018 Jul 25, US President
Donald Trump hosted European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker as
efforts to resolve a festering trade dispute between the two key
economies seemingly deadlocked. Trump and European leaders pulled
back from the brink of a trade war over autos and agreed to open
talks to tear down trade barriers between the United States and the
(AFP, 7/25/18)(AP, 7/26/18)
2018 Jul 27, European
firefighters battled forest blazes and authorities banned barbecues,
warning citizens of near-record temperatures as a heatwave scorched
much of the EU region.
2018 Jul 31, The EU expanded
its sanctions against Moscow to include companies that helped build
a bridge from mainland Russia to Kremlin-annexed Crimea, which it
says violates Ukraine's sovereignty.
2018 Jul, The EU announced it
had frozen a 100 million euro aid package to Moldova after a
disputed mayoral election race in the capital Chisinau which critics
say undermined the country's democratic credentials.
2018 Aug 2, The European
Commission said it would speed up payments to farmers hit by extreme
drought and allow them to use fallow land that normally would not be
used for production to feed their livestock. Searing heat has
devastated wheat fields across northern Europe while a combination
of dry conditions and extreme rain in the Black Sea have hit output
estimates, with prices soaring on fears of further crop damage.
2018 Aug 6, A eurozone rescue
fund said it has paid its final 15 billion-euro ($17.3 billion)
bailout loan to Greece, after objections by Germany delayed the
payment a few weeks.
2018 Aug 7, The European Union
reiterated its "firm support to the sovereignty and territorial
integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognized borders"
and lamented the Russian military presence in Abkhazia and South
Ossetia. Russia's PM Dmitry Medvedev said an attempt by NATO to
incorporate the former Soviet republic of Georgia could trigger a
new, "horrible" conflict.
2018 Aug 9, The Council of
Europe's anti-corruption group said Macedonia's performance on
preventing corruption is "clearly disappointing" and called on
authorities to take action.
2018 Aug 13, Poland used its
powers as a European Union member to ban human rights Ukrainian
activist Lyudmyla Kozlovska (32) from all 26 countries in Europe's
Schengen area. Kozlovska was stopped at the Brussels Zaventem
airport after arriving from Kiev, held overnight and put on an early
flight back to Kiev the next morning. Belgian authorities acted
after Poland entered her in the Schengen Information System, a
database aimed at ensuring security in Europe's passport-free
2018 Aug 20, The EU welcomed
the end to Greece's 8-year bailout program and said it hopes it is
the beginning of a new era for the debt-laden eurozone member state.
One in five Greeks remained unemployed, with few receiving state
2018 Aug 23, The European
Commission unveiled a first tranche of 18 million euros ($21
million) to help bolster Iran's flagging economy — 8 million for the
private sector, 8 million to cope with environmental problems and 2
million for drug abuse.
2018 Aug 23, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) said Hungary must provide food to asylum
seekers held in detention camps on its border with Serbia whose
applications have been rejected by Budapest but who are appealing
2018 Aug 23, Europol, the
European law enforcement agency, said police in Mallorca have seized
around 1,100 turtles and 750 eggs, including specimens of 14 of the
50 most endangered species in the world. Europol also said Spanish
police have shut down what they believe to be Europe's biggest
illegal turtle farm, selling endangered species worth 10,000 euros
2018 Sep 11, The European Union
condemned death sentences passed on 75 people in Egypt, saying there
were "serious doubts" over whether the defendants had been given a
2018 Sep 11, The European
Commission backed a European Parliament report condemning Hungary
for abusing human rights and for the mistreatment of Roma
communities, Hungary's PM Viktor Orban rejected European Parliament
efforts to impose sanctions on Budapest over accusations of
corruption, rights abuses and authoritarianism, saying he had the
right to ban migrants from the country.
2018 Sep 12, The European
Parliament voted 448-197 to sanction Hungary for flouting EU rules
on democracy, civil rights and corruption in an unprecedented step
that left PM Viktor Orban isolated from powerful allies.
2018 Sep 13, Europe's top
rights court ruled that Britain's program of mass surveillance,
revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden as part of his sensational
leaks on US spying, violated its citizens' basic rights.
2018 Sep 13, The European
Central Bank pushed forward with its plan to gradually phase out its
monetary stimulus, saying it is confident in the region's growth.
2018 Sep 14, The European
Commission said the EU will scrap the twice-yearly seasonal clock
change across the bloc from October 2019, leaving member states to
decide by April whether they will stick permanently to summer or
2018 Sep 17, The European
Central Bank unveiled new versions of the 100- and 200-euro
banknotes with updated anti-counterfeiting features and a slimmer
size that should make them easier to fit into wallets and purses.
2018 Sep 19, EU Council
President Donald Tusk issued a stark warning to Britain that its
Brexit position must be "reworked", as PM Theresa May prepared to
address European leaders at a key summit.
2018 Sep 20, EU leaders meeting
in Austria called for more intense talks with Egypt and other North
African countries to take further steps against illegal migration to
Europe, particularly by fighting those who smuggle and traffic them.
2018 Sep 22, US cable giant
Comcast outbid Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox in a blind auction
for the European TV operator Sky that all but settled a titanic
battle between the two media empires. Comcast offered to pay £30.4
billion ($39.7 billion, 33.8 billion euros). Fox's highest offer was
worth £27.6 billion.
2018 Sep 24, The EU referred
Poland to its top court for an alleged breach of the independence of
its supreme court, the latest showdown between Brussels and populist
member state governments.
2018 Sep 24, The New York-based
Open Society Foundations (OSF) said in a statement that it had
submitted a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights in
Strasbourg, calling on it to "defend Hungarian democracy" and urge a
repeal of Hungary's controversial "Stop Soros" laws adopted last
2018 Sep 25, A news report said
European Commission inspectors have found widespread irregularities
in EU-financed projects in Hungary raising the risk that the EU
could withhold development funds worth $1.8 billion.
2018 Sep 27, The European Union
said it has approved 100 million euros ($116 million) in its
first-ever budget support to Somalia's government in the latest sign
of confidence in a country long shattered by conflict.
2018 Sep 28, The European Union
issued a stern warning to Italy's populist leaders following their
defiant pledge for increased spending and a sizeable budget deficit
that risks putting Rome on a collision course with Brussels.
2018 Sep 28, The European Union
said it's offering an extra 40 million euros ($46 million) to the UN
Palestinian refugee agency to help educate children and provide
health care in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
2018 Sep 28, Dublin-based
Ryanair canceled scores of European flights, but downplayed the
impact of the strike. Unions hoped the strike would be the biggest
in the airline's history. A key complaint of workers based in
countries other than Ireland is the fact that Ryanair has been
employing them under Irish legislation.
2018 Oct 4, Hungary and Poland
said they have gone to the European Court of Justice to challenge
tighter European Union rules on the employment of workers from
low-pay EU states.
2018 Oct 5, The Council of
Europe said it has urged Croatia to investigate alleged police abuse
of migrants trying to cross its borders.
2018 Oct 11, US President
Donald Trump blamed "crazy" policies of the Federal Reserve for
contributing to financial market turmoil. European stock markets
fell as economic strains and a drastic downturn in Asia spooked
investors, but Wall Street managed to put a halt on its sharp fall
seen the previous day, the worst since February.
2018 Oct 18, European Union
leaders in Brussels agreed to push ahead with plans to boost
cooperation with North African countries and beef up the bloc's
borders in an effort to stop migrants entering Europe.
2018 Oct 18, The Asia-Europe
meeting began this evening with a dinner in Brussels attended by 30
European leaders with their counterparts from 21 Asian nations, a
membership that accounts for 55 percent of global trade.
2018 Oct 19, Europe and Asia
presented a united front in support of free trade based on
international rules and cooperation, starkly underscoring their
differences with U.S. President Donald Trump's "America First"
2018 Oct 19, European and Asian
leaders gave their backing to the Iran nuclear deal, saying the pact
is good for global security and that it's important to respect
2018 Oct 19, The European
Union's top court ordered Poland to "immediately suspend" its
decision to lower the retirement age of its Supreme Court judges,
which it said threatens judicial independence. Poland's rightwing
government has lowered the age at which Supreme Court judges must
retire from 70 to 65, allowing the appointment of figures seen as
loyal by Warsaw's current leadership.
2018 Oct 20, Tens of thousands
of supporters of the European Union began marching through London as
part of what organizers say will be the largest ever demonstration
to demand that the British government holds a public vote on the
terms of Brexit.
2018 Oct 20, European and
Japanese space agencies said an Ariane 5 rocket successfully lifted
a spacecraft carrying two probes into orbit for a joint mission to
Mercury. The unmanned BepiColombo spacecraft successfully separated
and was sent into orbit from French Guiana as planned to begin a
seven-year journey to Mercury.
2018 Oct 23, The European
Commission rejected Italy's proposed budget — the first time it has
ever done so with a member state.
2018 Oct 24, The European
Parliament overwhelmingly backed a wide-ranging ban on single-use
plastics to counter pollution in seas, fields and waterways.
2018 Oct 25, The EU awarded its
top human rights prize to Oleg Sentsov, a Ukrainian filmmaker
imprisoned in Russia accused of plotting acts of terrorism, calling
him a symbol of all political prisoners being held there.
2018 Nov 6, The EU extended
sanctions against Venezuela until November 2019 for what it said
were human rights violations and undermining of democracy and the
rule of law under President Nicolas Maduro.
2018 Nov 13, The European
Commission complained that Romania has gone back on court reforms,
urging Bucharest to revive efforts immediately to fight corruption
and ensure judicial independence.
2018 Nov 13, German Chancellor
Angela Merkel called for an integrated EU military, recalling the
lessons of the First World War and the divisions that led to the
2018 Nov 14, EU lawmakers said
European arms were stoking the conflict in Yemen, where a Saudi
Arabia-led coalition is battling Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
2018 Nov 15, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia's repeated arrests and detention
of opposition leader Alexei Navalny were politically-motivated and
breached his human rights, a decision Moscow called questionable.
