Chris Gilson takes a look at the week in Brussels blogging.

The EU Centre

This week Cyprus begins its six month stint as the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. Karpenteich at says that this role puts an extra burden on the island which has recently fallen on hard times, and has had to ask for a bailout from the IMF. Meanwhile, The Honeyball Buzz says that the Cyprus Presidency promises to deliver for women, with two conferences on combating violence against women planned for later on this year. EU Logos at has a comprehensive write-up of the Cyprus Presidency’s Justice and Home Affairs priorities for the next six months.

The EU Energy Policy Blog looks at the success of wind power in Europe, saying that the recent mass deployment of wind turbines has been down to public policy support, and that the current generation is “paving the way for the availability of competitive wind technologies in the near future”.

Credit: Éole Wind (Creative Commons BY NC SA)

This week, the European Parliament voted on the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), with most commentators predicting it would be rejected. With this in mind, Debating Europe asks what should replace it? After the European Parliament voted to reject the agreement on Wednesday, MEP Sandrine Bélier says that “The rejection of the ACTA treaty is a victory for democracy and European citizenship”.

Coulisses de Bruxelles praises the EU’s efforts in lowering mobile roaming rates in Europe. While as of this week calling and data rates across Europe have been significantly reduced, Fair Roaming at says the next step is for the EU to push for an international treaty on roaming.

PolsciEU says that recent events have shown the two faces of EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso – he is a technocrat and (more rarely) a passionate politician as well.

EU Foreign policy and the European neighbourhood

As the EU begins its oil embargo against Iran, Lost in EUrope wonders if the EU will be drawn into a new Gulf War.

The Euro Crisis

Commentators began the week by picking over the previous week’s EU summit. Nada es Gratis says that while the emerging alliance between Spain and Italy is good news, it remains to see what will happen in practice and whether or not the proposed interventions of the ECB will be timely enough. Similarly, Con acento hispano at says that despite the agreements, European economies will take at least 6 months to implement the measures of recovery. The European Citizen bemoans the tit for tat nature of summits such as this, saying that “the debates are so childish and miss the point entirely”. Eva en Europa looks at the summit’s political significance, saying the agreement was not quite the triumph for Italy and Spain as some say it is and that it “basically combines German monetary doctrine to combat inflation with fiscal discipline”.

Open Europe reports that Finland and the Netherlands have doubts over the summit’s conclusions, saying that they are not keen on the plan for the European Financial Stability Facility and the planned European Stability Mechanism to purchase the debt of struggling countries. Meanwhile, the FT’s Brussels Blog says that the summit has been a good deal for Ireland, as it has enabled the country to borrow on the open market again for the first time in two years.

Meanwhile the OFCE blog says that the Fiscal Compact Treaty should be denounced for being so poorly drafted, and that it should now be revised.

Across Europe

George Kyris at covers recent Turkish-Cypriots’ protests that they are the ‘ghosts’ of the European family, and their desire for more European integration.

Nucleus as looks at UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s attempts to deal with his Conservative back-benchers calls for an in-out referendum on Europe.

The European Council on Foreign Relations examines the EU’s relationship with Bulgaria, saying that its membership is ‘incomplete’. Meanwhile, A Fistful of Euros muses on whether Slovenia may be the next country in need of an EU bailout.

And finally…

What has Herman been up to? This week he was at the European Council meeting, met the President of Armenia, visited Georgia, and attended the opening ceremony for Cyprus’ Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The German Marshall Fund blog looks at the parallels between European integration and European football integration.

Open Europe praises the creation of the European Patent Office, saying that it is a “positive step to boost innovation and business growth”.


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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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