Last-chance Commission: Why Juncker promised investments of €300 billion?

The European Commission of Last-Chance In the 1st row: Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Marianne Thyssen, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Budget and Human Resources, Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and Vĕra Jourová, in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, in the 2nd row: Neven Mimica, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation and Development, Violeta Bulc, Member of the EC in charge of Transport, Jonathan Hill, Member of the EC in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Margrethe Vestager, Member of the EC in charge of Competition, in the 3rd row: Tibor Navracsics, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Pierre Moscovici, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Euro and Social Dialogue, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Single Market, Corina Creţu, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and Vytenis Andriukaitis, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Food Safety, in the 4th row: Phil Hogan, Member of the EC in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, Günther Oettinger, Member of the EC in charge of Digital Economy and Society, Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and Christos Stylianides, Member of the EC in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, in the 5th row: Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Energy Union, Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the EC in charge of Climate Action and Energy, Karmenu Vella, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Carlos Moedas, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Science and Innovation. (EC Audiovisual Services, 22/10/2014).

The European Commission of Last-Chance
In the 1st row from left to right: Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC in charge of Trade, Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, Marianne Thyssen, Member of the EC in charge of Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the EC, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Budget and Human Resources, Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President in charge of Better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and the Charter of Fundamental Rights, and Vĕra Jourová, in charge of Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality,
in the 2nd row: Neven Mimica, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation and Development, Violeta Bulc, Member of the EC in charge of Transport, Jonathan Hill, Member of the EC in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, Elżbieta Bieńkowska, Member of the EC in charge of Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, and Margrethe Vestager, Member of the EC in charge of Competition,
in the 3rd row: Tibor Navracsics, Member of the EC in charge of Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Pierre Moscovici, Member of the EC in charge of Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, Valdis Dombrovskis, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Euro and Social Dialogue, Andrus Ansip, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Digital Single Market, Corina Creţu, Member of the EC in charge of Regional Policy, Dimitris Avramopoulos, Member of the EC in charge of Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, and Vytenis Andriukaitis, Member of the EC in charge of Health and Food Safety,
in the 4th row: Phil Hogan, Member of the EC in charge of Agriculture and Rural Development, Günther Oettinger, Member of the EC in charge of Digital Economy and Society, Johannes Hahn, Member of the EC in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, and Christos Stylianides, Member of the EC in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management,
in the 5th row: Maroš Šefčovič, Vice-President of the EC in charge of the Energy Union, Miguel Arias Cañete, Member of the EC in charge of Climate Action and Energy, Karmenu Vella, Member of the EC in charge of Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, and Carlos Moedas, Member of the EC in charge of Research, Science and Innovation. (EC Audiovisual Services, 22/10/2014).

Jean-Claude Juncker is a ‘product’ of the 2008-2010 and still ongoing financial crisis in the Western economic volume. So is his Commission Presidency and he has a deep understanding of that. Juncker, as a President of Eurogroup had to face consecutive crises with Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Italy. What followed the financial meltdown is high unemployment and today’s anaemic economic situation. In the political field the repercussions of the crisis has turned a fast increasing part of the EU population against their traditional political parties and has heightened the mistrust towards Brussels. It’s not only unemployment though.

The fast growing inequality in the distribution of incomes that has driven even fully employed workers to poverty has also perplexed large parts of voters. Nigel Farage’s UKIP party in Britain and Marine Le Pen’s National Party in France are products of the same crisis that brought Jean-Claude Juncker in the helm of the European Commission. That’s why the EU felt it needed a strong leadership by a galvanised central European politician.

The Barroso Commission proved to be of a low political key and its President José Manuel, coming from a weak peripheral country, couldn’t managed to transcend the executive character of his office and didn’t reach the political strategy space as for example Jacques Delors did in the 1980s. Berlin and Paris kept ruling Brussels during the past ten years. Jean-Claude Junker’s office is to operate between those borders.

A quite political Commission

Actually there are already strong signs that the new Commission President is to try hard to reorient the ship. The Luxembourgish Politician has used two tracers to show his intentions; one, referring to the past and the other pointing to the future. His remark that his is the “Last-chance Commission” is a quite powerful message, clarifying that the EU has reached a perilous point in its history. It’s not a small thing to state that the EU faces an existential problem.

Only days later after Juncker said that, new developments fully justified this eschatological remark. The British Prime Minister David Cameron, an unfortunate and inept politician, said that London won’t pay its extra dues to the EU budget of £1.7 billion, that has resulted from new estimates (upgrade) of UK’s GDP. EU member states pay the bulk of their contribution to the Union budget according to their income. For months now Cameron is at roof tops criticising the function of the EU in order to placate voters and arrest the fast advancement of UKIP. Regrettably for Cameron and the London political establishment, Farage’s success comes from much deeper developments in the British socioeconomic structures, favouring a fast rising incomes inequality, following parallel developments in the US.

Growing inequality…

The crucial question is if Juncker will be able to arrest similar developments in mainland Europe. The appearance of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is a strong indication that Euroscepticism is rising fast in mainland Europe too. In Germany loyalty to the European ideal had always been a structural part of the ideological base of its entire political spectrum. With the appearance of AfD this is not like that anymore.

…and discontent

Not to say anything about Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán who is now openly and utterly defying Brussels, flirting with Vladimir Putin and denying transfers of natural gas to Ukraine. Surprisingly enough even Marine Le Pen has developed close contacts with Putin rebuffing the Brussels-Washington strategy in Ukraine and thus expressing utter mistrust of French to the EU superstructure. The same Euroscepticism reigns in Italy with Beppe Grillo, but in a lighter south European manner. What about the widespread anti-Troika (the EU-ECB-IMF watchdog of government accounts) feelings in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Ireland?