2018 Nov 15, British PM Theresa
May battled to save a draft divorce deal with the European Union
after her Brexit secretary Dominic Raab and other ministers quit in
protest and eurosceptic lawmakers stepped up efforts to topple her.
2018 Nov 19, European ministers
signed off on Britain's draft divorce deal as they launched a
"painful" final week of negotiations on future cross-Channel ties.
2018 Nov 19, European Union
foreign ministers endorsed a French government decision to sanction
Iranian nationals accused of a bomb plot in France, a move that
could enable EU-wide enforcement of the measures.
2018 Nov 20, The European Union
said it will suspend 100 million euros ($114 million) of aid to
Moldova over concerns about its democracy and the slow pace of
reforms in the former Soviet republic.
2018 Nov 20, The European Court
of Human Rights (ECHR) urged Turkey to swiftly process the legal
case of Selahattin Demirtas, the ex-head of the pro-Kurdish
opposition, saying his pre-trial detention had gone on longer than
could be justified.
2018 Nov 21, The European
Commission officially rejected Italy's big-spending budget, clearing
the path for unprecedented sanctions and deepening a bitter row with
Rome's populist government.
2018 Nov 22, Britain and the
European Union said they agreed a draft text setting out a close
2018 Nov 24, The European Union
removed the last major obstacle to sealing an agreement on Brexit
after Spain said it had reached a deal with Britain over Gibraltar
on the eve of an EU summit.
2018 Nov 25, European Union
leaders finally sealed a Brexit deal, saying the package agreed with
PM Theresa May was the best Britain will get in a warning to the
British parliament not to reject it.
2018 Nov 27, The European Court
of Human Rights issued a fresh rebuke to the Kremlin, ruling that
Russia's continued ban on LGBT rallies is discriminatory and
represents a violation of human rights.
2018 Nov 28, The EU's second
highest court upheld a decision by the European Union to recover
money from far-right politician Marine Le Pen, delivering the former
French presidential candidate a second legal setback this year.
2018 Nov 30, Ukraine's
President Petro Poroshenko said his country has received 500 million
euros ($568 million) in assistance from the European Commission.
2018 Dec 1, Billionaire Czech
Prime Minister Andrej Babis faced renewed pressure over his business
dealings after an EU legal document said he has a conflict of
interest due to links to agribusiness companies that received
European funds. A legal opinion, dated Nov. 19, said "the situation
of Mr Babis qualifies as a conflict of interest," because he could
"influence" decisions on the use of EU funds of which companies
linked to him had benefited.
2018 Dec 4, A senior European
Union legal adviser said Britain had the right to withdraw its
Brexit notice, opening a new front in a battle over PM Theresa May's
plans to leave the bloc, which could be rejected in parliament next
2018 Dec 5, EU diplomatic chief
Federica Mogherini urged Russia and the US to save a Cold War arms
control treaty after Washington issued a 60-day ultimatum to Moscow.
2018 Dec 6, The 28-nation EU's
interior ministers approved a declaration recognizing a common
definition of anti-Semitism and acknowledging Jewish concerns given
the prevalence of attacks in recent years.
2018 Dec 6, The European Union
and France said their total investment in development funding aimed
at preventing terrorism in the G5 African Sahel countries
(Mauritania, Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, and Niger) would rise to 1.3
billion euros ($1.5 billion), as the region struggles with jihadism
2018 Dec 10, The EU voiced
alarm as a survey showed nine of 10 European Jews believe
anti-Semitism has worsened in the last five years, calling it a
"canary in the coal mine".
2018 Dec 10, EU security
commissioner Julian King alleged that Russia launched a year-long
fake news campaign about Kiev's and NATO's plans for the Azov Sea
before seizing three Ukrainian ships and their crew there.
2018 Dec 10, The EU blacklisted
nine locals involved in last month's rebel elections in east
Ukraine, but was unlikely to heed swiftly Kiev's call for more
reprisals against Moscow over the latest flare-up of tensions in the
2018 Dec 10, British PM Theresa
May postponed Parliament's vote on her Brexit divorce deal with the
European Union, acknowledging that lawmakers would have rejected it
by a "significant margin." May said she would seek "assurances" from
the EU and bring the Brexit deal back to Parliament, but did not set
a new date for the vote.
2018 Dec 13, The European
Central Bank said it is ending the massive stimulus program that
helped nurse the eurozone economy back to health over the past four
2018 Dec 13, The EU's lawmaking
body condemned Egyptian authorities for human rights abuses and
urged them to lift restrictions on free speech and assembly, halt
mass trials and stop sentencing minors to death, and release
2018 Dec 13, Europe's top human
rights body urged Moldova to stop "intimidation and violence"
against prisoners allegedly carried out by other detainees with the
tacit agreement of prison management.
2018 Dec 14, EU leaders, except
for Britain, took a step toward deeper euro zone integration to help
prevent future crises, but deep disagreement over some key elements
of the plan left issues like a euro zone budget or a deposit
guarantee mechanism unresolved.
2018 Dec 14, EU leaders called
for urgent action to combat fake news on the Internet at a summit,
saying more needed to be done to safeguard next year's EU election
2018 Dec 14, British PM Theresa
May left the EU summit exactly as she had arrived -- promising talks
to extract reassuring words from EU leaders to help her sell the
Brexit deal back home.
2018 Dec 18, In Austria
European officials and companies met with African leaders in Vienna
for talks intended as a springboard to increase investment in
2018 Dec 18, The New York Times
reported late today that hackers had broken into the EU's diplomatic
communications for years, downloading cables that showed worries
about the Trump administration, struggles to deal with Russia and
China, and the threat of Iran reviving its nuclear program.
2018 Dec 19, The European Union
said it is investigating a cyber hack of its diplomatic
communications, allegedly by Chinese hackers, that revealed EU
concern about US Donald Trump, Russia and Iran.
2018 Dec 19, The EU moved
closer to banning single-use straws, plates, cutlery and cotton
swabs after officials from EU member states and the European
Parliament said they're following recommendations by its executive
branch designed to reduce marine pollution.
2018 Dec 21, The EU slapped
asset freezes and travel bans on seven more people accused of human
rights violations against the Rohingya minority in Myanmar. This
brings to 14 the total number of people in Myanmar under EU
sanctions for such abuses.
2018 Dec 21, Europol said that
police in Spain, Italy and Argentina took part in an operation that
broke up an international cocaine-trafficking gang. Almost 50
suspects were arrested.
2019 Jan 1, Romania took over
the EU's rotating presidency at a tumultuous time for the bloc and
just days after European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker
voiced doubts about the country's ability to do the job.
2018 Jan 3, MiFID II/MiFIR, the
Markets in Financial Instruments Directive, came into force across
the EU. MiFID II and MiFIR will ensure fairer, safer and more
efficient markets and facilitate greater transparency for all
2019 Jan 4, Poland accused
France of breaching European Union laws by exceeding spending
limits. Paris last month forecast a 2019 deficit of 3.2 percent,
which would violate the EU-mandated limit of 3.0 percent of GDP.
2019 Jan 8, The European Union
froze the assets of an Iranian intelligence unit and two of its
staff, as the Netherlands accused Iran of two killings on its soil
and joined France and Denmark in alleging Tehran plotted other
attacks in Europe.
2019 Jan 8, Deadly winter
weather blasted Europe for yet another day, trapping hundreds of
people in Alpine regions. At least 13 people have been killed in
weather-related accidents in Europe over the last week.
2019 Jan 9, Forty-nine migrants
disembarked in Malta after spending more than two weeks stranded on
board rescue ships, ending a standoff in which European Union
countries had refused to offer them a safe port. An agreement
brokered by the European Commission calls for a total of some 300
migrants who have reached Malta in recent weeks to be redistributed
between eight EU countries, including Italy.
2019 Jan 10, US carmaker Ford
said it planned a major restructuring of its European operations,
including job cuts, to boost profitability. Indian-owned Jaguar Land
Rover also announced major restructuring in Europe as consumers dump
diesel cars for greener electric vehicles.
2019 Jan 21, The European Union
sanctioned the heads of Russia's military intelligence and two of
their officers blamed for poisoning a former Russian double agent in
Britain last year, a decision Moscow dismissed as groundless. The EU
also sanctioned a Syrian research center and five staff members.
(Reuters, 1/21/19)(AP, 1/21/19)
2019 Jan 22, The EU and African
Union committed to work closely with Congo's president-elect Felix
Tshisekedi, backing off reservations about the disputed vote.
2019 Jan 22, It was announced
that the European Commission has fined MasterCard $650 million for
breaching antitrust rules by raising payment-processing fees
(SFC, 1/23/19, p.D4)
2019 Jan 23, Romania's national
railway company said a group of Turkish companies have won a 600
million-euro ($681 million) contract to modernize a key line in the
northwest Transylvania region. The European Union will fund about 80
percent of the project, and the Romanian government the rest.
2019 Jan 24, The European
Commission said it was taking its legal procedure against Hungary to
the next step after Budapest criminalized support for migrants,
moving the case closer to a possible ruling by the European Court of
2019 Jan 24, Europe's top
rights court ordered Italy to pay thousands of euros in damages to
Amanda Knox, the American student acquitted in 2015 of the gruesome
killing of her British housemate after spending years behind bars.
2019 Jan 24, The European
Commission said that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad had suspended
special visas for European Union diplomats to Damascus.
2019 Jan 28, Facebook said it
is tightening requirements for political ads in the European Union
ahead of bloc-wide elections scheduled for the spring, its latest
effort to fight misinformation and increase transparency on its
2019 Jan 29, The EU approved US
soybean exports to be used in the production of biofuels in an
effort to boost such imports following last summer's trans-Atlantic
meeting between Pres. Donald Trump and his EU Commission counterpart
2019 Jan 30, European
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told British PM Theresa May
that the bloc's Brexit divorce deal with London cannot be
2019 Jan 31, The European
Parliament recognized Venezuela's self-declared interim president
Juan Guaido as de facto head of state, heightening international
pressure on the OPEC member's socialist President Nicolas Maduro.
