This article, the first of a five-part series, looks at the European Commission’s proposals to revise the Payments Services Directive (PSD2) and a Regulation on Interchange Fees for card-based transactions (IFR). They also reflect the findings from research conducted by Ipsos MORI in September 2014 among consumers and retailers in Italy, Germany and Belgium. The results reveal potential unintended consequences the proposals will have if adopted in their current form.
- EU fines banks for rate-riggingThe European Commission has fined four banks a total of €94 million for colluding to fix the Swiss Franc LIBOR rate.
- Bankers' bonus cap is the 'wrong policy', says Bank of England official The head of the UK’s Prudential Regulation Authority described allowances given to senior bankers as "a response to a bad policy".
Italy's prime minister, Matteo Renzi, says Italy could find the extra money "tomorrow morning" if needed, and defends publication of a confidential letter from the Commission.
- EU loses hundreds of billions in missing VAT revenuesItaly lost some €46bn in unpaid VAT in 2012, equivalent to its entire government spending deficit.
- Moment of truth for eurozone’s banksThe ECB will announce on Sunday the results of its comprehensive assessment of banks' balance sheets, with the hope of restoring confidence in the banking sector and kick-starting lending.
The structure of the Erasmus programme has changed, giving students more opportunities to study abroad.
If the EU’s member states co-operate, households in Europe could enjoy a warm winter even if Russia stops supplying gas to the EU.
- Šefčovič confident at the energy helmThe nominee to be vice-president for energy union displayed an impressive knowledge of his new subject area.
- Maroš Šefčovič's confirmation hearing – as it happenedThe commissioner from Slovakia in charge of inter-institutional relations has been nominated to be the next European Commission vice-president for energy union.
- Climate showdown expected at EU summitJust hours before the European Council is scheduled to begin, there is still doubt as to whether a 2030 climate package will be adopted. Failure to do so could cause UN climate talks to go off the rails.
- Environment ministers prepare for Lima climate summitThe EU must not show up empty-handed in Lima, they need a pledge on emissions reductions.
Belize, Fiji, Panama, Togo and Vanuatu will not face sanctions, but Sri Lanka fails to tackle problems in its fishing sector.
- Commission says cuts will protect deep-sea fishingEuropean commissioner for fisheries says sustainable management is 'the only way to ensure the future of deep-sea fisheries'.
- Phil Hogan's confirmation hearing - as it happenedThe former Irish environment minister has been nominated to be the next European commissioner for agriculture.
Parliamentary election should secure the president’s power, but could result in a change of prime minister.
- Health campaigners welcome Juncker’s rethink on medicinesThe president-elect has decided against moving pharmaceuticals from the Commission’s health department to its industry department.
- Greater transparency on clinical trials fails to satisfy criticsEuropean Medicines Agency's scheme will allow people to search and download trial data.
- EU clamps down on tax dodgersNational tax authorities will start to share information about income belonging to non-residents, including share dividends, capital gains and account balances, in 2017.
- Italy launches EU-wide search for migrantsPolice operation ‘Mos Maiorum’ launched by 26 European countries to detect, detain and deport irregular migrants.
MEPs have repeatedly approved resolutions calling for an end to the monthly journeys between Brussels and Strasbourg, but support for a single seat this week was higher than ever before.
- Almost half of ECR MEPs defied group in Juncker voteThere were defections from the group positions across the political spectrum, especially in the ECR, where 11 MEPs voted for Juncker and 20 voted against. They had been told to abstain.
- Juncker takes reins on scheduleJuncker revokes some plans to re-organise Commission.
The former Portuguese secretary of state has been nominated to be the next European commissioner for Research, science and innovation.
The incoming European Commission will have to decide what to do about refusal by Germany's telecom regulator to cut mobile phone fees in line with EU guidelines.
- MEPs choose EU data protection chiefCommittee selects European Data Protection Supervisor and assistant European Data Protection Supervisor, whose appointment will be a formality.
- Commission approves Dutch television dealCommission allows the two largest cable TV operators in the Netherlands to merge, provided they do not block the emergence of online TV channels.
Fourteen member states urged Juncker to stick to the script on ISDS ahead of his speech to the European Parliament.
- EU publishes TTIP mandateBattle over transparency prompts the EU’s member states to release details of the type of trade deal they want with the US.
- Russia and US politics unsettle TTIP talksPolitical calendar and Russian sanctions shape TTIP diplomacy in closing weeks of De Gucht’s term as Europe’s trade commissioner.
Controversial road toll plans, that will be presented at the end of this month, would still hit foreign car drivers.