Taoiseach Micheál Martin leaves an EU Council meeting in Brussels on July 19th. Photograph: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Many Irish MEPs have stayed in Ireland and worked remotely during the pandemic

British cabinet office minister Michael Gove visited the Ulster Carpets factory in Co Armagh on Friday in the course of his visit to Northern Ireland. Photograph: Press Eye/PA Wire

Planned trader support service leaves many issues unresolved despite £650m pledge

Cyclists wear protective face masks as they ride on a street in Antwerp. Britain and Belgium have imposed travel restrictions on one another. Photograph:  Francois Walschaerts/AFP via Getty Images

Italian governor warns of travel risks as virus makes inroads into places that had escaped worst

French civil security personnel    heading for Beirut as France sends search and rescue teams on three military planes a day after a powerful explosion tore through Lebanon’s capital. Photograph: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty

Europe Letter: Europe faces instability on its borders as regional rivalries focus on Libya

GP Eva von Ehren performs a Covid-19 test at her practice in Kamp-Lintfort, Germany. Photograph: Friedemann Vogel/EPA

Record rise in Polish cases as Netherlands sees large number of under-60s hospitalised

France’s European affairs minister Clement Beaune: Paris will push for rules to would bar countries that do not respect democratic norms from receiving aid from the EU’s €750 billion coronavirus recovery fund. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP

Call for EU to stall aid due to media curtailment, court interference and LGBT rights issues

Passengers at the departure gates at terminal 1 in Dublin airport on Thursday. Photograph:  Colin Keegan/Collins

Europe Letter: A way of life has come to a halt with deep implications for the Irish State

People on  Montredon beach during hot weather in Marseille, southern France, earlier this week. Photograph: Clement Mahoudeau/AFP/Getty

Authorities warn of no summer slowdown for virus as young people increasingly affected

European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen: ‘We are full of admiration for how the Irish people... have overcome very, very difficult times.’ Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Ireland exemplifies the benefits of being part of the bloc, says commission president

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orbán arrives for the fourth day of the European Council meeting in Brussels. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

Europe Letter: Ambiguity in EU deal allows opposing sides claim victory

Taoiseach Micheál Martin: ‘The agreement reached is unprecedented in terms of the European Union collectively borrowing for the first time ever to respond to a global pandemic of this scale.’ Photograph: Francisco Seco

State in line for large share of €5bn Brexit fund in ‘unprecedented’ joint borrowing plan

Irish farming organisations had been concerned that the deal would entail a reduction in subsidies. Photograph: Trevor Snapp/Bloomberg

Government pushes back on complaints of cuts by farming groups

European Parliament president David Sassoli at a news conference on Wednesday. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/AP

MEPs demand increase in budget spending and greater protections for climate and rule of law

There were a few significant wins for Ireland. Photograph: Getty Images

Members this morning signed off on a €1.8 trillion package amid the coronavirus pandemic

From left: Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte, European Council president Charles Michel, French president Emmanuel Macron and president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen  in Brussels on Tuesday. Photograph: EPA

EU clinches ‘historic’ €1.8 trillion package to fund next seven years after 90-hour talks

German chancellor Angela Merkel speaking to Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte. Photograph: Francisco Seco/Pool/EPA

Proposal to break deadlock includes limits to Cap payments and reduced rural funds

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arrives for the  summit in Brussels on  Monday. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq, Pool Photo via AP

Negotiations to agree stimulus and budget neared a record length

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte is the leading light of the so-called frugal bloc. Photograph: Francisco Seco/Pool/AFP via Getty

Dutch argument holding up talks is disingenuous and casts them as ‘the new British’

French President Emmanuel Macron, center, leaves the European Council building early on Monday during an EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Getty Images

Split between northern and southern countries leads to budget impasse

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe is  understood to be working on a scheme that will offer a tax rebate to encourage people to holiday in Ireland this year. File photograph: Getty

Huge financial package aimed at mitigating record 8.3% recession forecast across EU

European council president Charles Michel (left) and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen (right) meet with Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Luxembourg’s prime Minister Xavier Bettel (top, right) and Belgium’s prime minister Sophie Wilmes during a meeting on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: /Francois Walschaerts/EPA

At stake is €750bn rescue package and budget for next seven years

Taoiseach  Micheál Martin at the EU summit.

