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Merkel for President?

by Frank Schnittger Wed Jun 26th, 2019 at 12:52:26 PM EST

EU Prime Ministers met last week-end to try to fill the key EU posts of President of the Commission, President of the Council, President of the Central Bank, and High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. They failed miserably, agreeing only to kill off the candidacies of European Parliament Spitzenkandidaten Manfred Weber (EPP), Dutch socialist Franz Timmermans and the Danish liberal Margrethe Vestager.

Insiders joked the leaders couldn't even agree on what they disagreed on. Leo Varadker opined it was easier to elect a Pope. Jean-Claude Juncker noted with some conceit that "it appears I'm not that easy to replace." EU Prime Ministers like to keep decisions on the top jobs to themselves, and are not about to outsource that decision to the European Parliament, or indeed to the European peoples who elected that Parliament.

They meet again this week-end ahead of the opening session of the European Parliament which must approve their choice for Commission President, but with no guarantee they will succeed in moving the process any further forward. The complex series of compromises required to achieve an acceptable mix of ideological, party, nationality, personality, and gender balances may well continue to elude them. And yet the EU, confronted by Trump, trade wars, and Brexit, needs strong and capable leadership now more than ever before.


As the largest party in the Parliament, the EPP consider it their right to nominate the next President of the Commission even if their Spitzenkandidat, Manfred Weber is rejected. Politico has a rundown on 9 potential alternative centre right candidates for the job. All have their pluses and minuses but none seem to command majority support. For some, it is simply the wrong time to switch from their current positions. But how about a centre right candidate not mentioned by Politico: Angela Merkel?

Merkel has lost her position as leader of the German CDU and will not be seeking re-election as Chancellor in 2021 at the latest. She is effectively a "lame duck" Chancellor and may just be happy to retire from public office at that stage. She will be 65 shortly, but is by no means the oldest of the potential candidates mentioned. Could she be persuaded that the EU needs someone of her stature to deal with the challenges posed by Trump, trade wars, Iran, climate change, immigration, refugees, Brexit, and EU and Eurozone development post Brexit?

At least she would have the authority and the relationships to build a consensus on key issues, even if her hallmark has often been her slow, cautious and incremental approach to policy making. In an Era of Trump and Boris Johnson, the rise of the far right in Europe and the challenges of climate change for the world, the EU could do worse. There are not many adults left in the room at G7 and G20 leaders meetings, and the EU needs someone who can command the respect of Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping, Abe, Modi, and Bolsonaro et al, not to mention Macron, Johnson, Conte and Sánchez within the EU.

Display:
Given her current plan is to retire in 2021, and the term of the President of the EU Commission expires in 2024, we are talking of an effective extension of 3 years in her working life to the age of 70. Given the ages of the lead candidates for the US Presidency - Trump (now 73), Biden (now 76), Warren (now 70) and Sanders (now 77), that isn't especially old.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 at 01:35:32 PM EST
What I find most interesting is if the European parliament will accept the Council abandoning the Spitzenkandidat system, or not. If large enough portions of EPP and PES refuses to vote for any candidate until Weber has been nominated, we will have a stale mate (unless anyone believe that another mayority can be found). To what extent will national parties crack the party whip (behind the scene), and to what extent are the EP party groups working to keep power over the process?

As always, I am rooting for the EP to grab power. The directly elected chamber grabbing the real power to appoint the executive has often been a crucial moment in democratisation.

by fjallstrom on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 at 10:30:58 PM EST
The EP would have get its act together and do some old fashioned coalition building to form, first, a blocking majority to block any candidate the EC tried to foist on it. And then, harder still, it would have to agree on a candidate with a majority or at least a large plurality of support and challenge the EC to nominate him/her.

The EPP, with just 24% of the seats, can hardly expect to call all the shots on this. I don't know if Weber has much support outside the EPP but if the EPP and PES could agree on a candidate they could with 44% support (and perhaps some third party support) put it up to the EC to nominate their choice.

Absent that, the ball is really in the EC's court to nominate someone, but if their choice had only EPP support the EP would quite probably block their nominee and call for a nominee with wider support. It depends on how much control prime ministers have on their MEPs in Brussels. I suspect not much.

However I would imagine that an outstanding nominee, like Merkel, would have no difficult getting a large majority. Even Juncker managed that in 2014 despite being formally only the EPP nominee. Only Cameron actively campaigned against him on the Council and he got a lot of Liberal prime ministerial support as well...

In the past, the EP has really only blocked the appointment of individual commissioners with dodgy credentials. It would be a major escalation and assertion of their power to block a EC nominee for the Presidency of the Commission, but sooner or later, that day will come.

Otherwise, what's the point of their being a legal requirement for them to endorse an EC nominee?

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jun 26th, 2019 at 11:34:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Spitzenkandidat thing is dead and buried, this time around. And it's the CDU/CSU's fault, for presenting the unelectable Weber. Perhaps the EPP were planning on having a majority with the extreme / nationalist right? That's the only logic I can find with nominating Weber.

No, there are complicated negotiations going on for a Grosskoalition or whatever they call it : EPP/ SD / ALDE / Greens. To prove how they are serious about climate change etc. The one thing they had no problems agreeing on is that Weber is out.

However, it seems the big boys don't actually want to make any concessions to the Greens, i.e. Business As Usual. The question now becomes whether the Green group will survive, as the Grünen seem likely to make whatever concessions are necessary to get a seat at the table, and others, in particular EELV, will not.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 09:39:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Is the Coalition then going to insist that they have the real power to select the Commission President, or are they going to defer to the Council?

I hope the Green group (now with 4 pirates) survives the process. In general I think one should not be afraid of going into opposition, though in this case it might be better to be on the inside, as long as some freedom is retained to vote differently at times. This because it gives more power but doesn't tie up the parties to be loyal to that power, as so few voters are informed about what goes on in Brussels. (In 2014 the lead EPP candidate here ran as being opposed to Juncker without being called on it.)

