POLITICS & POLICY
Italy – EU Passports to UK Students
Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said he would propose a solution for UK students to obtain EU passports, in order to lessen any disruption for British people studying for degree courses in the continent. However, the proposal comes without much clarity, regarding for instance whether the EU students would be charged of higher fees after the exit of the UK from the EU.
Source: BBC, 28/06/16.
United Kingdom – No Guarantee for EU Workers After Brexit
Junior Home Office minister James Brokenshire said the government could only reassure EU nationals they could remain in Britain for now, claiming that it would be “unwise” to guarantee anything without reciprocal assurances about the status of the 1.2 million UK nationals living in the Continent. The statement triggered the reaction of shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham, who accused the government of “creating the conditions for the unwelcoming climate to continue and the rises in xenophobic and racist abuse”.
Source: The Guardian, 04/01/16.
Denmark – Brexit Effect on Eurosceptic Sentiments
A new poll on pro-European sentiments in Denmark (traditionally, one of the most Eurosceptical member states) shows a remarkable rise in support for Danish membership of the EU, from 59.8% in the week before Brexit to 69%, as well as a comparable drop in the number of people wanting a membership referendum, from 40.7% to 32%. A similar survey in Finland had similar results, reporting a rise in support for EU membership from 56% in March to 68% after Brexit.
Source: Politico, 04/07/16.
France – Threat to EU Law on Posted Workers
Prime Minister Manuel Valls has expressed strong dislike for the directive allowing employers to pay “posted” workers (namely workers employed in one EU state but temporarily sent to work in another member state) no more than the minimum rate in the host country. Valls claimed that “there must be equal treatment upwards to fight social dumping”. He added that France will try to convince the EU to change the directive, but in case it will not be able to do so, it will refuse to apply this law.
Source: EurActiv, 04/07/16.
Hungary – Referendum on Migration
President János Áder has announced that Hungary will hold a referendum on October 2 on whether to accept mandatory EU quotas for relocating migrants. Legal challenges have been launched by Hungary and Slovakia against an EU attempt to set the number of asylum-seekers to be taken in each European member state (excluding Denmark and the UK, which have opt-outs). Prime Minister Viktor Orbàn has protested against this initiative during the past few months and a border fence was also erected last year to try and stop the flow of asylum seekers across the continent.
Source: Politico, 05/07/16.
Spain and Portugal – Violation of Deficit Rules
The European Commission has officially declared Spain and Portugal in violation of the EU rules on government deficit, thus exposing them to the possibility of unprecedented penalties. Yet, France and Italy will be particularly willing to delay the penalty process, fearing to be subject to similar sanctions by Brussels in the future. Ahead of the Commission announcement, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Costa warned that Brussels would foster a rise in Euroscepticism in Portugal should EU sanctions actually be applied.
Source: EurActiv, 08/07/16
“All of our leaders are excellent communicators, because this is why they are winning the elections, so how come the Union as a whole is unable to communicate with its citizens in a way they understand?”
Miroslav Lajčák, Slovak Minister of Foreign Affairs – Press Release for the beginning of the Slovak European Council Presidency.
Source: EurActiv, 01/07/2016
“The Eurozone needs more solidarity and a greater boost […] We will not make this happen through mere coordination. We need more integration concerning fiscal and social policy and an investment policy run from a common Eurozone budget.”
Emmanuel Macron, French Finance Minister.
Source: EurActiv, 04/07/16.
“We hope to have the UK as a close partner in the future. But leaders made it clear that access to the single market means acceptance of all four freedoms, including the freedom of movement […] We will not sell off our freedoms and there will be no single market ‘a la carte’”
Donald Tusk, President of the European Council – European Parliament Plenary session in Strasbourg.
Source: EurActiv, 05/07/16.
The new corporation tax planned by George Osborne in an effort to convince companies to keep investing in post-Brexit Britain. The proposal is part of Osborne’s new five-point plan to galvanise the economy (the corporation tax rate is currently 20%).
Source: Financial Times, 03/07/16.
The 31-year low hit by the pound sterling this week as concern deepened over the impact of Brexit on the British economy.
Source: Guardian, 05/07/16.
The number of Polish people resident in Britain, whose vast majority have arrived since 2004, when Poland joined the EU. Poland’s Eurosceptic government has announced that it will fight for their right to stay in the UK.
Source: EurActiv, 08/07/16.
Photo Credits CC: OFFICIAL LEWEB PHOTOS