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Times Online: Lack of key economic jobs shows how Britain was outmanoeuvred in Brussels

Finally a medical response to the pandemic Anglo disease. One of the most virulent carriers, Brown's Britain, has been been placed in an isolation ward and sent a High Representative bunch of flowers and some sour grapes.

The plan by President Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has been to take control of the EU's economic agenda after what both agreed had been a period of damaging Anglo-Saxon market liberalism.

As Chancellor, Gordon Brown came to Brussels, year in, year out, to resist greater regulation for hedge funds, private equity and the like, to allow the City to flourish. In Charlie McCreevy, the Irishman in charge of the internal market and financial services, he had a willing soulmate. "Light touch" was the buzzword of both Britain and Ireland. The downturn, when it came, was harsh for both countries but it also wounded the rest of Europe. Berlin and Paris plotted to wrest back control.

When, as Prime Minister, Mr Brown went to last week's EU summit to propose Geoff Hoon as Britain's next commissioner, he was hijacked by José Manuel Barroso, the commission chief, and by Europe's Socialist leaders.

They were all in on the deal cooked up in Paris to install the Christian Democrat Herman Van Rompuy of Belgium as Europe's first president, in exchange for the Socialists picking the High Representative and the plum job controlling EU competition policy. Mr Brown wanted an economic post, but most of the EU would not let London near one. The only option that would work, he was told, would be a British High Representative, preferably female. Lady Ashton was picked. She had not even prepared a speech for the press conference.

Where does Rehn, as a rather powerful Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, fit in to the chess game of European politics? As a returning commissioner, he has apparently proved himself competent to Barroso, and also to the D-G's. He also speaks French, English, Swedish - and is honing his German language skills. And a Masters in political science from Helsinki University and an Oxford PhD (Corporatism and Industrial Competitiveness in Small European States) all support the competence argument. And he played football in his youth.

But the clincher imo is that he represents one of the senior Nordics - an area as far from the leprous Anglo market liberalism as is possible within Europe.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 05:52:57 AM EST
Yle:
Soon after his appointment was announced, Rehn told YLE News in Brussels that he feels a strong sense of responsibility. He sees improving EU employment and strengthening economic growth to be special challenges.

He said that his main task will be to act in cooperation with the EU member states, the European Parliament, and the European Central Bank so that Europe's economic and monetary policy will promote growth that creates jobs, and reform of structures appropriate to the next phase of the economy.

According to Rehn, Europe's economy needs to be changed in a greener, and more innovative direction.

Rehn expects the coming years to be difficult for all member states. The recession has caused all countries to become more indebted through the recession, leading to a need for more cooperation among all member states.

Rehn also puts a priority on environmental questions, and strengthening the EU's international role.

I have nothing to argue about in these comments...

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 05:58:49 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I have somthing to argue ...

Rehn:


... so that Europe's economic and monetary policy will promote growth that creates jobs.

Is growth to create new jobs the solution to our current economic problems? I'm not against growth but it's not the silver bullet. It's fighting the symptoms instead of working on the causes.

According to Rehn, Europe's economy needs to be changed in a greener, and more innovative direction.

At least an area where growth makes sense :-) Because also war is creating economic growth.

Schau in mich, Harno

Make it as simple as possible but not simpler (Albert Einstein)

by harnoes on Sat Nov 28th, 2009 at 04:32:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Growth and Jobs" is the slogan for the Lisbon Strategy introduced in 2000. It has been a failure because it was all based on wrong economics (unfortunately, that 'wrong economics' is the standard economic consensus). Now the page on the Lisbon Strategy is all about "driving recovery" and "green jobs" but that's a recent addition.

Nothing will change with Barroso - he was the Portuguese Prime Minister presiding in Lisbon back then...

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Nov 29th, 2009 at 03:22:52 AM EST
[ Parent ]

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