Merkel warns meeting could end without deal as Covid-19 fund talks continue

 Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel arrives for the third day of the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, 19 July 2020. Photograph: John Thys/EPA/Pool

Leaders are split over size of economic recovery package and the seven-year EU budget

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arrives for an EU summit at the European Council building in Brussels. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

European leaders are locked in intense talks on €750bn Covid-19 recovery fund

German chancellor Angela Merkel bumps elbows with president of the European Council Charles Michel. Photograph: Thierry Monasse/Getty

Leaders in face masks prepared for all-night talks on fund to ease effects of deep recession

Taoiseach Micheál Martin wearing a face mask as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: John Thys/EPA

Taoiseach acknowledges issue of taxation of multinationals is under increasing focus

Taoiseach Micheál Martin arriving at the EU summit.

Leaders hope to form a recovery plan to dig the continent out of the Covid-19 recession

Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban. File photograph: Michal Cizek/AFP via Getty Images

Marathon talks to begin, as EU leaders seek united effort to address pandemic

Ireland and Romania had argued that that the fines sought by the European Commission were unjustified and disproportionate.

Romania also fined and ordered to pay lump sum of €3m

Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems: “It is clear that the US will have to seriously change their surveillance laws, if US companies want to continue to play a major role on the EU market.” Photograph: Getty

Privacy agreement doesn’t offer sufficient protection to EU citizens’ data, court finds

 Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe  at a press conference following the ruling of the EU General Court  in the Apple state aid case.  Photograph: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Commission plans to use treaty clause to allow it act against low-tax member states

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: In his role as Eurogroup president, he can expect to be grilled on Irish tax policy. Photograph: Alan Betson

Europe Letter: Intense spotlight on Ireland’s tax regime won’t go away anytime soon

Apple fallout: Article 116 allows the European Commission to act against member states found to be distorting competition. Photograph: Edmond Terakopian/PA Wire

First use of treaty article to bypass taxation veto is among the proposals

Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna, Spain’s Minister for economic affairs Nadia Calvino and Ireland’s Minister for Finance  Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Javier Soriano,Emmanuel Dunand, Paul Faith/AFP via Getty Images

Spanish said to be seething as small nations choose Irishman over ‘favourite’ candidate

The Brexit Adjustment Reserve would be used “to counter unforeseen consequences in member states”

EU leaders meet next week to try to reach agreement on budget and recovery plan

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and president of the Eurogroup:  “What I will do is continue to find the balance between . . . what is right for Europe and for Ireland overall.”  Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Minister will lead euro-zone finance team in funding cost of pandemic and recovery

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier at Downing Street during this week’s post-Brexit talks. Photograph:  Leon Neal/Getty Images

‘Inevitable disruptions’ on way whether or not deal is agreed, document points out

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe was chosen as the candidate who could bridge divides. Photograph: AFP via Getty

Minister for Finance to lead Eurogroup as talks over euro zone rescue reach height

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe said the foundation of his work as president of the Eurogroup is the work he will do nationally in Ireland. Photograph: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Minister for Finance pledges to ‘work night and day’ to deliver home and European roles

Dublin Airport: The open travel area between Britain and Ireland means  the  Government cannot join EU agreements on borders unless the British government does so too. Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

State’s unique political and geographic siting severs us from EU agreements on borders

Contenders for the post of president of the Eurogroup: (from left) Luxembourg’s finance minister Pierre Gramegna, Spain’s minister for economic affairs Nadia Calviño  and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe. Photograph: Getty Images

Minister for Finance seeks election in contest with Luxembourg and Spanish counterparts