2019 Jan, The European Court of
Human Rights ordered Russia to pay Georgia 10 million euros ($11.5
million) over the mass deportation of Georgian citizens from Russia
in 2006. The court found that Moscow carried out a coordinated
policy of targeting at least 1,500 Georgian nationals for expulsion.
2019 Feb 4, EU investigators
began a weeklong inspection in Poland based on a media report that
beef from unfit animals was exported to more than a dozen countries.
2019 Feb 5, Iran ruled out
linkage between a new EU mechanism to trade with Tehran bypassing US
sanctions and an anti-money laundering bill.
2019 Feb 8, European Union
member states adopted a Franco-German compromise allowing Berlin to
remain the lead negotiator with Russia on the Nord Stream 2 gas
pipeline to Europe.
2019 Feb 11, The EU announced
that it is beginning the process to withdraw preferential duty-free
and quota-free status for imports from Cambodia. EU Trade
Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom charged Cambodia with "severe
deficiencies when it comes to human rights and labor rights".
2019 Feb 12, The European
Parliament backed a fisheries agreement with Morocco which includes
waters off the disputed territory of Western Sahara that Rabat
claims. After initial approval, the member states need to officially
back it again later.
2019 Feb 12, Dutch fisherman
protested outside parliament in a last-ditch attempt to avert a
European Union ban on the practice of using electric shocks to stun
fish before scooping them up in nets.
2019 Feb 13, The European
Parliament approved a free trade deal with Singapore that the
European Union hopes to use as a blueprint for further deals in
southeast Asia. It will become operational after the member states
give their final approval.
2019 Feb 14, European plane
maker Airbus said it will stop making its superjumbo A380 in 2021
for lack of customers, abandoning the world's biggest passenger jet
and one of the aviation industry's most ambitious and most troubled
2019 Feb 19, The European Union
reached a tentative agreement on the first specific EU standards for
trucks, seeking to get polluting CO2 levels down.
2019 Feb 19, A delegation of US
lawmakers sought to reassure European allies in Brussels that
differences over President Donald Trump's policies were mere "family
squabbles" and transatlantic ties remain strong.
2019 Feb 19, Hungary launched a
new anti-immigration media campaign in which it accused George Soros
and EU Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker of allegedly supporting
illegal migration. Brussels immediately this dismissed as "fake
2019 Feb 25, The European Union
opened the door to Britain postponing its exit from the 28-nation
bloc beyond the March 29 deadline, saying it would be a "rational
solution" given the political crisis in the UK.
2019 Feb 26, The European
Union's top court overturned Latvia's decision to suspend Ilmars
Rimsevics, a member of the European Central Bank, while he is
investigated for alleged bribery in a scandal that has shaken the
2019 Feb 26, The European
Union's top court ruled that the EU organic food logo cannot be used
on meat derived from animals that have been slaughtered in
accordance with religious rites without first being stunned.
2019 Feb 26, The Hungarian
government stepped up its campaign against the leadership of the
European Union, repeating its accusations that the EU seeks to
promote mass immigration into the continent.
2019 Feb 26, Turkey criticized
European Union leaders for attending a summit hosted by Egyptian
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi days after nine men were executed for
killing Egypt's chief prosecutor.
2019 Feb 27, The EU expressed
concern about Italy's debt levels and warned the government in Rome
to push through measures to shore up the public finances.
2019 Feb 27, A European
Parliament committee picked Romanian prosecutor Laura Codruta Kovesi
to head a new prosecutor's office fighting fraud, despite fierce
opposition from her own government.
2019 Mar 2, The European
Parliament called on Kosovo to suspend a 100-percent tariff on Serb
goods to help restart reconciliation talks.
2019 Mar 7, The 28 member
states of the European Union all backed a decision on to reject a
proposal from the EU executive to add Saudi Arabia to a blacklist of
countries suspected of being lax on terrorist financing and money
laundering. The decision will force the European Commission to
prepare a new list.
2019 Mar 11, A new study,
published in the European Heart Journal, said air pollution causes
790,000 premature deaths every year in Europe and 8.8 million
worldwide, doubling recent assessments.
2019 Mar 12, European Union
governments adopted a broadened blacklist of tax havens, adding the
United Arab Emirates and British and Dutch overseas territories in a
revamp that tripled the number of listed jurisdictions. The new list
added Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, Barbados, Belize, the British
overseas territory of Bermuda, Fiji, the Marshall Islands, Oman, the
United Arab Emirates, Vanuatu and Dominica. The EU blacklist
originally comprised 17 jurisdictions, including the UAE, but shrank
to five after most listed states committed to change their tax
2019 Mar 12, EU lawmakers voted
to lift the immunity of Jean-Marie Le Pen, founder of the far-right
National Front, so France can investigate claims he improperly spent
2019 Mar 15, The EU imposed
sanctions on eight more Russian officials that it says were involved
in the seizure by Russia of Ukrainian ships and crew in November.
2019 Mar 16, Russia said it
will respond to new European Union sanctions, without saying what
action it would take.
2019 Mar 18, The European Union
and NATO condemned Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimean
Peninsula five years after Moscow declared the region Russian
2019 Mar 20, European Union
regulators fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for
abusing its dominant role in online advertising, the third big
antitrust penalty they've given the internet giant since 2017.
2019 Mar 21, EU leaders told
British PM Theresa May she can have two months to organize an
orderly Brexit. More than one million people have rushed to sign a
petition on the British parliament's website calling for the
government to revoke its divorce notice to the European Union and
remain in the bloc. Backers of Brexit said the petition needed to
attract more signatures than the 17.4 million people who voted to
leave the EU three years ago before anyone should take any notice.
2019 Mar 21, Wikipedia's
German-language page was blacked out in protest of a proposal to
change European Union copyright rules.
2019 Mar 22, The European Union
underlined it does not recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Golan
Heights after US President Donald Trump moved to do so for the
territory viewed by European allies as occupied.
2019 Mar 22, The EU rejected PM
May's request to extend the Brexit deadline until June 30. Leaders
agreed to extend the date until May 22, on the eve of EU elections,
if she can persuade the British Parliament to endorse her deal.
Failing that she would have until April 12 to choose a new path.
(SFC, 3/23/19, p.A3)
2019 Mar 25, The EU announced
it has completed its preparations for Britain crashing out of the
bloc without a divorce accord, as fears of a chaotic "no-deal"
2019 Mar 26, The European
Commission ignored US calls to ban Chinese tech supplier Huawei as
it announced a series of new cybersecurity recommendations for
next-generation mobile networks.
2019 Mar 26, The European
Parliament adopted copyright reforms championed by news publishers
and the media business, in defiance of the tech giants that lobbied
2019 Mar 27, The EU said it
will suspend ship patrols that have rescued tens of thousands of
migrants in the Mediterranean and brought them to Italy, amid deep
resistance by populist-led Rome. The rescues were part of the EU's
Operation Sophia which diplomats have decided to extend by six
months beyond its March 31 expiry date, but without new ship
2019 Mar 29, The European
Commission said a no-deal Brexit on April 12 was now "likely" after
UK parliament rejected for the third time British PM Theresa May's
divorce deal with the European Union.
2019 Mar 29, European Union
countries decided to extend the mandate of a naval mission hunting
smugglers in the Mediterranean Sea, but took the unusual step of
restricting the operation by refusing to allow it to deploy any
ships, in an effort to ease tensions with Italy's anti-migrant
2019 Mar 29, The European
Commission criticized Romania for backsliding on the rule of law and
called on Bucharest to treat fairly Laura Kovesi, a candidate to
become the bloc's first-ever chief prosecutor.
2019 Apr 3, The EU launched
legal action against Poland that alleges recent justice laws
undermine the independence of the country's judges and comes amid
concern the rule of law is being increasingly abused around the
2019 Apr 4, The European
parliament approved a text permitting Britons visa-free visits to
the EU even in the event of a "no deal" Brexit. Spain claimed
victory in an argument with Britain over the status of Gibraltar,
after the European Parliament passed a law that referred to the
peninsula as a "colony of the British Crown".
(AP, 4/4/19)(Reuters, 4/4/19)
2019 Apr 4, The EU condemned a
decision to strip Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido of
immunity from prosecution, calling it a "serious violation" of the
constitution that undermined the chances of a peaceful solution to
the country's crisis.
2019 Apr 5, European Union
authorities said that German automakers BMW, Daimler and VW colluded
to limit the development of emissions-cleaning technology in cars.
2019 Apr 9, In Brussels Chinese
Premier Li Keqiang promised his European Union hosts, at the annual
EU-China leaders meeting, that Beijing will no longer force foreign
companies to share sensitive know-how when operating in China and
was ready to address industrial subsidies.
2019 Apr 9, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that Russia violated the rights of Russian
opposition leader Alexei Navalny by placing him under house arrest
in 2014 and imposing other restrictive measures on him.
2019 Apr 9, President Donald
Trump said he'll put tariffs on $11 billion worth European Union
cheese, wine and other goods to retaliate for what Washington says
are improper subsidies to Airbus.
2019 Apr 10, The European Union
agreed to delay Brexit by up to six months to Oct. 31 while PM
Theresa May seeks an agreement with Labour that she hopes will help
get her three-times rejected exit deal approved by parliament.
2019 Apr 15, European Union
countries overruled France and gave the green light for Brussels to
open trade talks with Washington as soon as possible and defuse
2019 Apr 17, The European Union
and Canada said they are joining forces to protect their companies
after the US opened the door for lawsuits against foreign firms
operating on properties Cuba seized from Americans.
2019 Apr 26, In Brussels
thousands of trade union members protested outside EU headquarters
to demand better working conditions and protections for employees
after next month's EU-wide elections.
2019 Apr 29, The European Union
said it is prolonging by a year an embargo on any arms that could be
used in security crackdowns in Myanmar as well as sanctions against
14 top military and border officials.
2019 May 8, The European
Union's police agency said it has helped police in Spain break up an
international gang suspected of offering modern money laundering
services to other criminal organizations.
