Michael Berendt's blog

At last the sun is shining, after months of rain. London gears up for the Olympics and is thronged with visitors. Brussels is quiet, Paris is empty. The roads to the south are crowded. The mountains and the beaches beckon. It must be the summer holidays. But not for those politicians and officials across Europe… » read more

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It seems that a European Banking Union has become the magic solution to the eurozone debt crisis. This week’s meeting of eurozone finance ministers in Brussels confirmed that European funds will provide direct support to Spanish banks, to the tune of €100bn in loans from the European Financial Stability Facility and subsequently the European Stability… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

The word “sustainability” can cover a multitude of interpretations, but when it comes to fisheries policy there is no ambiguity: today’s overfishing means tomorrow’s collapsing fish stocks. Until recently the Common Fisheries Policy has been a classic case of unsustainability, a stand-off between short term political pressures on the one hand and scientific evidence warning… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

There is no doubt that European standards for commerce and industry have had a profound influence across the world. Europe’s standards have become global standards, if only because anyone wishing to sell their goods on European markets must respect them. Emission limits for motor vehicles, for instance, is one sector where EU legislation has had… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

European Council president Herman van Rompuy has arranged a summit dinner for EU leaders on May 23. For François Hollande the Brussels feast will be a first opportunity to brief all his colleagues on France’s new approach to the eurozone crisis and how he sees a return to growth in Europe. His message will be… » read more

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The European Commission is struggling to justify an increase of nearly 7 per cent in the EU payments budget for 2013. The timing could hardly be worse, with national budgets feeling the full force of austerity, governments facing fierce opposition to spending cuts at home, and the Dutch being forced into new elections as coalition… » read more

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A few days ago the death was announced of F. Sherwood Rowland, the American scientist who identified the damage being caused by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) to the earth’s protective ozone layer. His pioneering scientific work and the fierce campaigning by him and his collaborators led to a UN framework agreement to tackle the problem and to… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

A compromise may be in sight to defuse the conflict over a proposed EU turnover tax for all financial transactions. It seems that finance ministers are looking at stamp duty on share deals as an alternative way of taxing the financial sector, perhaps marking a calmer phase in the evolution of European financial services legislation.… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt