Edit

“Bond Vigilantes” Approve ECB-EBA Stressing Euro Banks (10/28)

Email Print

By J. Paul Horne, Independent International Market Economist

Bond markets reacted very positively to the most comprehensive and rigorous assessment ever of EU and Euro zone banks published on Oct. 26. Barring surprises on European budgetary policies later this week, the report by the European Central Bank (ECB) and European Banking Authority (EBA) on the health of European banks is likely to boost confidence not only of financial markets but that of the overall economy. If the passing grade on Europe’s banking system contributes to improved consumption and capital spending, recent worries about deflation could be attenuated.

Read more...
 
Edit

Europe’s Banking Union: ‘Game Changing’ ECB Oversight Starts November 4 (10/24)

Email Print

By James David Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications LLC

Envisioned as a bulwark against another “systemic” banking crisis, the European Central Bank will become the Eurozone’s single banking supervisor on November 4.  This framework gives ECB wide-ranging powers, including direct supervision of the 120 largest banks in 18 countries that together hold most of the Eurozone banking assets.[1]

Read more...
 

EU Parliament Sends Slovenian Pick Home in Commissioner Vetting Process (10/17)

Email Print

By Brian Beary, Washington Correspondent for Europolitics

The upset in the European Parliament hearings on the new EU Commissioner-designates was its outright rejection of Slovenia’s nominee, former Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek. After giving a poor performance during her three-hour grilling on October 6 for the energy union portfolio, Bratusek lost the parliamentary committee vote two days later by an embarrassingly large margin: 13 votes for, 112 against. She refused to go quietly, venting anger at what she felt was a setup and being especially bitter that many fellow Slovenians threw her to the wolves as she saw it.   But ultimately resignation was her only option. Slovenia moved swiftly to nominate Violeta Bulc, a recently-appointed minister, to replace her.

Read more...
 

ECB Unveils Asset Buying Program in Balancing Act to Energize EU Economy (10/9)

Email Print

By James David Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications LLC

Leaving interest rates unchanged, the European Central Bank said last week that it would buy government bonds and other assets for at least two years in hopes of increasing bank lending to businesses and thereby stimulate growth.  Left unanswered were questions about the size of these initiatives and whether additional measures, “quantitative easing,” would be launched soon, as inflation in Eurozone countries remains stubbornly low and a new phase of recession takes hold.

Read more...
 
Edit

A Social Media First—Presidential War Threats via Twitter (8/8)

Email Print

By Armen V. Sahakyan

In what will go down in cyber history as a social media first— president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev threatened Armenia and Nagorono-Karabakh Republics with resurgence of war via Twitter. Screen shot of actual message is below:

Read more...
 

Transatlantic Trends 2014: What Does It Tell Us about Poland? (9/15)

Email Print

By Marcin Bylica, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

As a Polish graduate student with a strong interest in transatlantic relations I was particularly interested in results from Poland in the recent Transatlantic Trends survey, a yearly poll conducted by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.

Read more...
 

New Poll on Scottish Independence Referendum Shakes Britain (9/10)

Email Print

By European Affairs

The referendum on Scottish independence from Great Britain scheduled for September 18, has been one of the most intensely polled, with over 90 “scientific” polls conducted since the vote was scheduled two years ago.   And until this past weekend every poll showed the “no” vote (against independence) prevailing, although in recent weeks the margin of “no” lead has narrowed.

Read more...
 

Jumpstarting the Eurozone: Maestro Draghi’s New Ouverture (9/8)

Email Print

 

By James David Spellman, Principal Strategic Communications LLC.

The European Central Bank last week (September 4) unexpectedly lowered interests rates again and pushed bank deposit rates slightly more deeply into negative territory, as low inflation, weak growth, and sluggish lending to businesses suggested the Eurozone’s recovery was “losing momentum,” President Mario Draghi said. While the rate cuts grabbed the headlines, more significant are two new initiatives Draghi also unveiled to pump money into the region’s economy. Immediately afterward, the euro tumbled, bond yields fell, and stocks rallied.

Read more...
 

The War of the Roses—The French Government Reshuffles (8/28)

Email Print

By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Chairman of The European Institute, Writing from Paris

The symbol of the French socialist party is a rose, with each group on the left claiming to be personified by the rose. But recent political events demonstrate that several roses do not always make a bouquet.

Read more...
 

Multiple Challenges for Bulgaria (8/8)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser, Editorial Assistant

The EU’s poorest member state, Bulgaria, has been buffeted by serious economic and political issues this year-- the ongoing battle over the status of the Bulgarian portion of the South Stream pipeline, a renewed banking crisis and the recent resignation of Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski on July 24. President Rosen Plevneliev has called for a snap election on October 5th of this year.

Read more...
 

