President-elect of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen: has displayed a deft tough, but the name of her new migration brief appears bizarre. Photograph:  Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Name of migration portfolio appears a misstep for Ursula von der Leyen

Jean-Claude Juncker addresses the plenary of the European Parliament on Britain’s withdrawal from the EU during Brexit  debate  at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/PA

UK opposition MEPs strongly appeal for Brexit extension amid backing for Ireland

Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel gestures during a news conference after his meeting with British prime minister Boris Johnson in Luxembourg. Photograph: Yves Herman/Reuters

British prime minister takes a pass at the Duchy after being smoked out by protesters

Protestors hold signs as British prime minister Boris Johnson and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker have a working lunch. Photograph: Joshua Sammer/Getty Images

PM skips Luxembourg press conference as host rounds on Britain for ‘nightmare’

Continuing technical discussions  involving Boris  Johnson’s chief negotiator, David Frost, focused on just one aspect of the Northern Ireland Border problem, food and animal movement controls. Photograph:  Christopher Furlong/WPA Pool /Getty Images

Meeting seen as unlikely to produce substantive movement on Brexit

Apple Sales International paid less than €10 million of corporate tax in Ireland in 2011.

Case is of massive significance for Ireland and for the policing of state aid by the European Commission

DUP leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader  Nigel Dodds. Foster said any solution for the Border, notably the backstop which she opposes, must command the support of both communities in the North. Photograph: by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Assembly’s petition of concern could offer model for post-Brexit dealings

EU trade commissioner nominee  Phil Hogan:  Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

EU trade commissioner nominee believes probability of deal is rising

European Commission president German Ursula von der Leyen gestures as she gives a press conference to announce the names of the new European commissioners. Photograph: Kenzo tribouillard / AFP/Getty Images

Hogan will be tough and very fair crafting future trade deal with UK, Ursula von der Leyen says

Incoming European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen  with outgoing president Jean-Claude Juncker prior to a lunch meeting in Brussels. Photograph: Virginia Mayo

Renominated commissioners include Phil Hogan and his expectation of trade portfolio

Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney. File potograph: Alan Betson

Tánaiste has yet to see evidence of viable alternative to Northern Ireland backstop

The UK’s Brexit adviser David Frost, right, and British ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow leave EU headquarters after a meeting in Brussels. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

EU adamant backstop cannot be dismantled and applied piecemeal, sector by sector

British prime minister Boris Johnson stands next to a police horse during a visit to west Yorkshire on Thursday. Photograph:  Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Changes sought to agreement made by Theresa May are of deep concern to Ireland

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Wednesday. Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq/EPA

European Commission identifies €600m in ‘disaster’ funding to help affected businesses

 A sign on the Northern Irish side of the River Finn in Strabane: The Government and the European Commission have insisted that any proposals they have seen are either completely inadequate and insufficiently secure or technologically unproven. Photograph:   Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Europe Letter: Paper shows that technological and administrative fixes are insufficient

Chief EU negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier: UK will find it difficult to come up with a formulation that will meet his red lines. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand

Olive branch suggestions by Johnson seen as blame game strategy of cynical PM

French president Emmanuel Macron and European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Tuesday. Photograph: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Brussels offers to talk but indicates unwillingness to revisit withdrawal agreement

Tánaiste  Simon Coveney: “There are other things that can change and be adapted, particularly the future relationship document but the withdrawal agreement is not up for renegotiation.”   Photograph: Henry Nicholls

Tánaiste stresses withdrawal agreement ‘not up for renegotiation’

Tanaiste  Simon Coveney was less than emphatic in response to a question about the necessity under EU rules for controls on animal-based food imports on the Border, ‘at the point of entry.  Photograph: Henry Nicholls/File Photo/Reuters

Tánaiste says he had been reassured by his meeting with Michel Barnier

Clare Daly has defended hiring the son of her political colleague Mick Wallace as a European Parliament assistant. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Clare Daly has defended hiring son of Mick Wallace as a European Parliament assistant

Minister for EU Affairs Helen McEntee: has welcomed the Finnish prioritisation of rule of law in its presidency. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Move aims to complement article 7 as lever against Hungary and Poland interference

