Monthly Archives: August 2009

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.