Keyword: European Union

Calais fears being sunk by looming ‘hard Brexit’

By Elisa Perrigueur
The port of Calais: dark times ahead? © Elisa Perrigueur The port of Calais: dark times ahead? © Elisa Perrigueur

British Prime Minister Theresa May was in Brussels on Thursday and Friday for a frantic series of meetings to convince EU leaders to provide clarifications over her Brexit deal with Brussels, hoping for their help to obtain parliamentary approval of the agreement reached last month for the UK’s withdrawal from the bloc. But for most observers, the chances of avoiding a hard Brexit before the deadline of next March are receding by the day. In the northern French coastal town of Calais, through which tens of millions of tonnes of goods pass yearly in trade between the UK and the continent, many fear catastrophic consequences of a hard Brexit, with the very likely prospect of the Channel port becoming paralysed. Elisa Perrigueur reports.

Preaching to the converted: President Macron's citizen consultations on the EU

By and
Emmanuel Macron at the launch of the citizens consultation process at Épinal in north-eastern  France on April 17th, 2018. © Élysée Emmanuel Macron at the launch of the citizens consultation process at Épinal in north-eastern France on April 17th, 2018. © Élysée

The aim was to allow people to come up with a concept of the “Europe of tomorrow”. Hundreds of public citizen consultations have already been held across France and more will continue into the autumn in a bid to help bring the French people closer to the European Union. Mediapart has visited three such meetings held in northern France, in Dieppe, Issy-les-Moulineaux and one of the seats of the European Parliament, Strasbourg. The Élysée promised they would be no holds barred meetings. But in reality the gatherings have largely attracted people who are already pro-European or who are members of President Emmanuel Macron's ruling party La République en Marche. Justine Brabant and Ludovic Lamant report.

Tunisia faces double migrant squeeze as its citizens head for Europe

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A 2017 report showing the breakdown in ages of Tunisians seeking to leave the country clandestinely. © dr A 2017 report showing the breakdown in ages of Tunisians seeking to leave the country clandestinely. © dr

Migration has fashioned Tunisia for over two decades, most notably after the uprising that sparked the Arab Spring in 2011, when tens of thousands left a country riddled with unemployment and inequality once old restrictions were lifted. Now Tunisia finds itself in a double bind. It is resisting pressure to house migrants from other African countries trying to reach Europe via its territory, even as a new exodus of its own citizens gathers pace, prompted by economic, political and social distress. Rachida El Azzouzi reports.

Erdogan visits France hoping to rekindle relationship with Europe

Talks at Elysée set to cover Syria and EU-Turkey relations, but host Macron is also likely to voice concern over Erdogan’s post-coup purges.

EU lauds Hallyday as cultural bridge builder

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said that the late pop star 'reconciled French chanson with American music'.

France urges Berlin to seize 'historic opportunity' on Europe

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire warned that the bloc could succumb to nationalism if they failed in their attempts at reform.

Macron urges EU to be ‘bold’ as he outlines ideas for overhaul

He proposes a 'common defence force,' two agencies handling counter-terrorism intelligence and new talks about a tax on financial transactions.

President Macron steps up plans to bolster EU

New French head of state says EU says needs to be more protective of its citizens as he seeks to shore up plunging approval ratings. 

France says Europe should make US firms pay fair share of taxes

French minister said it was time for Europe to defend its own interests and make Google, Amazon and Facebook pay 'taxes they owe in Europe'.

Macron says EU must reform or face 'Frexit'

The passionately pro-EU centrist presidential candidate spoke as he and his anti-EU rival Marine Le Pen entered last week of campaigning.

France's Marine Le Pen says 'European Union will die'

Far-right presidential candidate said she would seek to replace it with a 'Europe of the people' based on a loose cooperative of nations.

François Fillon and his conflict of interest over insurance giant AXA

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François Fillon (left) and his friend Henri de Castries, former CEO of AXA. © DR François Fillon (left) and his friend Henri de Castries, former CEO of AXA. © DR

On February 6th the beleaguered right-wing presidential candidate was forced to admit that the major insurance firm AXA was a client of his consultancy firm 2F Conseil. Between 2012 and 2014 the group paid 200,000 euros to Fillon, who was a Member of Parliament at the time. The money was apparently paid to the former prime minister because he could “open doors in Brussels and Berlin” as new European Union insurance regulations were being implemented. Mediapart's Martine Orange argues that the affair is a clear example of conflict of interest.

German, Spanish leaders warn French elections may prompt end of EU

This spring's presidential elections in France, in which the far-right Front National candidate Marine Le Pen is tipped to reach the second-round playoff, has the potential to set in train the victories of other anti-EU parties in elections across Europe warned Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel.

How Wallonia became spearhead of opposition to EU-Canada trade deal

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'Non': Walloon leader Paul Magnette rejects the CETA deal in its current form. © Reuters 'Non': Walloon leader Paul Magnette rejects the CETA deal in its current form. © Reuters

The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement or CETA trade deal between the European Union and Canada was in deep trouble after the Belgian region of Wallonia refused to accept it, despite strong efforts behind the scenes by neighbouring France to put pressure on the French-speaking area. Finally a last-minute deal was reached on Thursday October 27th, but came too late to allow Canada's prime minister Justin Trudeau to fly to Brussels to sign the deal at a summit that has now been postponed. Martine Orange looks at how a small Belgian region became a focal point of opposition to a trade deal many fear will act as a Trojan horse for North American multinationals.

France and Germany plan ‘more active’ EU defence

Paper by country's defence ministers proposes setting up a European defence headquarters, a common surveillance system and sharing logistics.