Boris Johnson holds a kipper in the air to make a false claim about EU regulations during a speech at the final Conservative Party leadership hustings, in London on Wednesday.  Photograph: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Tory leadership candidate wrongly blames Brussels for packaging costs imposed on producers

Newly elected MEP Clare Daly has hired the son of her political colleague Mick Wallace as her European Parliament assistant. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons/The Irish Times

Since 2009, MEPs can no longer employ close relatives for parliamentary roles

Newly elected European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen: spoke of her desire to “move towards full co-decision power for the European Parliament and away from unanimity for climate, energy, social and taxation policies”. Photograph:  Frederick Florin

Europe Letter: European Commission president hopes to give MEPs new powers

Ursula von der Leyen reacts after the European Parliament voted in favour of her as the new European Commission president. Photograph: Patrick Seeger/EPA

Ursula von der Leyen in combative form as she appealed to MEPs to back her agenda

German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen, who has been elected European Commission president by 383 votes, with 327 voting against. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

German conservative – who supports Brexit extension – wins by narrow margin

(L-R) Foreign ministers of the Netherlands, Stef Blok, Belgium, Didier Reynders, Poland, Jacek Czaputowicz and Hungary, Peter Szijjarto,  in Brussels, July 15th. Photograph: Reuters/Johanna Geron

Ministers also back new sanctions against Turkey over illegal oil drilling off Cyprus

Ursula von der Leyen promises much more intensive dialogue with MEPs. Photograph: Getty

European Commission president-designate on charm offensive in bid to secure top post

European Commission president-designate Ursula von der Leyen considers the proposed EU-UK withdrawal agreement a good deal “that we need to stick to without any question”. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty

Top EU nominee repeats strong support for Border backstop as ‘absolutely necessary’

Almost 3,000 missiles with nuclear and conventional warheads were removed from European soil and verifiably destroyed under the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. File photograph: Getty

‘Given the heightened tensions, we must be careful not to enter path of a new arms race’

  Ursula von der Leyen needs 375 votes for a majority in parliament, but is widely expected to get that. Photograph: Reuters/Francois Lenoir

Europe Letter: European Commission president-in-waiting sees no change in policy on backstop

A European Commission report says that growth in the euro zone exceeded expectations in the first quarter of the year. Photograph: iStock

If Brexit or tax reform don’t undermine growth, economy is at risk of overheating

Besides agriculture, Phil Hogan has been an influential figure within the commission in articulating Ireland’s case on Brexit. Photograph: Ray Ryan

Outcome of budget negotiations is most substantial legacy of Kilkenny man’s first term as agriculture commissioner

A woman  at the detention centre for mainly African migrants that was hit by an air strike in the Tajoura suburb of the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Photograph: Reuters/Ismail Zitouny

Analysis: There was a dreadful inevitability to the bombing of the Tajoura migrant detention centre that killed more than 55 this (...)

The chief rabbi of Poland Michael Schudrich, left, prays during the ceremonies of the 73rd anniversary of the Kielce Pogrom in Kielce, Poland. Photograph: Piotr Polak/Poland Out/EPA

EU not effective in combatting anti-Semitism, say majority surveyed by bloc

European Commission first vice-president Frans Timmermans addresses a news conference  in Brussels, Belgium, in February  2018. File photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Europe Letter: Visegrád Group’s victory in the top jobs race is mainly symbolic

Italian MEP David-Maria Sassoli, after being elected president of the European Parliament  in Strasbourg on Wednesday. Photograph: Vincent Kessler/Reuters

Former journalist David-Maria Sassoli completes key element of EU ‘top jobs’ deal

Ursula von der Leyen: was once considered a potential reserve chancellor. Photograph: Filip Singer/EPA

Germany’s defence minister advanced as next European Commission president.

