Tuesday, 30 April 2013
The day after telling the representatives of think tanks that he rejected the European superstate needed in the era of globalisation and after twisting ”federalism” into a ”federation of nation states”, rightly known as a ”confederation”, the Commission president José Manuel Barroso ventured into a new minefield. Read Barroso wanders off: A new narrative for Europe.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 11:57
Monday, 29 April 2013
Last week José Ignacio Torreblanca and Mark Leonard of the European Council on Foreign Relations ECFR confirmed my deep-seated worry that the handling of the eurozone crisis is an ongoing disaster, also from the viewpoint of public confidence. Yesterday we saw the latest manifestation, when the the election results in Iceland showed that the voters were quite happy to throw their EU membership application and a responsible recovery over board. Read ECFR wrings its hands at deathbed of eurozone and EU.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 11:07
Sunday, 28 April 2013
This week the president of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso told listeners from a number of think tanks that he was brave enough to use the word 'federalism', which he instantly corrupted by defining it as a 'federation of nation states', which means a 'confederation' despite the referral to Jacques Delors (SPEECH/13/346). Read Democracy in Europe (28 April 2013): Barroso is no democrat.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:19
Tired of austerity, voters in Iceland seem to have returned to power the conservative Independence Party and the liberal Progressive Party which presided over the outbreak of economic crash (Iceland Review Online). Read Iceland rejects austerity and EU.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 10:46
Saturday, 27 April 2013
This time I comment by inviting you to read a book or two about the the ideas of Europe and the origins and history of European integration. There's nothing systematic about my choice, although there is more for the general reader than for the scientific writer. They are just picks from my bookshelves, but had left a feeling that I profited from and enjoyed the reading. Read European Federalist Paper number three.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:11
Friday, 26 April 2013
The battle in Britain about the country's future inside or outside the European Union involves campaign groups, think tanks and other non-governmental organisations. Let us look at one of the most visible and active players with considerable resources. Read The Battle in Britain: Visible Open Europe.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:39
Thursday, 25 April 2013
As we saw in the blog entry ECB on MiFID and MiFIR proposals, the European Central Bank was consulted on the proposed Directive on markets in financial instruments MiFID COM(2011) 656 and the draft Regulation on markets in financial instruments MiFIR COM(2011) 652. We turn to the opinions from the European Economic and Social Committee. Read EESC on MiFIR and MiFID proposals.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:28
Wednesday, 24 April 2013
For reasons of efficiency and clarity, the ECB decided to adopt a single opinion on four related legislative proposals, including the two we are following, namely the proposed Directive on markets in financial instruments (MiFID) COM(2011) 656 and the draft Regulation on markets in financial instruments (MiFIR) COM(2011) 652. Read ECB on MiFID and MiFIR proposals.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 15:51
Tuesday, 23 April 2013
The blog entry Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID review search rounded up the Commission's press material and the proposed Directive and Regulation: MiFID COM(2011) 656 and MiFIR COM(2011) 652. Because the co-legislators have the final say, the mandatory or voluntary opinions contributing to the end result are often overlooked. Therefore I want to present the official opinions regarding the two drafts, starting with the EDPS. Read Data protection and MiFID and MiFIR proposals.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:44
Monday, 22 April 2013
This Paper deals with the question what belongs to the essence of a federal organization. Klinkers describes this on the basis of what he has learned over the years by Tombeur. He raises a number of questions with the intention to get his thoughts about federalism improved or supplemented by Tombeur. Read comments on European Federalist Paper number two.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 11:23
Sunday, 21 April 2013
Democratic government and fundamental rights are the foundation of the relationship between citizens and the government of municipalities, regions and states in Europe. However, the 'enlightened' elites behind the project of European integration have refused to empower the citizens of their union. In the blog entry Democracy in Europe (14 April 2013) I illustrated the growing chasm and the necessary quantum leap to a Basic Law for a European republic. Now you can read Democracy in Europe (21 April 2013) featuring the ”Let them eat cake” prize.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:47
From the introduction of the European Federalist Papers and comments on paper number zero, we move on to paper number one. Through the homepage of the European Federalist Papers you can access all the papers you want, plus additional information about the authors, literature, a collection of links to thinktanks, non-governmental organisations and other websites of interest, as well as contact details for your feedback. Read European Federalist Paper number one
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:05
After the short introductory blog entry European Federalist Papers I want you to take part in the virtual constituent assembly here on the Internet by blogging, tweeting and sending your comments to the authors. Here a presentation of the opening federalist paper (numbered zero) followed by my brief comments. Read European Federalist Paper number zero
