The leaders of Europe’s four largest economies are to discuss a response to the global financial crisis.
Governments moved quickly to rescue failing banks this week but there are still doubts in their ability to mount a co-ordinated response to a new phase in the financial crisis
His return is presented as a vital reinforcement. But the reappearance of such a divisive figure at the heart of the UK government is a huge risk
Some of the weightiest legislative dossiers of the current Commission may still be under discussion in Parliament and Council, but another Commissioner jumped ship today in the shape of UK Commissioner Peter Mandelson.
Gordon Brown does a nice job of grabbing the headlines with Peter Mandelson’s return to the Cabinet as Business Secretary. It’s hard to divine what this means for the European Commission.
The Czech Republic’s TV advert reminds us of their upcoming six month presidency of the EU, and sees them toying with their eurosceptic image
Neelie Kroes, European commissioner for competition, came into the Brussels press room yesterday carrying a basket full of candles and paper plates.
“We have dismantled a paraffin cartel,” she announced proudly. “Ten companies have been fixing prices of paraffin products like these for the past 13 years. But the European Commission has taken action. We have fined them 676 million euros in total.”
Baroness Ashton. Ever heard of her? No? There’s a surprise. Her only qualification for the job seems to be that her full title is Baroness Ashton of Upholland – perhaps dear old Gordon assumed this meant she has something to do with the Netherlands?
Peter Mandelson may have been a discredited tit when he was appointed, but at least he was high-profile and quite blatantly had the ear of the Prime Minister. This dear peer? She may have been made Leader of the House of Lords last year, but she’s barely registered an impact on the public consciousness. She is, however, a staunch Labour loyalist, and the wife of similarly staunch Labour man, semi-influential journalist Peter Kellner, a co-founder of polling organisation YouGov.
Dutch, French, Irish – synonymous with ‘eurosceptic’? Does ‘No’ mean ‘No Europe’, ‘No to Europe’ or ‘No to this Europe’? What other Europe could there be if there is just one geographical, political, historical and cultural reality?
"There is a new window of opportunity to rebuild relations between the US and the EU as the Bush era draws to a close," according to Ronald D. Asmus, executive director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Centre, a think tank.
Well the action in Russia this week has moved on slightly, and the damage has started to spread from pressure on the domestic stock market (accompanied by capital flight) to the real economy – via a very rapid tightening in credit conditions for Russian domestic users. We are also seeing a rapid slowdown in Russian manufacturing industry as internal demand slows while the inflation-driven decline in cost competitiveness continues to make imported products (where available) an attractive alternative to the home produced variant.
A lifeline turns controversial
GIVEN the vitriol flung at Ireland by some European officials in recent months after its voters rejected the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, one watches with particular interest as the Irish again find themselves in the middle of a controversy, this time in response to the global financial crisis.
The financial crisis is still ongoing and continued short-term firefighting is absolutely necessary. But what about the longer-term response? How should the authorities react in terms of new regulatory initiatives? In part this is dependent upon an analysis of what is going on in the crisis and in the international financial system more generally.
Pulling together; the official word from the president of the European commission, which hit Europe’s national dailys on 2 October
Continental Europe is heading for a deeper recession than the US as it lacks the necessary flexibility to react to the worsening economic situation, say executives and policymakers
by Simon Tilford
Huge amounts have been said about the consequences of the credit crunch for the US and UK economies. They undoubtedly face major adjustments, and several years of very weak economic growth. There has also been trenchant criticism of spendthrift ‘Anglo-Saxons’ living beyond their means, derailing the global economy in the process. The US is a convenient scapegoat for politicians confronted with economic uncertainty, but it needs to be remembered that a number of European and East Asian economies benefited enormously from the credit boom. Indeed, it could not have happened without excess savings generated by the likes of China, Germany and Japan.
Some banks are bigger than governments: their assets are greater than their home countries’ economies. This interactive map explores the relative size of business and government
With the debris of the credit crisis washing up on our shores, European leaders are casting around for answers. Until now, European crisis management has consisted largely of national and spur-of-the-moment interventions with each country bailing out its own banks. However, the need for an orchestrated European approach is slowly being recognised.
There is no news but bad news. Austria seems to have internalised this wisdom. To make headlines in the global media, Austria does its best: if it is not a cruel story about a man who imprisoned his daughter for years and fathered a number of children with her, it must be the revival of hard-right political sentiment. As if on cue, in the general election of 28 September 2008 two extremist rightwing parties – xenophobic, anti-European, and with a strong flavour of Nazi nostalgia – attracted 28% of the votes.