Nessa Childers, whose resignation from Labour left her position in the S&D group untenable last year, has rejoined the fold. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

As they took their seats in the European Parliament this week, the 751 MEPs elected in the 2014 elections had reasons to feel optimistic. After five y(...)

People gather outside a closed McDonald’s restaurant  in the Crimean city of Simferopol today. McDonald’s has shut its restaurants in Crimea for “manufacturing reasons”, the US fast food chain said. Photograph: Reuters

McDonald’s announced today it had closed its restaurants in Crimea, prompting fears of a backlash as a prominent Moscow politician called for (...)

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso.

Anti austerity campaigners plan to picket University College Cork this afternoon in protest over the university’s decision to award an honorary(...)

 Italy’s new prime minister, Matteo Renzi,  is  pursued by the media as he leaves a church after attending Sunday Mass near Florence yesterday.   Photograph:  Maurizio Degl’Innocenti

In keeping with his innovative image, Italy’s youngest prime minister, Matteo Renzi, yesterday started his first (...)

Newly appointed Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi (right) talks with Italian president Giorgio Napolitano during the swearing in ceremony for 16 new ministers at Quirinale palace in Rome today. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

Italian centre-left leader Matteo Renzi was sworn in as prime minister this morning, taking his oath of office from president Giorgio Napolitan(...)

To win the popular mandate that he has insisted would be the only basis on which he would assume power, Matteo Renzi will now take power unelec(...)

Matteo Renzi arrives back in Florence to preside over his last city council meeting as town mayor. Photograph: Reuters

Italian prime minister-in-waiting Matteo Renzi took his first steps through what he has called “the misty bog(...)

Matteo Renzi in Florence, Italy, yesterday. Photograph:  EPA/Maurizio Degl’Innocenti

Matteo Renzi, the newest kid on the Italian government block, may this morning receive a preliminary mandate from state p (...)

Mayor of Florence Matteo Renzi during a ceremony at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence yesterday. President Giorgio Napolitano is expected to give a mandate to Mr Renzi to form a government. Photograph: Maurizio Degl’Innocenti/EPA

In a country with a strong tendency towards gerontocracy, one can only welcome the figure of 39-year-old Matteo Renzi. After all, this is a cou(...)

Enrico Letta arrives at the presidential palace to tender his resignation after his Democratic Party backed leader Matteo Renzi’s call for a new government. EPA/Alessandro Di Meo

Prime Minister Enrico Letta resigned his office as expected, on another dramatic day which saw Italy’s most r(...)