Commentaries

A camel for EU president?

By Paul Taylor
November 12, 2009

camelsA camel, says an old Middle East joke, is a horse designed by a committee.

The European Union is in danger of getting camels for its two new leadership positions — president of the European Council and foreign policy High Representative — because of the dysfunctional appointment process created by the Lisbon Treaty.

Should he stay or should he go? Miliband ponders

By Paul Taylor
November 9, 2009

OUKTP-UK-IRAN-NUCLEAR-BRITAINShould he stay or should he go?

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband could be Europe’s first foreign minister in all but name, with one of the most influential jobs in shaping the place of the 27-nation bloc on the world stage, if he is willing to risk leaving British politics for the next five years. That’s a big if.

If not Blair, who for EU Council president?

By Paul Taylor
November 4, 2009

schuessellipponenvan-rompuybalkenendefreibergajuncker

Within a couple of weeks, European Union leaders are going to choose the first president of the European Council now the Lisbon Treaty has finally been ratified.

Mr Who for EU president? EU seeks anyone but Blair

By Paul Taylor
October 29, 2009

blairWho will be the first president of the European Council of EU leaders? Anyone but Tony Blair. That is the only clear message to emerge from a European Union summit, where the appointments of the EU’s two new senior office-holders is not on the agenda but is on everyone’s mind.

Turkey’s EU bid fades with little drama

By Paul Taylor
October 15, 2009

turkarmeniaTurkey’s bid to join the European Union is fading away with surprisingly little drama because investors no longer see the prospect of accession as an essential policy anchor.

Ireland puts the EU show back on the road

By Paul Taylor
October 3, 2009

biffoThe EU show is back on the road. Sixteen months after Irish voters brought the European Union’s tortured process of institutional reform to a juddering halt by voting “No” to the Lisbon treaty, the same electorate has turned out in larger numbers to say “Yes” by a two-thirds majority.

Sarkozy looks to stash some cash under the mattress

By Paul Taylor
September 30, 2009

nainOn the face of it, France’s 2010 budget is just what the G20 doctor ordered. No early withdrawal of economic stimulus spending. Allowing the welfare system’s ”automatic stabilisers” to absorb the shock of the economic crisis. No raising of taxes or slashing of public spending until growth returns. A small shift away from tax on business towards taxation of carbon.

Germans vote for change; will they get it?

By Paul Taylor
September 27, 2009

angieGermans have voted for change. A centre-right government with a clear parliamentary majority will replace the ungainly grand coalition of conservatives and Social Democrats that ran Europe’s biggest economy for the last four years.

Germany will have to change Opel deal after election

By Paul Taylor
September 24, 2009

opelanerIt looks increasingly clear that Germany will have to change its deal to aid carmaker Opel once Sunday’s general election is out of the way.

Push comes to shove in EU-Dutch bank spat

By Paul Taylor
September 18, 2009

EU-INTEL/Push is coming to shove in a stand-off between the European Commission and the Dutch government over the future of state-rescued banks. The outcome has implications for the whole of Europe.