Belgium: first a government then a commissioner
Summer blog: Belgian political parties struggle to form a federal government and appoint a European commissioner at the same time.
The two men tasked with forming a Belgian government – Kris Peeters and Charles Michel – say they will need another two or three weeks to decide who will be the country’s nominee for the next European Commission.
Summer blog: One thing is clear – unlike other new EU member states, Hungary is not a suitable leader for the EU’s enlargement and neighbourhood policies.
- London move saves Dutch diplomatic postsSummer blog: The sale of an expensive Dutch embassy building in London will avert the closure of consulates in Antwerp, Chicago, Milan, Munich and Osaka.
- Across Europe, women are under-represented in governmentSummer blog: A report out today in Ireland shows that the lack of women in decision-making bodies is not just a problem for the European Commission.
Jean-Claude Juncker wants to mobilise an additional €100 billion for public and private investment each year for the next three years. But plans to stimulate investment should be carefully scrutinised, writes Jean Pisani-Ferry, a professor at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.
- The transatlantic growth (and debt) gapEU states need to reform their bankruptcy procedures, not just their markets for labour and product, writes the director of the Centre for European Policy Studies.
- The trade delusionSlow progress in trade liberalisation is a lighter brake on growth than debt in the rich world and infrastructure and educational deficiencies in developing economies, writes the former chairman of the UK’s Financial Services Authority.
A good week for...
The European commissioner for home affairs – an ex-MEP for the Swedish liberals – was far from certain to be nominated for a second term by the Swedish government. But on 31 July, Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt announced that he was putting her forward. Good news for her. Good news for Jean-Claude Juncker, who has one more woman to add to the very short list of female nominees. By the time Malmström takes office, Sweden will have held a general election (14 September).
A bad week for...
The European Union’s decision on sanctions against Russia came four-and-a-half months after it first warned Russia that it would suffer “far-reaching economic consequences” if it did not try to end the crisis in Ukraine. The sanctions limit the ability of Russian state-owned banks to raise capital on the European financial markets as well as preventing EU states and companies from signing contracts to supply arms to Russia, and halting the supply of some equipment to the Russian oil industry. Three of President Vladimir Putin’s closest allies have been added to the EU blacklist.
Profile of the director-general of DigitalEurope.
When John Higgins was in his twenties, Britain’s leading manufacturer of bricks asked him to throw some technology at its staid production line. The young Mancunian maths graduate promptly put in place an impressive computerised stock-control system, only to see it unravel under the weight of entrenched workplace practices. It became apparent that those entering data into the system were making mistakes: a team of clerks had to be employed to go through the computer-generated orders manually. Whatever labour-savings the technology had made at one end were quickly lost at the other.
People & Places
The European Union’s anti-piracy naval mission in the Horn of Africa, Operation Atalanta, will have a new commander from 6 August. Rear-Admiral Guido Rando, an Italian, will …
A look at Italy's domestic politics, relationship with the EU and the agenda for the next six months at the helm of the Council of Ministers.
- Right place, right time for Italy?
- Grand ambitions for the Italian presidency
- Italy's agenda
- Italy's domestic politics
- Matteo Renzi – prime minister
Italy’s government will want to show off its strengths during its six months at the helm of the Council, but may be distracted by the EU’s institutional disputes.
According to the Italians, nothing is off-limits for discussion during the next six months, including treaty change.
Italy's priorities at home and at the EU level.
Great things are expected of Matteo Renzi, who has charm as well as a ruthless streak.
Italy's prime minister has momentum. How will he use it?
- Pier Carlo Padoan – Italy's finance minister
- Federica Mogherini – Italy's foreign minister
- Gian Luca Galletti – environment minister
- Federica Guidi – Italy's minister for economic development
- Stefano Sannino – permanent representative to the EU
- Italy's environment policy
- Italy's economy under reform
- Italy – a magnet for migrants
- Italy: previous presidencies of the EU's Council of Ministers
Renzi plucked his minister of finance from the number two position at the OECD to do a job that few appear prepared to do.
Italy’s foreign minister comes to office with a strong interest in the Middle East and defence issues.
Italy's minister for the environment and protection of land and sea
Guidi is an arrival from the private sector, where she was CEO of a global engineering firm and vice-president of Confindustria.
Profile of Italy's permanent representative to the EU.
The Italian government has a lot of work to do to improve its environmental record.
Doubts remain whether Renzi's reforms can stop two decades of decline in the the world's ninth largest economy and fourth largest borrower.
With more arrivals in the first half of this year than in the entire last year, Italy is determined to discuss the fundamentals of the EU's migration policy.
18 September 2014
The Crowne Plaza, Brussels, BE
Connected vehicles hold the promise of increased safety and security, better network efficiency, improved traffic management and reduced environmental impact. Car makers, mobile-network operators, insurers, IT solutions …
With: Pierre MASAI, Stefano FRATTA, Fotis Karamitsos, Klaus SCHIERHACKL, Arndt OHLER, Fabrizio CORTESI, Frans OP DE BEEK
Cyber-security in 2014
23 September 2014
Regulatory compliance, internal controls, crisis management... best practices to protect data and intellectual property
With: WIM BARTSOEN, DAVID CALLEBAUT, UDO HELMBRECHT, MATTHEW JOHNSON, Troels Oerting, JAAN PRIISALU, QUENTYN TAYLOR, Steve Wright, Simon TAYLOR