Brussels concerned with institutional uncertainty and being side-lined in economic policy-making. Phase out of light-bulbs which are not energy efficient begins. Britain’s EU rebate under debate again. Read more
Like much public life in the European Union, José Manuel Barroso’s battle to win reappointment as European Commission president is a battle of low politics dressed up in high ideals. Barroso will be denied a second five-year term unless he secures the approval of the European Parliament, where a vote on his future should have taken place in July but was postponed until mid-September. Now the moment of truth is close. What can Barroso say and do to win over his socialist, Green and liberal critics?
One clue came in a speech, almost entirely ignored by the media, that Barroso delivered last week at a Barcelona business school. Here he all but set out his policy programme for the next five years. The speech’s most important passage read as follows: “The recent recovery spots are fragile and do not allow for any complacency. In any case, it is clear that global growth will not return to pre-crisis levels for some time – if at all. Those growth rates – and the economic model behind them – were simply not sustainable.” Read more
The Brussels blog will return at the end of the month.