All that said, Juncker is right in saying that his is the Commission of “Last Chance”. Let’s now pass to his ‘tracer’ for the future of the EU. Here comes the promise of €300bn in new investments during the next three years. This is a huge amount of money, big enough to pose and solve a multitude of problems. The first question that arises is if it will come from new sources or from a redistribution of money already set aside in the EU budgets. If this will be the case, then Juncker’s plan would have no positive effect whatsoever. The reassurances that the soundness of the EU financial accounts will be observed, is an indication that it will be just a reshuffling of existing credit lines.

Europe needs additional investments

Juncker explained that a large part of that amount will come from the private sector. The public outlays will act as catalyst. Still it could be a hell lot of money. In any case it has to be additional resources, if the plan is to have any noticeable impact in reducing unemployment. The new Commission President clarified that it will be new spending to be found by stretching the rules of the reinforced Stability and Growth Pact; but is Germany ready to accept it?

This Pact is a new EU Treaty (Economic Governance) setting a ceiling for public borrowing at 3% of GDP. This limit however has already been exhausted or surpassed in many EU countries, with the shining exception of Germany. And the question that naturally arises is if Berlin appears prepared to borrow more, in order to finance growth in Germany but also in other EU countries too.

Seemingly the answer to this question is to determine if Juncker’s “Last Chance Commission” will be able to reverse the nasty European climate. If growth and jobs start emerging, then the warm up of the political frost towards Brussels and the main stream parties will follow for sure, and Farage and Le Pen will return to the margins of European politics where they belonged for many years.

In any case Juncker will not be alone. Mario Draghi, the President of the European Central Bank stands for the same objectives and he may even ponder of buying government bonds in order to support growth and fight deflation in many member states. It looks as if those two men can together bend the resistance of the Germans. The first signs towards this direction are by now present.

 

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How much time has the ‘European Union of last chance’ left?

EU prepares for the worst case scenario as Turkey seems to be withdrawing from the migration deal

UN human rights ruling could boost climate change asylum claims

Costa Rica has doubled its tropical rainforests in just a few decades. Here’s how

Here’s how we need to change global supply chains after COVID-19

High anxiety calls for innovation in digital mental health

5 ways to integrate Syrian refugees into the workforce

How telehealth can get healthcare to more people

The future of international election observation missions

Why cybersecurity matters more than ever during the coronavirus pandemic

DR Congo elections: ‘Excessive use of force’ in campaign must be avoided, says Bachelet

How tech is helping the agriculture sector curb carbon emissions

The EU Commission does nothing about the food retailing oligopoly

Why a coronavirus vaccine takes over a year to produce – and why that is incredibly fast

Humanitarian aid convoy to Syria’s Rukban camp: Mission Accomplished

The Oslo model: how to prepare your city for the electric-vehicle surge

Rising landmine blast toll in Afghanistan highlights long-term care needs of survivors

Have central banks missed the exit train?

This is how the world can get routine vaccinations back on track

China is now heavily endorsing its big investment flow in the Central Eastern European (CEE) countries

Pollution could be harming every part of your body. Here’s how

You’ve heard of 5G, but what about the quantum internet?

How do we build a #sustainableworld?

The Japanese idea of ‘chowa’ – and how Asia can thrive in the future

Good Governance in developing modern quality infrastructure systems

COVID-19 and nature are linked. So should be the recovery.

How people without running water can wash their hands

Sexual exploitation and abuse: latest UN quarterly update

Mexico: UN chief saddened by pipeline blast in which dozens were killed

France is about to start giving free breakfasts to disadvantaged schoolchildren

JADE Spring Meeting 2017– day 1: Excellence awards, panel discussion, keynote speeches

Why developing new antibiotics is a matter of life and death

Would you want to live to 150? Top quotes on what it means to grow old

Germany is the world’s most innovative economy

Chinese “BeiDou” GPS goes to market

DR Congo: Ebola outbreak spreads to eastern ‘no-go’ zone surrounded by rebels

Electronic cigarettes, a better alternative or a well-advertised product

MFF: Commission’s plan “impossible to implement” with Finnish proposal

New General Assembly President brings ‘valuable insights’ into key UN challenges

5 technologies that will forever change global trade

3 leadership lessons from the age of coronavirus

The Changing Scope of International Economic Relations – Chinese Leadership in the 21st Century

ILO discusses world of work response to global refugee crisis

Main results of European Council of 18/10/2018

More Germans are swapping planes for trains because of climate worries

Japan must urgently address long-standing concerns over foreign bribery enforcement

What does strategy have to do with a platform approach?

Czech PM should resolve his conflict of interest as a matter of urgency say MEPs

Eurozone: Retail sales betray economic frailty

IMF: Sorry Greece, Ireland, Portugal we were wrong!

The European Parliament x-rays the troika’s doings

A Young entrepreneur cries out: “start in Europe, stay in Europe”

Is Universal Health Coverage really available for all in the European Union?

Reality Shock

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

From his room with a view, UN chief takes to Instagram with an eye on hope and a brighter future

G20 LIVE: Fact Sheet from the G20 Leaders Summit and key outcomes (G20 Antalya 2015 Summary)

An all-out fight for the EU budget

Myanmar: Conflict resolution at ‘total standstill’, military commanders must answer for crimes against humanity

LUX prize will be awarded jointly by the European Parliament and the European Film Academy

More Stings?

Advertising

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s