The EUROPP team take a look at the week in Brussels blogging

The EU centre and the crisis

This week the European Commission announced a review into Germany’s current account surplus, which was the subject of a great deal of discussion last week following criticism in a US Treasury Report. Open Europe have an overview of what the review, carried out under the Commission’s ‘Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure’, will entail.

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Credit: EEAS (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and Iran Foreign Minister Javad Zarif, Credit: EEAS (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Elsewhere, Hugo Brady at the Centre for European Reform writes on the ‘yellow card’ issued to the European Commission by national parliaments over the proposal to create a European Public Prosecutor’s Office. He argues that national parliaments are slowly learning how to form alliances and make their voices heard at the European level.

Meanwhile, ahead of the European Parliament elections in 2014, the European Citizen takes a look at the primaries being held to select representatives of the European Greens.

Across Europe

With elections due to be held in Hungary next year, Yudit Kiss writes at Open Democracy on the state of play in the campaign. She argues that the ruling Fidesz party has largely failed to live up to all of its pre-election promises, but could well win power again in the upcoming elections.

Charlemagne’s notebook assesses whether Turkish prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s grip on power is weakening, following criticism from deputy prime minister and government spokesman Bulent Arinc.

Meanwhile, Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling criticises the use of the concept of social mobility by politicians. He argues that many of the justifications for social mobility, such as allowing efficient workers to rise to the highest ranking jobs in an economy, are really just a front for legitimising inequality.

The European neighbourhood

Talks held in Geneva over Iran’s nuclear programme broke down over the weekend, despite initial hopes that a deal could be reached involving the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. Siavush Randjbardaemi at the Manchester Policy Blogs writes that the French government, who took the bulk of the blame for the inability to agree a deal, were not the only reason the talks were unsuccessful.

Fatima Ayub at the European Council on Foreign Relations takes a more optimistic stance, arguing that despite the inconclusive outcome, the negotiations may have produced a ‘Westphalia moment’: the first step toward Iran becoming an accepted member of the international community.

On the general issue of international law, Gleider I Hernández at the OUP blog discusses the problems international laywers still have in forming a clear understanding of the concept of ‘international community’.

Elsewhere, Richard Youngs at the Strategic Europe blog asks whether Spain might act as a template for European foreign policy. He argues that Spain’s difficulties in balancing national interests against those of its European partners may have lessons for other EU states.

And finally…

James Morris, writing at Policy Network, has a list of ’11 lessons for winning elections on the economy’.

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Note:  This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of EUROPP – European Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.

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