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Issue 25 - July 2014
This newsletter is published by SOMO and WEED.

You can download this newsletter as a PDF (232KB) here.

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The mess is increasing
The EU after elections to the European Parliament
By Peter Wahl, WEED

The elections to the European Parliament mark the end of a legislature period that saw the emergence of the deepest crisis of the EU ever. On top of the ‘old’ problems of the crisis, new challenges of an economic, social and political crisis have emerged, such as the rise of right wing populist forces and calls to leave the EU. 

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The outcome of the power struggles that erupted after the elections will impact on how solutions for the financial and economic crisis and new financial reforms will be dealt with.

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Brief Update: TTIP – United States still oppose financial market regulation talks
During the latest negotiations on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (for an overview see February Newsletter) between the EU and the United States, the latter still opposed any talks about ‘cooperation’ on financial regulation in TTIP. However, trying to win over the US by toning down its ambitions, the EU is still pushing for these talks and has redrafted the proposals on what regulatory cooperation and a mutual recognition of financial regulation should look like. To put pressure on the United States to include this cooperation mechanism, Mr Barnier, the EU’s commissioner dealing with financial markets, has now even refused to make any proposal on more market access for the US financial services on EU markets as leaked documents have shown.

Brief Update: Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) leak reveals liberalisation agenda
The negotiations of 22 countries and the EU on a new services agreement alongside the existing WTO agreement (GATS) proceeded with the latest negotiation round on 23-27 June 2014 in Geneva. After a long period in which these negotiations took place in secrecy, a leak by Wikileaks on the financial services chapter revealed that TiSA will clearly go beyond the existing general GATS rules, for example with rules that require not to change any existing liberalisation and regulation (‘standstill’) and strengthening rules against financial services’ monopolies, calling on the parties to ‘endeavor to eliminate them or reduce their scope’. The countries also shall commit to ‘endeavor not to limit or restrict the present degree of market opportunities, nor the benefits already enjoyed by financial service suppliers of another Party’. In other words, the TISA should integrate the current financial market openness in the agreement so that reversing liberalisation would become very difficult and costly in the future. It is also intended that all foreign (financial) service companies have to be treated equally (or better) except for those services sectors that have been explicitly excluded. This contrasts with other parts of the agreement, in which rules, e.g. ‘market access’ rules, are described that only apply to those sectors that are explicitly listed.
 

Calendar

For background to the official agenda of European institutions, see the following websites: 

 

The links below give the website with updates and overviews of documents and dates related to the EU decision making process

July

 

August

 

September

 

October

  • ?, EBA (London): Stress test results for 124 major EU banks will be released
  • 7, ECON (Brussels): Meeting
  • 9-10, G7 (Washington): Finance Deputies, Ministers meetings
  • 13, ECON (Brussels): Meeting
  • 13, Eurogroup (Brussels): Meeting (tbc)
  • 14, ECOFIN (Brussels): Meeting (tbc)
  • 21-23, EP (Strasbourg): Plenary 
  • 23-24, European Council (Brussels): Meeting

 

November

 

December

  • 1-2, ECON (Brussels): Meeting
  • 8, ECON (Brussels): Meeting
  • 13, Eurogroup (Brussels): Meeting 
  • 14, ECOFIN (Brussels): Meeting 
  • 15-18, EP (Strasbourg): Plenary 
  • 18-19, European Council (Brussels): Meeting