Michael Berendt's blog

After all the excitement of an amazing US presidential election, here we stand in the cold light of dawn, wondering what happens next. What can we Europeans expect of President Barack Obama? As others have pointed out, his first duty will be to serve the interests of those who elected him and not the political […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

So Commissioner Viviane Reding has decided to play hardball over telecoms reform. Some weeks ago we discussed how the Commission’s proposed telecoms package would hand over extensive new powers to Brussels.
The European Parliament watered down these proposals in first reading, but it seems that the revised version to be sent to the Council gives little […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

There are tentative signs that the dust is beginning to settle after the last few hyperactive weeks, with signs that world leaders have mounted an effective response to the credit crisis. Inter-bank lending seems to be recovering, stock markets appear more stable and the outline of a global approach is beginning to show, following three […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Just a week ago I suggested that continental Europe seemed rather detached from the global credit crisis. Whoops! What terrible timing!
In the last seven days Europe has been hit by the storm force winds of this crisis. Liquidity has dried up, governments have been forced to rescue one institution after another, Iceland’s banking system seems […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

While the United States and Britain reel from one catastrophe to another in the storm of the sub-prime crisis, the eurozone has seemed remarkably detached, until recently anyway. For the Americans and the Brits the news is totally dominated by stories of collapsing banks, bail-outs, vast lines of credit insurance which turn out to be […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Nobody knows where the IRG begins and the ERG ends, Commissioner Reding complains to the European Parliament.
You can see just how irritated the Commission is that the Independent (telecoms) Regulatory Group (IRG) with 31 European members should have been registered as a private company under Belgian law, to do things which (she believes) […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

The OSCE seems to have serious doubts about Georgia’s role and there are even suggestions that the conflict was provoked by Vice President Cheney in order to boost McCain’s cause in the US elections.
Rash initiatives by the Georgian government in South Ossetia were almost certainly the trigger for the Russian action, but a trigger […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Collapse of the Doha Round after seven years of negotiation must have been a major disappointment for the European Commission. As the Barroso team moves towards the twilight year of its five year term a positive result in Geneva would have somewhat alleviated the gloom following the Irish referendum, the suspension of the […]

Posted by Michael Berendt

Serbia really has chosen the path to EU membership. Last week’s arrest of Radovan Karadzic was the clearest evidence yet of the new coalition government’s commitment to a mainstream European destiny for their country. Significantly, the move followed the appointment of a new chief for the Serbian intelligence services.
Commissioner Olli Rehn wanted to send […]

Posted by Michael Berendt