A man cleans a carpet ahead of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Photograph: Michel Euler/AP

Eight men’s wealth same as world’s poorest 50%, indicates study ahead of Davos forum

European Commission president  Jean-Claude Juncker greets Britain’s prime minister Theresa May at an EU summit in Brussels in  October. Britain’s exit from the EU will dominate theunion’s agenda in 2017. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

A year for consolidation rather than innovation as EU faces threats inside and out

An  iPhone 7: Apple accused the European Commission of chasing a “predetermined outcome” in its investigation of Ireland’s tax dealings. Photograph: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Ireland fails to justify ‘selective’ treatment of IT giant, European Commission finds

The commission’s  legal argument rests on the structure at the heart of two Apple Inc subsidiaries – Apple Sales International and Apple Operations International.  Both companies were divided into two parts – a “head office” and an “Irish branch”

Irish officials join Apple in arguing the EU commission’s case is flawed

Apple: According to the US treasury, the European ruling on the tech giant ‘threatens to erode America’s corporate tax base’. Photograph: Mike Segar/Reuters

Irish Apple subsidiaries used in way that ‘did not correspond to economic reality’

PVV leader Geert Wilders was found guilty of inciting discrimination at a rally in 2014 when he asked the crowd whether they wanted ‘more or less Moroccans’ in the country. Photograph: Michael Kooren/ Reuters

Analysts watch for the ‘Trump effect’ as Netherlands gears up for election in March

German chancellor Angela Merkel, European Parliament president Martin Schulz and British prime minister Theresa May   chat ahead of European Union leaders summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

EU’s relationship with Moscow in the spotlight as Syria and Ukraine on agenda

Belgian prime minister Charles Michel, French president Francois Hollande, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras ahead of a European Union leaders’ summit at the European Council in Brussels. Photographh: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Leaders refrain from imposing further restrictions on Moscow over actions in Syria

British prime minister Theresa May arriving for the EU leaders’ summit in Brussels on Thursday. “It’s right that the other leaders prepare for those negotiations as we have been preparing,” she said of today’s Brexit talks. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

Britain will not be present at evening talks, with Syria and Ukraine on main summit agenda

European Council president Donald Tusk in Brussels on Wednesday:  said Europeans “must take greater responsibility” for defence. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Sanctions on Russia set to be extended, with EU defence policy also on summit agenda

Mairead McGuinness: The Irish MEP lost her bid to become a candidate for president of the  European Parliament, with 57 votes to winner Antonio Tajani’s 94. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

The MEP had hoped to follow Pat Cox as next Irish president of the European Parliament

Fine Gael MEP Mairead Mc Guinness has failed to clinch the nomination to become the European People’s Party (EPP) candidate for European Parliament president.   Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fine Gael MEP loses European People’s Party nomination to Italian Antonio Tajani

Colleagues say Barnier is far from the arch-federalist bureaucrat that enemies portray. Photograph: Marlene Awaad/Bloomberg

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier gave his first press conference this week

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald: met French interior minister Bruno Le Roux at  EU justice meeting. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Tánaiste says most will be unaccompanied boys from Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea

A man walks on the logo of the Monte dei Paschi di Siena bank in Rome. Photograph:  Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

For political reasons, the ECB and European Commission may have to undermine the very systems they introduced to prevent the poss(...)

ECB president Mario Draghi  denied the scaling-back of the asset-purchasing programme was tapering. “Tapering has not been discussed today,” he said. Photograph: Frank Rumpenhorst/EPA

Bond purchases to continue but reduced to €60bn per month from April

Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi: was a committed European and  powerful voice against the austerity promulgated by Berlin and Brussels.  Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi

Matteo Renzi’s resignation is latest upset to a Europe facing altered leadership landscape

British prime minister Theresa May arrives at Riffa Fort in Manama, Bahrain,  during a three-day visit to attend the Gulf Co-operation Council summit. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

British PM agrees to show plans for leaving EU before triggering formal exit negotiations

US secretary of state John Kerry   receives the Federal Cross of Merit  award from German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier  in Berlin, Germany.  Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty

US secretary of state seeks to calm anxiety over direction of foreign policy under Trump

Monte Dei Paschi di Siena bank in Milan. It is reported the Italian bank could be gearing up for a state bailout.