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 11:06:23 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm not sure the standard parliamentary terms of government and opposition apply to the EP, given that it doesn't actually form the Executive. So there are no ministerial jobs on offer to loyal supporters, and little price to be paid for opposition.

Now if any "coalition" in the EP could form a majority or dominant plurality for a particular programme of action which they would mandate a Commission President candidate to fulfil, that could be a different matter.

But in essence the Commission is still controlled by the EC on all day to day matters. The EP has few enough tools it can use to push the Commission into a programme of action it doesn't otherwise want to fulfil or against the wishes of the Council.

It can highlight, cajole, embarrass, sanction individual Commissioners or Commission failings. An overall programme of government - not so much on past precedent. However I am with those who gradually want to increase the power of the EP at the expense of the Council and Commission.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 12:24:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where?
supranational government of the European Union, assembled, not government of the United States of America

What?
properties* of EU government
(a) laws (codified rules of permissible and impermissible business between persons*)
(b) hierarchical public offices of (bureaucracy, "civil service")

How? (establishment and enforcement processes for What?s )
(a) legislated or decreed
(b) electoral or appointed

Why?
to facilitate and regulate* business (common* exchange of ahh goods* between two or more persons*)

When?
one cannot recall agreed terms of government, the reasonable interlocutor locates the pertinent What? How? references so as to communicate reasonably with others.

For this What? How? question, assignment of nominees for president to the office of European Commission, and in the absence of trusted colloquial informants, reading texts of TEU and EC laws will be instructive.

--
* define one's terms: these words each denote several meanings and connotations relating instant language performance to a particular purpose ("context" of speech)--a utilitarian intention, doubtless.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 03:37:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Apparently the EP was using terms like majority and opposition even before 2009 (when I first encountered it). PES considered themselves to be in opposition.

And although there are no ministerial jobs to hand out (until the EP grasp control of appointment of the entire commission (subject to the rules of nationalities among the commissioners, of course)), there are however committee chairmanships to hand out. Remember that after the 2014 election, EFDD lost the chairmanships they would get if the previous strictly  D'Hondt method had been followed, and ALDE were instead rewarded.

But Farage's Parliamentary faction, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy (EFDD) group, will not obtain the committee chair it is entitled to, the Greens warned.

This is because the posts are voted on by the committee members in a secret ballot and the main parties have struck an agreement among themselves to share the spoils.

Hermann Kelly, a spokesman for the EFDD, denounced "a behind closed-door coup" by the three main pro-European parties - the European People's Party (EPP), the Socialists and Democrats (S&D) and the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE).

That could be the beginning of coalition forming, depending on how it evolves this time around.

When it comes to the agenda, it is true that the Commission and Councils largely sets it. But the more the EP appoints the Commission, the more sway the EP will hold over the Commission, and thus the agenda, reducing the Council to more of a house of deliberation.

by fjallstrom on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 10:22:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Interestingly, Hermann Kelly, the spokesperson for the EFDD you mention, got all of2,441 votes, or 0.67% of the vote in the Dublin Constituency, so his credibility is not especially high. If the d'Hondt method is not enshrined in law, then there is no such thing as being "entitled" to committee chairs. MEPs vote for whoever they want for the job, and coalition building is a standard approach to dividing up the spoils. I don't see Westminster governments handing over ministerial posts to opposition spokespeople, or indeed Westminster seats being awarded in proportion to votes cast under the FPTP system.

As for the European Council, I see it evolving into something more approaching the US Senate, ensuring individual states are not run over rough-shod, but otherwise becoming just a second chamber in a bicameral system. The US Senate also has privileges in confirming appointments and conducting foreign policy not accorded to the House, but it is the House which ultimately controls the budget.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 11:57:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
that appears to be the goal of (some) incumbent and new MEPs. Progress!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 02:21:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For me the question about Merkel is whether she could rise above her present self interest and the German national interest in continuing to support the current tight money policy for the ECB and move towards a system that better serves the interests of the weaker economies on the periphery. I cannot see the problems created by the current management of the Euro and the Euro-Zone going away except by further integration.

If she could support Euro-Zone wide retirement and health care so retirees in the north could retire in the south and support the funding to bring southern medical and social infrastructure up to northern standards this could be a way for all of Europe to prosper. It would also short circuit the current centrifugal forces that are tending to blow the EU apart.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 03:27:06 AM EST
At the moment ECB monetary policy, with near zero interest rates and after a massive programme of Quantitative Easing couldn't be much looser. The fear is that current ECB President Draghi could be replaced by a much tighter monetarist like Jens Weidmann, the German nominee. However the nomination of Merkel for Commission President would have the beneficial side effect have putting any German nominee for another top EU position out of the running - given that the top positions have to be shared out among various member states.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 08:32:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Loose monetary policy is really only a band-aid. What is needed is deeper integration and recycling of surpluses from some countries to those countries with deficits.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 08:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yep - its like pushing on a string. But recycling of surpluses from surplus countries to deficit countries isn't going to happen to a significant degree while the main locus of power is at the nation state level. That's partly what Brexit (and other right wing nationalist movements) is a rebellion against - preventing a small part of the UK's surplus  being used to help deficit countries - even though the UK's overall economy is much enhanced by having access to deficit country markets...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 10:24:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Suitability : poor. Would continue to further German interests. A few more years of that, and the EU is fuct.

Age : it's not just the years, it's the state of health.

Conclusion : unmöglich.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 11:12:15 AM EST
We don't know much about her health, other than that she has had the shakes a couple of times - which could have any number of non disabling causes.

If anyone can persuade the Germans to act in a more communautaire way, it is Merkel. No one else has a hope. And when it comes to the German political spectrum, Merkel is on the more communautaire end.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 12:14:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Fuct! I see what you did there, rascal

Notwithstanding purported ambivalence toward the mad leadership skillz of The Merkel, in particular, and the Contrite NAZI nation, in general, the Council's reported indecision appears to me localized. That is not a response to either EP public agita or but a public performance of ahh privy deliberation. That is EC president-elect is a foregone conclusion of Council prerogative foreclosing purchase by "democratatic" practice aahh entitled to the EP.

