Week of October 30th, 2010Posted: October 30, 2010
Here is a summary of the rich european news this week.
As usual we start with economy and finance: there was a slight decrease in the euro value against dollar during the last days after an up-and-down week finishing just below $1.395 [*]. Industrials orders were up by 5% between July and August [*]; for the month of October, inflation was at 1.9% in the eurozone and unemployment was up by a fraction at 10.1% in September [*]. Europe is calling again to avoid a money war [*] and is giving the last finish to the hedge fund regulation project [*]. The Commission launched a procedure against the French tax shield that is said to affect the free movement of people and money in Europe [*]. The European Commissioner to the internal Market M. Barnier is proposing to add a social part to the internal market that is needed for the good work of it [*,*,*].
The European External Action Service is getting set up, with the nomination this week of the French P. Vimont and the Irish D. O’Sullivan to key positions in the diplomatic service headed by Lady C. Ahston. The EEAS should be completely set up by the end of the year 2010. [*,*,*,*,*,*]. At the diplomatic level, let’s note that Lady Ashton wish more dialogue with Cuba[*].
Serbia got a move forward this week toward its joinning the EU – its cooperation to the tribunal of the Hague is still a key element for the membership process [*,*,*]. Hungary supported the Turkish membership bid [*].
The big piece of the week was of course, the summit of the European Council in Brussels at the end of the week. The two important issues of the summit were the European Budget and the revision f the treaty to make the stability fund – set up in a hurry in spring to help Greece and avoid a euro crisis – permanent. Two very controversial subjects.
Leaded by UK PM D. Cameron, elven countries expressed against an increase of the european budget by more than 2.9% ; when the European Parliament ask for an increase of almost 6%. And, since the adoption of the Lisbon treaty last year, the EU parliament has a codecision role in the budget matter. Those opposing an increase of the EU budget say that in a context of spending cuts in the member states, an increase of the union budget won’t be well accepted [*,*,*]
The Treaties revision, proposed by France and Germany last week, widely divided the member states, who don’t want to reproduce the long and difficult path of the Lisbon treaty. After a lot of talk, the member state (shyly) rallied to the proposal. A revision of the EU treaty – limited to one or two article (122 & 125 to be precise) will be started as soon as December to make the stability fund permanent – it will expires in summer 2013 otherwise. The sanction part of the Merkel-Sarkozy proposition will come later. (read the numerous references on the subject across the web [*,*,*,*,*,*]).
Finally, let’s welcome this week the appearance of a new euroblog : 27etc.