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Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

26.11.10: Progress in talks about EU budget - 0 views

  • A series of compromises and a new draft of next year's EU budget has increased optimism that member states and the European Parliament can reach a deal on the 2011 spending plan before Christmas. But parliament's call for a role in discussions over the bloc's next multi-annual budget (post 2013) could still scupper a final accord.
  • A day earlier, member-state diplomats agreed to drop previous calls for unanimity voting on decisions to transfer money between EU budget headlines. Parliament has made the greater level of spending flexibility, provided by member state qualified majority voting, a key demand in the ongoing battle over the 2011 EU budget.
  • Officials from all sides will next meet on 7 December to discuss the budget draft, in a bid to enable a parliamentary vote on the final version at its 15 December plenary session, the last of the year. Sources say Mr Barroso's announcement this week to come forward with proposals on EU 'own resources' in June 2011 has enabled both parliament and member states to claim victory on the controversial issue by breaking the link with the 2011 budget debate but ensuring future discussion on the subject. Now the parliament's demand for a role in discussions over the EU's post-2013 multi-annual budget remains the main outstanding stumbling block.
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  • MEPs insist they are allowed a greater say under the Lisbon Treaty, while national capitals have appeared reluctant to hand the legislature a greater role in the already complex negotiations. If decision on this issue is left to European leaders meeting in Brussels for a summit on 16-17 December, parliamentary approval could be kicked to an extraordinary session just days before Christmas. Total failure to reach a deal between the two sides will see this year's EU budget rolled over into 2011 on a month-by-month basis.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

25.11.10: Is Slovakia the only member state recognizing the dangers of the current atte... - 0 views

  • Since it came to power in July this year, the Slovak centre-right government has called for private investors to feel the pain of any rescue operation under the eurozone umbrella. It considers the Greek bail-out "essentially a mistake" and a "precedent" that made European governments a "hostage" of financial markets. "If we continue this way, we are close to a pyramid scheme," the Slovak prime minister, Iveta Radicova, told journalists after the Wednesday government session dealing mainly with Ireland (24 November). She warned that a system of accumulating debts eventually risked falling like "a house made of cards". "Once again, taxpayers are expected to pay the bill. Once again, the banks are being rescued," Ms Radicova said, hinting that Lisbon and Madrid could be next going cap in hand to their EU colleagues.
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

24.11.10: Budget 2011 - the position of the European Parliament  in a nutshell - 0 views

  • MEPs are ready for an agreement on the 2011 budget within the limits set by the Council, provided EU governments accept Parliament's request for budget flexibility and an agreement on a future working method for EU funding. This was the message in Parliament's resolution on the on-going negotiations on the 2011 budget, adopted on Thursday.The resolution was adopted by an overwhelming majority (486 in favour, 64 against and 21 abstentions).MEPs are ready to "facilitate an agreement on the 2011 Budget and related elements within a very tight timeframe" provided three conditions are met:
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

23.11.10: Will Portugal and Spain be the next victims of the debt crisis? - 0 views

  • Portuguese, Spanish and EU leaders, alarmed at the seemingly unquenchable vengeance of this marketplace leviathan, insisted that the two Iberian nations were very far from having to follow Ireland and Greece in asking for bail-outs.
  • EU economics chief Olli Rehn sought to buttress the the standing of Portugal insisting on the "very different" situation between Lisbon and Dublin, while the head of the eurozone, Luxemburgish Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker described the market vigilantism against Portugal and Spain as "not justified". Railing against the state of affairs, Mr Rehn told MEPs on Monday: "Any talk of deconstruction of the European project is irresponsible. All member states would have been in a much more difficult situation without the European Union and its political shield."
Prof. Dr  Wolfgang Schumann

19.11.10: Ireland's corporate tax "non-negotiable"? - 0 views

  • Eurozone neighbours are pressing Ireland to raise the 12.5% corporation tax rate as part of negotiations for a rescue package but Dublin is resisting, arguing that it is crucial for foreign investment. Irish Deputy Prime Minister Mary Coughlan told parliament the corporate tax rate was "non-negotiable". European Minister Dick Roche echoed that comment, saying "it is certainly not up for negotiation". "There has been some very unhelpful chatter in the background in the last few days about our corporation profit tax. Where would be the sense of destroying one of the great drivers of growth?" he told BBC television. Britain and Germany have long viewed low Irish taxes as a form of unfair competition and the finance ministers of Austria and France said the corporation tax may have to be raised as part of any deal. Michael Meister, a deputy leader in parliament and finance expert for Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU), said the country needed to consider raising the levy. "The Irish rates are below the European Union average," Meister told Reuters on the sidelines of the CDU annual party congress on Tuesday (16 November). "I therefore see here at least a possibility, given the high [Irish] budget deficit, to improve revenues without causing a negative impact on growth," he added. Meister's comments come one day after Elmar Brok, a senior CDU lawmaker who has sat in the European Parliament since 1980, said Ireland may have no choice but to raise the rate. "Ireland has two options to consolidate its budget – cut expenses even further or increase taxes like the corporate tax rate," Brok said at the congress in Karlsruhe.
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