EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Correspondent
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Jun 13, 2014

Juncker aside, who else might become Commission president?

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU leaders will meet on June 26-27 to discuss who they should nominate as the next president of the European Commission. Whoever they choose must then be approved by a majority in the 751-seat European Parliament.

The front-runner is Jean-Claude Juncker, the former prime minister of Luxembourg, who is the candidate of Europe’s largest centre-right political group, the EPP, which came first in elections to the European Parliament last month.

Jun 10, 2014

EU should simplify budget rules, focus on debt reduction -IMF

BRUSSELS, June 10 (Reuters) – The European Union should
simplify fiscal rules and focus on cutting debt, the
International Monetary Fund said on Tuesday, joining a European
debate on how to make austerity policies more growth-friendly.

Some countries, like highly indebted Italy, want more
leniency on budget discipline for those who reform their
economies, arguing higher growth would help reduce debt.

Jun 4, 2014

Lithuania ready to adopt euro from 2015, Commission says

BRUSSELS/VILNIUS (Reuters) – Lithuania meets all the criteria for joining the euro, the European Commission said on Wednesday, clearing the way for the Baltic state to become the 19th member of the single currency from the start of next year.

To adopt the euro, a country has to have government debt no higher than 60 percent of gross domestic product, a budget deficit below 3 percent of GDP, low inflation and interest rates and its own currency has to be stable against the euro.

Jun 2, 2014

EU tells France and Italy to keep budget promises

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission told France and Italy on Monday to stick to their pledges to curb spending while reforming their economies, showing little sign of wavering on EU budget rules.

In its annual policy recommendations to governments around Europe, the Commission sought to strike a fine balance between pushing for budget cuts and stimulating a fragile economy at a time of record unemployment.

May 27, 2014

After seismic elections, EU leaders assess damage

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders assessed the continent’s dramatically altered political landscape on Tuesday following European Parliament elections and sought a response to a rising tide of voter frustration.

With far-right, anti-EU parties sweeping to unprecedented victories in France, Britain and Denmark and populists gaining ground elsewhere, the 28 leaders faced tough questions about the future direction of European integration.

May 26, 2014

Determined Juncker sets out case to head European Commission

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The battle for the presidency of the European Commission, arguably the most powerful job in Brussels, began in earnest on Monday after the centre-right secured a clear victory in European Parliament elections.

Former Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, the centre-right’s choice for Commission president, brushed off questions about his candidacy, saying the job was effectively his for the taking.

May 23, 2014

Luxembourg’s Juncker blinks in unaccustomed EU election spotlight

PORTO, Portugal, May 23 (Reuters) – Standing on stage before
a 1,000-strong crowd of cheering supporters last weekend, a look
of unease flashed across the face of Jean-Claude Juncker, the
former prime minister of Luxembourg now running for the top job
in Europe.

Accustomed to sober grey suits and backroom dealing, the
grey-haired 59-year-old, seemed unsure quite how to respond to
the throng of chanting Portuguese. Then, as an accomplished
politician, he found his groove.

May 8, 2014

ECB holds rates, markets watch Draghi for any hints of June action

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged on Thursday, waiting for updated forecasts from its staff in June before deciding whether to take fresh action to counter low inflation that ticked up last month.

The decision was widely expected and markets’ attention will now shift to ECB President Mario Draghi’s 8:30 am (1230 GMT) news conference, when investors will be listening for any indication the bank could act next month.

Apr 29, 2014

Euro zone sentiment, inflation expectations dip in April

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Euro zone economic sentiment deteriorated slightly in April, defying forecasts of further improvement, while inflation expectations continued to fall, European Commission data showed on Tuesday.

The monthly Commission survey showed that economic sentiment in the 18 countries sharing the euro eased to 102.0 in April from 102.5 in March, mainly because of a dip in confidence in the construction sector and in services.

Apr 24, 2014

Exclusive: EU considers ban on deals with banks in Crimea

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Union may ban transactions with financial institutions in Crimea as part of its response to the annexation of the peninsula by Russia last month, an EU document obtained by Reuters showed.

EU leaders consider the takeover of Ukraine’s Crimea by Moscow as illegal and have asked the EU executive arm, the European Commission, to propose economic, trade and financial restrictions on Crimea for rapid implementation.

    • About Jan

      "Based in Brussels since 2005, I cover economic policy news from the European Commission, EU and euro zone economic data, monthly meetings of EU/euro zone finance ministers as well as G7/8/20 meetings. Before Brussels I was a correspondent in Stockholm for five years, covering technology stocks and the Swedish central bank. I was earlier a correspondent in Poland for seven years, covering macroeconomic policy, bond, forex and money markets, the central bank and politics."
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