I am only slightly disappointed that Vestager has been side-lined by the yella sheets. Child got ovaries on her! to judge not only by past, situational management of EC regulatory portfolio. Vestage remains RIGHT HAND o' GOTT at EC, giving it and taking it.

< wipes tears >

Conversely, there's only one other similarly-situated ahh nominee with which I am, dare I say, familiar who fit for the job of ahh dealing with USA with Juncker's temerity. ahem.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jun 27th, 2019 at 04:10:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
KISS of DEATH: Besides not representing a wholly owned member of EU28,
Margrethe Vestager fined Google and Apple billions, now she may lead* Europe
Vestager has been effective in her work for the EC, ergo "the little guy". How about The Merkel? What has she done lately for the EC How?
--
* Substitution of EC president for either pro temp or permanent AND unitary president of EU Council will not occur in our lifetimes. I promise you.

Also EP president substitution for either isn't even in a proverbial twinkle in the eyes of not-transnational lists' "lead candidates."

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 05:46:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Was Juncker not Spitzenkandidat for the EPP parliamentary faction last time around?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 07:59:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
( after a Bal'more minute to unpack that remark )

EU Council, ie. EU gov executive officers, is owned by "EPP".
Yes, Barroso and Juncker were EPP nominees, because EU Council qualifies nominees for EP.
Yes, Council cast Juncker in the first "Spitzenkandidat" role for competitive political group contest in EP.

But look here: Watch what they do, not what they say.

post script
So-called neoliberal benefit claims, shared by EPP, ALDE, and S&D group members ..."
"brand name" individuals, goals, agenda variance and lack thereof


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 06:25:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
When you have the time and inclination look into how long it took for US Congress to permit US polity to elect senators, after that "elect" POTUS candidates for nomination ... for example.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 06:30:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can understand why people here have reservations about Merkel as Commission President, to put it mildly. But is there any better candidate with a realistic chance of success, given that the EPP have a plurality of MEPs and leaders of governments?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 12:01:19 AM EST
Don Brussel Memo 5 Dec 208
"Lagarde could also win the consolation prize of replacing Mario Draghi as president of the European Central Bank." Not a likely pair acceptable to The Merkel. Either EC or ECB..

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 01:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The article is quite dated,but not much seems to have changed, with the same names still appearing in the "informed" speculation...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 09:37:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
of course

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 04:06:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seems like the Americans have a surplus of candidates, maybe we could pick one of them?


by generic on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 06:37:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Who needs swine flu vaccines, when you have God's love pouring into our immune systems... but has it been updated for 2019 virus variants?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 09:40:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I hear God's love is eternal and unchanging so that might pose a small problem.
by generic on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 09:45:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
God's love in practice
Providentially. That is the word. For the fly had not been left behind by accident. No, the hand of Providence was in it. There are no accidents. All things that happen, happen for a purpose. They are foreseen from the beginning of time, they are ordained from the beginning of time. From the dawn of Creation the Lord had foreseen that Noah, being alarmed and confused by the invasion of the prodigious brevet fossils, would prematurely fly to sea unprovided with a certain invaluable disease. He would have all the other diseases, and could distribute them among the new races of men as they appeared in the world, but he would lack one of the very best -- typhoid fever; a malady which, when the circumstances are especially favorable, is able to utterly wreck a patient without killing him; for it can restore him to his feet with a long life in him, and yet deaf, dumb, blind, crippled, and idiotic. The housefly is its main disseminator, and is more competent and more calamitously effective than all the other distributors of the dreaded scourge put together. And so, by foreordination from the beginning of time, this fly was left behind to seek out a typhoid corpse and feed upon its corruptions and gaum its legs with germs and transmit them to the re-peopled world for permanent business. From that one housefly, in the ages that have since elapsed, billions of sickbeds have been stocked, billions of wrecked bodies sent tottering about the earth, and billions of cemeteries recruited with the dead.
(Mark Twain, of course)
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 10:57:32 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank Lagarde!

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 04:25:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As I commented to my eldest after the debate, "I think Williamson mixed Valvoline with whatever ditchweed she was smoking."
by rifek on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 03:52:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Barnier is EPP.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 08:05:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Varadker formally endorsed Weber as the EPP candidate, but I suspect would be much happier with Barnier, should he become a viable candidate. On the downside, presumably Jens Weidmann would then get the ECB to balance a Frenchman at the helm of the Commission. What is the objection to Tusk remaining as Council President - lack of Polish government support? Or indeed Draghi at the ECB?  Apparently, Italy may nominate him for President of the Commission. Perhaps just a tactical move to increase negotiating leverage elsewhere? at 71 he's not exactly "next generation"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 09:31:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
 of course

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 04:06:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... and French.
by Bernard on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 06:20:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think so for several reasons: Merkel used to dump her defeated internal enemies into EU posts, which worked well for her, but I think now is different. I would bet that the CDU can't wait for Merkel to be gone so they can switch to a more openly xenophobic rhetoric in the (probably futile) hope of staving off the AFD. The European far right line has been "The EU wants to flood us with Muslims" from Farage to Orban whereas the German far right accuses Merkel of the same. So putting the two into personal Union won't help the CDU to staunch the bleeding on its right flank.
Not that that isn't a bad strategy, but they pretty much lack the credibility for anything else.

