Dual Food Quality: Commission releases study assessing differences in the composition of EU food products

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. Yesterday, the Commission published the results of a pan-European testing campaign of food products showing that some products are identically or similarly branded while having a different composition. Since his State of the Union Address in 2017, President Jean-Claude Juncker has been committed to addressing the issue […]

Juncker Plan reaches almost €410 billion in triggered investment across the EU

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. As of June 2019, the deals approved under the Juncker Plan amount to €75 billion in financing and are located in all 28 Member States. Some 952,000 start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are expected to benefit from improved access to finance. Currently, […]

State aid: Commission approves €431 million public support for cleaner transport in German cities

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has found German plans to support the retrofitting of municipal and commercial diesel vehicles to be in line with EU State aid rules. The measure should contribute to reducing nitrogen oxides emissions by 1,450 tonnes per year, while limiting distortions of […]

‘No-deal’ Brexit preparedness: European Commission takes stock of preparations and provides practical guidance to ensure coordinated EU approach

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. Ahead of the European Council (Article 50) today, the European Commission has taken stock of the European Union’s intense ‘no-deal’ preparations and has issued practical guidance to Member States in 5 areas. These areas include citizens’ residence and social security entitlements, data protection, medicine […]

Antitrust: Commission fines Google €1.49 billion for abusive practices in online advertising

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The European Commission has fined Google €1.49 billion for breaching EU antitrust rules. Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites. Commissioner […]

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

This article is brought to you in association with the European Parliament. Today the European Commission adopted a strategic long-term vision for a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate neutral economy by 2050 – A Clean Planet for all. The strategy shows how Europe can lead the way to climate neutrality by investing into realistic technological solutions, […]

A Europe that Protects: Commission calls for decisive action on security priorities

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. Today, the European Commission is reporting on the progress made towards an effective and genuine Security Union, calling on the European Parliament and the Council to finalise their work on priority security initiatives as a matter of urgency. To maintain the positive momentum set […]

Migration crisis update: mutual actions and solidarity needed as anti-migrant policies thrive

An EU summit is taking place today in Salzburg, Austria where the EU leaders will discuss about the immigration crisis in the region and Brexit deal negotiations. The Parliament’s request to the member states regarding Hungary’s breach of the EU founding values is creating turbulences to the unity and solidarity of the Old Continent. The […]

Commission supports normalisation in Greece through activation of post-programme framework

  This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The Commission has adopted a decision to activate the enhanced surveillance framework for Greece to support the implementation of agreed reforms following the successful conclusion of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) stability support programme. On 20 August, Greece will conclude its ESM stability […]

Air quality: Commission takes action to protect citizens from air pollution

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission. The Commission is standing up for Europeans’ need to breathe clean air. The Commission is providing national, regional and local actors with practical help to improve air quality in Europe, and stepping up its enforcement against 7 Member States who have breached agreed EU rules […]

Migration crisis update: lack of solidarity not only among EU leaders but also EU officials

It was two days ago, on the anniversary of the International migration day, when the United Nations urged everyone to contribute to make migration safer in the world. The EU leaders gathered on December 14-15 in Brussels to discuss among others how to tackle refugee crisis. The key point which created disagreements was the letter from the […]

VW diesel scandal and climate change: can increased independent car checks lead to cleaner mobility?

It was last Thursday when the European Parliament together with the Council and the Commission agreed to enhance the car testing system by providing extra checks to the cars that are or will be placed in the market based on the proposal of the European Commission made on January 2016. Despite the fact that this […]

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

The way Wallonia, Belgium’s French speaking region approved CETA – the comprehensive economic and trade agreement between the EU and Canada – is a rather dark landmark. In the future, Europe’s trade and otherwise relations with foreign countries will be rather shaky. This was also true in the past, but now became evident for everybody […]

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

Last Thursday 13 October, the European Court of Auditors, the institution which carries out the audit of European Union finances, published its report on the implementation of the 2015 EU budget. In the chapter of revenue transactions the ECA found no errors. As expected though, the picture changed drastically when the Court audited the expenditure […]

Brexit casts a shadow over the LSE – Deutsche Börse merger: a tracer of how or if brexit is to be implemented

One of the most direct and important consequences of the Brexit vote is the uncertainty it casts on the merger of Europe’s largest stock exchanges and clearing houses, the London Stock Exchange and the German bourse in Frankfurt, the Deutsche Börse. The two mammoth institutions, the double sun of Europe’s financial universe, last March agreed […]

The three sins the EU committed in 2015

During 2015, the year that now ends, the European Union has brought its well-known inability to manage the egocentric and centrifugal action of its major three nations (Britain, France and Germany) to new highs, a practice that has lately led to ineffectiveness and Euroscepticism. The EU cooperated this year with Britain, France and of course […]

Germany objects to EU Commission’s plan for a Eurozone bank deposits insurance scheme but Berlin could go along

Last Tuesday the European Commission aired a groundbreaking proposal, about the creation of a euro-area wide insurance scheme for bank deposits. In this way the European Banking Union will start having a meaning for the average European. It’s a plan for a European Deposit Insurance Scheme (EDIS) which is meant to complete the Banking Union […]

The Commission sees ‘moderate recovery’ but prospects deteriorate

The European Commission released last week its “Autumn 2015 Economic Forecast”, advertising ‘moderate recovery’ for the European Union and the euro area. Understandably, the Commission wouldn’t dig deeper in the economy, to highlight the negative aspects of the present status and the subdued prospects for next year. For a number of important reasons the executive […]