2019 May 9, EU leaders, minus
Britain, meeting in Sibiu, Romania, committed to stick together
"through thick and thin" to remain a key player in the world despite
myriad problems facing the bloc.
2019 May 13, European Union
anti-trust regulators said they are fining AB Inbev, the world's
biggest brewer, more than 200 million euros ($225 million) for
abusing its dominant position in the Belgian beer market.
2019 May 14, Mali urged the
European Union to step up support for Africa's Sahel countries amid
a series of extremist attacks, as France mourned two officers killed
during a hostage rescue mission in the region.
2019 May 17, The Council of
Europe adopted a declaration that allows Russia to start voting
again at the continent's main human rights body following a spat
related to its annexation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine in
2019 May 17, The European Union
said it is prolonging sanctions against the Syrian regime of
President Bashar Assad for a year due to its continued crackdown
against civilians in the war-ravaged country.
2019 May 17, The EU said it
will directly penalize computer hackers after governments agreed a
new mechanism to target individuals anywhere in the world, freezing
their assets in the bloc and banning them from entry.
2019 May 19, In Europe tens of
thousands of demonstrators opposed to right-wing populism and
nationalism took to the streets in a number of cities before May
23-26 elections to the European Parliament. In Germany organizers
reported 20,000 protesters in Berlin; police estimated 10,000 in
Munich, 14,000 in Frankfurt, and 10,000 in Hamburg.
2019 May 21, Teams of the
European Border and Coast Guard Agency, or Frontex, began joining
Albania's police to patrol its land and sea borders for migrants and
crime for the first time.
2019 May 23, Britain and the
Netherlands kicked off four days of phased voting for the 28 members
states of the European Parliament.
2019 May 23, The European
Parliament predicted that nationalist, populist and anti-migrant
groups will make significant gains in the May 23-26 EU elections but
said it thinks mainstream parties will keep control over the
2019 May 24, Irish voters cast
ballots as part of phased EU-wide elections after a campaign
dominated by concerns over neighboring Britain's messy bid to leave
2019 May 26, The turnout for
this year's pivotal EU election was nearing 51% for 27 nations,
according to preliminary figures. The figure excluded Britain. Green
parties in Germany, France, Britain and elsewhere celebrated big
gains in elections for the 751-seat European Parliament amid growing
voter concerns over climate change, expressed in large-scale student
protests over recent months.
2019 May 28, The European Union
named Spanish-Uruguayan former banker and diplomat Enrique Iglesias
as its point man to help end the crisis in Venezuela, part of an
intensification of diplomatic efforts to seek new elections.
2019 May 31, It was reported
that the European Commission has determined that Czech PM Andrej
Babis is in conflict of interest because of his business empire
placed in trust funds, and the country may lose some EU funding as a
2019 Jun 5, The European
Commission formally put Italy on notice about its deteriorating
deficit and snowballing debt, re-opening a political battle with
2019 Jun 9, Boris Johnson, the
leading candidate to succeed Theresa May as Britain's prime
minister, said he would withhold an already agreed 39-billion-pound
($49.6 billion) Brexit payment until the European Union gives
Britain better withdrawal terms.
2019 Jun 13, France's Marine Le
Pen unveiled a new far-right group, the Identity and Democracy (ID)
group, in the European Parliament, uniting eurosceptics from across
the continent who aim to devolve power from Brussels back to
2019 Jun 13, The Slovak capital
Bratislava won the right to host a new European Union agency to
oversee the labor market that is due to start operating this autumn.
2019 Jun 14, EU finance
ministers agreed on the broad outlines of a eurozone budget early
today, a key reform pushed by Paris that was scaled back amid deep
resistance from the Netherlands.
2019 Jun 14, EU officials said
that "Russian sources" stepped up a long-running disinformation
campaign against the European Union in a bid to undermine the bloc's
elections last month.
2019 Jun 14, The EU sealed a
deal to end a long-running row with Washington over US beef imports,
with hopes that the agreement can ease transatlantic trade tensions.
2019 Jun 14, Europol issued a
report, "Women in Islamic State Propaganda," saying "female jihadis
are as ideologically motivated as their male counterparts and their
sense of empowerment lies in contributing to the building of an
2019 Jun 18, The EU's highest
court (ECJ) ruled that a planned German highway toll for cars
discriminates against foreign drivers and breaches European Union
law, forcing Berlin to rethink how to charge road users.
2019 Jun 18, Greek PM Alexis
Tsipras demanded that the European Union issue a reprimand to Turkey
for its "illegal" gas exploration in Cyprus, after Ankara defied
calls for it to cease drilling in the region.
2019 Jun 19, Dacian Ciolos
(49), a former Romanian prime minister (2015-2016), was elected the
first leader of Renew Europe, the new centrist force that includes
French President Emmanuel Macron's La Republique en Marche party,
inside the European Parliament.
2019 Jun 20, An advocate
general for the EU's top court said Poland's new rules that lower
the retirement age for judges, introduced in 2017, break European
2019 Jun 24, The European
Union's highest court ruled that Poland's lowering of the retirement
age for its supreme court judges was against EU law, in a blow to
the Polish eurosceptic government.
2019 Jun 25, The Council of
Europe voted 118-62 to readmit Russia early today, five years after
suspension over Crimea. The decision was supported by France and
Germany as a way of keeping communication open at a time of
2019 Jun 25, Ukraine expressed
anger at its Western partners after lawmakers at the Council of
Europe agreed to allow Russian representatives back following a five
year absence prompted by Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
2019 Jun 27, The European Union
called on Italy to help find a swift resolution for the migrants
aboard the charity ship Sea-Watch, which entered Italian waters in
defiance of a ban from Rome.
2019 Jun 27, Europeans braced
for the expected peak of a sweltering heatwave that has sent
temperatures soaring above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit), with
schools in France closing and wildfires in Spain spinning out of
2019 Jun 28, The EU signed a
historic trade agreement with the four-nation South American bloc
known as Mercosur. The agreement creates a market of 780 million
people with the EU.
2019 Jun 28, The temperature in
France surpassed 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit) for the
first time on record as Europe sweltered in an early summer
heatwave. At least two deaths linked to the heatwave were reported
2019 Jun 30, Vietnam and the
European Union signed a free trade agreement in Hanoi, opening
opportunities to further boost trade between the euro bloc and one
of Southeast Asia's biggest manufacturing nations.
2019 Jul 2, The European
Parliament began its first session of the new term, short of three
Catalan members who were barred from joining, as hundreds wearing
the Catalan flag protested against their exclusion outside the
building in Strasbourg.
2019 Jul 2, France said it was
"not ready" to ratify a huge trade deal agreed by the European Union
and the four South American countries of Mercosur (Argentina,
Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay), as farmers and environmentalists step
up their resistance to the accord.
2019 Jul 2, German Defense
Minister Ursula von der Leyen emerged as the surprise candidate to
lead the European Union's executive Commission. David-Maria Sassoli,
an Italian member of the Socialists & Democrats bloc, was
elected as the next president of the European parliament after two
rounds of voting in the Strasbourg-based legislature.
2019 Jul 9, European powers
urged Iran to reverse its move to increase uranium enrichment, as a
French envoy was due in Tehran to boost efforts to save a landmark
2015 nuclear deal.
2019 Jul 13, The European
Union's foreign policy chief said the EU is fully supportive of an
Iraqi proposal to hold a regional conference amid rising tensions
between the US and Iran.
2019 Jul 15, European Union
nations threw their diplomatic weight behind the unraveling Iran
nuclear deal, trying to rescue the pact from collapsing under US
2019 Jul 15, The EU imposed
sanctions on Turkey over its drilling for gas in waters around
(Econ, 7/27/19, p.46)
2019 Jul 15, German Defense
Minister Ursula von der Leyen (60) said she is resigning from
Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet to focus on becoming the next
head of the European Commission, the top job in the European Union.
2019 Jul 16, The European
Parliament voted 383-327 to confirm Ursula von der Leyen as the new
president of the European Commission.
(SFC, 7/17/19, p.A2)
2019 Jul 17, The European Union
gave Poland's government two months to reverse new disciplinary
regulations the bloc says undermine the independence of the
2019 Jul 17, Amazon became the
target of an antitrust investigation by the European Union over its
use of merchants' data, underlining regulators' increasing focus on
how tech companies exploit customer information.
2019 Jul 23, France's
parliament approved the EU-Canada trade agreement with a relatively
small majority, meaning that a significant part of President
Emmanuel Macron's party voted against it. France became the 14th EU
country to approve CETA, which provisionally took effect from
September 2017, but still needs to be approved by all 28 EU member
2019 Jul 24, Northern Europe
baked in record temperatures during another heatwave that climate
experts believe could become the new normal.
2019 Jul 25, The European Union
flatly rejected an aggressive push by Britain's new prime minister
Boris Johnson to rewrite the Brexit agreement.
2019 Jul 26, The European
Central Bank said it and 21 national central banks in Europe are
letting an agreement regulating gold sales expire, saying the deal
struck two decades ago to stabilize the market for the precious
metal is no longer needed. The fourth Central Bank Gold Agreement
would not be renewed when it expires Sept. 26.
2019 Jul 26, Europe's drug
regulator recommended approving Bayer's Vitrakvi, putting the
medicine on track to become the first in Europe to tackle tumors
with a specific genetic mutation regardless of where in the body the
disease started. The drug is being recommended for adults and
children with difficult to treat forms of cancer that are driven by
a rare genetic mutation known as NTRK gene fusion.
2019 Jul 28, Representatives
from Europe, China and Russia, which are still committed to the Iran
nuclear deal, met with Iran's representative in Vienna to discuss
how to salvage the unraveling accord.
2019 Aug 20, The EU rejected
British PM Boris Johnson's demand to scrap the Irish border backstop
plan to achieve a Brexit deal, saying he had offered no workable
2019 Aug 21, The European Union
took a stance against “killer robots" when the European Parliament
passed a resolution calling for an international ban on the
development, production and use of weapons that kill without a human
deciding to fire. A Dutch report this week said Amazon, Microsoft
and Intel are among leading tech companies putting the world at risk
through killer robot development.
