Opinion: The Latest Reports from The Wall Street Journals ‘Brussels Real Time’


Here are the latest reports from The Wall Street Journals ‘Brussels Real Time’

EU Week Ahead March 14-18: Migration, EU Summit, Tax Rulings
Our feature on the week ahead in the European Union.

Europe’s Prisons Overcrowding Problem Eases, New Report Shows
Europe’s jail population is dropping. Part of the reason: budget cuts.

EU Week Ahead March 7-11: Summit With Turkey, Gazprom, Greece
Proceedings in Brussels over the coming week will be dominated by the European Union-Turkey summit on Monday, when EU leaders will meet with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to discuss migration. The other main scheduled events are meetings of the bloc’s finance, interior and justice ministers.

Court Gives EU Fruit Regulations a Fresh Squeeze
The European Court of Justice on Thursday upheld the European Commission’s power to require labeling on citrus fruits when preservatives or other chemicals have been applied.

With Emissions Probe, EU Lawmakers Hope to Create ‘Ever Cleaner Union”
The head of the European Parliament’s inquiry committee into car emissions told Real Time Brussels what the legislature aims to achieve with its probe.

U.S. Navy Begins Arctic Exercise Amid Stepped-up Criticism of Russia
As the Russians step up their military activity in the Arctic, the U.S. Navy is also continuing its work in the high north—but publicly the mission remains focused on scientific, not military endeavors.

Does NATO Need to Rethink its Nuclear Strategy?
NATO leaders of the western alliance have begun talking more about nuclear deterrence, but a prominent American military strategist said the U.S. and its allies need to take a new look at their strategic doctrine.

EU’s Juncker Mulls June Trip to Russia
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is considering a visit to the Russian president’s St. Petersburg Forum in June — just before EU leaders decide on Russia sanctions.

Steel Industry, Georgia, Migration: EU Week Ahead Feb 29-March 4
Our regular feature on the week ahead in Brussels and the European Union.

Brexit Will Call Everything Into Question, Says Belgian Prime Minister
Charles Michel talks to The Wall Street Journal about the U.K., migration, terrorism and corporate taxation. A transcript.

Hungary Defends Referendum on EU Refugee Relocation Plan
Hungary’s government on defended its decisions to order a referendum on whether to accept refugees under the EU’s relocation plan, calling the vote a matter of national sovereignty.

Without the Ripples, Coca Cola Bottles Aren’t the Real Thing, Says EU Court
Without the ripples, or fluted lines, Coke bottles are no different “from other bottles available on the market” and can’t be trademarked, the EU’s second-highest court said.

Central Bank Bemoans Belgium’s Poor Record in Absorbing Migrants
National bank chief says Belgian’s poor record of absorbing immigrants into the labor market is “unbelievable.”

Brexit Reaction, Telecoms, TTIP, NATO: EU Week Ahead Feb. 22 – 26
The U.K.’s reaction to the Brexit deal, Mobile World Congress, TTIP, NATO, and Iraqi asylum seekers — here’s what to watch for in the week ahead.

EU To End Special Monitoring of Romania, Says Juncker
The European Commission will end Romania’s special monitoring in the field of justice and fight against corruption before the end of the commission’s term, its chief Jean-Claude Juncker said Monday.

Q&A With Russian NATO Ambassador
The Wall Street Journal spoke with Alexander Grushko, Russia’s ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, at the Munich Security Conference to discuss the alliance’s push for dialogue, Moscow’s views of western troops in Poland and the Baltic States and other issues.

Brexit Summit, Migration, Gas, Steel: EU Week Ahead Feb. 15-19
This week will be marked by one much-anticipated summit, setting out the changes the 27 other European Union countries are willing to make to keep the U.K. as a member.

Russia Rebuffs NATO’s Push for Dialogue on Ukraine, Military Exercises
Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization failed to come an agreement on a formal meeting Friday, a blow to the alliance’s push to restart dialogue with Moscow.

