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The economic crisis is having a profound impact on labour markets, exposing a huge gulf in the pay and conditions on offer in the public and private sectors. UEAPME, a European lobby group representing small firms, summed it up neatly today when they warned that the workforce will soon be made up of insiders who… » read more

Your author was fortunate enough to attend an excellent event last night. The Bavarian Permanant Representation In Brussels played host to WWF and ‘Make Space For Nature’ in this the International Year of Biodiversity. The event had an excellent array of speakers. Hosted by HRH Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands were European Commissioner for the… » read more

The current crisis in the financial market has highlighted the need to ensure greater transparency in the market as well as greater protection (equally across Europe) and involvement of consumers, who are usually the end users, especially since consumer expenditure generates a significant part of the EU’s wealth. Due to the sophisticated and complex nature… » read more

A troubling thought: are the pro-innovation policy wonks talking to the cost-containment pencil pushers? Doing the rounds of innovation conferences in Brussels, it’s clear that a huge section of the EU’s political and industry machinery is convinced we need to be more innovative. The logic will be familiar to most: we can’t compete with Asia’s… » read more

We’ve heard a lot about banks that are “too big to fail”. Perhaps a more immediate question is whether the sovereign nation of Greece is too big to fail. The risk of default and the threat of Greece quitting the eurozone would have profound implications for Europe’s monetary union, for other European countries wrestling with… » read more

Sir, Regarding ‘Alcoa halts Italian plants after EU electricity ruling‘: European Union taxpayers must welcome the news here that its money is being used to subsidise big industry! The reference here puts it plainly: the EU executive has ruled that the ”preferential electricity tariffs offered to Alcoa by Italy for aluminium smelters in Sardinia and… » read more

Gordon Brown, in a whirlwind trip to Brussels and the Americas, is seeking to ensure that there will be broad consensus at the G20++ summit in London next month on, in particular, stimulus packages and new regulation. There is consensus as to the existence of a global economic and financial crisis, but on little else.… » read more

The European Competitiveness summit should look very different this year. The March 19-20 meeting will be struggling to finalise an EU position for the April 2 crisis meeting of the G20 in London on the basis of the Commission’s Communication. Negotiations will take place against a profoundly uncertain economic backdrop where there are major potential… » read more

Eastern Europe has been stealing jobs by using their people to produce French cars being sold to French people. That is going to stop with me. This is the baseline of Sarkozy’s remarks in the last couple of days. But as we have seen in the 1930s, protectionism results in retaliation after retaliation, countries keep… » read more

President George W. Bush is hosting an international summit for the G20 on 15 November with the goal to avoid financial crises in the future by working together with the EU on more stable national financial systems. Industrialized nations as well as emerging countries have been invited to attend . The Group of 20 include… » read more

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