3+1 issues to haunt tomorrow’s EU Summit

José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, on the right and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council. Final Press Conference after the European Council Summit of 14.12.2012. (Photographic library of the Council of the European Union).

José Manuel Barroso, President of the EC, on the right and Herman van Rompuy, President of the European Council. Final Press Conference after the European Council Summit of 13 and 14.12.2012. (Photographic library of the Council of the European Union).

Tomorrow’s European Council Summit has a very loaded agenda, with first item on it the pending agreement over EU’s proper budgets for the next seven years. Apart from this there are another two crucial matters the 27 leaders have to tackle, namely the bilateral trade agreements with Europe’s main trading partners (meaning Japan, US and India but not a word about China) and the situation in Northern Africa.

Every one of those three issues needs strategic agreement between the 27 leaders, many of whom have competing interests. On top of that some of the heads of states and governments may “use” the gravity of the themes, in order to serve their own national targets, further complicating an already heavily loaded table.

To this effect the invitation letter by President Herman Van Rompuy to the European Council members which was sent yesterday morning, made concrete references to all that. The theme of EU’s own budget will consume the entire first day Thursday and the other two subjects are to be dealt on Friday 8 February.

As from yesterday however, the French President Francois Hollande has introduced a new item in the atypical political agenda of the Summit. This is nothing less than the role of the European Central Bank and the expansive euro. Under the current economic conjuncture this is probably more important than the ones already included in the agenda.

The European Sting has already followed this issue in today’s STING OF THE DAY. Writes the Sting: “The French President in a strong statement yesterday said the Eurozone must have an exchange rate policy for the euro”. No need to repeat here the gravity of this statement. The problem is however that this is a burning issue that has to be addressed primarily by the 17 Eurozone countries.

Unfortunately Van Rompuy has not tabled a separate meeting of Eurozone leaders. Obviously he didn’t have the time to do it in the short interval between Holland’s statement and the beginning of the Summit. Then it remains to be seen if Paris is prepared to insist on such a meeting, to discuss the role of the ECB and the need for an exchange rate policy for the euro. If France does this, a lot of things will change in the Eurozone. Of course Germany will do whatever Berlin can to block such prospect. But one can never be sure about the possible developments in an EU Summit.

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Comments

  1. This is the right blog for anybody who really wants to find out about this topic. You know so much its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a brand new spin on a subject which has been written about for decades. Great stuff, just great!

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