Also a final note: It really doesn't matter what foreign heads of state think about the selected one. After all the position comes with neither divisions nor even a sizeable budget.

by generic on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 11:16:37 AM EST
Forgot the other reasons: Does Merkel really have a history of building consensus around policy positions? Her Modus Operandi used to be to not have policy positions until there was a consensus position, which she then appropriated as always having been her position.
From the other direction Merkel floated over Europe's political system as a sort of unreachable authority. Everyone from the Greeks to May tried to appeal directly to her without ever achieving anything. I can't even imagine what Merkel would be without her dead grip over the German political system.
by generic on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 11:54:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
All valid points, but the CDU won't get to decide who the next President of the Commission is: Merkel, Macron et al will. For the CDU there is the consolation prize that "one of their own" got the top EU job thereby vacating the Chancellorship early and enabling them to fill that job with someone more to their tastes...

And yes, for Merkel the top EU job will be a step down, without divisions or a large budget. All the more reason to work for a larger budget and a greater role for the EU - something only she, probably could achieve.

And I also think that her style, as you describe it, is probably more suited to the EU gig as she will not be able to move far ahead of the EU Council consensus, even if she wanted to. What did Juncker do? Not a whole lot except keep the show on the road while Brexit and Trump challenged.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 02:02:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quatremer is complaining "there are too many Germans already" in the EU's upper echelons of power: Klaus Welle, Martin Selmayr, Helga Schmid...
by Bernard on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 06:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
EUR-LEX budget on-line
line items (2018), of which How? (EC), of which Why?

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 04:19:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
the CDU can't wait for Merkel to be gone so they can switch to a more openly xenophobic rhetoric
Auftritt bei der CDU-Basis: Hans-Georg Maaßen, die CDU und 1,8 Millionen Araber - Hintergrund - Rhein Neckar Zeitung
"Ich bin vor dreißig Jahren nicht der CDU beigetreten, damit heute 1,8 Millionen Araber nach Deutschland kommen", ruft er in den Saal und wird dafür bejubelt. Er spricht von Menschen, die weder fähig noch gewillt seien, sich zu integrieren.

Former Secret police chief "did not join the CDU 30 years ago so 1.8 million arabs can come to Germany.

by generic on Sun Jun 30th, 2019 at 05:42:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Trump on Vestager: "She hates the US more than any person I've ever met" - Copenhagen Post
There are endorsements and then there are character assessments worthy of your gravestone - and last night Margrethe Vestager got a potential epitaph that most of Europe would die happily in their sleep with.

"She hates the United States, perhaps more than any person I've ever met," US President Donald Trump said about the European Competition Commissioner during a Fox News (where else!) interview. "She's suing all our companies."

And then he conceded she is probably right! "We should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which perhaps we will," he added.

by Bernard on Fri Jun 28th, 2019 at 07:01:02 PM EST
Why would she do that? She is on her way to retirement. The governing coalition back at home is brittle and would immediately collapse were she to take a hike to Brussels (to do glorified administrative work). An election would follow with the CDU no longer in power.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Jun 29th, 2019 at 01:15:40 AM EST
Hey! How about Tony Bl...

No, forget I said that.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sat Jun 29th, 2019 at 03:13:02 PM EST
Another reason. If they're going to nominate a has-been (as is tradition) it has to be someone less controversial.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Sat Jun 29th, 2019 at 04:10:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Observer is touting Timmermans for the job. Apparently Merkel and Macron would not be against.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Sun Jun 30th, 2019 at 04:08:27 PM EST
Timmermans is now considered most probable for Commission president, but the EPP is still holding out for Weber. (Brief summary of several sources).

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 09:27:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If the EPP want to hold onto the top job, they will have to come up with a candidate with wider support than Weber. Barnier might fit the bill, but so would Merkel....just saying... :-)


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 09:44:46 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is the goal?
Price stability for EU business.

What is the problem?
The composition of 2019-2024 EP legislative interests poses a problematic foundation for popular endorsements of Council prerogatives. This is not merely an account of political party diversity or majoritarian formula of authority. Rather, MEPs are asserting latent authority to contest Council "elections". Ex post facto "advice and consent" relations of the body to executive "elections" gradually have reveal limitations of EP representations in the Council itself.

Moreover, real and imaginary interstate antagonism supercede political group loyalties. So-called neoliberal benefit claims, shared by EPP, ALDE, and S&D group members, is context sensitive with respect to practice. An EPP-controlled Council historically contains interstate competition by subletting EU offices to reliable neoliberal individuals, inter alia, in order to reserve for themselves discrete, national authority to bribe parliamentary factions' cooperation. Council appointments of the two most powerful offices in EU gov (EC, ECB) from one member state have not resolved and will not resolve interstate competition.  

That solution would not hold EU27 either politically or superficially. Monopolistic conditions contradict "cohesion" development of EU gov policy and, more significant perhaps, will exacerbate extant interstate "subsidarity" conflicts. It confirms perceptions of systematic, "anti-democratic" barriers to electoral integration within all divisions of European government.

The Council has discarded that solution each of the prior sessions, because "neoliberal" members control its proceedings in any case. It will do so again irrespective of EP veto and censure powers. For these are untested and unlikely to be exercised so long as the Council's selections satisfy minimum criteria of competence (above).

 

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 02:36:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hmm, yes, well, synopses of current events: euractiv published two provocative reports collecting responses to Council fiat appointments, "back-room" is the euphemism for the week. (I truly can't be bothered with Anglo-merican syndicated propaganda about EU gov political competition.)

MEPs furious over Council's `backroom horse-trade' on EU top jobs

Position statements "on the record" seem to illustrate diverse, low-profile sources within (1) EP groups and (2) states' bureaucracies. For that I commend euractiv journalists.

