The European Union is nothing if not addicted to targets. Promises to achieve particular goals by specific dates are part and parcel of the EU’s daily business. Sometimes the objectives are met, sometimes they are not met, and sometimes it’s hard to tell either way. European monetary union, for example, was launched in 1999, but only after a two-year delay because a majority of member-states didn’t meet the criteria earlier in the decade (did Greece ever meet them?). Read more
What does 2010 hold in store for the European Union? With people in Brussels only just drifting back to work after a couple of weeks of snow, sub-zero temperatures and seasonally adjusted flu, it seems too brutal to plunge straight into topics such as the “2020 Strategy“, the “Reflection Group“ and other elusively named EU initiatives of which we are certain to hear more as the year moves on.
What one can say is that the EU ended 2009 feeling rather more pleased with itself than perhaps it had expected 12 months previously. Despite suffering the most severe economic contraction in its history, the EU avoided a meltdown of its financial sector, stuck fairly well to its rules on fair competition and free trade, and even witnessed a return to growth in certain countries. Read more