Things are moving along rapidly with José Manuel Barroso and his new European Commission, scheduled to come into office next November 1. As I noted a week ago, Barroso came up with his set of twenty-four portfolio-name pairs two weeks before the deadline he had promised, and yesterday these twenty-four met together in Brussels for a first “getting-to-know-you” session. At the same time, Barroso gave his first interview to the press since being named Commission President last month, which turned out to be a collective interview to reporters from five German newspapers. (Among which Munich’s Süddeutsche Zeitung. Note that this SZ article is not in interview form per se, but instead reports the points Barroso made.) That they happened to be German newspapers was not just a tribute to that country’s position as the Union’s leading population and greatest economic power. (more…)
The chain continues! Of articles examining EU economic performance and policy and/or that of individual member-states, that is. And, as half-promised previously, this time we go to the French press, specifically flagship Le Monde, which announces that The Netherlands Makes the Modernization of the European Economy Its Priority. (more…)
Can I write some more about that last week’s “European Council” (i.e. summit of European heads-of-state/government) in Brussels? There is at least one loose end to tidy up – interesting enough in itself to prompt an essay from Die Zeit.
There were a few other things that happened in Brussels, besides Jacques Chirac representing Germany for a day, and everybody reciting for the umpteenth time their stand on the draft Constitution. For one thing, the assembled leaders also approved the creation of a new European agency to coordinate immigration controls at the EU’s expanded borders. But of greater interest is the “growth initiative” that also constituted part of the summit’s business. That was mainly what the EU leaders talked about Thursday afternoon, after their no-progress talks on the draft Constitution of that morning. (more…)