Member states eye EU Commission portfolios

Quite notwithstanding the Council public defense of EU gov hierarchy (quoting Tusk. uh oh), elected officials in both cohorts are intent on ahhh disintermediating the Council's ahhh aristotlian calculus of the ahhh mean, 2019-2024. Methods adopted by those cohorts to accomplish this common goal will exploit formal ("consent" vote) and residual authorities over issue-oriented goals by ahh "back-room" delegations.

practice, practice, practice


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 03:02:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
L'hypothèse Sarkozy refait surface chez Les Républicains
Il faut dire que l'homme politique reste le second homme politique le plus populaire de France, avec 38 % d'opinions positives, derrière Nicolas Hulot (50 %).

the undead



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 at 04:00:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quatremer dans Libé: La dernière tentative de compromis soumise aux Vingt-huit par Donald Tusk, le président du Conseil européen, en milieu de matinée, proposait Timmermans à la Commission, la conservatrice bulgare et proche de Viktor Orbán, Kristalina Gorgieva, ancienne commissaire et actuelle numéro 2 de la Banque mondiale, au Conseil européen, la libérale danoise Margrethe Vestager ou le libéral belge Charles Michel au poste de ministre des Affaires étrangères. Et Manfred Weber et le libéral belge Guy Verhofstadt se partageraient la présidence du Parlement européen. Un paquet qui confirme la marginalisation des grands pays qui n'obtiendrait aucun poste clef, même si l'Allemagne pourra se consoler avec une demi-présidence du Parlement.

Mid-morning today, Tusk proposed Timmermans for the Commission, Kristalina Gorgieva for President of the European Council, Vestager or Charles Michel for the High Authority (foreign affairs) and Manfred Weber then Guy Verhofstadt for the EP.

Still no agreement (mostly Visegrad + Romania maintaining opposition to Timmermans). New meeting tomorrow.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 01:15:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Further details (in English) from Politico: the scheme was reportedly Shculz's idea, sold to Merkel and then shot down by the majority of the EPP's more junior leaders, including Varadkar .

How Merkel's plan for EU top jobs fell apart

EPP members would go on to question Merkel's motives, saying she had agreed to a deal that was only good for Germany, for her personally, because it would help relations with the Social Democratic Party, her coalition partner in Berlin, and, to a lesser degree, good for Weber who, under the Osaka plan, was envisioned to become Parliament president for a double-term of five years.

The opposition was so fierce that Merkel left the EPP meeting early and headed to the Council's Europa building to huddle with Council President Donald Tusk, French President Emmanuel Macron and others, on how to find a path forward. EPP members continued to seethe after she left.

"It's fair to say there's a lot opposition to the proposal that was made in Osaka from the EPP's point of view," Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said, arriving at the Council summit. "The vast majority of the EPP prime ministers don't believe that we should give up the presidency of the Commission quite so easily, without a fight."

by Bernard on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 06:00:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In today's renewed discussions, Macron/Tusk proposed, and Merkel is supposed to be in agreement, Ursula von der Leyen for Commission president, with Lagarde at the BCE.

Bye Bye Timmermans.

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 02:57:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But did they consult the EPP in parliament and Council this time around?

If they end up not Weber, but a different German EPP politician, then the relationship between the EPP in parliament and Council will be interesting. The obvious question would be why they didn't nominate Ursula von der Leyen as Spitzenkandidaten to begin with.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 04:01:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Presumably because Weber is leader of the EPP in the EP and Ursula isn't even an MEP. But the thing is, she doesn't even seem to be a particularly distinguished Defence Minister, so why has she appeared from left field when there are other EPP politicians, like Barnier, with so much more European experience.

I suspect a lot of countries don't want Weidman at the ECB, and appointing a German to Head the commission will prevent that, although conceding the President of the Commission is a high price to pay for blocking Weber. It looks like Merkel is serious about wanting to retire, so who else is there? Peter Altmaier? He's not even a woman...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 04:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The only thing I remember her for is that she was widely derided for her internet censorship proposals and this:

German opposition to probe defense minister over spending scandal | News | DW | 12.12.2018

Ursula von der Leyen is suspected of poor management and nepotism over her department's allocation of contracts and its decision to hire a consultant as her deputy. A parliamentary committee is set to investigate.
by generic on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 04:57:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
One of the more amusing situations she created was the following: German army used broomsticks instead of guns during training

And this person is supposed to lead the EU - incredible.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 06:37:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is she a Barroso?
A puppet, a tool of the Council, a means of sidelining the Commission entirely by making it powerless and laughable?

Seems likely to me.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 09:47:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fintan O'Toole - Johnson and Hunt don't understand what it's like when a wall falls. In Ireland, we do
(so does Merkel, according to O'Toole)
On 4 April last, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, flew to Dublin. This was the moment the Brexiters had been waiting for: Britain had held its nerve and now Merkel (in their worldview the puppet master of Europe) was going to deliver the bad news to the taoiseach, Leo Varadkar - Germany had done its best to protect the Irish peace process and prevent a hard border on the island, but that game was up. Realpolitik was now the order of the day: bye-bye backstop.

That was the dreamworld. In reality, Merkel met Varadkar but made no demands for change to the withdrawal agreement. And then she spent time talking and listening to people who live and work and run businesses on both sides of the border. When she emerged from the meeting, she said: "For 34 years I lived behind the Iron Curtain so I know only too well what it means once borders vanish, once walls fall." She understood the border question more deeply, and had much more emotional investment in it, than the government that is actually responsible for it - the British cabinet. This is what is so bizarre - the German chancellor has spent more time listening to the UK citizens who live on the border than either Johnson or Hunt ever have. She understands what it's like when a wall falls; they don't.

by Bernard on Sun Jun 30th, 2019 at 04:54:26 PM EST
Will that EU positioning hold after BoJo exercises a no-deal Brexit? In theory, an impenetrable wall across Ireland should appear overnight. But who is the interested party that is going to pay for the infrastructure and the operating of such a border edifice?

Maybe a realistic scenario is Hard Brexit, with no wall, and lots of "smuggling" across a permeable border, but economic distress because of overall Brexit disruption not specifically tied to Ireland, then a unification vote in NI, and a subsequent Irish Sea border.  ???

by asdf on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 01:55:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
A realistic No Deal scenario is civil war in NI which spills over into terrorist attacks on the UK mainland - which will be having its own issues with civil unrest.