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 05:51
Saturday, 20 April 2013
The Declaration of Independence (1776) and the Constitution of the United States of America (1787) remain inspirations for mankind. The Federalist Papers, written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison and John Jay, brilliantly defended the US Constitution during the ratification battle, leaving a lasting legacy. We can only speculate what North America would look like today, had the anti-federalists won and the weak Articles of Confederation (1777) remained in force (from 1781). Read European Federalist Papers
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:38
Friday, 19 April 2013
In the blog entry Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID proposal we navigated the webpages of the Europa portal until we found a page which promised enough introductory information about the draft promised by the Single Market Act (SMA). Having found the Investment Markets Directive – Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) webpage (available in German DE and French FR as well), let us dig in. This blog post continues our exercise in finding EU information, as if thrown into the pool at the deep end for an internal market law course Single Market Act (SMA) assignment. Starting from a narrow perspective, we may need to broaden our scope to gain a more holistic picture. Read Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID review search
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:45
Under the growth and confidence ”lever” of the Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 'Access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)' the European Commission promised one key action, one programme and four additional legislative proposals: ¤ Key action: regulation on European Venture Capital Funds, EuVECA passport ¤ Adopt Action Plan on SMEs' Access to Finance ¤ Revise Transparency Directive ¤ Revise Regulation implementing Prospectus Directive ¤ Revise Market Abuse Directive ¤ Revise MiFID Directive In this blog entry we turn to the last promised action under this heading, the MiFID Directive (from markets in financial instruments). Read Markets in Financial Instruments Directive MiFID proposal
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 09:08
Wednesday, 17 April 2013
Tuesday, 16 April 2013
In the blog entry on the Impact assessment we continued following the legislative process concerning the draft EU Market Abuse Regulation COM(2011) 651, which is one of the proposals promised by the Single Market Act COM(2011) 206. Consultation serves the purpose of better legislation. Here we look at the opinions from the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Central Bank.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:13
Monday, 15 April 2013
In the blog entry New EU Market Abuse Regulation? we glanced at the draft Regulation on insider dealing and market manipulation (market abuse) COM(2011) 651 final. The perspective of this blog on EU law and politics is often 'de lege ferenda' (with a view to the future law). Therefore we remind readers of a crucial tool in the Commission's ”better regulation” toolbox, the impact assessment, although we deal only cursorily with the IA concerning this concrete proposal. Read: Impact assessment: EU Market Abuse Regulation
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:05
Sunday, 14 April 2013
Is there a UK reform agenda for Europe built on common ground with EU members, or are the British Conservatives knifing chancellor Merkel and the eurozone in the back?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:00
The mix of liberty, equality and dynamism ensures Democracy in America a lasting place in political literature on both shores of the Atlantic. What would Alexis de Tocqueville make of the long overdue need to insert the political foundations for the common currency and to establish European level democracy today? Read: Democracy in Europe (14 April 2013)
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 15:54
Saturday, 13 April 2013
The first Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 206 promised to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one of the twelve ”levers” intended to boost growth and strengthen confidence. One key action and five other proposals were outlined. Is there going to be a New EU Market Abuse Regulation?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:32
Friday, 12 April 2013
When I wondered if the UK prime minister David Cameron is riding to EU reform or if he risks being thrown from the saddle, I promised to return to the EU scenarios for Britain in Vivien Pertusot's Ifri note (in English): In Europe, not ruled by Europe: Tough love between Britain and the EU (March 2013; 39 pages). Now you can read UK as ”Great Switzerland”?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:12
The first Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 206 promised to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), one of the twelve ”levers” intended to boost growth and strengthen confidence. One key action and five other proposals were outlined (pages 6-7). Here we look at the EU Commission Regulation implementing the Prospectus Directive.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:16
Thursday, 11 April 2013
While we followed the revision of the Transparency Directive 2004/109 in the European Parliament, the Parliament and the Council negotiators reached an agreement regarding the disclosure requirements for the extractive and forestry industries. The deal concerns the proposed Accounting Directive as well. There are no new official documents available yet, so we highlight existing ones as we turn to the press releases from the EU institutions and glance at media reports and reactions from NGOs. Read: Agreement on EU Accounting Directive and Transparency Directive
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:28
Wednesday, 10 April 2013