Country’s third largest bank Monte dei Paschi di Sien may be preparing for state bailout

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator  speaks during a media conference at EU headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, December 6th, 2016. Photograph: Thierry Monasse/AP

Michel Barnier says time for negotiations will be shorter than the two-years set out under Article 50

Investors are fretting in wake of Italian PM Matteo Renzi’s imminent exit. Photograph: Getty Images

Noonan says developments in Italy pose no contagion risks to Irish banking system

Outgoing Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi: the former mayor of Florence was a pro-EU force, and a powerful centre-left voice at the EU table. Photograph: Franco Origlia/Getty

While Italy remains essentially pro-EU, volatility lurks in its troubled banking sector

Euro group president  Jeroen Dijsselbloem and Greece’s finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos  meet ahead of a euro group finance ministers meeting  on Monday. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Minister argues for more room for investment spending as finance ministers meet

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, head of the group of euro-zone finance ministers, during a news conference following the meeting in Brussels on Monday.  Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

No financial crisis coming after Italian referendum result, Minister says in Brussels

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi leaves a press conference after he announcing his resignation in Rome. Photograph: AFP

Main fallout will be financial as instability grips euro zone’s third-largest economy

Minister for Finance  Michael Noonan: will join other euro zone finance ministers in Brussels to discuss a range of politically sensitive issues. Photograph:  Niall Carson/PA Wire

Review of Greek bailout also on agenda along with EU debt and deficit rules

European Parliament president Martin Schulz, front,  with European Council president Donald Tusk and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/ Reuters

Contacts between European Commission and EU member states have also intensified

Apple chief executive Tim Cook: said the company is putting money in a holding account pending the outcome of its appeal against the European Commission ruling, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Taoiseach restates opposition to €13bn bill following meeting with CEO Tim Cook

European commissioner for economic and financial affairs Pierre Moscovici: new VAT plan   involves “less time wasted, less red tape and fewer costs”. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

Proposal for cross-border VAT returns to be eventually filed through single portal

The colonial presence of Belgium in the Congo and the brutality of the regime of King Leopold II  is the subject of an exhibition in Brussels’s Bozar museum.

Brutal acts of colonisation under King Leopold II are context and content of artworks

IItalian Socialist MEP Gianni Pittella and European Commission presidentJean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Julien Warnand/EPA

Irish MEP Mairead McGuinness is among the top EPP candidates for the position

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini: The  Defence Action Plan encourages member states to invest more in military security as anxiety  grows in  Baltic states about the threat of Russian aggression. Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

Ireland’s neutrality ‘not affected’ by defence action plan announced in Brussels

EIB vice-president Andrew McDowell: former economic adviser to Taoiseach Enda Kenny was appointed as Ireland’s nominee to the EIB in July.

Vice-president Andrew McDowell says Ireland could benefit as new office opens

Refugees wait for the arrival of officials at Nizip refugee camp near Gaziantep, Turkey in April. Photograph: Umit Bektas/Reuters

Turkish president makes vow in response to parliament vote to freeze accession talks

 Petro Poroshenko with European Council president Donald Tusk on Thursday: The Ukrainian president described a trade agreement with the EU as “a symbol of the fight of our country for our European future”.  Photograph: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

Ireland and UK exempt from allowing Ukrainian nationals to visit without visa

Mairéad McGuinness: committed to an “EU27 approach” to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Analysis: many believe Irish MEP has best chance of cross-party support for presidency

The letter to  European Commission president Jean- Claude Juncker calls for greater progress on the single market. Photograph: EPA

State joined with Netherlands in sending letter on single market to Jean-Claude Juncker

A retired lecturer at Trinity College Dublin has lost his appeal at the European Court of Justice which would have allowed his partner of 30 years to access his pension after his death.  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Appeal which would have allowed same-sex partner to access pension after death is dismissed

As one of 12 vice-presidents of the 751-member parliament,Mairead McGuinness has built up a high profile and is well regarded within the EPP group. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Irish MEP declares candidacy after news that incumbent Martin Schulz will not run

Signs of toughening resolve from Brussels over Brexit have been reflected in a series of warnings from senior European politicians over the last week. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Industrious European Commission bureaucrats thrive on complex legislative drafting