No Deal is unconscionable for political and humanitarian reasons. It goes far past trade agreements or border control technology.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 08:31:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland will try to get away with implementing customs controls at all Irish land and sea ports with "intelligence led" searches to catch any UK goods trying to get into the EU26 via Ireland but could also expose legitimate Irish exports to a border check.

UK exporters into Ireland coming in via N. Ireland (a very small proportion of total) will be required to become registered "trusted traders" and submit paperwork and any tariffs due in advance. Trucks coming in from N. Ireland will be stopped at random check-points and searched, and any non-compliance punished with maximum fines and publicity to deter others.

As most of such exports are by large firms such as Tesco, Dunnes Stores, Musgraves, Guinness etc. they will have well established traceability, paperwork and tax compliance procedures in place (for VAT liability), and some, like Guinness, already have customs officials on site to ensure compliance with excise duties.

Exports of UK goods by small traders or private individuals in small vans or private cars, although formally required to adhere to above procedures will, in practice, be largely ignored by customs unless a scandal - e.g. chlorinated chickens - comes to light in which case customs enforcement resources will be focused on that sector.

Therefore some smuggling, immaterial in terms of volume in an EU 27 context, will occur, although formally, Ireland will be in compliance with Customs Union and Single Market rules. Any imperfections in the system will be explained by:

  1. Denial that they exist.
  2. They are the best we could do in the short time available
  3. They are only temporary pending a UK/EU trade deal or agreement (by a new UK government not dependent on the DUP) to operating EU supervised customs controls in the Irish sea = Max Fac applied to a different location.
  4. Maximum publicity given to any contraband seized and severe consequences for perpetrators - confiscation, imprisonment, fines and loss of export licence.

Any new EU/UK negotiations will be contingent on the UK agreeing to keep the Irish border open by conducting whatever checks are required down the Irish sea. Which is more important to the UK, trading with the EU or appeasing the DUP?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 09:25:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The problem isn't getting UK exports into Ireland, the problem is getting goods of any kind into the UK.

No Deal UK would see systemic shortages of essential items, including medical supplies, and price gouging. The implications for border traffic aren't hard to work out.

The implications for sectarianism - black market near-monopolies enforced by violence and linked to arms purchases - are only slightly less obvious.

As for "the UK" - I'm not sure the UK exists as a political entity any more. If you mean the Tories, they're primarily interested in staying in power, and appear completely disinterested in the consequences for anyone else.

If that means appeasing the DUP and (e.g.) making many common prescription drugs unavailable, I expect they can live with that.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 10:41:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah but it is more than a bilateral problem.

The UK government will not want to limit the importing of medical supplies, it will be the EU wanting to limit the exporting. So that is a border control problem for the EU, driven by commercial and philosophical goals related to trade.

But the lack of import barriers on the UK side will allow open season for fake drugs and any other goods from factories in the third world. That is a problem for the UK, but it is more than a commercial or philosophical goal, it is a practical matter of people dying from fake insulin or whatever.

So, maybe answering my own question, maybe it will be the UK that will find itself in the position of needing border management.

by asdf on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 02:59:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let us assumes that existing controls will continue to apply to all non EU27 and non UK imports/exports, until and unless Fox negotiates his magnificent trade deals with Madagascar etc.

I don't know why any country would want to limit its exports, as that helps its own industry. So the problems relate to import controls and concerns about quality controls or tariff evasion.

The Brits keep saying they will keep their borders open, and expect the EU to reciprocate. NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.

So the problem for the UK will not be shortages of medicines etc., but shortages of cash to pay for them as UK exports experience increasing difficulty accessing the Single Market.

Ireland will be expected to act as a gatekeeper for any UK goods trying to enter the EU26 via Ireland, and that it will do via controls at all Irish air/sea ports.

There remains the problem of UK goods accessing the Irish Market. The UK had its only significant trading surplus with Ireland, so restrictions there could be very damaging for both. Both are also promising to keep the border open, so the only alternative is controls at the Irish sea and/or trusted trader schemes within Ireland.

The administrative burdens (and or tariffs) involved could see Irish businesses seek alternate EU26 sources of supply. Equally Irish exporters to the UK (chiefly pharma and agri-food) will seek alternate markets in EU 26. Think Irish Cheddar replacing UK Cheddar on EU supermarket shelves.

Overall Ireland/UK trade has declined from 70% of total Irish Trade at EU accession in 1973 to 14% now. That trend will continue, probably sharply accelerated by Brexit and Sterling devaluation.

The problems for the Irish economy will be largely internal, with already booming Dublin's economy boosted by UK financial services companies relocation to Dublin, but already struggling rural areas suffering even more because of loss of food exports to the UK. Political dynamite for the government. Expect intra-EU talks to facilitate substitution of UK exports by Irish Exports.

I don't expect the DUP veto to survive for long in this scenario.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Jul 1st, 2019 at 04:02:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The direct effect of no deal Brexit is the regulatory framework. What needs new certifications etc?

Then you have the global supply chains. Some things made in Britain needs other things made in the EU and vice versa. With just in time supply chains spanning the globe, it is hard to know where there will be absence of goods, but it's likely to appear.

And then comes balance of payment when the center of global money laundering moves away.

by fjallstrom on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 02:26:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
OK so its German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen who has been nominated by EU leaders to head up the European Commission. Belgian prime minister Charles Michel has been put forward to lead the European Council, Christine Lagarde of France has been proposed as president of the European Central Bank and veteran Spanish socialist Josep Borrell has been nominated as foreign policy chief.

So much for the front runners and Spitzenkandidaten, Weber, Timmermans, Vesteger and Barnier. I wonder will the EP be cool with that? Also Eastern Europe didn't get a look in while the spoils were divided between Germany, France, Benelux and Spain. Apparently former Bulgarian PM, Sergei Stanishev, is to be nominated for the President of the EP and Timmermans and Vestiger will get VP of the Commission, a largely honorific title.