The EU Parliament blasts the Council about the tax dealings of the wealthy

The European Parliament once more honored its role as the authentic exponent of the will of the European citizens. Last Tuesday it dismissed as a “missed opportunity” the EU Council’s decision to water down the mandatory exchange of the ‘tax rulings’ between member states. A ‘tax ruling’ is a special taxation arrangement accorded to a […]

Tsipras bewildered with Berlin’s humiliating demands; ECB expects political sign to refinance the Greek banks

The Greek indecisiveness and procrastination and the deep division of the euro area countries, with Germany upholding an intransigent position have led to the humiliation of Athens, during the Saturday and Sunday late night meetings of the Eurogroup (the council of the 19 ministers of Eurozone) and the Eurosummit (the 19 heads of Eurozone state […]

Greece’s future solely in the hands of Tsipras; he can direct the poor country any way he likes

Greece is obliged by today or the latest tomorrow Friday morning to submit to its Eurozone partners a new program with more severe austerity and deeper reforms, if the country wants to stay in the Eurozone. Alas, this is exactly the program the Greeks rejected last Sunday in a referendum. In case the Athens proposal […]

Why is the EU launching a doomed policy in stopping immigrant waves? What are the real targets?

For what it’s worth, the Libyan government, the one recognized by Europe and the West, rejected the EU plan to carry out military operations in the country’s territorial waters and soil against the traffickers of immigrants. This reaction by the one of the two Libyan governments is quite understandable, because it’s practically impossible to distinguish […]

Eurozone at risk of home-made deflation and recession

Tomorrow Tuesday, 5th April, the European Commission will present its ‘Spring European Economic Forecast’ including assessments and predictions about GDP, inflation, employment and government finance for 2014, 2015 and 2016. Good providence made sure that last Thursday Eurostat released its flash estimate of April inflation standing at the edge of zero percent, up by an […]

Can the national and age groups pockets of unemployment cause irreparable damages to Eurozone?

It’s a bit awkward to consider a drop of the unemployment rate by one decimal point of a percentage unit as economic growth, and call it a reversal to the positive region, as some Brussels dignitaries and bureaucrats do. Incidentally, the euro area unemployment rate fell to 11.3% in February, down from 11.4% in January […]

The 28 EU leaders care more about fiscal orthodoxy than effectively fighting youth unemployment

Last week the European Court of Auditors (ECA) published a report on the “risks to the successful implementation of the EU Youth Guarantee”. The ECA review, while noting that according to the Commission the available funding for this much advertised EU project is estimated at €16.7 billion for the 2014-2020 period including national resources, it […]

Can Greece’s democratic institutions keep it in Eurozone?

Paris, Washington and Brussels categorically reject the idea of a Grexit, while Berlin is still loudly insisting that the Eurozone can weather at a cost Greece’s secession. Behind closed doors though, the German decision makers are also not at all sure about that. Greece’s exit from Eurozone has lately become the talk of the town […]

How much more political is the new EU leadership? Does this include personal bend?

Judging from their first days in office, the new leadership of the European Union appears functioning on a much more ‘political’ platform than their Barroso-Rompuy predecessors. Actually Jean-Claude Juncker the one month old President of the European Commission had cautioned us all about that in his inaugural speech. Nevertheless, nobody had thought that Donald Tusk, […]

Eurostat overturns Commission’s assessment of the economy

Last Friday 28 November Eurostat did it again. Almost simultaneously with the presentation of Commission’s “Annual Growth Survey 2015”, disingenuously entitled “A new Momentum for Jobs, Growth and Investment”, the EU statistical service published its frustrating flash estimate of November inflation rate down to a mere 0.3%. Positively this new dive of inflation closer to […]

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

The EU Commission has correctly translated the ideas emanated from the Brussels’ European Council of 23-24 October and accordingly adjourned confrontation with France and Italy over budgetary deficits and extra investment spending for 2015. European Commission Vice President Jyrki Katainen responsible for financial affairs and the euro seems to have read very carefully the Conclusions […]

Ukrainian civil war: Is this the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning?

The Russian convoy of 280 lorries loaded with humanitarian aid (food, water, electricity generators, etc.) crossed the borders without Kiev’s permission last week and delivered on Friday 22 August its cargo to Luhansk, a key position in the warfare between the government special forces and the pro-Russian separatist rebels who still hold the city. The […]

Eurozone: Bankers-politicians rig keeps robbing taxpayers

Last week the European Commission ruthlessly wrote the last chapter of the Slovenian financial tragedy. In it, this nation of only two million people was forced by Brussels to save with around €7 billion of taxpayers’ money (a bit less than one tenth of GDP) the overgrown, reckless, aggressive even fraudulent banking system of this […]

Junker for Commission President: What were the stakes in this affair

Jean-Claude Juncker’s was confirmed last Tuesday as President of the European Commission for the next five years. In a secret ballot 422 MEPs who voted for him and 250 against. This goes beyond what David Cameron had imagined, when he decided to fervently oppose this appointment for the top EU job. To be reminded, that […]

Russia and the EU ‘trade’ natural gas supplies and commercial concessions in and out of Ukraine

Despite the willingness of the West (EU and US) to gradually cut off Russia from the western and central European economic volume, the gas pipelines are always there, supplying the rest of Europe with Russian combustible materials and reminding everybody that the Old Continent is still dependent on Russian fossil fuels. The ‘Euro-Mediterranean Platform on […]