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EU to press ahead with sanctions on Russia

The European Union will press ahead with implementing new sanctions on Russia later today despite a shaky ceasefire in Ukraine, the European Commission said.

Details will be published in the EU's Official Journal on Tuesday at the latest, Commission spokeswoman Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen told reporters.

Britain 'set to be sidelined' in Juncker's Euro lineup

Incoming European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker appears to have sidelined the British representative in his new EC college lineup.

The website Euractiv said it has seen a draft version of a presentation which suggests that Britain's Jonathan Hill has been assigned to the energy and climate change brief despite David Cameron asking for a super-commisioner.

Mr Hill will report to Latvian Valdis Dombrovkis, who is the vice president for energy.

The leak also suggests that Germany has been assigned the crucial trade role while France, which asked for the economy position, has instead been given the competition title.


Incoming EU chief vows to address Britain's concerns

The incoming president of the European Council, Donald Tusk, has pledged to address the concerns of Britain in his new role.

He said the EU and he personally would take on the concerns voiced by Britain about the EU. "No reasonable person can imagine the EU without the UK," he said.

Prime Minister David Cameron has promised a referendum on continued EU membership by 2017.

Polish PM Donald Tusk chosen as new EU council head

Poland's prime minister Donald Tusk has been chosen by European Union leaders to become the new president of the European Council.

The top official will chair EU summits and mediate between the 28 governments for the next two-and-a-half years.

Polish leader Donald Tusk has been chosen as the new president of the European Council. Credit: PA

Federica Mogherini, the Italian foreign minister, has also replaced Catherine Ashton as the EU's foreign policy chief.

Poroshenko: Ukraine on the brink of 'full-scale war'

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has said that he believes the crisis in the east of the country is very close to the point of "full-scale war".

He said that EU leaders agreed to prepare new sanctions against Russia, which could be implemented depending on the progress of his peace plan.

He added that he hopes a meeting with Russian amd EU representatives on Monday can bring about a ceasefire.

EU considers possible new sanctions against Russia

A draft statement from EU leaders meeting in Brussels calls for officials to urgently prepare possible new sanctions against Russia over the crisis in eastern Ukraine.

They will ask the EU's executive Commission and the EU's diplomatic service to work together "to urgently undertake preparatory work" on further sanctions.


Lithuanian: Russia is in a 'state of war against Europe'

Russia is at war with Ukraine and so effectively at war with Europe, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite has said, calling on Europe to supply Kiev with military equipment.

It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe. That means we need to help Ukraine to ... defend its territory and its people and to help militarily, especially with the military materials to help Ukraine to defend itself because today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe.

– President Dalia Grybauskaite

EU warns Russia against military action in Ukraine

The European Union has warned Russia against any "unilateral military actions in Ukraine." The bloc's foreign ministers said they would consider it a "blatant violation of international law."

Russian Credit: Reuters

EU foreign ministers said in a statement after talks in Brussels that the 28-nation EU was "increasingly concerned at the worsening crisis in eastern Ukraine and its humanitarian impact on the civilian population."

British jobs 'threatened by EU energy rules'

Rising energy prices, partly driven by EU rules, are a threat to British jobs, a new study claims. Credit: PA

European Union energy rules are "destroying" British jobs, according to an independent business campaign group.

A report by Business for Britain entitled 'Energy policy and the EU - How a better deal could bring down the cost of energy and save jobs' claims rising energy costs threaten 1.5 million jobs in Britain's energy intensive sector, with 363,000 at high risk.

It states that while the EU is not the only reason energy prices have risen, it has played a "significant and growing role in driving up the cost of energy" and consequently in "reducing Britain's industrial output and in destroying jobs."

EU energy policies account for up to 9% of the cost of energy for the Energy Intensive Industries, according to the paper, and this could rise to just under 16% by 2030.

The study concludes that member states need the power to amend or block EU laws to address these problems.

Boris: Life outside 'sclerotic' EU 'attractive' option for UK

London mayor Boris Johnson will say that life outside the "sclerotic" European Union is an "attractive" option for Britain.

London mayor Boris Johnson. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire

Mr Johnson will stress that remaining in a streamlined EU remains the best option however he will also say the UK should not fear leaving the group if it cannot secure necessary reforms.

A looser association with the EU could boost trade with the rest of the world and add 1.1% to GDP, he will say.

Mr Johnson will also endorse an eight-point plan for reforming the group, going beyond the goals set out by David Cameron ahead of a possible in-out referendum in 2017.

The move has reignited speculation the London mayor is wooing Eurosceptics with a view to a future Tory leadership bid.

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