Yesterday I wondered at the UK prime minister David Cameron suddenly cutting short another trip to the European continent to explain his plans on EU (dis)integration with regard to Britain. This time Cameron cancelled scheduled meetings with the leaders of the EU heavyweights Spain, France and Germany (Public Service Europe). Now you can read: Is Cameron riding to EU reform or thrown from the saddle?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:16
Yesterday I referred to the building of the single market as generally ”humdrum actions for trade and prosperity in Europe”, but seemingly dull business regulation can target hot topics, such as government corruption in developing countries and ”blood diamonds”, (rare) minerals from warlords in conflict areas and "flavour of the season" tax evasion. Read: Anti-corruption and ”blood diamonds” in EP: Transparency Directive
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:22
Tuesday, 9 April 2013
The cyclopean UK government refuses to consider European level democracy. Like a weathervane prime minister David Cameron again found a pretext to abort a European tour, but he had already sent an advance message of a flexible Europe (nothing to do with cherry-picking), while the eurozone deepens integration through eventual treaty change (Irish Independent). Read: Cameron's aborted Europe mission
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:21
In the blog entry Amending the EU Transparency Directive we presented the two directives to be amended (2004/109 and 2007/14) and the Commission proposal COM(2011) 683 accompanied by the impact assessment documents SEC(2011) 1279 final/2 and SEC(2011) 1280. Here we register a few key points from the proposal. Read: EU Transparency Directive proposal
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 19:01
Britain, Europe and the rest of the world ponder the legacy of the unforgettable and divisive UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher (Financial Times obituary, €), but despite her visceral opposition to fundamental aims of deeper European integration, the Single European Act SEA and the single market remain milestones of her influence beyond the borders of the United Kingdom and for what now is known as the European Union. Despite the milestones, the internal market or single market is mostly about countless small steps to make cross-border commerce among thirty European countries (EEA) seamless. Let us return to the Transparency Directive revision, one of these humdrum actions for trade and prosperity in Europe. Read: From Thatcher to opinions on the Transparency Directive revision
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 18:08
Monday, 8 April 2013
The European Commission has proposed amendments to the Transparency Directive 2004/109 in order to ease the regulatory burden for listed small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), but also to establish uniform administrative sanctions and to clarify various duties. Read: Amending the EU Transparency Directive
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:01
Sunday, 7 April 2013
Yesterday's entry reminded us of tight financing conditions for businesses, especially in the weaker eurozone economies, and of the actions promised by the Single Market Act (SMA I) COM(2011) 206 to improve access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Now you can read: EU action plan on SMEs' access to finance
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:35
Saturday, 6 April 2013
The minor steps the UK government has taken or promised will do little to convert the EU referendum and Brexit brigade at home (or the secessionists abroad), but they strengthen the case of those who see that European level democracy and accountable government have to be built on the eurozone, which needs full representative democracy, functioning government, robust rules, good governance, accountability and transparency. Read: Britain nixes European democracy
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 17:03
A recent story in the Financial Time ”Eurozone SMEs struggle to access finance” (€) pointed at tougher conditions and higher charges for smaller companies, especially in troubled economies such as Italy and Spain, another example of financial fragmentation across the euro area. Read: Access to finance for SMEs in EU
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 12:34
Friday, 5 April 2013
One part of following the (first) Single Market Act COM(2011) 206 has been to watch the legislative process concerning the proposed regulation on European Venture Capital Funds COM(2011) 860, with the EuVECA passport. Read Roundup: European Venture Capital Funds
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:08
Could something good emerge from the Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union? Read: Is the single market a blessing or a curse for the UK?
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 12:44
Thursday, 4 April 2013
The European Union wants to foster the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by improving their access to finance through the establishment of an EU-wide passport for managers of venture capital funds (EuVECA) relating to the marketing of their funds. Read: European Venture Capital Funds
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 16:27
The great need for a better class of UK secessionists and more informed British voters in general is repeatedly brought home to me through (social) media channels. Let us continue our struggle against lack of information and especially the widespread refusal to even contemplate serious study among anti-EU campaigners.Read: Businesses and citizens review UK-EU relations
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 13:42
Wednesday, 3 April 2013
Tuesday, 2 April 2013
Tepid EU support from UK Labour and Liberal Democrats We turn to the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and public opinion in the United Kingdom with regard to the European Union.
Posted by Ralf Grahn at 15:37