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Archives for Treaty of Lisbon

Storm clouds loom once again over the eurozone. Interest rates on Portuguese, Irish and Greek government bonds are continuing to rise. Ten-year bond yields for Ireland reached a record 7.75 per cent on Monday, while for Portugal they were 6.67 per cent. The ECB started buying bonds again after several weeks’ abstention. There was some… » read more

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So the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee has approved the set-up of Europe’s foreign service, as negotiated in Madrid two weeks ago. Formal agreement is expected in plenary after the holidays, allowing the European External Action Service (EEAS) to be operational by the end of the year. Creation of the EEAS is potentially the most… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

It has always seemed a curious paradox that the major policy-making institutions of the European Union should have settled in Belgium, a country with a political system in a permanent state of turmoil, deeply divided on political and linguistic grounds, yet somehow able to keep functioning as coalitions come and go and politicians struggle with… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

Eighteen months ago, when the world economy seemed on the brink of collapse, one of the biggest fears was that economic depression would trigger a global wave of protectionism. So it’s all the more surprising that Europe is busily working on new trade treaties. The EU is on the brink of finalising a major free… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

It should be a time for celebration. The Lisbon Treaty has come into force, a new European Commission has been convincingly approved by the Parliament, the European Council has a permanent president and a European foreign policy structure has been created. Yet it feels as if Europe’s clock has been turned back ten years, to… » read more

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We’ve heard a lot about banks that are “too big to fail”. Perhaps a more immediate question is whether the sovereign nation of Greece is too big to fail. The risk of default and the threat of Greece quitting the eurozone would have profound implications for Europe’s monetary union, for other European countries wrestling with… » read more

Posted by Michael Berendt

At last a touch of balance in Britain’s Daily Telegraph over the nomination of Michel Barnier to the internal market portfolio, with responsibility for financial services! I guess it’s no coincidence that the writer, eurosceptic Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, was the newspaper’s correspondent in Brussels from 1999 until 2004 – the same time span as Barnier’s former […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

We live in the age of media celebrity. So no surprise at the critical and sometimes bitter press reaction to the nomination of Herman Van Rompuy and Catherine Ashton, virtually unknown beyond their own parishes, as Council President and High Representative respectively. As someone said, it was like a TV talent show where the choice […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

With the final ratification of the Lisbon Treaty the British Conservatives have set out the policy which an incoming Conservative government would apply towards the European Union. There is to be no referendum, but a series of legislative measures to limit the extent of EU jurisdiction, and negotiations to take employment and social policy law […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

A fundamental purpose of the Treaty of Lisbon is to make the European Union an effective force in the modern world, a global player with a power and influence far greater than the sum of its parts. The appointment of a High Representative bestriding Commission and Council, served by the European External Action Service (EEAS), […]

Posted by Michael Berendt