Chris Gilson and Stuart A. Brown take a look at the week in Brussels blogging.

The EU centre and the crisis

Real Time Brussels looks at the meeting of the Eurogroup of European Finance Ministers that occurred at the end of last week, saying that the compromise deal reached on banking supervision may also lead to Treaty change in the future. Open Europe argues that despite previous predictions from political commentators, it should be little surprise that Germany now seems to be in favour of future Treaty change.

Credit: fdecomite (CC BY 2.0)

Credit: fdecomite (CC BY 2.0)

On Tuesday, Lost in EUrope reported on the European Parliament’s vote to reject reforms to its carbon trading scheme, saying that it shows that the lobby of heavy polluters has prevailed in Germany: an argument that Coulisses de Bruxelles agrees with.

Coulisses de Bruxelles also looks at the ongoing pressure on France to institute structural reforms from the European Commission  in order to reduce the country’s deficit, while Nada es Gratis looks at reforms needed in Spain to make the country more competitive. Craig Willy examines whether or not austerity policies in Latvia and Lithuania have been successful.

Meanwhile, The New Federalist looks at new attempts to crack down on EU tax havens. The discussion mentions Luxembourg, where the country’s banking industry has deposits 10 times the value of Luxembourg’s GDP. Sticking with banks, Nada es Gratis looks at what role the European Central Bank might take after the financial crisis, in light of innovative monetary policies that have been adopted by the US Federal Reserve.

Across Europe

Lost in EUrope discusses Germany’s new anti-euro party, Alternative für Deutschland, which recently held its first conference. French Politics says that the new party should be considered to be on the extreme right. Looking ahead to Germany’s Federal Elections in September, The European Citizen assesses the SPD party manifesto, and considers how a victory for that party might affect the eurocrisis. Meanwhile, ahead of the vote this week in the German Bundestag on the Cypriot bailout, Open Europe takes a look at who the most rebellious German MPs are.

Sunday saw elections for Croatian MEPs ahead of the country’s accession to the EU in July. Croatia, the war, and the future bemoans the low turnout of 20.84 per cent in the elections, arguing that the winners have had very ‘flimsy victories’. Elsewhere, Reuniting Europe, writing at, looks at the Macedonian diaspora in South East Europe, noting that over 1.4 million ‘Macedonians’ live in Bulgaria and Greece.

Finally, The European Citizen considers whether or not Hungary’s ruling Fidesz party may be expelled from the European People’s Party due to its recent constitutional changes. Charlemagne also looks at French President Francois Hollande’s latest disclosure rules for his Cabinet. As of this week, members of the cabinet must publish their (often considerable) assets online.

EU Foreign policy and the European neighbourhood

Following the bomb attack which hit the Boston marathon, Andrew Hammel at German Joys writes on how citizens should react to terrorism. The best reaction, he argues, is simply to do nothing. On the same topic, Luke Herrington at the Descrier asks why terrorist attacks are always accompanied by conspiracy theories.

Meanwhile Debating Europe asks, what should EU foreign policy look like?


Based on the somewhat unusual case in the UK of a football fan being arrested for punching a police horse, Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling asks whether we need to reassess what drives people to commit crimes.

It’s not that simple… takes a look at what the recent sudden drop in the price of gold really means. They argue that it might be a sign that confidence in the global economy is growing. On a different subject, Dimitris Rapidis at makes the case for referendums in Greece to address the country’s apparent democratic deficit, where governments are elected on one platform, but pursue another when in office.

Finally, the FT’s Brussels blog details the Reinhart and Rogoff affair, in which an influential paper on government debt was found to contain incorrect weighting and Excel mistakes. Open Europe argues that the criticisms are not enough to undermine austerity policies in Europe.

And finally…

What has President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy been up to this week? This week he met with the President of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn,

All of Denmark’s ministries are now on twitter, according to Jon Worth.


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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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