Europe

India becomes 69th shareholder of EBRD

India has been formally announced as the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). India has only taken a shareholding in EBRD but it will not be a recipient of EBRD financing. London-headquartered EBRD is a multilateral development bank set up in 1991 after the fall of the Berlin Wall to promote private & entrepreneurial initiative in emerging Europe.

UK’s Brexit minister resigns

Britain’s Brexit minister David Davis has resigned from the Cabinet stating policy differences over PM Theresa May’s exit plan from the European Union. It is a blow to May as she seeks to win over Eurosceptic MPs to her proposed Brexit vision, which would form the basis of UK’s position in ongoing talks with EU. Junior minister for housing Dominic Raab will be Britain’s new Brexit minister.

British Queen approves Brexit law

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth granted royal assent to Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit legislation on 26th June. The debate over the legislation will formally end the country’s European Union membership. The E.U. (Withdrawal) Bill would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act through which Britain had become a member of EU. The Brexit day in British law slated as March 29, 2019.

Sushma Swaraj on a 7 day tour to 4 Countries

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is on a 7 day tour of 4 European countries – Italy, France, Luxembourg and Belgium, which is aimed to strengthen trade ties and revamp pending EU-India free trade pact. During her visit she would celebrate 20th anniversary for India – French Partnership. She would also be the 1st ever external affairs minister to visit Luxembourg.

India to host European Union Film Festival

The European Union Film Festival will premiere in New Delhi on 18th June, 2018. With a selection of 24 latest European films from 23 EU Member States, this years’ film festival will bring some unusual stories for the world cinema enthusiasts. The European Union Film Festival is organized by Directorate of Film Festivals, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India and EU.

EU pledges 20 mn euros to ease Jordan

European Union announced 20 million euros (USD 23.5 million) in aid for Jordan following a wave of anti-austerity protests that led to the prime minister’s resignation. Cash-strapped Jordan is struggling to rein in its debt after securing a USD 723-million loan from the International Monetary Fund in 2016. The World Bank says Jordan has “weak growth prospects” in 2018.

World first EPR nuclear reactor begins

A third generation EPR reactor in China carried out its first nuclear chain reaction, an initial start up which is a world first for the much-delayed European technology. The European Pressurised Reactor (EPR) in China “carried out its first chain and therefore it has started. The reactor is not expected to be completed until the mid 2020s.

EU to observe Zimbabwe polls for first time

The European Union will deploy observers to Zimbabwe’s general election expected in July, the first time in 16 years the bloc will monitor polls in the southern African country. The EU and Zimbabwe’s government signed a memorandum outlining guidelines for election monitors. Zimbabwe formally invited the EU in March to send an election observation mission.

New data protection rules come into effect

European Union’s new data protection laws have come into effect. The General Data Protection Regulation gives EU citizens more rights over how their information is used. It establishes consumers’ “right to know” who is processing their information & what it will be used for. It also establishes the key principle that individuals must explicitly grant permission for their data to be used.

Messi won European Golden Shoe

Barcelona striker Lionel Messi has won his 5th European Golden Shoe after his team defeated Real Sociedad in their final La Liga match of the season. Messi won the award with 34 goals, for a total of 68 points during the 2017-18 season. Messi is the only player to have won the European Golden Shoe 5 times. 4-time winner Cristiano Ronaldo finished 9th after scoring 26 goals for Real Madrid.

India to construct war memorial in France

India will construct a war memorial at Villers Guislain to honour the valour and sacrifice of its soldiers, sailors and airmen who fought for peace in the World War-I. During the World War I, Villers-Guislain had witnessed a fierce battle in which the British Indian cavalry regiments were heavily involved. This will be the second such memorial in Europe after Neuve-Chapelle Indian Memorial.

Isro develops desi atomic clock

Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has developed an atomic clock that will be used in navigation satellites to measure precise location data. The space agency currently imports atomic clocks from European aerospace manufacturer Astrium for its navigation satellites.The atomic clock is currently undergoing a series of qualification tests.

India and EU sign an agreement

India and the European Union have signed an agreement that will enable them to share earth observation data from each other‘s satellites. The European Commission will provide India with free, full and open access to the data from the Copernicus Sentinel family of satellites and ISRO will share data from its earth observation satellites. The pact was inked in Bengaluru.

