Eurosphere roundup: “EU lawmakers vote stricter data privacy rules…France brings US eavesdropping to EU summit table

EU lawmakers vote stricter data privacy rules


Lawmakers in the European Parliament?s civil liberties committee voted to strengthen Europe’s data protection laws on Monday (21 October), including plans to impose fines of up to ?100 million on companies such as Yahoo!, Facebook or Google if they break the rules.


The vote in parliament’s civil liberties committee opens the way for further negotiations with EU countries and the European Commission on the plans, the first revision to Europe’s data laws since 1995.

French anger over NSA surveillance dents diplomatic relations

Knock-on effects of Edward Snowden revelations starting to affect US and UK trade relationships in Europe and beyond

French outrage at the scale of NSA espionage is the latest in a series of aftershocks around the world triggered by Edward Snowden’s revelations about US and British espionage that have shaken relations with their allies and partners.

Eurozone chief: Better for Slovenia to avoid bailout


Slovenia should try to avoid any kind of international financial aid programme for its ailing banks, the chairman of the eurozone finance ministers Jeroen Dijsselbloem said yesterday (October 21).


Burdened by some ?7.9 billion of bad loans in its mostly state-owned banking sector, Slovenia is struggling to avoid becoming the currency bloc’s sixth member to seek international financial assistance.

France brings US eavesdropping to EU summit table


France will push for new data protection standards at an EU summit later this week, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said yesterday (21 October) after Le Monde newspaper reported the huge scale of alleged American spying on French citizens. EurActiv France reports.


The issue triggered a phone call between US President Barack Obama and French President François Hollande. The two men “discussed recent disclosures in the press – some of which have distorted our activities and some of which raise legitimate questions for our friends and allies about how these capabilities are employed,” the White House said in a statement.

Watch out for a European Tea Party

The big danger to the single currency in the coming year is that the political consensus that underpins the euro could come unstuck

Brussels? attention grabbed by Data protection

Yesterday evening EU public affairs practitioners were ready to face one of the longest votes that a parliamentary committee could experience. Food was brought into offices, colleagues had been warned not to bother people that would follow this marathon vote, clients were alerted well in advance about the length of the voting ? and ? things went differently.


France seeks explanations after ‘shocking’ US spying claims

France said Monday it is demanding explanations after a report that the US National Security Agency secretly recorded millions of phone calls made in the country

The European Union Facing a Historic Moment: The Vilnius Summit

The Vilnius Summit or the Eastern Partnership Summit, scheduled this year for November, is considered a turning point in the EU Eastern Neighbourhood Policy, a historic moment when decisions are to define the region from a geostrategic and geo-economic point of view.

Examining the new Italian regulation on copyright protection

Last July the Italian Authority for Guarantees in Communications (AGCOM) proposed a new regulation on copyright protection and launched a public consultation on it. Someone has compared it to the French Hanopi law, but it is quite different.

The US Shutdown: Lessons for Europe

Europe should ask itself a couple of questions about the shutdown of the US federal government and the debate about the debt ceiling. What can or should we learn from the last fortnight in American politics? Three clear lessons come to my mind, writes Martin Schulz.

Martin Schulz is the President of the European Parliament.


Europan Council draft conclusions: Merkel’s ‘reform contracts’ are back!

As we noted in our previous blog post – and as we predicted in our briefing trailing the German electionsAngela Merkel could now well be pushing for so-called ‘reform contracts’ or ‘competitiveness pacts’ (which is what they’re called in the CDU/CSU manifesto). Effectively trading exceptionally strong reform commitment in the periphery for German cash.

MAIN FOCUS: Hollande in trouble over Leonarda | 21/10/2013

French President François Hollande has come under attack for his reaction to thedeportation of Roma schoolgirl Leonarda. Following nationwide protests he gave her the opportunity to return to France, but without her family – an offer the 15-year-old rejected on Saturday. This half-hearted compromise exposes the president’s lacking authority and illustrates the crisis in this once proud republic of values, commentators write.


Hollande under fire for ’emotional’ response to Roma girl

French President Francois Hollande has been attacked from all sides for offering a deported Roma schoolgirl the chance to return to France without her family

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