German chancellor Angela Merkel: To deal with an extraordinary situation, “We need European unity.” Photograph: Yves Herman

Europe Letter: German leader says only unity can ward off populism and economic turmoil

Former Fine Gael TD Dara Murphy has left his job at the European Commission seven months after he took up the post. File Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Former Cork Fine Gael North Central TD had resigned Dáil position for post under shadow of expenses scandal

Britain may require exporters to file exit declarations as goods leave Dublin and Belfast, and there have been warnings of long queues for lorries at Dover. Photograph: Jack Taylor/Getty

Arrangement affects two-thirds of exporters that use Britain as land bridge

German chancellor Angela Merkel addresses a joint press conference with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, joining via video link,  in Berlin. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/ AFP via Getty

Two German women at the helm of key institutions as EU confronts crisis

German chancellor Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Wednesday. Photograph: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg

Europe Letter: Germany’s goal is to keep Europe together as it assumes the EU presidency

A passenger in the departures area of Terminal 1 at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Alan Betson

Authorities unlikely to tell airlines to cancel flights or ban foreign travel

 Aer Lingus planes lined up at Dublin Airport. Photograph: Alan Betson

The State’s unusual position in the EU rather than coronavirus rate means it’s left out

A passenger iat El Part de Llobregat airport in Barcelona. Photograph: Ale Jandro Garcia/EPA

The State was invited to take part, but could only do so if Britain agreed due to open border

Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro: “Who are they to try to impose themselves with threats?” he said of the EU. Photograph:  EPA/Miraflores Palace Press Office

Order follows sanctions against 11 officials accused of preventing democratic functioning

Britain’s lead Brexit negotiator David Frost in Brussels in Monday. The UK government has moved Mr Frost to a new role as national security adviser, which he will take up at the end of August. Photograph: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Intense negotiations resume to break deadlock over UK’s future relationship with EU

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe: capable of acting  as a “bridge builder”. Photograph:  Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

Minister deemed suitable on grounds of understanding and Ireland’s bailout history

European trade commissioner Phil Hogan: he had considered running to be the next head of the World Trade Organisation

European commissioner floated himself as candidate following unexpected resignation of WTO director general Roberto Azevêdo

Emer Cooke moves to the EMA from a role as director of the WHO’s regulation and prequalification department, which she held since 2016

Emer Cooke to lead EMA at crucial time for the body due to Covid-19 pandemic

Protesters outside Leinster House in May call for the end of direct provision. This year, direct provision will cost the State about €200 million. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Dismantling system for accommodating asylum seekers is likely to be lengthy process

  Cypriot foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides (right) and EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Josep Borrell  address a joint press conference following their meeting at the   in Nicosia. Photograph:  EPA

Drilling in disputed waters part of increased Turkish assertiveness from Syria to Libya

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary accused the German government of using “the pretext of Covid-19” to prop up Lufthansa with a bailout.

Michael O’Leary vows to challenge German government’s €6bn Lufthansa bailout in ECJ

Healthcare professionals take care of coronavirus sufferers in the intensive care of the Poliambulanza hospital in Brescia, Italy. File photograph: EPA

Rise in virus cases in some countries risks pushing ‘health systems to brink once again’

Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe:  the deadline for candidacies is on Thursday. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Paschal Donohoe is thought to have wide support as a candidate among members

 French president Emmanuel Macron, left, and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte speak in a restaurant after a meeting in The Hague. Photograph: Piroschka Van De Wouw/ EPA

Europe Letter: EU recovery plan requiring national approval may run aground in The Hague

 Orly Airport on the outskirts of Paris, a few days before its reopening as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of coronavirus. Photograph:   Stephane De Sakutin/AFP via Getty Images

High rate of infections in US counts against opening to casual travel as EU eases restrictions

European Council president Charles Michel participates in a virtual summit with European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Chinese president Xi Jinping in Brussels.