2019 Aug 25, A British official
said Pm Boris Johnson has told European Council President Donald
Tusk that Britain would be leaving the EU on Oct. 31 whatever the
circumstances. PM Boris Johnson said that if Britain leaves the EU
without a deal, it will no longer legally owe the 39 billion pound
($47.88 billion) divorce bill agreed by his predecessor Theresa May.
Johnson has said Britain would pay less than 10 billion pounds of
the settlement if it leaves without a deal.
2019 Aug 29, The European Union
said it has extended for a further five years anti-dumping duties on
Chinese bicycles, after concluding that any lifting of measures
would lead to a flood of imports.
2019 Aug 30, EU foreign
ministers urged Serbia not to stray from its EU membership path as
the Balkans country readies to sign a trade agreement with a
Russian-led economic bloc.
2019 Sep 4, The EU said it
currently sees no alternative to the so-called "Irish backstop" in a
Brexit withdrawal deal and warned the risk of Britain crashing out
without an agreement has increased.
2019 Sep 5, European Union
officials announced the set up a common counter-terrorism register,
hoping to facilitate prosecutions and convictions of suspected
militants and people returning home from fighting with Islamic State
in Iraq and Syria.
2019 Sep 10, Incoming European
Commission Pres. Ursula Von Der Leyen named Margrethe Vestager as
European competition commissioner tasked with making Europe fit for
the digital age for the 2019-2024 period, giving her an
unprecedented 2nd term in the influential position.
2019 Sep 10, The European Union
said limits on Gazprom's access to the Opal gas pipeline will apply
after Europe's top court rejected a later decision that lifted curbs
on flows via Opal from Russia's Nord Stream pipeline to Germany.
2019 Sep 11, The Association of
European Carmakers (ACEA) said a no-deal Brexit should be avoided at
all costs as it would hurt the automotive industry.
2019 Sep 12, The European
Central Bank delivered a new blast of monetary stimulus to help the
shaky economy in the face of uncertainties like the US-China trade
conflict and Brexit.
2019 Sep 24, The Court of
Justice of the European Union ruled that Google will not have to
apply Europe's "right to be forgotten" law globally in a landmark
case that has pitted personal privacy rights against freedom of
2019 Sep 26, It was reported
that the United States has been granted approval to impose tariffs
on European Union goods with an annual trade value around $7.5
billion over illegal government support for European plane maker
2019 Sep 27, The EU slapped
sanctions on seven members of Venezuela's security and intelligence
services on suspicion that they are involved in torture and other
abuses, as the UN's top rights body set up a fact-finding missions
to look into human rights violations in the country.
2019 Sep 27, The International
Union for the Conservation of Nature said that more than half of the
European tree species that exist nowhere else in the world are
threatened with extinction.
2019 Oct 2, The United States
won approval to impose tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European
goods over illegal EU subsidies handed to Airbus, threatening to
trigger a tit-for-tat transatlantic trade war as the global economy
falters. Tariffs were set to begin on Oct. 18.
(Reuters, 10/2/19)(SFC, 10/3/19, p.D1)
2019 Oct 9, Italy reacted
angrily to a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights that it
should relax conditions for prisoners serving life sentences,
including mafia gangsters and terrorists.
(The Telegraph, 10/9/19)
2019 Oct 10, The European Union
says that the Turkish offensive in Kurdish-held areas of Syria is
setting back any hope for progress toward ending the conflict.
2019 Oct 11, EU governments
threatened sanctions against Turkey over its offensive in Syria,
angrily rejecting President Tayyip Erdogan's warning that he would
"open the gates" and send 3.6 million refugees to Europe if they did
not back him.
2019 Oct 17, Britain and the
European Union reached a new divorce deal that could allow Brexit on
October 31, but faced immediate opposition among MPs in London --
who can still block it. British lawmakers approved the government's
plan to hold a special sitting of parliament Oct. 19 to vote on PM
Boris Johnson's Brexit deal.
(AFP, 10/17/19)(Reuters, 10/17/19)
2019 Oct 19, The European
Commission said Britain must inform the EU executive of its next
steps as soon as possible after parliament voted to postpone a key
vote on a Brexit deal.
2019 Oct 19, British PM Boris
Johnson sent an unsigned letter to the European Union requesting a
delay to Brexit but he also sent another message in which he stated
he did not want the extension. Johnson was compelled by a law,
passed by opponents last month, to ask the bloc for an extension to
the current Brexit deadline of Oct. 31 until Jan. 31 after lawmakers
thwarted his attempt to pass his EU divorce deal earlier today.
2019 Oct 22, The European
Commission said that its Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier will head
a new team to guide future relations with Britain after it leaves
2019 Oct 22, The European
Commission recommended that Croatia joins the border-free Schengen
area, more than four years after the Balkan country applied for
2019 Oct 22, European Council
President Donald Tusk said he will recommend EU leaders grant
another Brexit extension, hours after British MPs rejected PM Boris
Johnson's bid to force his divorce deal through parliament this
2019 Oct 24, The European
Parliament awarded its annual prize for the defence of human rights
to jailed ethnic Uighur economics professor Ilham Tohti, angering
Beijing which called him a criminal and a terrorist. Uighur rights
advocate Tohti was jailed for life in China in 2014 on separatism
charges that were widely denounced at the time in Western capitals.
2019 Oct 25, EU ambassadors
agreed in principle to delay Brexit, but set no new date.
2019 Oct 28, EU members agreed
to postpone Brexit for up to three months, stepping in with a
decision less than 90 hours before Britain was due to crash out with
no divorce deal.
2019 Oct 29, European Union
lawmakers began the first visit by a foreign delegation to Indian
Kashmir since New Delhi revoked the region's autonomy in August, and
stone-throwing protests resumed after a weeks-long lull.
2019 Oct 31, The European
Medicines Agency (EMA) said Pfizer Inc's rheumatoid arthritis drug
Xeljanz could increase the risk of blood clots in the lungs and in
2019 Nov 4, The European Union
criticized Israel's approval of plans to build over 2,000 new homes
in West Bank settlements.
2019 Nov 7, The EU's top court
annulled a decision from the European Parliament that demanded a
political group linked to the British party UKIP reimburse tens of
thousands in EU funds.
2019 Nov 7, Turkey's President
Tayyip Erdogan said his country will have to open the doors to
Europe for Syrian refugees unless the European Union provides Ankara
with enough support, adding that Turkey could not carry that burden
2019 Nov 11, The EU extended
sanctions against Venezuela for a year due to the political and
economic crisis that it blames on he government of Pres. Nicolas
(SFC, 11/12/19, p.A2)
2019 Nov 11, Hungary accepted a
penalty for poorly managing funds it receives from the EU that could
cost Budapest more than 500 billion forints ($1.65 billion) in
funding. Hungary agreed to a 10% reduction in the EU funds deemed by
the European Parliament's Budget Control Committee to have been
mismanaged in the current 2014-2020 EU budget period.
2019 Nov 12, The EU's top court
(ECJ) ruled that goods from Israeli settlements must be labelled as
produced in occupied territory, a decision hailed by Palestinians
and condemned by Israel, which said it would try to persuade
countries to ignore it.
2019 Nov 19, The European
Union's top court ruled that there are reasons to question the
independence of a new judicial chamber in Poland that monitors and
potentially punishes judges. However, the European Court of Justice
(ECJ) left it to Poland’s highest court to determine whether the new
Disciplinary Chamber is independent of influence from the nations’
legislative and executive powers.
2019 Nov 26, The EU’s
anti-drugs agency said Europeans spent at least 11.6 billion euros
($12.7 billion) in 2017 on illegal cannabis purchases, confirming
marijuana as the largest drugs market in the 28-country European
2019 Nov 28, European Union
lawmakers declared a "climate emergency" in a symbolic vote that
heightens pressure for action against global warming at an upcoming
2019 Nov 28, European Union
lawmakers approved an increase in US beef imports to the EU, a move
likely to ease transatlantic tensions.
2019 Dec 4, The European
Environment Agency warned that Europe faces extreme heat waves every
two years over the coming decades as the effects of climate change
drive up global temperatures. The EU also said that it will likely
miss its target for reducing greenhouse gases by 2030.
(The Telegraph, 12/4/19)(SFC, 12/5/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 6, Kosovo's Pres.
Hashim Thaci accused the European Union maintaining double standards
for blocking a visa-free travel deal with his country but opening
new chapters in Serbia's integration process despite its affiliation
2019 Dec 9, A consortium of 19
hydropower companies and organizations said it will receive European
Union funding of 18 million euros ($20 million) to research the
green energy form's role, as the 28-member bloc seeks to become
carbon neutral by 2050.
2019 Dec 11, Europe sought to
bolster the world's faltering battle against climate change with its
"Green Deal" to slash fossil fuel dependence, while teen activist
Greta Thunberg rebuked global leaders for dragging their feet.
2019 Dec 12, The European
Parliament told EU leaders that Malta's PM Joseph Muscat should
resign immediately to avoid risks of political interference with the
investigation into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.
2019 Dec 13, EU leaders broke a
deadlock and claimed a deal over a key climate target by committing
to achieve neutrality by 2050.
(SFC, 12/14/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 18, A European
spacecraft was launched from Kourou, French Guiana, atop a Russian
Soyuz rocket. The 3-year mission of Characterising ExoPlanets
Satellite (CHEOPS) is to study planets in other solar systems.
(SFC, 12/19/19, p.A2)
2019 Dec 19, The EU’s top court
ruled that Oriol Junqueras, one of nine pro-independence leaders
jailed in Spain, is entitled to parliamentary immunity because he
was elected as an MEP in May.
(The Telegraph, 12/19/19)
2020 Jan 13, In France Catalan
leader Carles Puigdemont took his seat as a member of the European
Parliament in Strasbourg despite facing an arrest warrant against
him in Spain.