European People’s Party head Manfred Weber: “Our message to Turkey is very clear: accession negotiations should be frozen immediately.” Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Europe Letter: Effects of ‘freezing out’ Ankara include risks to security and human rights

European Commission president Jean- Claude Juncker:   New  rules  would require the EU’s biggest banks to hold sufficient assets to  deal with  financial distress. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

European Commission may require foreign banks operating in EU to hold extra capital

David Davis (left) and Guy Verhofstadt: Their meeting was described as ‘constructive’. Photograph:   PA Wire

UK’s Brexit minister David Davis meets senior EU negotiators for talks on leaving EU

Eyre Square, Galway: the city was selected in July as Ireland’s nominee for European Capital of Culture

Mayor says cost to Galway will be offset by long-term economic dividend

President of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi said European unity was more important than ever. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP via Getty

ECB president says cohesion being tested by such events as Brexit

Supporters paste a poster of Marine Le Pen, France’s National Front leader, on a wall in Frejus, France. Photograph: Eric Gaillard

Cohesion of European Union to face pressure in looming elections and referendums

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan and Spanish counterpart Luis de Guindos during a meeting of finance ministers in Brussels this month. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Commission bid to ease austerity likely to put more pressure on Ministers over public pay

Mairead McGuinness: she has a good relationship with other groups in the European Parliament, a vital attribute for any nominee. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fine Gael MEP may become European People’s Party nominee

The European Commission has sanctioned a 0.5 per cent “fiscal expansion” across the euro area next year, in the first signal of a shift in the EU’s policy of austerity. Photographer: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

Commission sanctions 0.5% move as Ireland’s budget wins approval

European Parliament president Martin Schulz: He   has asked that  information be gathered on how Britain’s imminent departure will impact various EU legislative files passing through the parliament’s committees. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

Concern in Brussels over influence of UK on policies under discussion ahead of exit talks

Irish farmers have expressed concerns that the Irish beef sector could be adversely affected by any trade deal with South American exporters, such as Brazil and Argentina. Photograph: Frank Miller

EU study confirms concerns that Irish farmers could be disproportionately affected

Luxembourg foreign minister Jean Asselborn, German foreign minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier, and EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini  at  the EU   meeting in Brussels on Monday. Photograph:  Reuters/Yves Herman

Pressure on Assad increased, as Europe braces for possible US policy shift under Trump

Donald Trump’s victory could  raise problems for Europe given his stated support for Russian president Vladimir Putin and his questioning of Washington’s commitment to Nato. Photograph: Michael Klimentyev/EPA

Limp start to EU foreign policy meetings on US election fallout, Syria and Turkey

EU commissioner for trade Cecilia Malmstrom:  “TTIP will probably be in the freezer for quite some time.” Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP

Cecilia Malmstrom says resumption of TTIP talks unlikely under Trump presidency

Commuters stand in front of a poster displaying an image of Russian president Vladimir Putin at the Wall Street subway station in New York. Photograph: Michael Nagle/Bloomberg

Donald Trump’s shock victory major boost for Moscow but puts unprepared EU on edge

The announcement of  Trump’s victory at the US embassy in Brussels early on Wednesday. Photograph: AFP Photo/Laurie Dieffembacq

Implications of victory on Nato and transatlantic foreign policy could be far reaching

Irish tax authorities  are liaising with officials in the European Commission over  procedure for recouping  alleged state aid received by Apple. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

Minister for Finance says there are no pending state aid cases after Apple tax ruling

 Pierre Moscovici: “European growth will hold up in 2017 against a more challenging backdrop than in the spring”

Commission lowers expansion rate slightly to 3.6% due to Brexit worries

 Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg who said after Donald Trump’s win that  ‘a strong Nato is good for the United States, and good for Europe’. Photograph: EPA

US election: Nato secretary general looks forward to working with president-elect

Kristalina Georgieva resigned from her role as European Commission vice-president to join the World Bank as chief executive. Photograph: Dominick Reuter/AFP/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Appointment of gaffe-prone commissioner to budget role causes controversy

  Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly  said that a number of issues arose from the findings of the three-person ethics committee. Photograph: Alan Betson

She says Goldman Sachs role for former European Commission head raises trust issues

Irish man Tadhg O’Briain is to join the European Commission’s Brexit taskforce led by former EU commissioner Michel Barnier.

