# European Union

(LtoR) Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen (up L), President of the European Council Charles Michel and President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen meet on the sidelines of a special European Council summit in Brussels on February 20, 2020, held to discuss the next long-term budget of the European Union (EU). (Photo by Virginia Mayo / POOL / AFP)
(LtoR) Austria's Chancellor Sebastian Ku […]

Sweden and Denmark step out of the shadows as EU’s frugals

Normally perceived as team players, Sweden and Denmark have found themselves playing the unaccustomed role of outliers in EU politics, blocking the widely backed COVID-19 recovery plan
(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 8, 2019 Irish Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe gestures during a photo call prior to presenting his Budget 2020 to parliament, at Government Buildings in Dublin. - Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe was picked as the new president of the Eurogroup on July 9, 2020, which brings together the eurozone finance ministers who help guide European economic policy. (Photo by Paul FAITH / AFP)
(FILES) In this file photo taken on Octo […]

Ireland’s Donohoe takes leadership of Eurogroup amid historic recession

Irish finance minister Paschal Donohoe has been picked as the new president of the Eurogroup, a key role as Europe sits in the depths of its deepest recession since World War II
(FILES) (COMBO) This combination of file pictures made on June 10, 2020, shows (L-R) Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna on December 4, 2017, in Brussels; Spain's Minister for Economic Affairs Nadia Calvino on June 8, 2018, in Madrid; and Ireland's Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe on October 8, 2019, in Dublin. - The new head of the Eurogroup will replace Mario Centeno, Portugal's soft-spoken finance minister who is stepping down after just two-and-a-half years. Luxembourg's Finance Minister Pierre Gramegna, Spain's Nadia Calvino, and Ireland's Paschal Donohoe, are among three names strongly rumoured to replace Centeno. (Photo by AFP)
(FILES) (COMBO) This combination of file […]

Eurozone picks new chief as pandemic recession looms

Who will be the next Eurogroup president? Eurozone finance ministers will meet to elect a new president, filling a key job just as the continent is facing the worst recession in EU history.
Cranes operate at a construction site on Berlin's Friedrichstrasse on August 21, 2019. - The 25.300 square-meter site in central Berlin, which includes the old Tacheles artist colony (building 2nd from L), is being redeveloped to include retail space, offices and residential units, designed by Swiss architects firm Herzog & De Meuron. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
Cranes operate at a construction site on […]

Eurozone economy to crash 8.7% in 2020: EU forecast

The eurozone economy will plunge 8.7% in 2020 due to the coronavirus crisis, the European Commission said in more pessimistic forecasts that do not see a complete rebound next year
A photo taken on February 5, 2013 in Marseille shows credit cards. French police has arrested, early this morning in Paris and in several French and overseas departments, 22 people in connection with the trade of credit cards numbers on internet. AFP PHOTO / ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT (Photo by ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT / AFP)
A photo taken on February 5, 2013 in Mar […]

European banks team up to offer alternative to Visa, Mastercard

European banks have teamed up to deliver by 2022 a new unified payment system that will offer consumers cards and digital wallets that could offer a serious alternative to Visa and Mastercard
A gravedigger wears protective clothing at the Recanto da Paz Municipal Cemetery during the burial of a victim of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, in the city of Breves, southwest of Marajo Island, an island at the mouth of the Amazon River in the Brazilian state of Para, on May 30, 2020. - The pandemic is spreading across Brazil under a cloud of confrontation, as governors and mayors implement restrictive measures while President Jair Bolsonaro, who has pinned his hopes of re-election on a booming economy, has berated them for imposing what he calls "the tyranny of total quarantine." (Photo by Tarso SARRAF / AFP)
A gravedigger wears protective clothing […]

Outside Europe, nations floundering in virus’ first wave

As Europe begins its cautious reopening after weathering the pandemic's first wave in lockdown, many developing countries continue to be battered by skyrocketing numbers of COVID-19 cases
Operators store cardboxes containing face masks after a Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Mriya coming from China delivered 8,6 million face masks and 150 tons of sanitary equipment ordered by a private customer, at the Paris-Vatry airport in Bussy Lettree, on April 19, 2020, on the 34th day of a strict lockdown in France to stop the spread of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. - The Antonov-225 is a cargo plane designed as part of the former Soviet Union's space programme. The only copy in use can carry up to 250 tonnes up to 4,000 km. (Photo by FRANCOIS NASCIMBENI / AFP)
Operators store cardboxes containing fac […]

Post-COVID, more in West see China as major power: study

The coronavirus pandemic has led a growing number of people in France and Germany to see China as a top power, with the lead of the United States slipping, a new study shows
(FILES) This file photo taken on January 15, 2019 shows pine trunks piled near Brocas, in the Landes area, southwestern France, 10 years after Klaus storm devastated the forest. - Climate change, with drier summers, endanger the young pine trees and the renewal of the forest, a highly significant economic product for the region, AFP reports on June 2, 2020. (Photo by GEORGES GOBET / AFP)
(FILES) This file photo taken on January […]

Forest harvesting in Europe threatens climate goals: study

A dramatic shift in forest harvesting to meet increased demand for wood could threaten the European Union's climate goals, according to a study by the European Commission
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks at the Bundestag, Germany's lower house of parliament, during a session to answer MPs questions on July 1, 2020 in Berlin. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / AFP)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks a […]

Merkel’s legacy at stake as Germany takes EU reins

Germany has taken over the European Union's presidency, with Chancellor Angela Merkel staking her legacy on a massive economic recovery plan to help the bloc with the coronavirus fallout