Keyword: EU

The timebomb hidden within the future EU-US trade treaty


As the campaigning heats up for the European elections to be held later this month, critics of the European Commission’s handling of discussions over the future landmark European Union-United States free trade treaty have been making their voices heard. Of all the different concerns, the most controversial political issue now emerging is the intended inclusion in the deal of a provision whereby foreign corporations can sue governments before arbitration tribunals for damages in the event that their investments are undermined by future changes in laws, such as those concerning the environment or public health. Mediapart’s Brussels correspondent Ludovic Lamant reports.

Let’s call time on French‑bashing

Erroneous story about France 'banning' work emails after 6pm is just latest example of 'lazy' UK journalism about its neighbour across the Channel.

France set to freeze welfare payments

Spelling out measures which angered sections of his own party, new prime minister Manuel Valls said: 'We cannot live beyond our means.'

France backtracks in battle over EU deficit target

Prime minister Manuel Valls pledges France will stick to 2015 target despite earlier suggestions from president that it would ask for more leeway.

France's far right leader blames EU for new 'cold war'

In visit to Moscow, Marine Le Pen says it is the European Union that declared 'cold war' on Russia by seeking closer ties with Ukraine.

France to seek EU review of deficit deadlines

French finance minister Michel Sapin said there was a 'thin line' between budgetary rigour and an economically choking excess of austerity.

France and Germany squabble over who pays for EU banking union

Paris is afraid its banks will pay the biggest share towards a €55bn common insurance plan to rescue failing banks, as talks reach critical stage.

France says EU shirking duty to Central African Republic

French defence and foreign ministers 'strongly' urge EU members to do more, saying military contributions so far 'fall short' of what is needed.

France 'not seeking new EU deficit target'

French finance minister insists Paris is maintaining current deficit-reduction targets, while EC predicts it will miss them both this year and next.

President Hollande's high-risk strategy over free trade talks with US


During his recent visit to Washington French president François Hollande surprised many observers by calling for a speeding up of the negotiations for a EU-US free trade agreement, the biggest deal of its kind in the world. The president's demands are in sharp contrast with France's earlier caution over the free trade zone, an issue which has provoked concern and opposition across Europe. For some, it also seems a curious stance to adopt just weeks before important European elections at which the proposed deal is set to be a controversial issue. Ludovic Lamant reports.

Germany and France plan secure new data network

Germany's Angela Merkel to discuss with Francois Hollande a European solution to avoid emails and other information passing through the US.

EU treaty change ‘not a priority’, says Hollande

At Anglo-French summit Hollande dismays UK premier by saying he has no desire for a new treaty before next presidential elections in 2017.

Cameron to press Hollande over EU at UK-France summit

French president thought unlikely to back British prime minister's call for greater EU 'flexibility' in first Anglo-French summit for four years.

France jumps EU law and follows UK with mass surveillance of air travellers


Earlier this month, the French parliament gave its definitive approval to a bill of law fixing France’s defence programmes, objectives and budget for the period 2014-2019. When it was presented earlier this year, this wide-ranging legislation drew headlines over its sweeping cuts in defence jobs and spending. More recently, it caused controversy over its introduction of real-time monitoring of internet and mobile phone communications by police and intelligence agencies. However, as Louise Fessard reports, its plans for mass surveillance don’t stop there: it contains a provision, largely overlooked, that will see the creation of a database that records details of all airline passengers travelling to and from France, based on the ‘Passenger Name Record’  system which uses profiling techniques that are the target of fierce criticism from civil liberties bodies, not least the the European Data Protection Supervisor, the EU’s watchdog for the protection of personal privacy.

France hails new eurozone banks mechanism, but analysts unconvinced

François Hollande says new institution to save or shut troubled eurozone banks will spare governments, but financial experts are sceptical.