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A European Commission state aid notice published on March 23 has shown how EU member state governments can work directly against agreements they make at EU level, in this case on combatting climate change, writes Stephen Gardner.

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EU flagThe European approach to corporate social responsibility will be renewed in 2011, with the European Commission promising a strategy paper that it says will "revive the global leadership of the European Union on CSR", writes Stephen Gardner.

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The EU Council, which represents the governments of member countries, is known as the most secretive of EU institutions, writes Stephen Gardner. But its arguments for not releasing documents have recently become rather circular with a refusal to give access to information about... access to information!

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ChipA Brussels kerfuffle broke out in mid-July when Ireland blocked European Commission plans to declare Israel a "safe harbour" for the personal data of EU citizens, writes Stephen Gardner. The declaration would have removed restrictions on transfers of information to Israel – for example employee or health records – and would have undermined the role of EU national data protection authorities, which presently have a right of veto over any transfers that do take place.

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One of the responsibilities of Eurojust, the EU agency established in The Hague to help with criminal prosecutions involving two or more EU states is to mediate when the much-maligned European Arrest Warrant (EAW) causes problems, writes Stephen Gardner.

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Although they are an endangered species nowadays, numbering only 13 out of Britain's 72 elected euro-representatives, UK Labour Party MEPs will play an important role in the Labour leadership election, writes Stephen Gardner.

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Articles published on Euro-correspondent.com are almost as influential in Brussels as those that appear on BBC and Financial Times blogs, an independent survey has found.

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In an unusual display of European unity, the European Parliament's biggest groups, the European People's Party and the Socialists, joined forces in March to suppress a critical report on the Parliament's spending habits, writes Stephen Gardner.

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The final case report by the EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF, on the celebrated Hans-Martin Tillack case has come to light, writes Stephen Gardner. As detailed in previously by Eurocorrespondent, OLAF hounded Tillack, a German correspondent in Brussels, over his obtaining of internal documents and his publication of embarrassing stories.

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SecurityEmboldened by the Lisbon Treaty, Brussels is making an ambitious grab for more surveillance powers, writes Stephen Gardner. Plans for amassing data on individuals and making it available across the continent are contained in an "internal security strategy for the European Union," which has been approved by justice ministers.

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