Free News 7th-9th December

UK & Europe: Tusk tells Cameron there is “no consesus” on British demands (NewEurope)

Following consultations with EU member states, the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, wrote an open letter to David Cameron on Monday stating that there is ‘presently no consensus’ on barring EU migrants to the UK from welfare benefits.That was a key demand by British Prime Minister, who wants to limit access to tax credits for children living outside the UK, job seeking allowances, and access to social housing for four years. Mr. Cameron also wants permanent freedom of movement barriers to any future EU member state, as well as family reunification barriers.Mr Cameron has called for a referendum by June 2017 in which Britons will decide whether they want to stay in the EU […]

Refugee Relocation: EU refugee relocation grinds to near halt (EuObserver)

The slow pace of registering and relocating asylum seekers from Italy and Greece to other member states is frustrating EU-led efforts to get a grip on broader migration issues.Launched in September, the two-year plan to relocate 160,000 people in need of international protection remains mired in administrative, technical, and political delays[…]

Justice & Home Affairs: EU defends intelligence agencies in wake of attacks (EuObserver)

The EU’s counter-terrorism chief spoke out in defence of European intelligence agencies amid criticism that French and Belgian authorities failed to apprehend some of the attackers in the lead up the Paris shootings despite warnings.Gilles de Kerchove, speaking to journalists in Brussels following the publication of a report on foreign fighters by the Strasbourg-based watchdog the Council of Europe, rejected notions member state security services are not working together to crack down on potential terrorists.“It would be inaccurate to suggest the security services are not working intensively together among themselves”, he said on Monday (7 December). Turkey had warned France twice about Ismael Omar Mostefai, the 29-year old French national who opened fire on concert-goers at the Bataclan on 13 November in Paris […]

UK & Europe: How to interpret Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’ strategy (EurActiv)

David Cameron’s renegotiation strategy is as much about quelling rebellion within his own party as it is about obtaining real reforms from the EU, argues Steven Blockmans.Steven Blockmans is a senior research fellow at CEPS, the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels.Heads of state and government will try to reach a deal on British demands for EU reforms at an extraordinary summit of the European Council in February, while using the upcoming meeting on 17 December for political guidance.The four clusters of demands, set out in a letter sent by Prime Minister Cameron to European Council President Tusk, concern sovereignty, economic governance, competitiveness and immigration. While there is reason to believe that an agreement can be found on three of the demands, it is the fourth that causes the biggest headache […]

Climate &Environment: New ‘clean’ COP21 deal due today as deadline looms (EurActiv)

The latest draft of the international agreement to cap global warming will be published today (9 December) at 1300, Laurent Fabius, the president of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) said on Tuesday night (8 December).It would provide the foundation for the finalised agreement, which was on schedule to be agreed by 1800 on Friday, the last day of the COP21, he said.The new “clean” version of the proposed deal will have fewer options for negotiators, be shorter, and take into account the meetings and talks of the past week in Paris, Fabius told reporters Tuesday evening, follwing a plenary session at COP21. Fabius, who took no questions from the press, set out the schedule so there would be “no surprises”, such as the infamous failure to reach a consensus in Copenhagen in 2009.The transparent method of working would hopefully result in a balanced agreement, Fabius said. “I hope we have a document to take us to the final stage,” he added […]

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