Tadhg O’Briain appointed to team at forefront of EU negotiations with Britain

A blow: Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau (right) spars with Yuri Foreman at Gleason’s Gym in New York. Trudeau had to cancel his trip to Brussels to sign the EU-Canada trade deal this week. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

The signing of Ceta was delayed this week after a region of Belgium rejected it

Belgium’s prime minister Charles Michel has confirmed agreement reached over EU-Canada Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA). Photograph: Getty Images

Progress follows resolution of internal Belgian dispute that raised serious questions about the EU's ability to negotiate a trade (...)

Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau: cancelled  visit to Brussels after intra-governmental talks in Belgium on the EU-Canada trade deal ended without agreement  on Wednesday. Photograph: iStock

Justin Trudeau had been expected to sign landmark Ceta deal between EU and Canada

 Mairead McGuinness MEP: respected by both sides in the European Parliament. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Fine Gael MEP seen as leading contender to succeed Martin Schulz as president

Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders arriving at an emergency meeting on Ceta in Brussels. Photograph: AFP Photo/Emmanuel Dunand

Hopes that scheduled summit between the two blocs can go ahead

Pierre Moscovici: The economics commissioner is relaunching the controversial idea of a common consolidated corporate tax base across the EU. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Previous proposals to rein in aggressive tax planning failed to garner member support

Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, has said his country is unable to ratify the EU-Canada trade deal after failing to win the backing of the regional parliament of Wallonia.

Earlier on Monday Belgian prime minister said his country could not ratify EU trade deal with Canada

 Paul Magnette is president of Wallonia – the French-speaking region of southern Belgium which has blocked the CETA deal amid continuing concerns.

European Council president Donald Tusk gives Wallonia deadline to agree CETA

 European Parliament president Martin Schulz and Walloon president Paul Magnette at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Melanie Wenger/EPA

Ceta talks resume in Brussels following walkout by Canadian trade minister

British prime minister Theresa May is welcomed by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at the EC headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Reuters

Summit told UK departure to be ‘smooth’ as leaders haggle over Russia and Canada

Enda Kenny: “No other state-aid cases have been opened against Ireland arising from the information submitted to the commission, nor have we any indication that there are any other cases under consideration.” Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty

State understood to have shown EU details of up to 300 tax rulings offered to firms

Paul Magnette, president of the Wallonian parliament. The French-speaking region of Belgium has voted to block the Ceta trade agreement between the EU and Canada.   Photograph: Thierry Charlier/AFP/Getty Images

EU summit: Canadian trade minister declares deal dead as EU’s trade reputation takes hit

European Union competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager: “We look at state aid from any possible angle to see if tools are being used that shouldn’t be use to give a selective advantage.” Photograph: Eric Vidal/Reuters

EU competition commissioner is adamant Apple tax ruling is not political issue

Minister for Finance Michael Noonan with EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager at a European Union finance ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg in 2012. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Margrethe Vestager defends Apple ruling as State intensifies discussions with Brussels

British prime minister Theresa May speaks to  Taoiseach Enda Kenny at  the   EU leaders’ summit in Brussels. Photographer: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

Taoiseach says detailed talks on action against Moscow over Syria set to take place

People march to protest against the planned Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between the European Union and Canada, and similar plans between the EU and US. Photograph:  Agencja Gazeta/Kuba Atys/Reuters

EU-Canada deal rejection by Belgium’s Walloon parliament last week a key concern

Protesters  show their opposition to the proposed EU-Canada trade deal, Ceta.  Wallonia’s regional parliament, which represents 3.5 million French-speaking Belgians, voted not to back the deal. Photograph: Nicolas Lambert/AFP/Getty Images

EU ministers were due to ratify the Ceta deal, but the Belgian region of Wallonia says no

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker with European Council president Donald Tusk  in Brussels on  Wednesday: EU leaders will debate the bloc’s relationship with Russia over dinner on Thursday night – the Iraqi government’s advance on Mosul is not on the agenda. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/AP Photo