France’s president Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel: at heart of surprise nomination of Ursula von der Leyen.  Photograph: Dominique Jacovides

German defence minister’s nomination by Macron breaks deadlock over top EU jobs

Belgium prime minister Charles Michel at the European Union leaders summit in Brussels. Photograph: Reuters/ Piroschka van de Wouw

Son of former European Commissioner, Michel is seen as cool-headed and an effective conciliator

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar arrives on Sunday for a European Council summit on filling the top EU institution jobs, in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

EU Council meeting to extend into unprecedented third day after efforts to broker deal

European Council president Donald Tusk and Estonian prime minister Juri Ratas attend a roundtable at the council’s summit  in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Geoffroy van der Hasselt/Pool via Reuters

Donald Tusk to put forward new compromise list of possible nominations

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was “evident” the deal would be bad for the beef sector. Photograph: Getty Images

Strong backlash from farmers concerned about potential European beef import surge

Likelihood of rapid accord disappears as EPP sinks deal on commission president

Finland’s prime minister Antti Rinne:  “The rules-based international order is an existential question for us.” Photograph: Stephanie Lecocq

Helsinki’s third term at helm of EU likely to have implications for Poland and Hungary

People hold the Polish constitution during a demonstration against the politicisation of the supreme court by the Polish government. Photograph:  Attila Husejnow/Sopa Images/LightRocket

Europe Letter: Ruling on Polish state interference a reminder of EU principles and law

Boris Johnson,  leadership candidate for Britain’s Conservative Party, arrives for a walkabout at Wisley Garden Centre in Surrey, on Tuesday. Photograph: Peter Nicholls/Reuters

Most of possible PM’s proposed Brexit ‘solution’ is old wine in not very new bottles

This year’s elections have led to a three-way split in the European Parliament, with none of the “spitzenkandidat” able to achieve a parliamentary majority. File photograph: Getty

Europe Editor Patrick Smyth sets the scene and looks at the runners and riders

  European Council president Donald Tusk (left) and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker:  business ended on Friday with  a brief Brexit discussion. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet

Spitzenkandidat system dead as member states agree to reconvene on June 30th

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (left) speaks to  European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier   on the sidelines of the EU Summit in Brussels on Thursday. Photograph: EPA

EU leaders to meet again on June 30th to seek agreement on who should get top jobs

 Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte at the start of the  European Council summit in Brussels. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Every time the positions are to be allocated, politicians raise the credentials

European Union chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar at the  summit in Brussels on June 20th, 2019. Photograph: Olivier Matthys

Too many differences make agreements elusive at Brussels summit

Culloville Village crossroads: The UK document specifies 142 areas of joint North-South co-operation, from congenital heart disease to alcohol misuse. Photograph: Alan Betson

UK’s report on 2017 scoping exercise sets out 142 areas of cross-Border co-operation

European Parliament president Antonio Tajani: has defended the importance of the public accountability involved in the spitzenkandidat system. Photograph: Julien Warnand/Reuters

Little confidence at agreement on selection amid clear blocking minorities

The European Commission has strongly emphasised the need to preserve a frictionless Border in Ireland if longstanding and extensive North-South cooperation is to be sustained.  File photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times.

Report on EU-UK ‘mapping exercise’ notes 147 cross-Border projects linked to Belfast Agreement

A lorry passes a poster calling for “No Border” between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Photograph: Paul Faith/Getty Images

EU Commission mapping paper shows extent of North-South links

 Donald Tusk: “I remain cautiously optimistic as those I have spoken to have expressed determination to decide swiftly.”  Photograph: Reuters/Kacper Pempel

Europe Letter: broad agreement expected at leaders’ summit, yet some issues have the potential to provoke major rows

Michel Barnier, above, has told Brexit secretary Steve Barclay there can be no cherry-picking of the deal. Photograph: Bart Maat/EPA

Barnier warns UK Brexit secretary withdrawal agreement cannot be carved up

Leader of the European People’s Party and German candidate for the presidency of the European Commission Manfred Weber with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Juan Herrero

Union leaders feel need to remind UK of stances on withdrawal accord and extension

Irish lawyers and diplomats have maintained that nothing as insubstantial or uninhabitable as Rockall can be said to constitute a national territory in any meaningful sense. Photograph: Irish Naval Service press office

Europe Letter: Issue could be settled in court but no one is sure which has jurisdiction

British expats living in Ireland are quicker to blame their fellow Brits for the difficulties posed by the Brexit decision than expats living elsewhere, a study suggests. Image: iStock.

