Bursting the Bubble

The Political Economy of the Energy Union

13 February 2017 | by

In 2014 Juncker presented his vision on the European Energy policy, whereas we need to pool our resources, combine our infrastructures and unite our negotiation power with third countries. He established 4 pillars for an Energy Union: creating an Energy Union by pooling resources and connecting networks; diversifying energy sources; helping Member States becoming less dependent on energy imports; and significant enhancement of energy efficiency.

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60 years since the Treaty of Rome: let’s start by changing the captain of the ship

10 February 2017 | by

How should we celebrate 25th March 2017, the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome? Many people are asking themselves this tricky question.

In my own opinion, it would be better not to celebrate anything at all. I have no memory of any celebration in 2007 for the 50th anniversary of the Treaty. But never mind – the date is set and many events are planned around Place du Luxembourg, Rond-Point Schuman or higher up among members of the European Council.

But what is there to celebrate? A celebration would only highlight the dramatic rupture between the previous Europe of action and the current Europe on the road to dismantlement. This same feeling of deterioration is evident in the EU’s leaders. Even before you think of founding fathers such as Monnet, Schuman, Gasperi, Spaak or Hallstein, the likes of Juncker, Tusk, Mogherini and Tajani pale in comparison to Delors, Kinnock, Thorn, Mansholt, Monty and Lamy.

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The Politics of the ECB

19 December 2016 | by

The European Central Bank (ECB) is the central bank for the euro and administers the monetary policy of the eurozone, which consists of 19 EU member states and is one of the largest currency areas in the world. It is one of the world’s most important central banks and is one of the seven institutions of the European Union (EU) listed in the Treaty on European Union (TEU).

The primary objective of the ECB, mandated in Article 2 of the Statute of the ECB, is to maintain price stability within the Eurozone. Its basic tasks, set out in Article 3 of the Statute, are to set and implement the monetary policy for the Eurozone, to conduct foreign exchange operations, to take care of the foreign reserves of the European System of Central Banks and operation of the financial market infrastructure under the TARGET2 payments system and the technical platform (currently being developed) for settlement of securities in Europe (TARGET2 Securities). The ECB has, under Article 16 of its Statute, the exclusive right to authorise the issuance of euro banknotes. Member states can issue euro coins, but the amount must be authorised by the ECB beforehand.

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EU Dumping Policy 3: NME, MES and the Linguistic Division of Labour

9 December 2016 | by

China was the first hybrid economy with features of a non-market economy (NME) to accede to the WTO. A statement in its Accession Protocol says that the provision alluding to NME status will “in any event” expire fifteen year after its accession, on 11 December 2016. China therefore considers receiving market economy status (MES) as a formality. The EU, however, disputes this interpretation and argues that a country must actually be a market economy before this status can be awarded. This argument is unsurprising considering that the absence of MES is a necessary prerequisite for the continued legitimacy of the analogue country method. Maintaining control over the ability to grant the MES has therefore been a matter of supreme importance to the EU.

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EU Dumping Policy 2: China’s Market Economy Status

30 November 2016 | by

A lot of attention currently goes out to the provisions of China’s WTO Accession Protocol dealing with, as it seems, an automatic expiry of its non-market economy status in December 2016. China claims that the provision which allows for an alternative method for calculating dumping margins will no longer apply fifteen year after its date of accession. But the European Union challenges this perception. This comes as no surprise. The Union would lose an important tool – the analogue market method – for raising the barrier of entry to the European market.

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