ECB tensions resurface as pandemic second wave builds
The second stage of the pandemic is reviving a familiar split within the ECB over policy. A German-led bloc of monetary hawks sees yet another attempt to saddle it with the debts of Southern Europe. The rest of the institution frets that foot-dragging will endanger the economic recovery if the health crisis worsens.
Those tensions are bubbling up within weeks of the euro hitting a two-year high against the dollar, which threatens to hurt European exports. The U.S. currency has slid as the virus has driven the Federal Reserve to slash its interest rates to zero.
Read more at https://www.politico.eu/article/ecb-tensions-resurface-as-coronavirus-pandemic-second-wave-builds/
Council and Parliament warn of budget delays as talks stall
“We observe with concern that the number of different blockades in the budget negotiations is increasing rather than decreasing,” said a spokesperson for the German presidency on Tuesday. “The timetable is increasingly slipping. It is becoming increasingly likely that the EU budget and the recovery fund will be delayed,” the spokesperson added.
The European Parliament’s consent is required in order for the bloc’s new €1.074 trillion seven-year budget to come into effect — and the legislature’s negotiating team accused the German presidency of being inflexible in the ongoing talks.
Read more at https://www.politico.eu/article/council-and-parliament-warn-of-budget-delays-as-talks-stall/
Commission report finds many EU nations fall short on rule of law
In its first comprehensive assessment of rule-of-law conditions, published Wednesday, the Commission predictably raised serious questions about Poland and Hungary, countries that have faced disciplinary procedures in Brussels because of longstanding alleged violations of basic democratic principles.
But the report also painted a troubling portrait of many other countries falling short of minimum standards, which are a basic requirement of EU membership.
Read more at https://www.politico.eu/article/european-commission-report-finds-many-eu-nations-hungary-poland-malta-bulgaria-falling-short-rule-of-law/
Germany seeks breakthrough on linking EU payouts to rule of law
Berlin, as the current presidency of the Council of the EU, put forward a plan that many observers saw as a watering down of a European Commission proposal from two years ago. It would set a higher bar for withholding payouts and use a narrower definition of what would represent unacceptable behavior.
To stand a chance of success, any compromise has to appeal to multiple, very different constituencies. Poland and Hungary, accused by EU institutions of undermining the rule of law, are wary of any measures that could restrict their access to EU cash and have threatened to block the budget and recovery package until they are satisfied with rule-of-law measures.
Read more at https://www.politico.eu/article/germany-seeks-breakthrough-on-linking-eu-payouts-to-rule-of-law/