The EU’s Newest Association Agreements – Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine (8/5)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser, Editorial Assistant

The recent signing of association agreements between the European Union and the nations of Ukraine, Moldova, and Georgia signal a serious commitment by these former Soviet bloc countries to become more politically and economically aligned with the west.

All three of the agreements include the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreements (DCFTA) which will open up markets for most goods and services. In order to facilitate sustainable growth, the EU will provide frameworks for improving the current trade situation, modernizing the agricultural sector and providing guidance for better regulation of the financial sector in these countries.

Read more...
 
Edit

A Social Media First—Presidential War Threats via Twitter (8/8)

Email Print

By Armen V. Sahakyan

In what will go down in cyber history as a social media first— president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev threatened Armenia and Nagorono-Karabakh Republics with resurgence of war via Twitter. Screen shot of actual message is below:

Read more...
 

Russian Sanctions Pose Particular Strains on Aspiring EU and NATO Candidate States (7/3)

Email Print

By Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistant

When the European Union imposed sanctions on Russia on March 17, Catherine Ashton announced that Montenegro, Iceland, and Albania—all EU candidate or potential candidate states—would also participate with the EU and three other non-EU European nations (Norway, Lichtenstein, and Moldova) in imposing targeted restrictions upon certain Russian and Ukrainian individuals. Brussels encouraged participation from other nonmember states, but the invitation for cooperation on this issue was not universally accepted. For example, Serbia an EU candidate state, did not join the EU sanctions restrictions.

 

Read more...
 
Edit

New U.S. Ambassador to EU Anthony Gardner Lays out Priorities (6/26)

Email Print

By Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistant

U.S.  Ambassador to the European Union, Anthony Luzzatto Gardner gave a major speech (full text) last week in Brussels, outlining his four top priorities in furthering relations between the United States and the European Union.  The first two require immediate focus, he said, while the latter two have a longer term perspective.

Read more...
 
Edit

Google Prepares to Comply with ECJ’s “Right to be Forgotten” (6/25)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser and Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistants

Within 24 hours of the European Court of Justice’s ruling on the so-called “right to be forgotten,” Google received over 12,000 individual requests for the exclusion of links to personal data from search results. EU citizens can now request the removal of such information via an online form (found here).

Read more...
 
Edit

Luhansk Appeals for “Recognition” (6/20)

Email Print

By Lauren Gieseke, Editorial Assistant

The self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic (LPR) has taken a bold and defiant move in its drive for independence from Ukraine by issuing letters to 15 states and entities seeking acknowledgment of LPR “as a sovereign independent state.” This follows a similar request sent to the UN in mid-May which was summarily denied.
Read more...
 
Edit

Unusual Voting Rules for Scottish Independence Referendum (6/12)

Email Print

By Kelsey Fraser, Editorial Assistant

The upcoming referendum on Scottish independence comes with some unusual rules on voter eligibility.

Under the Referendum Franchise Bill which governs voter eligibility in September’s vote, the voting age for the referendum, and only for the referendum, has been lowered from 18 to 16. [1] The pro-“yes for independence” leaders support the younger age eligibility and say that young people, younger than the usual voting age, have the most at stake in determining the future of Scotland.

Read more...
 
Edit

Schedule of Events After the Election of a New European Parliament (6/11)

Email Print

By Véran Bérard-Quélin, Editorial Assistant

Last month’s European Parliamentary elections (May 22nd-25th) have triggered changes at the top of the European Union’s governing institutions, including the Presidency of the European Commission, the Presidency of the European Council, as well as the Presidency of the European Parliament.
Read more...
 
Edit

‘Super Mario’s’ New ‘Big Bazooka’: ‘Negative’ Rates and Credit Easing (6/5)

Email Print

By James D. Spellman, Principal, Strategic Communications, LLC

Telegraphing for months the likelihood of an unprecedented “pre-emptive” strike against deflation, the European Central Bank president today (June 5) finally announced one unorthodox step: widely anticipated “negative” interest rates to weaken the Euro. He also introduced targeted measures to boost cheap credit for small and medium-sized businesses, the EU’s locomotives for growth, pledging interest rates will remain low "possibly for longer than previously seen."

Read more...
 
Edit

EU Election --Something Good Out of Something Bad (5/27)

Email Print

By Jacqueline Grapin, Founder and Co-Chair of The European Institute 

The arrival of the Front National (FN) led by Marine Le Pen in first place (24.9 %) among the choices of the French electorate in the European elections is not an earthquake, but it is disturbing. 

Is France, the country of human rights and universalism, properly represented by a neo-fascist movement, particularly as it coincides with the arrival of a populist wave of Eurosceptic parties in the European parliament? The truth is that the vote is mostly a protest against the inability of the socialist and the conservative governing parties to provide the solutions to existing socio-economic challenges, and a revolt against the inability of the European Union to properly protect its citizens against immigration and wild international trade movements.

Read more...