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Category Archives: Economics & Trade

The Juncker Presidencies & EU budget stability

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I’m just doing some research on budgetary rules in the Eurozone, pre- and post-crisis, and stumbled over some interesting EU trivia: Reading the original Council Regulation (Regulation 1466/97) on the Stability and Growth Pact which was meant to ensure fiscal discipline in the Eurozone, I saw that this regulation was signed by then Council President […]

A banking union with or without EU treaty change?

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It may be just a minor issue, maybe I’m also getting things wrong, but there seem to be differences in how Commission President Barroso and Vice-President Rehn see the legal situation on the banking union. On 12 June, the Financial Times Brussels Blog quoted from an interview with José Manuel Durão Barroso that “Treaty change would […]

Travel to Greece, smile, and everything will be fine

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From the EU Commission meeting of 18 April 2012: Barroso “asked each Commissioner to travel to Greece to support the communication actions there and demonstrate visibly not just the Commission’s support for the Greek people but everything it had done to lay the groundwork for inclusive growth and sustainable development in Europe.” This request closed the […]

Court of Auditors jokes

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“The Court found … that out of the 27 transport projects audited 18 projects were clearly directed at transport objectives.” (page 17) I take this line as Court of Auditors humour, although it’s rather a sad kind of humour after an evaluation of EU-supported seaport infrastructure projects where it found that “Only 11 out of the 27 projects […]

Executive pay & EU Commission debates about Greece

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In the debate on latest economic developments – focussing on Greece – during the Commission meeting on 14 February, the following point was raised (among others): “the problem posed by the discrepancy between the huge sacrifices asked of the great majority of the Greek people and the fact that senior executive pay remained untouched, making the efforts […]

More subsidiarity yet less democratic control in EU matters?

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I recently had the opportunity to talk with an official (director level) working in a financial administration of one of Germany’s federal states who shared an interesting observation: Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty with its subsidiarity protocol and also following the new internal participation rights of German parliaments introduced after the famous […]

Jacques Santer to sit on the board of the ESM special purpose investment vehicle (SPIV)

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I just watched the the Eurogroup press conference with Eurogroup president Juncker, Commissioner Rehn and EFSF chief Regling. I didn’t expect anything substantive – those press conference rarely offer great insights – but than I heard Juncker talk about the future European Stability Mechanism (ESM) – the long-term versions of the EFSF bailout fund – […]

EU Commission fears power loss in the Eurozone crisis

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As you may remember, the last European Council meeting on 8 & 9 December 2011 ended with the conclusion that no unanimity for a Treaty change was achieved. Thus, an intergovernmental treaty was needed to move ahead to continue the anti-crisis measures. Reading through the Commission meeting protocol of the session following this European Council […]

Translating the Barroso/van Rompuy letter to the G20

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EU Commission president Barroso and European Council President van Rompuy have written a letter to the G20 (pdf). Here is my translation “EU speak to human language” to show what they actually mean: The decisions we have taken in our G20 Summits to date have been crucial in steering us through the global financial and economic […]

Where is the “flagship” in the European Innovation Union flagship initiative

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I’m preparing for the first day of the EU Competitiveness Council tomorrow which will be dedicated to research issues. On the agenda: Europe 2020 strategy – Annual Growth Survey; contribution to the European semester Interim evaluation of the 7th Research Framework Programme including the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility (RSFF) European Innovation Union flagship initiative Follow-up to the […]

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