Jean De Ruyt

Jean De Ruyt

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The June 28 European Council: Four Challenges to EU Solidarity

Transatlantic trade tensions, the Brexit negotiations, migration, and Eurozone reform will dominate the June 28 European Council. Each of these issues are potentially divisive, and the leaders know that a new dose of solidarity will be needed to address them properly. They also know that next year will see additional challenges to the cohesion and … Continue Reading

EU Policy Update for Q1 2018 – Budgets and Upcoming EU Elections, Steel and Aluminum Tariffs, a “Digital Tax” proposal, and Brexit

Four major issues dominated the EU agenda in the first quarter of 2018: institutional adaptations in view of next year’s elections and appointments; a threat by the United States to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium; a proposal for a tax on technology companies; and the beginning of the second phase of the … Continue Reading

Brexit Negotiations, Phase 2: Transition, Trade, and Trouble Ahead

As we mentioned in our previous reports (here and here), “sufficient progress” in the first phase of the Brexit negotiation could not be achieved before the European Council of October 19-20, 2017 – so the heads of government decided to wait until their next meeting, on December 14-15, to assess whether the second phase, dealing … Continue Reading

The Brexit Negotiations:  High Drama at Lunch

In its meeting of December 14-15, the European Council should be deciding whether to launch the second phase of the Brexit negotiation which is the discussion on the future relationship between the UK and the European Union after Brexit. This is eighteen months after the Brexit referendum and almost nine months since British Prime Minister … Continue Reading

Brexit Negotiations in October: Softened Stances, but no “Sufficient Progress”

The third round of the Brexit negotiations, at the end of August, was not very productive. This was despite the British side’s publication of an impressive number of position papers over the course of the summer. These covered various technical questions but also the sensitive issue of the participation in the customs union and how … Continue Reading

Agreement in principle announced for an EU regime on conflict minerals

In a so-called “trilogue” meeting on June 16, the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, and the European Commission reached a “political” agreement on the key elements of a regulation that would implement a due diligence and reporting regime for conflict minerals imported in the EU. It has taken more than three years since the … Continue Reading

The closure of the ‘Balkan Road’

The Geopolitics of Europe has been seriously shaken since when in April last year refugees and other migrants started to cross en masse the external borders of the so called Schengen area. The last episode of the migration drama, the agreement concluded on 18 March 2016  between the leaders of the EU and Turkish prime … Continue Reading

The EU – Turkey summit of 29 November 2015 : A “Re-Energised” Relationship

Since April of this year, the EU agenda has been totally dominated by the migration issue. The sudden influx of several hundred thousand refugees from Syria, Eritrea and other conflict zones, but also economic migrants from the Balkan countries and elsewhere, has generated an earthquake of such a magnitude that any other discussion had to … Continue Reading

Building a EU Capital Markets Union

Building a “Capital Markets Union” for the 28 EU Member States was presented as one of the main priorities of Jean-Claude Juncker when he was appointed President of the European Commission last year. He saw it, together with his 315 Billion Euros investment plan, as part of his most important policy goal: to help boost … Continue Reading

EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here; a reportedly near-final draft of the agreement can be read here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first calls for such an agreement back in … Continue Reading

EU – US Umbrella Agreement about to be concluded: towards a transatlantic approach to data protection?

According to the European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, the EU and the US have finalized the EU-US Umbrella Agreement (for the press release, see here). This is a remarkable breakthrough after the first calls for such an agreement back in March 2009, when the European Parliament called for an “EU … Continue Reading

There will be no Grexit

After 17 hours of uninterrupted negotiations, the European Council reached, minutes before the opening of the European markets, on Monday July 13, an agreement to launch negotiations for a third bailout program for Greece. Despite the loss of trust in the country’s leaders, despite a referendum in which more than 61 %  rejected the reform … Continue Reading

The last act of the Greek crisis negotiations?

The latest chapter of the Greek crisis, which started with the electoral victory of the left wing Syriza party in January 2015, is reaching its close. The final deadline for reaching an agreement in principle to negotiate a new bailout has been set for Sunday, 12 July by the European Council. This last chance given … Continue Reading

EU Policy Update—July

1.  Digital Single Market Policy Almost two years after the European Commission presented its proposal on a telecoms single market (Connected Continent), on 30 June, the three EU institutions finalized negotiations on two important issues: roaming charges and net neutrality. All other elements of the package will be discussed as part of the new Digital … Continue Reading
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