Daily Archives: February 3, 2011

Peter Spiegel

Friday’s summit of European heads of government has long been signposted as one of European Council president Herman Van Rompuy’s new interim conclaves to deal with a policy issue of crucial importance to Europe, in this case energy security.

But as many diplomats predicted, energy is increasingly getting drowned out by other, more pressing demands.

First, José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, called on the summit to be used to hash out an overhaul of the eurozone’s €440bn sovereign debt bail-out fund so it’s able to more flexibly deal with bond market assaults on struggling “peripheral” economies.

Although that won’t happen, Van Rompuy has agreed to turn over the summit’s traditional working lunch to the eurozone crisis, and Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, has decided to use the opportunity to float a new plan for greater coordination in economic and fiscal policies among eurozone countries.

Now, it seems, the afternoon is being taken over by yet another crisis: Egypt. Read more

Peter Spiegel

Cynthia O’Murchu, who lead our investigation last year into how the European Union’s €347bn in regional development funds are spent, writes to Brussels Blog with an update:

Just in time for the Fifth Cohesion Forum, during which EU officials mulled the future of its policy towards developing the bloc’s poorer regions, the European Commission responded to a slew of parliamentary questions fielded by MEPs about last year’s FT’s investigation.

 Read more