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

The EU centre and the crisis

Former United Nations Development Programme Administrator Kemal Derviş argues in Project Syndicate that northern Europe must do more within their own countries, including addressing large current-account surpluses, to aid in the European and global recoveries. This follows a long running dispute over Germany’s current account surplus and its impact on the Eurozone crisis.

Credit: duesentrieb (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Credit: duesentrieb (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Meanwhile, Open Europe reports that the Netherlands is beginning to put forward stronger arguments for reform of the EU. This follows the review into subsidiarity by the Dutch government and a report by the parliament’s lower house on the role of national parliaments in EU policy-making. Suggestions include slimming down the European Commission and strengthening the ‘yellow card’ mechanism through which national parliaments can scrutinise Commission proposals.

Elsewhere, Aidan Regan at Policy Network questions whether the current focus on labour market liberalisation in struggling European economies will lead to growth and recovery.

Across Europe

In Open Democracy’s continuing series on the left-wing politics of Poland, Tristan Sechrest interviews Slawomir Sierakowski on political parties, the European Union, and transnational political movments.

Tika Tsertsvadze at the Fride blog provides an update on Georgia’s progress towards liberal democracy, including the build-up of democratic institutions, following its successes in holding elections.

On a less optimistic note, Yaron Matras at the Manchester Policy Blogs warns of the dangers of scapegoating Europe’s Roma population. The issue recently came to prominence in the UK following comments by former Home Secretary David Blunkett.

The European neighbourhood

Ahead of the Eastern Partnership summit in Vilnius this month, the European Council on Foreign Relations has an overview on the role Germany and Poland can play in shaping EU policy in eastern Europe.

On the continuing negotiations between the E3+3 and Iran, Cornelius Adebahr at Strategic Europe writes that success is dependent upon the West engaging in real efforts at communication, and that the strategy should be focused on incremental progress on the key issues at stake.

Negotiations are also currently taking place in Warsaw on the issue of climate change, as part of the 2013 United Nations Climate Change Conference. The Green European Journal writes on Polish media coverage of the conference, arguing that the issue has largely been relegated to the side-lines in national media.

And finally…

Jon Worth looks at claims made by the UKIP MEP Derek Clark over EU rules on vacuum cleaners.

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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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