Brussels summit to focus on Brexit and ‘selective engagement’ with Moscow

The decision by Britain to leave the EU has thrown up enormous challenges for Ireland. Of all EU member states Ireland is the country most economically exposed to Britain’s imminent departure. Photograph: Walter Zerla/Getty Images

Anglo-Irish relationship faces raft of challenges and State to lose key ally in Brussels

British foreign secretary Boris Johnson and US secretary of state John Kerry give a joint press conference after a meeting on Syria in London on Sunday. Photograph:  Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images

Boris Johnson appears to rule out notion of no-bombing zone over Aleppo

Protesting farmers parked tractors outside the Walloon regional parliament in Namur, Belgium as deputies debated the Ceta trade agreement between the EU and Canada. On Friday, lawmakers rejected the deal. Photographer: Reuters/François Lenoir

Ireland has already signed off on deal rejected by one of Belgium’s regional parliaments

Valdis Dombrovskis: The vice-president of the European Commission has argued that more stringent capital requirements for banks may encourage more risky business models. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The banking sector is in such trouble that the IMF says it threatens the global economy

French prime minister Manuel Valls: he said EU states must “progress towards common European tax rates”

Corporate device allows French companies apply 15% tax rate on intellectual property activity rather than standard 35%

 Dublin Airport passport control: it seems difficult to see how those campaigning to leave the EU in order to “take back control” of Britain’s borders will be content with effectively outsourcing border controls to Ireland. Photograph: PA

Reality is there are no easy solutions to the Northern Ireland Border problem

Eurogroup chairman and Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem: Trouble at Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank and Italy’s continuing problem with non-performing loans in its banking sector have highlighted problems in Europe’s banking sector. Photograph: Bart Maat/EPA

France and Germany lead opposition to proposals for increased capital requirements

Greece’s third international bailout was agreed 14 months ago after months of fractious negotiations between the EU and the Syriza government, which swept to power in Greece in January 2014

Divisions emerge between states about whether Greece had fulfilled requirements set out by European lenders

Minister of State Eoghan Murphy: “We have put a huge amount of work into this. We’re just taking a different strategy to some of the other countries”

Germany reportedly ahead in luring London-based financials to its cities

Greece’s prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, whose government has been implementing a series of “milestones” set out by lenders. Photograph: Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters

Luxembourg meeting to consider unlocking €2.8 billion in bailout funding to Athens

The European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: Will meet Taoiseach Enda Kenny and senior officials in the Department of Taoiseach for talks on Wednesday. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images

British government rows back on parts of plan to force companies to list foreign staff

UK Independence Party MEP Steven Woolfe lying on a walk-way inside the European Parliament building in Strasbourg on Thursday. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

European Parliament president Martin Schulz says reports of row ‘extremely serious’

Steven Woolfe lies face-down on a walkway inside the European Parliament building in Strasbourg: he remained in hospital on Thursday night. Photograph: ITV news/AFP/Getty Images

MEP Steven Woolfe collapses after altercation with colleague at European Parliament

Ukip’s Steven Woolfe lies on the floor at the European Parliament building in Strasbourg. Photograph: ITV News/PA Wire

Nigel Farage regrets incident involving Steven Woolfe for making party ‘look violent’

Police and army personnel stand guard during a bomb alert outside the Brussels North train station. Photograph: Thierry Roge/AFP/Getty Images

Man identified by police as ‘Hicham D’ arrested after being shot in the leg by officer

Donald Tusk: the European Council president  has signalled that he will take a tough negotiating line with the UK. Photograph: Marcus Ericsson/AFP/Getty Images

By any measure, Ireland is more exposed than any union member to UK’s departure

A security perimeter has been set around  the scene where two police officers were stabbed on Wednesday  in the Schaerbeek neighbourhood in Brussels. Photograph: Dirk Waem/Getty Images

Man (43) stabbed one officer in neck and the other in abdomen in the Schaerbeek area

A Syrian boy in rubble after air strikes in rebel-held Douma, on the outskirts of the Damascus. More than a dozen raids pounded the town, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group. Photograph: Abd doumany/Getty

Washington to stop all stop bilateral discussions with Moscow on Syria

Dublin fireman Neil McCabe was chosen as the first Irish ‘Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative’ fellow.

Founder of ‘The Green Way’, Neil McCabe was chosen as the first Irish YTILI fellow

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