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Thursday, December 20, 2012

What to expect from the EU in 2013

As 2012 draws to a close Open Europe has put out its take on what to expect from 2013. Reviewing our (admittedly milder) effort at this last year, shows that we didn’t do too badly, especially for what turned out to be a very volatile and difficult year for Europe (with plenty of government interventions, which are notoriously hard to predict).

See here for the full report where we lay out our view on three key topics to watch in 2013 – discussions of a ‘Brixit’, the formulation of the new eurozone banking union and, of course, the continuation or otherwise of the eurozone crisis.

Section 1: The eurozone crisis – survival but stagnation
2013 looks likely to be a calmer, but still painful year for the eurozone, with several political flashpoints (notably German, Italian and Austrian elections) that could quickly trigger a fresh flare-up in the crisis – particularly as many of the campaigns could become de factor judgements on the eurozone crisis and the bailouts. The eurozone is unlikely to fully turn the corner, with low growth and high unemployment continuing to plague many countries. Activism from the ECB is likely to help ease concerns, with its new bond buying programme the OMT potentially activated to aid Spain at some point. This will be needed as markets will still be on edge with Italy, Spain and France face funding costs of €332bn, €195bn and €243bn respectively.

Section 2: Banking union – slow or even slower?
A decision on the second step of the banking union – a joint fiscal backstop – is unlikely to be taken amid continued disagreements and domestic pressures. Even plans to have the ESM recapitalise banks already look to have been pushed back to 2014. During the year it may become increasingly apparent that, as is, the banking union does not represent a solution to the crisis.

Section 3: Britain in the EU – a mid-life crisis or full divorce?
We don’t see any fundamental changes to the relationship, but positioning and political manoeuvring will set the stage for the 2014 (European Parliament) and 2015 (General) elections – that in turn could decide the exact nature of the EU-UK relationship in the future. Two important issues to watch will be the opt out (and back into) EU crime and policing laws as well as the negotiations on the EU budget. The general tone of the debate within the government and Conservative party will be an important test ahead of the elections.

Obviously then, this is far from an exhaustive list but simply represents our thoughts on some key points of interest to watch in 2013. Feel free to share your thoughts for 2013 in the comments below!


Rik said...

Crisis is difficult to predict, but:
Cyprus is likley to become a new Greece, but this time they brought some Russian oligarchs.
Start in Jan. with the German Constitutional Court.
Collision German election and a crisis event.
Several governments look very unstable (both North and South).
Spain (and Italy) putting structural reforms in the waitingroom (simply not sustainable).
Legal foundation of things get simply more and more dodgy.
So overall my bet is same 'procedure' as last year.

Banking union fully agree not much will happen. Certainly not on the mutual guarantees they only thing that would be really helpful for the crisis.

UK will depend on:
If serious problems will arise in the EZ (real possibility any exit needs a treatychange);
Cameron will have most likley to do something for the homeaudience if he wants to be reelected. Also the EZ will imho be wise to get the UK issue of the table. If you get an EZ exit and everything comes up at the same time you are to be 'blackmailed' and not only by the UK, probably by many more. Which makes a treatychange nearly impossible within a short period of time.
Which will require most likley because of 'blackmail' that the exit country would have to leave the EU iso the EZ or it has to be kept in (by all sort of transfers which might not be 'approvable' in a lot of countries. Simply a situation you donot want to run into.
Fully understandable they donot want to change re an exit now (it gives completely the wrong idea of course). But you donot want Cameron to be forced to make a stand and likley as a consequence thereof others putting demands on the table as well. It has all in it to become a full revision of the treaty,but with only 1/10th or so of the time to do it.
Imho they will be well served to get the UK issue off the table.

Rollo said...

Humble Rik is right: we should get the UK issue off the table with the turkey. Cast-Iron-Pledge Cameron must very soon do what all 3 parties promised: a Referendum. (Who remembers the dishonest Clegg leading all his silly sheep out of the Commons because he demanded an In-Out referendum but was not offered it?)
The thing is to get out of the EU before it collapses under its own dead-weight, rather than go down with it.

keith hickman said...

We should use 2013 to give notice that we intend to close our borders in defiance of EU legislation, at the end of the year, and accept the consequences. This would prompt others to precipate a crisis and enable us to respond well before the dreaded influx of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria, in my opinion the greatest long term threat to the future of my grandchildren. In Cornwall a building programme of 38,ooo new houses is being forced upon us, about 5 new towns the size of Redruth, Not because the indigenous population need it, but inspired by the Eu to cover the needs of you know who !

Cornish Keith

Anonymous said...

It is time to close our borders before the countries in the eurozone dump even more of their citizens on to us lowering their unemployment but increasing ours.

There is no need for a treaty change for any country to leave the euro, and the unelected failed politicians who make up the the commission won't allow another treaty change just yet anyway.

The only way the euro can recover is for Germany to leave it, and allow it to drop to its proper level, currently its value is overrated because of germany being its mainstay.

2013 needs to be the year we take back the right to govern our country from the foreign control of the corruption ridden democratically deficient eussr.

Anonymous said...

In the 70's we had a booming industrial base, car truck and ship building were massive employers and producers, then we joined the "common market" and things started to go rapidly downhill, since it became the eu, and we have been constrained by a democratically deficient level of government that no one in this country voted for, and a constitution that no one in this country voted for.

The only way we can regain our national identity, and govern ourselves now is to completely detach from the eussr.