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European Council

Latest news from the Council of the European Union.

EU sets up sanctions against Turkey for Cyprus oil drilling
The EU Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures Monday in response to unauthorised drilling by Turkey of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, enabling sanctions on individuals or entities.

Brexit: EU formally adopts Article 50 extension to Jan 31
'Make the best use of this time", EU Council president Donald Tusk told the United Kingdom Tuesday, as the EU formally extended the period under Article 50 in which Britain can withdraw from the EU.

EU leaders endorse Boris Johnson's Brexit deal
"We've got a great new deal that takes back control," said British prime minister Johnson after EU leaders at a summit Thursday endorsed a revised UK withdrawal agreement and political declaration.

EU unwavering in its support for Ukraine
At the 21st EU-Ukraine Summit in Kiev Monday, the European Union affirmed its strong partnership with Ukraine as well as its support for the country's continued progress on reform and fighting corruption.

Finland's EU presidency kicks off in Helsinki
Finland's presidency of the EU, which began 1 July, promises to focus on strengthening the Union's common values and the rule of law, as well as its position as a global leader in climate action.

Ursula von der Leyen nominated as next EU Commission chief
The EU at a special summit Tuesday proposed Ursula von der Leyen, Germany's German defence minister and a member of the centre-right CDU, as candidate for the next president of the European Commission.

EU will not reopen talks on UK withdrawal agreement
Ending their two-day summit Friday, EU heads of state and government looked forward to a new UK prime minister, but said they would not reopen negotiations on Britain's withdrawal agreement.

Europe's leaders take stock of Euro-election results
The European Union's leaders met at a summit Tuesday to take stock of the weekend's European election results and to kick off the nomination process for new heads of the EU institutions.

EU approves unprecedented cuts to single-use plastics
EU ministers gave final approval Tuesday to new laws to tackle marine litter coming from single-use plastic products found on European beaches, as well as abandoned fishing gear and oxo-degradable plastics.

EU leaders discuss future of Europe after Brexit
With the European Parliament elections only two weeks away, EU leaders met at a summit Thursday to begin a discussion on what sort of EU future they want to build if and when Brexit finally takes place.

EU agrees Brexit 'cliff-edge' delay, with conditions
After lengthy debate at a summit in Brussels Thursday, EU leaders agreed a short Article 50 extension till 12 April, or 22 May if the UK Parliament approves Theresa May's Withdrawal Agreement next week.

Brexit: EU adopts 'no-deal' contingency measures
The EU Council adopted Tuesday a series of legislative acts as part of its contingency preparations for a 'no-deal' Brexit, aiming to limit the most severe damage a disorderly Brexit would cause business and citizens.

EU adds Bermuda, UAE to revised tax haven blacklist
EU finance ministers added Bermuda, the United Arabic Emirates and eight other jurisdictions to a list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes Tuesday, bringing to 15 the number of countries on the list.

EU-Arab League commit to stronger ties
Leaders of the EU and the League of Arab States meeting for the first ever summit between the two regions agreed Tuesday to strengthen cooperation particularly on border control and the fight against irregular migration.

EU president Tusk bemoans lack of anti-Brexit leadership
50 days before Britain is due to leave the EU Council president Donald Tusk said many British and Irish people who wished for a reversal of Brexit lacked effective leadership and the political force to remain.

'Blame Brussels' culture must end: European Ombudsman
Europe's Ombudsman called Thursday for an end to the culture of EU states being able to blame 'Brussels' because of a lack of transparency and accountability of national governments' legislative work.

Brexit heads major challenges for EU's new Romanian presidency
Major challenges of Brexit, the EU's future Budget and the upcoming European elections faced Romania on 1 January 2019 as it took over its first presidency of the European Union.

EU summit clarifies UK 'backstop', but no renegotiation
As PM Theresa May sought to save her Brexit deal at a Brussels summit Thursday, EU leaders clarified their position on the 'backstop' but stated there would be no renegotiation of the UK withdrawal deal.

''No deal' or no Brexit, EU prepared for every scenario
If the UK Parliament were to reject the 'only possible deal' in its upcoming Brexit vote, the EU was prepared for the alternative 'no deal' or no Brexit at all, EU president Donald Tusk told the G20 summit.

'Sad moment' as leaders endorse UK withdrawal agreement
EU leaders endorsed the Brexit withdrawal agreement Sunday as presented by the negotiators of the EU and the UK, declaring this a "sad moment" but saying that the deal was "the only deal possible".

EU continues to strengthen defence capability
The EU Council underlined its desire to enhance its strategic autonomy and capacity to act as security provider Monday, agreeing a number of projects under its PESCO defence cooperation programme.

EU & UK will have "full control" of their own legislation
As the EU reaches a "decisive moment" in the Brexit process, both the EU and the UK will have "full control" of their own legislation and rule-making, according to the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

Differences remain on EU digital service tax
EU finance ministers meeting Tuesday have some way to go before they can agree on the digital service tax directive, aimed at addressing the most urgent gaps and loopholes in the taxation of digital activities.

Council clarifies position on EU plastics ban
EU Member States agreed their position Wednesday on a proposal to ban single-use plastics, clarifying the products covered and proposing that producers of plastic items cover the costs of litter clean-up.

EU leaders ready to extend Brexit transition period
EU leaders at a summit in Brussels to review progress on Brexit talks declared their readiness Thursday to consider any British proposal to extend the two-year transition period once the UK leaves the EU.