Europe’s Capital of Culture: Valletta

Valletta, the capital of Malta, was officially named European Capital of Culture 2018.Valletta will share the title with Leeuwarden, a city in the Netherlands. The ‘European Capitals of Culture’ initiative aims to highlight the diversity of European culture and to increase the citizens’ sense of belonging to a common cultural area.

Upgrade of mishap-prevention system

Indian Railways has cleared a Rs 12,000-crore proposal to equip electric locomotives with the latest European train protection system.Railway Board cleared the proposal to equip 6,000 electric locos with European Train Control System Level-II to help drivers to prevent rail mishaps.Currently, Railways has a basic automatic train protection system based on the ETCS Level-I specification.

EU Launches Election Observation Mission

The European Union Election Observation Mission was officially launched to monitor the general and provincial polls in Nepal which are scheduled for November 26 and December 7. Around 100 election observers from member countries of the EU have been deployed to oversee the polls in the Himalayan nation. The EU has allocated 3.5 million euro for the entire election observation process.

Nordic-Baltic youth film festival

The Nordic-Baltic embassies are set to host the first ever youth film festival of the European nations at India Habitat Centre in New Delhi from 13 – 18 November 2017. The film festival is organized by Nordic-Baltic embassies in collaboration with the India Habitat Centre. The Nordic-Baltic countries are Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Sweden.

India, EU to fight against terror

India and the European Union have named three globally proscribed terrorists, Hafiz Saeed, Zaki-ur-Rehman Lakhvi and Dawood Ibrahim in their joint statement and shown convergence in views to combat terrorism. While Saeed and Lakhvi are accused of the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks, Dawood is accused of the 1993 Mumbai blasts. The announcement was made following talks at the 14th India-EU summit.

Scientists detect 4th gravitational wave

Scientists have made the 4th detection of gravitational waves – ripples in fabric of space & time formed by the collision of 2 massive black holes. For the first time, the detection was made jointly with Virgo observatory from Europe. LIGO-Virgo collaboration includes more than a thousand scientists from different countries, setting a great example in international scientific cooperation.

Military cooperation deal

Britain and Saudi Arabia have signed a framework deal on military and security cooperation as the Riyadh regime intensifies its ongoing campaign against Yemen. The agreement comes as Britain seeks to explore lucrative trade deals outside Europe, after voting to leave the European Union. The deal comes just 2 days after Gulf rival Qatar agreed to purchase jet fighters from the European nation

Tata Steel, Thyssenkrupp Sign MoU

Tata Steel and Thyssenkrupp AG have signed MoU to create Europe’s second-largest steel enterprise by combining the flat steel businesses of the two companies. The proposed 50:50 joint venture would be focused on quality and technology leadership, and the supply of premium and differentiated products to customers. The new company is likely to be headquartered in Amsterdam region.

Spain to shorten 11-hour working day

Spain’s 11-hour stretch working day could be abandoned as the government seeks to bring the country into line with the rest of Europe. The employment minister announced a push to let Spaniards knock off at 6pm, rather than the current 8pm. The government is also willing to consider improving work-life balance, reversing the Franco-era decision that put Spain in the wrong time zone.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins Ballon d’Or 2016

The 31-year-old is now one behind Barcelona’s Messi, who took the honour for a fifth time last year. Ronaldo helped Real Madrid win last season’s Champions League and scored three goals as Portugal won Euro 2016. He has now won the Ballon d’Or in 2008, 2013, 2014 and 2016, with Messi the only other recipient of the award since winning it for the first time in 2009.

Bjorn to Captain Europe’s Ryder Cup Team

Thomas Bjorn has been announced as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain for the next contest in France in 2018. Bjorn has been handed the task of regaining the trophy following this year’s heavy defeat at Hazeltine National under Darren Clarke. The Dane’s three appearances as a player all resulted in victories. He has also been an assistant captain four times, including vice-captain to Clarke.

Italy PM Resigns after Referendum Defeat

Italian PM Matteo Renzi has resigned after suffering a heavy defeat in a referendum over his plan to reform the constitution. With most ballots counted, the No vote leads with 60% against 40% for Yes. The turnout was nearly 70%, in a vote that was seen as a chance to register discontent with the prime minister. PM Renzi was the only premier left in Europe with a vision for the EU’s future.