Jean De Ruyt

Jean De Ruyt

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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

European Parliament Divided on Conflict Minerals Regime

Background On April 14, 2015, the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament adopted amendments (by 22 votes to 16, and 2 abstentions) on the European Commission’s proposal for an EU conflict minerals regime published in March 2014. The INTA vote followed a compromise reached among three of the main political groups of … Continue Reading

A New World Bank?

The “Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank” (AIIB) was  launched by China in 2013.  It only became headlined in the world press this month when the United States publicly criticized Britain for announcing its participation. Indeed, soon after Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, stated that the UK would be among the “founding members” of AIIB, the … Continue Reading

Transatlantic Trade Deal at Risk?

Early 2013, when the US and the EU agreed to launch negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the “investment” dimension did not attract much attention. Those who do not like transatlantic deals chose first to try to mobilize European public opinion around the traditional stumbling blocks in the EU – US agenda: the … Continue Reading

The EU data protection regulation after 3 years of negotiation

On January 25, 2012, the European Commission presented a proposal for a “Regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data”, the “Data Protection Regulation” (DPR). The Commissioner in charge of justice at the time, Viviane Reding, aware of the complexity of … Continue Reading

Jean Claude Juncker and the “Luxleaks”

Jean Claude Juncker, the new President of the European Commission whose term started on 1 November, wanted his institution to become more “political”. This wish was fulfilled earlier than he expected.  The same week, the world press published a detailed inquiry by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, on extraordinary tax breaks offered by the … Continue Reading

New EU Commission Confirmed

The new European Commission presided by Jean Claude Juncker was confirmed by the European Parliament on October 22 with 423  votes (on 751) and will start functioning as foreseen, from November 1. Juncker presented his new team on September 10, “ in common accord” with the Council of Ministers, representing the Member States, but the … Continue Reading
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