Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Look what the EU has in store for you this week

Our dear Chum 'Mao' Barroso has unveiled his plans in a speech in Brussels. It deserves to be read in full. My feeling is that the agenda for the Council meeting this week is so full for a purpose, and that is to throw chaff at the media so they do not gang up on the Greek Crisis.

So here we go,
On the economic governance package:
"It is important that we have this deal before the Summer break. I urge the European Parliament and the Council to put their differences aside. With a final push on both sides I hope the remaining issues can be resolved, because the adoption of the governance package is one of the central pillars in our comprehensive response to the crisis."
That Governance package, that'll be EU surveillance of the national budgets amongst other things.

On the Country-Specific Recommendations:
"They are focused, measurable and tailored to each country’s most pressing challenges. Of course, the representation of these Country-Specific Recommendations has led to frank and sometimes very intensive discussions with Member States over the last two weeks. But I am pleased that the overall result has maintained the level of ambition, and I expect the European Council will endorse our recommendations unanimously."
And the ability and power to suggest specific policy prescriptions to national treasuries

On financial sector taxation:
"To respond to the economic crisis, every sector needs to contribute, none more so than the financial sector. Yesterday, I announced in my letter to my colleagues in the European Council that the Commission will present a formal legislative proposal, after the summer, to put in place a financial tax within the European Union."
Holy cow, this is what will give the EU its own resources. It will allow the EU to raise tax (and set its own tax rates without democratic supervision). Of course it being a financial transaction tax the major payer will be the City of London.

On migration:
"The Commission has presented its ideas on migration setting recent and future policy initiatives in a framework that allows the EU and its Member States to manage asylum, migration and mobility of third-country nationals in a secure environment. "
"Migration, let's face it, is an emotive issue – one where perceptions matter. I have read many articles suggesting that the Schengen principles of free movement are being undermined. I don't agree and I think that we are going to see exactly the opposite. We are going to see a reinforcement of the European approach to migration and also to the free movement."
"Let me be crystal clear: this is not a rollback of the abolition of internal borders. This is a way of strengthening the European dimension of the system so that individual Member States do not feel pressured into acting unilaterally. I will be looking for a clear endorsement of this approach from the European Council so that the detailed Commission proposals can be finalised."
"I call on the European Council to lend its support to the completion of the entirety of the asylum package, as swiftly as possible within the agreed deadline."
Yup that is the EU take over of asylum policy (not that they don't have significant control already).

On Croatia's accession to the EU:
"There is still substantial work to be done and the Commission will continue to monitor progress closely, but I hope that at the end of the month we can sign off on the remaining chapters in the Accession Conference."
Another few million from a poor country with complete access to the UK.

On Greece:
"We know that many people in Greece are faced with deep cuts that have a real impact on their income. We understand how difficult this is. If there were an easier route out of the crisis, we would have taken it. But there is not."
"It is crucial that the new Greek Government receives the confidence of the Parliament tonight so that it can build the consensus the country needs for far-reaching economic reform. Next week is the moment of truth where Greece needs to demonstrate that it is genuinely committed to the ambitious package of further fiscal measures and privatisations put forward by Prime Minister Papandreou's government and agreed with the EU and the IMF. "
"My message today is that if Athens acts, Europe will deliver. There is a plan. I urge everybody to now act upon it. I think it is better to act than just to talk. There is a plan, let's put it to practice."
"I believe this is a time that calls for a more strategic use also of our European structural funds. And I think it is important to show to our Greek friends and partners that, yes, the way out is difficult but there is hope and there are solutions at the end of this path. That is why I would like to ask the European Council to discuss what we can to assist Greece, beyond its consolidation efforts, to enhance competitiveness and address the more urgent problems of unemployment."
"Greece has the potential to access a significant amount of EU money under cohesion policy. We should concentrate these funds on where it matters the most now: on improving competitiveness and employment. We should coordinate them, so that we make the most impact. We should find ways to frontload and accelerate them, so that Greece gets the benefit now."

Oh yes and ways to subsidise Greece with your money


Goodnight Vienna said...

"This is a way of strengthening the European dimension of the system so that individual Member States do not feel pressured into acting unilaterally."

How very altruistic - lifting the 'burden' of regulating their own borders from countries.

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