Daily Archives: June 30, 2009

Tony Barber

I was in Stockholm this morning when the happy news arrived that Germany’s constitutional court had given the green light in principle to the European Union’s Lisbon treaty.  I call the news “happy” not because I am biased in favour of Lisbon, but because it meant that for once the task of writing about the treaty fell to someone else at the Financial Times (on this occasion, my Berlin-based colleague Bertrand Benoit).

The EU’s masochistic efforts at institutional reform, encapsulated in the Lisbon treaty, were one of the first things I wrote about when I arrived in Brussels in 2007.  Two years later, I find that the subject refuses to go away, seeping into my daily work like a sewage leak in a cellar (a domestic problem familiar to house-dwellers in low-lying Brussels).  All the more maddening is the knowledge that almost no one in the outside world cares one stale fig about the treaty. Read more

Sweden takes over the six-month rotating EU presidency tomorrow, but already its Prime minister is tending to official business, asking for a swift end to the Barroso re-appointment parlour game. “If there is not another candidate, what are we waiting for?”, European Voice reports Frederik Reinfeldt as saying.

No last-minute announcements from the outgoing Czechs, meaning a hodge-podge of news today. Wonky fruit and veg is set to reappear on supermarket shelves from July 1st after years of being banished for cosmetic reasons, says the Telegraph. And the days of travelling with a tangled mess of different mobile phone chargers could be over by next year after the EU pushed equipment makers towards a single model.