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

The EU centre

With only three weeks to go until the European Parliament elections, Julian Priestley at Policy Network takes a look at the campaign to become the next President of the European Commission.

Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, Credit: © European Union 2012 - European Parliament (CC-BY-SA-ND-NC-3.0)

Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, Credit: © European Union 2012 – European Parliament (CC-BY-SA-ND-NC-3.0)

The FT’s Brussels Blog has an overview of the first debate which took place between four of the candidates for Commission President on Monday. Ed Gavaghan at European Public Affairs also writes on the debate, arguing that it will now be extremely difficult for the European Council to ignore the candidates given the momentum that has been created in the campaign. The next debate is due to be held on 9 May.

Elsewhere, Open Europe discuss a ruling by the European Court of Justice against the UK’s challenge to the proposed Financial Transactions Tax (FTT). They note that although the ruling went against the UK, this was really a reflection of the fact that FTT proposals have not yet been finalised. The UK will therefore have further opportunities to challenge the FTT.

Across Europe

Chris Dillow at Stumbling and Mumbling responds to a comment by Ha-Joon Chang that ordinary citizens can often make better economic judgements than professional economists. He notes that while there is some evidence to back this up from the perspective of the ‘wisdom of crowds’, the judgement of professional economists is more valuable in specific contexts.

Martin Feldstein at Project Syndicate looks at the general health of European economies. He argues that devaluing the euro should be an important component of efforts to strengthen the overall European economy. Elsewhere Simon Wren-Lewis at Mainly Macro assesses the economic recovery in the UK and the Eurozone, noting that although the recovery is real, it still has a long way to go.

The European neighbourhood

Jan Techau at the Strategic Europe blog discusses the role of Russia in the Ukraine crisis. The article argues that involving Russia in European security organisations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), is likely to be self-defeating and that European states should maintain their commitment to co-operation through NATO and the EU.

Mark Leonard at the European Council on Foreign Relations also writes on Russia, arguing that Vladimir Putin is attempting to bring about a ‘revolution’ in the international order.

And finally…

David Hand at the OUP blog discusses the importance of using the correct statistical techniques in the analysis of big data.

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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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