German minister for foreign affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier (L) speaks to media as he arrives for a Foreign Affairs Council meeting at the EU Council headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Julein Warnand/EPA

Minister for Foreign Affairs says supply of arms by Moscow ‘undermines democracy’

German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is seeking to escalate pressure on Russia. Photograph: Abir Sultan/EPA

EU Foreign Affairs Council will turn to so-called Phase Three sanctions on certain sectors of the Russian economy

Russia’s ambassador to the United Nations Vitaly Churkin (centre) warned the UN Security Council  against  attempts to pressure an investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Photograph: Reuters

Sanctions against Russia may look feeble as EU forges unified reaction

Crowds gather in front of the GPO on O’Connell Street, in Dublin, in November, 2010, as the country entered the final hours of negotiations for emergency EU and IMF loans aimed at preventing the crisis from spreading to Portugal and Spain and threatening the future of the euro. Photographs: Reuters/Cathal McNaughton

A lively account of the euro zone crisis also offers a sensible analysis of possible directions for the zone

Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat listens to Britain’s prime minister David Cameron as Taoiseach Enda Kenny walks past during the European Union summit in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

End of Brussels talks a potential blow to effort to secure agriculture commissioner post

Taoiseach Enda Kenny with British prime minister David Cameron and  EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton at the  summit in Brussels yesterday. Photograph: Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Decision on council presidency and foreign policy chief may be deferred until August

Commissionerships are still a valued commodity, as the debate over the nomination of Phil Hogan  confirms, not least due to the  salary and benefits. With commissioners commanding a monthly salary of €20,800 – rising to €23,100 for vice-presidents – plus pension, residence allowances and transitional payments.

Appointment of commissioners will be test of political mettle

European Parliament president Martin Schulz congratulates Jean-Claude Juncker after his election as president of the European Commission. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Van Rompuy successor decision expected to be deferred at Brussels meeting

Jean-Claude Juncker: “The economy has to serve people and not the other way around.” Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

New European Commission president seeks package to stimulate economy

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