Survey of attidues across EU finds few blame Irish Government for UK’s impasse with EU

Italian deputy prime minister and leader of far-right League party Matteo Salvini: League party took  34 per cent of the vote and swept past its coalition partner and rival, the Five Star movement. Photograph: Alessandro Garofalo

Good turnout and swing from ultranationalism enhance Europe’s sense of legitimacy

 Tom Van Grieken, president of the far-right Flemish separatist party Vlaams Belang, leaves after a meeting with Belgium’s King Philippe at the Royal Palace in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Piroschka van de Wouw – RC1323AA10E0/Reuters

Europe Letter: Vlaams Belang’s success raises questions on government formation

EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini. Photograph: Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty

Turkey has continued to move further away from union, commission warns

 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker at a EPP leader meeting ahead of a special EU summit in Brussels, Belgium.  Photograph: Sascha Steinbach/EPA

Opposition growing to Weber, the European People’s Party ‘spitzenkandidat’

EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: set for Government’s support in part because he has “done right by Ireland” during the Brexit negotiations. Photograph: Costas Baltas

EU leaders to meet in Brussels to discuss who should fill key EU roles

French president Emmanuel Macron  and his wife Brigitte Macron: he has never favoured the spitzenkandidat system. Photograph: Christophe Petit Tesson

EPP’s Manfred Weber’s potential presidency hangs in balance

 Italian deputy premier and interior minister Matteo Salvini: Exit polls indicated that Mr Salvini had taken his League party’s seat tally from five to 15. Photograph:  EPA/MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI

Far-right poised to be a disruptive influence in next European Parliament

Manfred Weber, lead candidate of the European People’s Party in European parliamentary elections. Under the spitzenkandidat system, the candidate from the party with the largest vote is nominated as MEPs’ choice for commission president. Photograph: Andreas Gebert/Getty Images

Leaders said to harbour doubts about Bavarian frontrunner to succeed Juncker

British prime minister Theresa May reacts as she delivers a statement in London, Britain, May 24th, 2019. Photograph: Simon Dawson

British prime minister’s three-year premiership was dominated by the issue of Brexit

Barry Doyle admitted killing Geoghegan in the 15th interview and gave a number of details about the crime. Photograph: PA Wire

European human rights court uphelds Supreme Court finding against Barry Doyle

The Border near the Quinn Cement manufacturing plant in Co Cavan. Photograph: Brian Lawless/PA Wire

Europe Letter: Apparent ruling-out of Border infrastructure contains creative ambiguities

Italy’s deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, greets supporters during a major rally of European nationalist and far-right parties. Photograph: Alessandro Garofalo/File Photo/Reuters

Centre parties that have long held sway could lose ability to form majority on their own

Independent councillor Luke Ming Flanagan: a diligent asker of questions, but a quick survey shows that a large proportion are not related to EU/Commission competences. Photograph: Mick McCormack

For most part, Ireland’s MEPs are hardworking and energetic as legislators

Candidates to succeed Jean Claude Juncker as European Commission president gather before their debate at the European Parliament in Brussels on Wednesday. (From left) Jan Zahradil, Nico Cué, Ska Keller,  Margrethe Vestager, Frans Timmermans  and Manfred Weber. Photograph: Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Bloomberg

‘Tax haven’ claims raised as candidates make their case to succeed Jean Claude Juncker

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan: ‘The legitimate rights of Turkey and the Northern Cypriot Turks over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean are not open to argument. Our country is determined to defend its rights and those of Cypriot Turks.’ Photograph: Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Press Office/Handout/Reuters

Europe Letter: Danger of war of words escalating into military conflict remains real

European Ombudsman Emily O’Reilly is hoping for a second term. Photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty

Emily O’Reilly rejects argument that greater openness would jeopardise decision-making

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini:  said ministers had made it clear that the International Atomic Energy Agency was the only body that could legitimately verify Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal. Photograph: EPA

Foreign ministers warn Mike Pompeo against escalating dispute

Tánaiste Simon Coveney: ‘Everybody has to be willing to compromise. The problem is that some of the UK side don’t seem to be willing to do that.’ Photograph: Nick Bradshaw/The Irish Times

Tánaiste says central problem of Brexit is unwillingness of some in Britain to compromise

British politicians should not imagine that a change of prime minister will resolve the Brexit deadlock, Tánaiste Simon Coveney has said.  Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters.

