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European Council

Latest news from the Council of the European Union.

EU shuts borders to non-essential travel for 30 days
EU leaders agreed in a video conference Tuesday that they would reinforce the EU's external borders by placing coordinated, temporary restrictions on non-essential travel to the EU for a period of 30 days.

EU in solidarity with Greece over refugee crisis
The EU made a strong show of support for Greece Tuesday as its leaders were welcomed by Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to review the refugee crisis and tensions at the Greek-Turkish border.

Cayman Islands added to EU tax haven list
EU finance ministers at their meeting on Tuesday added the Cayman Islands and Panama to the EU list of 'non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes', in addition to the 8 jurisdictions that are already listed.

VAT rules simplified for Europe's smaller businesses
EU finance ministers adopted simplified VAT rules applicable to small businesses Tuesday, with a view to reducing administrative burdens and compliance costs and helping more efficient trade across borders.

EU states agree fish quotas for 2020
The EU Council reached political agreement Wednesday on 2020 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate.

EU, without Poland, agrees to aim for climate neutrality by 2050
EU leaders, not including Poland, endorsed Friday the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050 in line with the Paris agreement, as they ended their two-day summit in Brussels.

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.