2020 Jan 14, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that that a Russian trial judge’s refusal to
“allow the defense to examine prosecution and defense witnesses and
to submit important expert or exculpatory evidence" violated Mikhail
Khodorkovsky’s rights and those of his former business partner
Platon Lebedev during their second trial in 2009 and 2010. The
Russian businessman had spent nearly a decade in prison in Russia on
what he said were politically motivated charges by the Kremlin.
2020 Jan 16, Iran accused
European governments of sacrificing a troubled 2015 nuclear deal to
avoid trade reprisals from US President Donald Trump who has spent
nearly two years trying to scupper it. Pres. Hassan Rouhani declared
that his country is now enriching more uranium than it was before
agreeing to a nuclear accord with world powers in 2015.
(AFP, 1/16/20)(The Telegraph, 1/16/20)
2020 Jan 17, The head of the
European Union’s border agency said the number of migrants entering
Europe from Turkey rose significantly last year as people fleeing
strife in Syria and Afghanistan flooded into the country and then
set out for Greece.
2020 Jan 21, European Union
lawmakers backed measures to clamp down on abuse of EU pet passports
by criminals and gangs that illegally trade cats and dogs.
2020 Jan 28, The European Union
added seven Russian-backed officials in Crimea to its sanctions
blacklist for organizing local elections in the peninsula last year.
2020 Jan 30, Brexit cleared its
final formal hurdle as the 27 European Union member states that
Britain will leave behind approved the withdrawal agreement reached
last October after more than three years of tortuous negotiations.
2020 Jan 31, The United Kingdom
left the European Union with a mixture of joy, anger and
indifference, casting off into the unknown in one of the biggest
blows yet to Europe's attempt to forge unity from the ruins of World
2020 Jan 31, It was reported
that British PM Boris Johnson is preparing to impose full customs
and border checks on all European goods entering the UK after
Brexit, in an attempt to ramp up pressure on the bloc in trade
talks. Thousands of pro-Brexit supporters in central London erupted
in cheers, sent balloons into the sky and sang "Rule Britannia", as
Britain left the European Union.
(Reuters, 2/1/20)(AFP, 2/1/20)
2020 Feb 2, The UK’s departure
from the European Union this weekend led to a reallocation of 27 of
the country’s 73 seats in the EU assembly among 14 member nations.
2020 Feb 3, Britain and the EU
laid down their red lines for post-Brexit trade talks, offering
contrasting visions for their future relationship that raise the
prospect of clashes to come.
2020 Feb 4, The EU rejected US
President Donald Trump’s proposal for securing peace in the Middle
East and expressed concern about Israel’s plans to annex more
2020 Feb 9, Storm Ciara
battered the UK and northern Europe with hurricane-force winds and
heavy rains, halting flights and trains and producing heaving seas
that closed down ports.
2020 Feb 10, A storm battered
Europe with hurricane-force winds and heavy rains, killing at least
six people and causing severe travel disruptions as it moved
eastward across the continent and bore down on Germany.
2020 Feb 12, The European Union
and the United States urged Georgia to reinforce democracy after
opposition leader Gigi Ugulava was jailed for a second time in a
case activists say is politically motivated.
2020 Feb 14, European Union
governments were presented with a compromise over the bloc’s budget
for the next seven years, which is unlikely to satisfy any of the
warring camps and sets the stage for a clash between poorer and
richer member states on Feb. 20. EU Council President Charles Michel
proposed that governments commit 1.095 trillion euros ($1.2
trillion) to a joint pot for the period between 2021 and 2027.
2020 Feb 15, European aerospace
group Airbus said it deeply regretted the US decision to increase
tariffs on aircraft imported from the European Union and said it
would hurt US airlines and their customers.
2020 Feb 17, The European Union
agreed to deploy warships to enforce an arms embargo on Libya in a
move that underscores the increasing importance the bloc places on
geopolitics as it seeks to defuse the conflict ravaging a major
African oil producer.
2020 Feb 28, Refugees in Turkey
headed towards European frontiers after an official declared that
borders had been thrown open, a response to the escalating war in
2020 Feb 29, Turkey's President
Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his country's borders with Europe were
open, making good on a longstanding threat to let refugees into the
continent as thousands of migrants gathered at the frontier with
2020 Mar 2, The EU's executive
said Albania and North Macedonia have done enough to merit starting
negotiations to join the European Union.
2020 Mar 2, EU Health
Commissioner Stella Kyriakides said: "As of this morning, we have
2,100 confirmed cases in 18 EU member states and we have 38 citizens
who have lost their lives".
2020 Mar 4, The European
Commission unveiled plans for its first climate law, which will act
as the basis for the EU's aim to make the 27-country bloc climate
neutral by 2050.
(SFC, 3/5/20, p.A2)
2020 Mar 5, The EU's highest
court said changes by Hungary to its law on higher education, which
effectively forced a university founded by George Soros to leave the
country, were not in line with EU law.
(SFC, 3/6/20, p.A2)
2020 Mar 6, Clashes between
Greek riot police and migrants attempting to cross the border from
Turkey erupted anew as European Union foreign ministers took aim at
what they called “Turkey's use of migratory pressure for political
2020 Mar 9, An EU spokeswoman
said a first case of coronavirus has been detected among staff at
the European Commission.
2020 Mar 17, European Union
leaders agreed to restrict most travel into the continent in an
unprecedented move aimed at slowing down the spread of a deadly
coronavirus and mitigating its effects on the bloc. Europe logged
10,560 new COVID-19 infections, with 3,590 of the cases diagnosed in
(Bloomberg, 3/17/20)(Business Insider, 3/17/20)
2020 Mar 18, The EU banned
nonessential travel from the rest of the world into 26 member
nations for 30 days due to the coronavirus pandemic.
(NY Times, 3/18/20)
2020 Mar 19, EU analysis said
Russian state media and news outlets supporting President Vladimir
Putin are waging a fake news campaign aimed at undermining public
confidence in the ability of European health care systems to cope
with the coronavirus.
2020 Mar 23, The European Union
said it will send 20 million euros in humanitarian aid to Iran,
which is subject to US sanctions, to help alleviate the coronavirus,
and will also support Tehran's request for IMF financial help.
2020 Mar 24, European affairs
ministers agreed to allow Albania and North Macedonia to begin EU
(SFC, 3/25/20, p.A3)
2020 Mar 26, European Union
diplomats said the EU will launch a new Mediterranean naval and air
mission in April to stop more arms reach warring factions in Libya,
with Greece agreeing to take in any migrants rescued at sea. The new
mission, named Irini, will replace the EU's current military
mission, known as Operation Sophia.
2020 Mar 27, China, the
European Union and 14 other World Trade Organization members
(Australia, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala,
Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, Switzerland and Uruguay)
agreed on a temporary mechanism to resolve trade disputes after US
action rendered the WTO incapable of acting as the arbiter of global
2020 Mar 30, The European
Commission said that EU countries should allow the hundreds of
thousands of seasonal migrant workers who plant or harvest crops to
cross borders despite national measures to contain the coronavirus.
2020 Mar 30, The European
Commission authorized France's scheme to support small companies and
self-employed people affected by the economic crisis caused by the
2020 Mar 31, European nations
deliver medical goods to Iran in the first transaction under the
Instex mechanism set up in January 2019 to bypass United States
sanctions on Tehran.
2020 Mar 31, The EU announced
the launch of a new naval mission in the Mediterranean Sea aimed at
enforcing the UN arms embargo on Libya.
(SFC, 4/1/20, p.A2)
2020 Apr 1, The EU launched a
naval operation dubbed Irini, the Greek word for “peace," in the
Mediterranean as its tries to enforce a UN arms embargo on
conflict-torn Libya. Turkey was not entirely helpful to the EU
operation. Irini had only two ships and three planes and needs more.
2020 Apr 1, The European
Commission said laboratories across Europe can now access control
material to enable them to avoid mistakenly telling people they are
free of the coronavirus when in fact they are infected.
2020 Apr 4, The European
Commission over the last 24 hours approved a series of
multi-billion-euro state support packages for Greece, Poland and
Portugal to help soften the economic impact of the coronavirus
through grants and loan guarantees.
2020 Apr 7, European Union
countries adopted new rules for truck drivers' working conditions,
despite several countries calling for the reforms to be halted to
help support vulnerable transport firms amid the fallout of the
2020 Apr 7, The European
Commission imposed provisional anti-dumping duties on some stainless
steel products from China, Indonesia and Taiwan, nearly eight months
after launching a probe into low-price imports.
2020 Apr 8, The European Court
of Justice ordered Poland's government to immediately suspend a new
body set up to discipline judges, saying the chamber did not
guarantee independence of impartiality of its verdicts.
(SFC, 4/9/20, p.A2)
2020 Apr 9, European Union
finance ministers agreed on a 540 billion-euro ($590 billion)
package of measures to combat the economic fallout of the
coronavirus pandemic, papering over differences that have thrown
into question the EU’s future integrity.
2020 Apr 10, The European Union
said it has approved a 527 million zloty (115 million euro) scheme
by the Polish government to support its economy during the
2020 Apr 10, Bulgaria's PM
Boyko Borissov said his country will apply to join the euro single
currency zone's "waiting room" by the end of April. Borissov said he
was convinced Bulgaria, along with Croatia, will be allowed to join.
2020 Apr 15, The European
Commission rushed out its road map for EU members to coordinate an
exit from coronavirus lockdowns. A few months time and large-scale
testing was expected.
(SFC, 4/16/20, p.A4)
2020 Apr 29, The European
Commission approved a 5 billion euro ($5.4 billion) loan guarantee
to carmaker Renault group to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus
2020 May 1, The European
Investment Bank (EIB) said it would boost its cooperation with the
World Health Organization (WHO) as it seeks to fight the COVID-19
pandemic around the world, in particular in vulnerable African
2020 May 6, The European Union
predicted “a recession of historic proportions this year" due to the
impact of the coronavirus as it released its first official
estimates of the damage the pandemic is inflicting on the bloc’s
2020 May 14, The European
Commission said it has suspended the delivery of 10 million Chinese
masks it purchased for health workers after two countries complained
about the poor quality of the batches they received.