Tánaiste says British political system needs to come up with a way forward on EU exit

European Commission vice-president Frans Timmermans. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/File Photo/Reuters

Commission threatens to launch article 7 proceedings if Bucharest refuses to conform

Over the next seven years, 147,000km of fibre will be strung on existing Eir-owned poles, said Minister for Communications Richard Bruton in the Dáil. File photograph: Getty

Utility unsuitable for delivery of service as it ‘won’t work as quickly and could cost more’

Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel, Latvia’s Krisjanis Karins, France’s Emmanuel Macron and the Netherlands’ Mark Rutte at the EU summit in Sibiu, Romania. Photograph: Ludovic Marin

Focus also placed on EU top jobs as members look to take responsibility for union’s future

EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Commission president talks about his record and EU future as leaders to meet in Romania

 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Commissioner for Trade Cecilia Malmstrom  arrive for the EC meeting in Brussels on Tuesday.

European Commission predicts 3.4% rate in 2020

Sibiu’s message would be the legacy project for European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Photograph: Francois Lenoir/Reuters

Draft declaration for meeting eschews specifics for warm-sounding platitudes

Pedro Sánchez is likely to remain the only socialist leading a major European country. Photograph: Angel Navarrete/Bloomberg

Europe Letter: Spain is proof that centre-left parties can regain lost ground with a more radical approach

The Irish legal system is close to the bottom of several EU league tables of indicators of government commitment to the legal system.

Ireland’s courts and judges enjoy among highest levels of public confidence in Europe

 European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council president Donald Tusk give a press conference in Brussels after the Brexit deadline was extended until October 31st. File photograph: Olivier Hoslet/EPA

Brussels attempts to get on with everything else as there is little more it can do to end impasse

Italy’s deputy prime minister and leader of the far-right League party, Matteo Salvini:  scornful of the “buonista”. Photograph: Federico Bernini/Bloomberg

Europe Letter: Facebook ad protocol may choke transnational campaigns and debate

European Council president Donald Tusk speaking at the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday. Photograph: Jean-Francois Badias/AP

Verhofstadt tells European Parliament that article 50 extension puts ‘Europe at risk’

A pile of rubble inside Notre Dame Cathedral today after the devastating fire overnight. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

French prosecutors say blaze at popular landmark probably caused by accident

Council president Donald  at a news conference following the EU  leaders’ summit in  Brussels.  Photograph: Jasper Juinen/Bloomberg

The October extension is too short to do anything useful, but too long to tighten the screws on London

French president Emmanuel Macron  with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar after the special EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: EPA/Stephanie Lecocq

Tusk admits delay is ‘a little bit shorter than expected’ and tells UK ‘do not waste it’

Illustration of a European eel (Anguilla anguilla)

Europe Letter: Lough Erne’s fascinating eels highlight what is at stake in the UK’s exit

European Council president Donald Tusk, British prime minister Theresa May and German chancellor Angela Merkel talk at a meeting  in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Leon Neal - Pool/Getty Images

Despite divisions and posturing, Europe remains united on the need to avoid a no-deal exit

UK prime minister Theresa May arrives for an EU summit in Brussels. Photograph: Francisco Seco/AP

Friday crash-out likely to be averted but EU is sceptical about prospects of breakthrough

Exporters will also not be required to register for approved status as the control of animal movements and health will be monitored through a special EU-wide database to which the UK will maintain access. Photograph: Getty Images

Movement of animals in Ireland will not be restricted on Border or subject to veterinary checks for nine months from UK departure

Britain’s prime minister Theresa May and Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel in discussion with European Council president Donald Tusk, ahead of the meeting at the European Parliament in Brussels, Belgium. Photograph: Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via Reuters

Change in article 50 deadline will be reviewed in June as Macron blocks longer delay

European Council president Donald Tusk and EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier: there are fears an extension will raise the risk of further short extensions and emergency summits. Photograph: Frederick Florin/AFP

Friday crash-out set to be averted but questions linger as to length and purpose of delay

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