Tuesday, 4 September 2012

New EU Human Rights Envoy Faces Big Expectations

The EU's new strategy for promoting human rights must be duly implemented, scrutinized and given proper visibility, Foreign Affairs and Human Rights MEPs told EU Special Representative for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis on his first day in office on Monday.

"I am delighted that this new office has been introduced," said Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Elmar Brok (EPP, DE), underlining that the strategic framework for human rights, agreed by the Council over the summer, should provide its substance. The fact that Mr Lambrinidis, himself a former MEP and Vice-President of the Parliament, met MEPs on his first day in office raises hopes for "a demonstration of accountability of our human rights policy", he added.

The Bundesbank Doctrine. The End.

The ECB meets on Thursday, it will discuss the details of its new bond purchasing programme. For some, the new plan marks the final end of the Bundesbank doctrine; for others, it is a necessary evil to calm the crisis. It is obvious to us that Mario Draghi’s congeniality and some vague words alone will not have the same calming effect as in August. In our view, the ECB might eventually present targets for short-term bond yields linked to the refi rate.

However, not all the detail might be revealed this week, perhaps because there is not yet full agreement within the Governing Council, but maybe also to keep pressure on peripheral governments.