Monday, 10 December 2012
Friday, 9 November 2012
Thursday, 1 November 2012
Friday, 26 October 2012
Friday, 19 October 2012
That's it, it's over, done, dusted, almost, almost. There wasn't much dust to settle, there wasn't much of a mariachi band kicking about this time, it was almost beer and sandwiches, with a spot of brie for Dave Camembert, the big cheese from across the canal. Europe isn't as big a place as it used to be.
As Dave said, bouncing off the podium, like Tigger, though Tigger would deny it: "There's another one [summit] in November and then December, we wont have time to miss each other..." And there's the truth of it before lunch, Dave is part of the team. He's playing goal keeper at the moment, the bit-part nobody else wants unless they're feeling a bit queasy or they forgot their trainers.
The detail if you want it, you can read a little later, but so as not to cause undue indigestion at this time of the day, here's the Euro-Summit Canape.
There will be a banking union, the details will be sorted by the end of the year and it'll roll out like a flat tortilla during 2013. Dave really, really supports the idea, he supports the Euro, the Eurozone, the banking union and will not stand in it's way. A few details to be sorted but nothing to worry about. Angela was in the room down the hall, they were all laughing as I passed by... Passos Coelho gave a good impression of a man in control - Best Actor.
And into the lifts we all trundled. To lunch. Keep the seats warm, it's the budget stuff next.
Tuesday, 16 October 2012
George Soros - The current course is pushing euroland into a "lasting depression, and it is entirely self-created".
Tuesday, 4 September 2012
Saturday, 14 July 2012
Friday, 13 July 2012
Tuesday, 19 June 2012
|Where’s Kipling when we need him? The poet penning ‘If’ saw much of man’s political calalmity, distasterous distractions, and the turbulence wrought on a maturing empire. Rudyard Kipling’s view of “Split”, Kelly Nyks Red v. Blue political documentary, would surely chime with Britain’s wartime slogan ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’, for Nyks brings to the screen a verbal civil war, and a sense that the enemy is within.|
Dutch-born American Nyks unplugs the network news cycle, driving across America in pursuit of a clearer perspective on the root causes of America’s divided politcal culture. His youth, relative to Kipling, does not diminish an aversion to visceral politics and unreasonable behaviour. Though we know the themes, the rhetoric, the pomp of Red versus Blue, Nyks brings a narrowed focus to the screen; blurring hues of political difference, he reveals a degree of self-interest in American society easily recognisable to Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, and perhaps even the unwashed wannabe proletarian, Marx.
Read Article, Click Here
Thursday, 24 May 2012
|by Brian Maguire, Editor, Brussels, 24 May, 2012 2:30 AM GMT+0100|
|“The United States and the European Union face common economic challenges that require us to work even harder to enhance the competitiveness of our economies and workers and to support more and better jobs for our peoples,” said U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk.|
Speaking at the London School of Economics, Kirk remarked: “As we continue to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, a consensus has emerged on both sides of the Atlantic that we can – and we should – do even more to tap the full potential of this extraordinary relationship to boost our growth, support more and better jobs, and to help meet the competitive challenges of the coming decades.”
Tuesday, 15 May 2012
Friday, 4 May 2012
Thursday, 3 May 2012
Wednesday, 2 May 2012
Friday, 27 April 2012
|Inflation rates in four states dropped to 2% and below. Only inflation in Brandenburg remained above 2% (with 2.1%). As a result, German headline inflation should have dropped in April. Last month, German headline inflation stood at 2.1% YoY based on the national definition and 2.3% YoY based on the harmonised European definition. The April figure looks likely to get close to the ECB's definition of price stability.|
Looking at the available components at the regional levels shows that lower inflation is mainly a result of lower oil prices. In fact, most other prices in the economy increased compared with last month. Nevertheless, there are rather "normal" price increases in an economy without severe problems than signs of second-round effects.
With a renewed weakening of the Eurozone economy and waning inflationary pressure in the Eurozone's economic powerhouse, the ECB looks likely to drop warnings about upside risks to price stability in the near term. The ECB tribute to the Bundesbank could have been short-lived.
Monday, 23 April 2012
|The first round of the French presidential elections and political turmoil in the Netherlands could mark the beginning of new controversies on the Eurozone’s crisis management. François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy are the two finalists of the French Presidentialelections with 28.5% and 27.1%. Negotiations between the losing candidates and the finalists are likely to be tense. Both Hollande and Sarkozy will now try to get as much support as possible from the losing candidates to win the runoff elections in two weeks. It looks as if François Hollande can probably obtain all support from the left wing without major problems... READ MORE|
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Tuesday, 27 March 2012
German consumer confidence dropped for the first time since September last year, indicating that higher energy and particularly fuel prices are increasingly making German consumers anxious. Today's GfK indicator dropped to 5.9, from 6.0. Looking at the March details shows that consumers are still optimistic about the economic outlook but have lowered their income expectations and willingness to buy.
by Carsten Brzeski, Senior Economist, ING Belgium
Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Full Article, The Telegraph
Thursday, 15 March 2012
Tuesday, 13 March 2012
Friday, 9 March 2012
Upscale Swiss hospitality firm, Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts, is on track to become the world’s most Green Globe certified hotel group. All 21 Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts in Europe have achieved Green Globe certification. This latest eco-achievement puts the upscale Swiss hospitality company on target to become the most certified Green Globe hotel company in the world.
Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts uses the framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, a proven science based model helping businesses to better understand and integrate sustainability in its strategy and operations. The framework was initiated by the Swedish born international NGO, The Natural Step; it contains logical guidelines to identify current challenges, future possibilities and smart step-wise approaches to move towards sustainability and to capitalize on a more refined way of sustainability driven markets.
