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Bishops and cardinals attend a synod of bishops lead by Pope Francis in Paul VI’s hall at the Vatican. Photograph: Max Rossi /Reuters

The first major address to the extraordinary synod of bishops in Rome today may very well have laid down practical ways for the Church in dealing real(...)

Swedish prime minister Stefan Lofven (front second left) with Swedish Princess Victoria, King Carl XVI Gustaf (second right) and parliament speaker Urban Ahlin during a cabinet meeting at the Royal Palace in Stockholm today. Mr Lofven presented his new government today. Photograph: Anders Wiklund/Reuters

Sweden’s new centre-left government will recognise the state of Palestine in a move that will make it the first major European country to take the st(...)

European Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs Union Commissioner-designate Pierre Moscovici of France attends his hearing before the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs  in Brussels today. Photograph: Reuters

France’s Pierre Moscovici struggled to convince European Union lawmakers today that he could enforce budget rules that his own country has repeatedly (...)

Ireland’s commissioner-designate Phil Hogan will be questioned for three hours by members of the European Parliament’s agriculture committee. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

What awaits Phil Hogan on Thursday? Ireland’s commissioner-designate will be questioned for three hours by members of the European Parliament’s agricu(...)

Irish commissioner designate Phil Hogan. The EU’s response to Russian sanctions is likely to be foremost in the minds of MEPs, as will the EU-US trade deal. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times.

Next Monday morning the first of 27 public hearings begins in Brussels as MEPs question incoming European Union commissioners about their suitabili(...)

 Minister for Finance Michael Noonan (right) arrives at Centro Congressi MIco in Milan. Photograph: .Matteo Bazzi/EPA

Ireland has won the backing of the euro group of euro zone finance ministers for its bid to repay the IMF portion of its bailout loans early. At a mee(...)

A Ukrainian soldier on a military vehicle in Kramatorsk, near Slaviansk, Ukraine, yesterday. Photograph: EPA/Roman Pilipey

Members of Nato will supply arms to Kiev in its battle with separatist rebels, Ukraine’s president Petro Poroshenko has said, while claiming the co(...)

“The sanctions policy pursued by the West, that is, ourselves, a necessary consequence of which has been what the Russians are doing, causes more harm to us than to Russia,” Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban has said. Photograph: Akos Stiller/Bloomberg

The European Union has harmed itself economically with the sanctions it has imposed on Russia over the situation in Ukraine, Hungarian prime minister (...)

Intuitive observer: Magda Szabó. Photograph: Magyar Nemzet/AFP/Getty

Ettie realises she is old only when her gentle, doomed husband, Vince, drifts into death. Up until then she had worked hard, cooked and kept the li(...)

The illiberal agenda

In taking a swipe at “liberal democracy”, Viktor Orban left no-one in any doubt about his target. Hungary’s prime minister did not mean liberal in the(...)

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