Struggle to balance trade priorities with concerns over Hong Kong

European Commission president Ursula von Der Leyen and European Council president Charles Michel. Photograph: EPA

Ireland among states pushing for recalculation of recovery fund to get bigger slice of pie

 EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan: weighing up  whether to run to be the next head of the World Trade Organisation.

Some EU member states would regret loss of a man seen as bulwark against protectionism

According to a breakdown of figures in circulation in Brussels, if the current package is agreed, Ireland would be in line for €1.9 billion in grants. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP via Getty Images

Government to argue against calculation of need for coronavirus support based on past economic performance

French finance minister Bruno Le Maire: “No one can accept that the digital giants can make profits from their 450 million European clients and not pay taxes where they are.”  Photograph: AFP via Getty

Analysis: The State is one of the chief opponents to pan-European digital taxation

European trade commissioner Phil Hogan: had vowed to combat distortion in the single market caused by foreign subsidies.

Brussels set to police UK attempts to undercut EU rivals after Brexit transition

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen observes a minute of silence along with European Parliament members in honour of George Floyd. Photograph: Francisco Seco

Europe Letter: Weary of online chat, capital with high death rate is back in the flesh

US soldiers  at  a military training area in Germany. Photograph:  Christof Stache/AFP via Getty Images

US ambassador to Nato says Germany had been a ‘good partner’ but needs to spend more on defence

Britain’s prime minister Boris Johnson participates in a video-conference call on Monday with European Council president Charles Michel, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen, European Parliament president David Sassoli and the EU’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/10 Downing Street/AFP via Getty Images

Note of optimism on both sides after leaders agree to intensify talks

A timetable for the second half of Brexit talks has been set out with six rounds of negotiations to take place between June 29th and August 21st. Photograph: EPA/Olivier Hoslet

Discussions between Britain and the EU continue in pursuit of that elusive deal

British cabinet office minister Michael Gove has ruled out Britain applying for an extension to the post-Brexit transition period. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Scottish and Welsh governments withdraw from talks with London on Brexit strategy

A woman wearing a home-made protective face mask in Leipzig, Germany. When masks were made compulsory in the German city of Jena, ‘the number of new infections fell almost to zero’, noted the report. Photograph: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Three separate studies find routine wearing of face masks can curb spread of coronavirus

Staff at  the Institute of Virology at the University in Marburg, Germany, where work on a Covid-19 vaccine is taking place.  Photograph: Ronald Wittek/EPA

European Commission retracts statement that UK will be excluded from participation in scheme

A statue of Belgium’s King Leopold II is smeared with red paint and graffiti in Brussels on Wednesday. With protests sweeping the world in the wake of the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Leopold is increasingly seen as a stain on the nation. Photograph: Virginia Mayo/AP

Europe Letter: The horrors of king Leopold’s colony spurred Roger Casement to rebellion

Chinese officials have openly promoted a conspiracy theory that the coronavirus originated in the United States. Photo illustration: Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

Chinese and pro-Kremlin sources accused of ‘co-ordinated push’ of false information

Paschal Donohoe and Nadia Calviño (right), pictured with European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Pierre Moscovici, are both seen as strong contenders to lead the eurogroup following the resignation of Portugal’s Mário Centeno. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty Images

Minister is ‘very much liked’ in Brussels but availability for post will depend on new government

 Phil Hogan has confirmed he is considering putting himself forward for director-general of the World Trade Organization.  File photograph: Naoise Culhane

Most EU member states favour picking one unity nominee who bloc would then support

A protester holds up a placard demanding justice for Tamir Rice, David McAtee, Sandra Bland, Breonna Taylor, Eric Gardner, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery – all African-Americans who’ve recently lost their lives in allegedly racially-motivated killings. Photograph: EPA/Christian Bruna

Black Lives Matter demonstrators mark the many deaths during dealings with police

Michel Barnier holds the Official Journal of the European Union C34 during a press conference on Friday in Brussels regarding the fourth round of Brexit negotiations. Photograph:  Daina Le Lardic/ Pool/Getty Images