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Thursday's ECB meeting left interest rates unchanged. According to ECB president Draghi rate changes were not even discussed. While there was not much news from the ECB on the sovereign debt crisis and Greek PSI, the ECB's brought back some gentle anti-inflation rhetorics. It looks as if the ECB has lost this its sense of fear.
The macro-economic assessment changed quite significantly compared with the February meeting; very cautious language has been replaced by a moderately cautious language. Words like "tentative" and "high uncertainty" disappeared from the ECB's introductory statement. The recent improvement of confidence indicators seems to have comforted the ECB, while at the same time still stressing downside risks. Article by Carsten Brzeski, Senior Economist, ING Belgium
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
Friday, 2 March 2012
Strengthened fiscal discipline and convergence in the euro area as twenty-five European leaders today signed the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance aimed at strengthening fiscal discipline and introducing stricter surveillance within the euro area, in particular by establishing a "balanced budget rule". The content of the treaty had been endorsed at the last European Council meeting in January.
The main elements of the so-called fiscal compact include a requirement for national budgets to be in balance or in surplus, a criterion that would be met if the annual structural government deficit does not exceed 0.5% of GDP at market prices. This balanced budget rule must be incorporated into the member states' national legal systems, preferably at constitutional level, within one year after the entry into force of the treaty. In the event of deviation from this rule, an automatic correction mechanism will be triggered. It will be defined by each member state on the basis of principles proposed by the European Commission.
The EU Court of Justice will be able to verify national transposition of the balanced budget rule. Its decision is binding, and can be followed up with a penalty of up to 0.1% of GDP, payable to the European Stability Mechanism in the case of euro area member states.
The treaty signed today also reinforces fiscal rules for the euro area by incorporating a commitment on the part of the contracting parties whose currency is the euro to adopt Council decisions in the framework of the excessive deficit procedure unless opposed by a qualified majority
The European Council yesterday agreed to grant Serbia the status of candidate country, following a recommendation by the General Affairs Council on 28 February.
It endorsed the Council's conclusions, which confirmed that Serbia has continued to show credible commitment and achieved further progress in the implementation of agreements reached in the dialogue with Kosovo, including on integrated border management. The Council noted that an agreement has been reached on inclusive regional cooperation, and that Serbia has actively cooperated to enable the EU's EULEX and the UN's KFOR missions to execute their mandates. Serbia applied for EU membership in December 2009. The Commission delivered an opinion in October 2011.
Thursday, 1 March 2012
The EU and Turkey will gain from closer ties, given their mutual dependence, Turkey's economic potential and its role as a strategic player in the region, said the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, in a resolution adopted by a large majority on Thursday. However, it calls on Turkey to settle the Cyprus, Armenia and Kurdish issues and for progress with judicial reform and the protection of civil liberties.
MEPs support the fresh, new dynamic approach adopted by the Commission and aimed at moving Turkey closer to meeting the conditions for EU accession; an issue likely to polarise popular opinion across the EU.
European Parliament President, Martin Schultz, today underlined the critical need to underpin the accession process with an unwavering rule of law. Criticising the seemingly arbitrary approach taken with Romania and Bulgaria in implementing the Schengen agreement, Schultz, speaking at the European Council Summit, said if countries reach the thresholds required for accession, they should be allowed to progress unimpeded. He also used the Summit platform to emphasise the need for opposition to racism, in particular, opposition to the Dutch anti-immigration PVV's website.
Joining the dots, Europe has a migraine headache just waiting for the light of day. The choice, when the moment arrives, will be the accession of an increasingly Islamic Turkey to the European Union by compulsion of the rule of law; or the exclusion of Turkey from full EU membership for fear of popular revolt and a disengagement by more radical regions from the European project.
Schultz was repeatedly asked about the belligerence of the Hungarian government and its budgetary conundrum. Striking a conciliatory note, Schultz emphasised the need to think very carefully about the overall impact of withdrawing EU funds from Hungary as a means to force compliance with a new fiscal direction.
Migraine is usually preceded by the sight of small flashing white dots. Schultz will soon be reaching for political Nurofen as economic imperatives collide with cultural identity - Europe needs better trade relations with Turkey and its neighbours, but many Europeans see only as far as their back yard and the risk of yet more immigrants climbing over the fence; and if Europe cannot cajole a hardline Hungary, what prospect does it have to Westernise an East-looking Turkey?
Wednesday, 29 February 2012
Friday, 17 February 2012
Citing "...the remarkable programme of political reform undertaken by Myanmar..." the European Council today lifted certain restrictive measures against Myanmar. The Council called this "a first step in the EU's response to developments in Myanmar."
The Council suspended admission restrictions concerning 87 people, comprised of the president, the vice presidents, cabinet members and the speakers of the two houses of parliament and their family members. Those individuals remain subject to a freeze of their assets within the EU.
Speaking of historic changes in Myanmar, Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said: "We strongly encourage the authorities to continue this process. I have launched a full review of our policy towards
Myanmar, and today's decision to suspend certain restrictive measures is a reaction to the positive signs coming from the country. I will visit Myanmar in April after the by-elections, by which time I hope we will have had the chance to complete the review and to have made decisions at an EU level to respond to what I hope will be continued progress."
Today's decision gives legal effect to the Council conclusions of 23 January and does not alter the remainder of the EU's restrictive measures. A review of all EU restrictive measures on Burma is ongoing, given that they are due to expire on 30 April 2012
Monday, 13 February 2012
Democracy, freedom and the rule of law in Hungary were the focus of a Civil Liberties Committee hearing on Thursday with representatives of the Hungarian media, civil society and government. Some MEPs called for a "fundamental rights check" to on whether there is a risk of a serious breach of EU values, while others suggested awaiting the outcome of the European Commission's dialogue with the Hungarian government... Read More and Watch The Report