2020 May 15, A regional health
body said the new life-threatening inflammatory syndrome associated
with COVID-19 has affected 230 children in Europe and killed two so
far this year.
2020 May 19, Tedros Adhanom
Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, welcomed a European Union (EU)
resolution, adopted by consensus by WHO's 194 member states, that
calls for an independent evaluation of the international response to
the coronavirus, "including, but not limited to, WHO’s performance".
2020 May 26, The EU ended its
controls on the export of coronavirus protective equipment after
concluding that supplies for European medical and other workers were
2020 May 28, The European Union
prolonged for another year its sanctions against Syrian President
Bashar Assad and other top political officials, military officers
and business people over the regime's continued crackdown on
civilians in the conflict-torn country.
2020 May 29, The European
health regulator said healthcare professionals should closely
monitor COVID-19 patients receiving malaria drug hydroxychloroquine
for serious side effects, stressing the need for in-depth clinical
data on benefits and risks.
2020 May 29, A panel of the
European health regulator recommended approving Johnson &
Johnson's two-dose experimental vaccine for Ebola in the European
2020 May 29, India-based
drugmaker Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd said it has received
Indian regulatory approval to start clinical trials of a
pancreatitis drug in COVID-19 patients.
2020 May 30, The western
European parties to the landmark nuclear deal with Iran criticized a
US decision to end nearly all of the last vestiges of sanctions
relief provided under the 2015 pact.
2020 Jun 4, The European
Central Bank approved a bigger-than-expected expansion of its
stimulus package to prop up an economy plunged by the coronavirus
pandemic into its worst recession since World War Two.
2020 Jun 5, Brussels and London
pledged to step up the pace of Brexit trade talks to try to strike a
deal by the end of October, after the latest round of negotiations
ended with no major breakthrough. David Frost, Britain's chief
Brexit negotiator, said that progress was limited at talks with the
European Union on a free trade deal though the tone had been
(AFP, 6/5/20)(Reuters, 6/5/20)
2020 Jun 7, Thousands of people
took to the streets of European cities in support of the Black Lives
2020 Jun 11, The European Court
of Human Rights ruled that France violated the freedom of expression
of pro-Palestinian activists who were convicted for campaigning
against Israeli goods. The protesters, led by French activist
Jean-Michel Baldassi, had been convicted of incitement to economic
discrimination after taking part in a 2009 demonstration at a
hypermarket in the eastern French town of Illzach and handing out
leaflets calling for a boycott of Israeli products.
2020 Jun 23, A letter signed by
more than a thousand European lawmakers protesting Israel’s planned
annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank was published. It said
such a move would “be fatal" to hopes for a peaceful resolution of
the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2020 Jun 26, A panel of the
European health regulator recommended approving Vertex
Pharmaceuticals' triple-combination treatment for cystic fibrosis
(CF), a rare, deadly genetic disorder that causes the build-up of
thick mucus in some body parts.
2020 Jun 30, The European
Union's aviation safety agency said that Pakistan’s national airline
will not be allowed to fly into Europe for at least six months after
the country’s aviation minister revealed that nearly a third of
Pakistani pilots had cheated on their pilot’s exams.
2020 Jun 30, The EU announced
that it will reopen its borders to travelers from 14 countries and
possibly China soon, but most Americans would be refused entry for
at least another two weeks due to soaring coronavirus infections in
(SFC, 7/1/20, p.A5)
2020 Jun 30, EU and UN
officials announced that EU institutions would donate 2.3 billion
euros ($2.6 billion) for this year and next to help Syrians who fled
their homeland and those who are still there.
2020 Jul 1, Germany took the
helm of the EU's rotating presidency. Chancellor Angela Merkel
warned that the European Union must prepare for the possibility that
talks with Britain on their post-Brexit relationship could fail.
2020 Jul 2, European
law-enforcement agencies said they had infiltrated a secret global
criminal chat system used to plot the murder of rival criminals,
money laundering, and the selling of illegal goods.
(Business Insider, 7/2/20)
2020 Jul 3, The European
Commission said it had given conditional approval for the use of
antiviral remdesivir in severe COVID-19 patients following an
accelerated review process, making it the region's first authorized
therapy to treat the virus.
2020 Jul 15, The European Union
executive urged member states to launch earlier and broader
vaccination campaigns against flu this year to reduce the risk of
simultaneous influenza and COVID-19 outbreaks in the autumn.
2020 Jul 15, A European court
overruled a 2016 decision that ordered Apple to pay $14.9 billion in
unpaid taxes to Ireland.
(SFC, 7/16/20, p.C2)
2020 Jul 16, A ruling by the EU
Court of Justice saw the "EU-US privacy shield" invalidated due to
concerns over the privacy of Europeans, with the court suggesting US
surveillance laws were too far-reaching.
(The Telegraph, 7/16/20)
2020 Jul 16, It was reported
that a solar probe built by the European Space Agency and NASA has
delivered the closest photos ever taken of the sun's surface,
revealing a landscape rife with thousands of tiny solar flares that
scientists dubbed "campfires" and offering clues about the extreme
heat of the outermost part of its atmosphere.
2020 Jul 17, EU leaders met
face to face to try to rescue Europe's economy from the ravages of
the coronavirus pandemic.
2020 Jul 19, Acrimonious
European Union talks over an unprecedented 1.85 trillion-euro ($2.1
trillion) EU budget and coronavirus recovery fund entered a third
day Sunday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel warning that the
summit of 27 leaders could still end without a deal.
2020 Jul 21, EU leaders reached
a deal early today on a huge stimulus plan for coronavirus-ravaged
economies. The $2.1 trillion budget agreement, which came at the end
of a five-day summit in Brussels, included a $857.33 billion
recovery fund to help lift the continent out of its worst recession
since World War II.
(The Week, 7/21/20)(Econ., 7/25/20, p.39)
2020 Jul 23, Britain and the EU
broke up their latest round of post-Brexit trade negotiations by
ruling out a quick deal but voicing hope for agreement in the coming
2020 Jul 24, A panel of the
European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended approving
GlaxoSmithKline's experimental treatment for a common form of blood
cancer, days after a similar nod from a US Food and Drug
2020 Jul 24, Europe's
Airbus said it would increase loan repayments to France and Spain in
a "final" bid to reverse US tariffs and jog the United States into
settling a 16-year-old dispute over billions of dollars of aircraft
2020 Jul 29, The European
Union's executive said it had agreed to buy a limited supply of the
COVID-19 medicine remdesivir from US drugmaker Gilead to address the
short-term needs of European patients, and hoped to be able to order
2020 Jul 29, The European Union
said it has made available up to 45 million euros ($53 million) to
increase the collection of plasma from COVID-19 survivors for the
treatment of people who contract the disease.
2020 Jul 30, The European Union
prolonged sanctions against dozens of North Korean officials and
agencies for a year over Pyongyang’s continued efforts to develop
nuclear missiles and other weapons of mass destruction.
2020 Jul 30, The European Union
slapped sanctions on six people and three organizations, including
Russia’s military intelligence agency, accusing them of
responsibility for several cyber-attacks that threatened EU
interests. The EU imposed travel and financial sanctions on a
department of Russia’s military intelligence service and on firms
from North Korea and China over their suspected participation in
major cyberattacks across the world.
(AP, 7/30/20)(The Telegraph, 7/31/20)
2020 Jul 31, The European
Center for Disease Prevention and Control said Luxembourg had 240.6
COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population over the last 14 days, much
higher than any other country in the European Economic Area.
Luxembourg said its large number of COVID-19 cases reflects its
unrivalled level of testing.
2020 Aug 4, EU authorities
announced an investigation into Google's $2.1 billion purchase of
fitness-tracking company Fitbit.
(SFC, 8/5/20, p.C4)
2020 Aug 14, It was reported
that the EU has agreed to buy at least 300 million doses of
AstraZeneca's potential COVID-19 vaccine in its first such advance
purchase deal, which could weaken plans led by the World Health
Organization (WHO) for a global approach.
2020 Aug 17, Top Italian and EU
officials pledged aid for Tunisia as part of an effort to stem the
growing number of migrants crossing to Europe.
(SFC, 8/18/20, p.A2)
2020 Aug 27, It was reported
that the European Commission has made a 336 million euros ($396
million) down payment to British drug maker AstraZeneca to secure at
least 300 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine.
2020 Sep 7, The European Union
warned Serbia and Kosovo that they could undermine their EU
membership hopes by moving their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem.
2020 Sep 15, The Greek
government called on the EU to jointly run new refugee camps on
Greece's eastern islands as part of a planned overhaul of the EU's
2020 Sep 16, EU Commission
President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU will build its own agency
for biomedical research and convene a global health summit in Italy
next year in a bid to be better prepared for future pandemics.
2020 Sep 18, The European Union
agreed to buy a potential COVID-19 vaccine from Sanofi and GSK in
its second such deal to secure supplies, as a deadline for joining
the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine purchase program
2020 Sep 18, The European
Commission presented a series of measures aimed at tackling
structural racism and discrimination, acknowledging a blatant lack
of diversity among the EU's institutions.
(SFC, 9/19/20, p.A2)
2020 Sep 18, The UN Human
Rights Council agreed to a resolution submitted by the European
Union to launch closer UN monitoring of alleged rights violations in
Belarus, despite multiple attempts by Russia to water it down.
2020 Sep 23, The European Union
announced a major overhaul of its asylum system in hopes that more
countries will finally share responsibility for people landing on
Europe’s shores seeking sanctuary or better lives.
2020 Sep 24, Europe's top court
(ECJ) issued a ruling that should ensure Germany can keep in prison
Christian Brueckner, a new suspect in the disappearance of Madeleine
McCann, the British toddler who vanished from a Portuguese resort 13
2020 Sep 25, The European
Commission said it is appealing a court decision that Apple doesn't
have to repay 13 billion euros ($15 billion) in back taxes to
Ireland. The Irish government said it has always been clear that
Apple paid the correct amount of tax and did not get state aid. It
noted the appeal could take up to two years.