EU’s chief negotiator responded to concerns over Brussels using checks as a bargaining chip in talks

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: “This week, there have been no significant areas of progress.” Photograph: Yves Herman/AFP

October looming as last chance to agree complex deal, Barnier warns

European commissioner for trade Phil Hogan and European Commission president Ursula Von Der Leyen. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

EU trade commissioner’s experience dealing with US seen a plus in bid for WTO role

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. File photo. Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty

Europe Letter: Brussels set to update digital laws amid debate over acceptable content

Luke ’Ming’ Flanagan appeared on screen sitting on a bed, from which he was taking part remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Independent MEP on screen at committee meeting dressed in a shirt but little else

Josep Borrell: ‘I cannot imagine something more easy to produce than a mask, a piece of textile. And suddenly it became a critical thing.’ Photograph: Pool/Getty

Veteran Spanish Socialist Josep Borrell argues the EU27 need to become self-sufficient

European high representative for foreign affairs and security policy and vice-president of the European Commission Josep Borrell: China is  “a competitor, a partner, an ally, a rival, everything at the same time”. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

EU stops short of action as Beijing tightens power grip over city to US condemnation

EU Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton, right, and economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni at a media conference on the  InvestEU programme. Photograph: Olivier Matthys/pool/AFP via Getty

Investment will focus on healthcare, space, defence, digital and green technologies

European Council president Charles Michel  during following an EU-Japan videoconference summit at the European Council headquarters in Brussels, on Tuesday. Photograph:  Francisco Seco/AFP via Getty Images

Europe Letter: Joint statement by Brussels and Tokyo reveals pressure on international order

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen during a plenary session of the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Q&A: What are the main stumbling blocks, and how will the plan affect Ireland?

European Parliament president David Sassoli: “Now is not the time for rigid thinking but for reconstruction.”  Photograph:  Getty Images

Its president says it will block the fund proposed to stem the economic damage of coronavirus unless it is sufficiently ‘ambitious(...)

 Demonstrators stage a protest against climate change at the coal-fired power plant in Datteln, Germany. Photograph: EPA/Friedemann Vogel

European Commission’s trillion-euro recovery plan will seek to address climate crisis at same time

From January 1st smugglers could avail of a 5 per cent profit margin on copper alloy tubes from China if they can order them into Britain and then move them through the North into the Republic.

London paper on cross-water commerce neglects checks, origins and smuggling

A sign advising visitors to social distance at a shopping centre in Stockholm, Sweden. Photograph: by Henrik Montgomery/AFP via Getty

Imagined tales of the exotic have blinded rational responses to the virus

The targets are not yet legally-binding. File photograph: Getty

Reducing use of fertiliser and antibiotics also on agenda in bid to safeguard environment

The European Commission says  Ireland’s “housing affordability is a problem for many households, and inflation in the rental sector is persistently high”. Photograph: PA Wire

EU says investment is needed to counter downturn expected to be worst in a century

 French president Emmanuel Macron: Germany and France have proposed a €500 billion fund for European economies hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Photograph: Francois Mori

Paris and Berlin move will bolster bloc weakened by division and rule of law issues

French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire participates in an Ecofin video conference with other European finance ministers on Tuesday. Photograph: AFP via Getty Images

Commission tables mix of grants and loans as member states urged to forge consensus

German Chancellor Angela Merkel listens during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, who attends via video link, at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. Photograph: Kay Nietfeld/AFP via Getty Images

Under joint proposal European Commission would borrow money on financial markets

Felisa Gonzalez looks at her mother, Maria Maillo, through the window during a visit to a nursing home in Barcelona, Spain. Photograph:  David Ramos/Getty Images

Wherever the virus spread uncontrolled, elderly care homes were left unprotected

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg: “When Europe sets policies they often become the standards around the world.” Photograph:  Getty Images

Founder of social media giant makes the call in online discussion with European internal market commissioner Thierry Breton

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