Tag Archives: EU Institution

FACTBOX-EU is unlikely to face a Facebook news ban after Australia | Instant News

BRUSSELS, February 19 (Reuters) – Facebook has blocked people in Australia from accessing and sharing news content in a dispute with the government requiring it to share news revenue.

Jurisdictions around the world have enacted rules requiring Google, Facebook and others to share revenue with publishers, including a 2019 directive from Brussels which EU countries will enact into law in June.

So, is the EU likely to face a Facebook news ban similar to the one imposed in Australia? Not. Here are a few reasons:


Approved in 2019 to help Europe’s creative industry earn a fair share of revenue, EU copyright rules require Google and other online platforms to sign licensing agreements with musicians, artists, writers, news publishers and journalists to use their work.

The rules do not force online platforms to pay for links posted by publishers to their news sites, Facebook’s main complaint with the Australian government.

In France, which is one of the first EU countries to implement the new rules, news publishers have reached an agreement with Google which, according to the European Commission, the EU executive, is a clear sign that copyright rules are effective in leveling the playing field. .

The so-called Media Bargaining Code is based on Australia’s competition law, which underlines a tougher approach than the EU.


Facebook sought to relieve pressure from news publishers last month by launching Facebook News in the UK and listing new partners Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group above other news outlets.

Now they are looking for French and German media companies before launching services in the two countries.


European media groups, part of the driving force behind EU copyright rules, do not have the same influence and geographic scope as News Corp, which struck a global deal with Google on Wednesday.

Large companies such as Germany’s Bertelsmann and French group Vivendi dominate their national markets due to language and cultural differences across the block. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Timothy Heritage)


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Massive German state aid to virus-hit companies? Others in the EU did as much or more -Vestager | Instant News

BRUSSELS, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Concerns that Germany may have an unfair competitive advantage as billions of euros pumped into virus-hit companies are not supported by data showing other EU countries are doing much if not more for their businesses, Europe said the head of the antitrust.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has approved 3.1 trillion euros ($ 3.7 trillion) in state aid for airlines, restaurants, farmers, entertainers and more across the 27-nation bloc. suffer the economic consequences. contracted COVID-19.

Germany accounts for 51% of total aid approved to date, followed by Italy with 14.7%, France at 13.9% and Spain at 4.8%.

That has sparked concern among some EU nations that German aid could tilt the level of play, giving companies in Europe’s largest economy an unfair advantage.

Vestager, in an interview with Reuters on Monday, warned against reading too much of the amount approved versus the amount actually disbursed by the EU government.

“What we see when we look at the funds being paid out, we see a very different pattern. And this is of course why it is very interesting to see what the actual amount is being paid, ”said Vestager.

“Germany pays about 25-27% of the total (approved) aid paid, France is about the same, maybe a little bit more actually, then Spain and Italy. So you get a much more nuanced picture when you look at actual expenses, ”he said.

Vestager refers to the period between mid-March and late June last year when he gave the green light to 2.3 trillion euros in state aid, of which 354 billion had already been paid.

Of this amount, France disbursed 123 billion, Germany 96 billion, Spain 65 billion, and Italy 26 billion.

Relatively speaking, Spanish payments account for 5.3% of gross domestic product, France’s figure is 5.1%, Poland 2.9% and Germany 2.8% in the same period.

“I think this is important because it shows that many people’s concern about the complete fragmentation of a single market is, of course good to have those worries, but also when you look at the nuances, it’s not a given. that worries will actually materialize, ”said Vestager.

The European Commission is now looking for the latest data from EU countries on their disbursements for a more comprehensive picture.

$ 1 = 0.8296 euros Reported by Foo Yun Chee Editing by Mark Heinrich


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Britain asked the EU to extend the Brexit grace period to 2023, the BBC reported | Instant News

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain has asked for an extension to 2023 of a grace period for checks to be put on trade moving between Northern Ireland and the rest of Great Britain to soften the impact of Brexit on the province, the BBC reported.

Political editor Laura Kuenssberg said Cabinet Office Secretary Michael Gove had written to the European Commission vice president, Maros Sefcovic, asking for an urgent political solution.

As part of the Brexit divorce deal, the two sides agreed to a grace period of three months for inspection of food items being moved by supermarkets and some grocery groups from the UK to Northern Ireland, to alleviate the impact of the new post-Brexit rules.

Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by James Davey


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The British foreign minister assured the EU it would not block vaccine supplies | Instant News

FILE PHOTO: UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab speaks during a press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the State Department in Washington, USA, September 16, 2020. Nicholas Kamm / Pool via REUTERS

LONDON (Reuters) – The UK foreign minister said Saturday that the European Union has assured him that it does not want to disrupt the supply of a COVID-19 vaccine to Britain after the bloc said it plans to control exports.

Dominic Raab made the comments after what he described as “constructive conversations” with European Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis.

“I am reassured that the European Union has no desire to block suppliers that fulfill contracts for vaccine distribution to the UK,” Raab said on Twitter. “The world is watching and only through international collaboration will we defeat this pandemic.”

Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; Edited by Edmund Blair


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The German CDU confirmed Laschet as the new leader in the postal ballot | Instant News

BERLIN (Reuters) – Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats confirmed Armin Laschet as leader of their new party on Friday following the vote, which is needed to legally enforce her election by delegates in digital voting on Saturday.

Laschet, prime minister of Germany’s most populous state and continuity candidate for Merkel, won 83.35% of the valid postal votes cast by 1,001 delegates, the CDU said. He beat long-time conservative Friedrich Merz in Saturday’s online voting by a margin of 521-466.

Laschet must now unify a conservative bloc that has never been entirely comfortable with Merkel’s centrist direction, even though she has won four consecutive federal elections.

“CDU remains Germany’s European party,” Laschet told reporters, stressing that he wanted his leadership to be marked by dialogue with the party’s grassroots.

Merkel, Europe’s top politician and a consistent winner with German voters since taking office in 2005, said she would not run for chancellor again in September’s federal elections.

Since stepping down as CDU leader in December 2018, the party has struggled to find a suitable successor.

In voting for Laschet, the delegation selected a more suitable candidate for the left-wing Green party, second behind the conservatives in opinion polls and seen as a potential coalition partner in September.

Laschet has taken a similar position to Merkel on several key issues such as relations with Russia.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper due to be published on Saturday, he said the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to bring Russian natural gas to Europe should continue.

EU lawmakers passed a resolution on Thursday calling for the bloc to stop completing the pipeline in response to the arrest of Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

“The question of whether the gas should reach us by land or sea has nothing to do (with Navalny’s arrest),” Laschet told the newspaper, adding that he condemned Navalny’s arrest very strongly.

Merkel said last year that Laschet, 59, had the “tools” to run for chancellor, which would have come closest to supporting anyone.

But even as party leader, Laschet is not guaranteed to be a candidate for CDU chancellor and his Bavarian sister Christian Social Union (CSU).

CSU leader Markus Soeder has asked the CDU / CSU alliance, “Union”, to decide on his chancellor candidate only after state elections in mid-March, opening up the possibility that he could run if Laschet stumbled.

Written by Paul Carrel, editing by Thomas Escritt and David Gregorio


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