EU-U.K. Talks: Negotiators Agree Just One of Cameron’s Four Demands
Senior negotiators from the 28 governments in the European Union on Thursday managed to settle just one of the four issues included in a draft deal aimed at keeping the U.K. inside the EU.

Antitrust Scrutiny Took Out Mergers Valued at €60 Billion in 2015
Company mergers and takeovers valued at more than €60 billion fell through last year due to antitrust scrutiny, according to a new report by law firm Allen & Overy.

EU: Reintroduction of Border Checks Would Cost up to €18 Billion a Year
Restoring systematic passport checks in Europe’s open-border zone could cost the economy between €5 billion and €18 billion, the EU executive warns.

Scientists to EU: Save Our Salamanders
Scientists and environmentalists urge the EU to tackle an Asian fungal disease that aggressively eats away the skin of salamanders and newts, two lizard-like amphibian species.

Brexit, Safe Harbor, 5G and Counter-Terrorism: EU Week Ahead Feb.1-7
What to watch out for in the European Union for the week ahead.

Romanian Government To Abolish Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free Book Law
The Romanian government this week is set to abolish a law allowing convicts to spend less time behind bars if they write books, Raluca Pruna, the country’s justice minister said in an interview. In the past few years, Romanian courts have sentenced hundreds of people to jail for corruption, fraud and abuse of power, including high-ranking politicians, football club owners and businessmen. But a law dating back to 2013, allowing convicts to shave off one month of jail time for each scientific book they write, has created an entire book-publishing industry for what Romanians call “luxury convicts.” In 2014, 89 such books were published, while in 2015, the number spiked to 337. Some convicts wrote books at implausible speed, triggering suspicions of plagiarism and fraud. The country’s anti-corruption prosecutors have meanwhile opened an investigation into university professors who vouched for the books, publishing houses who accepted to print them and penitentiary officials who recommended the early release of the convicts. Ms. Pruna, the justice minister, said the law has triggered a big debate in Romanian society. “There is no equivalent in any EU member state for having any benefit for writing a scientific book behind bars. We also have discrimination here, because if I’m painting while executing a sentence, I get nothing. Artistic work is not to be rewarded in any way,” Ms. Pruna said. “So yes, I will make a proposal to the government to take off this provision, on Feb. 3,” she said. The government is expected to adopt the proposal, which will enter into force immediately.

EU Court Adviser Flags Limits on Detaining Migrants in Schengen Zone
Illegally entering or staying in a country in the Schengen zone isn’t in itself a reason for imprisonment, an adviser to the EU’s highest court says.

What’s Next for Britain’s EU Negotiations
Here are the next steps for Britain’s European Union negotiations following the bloc’s proposals on the U.K.’s demands for a changed relationship with the EU.

Trade Cost of Schengen Border Controls Estimated At €110 Billion
A French government think tank estimates the cost of abandoning the Schengen passport-free zone.

Juncker To Renzi: Caro Matteo, Stop Messing About
Real Time Brussels read the letter European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker sent to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, just hours before he announced he would no longer block the creation of a fund for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

Hellhole Brussels — First the Trump, Then the Website, Next the T-Shirt?
Brussels creatives are turning Donald Trump’s classification of their city as a “hellhole” into an opportunity.

NATO Troop Expansion, Brexit and Gas: EU Week Ahead Feb. 8-12
The most exciting talks in Brussels will likely happen at the NATO headquarters, where defense ministers will decide whether to deploy more troops in Poland and the Baltic states.

Defense Think Tank Pushes for New Talks Between Russia and NATO
A think tank that has taken a critical view of military exercises by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russia presses for new steps to try to reduce the risk of military escalation.

Here Are Six Known Unknowns in Britain’s Negotiations With the EU
With 10 days to go until the big Brexit summit, here are the main “known unknowns” in the negotiations on overhauling the U.K.’s relationship with the EU.

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