It is almost 25 years since European finance ministers, meeting in Rome in December 1990, launched an ‘inter-governmental conference’ on Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). Their work emerged a year later as the Treaty of Maastricht, which set out a roadmap for creating what became the euro.
At that time I was a journalist in Brussels, interviewing many of those involved in the conception of the euro. Most of them assumed that the euro would encourage trade and investment across frontiers, thereby deepening the single market and boosting competition. They thought that an independent European Central Bank (ECB) would keep inflation and interest rates low, encouraging investment and job creation. They were also convinced that the euro would strengthen the political bonds between the European nations.
Across the West, debate about how to protect privacy while helping agencies operate in the digital age has raged since former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden leaked details of mass surveillance by British and U.S. spies in 2013.
In doing so, they are will be navigating a tricky course, a fact that Jordi Sevilla, the Socialists’ party’s chief economic advisor and a potential economy minister, acknowledges.
Protests continued through the night in Romania despite the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, with demands for early elections, and calls for reform of the country’s political system.
After the Luxleaks scandal, there is still no proper response to the industrial scale tax avoidance the scandal exposed a year ago today, writes Aurore Chardonnet. But a simple vote by finance ministers could change that.
Romanian Prime Minister Victor Ponta and his cabinet resigned on Wednesday. The move came after thousands of people took to the streets blaming rampant corruption for a deadly fire at a Bucharest nightclub. Democracy is being rekindled in Romania, some commentators write jubilantly. Others argue that the government’s resignation won’t change a thing.
Half a million refugees have already arrived in Greece this year. Tens of thousands are finding their way toward Austria, Germany and Sweden. Hundreds of thousands are still waiting in Turkey and the European governments are trying to use legal means to stem the influx.