So the three main EP groups get to divide the spoils, with the Greens and all other groups frozen out. Hardly surprising with the three main groups having an overall majority and the Greens having no prime minister. All hard right and Eurosceptic parties have been frozen out, as is to be expected, but the EP will be divided into Government and opposition parties more than ever before.

Two women in the top jobs is an advance and the average age will come down. Merkel can retire and Bojo will have new people to talk to. I wonder will it mean any changes to EU Brexit policies. I somehow doubt it.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 06:02:22 PM EST
Boy, what a desaster. I just have been following reader comments in German Newspapers. People are speachless andthat a woman who has failed in ever ministery she has headed and who is considered for destroying or adleast weakening the German Bundeswehr is consider for such a post. Currently she is involved in some scandals with the renovation of the Gorch Fock, inconsistencies with payments to consultants like McKinsey and, and, and.

I have never seen so much univocal rejection in comments like with this nomination of VdL. I wonder if she will pass in the parliament tomorrow.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 06:29:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
missed you

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 06:43:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I second that! The voice of sanity returns!

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 10:14:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It has been too long!


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 03:17:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fran? Is it possible? :)

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 08:00:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi all, thanks for your kind words. Yes it is possible, though I am mostly lurking or sticking my head in the sand to avoid politics, which seems to still go down hill.

Nice to see so many old-timers still around.

by Fran (fran at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Jul 6th, 2019 at 07:00:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Going down hill?  More like rolled over and spinning in.  But as I keep telling my kids, "Once more into the breach, dear friends."
by rifek on Wed Jul 10th, 2019 at 09:32:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for Timmermans and Verstager?

I don't know about that.

Von der Leyen's a legit fit with Germany gestalt (Reformed CDU in de EPP) and will benefit with muscle (right and left FLANKS o' GOTT) in the international arena of graft, of which ahh managing transitional NATO high-growth industry (PESCO), especially nat'l security tech. Clever.

Lagarde OTOH .... is better than de Guindos.

archived
2016
united states of E-----
2014
waste disposal
2011
 Federal Minister of Labour and Social Affairs

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 06:40:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Can it get more mediocre than this? Von der Leyen is filler material. What have we done?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Tue Jul 2nd, 2019 at 10:33:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
We haven't done it. Macron and Merkel have cemented in place the actual head of the Commission, Sec-Gen Martin Selmayr, with a token figure as front (which was previously the case with Juncker anyway). In return Macron got a Frenchwoman into the BCE (something of a token too, because Lagarde is a lawyer, not a central banker).

It seems (say "reports") that some countries voiced disapproval on Monday of Selmayr's excessive power (and abuse of) at the Commission. Were these voices heard?

I used to be afew. I'm still not many.

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 08:12:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
So is the cumulative effect a de-powering of the EU institutions relative to its major constituent states? It is hard to see any of the five proposed appointees powering the EU forward as an entity in its own right. Those who had been relatively effective within the EU institutions - Barnier, Vesteger, Timmermans - were not rewarded.

The EP get's a President - Bulgarian ex-PM, Sergei Stanishev - hardly like to drive it forward. More a sop to Eastern Europe. The socialists get a sop in Josep Borrell, who at 72 doesn't seem likely to herald a new era in external relations. Has Christine Lagarde made waves at the World Bank, or Charles Michel in Belgium? Ursula von der Leyen seems to have become an embarrassment to the German government, so has been "put out to pasture". Is Ursula von der Leyen also a sop to NATO and the USA?

I know my suggestion of Merkel for President hasn't eh been, eh, universally popular here, but at least her appointment would have suggested the EU is taking itself seriously. Boris will think there is an opportunity here for a whole new approach to Brexit on the part of the EU. Fortunately, without an extension, the UK will be out before the new Commission takes office.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 09:56:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"de-powering of the EU institutions" : depends on whether you think drunker-Juncker was a powerhouse. Alternatively, you could see firmness and continuity in Selmayr, the boss in the shadows. </snark>

France and Germany did agree on the Timmermans package, but it wasn't going to go through because of V4 and Romanian opposition. So probably Macrel and Merkon got together and said "Screw this, we'll just pick our own people." Makes as much sense as the rest of it.

"Boris will think" : that will be something new. </not even snark>

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions Won't be nothing Nothing you can measure anymore L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 11:44:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Boris will think" Immediately followed by "Who cares?" on the continent.
by Bernard on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 06:28:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Christine Lagarde @WB? Perhaps the IMF 😉
Former Finance Minister of France ... interesting education history ... received France's highest honneur in 2012 ... made some bloopers in her days, ask Tapie ... merci.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 02:11:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lagarde
is chair/MD of the odious IMF, subsidiary of US fed gov, as crypt keeper of USD purchase power ("petrodollar") in the post-WWII imperial basket of "reserve currencies," or SDR credit tokens USD, JPY, EUR, GBP (RMB added 2008).

The principle function of this institution is lending USD to sovereign governments on terms and conditions ("structural adjustment programming") which have not produced desirable "development" goals of the borrowers' constituencies.

The odious World Bank is a subsidiary of the IMF. Few care who is the chief of the WB. The principle functions of this institution is (1) lead generation to borrowers and (2) supplementary IMF loan creation and reporting.

"Waves"
Lagarde publicized receipt of the "Lagarde List" CD of internat'l tax evaders (2010) from the Ministry of Finance, France.

Lagarde succeeded the perv Dominique Strauss-Kahn ("DSK") mid-term 2011.

Lagarde has ambiguously defended restructured IMF "odious debts" from her office, following some agitation in the ranks.

Lagarde has exquisite taste in jewelry and an inexplicably even, permanent "Coco" complexion.

Other than that ...

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 03:17:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lagarde is not de Guindos, Minister of Economy, Industry and Competitiveness of Spain, Ambassador to The City, UK .