2020 Sep 30, EU officials said
a multinational police operation this week led to the arrest of a
dozen suspected smugglers who take migrants across the English
Channel in small boats.
(SFC, 10/1/20, p.A2)
2020 Sep 30, European
scientists reported that genes that some people have inherited from
their Neanderthal ancestors may increase their likelihood of
suffering severe forms of COVID-19.
2020 Oct 1, The EU launched
legal proceedings in response to the British government's attempt to
overturn parts of the Brexit withdrawal agreement.
2020 Oct 2, EU leaders finally
agreed to hit Belarus with sanctions early today before warning
Turkey it faced the same punishment if it continued oil and gas
drilling in disputed areas of the Mediterranean. Cyprus had vetoed
agreement on the sanctions, which do not hit President Alexander
Lukashenko personally, until it was satisfied the EU's condemnation
of Turkey was strong enough.
(The Telegraph, 10/2/20)
2020 Oct 6, The EU's Earth
observation program in Geneva said that the ozone hole over
Antarctica has swelled to its largest size and deepest level in
(SFC, 10/7/20, p.A2)
2020 Oct 8, It was announced
that the European Union has sealed a deal with Johnson & Johnson
to supply up to 400 million doses of its potential COVID-19 vaccine,
as the bloc builds up stocks amid a global scramble to secure shots.
2020 Oct 8, Europe surpassed
100,000 daily reported COVID-19 cases for the first time.
2020 Oct 12, EU foreign
ministers agreed to impose sanctions on Russian officials and
organizations blamed for the poisoning of opposition leader Alexei
Navalny with a Soviet-era nerve agent.
2020 Oct 15, European Union
leaders agreed to keep on talking to Britain to get a new trade
agreement "in the coming weeks" but also decided to step up their
contingency preparations should the troubled negotiations fail.
2020 Oct 15, The European Union
slapped sanctions on Yevgeny Prigozhin, a Russian tycoon, who has
close ties to President Vladimir Putin and is accused of interfering
in a US election, for helping undermine the security of Libya and
breaking the UN arms embargo on the conflict-torn north African
country. The EU and Britain imposed sanction on six Russians, some
among the highest-ranked officials in the nation.
(AP, 10/15/20)(SFC, 10/16/20, p.A2)
2020 Oct 16, The European Union
imposed sanctions on seven ministers recently appointed to the
Syrian government, blaming them for playing a role in the continued
crackdown on civilians in the war-ravaged country.
2020 Oct 16, British PM Boris
Johnson's spokesman said talks to agree a Brexit trade deal with the
European Union are over, saying there was no point carrying on
unless the bloc fundamentally changed its stance.
2020 Oct 20, Denmark in
partnership with Germany, the European Union and the UN hosted a
conference on the Sahel in a bid to instill a more acute sense of
urgency. International donors agreed to give $1.7 billion in
humanitarian aid to the central Sahel (Burkina Faso, Mali and
Niger), after the United Nations said the northern African region
plagued by violence and climate change was at "breaking point".
2020 Oct 22, European Union
negotiators headed to London to resume Brexit trade talks after
Britain called off a boycott, with both sides vowing to work round
the clock to seal a deal in the slender time left.
2020 Oct 22, The European Union
awarded its top human rights prize to the Belarus opposition
movement and its leader, Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, for their
challenge to President Alexander Lukashenko’s long, hard-line reign.
2020 Nov 6, The European Union
imposed sanctions on the president of Belarus and 14 other officials
over their roles in the security crackdown launched during protests
of the country's contested August presidential election.
2020 Nov 9, The EU said it
would begin imposing sweeping tariffs on around $4 billion worth of
American aircraft, food, drinks and other products beginning Nov.
(SFC, 11/10/20, p.C1)
2020 Nov 12, The European Union
unveiled its first strategy for improving the rights of lesbian,
gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, intersex and queer people,
amid deep concern about widespread discrimination, notably in
2020 Nov 12, The EU said it is
prolonging sanctions against dozens of Venezuelan officials for
another year over allegations that they are undermining democracy in
the country or are linked to rights abuses.
(SFC, 11/13/20, p.A2)
2020 Nov 18, The European
Commission recommended the use of rapid COVID-19 antigen tests
mostly on people already showing symptoms because it said the kits
were deemed less accurate in detecting the virus in asymptomatic
2020 Nov 24, The EU, the US and
other donors pledged billions of dollars in new funding for
Afghanistan, hoping to salvage years of work aimed to foster peace
and stability in the country and coax along uncertain peace talks
between Taliban rebels and the Afghan government.
2020 Nov 26, The European Space
Agency said it is signing a 86 million-euro ($102 million) contract
with ClearSpace SA, a Swiss start-up company, to bring a large piece
of orbital trash back to Earth.
2020 Nov 30, Moderna Inc
applied for US and European emergency authorization for its COVID-19
vaccine after full results from a late-stage study showed it was
94.1% effective with no serious safety concerns.
2020 Nov 30, Healthcare
companies Sanofi and Regeneron said that their Dupixent product has
won approval from the European Commission to treat children aged
6-11 suffering from severe atopic dermatitis, often known as eczema.
2020 Dec 6, British negotiators
arrived in Brussels for a last-ditch attempt to strike a Brexit
trade deal with the European Union and avert a chaotic parting of
ways at the end of the year.
2020 Dec 7, The EU adopted a
version of the "Magnitsky laws," which sanction foreign officials
who commit human-rights abuses or steal money. The laws were named
after Sergei Magnitsky, who died in 2009 in a Russian prison after
trying to investigate a $230 million fraud case.
(Econ., 1/23/21, p.58)
2020 Dec 9, In Brussels
Vivendi's pay-TV arm Canal+ won its court fight against a deal
between EU competition regulators and Paramount Pictures in which
the US studio agreed to scrap movie-licensing deals with British
pay-TV group Sky UK.
2020 Dec 10, EU members agreed
to a 7-year EU budget worth €1.1 trillion, as well as a one-off €750
billion fund to speed recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.
(Econ., 12/19/20, p.82)
2020 Dec 10, The EU Central
Bank unleashed another $600 billion of stimulus as a surge in
COVID-19 infections shut down large parts of the economy.
(SFC, 12/11/20, p.A5)
2020 Dec 14, The EU announced
that an agreement has been reached on setting up the 27-nation
bloc’s first ever fund to support defense research and development.
2020 Dec 15, The EU's
anti-fraud body said almost 140,000 liters of dangerous hand
sanitizer have been seized across the region since the start of the
coronavirus pandemic. The product originated from Turkey and was
contaminated with dangerous levels of methanol, a substance likely
to create headaches, blurred vision and that can sometimes lead to
blindness when used in hand sanitizers.
2020 Dec 17, The European
Parliament has issued a three-day ultimatum to Brexit negotiators to
strike a trade deal, warning that MEPs won't have time to ratify an
agreement this year unless it is ready by the end of Dec 20.
2020 Dec 17, The EU imposed a
new round of sanctions on Belarus, targeting dozens more officials
over their role in the security crackdown launched after the
contested presidential elections in August.
2020 Dec 17, The EU formally
prolonged for six months economic sanctions against Russia over the
country's failure to live up to commitments to the peace agreement
2020 Dec 17, The EU's top court
upheld a Belgian law requiring animals to be stunned before
slaughter, rejecting challenges from Jewish and Muslim groups and
opening the way for other countries to bring in similar
2020 Dec 17, The EU’s top court
ruled that Hungary has failed to respect EU law by denying people
entering the country without authorization the right to apply for
asylum and unlawfully detaining them in “transit zones" on its
border with Serbia.
2020 Dec 17, The EU said it has
concluded preliminary talks with US firm Novavax to secure up to 200
million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine candidate.
2020 Dec 17, Alphabet's Google
won EU antitrust approval for its $2.1 billion bid for Fitbit after
agreeing restrictions on how it will use customers' health related
2020 Dec 20, Several European
Union nations banned flights from the UK and others were considering
similar action in a bid to block a new strain of coronavirus
sweeping across southern England from establishing a strong foothold
on the continent.
2020 Dec 21, The EU gave
official approval for the coronavirus vaccine developed by BioNTech
and Pfizer to be used across the 27-nation bloc.
(SFC, 12/22/20, p.A5)
2020 Dec 22, The Grand Chamber
of the ECHR in Strasbourg ruled that four years in a Turkish prison
violated the rights of Selahattin Demirtas on five fundamental
rights categories, including the freedom of expression. The Kurdish
politician faced up to 142 years in prison on terror charges but
denies any wrongdoing. The ECHR website came under a “large-scale"
cyberattack after its Demirtas ruling, making the site inaccessible
for several hours.
2020 Dec 22, Russia’s Foreign
Ministry announced that Moscow is expanding the list of European
officials barred from entering Russia in response to the European
Union’s sanctions over the poisoning of Russian opposition leader
2020 Dec 24, Britain clinched a
Brexit trade deal with the European Union, just seven days before it
exits one of the world's biggest trading blocs in its most
significant global shift since the loss of empire.
2020 Dec 27, Europe rolled out
a huge COVID-19 vaccination drive to try to rein in the coronavirus
pandemic but many Europeans are skeptical about the speed at which
the vaccines have been tested and approved and reluctant to have the
2020 Dec 29, The European Union
said it will buy an extra 100 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s
COVID-19 vaccine, bringing the total from the two firms to 300
2020 Dec 30, Chinese President
Xi Jinping and top EU officials concluded a business investment deal
that will open big opportunities to European companies, but has the
potential to irk the new American administration. The deal secured
puny gains for the EU and gave China a diplomatic coup.
(AP, 12/30/20)(Econ., 1/9/21, p.12)
2020 Dec 30, Britain’s House of
Commons voted resoundingly to approve a trade deal with the European
Union, paving the way for an orderly break with the bloc that will
finally complete the UK’s long and divisive Brexit journey.