31/3/11

EU 24-25 March Summit-A quantum leap in economic governance -but questions remain

  
Πέμπτη, 31 Μαρτίου 2011 22:35
At their 24-25 March Summit, EU leaders put the final pieces of the new, enhanced economic governance puzzle in place. They agreed on key elements of the 'grand bargain' which includes treaty change, the permanent bail-out mechanism, the 'Euro Plus Pact', the 'six pack' of legislative procedures, the European semester, and a second round of bank stress tests. Pressures and expectations were high ahead of this Summit. After 15 months of enduring crisis, political observers, the media and markets expected EU leaders to seal the final deal on the Union's new model of economic governance. They did not disappoint, although their achievement was overshadowed by the collapse of the Portuguese government, prompting renewed speculation about an imminent need for a bail-out; by unfolding events in Libya; and by mounting concerns about the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan on 11 March and the subsequent nuclear disaster in Fukushima.
These and other decisions mark a "turning point in the management of the crisis", as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy put it. However, the crisis is not over and it is much too early to deliver a final verdict, as the results will be tested and will have to prove themselves over time. In particular, huge uncertainly still looms over the PIGs in the coming two years as the thrust of the agreements essentially comes into being as from 2013 onwards and important developments around the indebtedness of these countries will occupy minds across Europe and beyond in the meantime.
European Policy Centre senior political analyst Janis A. Emmanouilidis in www.epc.eu argues in an excellent Pot-Summit Analysis (from where this summary) that while European Council President Herman Van Rompuy was right to herald this as a "turning point in the management of the crisis", several key questions remain unanswered. It also assesses the outcome of the Summit discussions on developments in Libya and the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

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