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 03:24:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 03:25:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The IMF and World Bank: Partners in Backwardness

I've haven't read any of his books. But demos of Hudson's ballast below the surface of innerboob chatter seldom disappoint me. Can't say the same for Krugman or Baker, yo.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 01:03:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
deck chairs

Europe needs to find candidate to head IMF: France

France was aware that support was building for Carney, the official added, saying that if Paris decided to back him it would be sooner rather than later. However, there is concern about the precedent backing [Mark] Carney would set since he is "basically a Canadian" even though he is highly regarded, the official said.
[...]
Traditionally the Washington-based IMF has been led by a European, while its sister [sic] institution the World Bank has been run by an American. At times, larger emerging market countries have sought to disrupt the duopoly with their own candidates.

Given that the World Bank presidency recently went to American David Malpass,

uh oh
the French official said there was no reason why the IMF should not go to a European again.

Other Europeans "well considered" in Paris for the IMF job include EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and former Dutch finance minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, the official said.



Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 at 10:49:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would seem an EU office is viewed as relegation in both Germany and France, especially the former.  If this is actually the attitude of the two biggest players, you could appoint the most dynamic politicos of all time for the top jobs, and the EU train would still go nowhere.
by rifek on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 01:02:33 PM EST
[ Parent ]
as in, what have we done to deserve this?

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 11:48:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To quote Clint Eastwood in "Unforgiven", "Deserving's got nothing to with it."
by rifek on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 01:06:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It seems (say "reports") that some countries voiced disapproval on Monday of Selmayr's excessive power (and abuse of) at the Commission. Were these voices heard?

If they had been heard, the obvious solution would not have been to put another German into the (formally) top post...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 08:51:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
To the contrary, it is an unwritten rule that the president of the Commission and the civil service's secretary general cannot be from the same country. So if von der Leyen's appointment is confirmed, Selmayr is out.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 08:21:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Unwritten rule or not, I suspect von der Leyen will get whoever see wants for the job. An unwritten rule is a rule only until its not. Ask the British...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 11:32:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She won't want Selmayr, who was close to the Lixeburgish Commissioner Viviane Reding. Von der Leyen is also said to usually dismiss all the top-level appointees when she comes into a new job, to replace them with people she trusts.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 06:55:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That would indeed change the situation. I wonder who she trusts?

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 09:46:44 AM EST
[ Parent ]
STRASBOURG -- European Commission Secretary-General Martin Selmayr said he will leave his post "at the end of next week" to quell concerns about a German-dominated EU executive.


Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Tue Jul 16th, 2019 at 04:29:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's been opposition to Selmayr since his appointment, none of it has winkled him out. And the nice thing about unwritten rules is they can be handily redefined.

We'll see.

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 06:16:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think the manner of his appointment caused some principled opposition. I don't know how much was personal. If von der Leyen brings in her own people "who she trusts" they are also likely to be German given she has only worked for the German Government in recent years. Another job will be found for Selmayr. Brexit negotiator?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 12:09:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The manner was rightly criticised. Selmayr has also been considered personally as Machiavellian, manipulative, etc (how rightly I don't know).

As late as seven months ago, Parliament voted 71% for a resolution calling for his resignation.

Brexit negotiator? That's an idea...

Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen

by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 01:08:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Duly noted: The Martin Selmayr Scandal Dec 2018

Selmayr's work has included publishing July 2018

Selmayr also proved to be sympathetic April 2017

Selmayr tweeted yesterday night June 2015
ECB and IMF "characteristics"

--
2019-2024 EP waste disposal priority?
EU Ombudsman concludes Martin Selmayr appointment probe Feb 2019
non-binding disciplinary action
Martin Selmayr: 'I'm never worried about anything' May 2019
occupation outlook

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.

by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 01:40:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Believe it or not, EC description of Commission Secretary General title
a job which "requires not only special experience with regard to the functioning of the Commission, its working methods, its decision-making process and its inter-institutional role, but also a particular level of trust that the President can place in the Secretary-General" and that there is "only a handful of people at most who fulfil these special requirements."
bears striking resemblance to position of *Senior Advisor (formally added 1993 to executive cabinet), fulfillment of and compensation for which US Congress enjoys no statutory and regulatory authorities. Too the dismay of some. Recently.

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 02:09:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
useless Hatch Act
Kellyanne Conway

Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Jul 5th, 2019 at 02:13:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Aix-en-Provence

Lagarde 'uniquely qualified' to head ECB: Coeure

"She knows how the global economy works. She knows how Europe works. And she knows how to talk to financial markets," [Benoit Coeure, ECB board member] added.
[...]
Coeure, whose term at the ECB ends at the end of the year, told BFM Business television that he was not a candidate to replace Lagarde at the IMF.


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Sun Jul 7th, 2019 at 10:32:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Whether she can be confirmed by Parliament depends entirely on the constitution of a majority bloc there. I wonder how that's going?
 

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 01:27:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
European Parliament chooses otherwise (Independent) :

The European Parliament has elected Italian socialist MEP David Sassoli as its new president.

Mr Sassoli, an MEP from the Democratic Party, replaces outgoing conservative president Antonio Tajani in the EU legislature's top role.

A former journalist, the centre-left candidate won 345 votes in the second round of voting, ahead of right-winger Jan Zahradil who won 160 votes and Green Ska Keller who netted 119.



Things are going to slide, slide in all directions
Won't be nothing
Nothing you can measure anymore
L. Cohen
by john_evans (john(dot)evans(dot)et(at)gmail(dot)com) on Wed Jul 3rd, 2019 at 01:27:52 PM EST
So whatever happened to Bulgarian ex-PM, Sergei Stanishev -reputedly the Council pick for the job? If the Council has so little control over what their EP party colleagues do, the confirmation of Ursula von der Leyen  (and, indeed their picks for all the other commissioners) is anything but a done deal.

It would be a very interesting development if the EP decided to flex their muscles and refuse to support Ursula von der Leyen's nomination. There would be much talk of "a constitutional crisis" but in reality they would be within their rights to do so and for many it would be a suitable riposte for the Council ignoring all their Spitzenkandidaten.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Jul 4th, 2019 at 08:59:09 AM EST
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