The ECB is the central bank of the 19 European Union countries which have adopted the euro. Our main task is to maintain price stability in the euro area and so preserve the purchasing power of the single currency. The Eurosystem – which consists of the ECB and the national central banks of the euro area – carries out a number of tasks to maintain price stability. These include:
- defining and implementing monetary policy
- conducting foreign exchange operations
- holding and managing the euro area’s foreign currency reserves
- promoting the smooth operation of payment systems
The ECB carries out specific tasks in the areas of banking supervision, banknotes, statistics, macroprudential policy and financial stability as well as international and European cooperation.
Christine Lagarde will replace the outgoing President, Mario Draghi, as of 1 November 2019.
On 2 July 2019, the European Council considered Christine Lagarde to be the appropriate candidate for President of the European Central Bank. The Council (Economic and Financial Affairs) then issued a formal recommendation on 9 July 2019. The European Parliament and the European Central Bank delivered their opinions to the European Council, respectively on 17 September 2019 and on 25 July 2019.
Read the full press release HERE.
The European Commission and the UK have recommended an agreement reached today over Brexit including a new protocol for the island of Ireland. In a press release earlier the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier said:
“We had difficult discussions over the past days. We have managed to find solutions that fully respect the integrity of the Single Market. We created a new and legally operative solution to avoid a hard border, and protect peace and stability on the island of Ireland. It is a solution that works for the EU, for the UK and for people and businesses in Northern Ireland.”
In addition to solutions to avoid a hard boarder and maintain peace and stability on the island of Ireland the main change to the Political Declaration is the to the future economic relationship between the EU and UK. The UK government have opted for a model based on a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
The next stage is to get the agreement ratified by the EU and UK.
More details are available on europa.eu including a letter from Donald Tusk, the revised protocol for Ireland/Northern Ireland, the revised political declaration and questions and answers.
Future of Europe was the title of the 2019 Annual General Meeting of Europe Direct Information Centres (EDICs). The AGM, held in Prague was attended by over 400 delegates from across the European Union.
Despite uncertainty over the continuation of the centres in the UK, due to the ongoing negotiations over Brexit, there was a positive engagement from the UK representatives at the AGM.
Much of the content revolved around the political guideline for the next five years (2019-2024). The guidelines derive from the campaign of the President Elect to the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyan. In her Agenda for Europe, President Elect von der Leyan sets out her priorities based on a generational aspiration for a Europe of peace, prosperity and unity. The guidelines include:
- A European Green Deal
- An economy that works for people
- A Europe fit for the digital age
- Protecting our European way of life
- A stronger Europe in the world
- A new push for European democracy
The full text of the President Elect’s Agenda for Europe is available to read below:
EDICs were provided with a detailed breakdown of the underlying aspects of each political priority.
Tomorrow Michel Barnier, the EU Chief Negotiator will brief EU27 Ministers at the General Affairs Council (Article 50) on the recent technical talks. Whilst the outcome of the current Brexit negotiations are unclear the political direction of the EU will be of importance to the UK in a direct or indirect way. So long as we at Europe Direct East Midlands (North) remain operational we will continue to keep EU watchers and interested parties informed.
The European Council will meet on 17 and 18 October 2019 to discuss a number of important issues, including EU long-term budget, priorities for the next 5 years and Brexit. In advance of the meeting agenda highlights have now been published. They include:
- Long term EU budget
- Strategic agenda and the next institutional cycle
- Climate change
There may be other items for discussion including foreign policy issues.
The Council of the EU is the institution representing the member states’ governments. Also known informally as the EU Council, it is where national ministers from each EU country meet to adopt laws and coordinate policies. You can read more about the work of the EU Council here.
The European Parliaments Brexit Steering Group (BSG) exists to coordinate and prepare Parliament’s deliberations, considerations and resolutions on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Therefore it’s reactions to the UK Government’s proposals on Brexit matter.
Chaired by the Parliament’s Brexit Coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt the composition and member profiles can be read here.
Today the Brexit Steering Group issued a statement on yesterday’s proposal from the UK Government on Brexit. In summary we have picked out some key points of importance but we would advise our readers to read the full statement here.
- Whilst the European Union remains open to explore proposals they need to be credible, legally operable, and in practise have the same effect as the compromises found in the Withdrawal Agreement. “.
The most recent proposals are deemed to have failed this test by the BSG for the following reasons:
- They do not represent a basis for an agreement in their current form.
- They do not address the real issues around the Irish boarder, in particular they require infrastructre controls.
- They leave a significant hole in the Single Market.
- Detail would have to be worked out during the transition period (therfore not being legally operable).
- They require the consent of the Northern Irish Assembly leaving the agreement uncertain.
Read more about the European Parliament and it’s powers below:
The European Union is taking measures to help workers and self-employed persons across the EU‑27 whose jobs and professional activities may be affected as a consequence of no-deal Brexit.
Today, member states’ ambassadors in the Council’s Permanent Representatives Committee (Coreper) approved the text of a draft regulation broadening the scope of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF). The aim of the proposal is to support workers made redundant and self-employed persons whose activity has ceased as a result of economic disruptions caused by the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU without a withdrawal agreement.
Timo Harakka, Minister of Employment for Finland remarked:
“These measures will ensure that anyone who loses their job as a result of hard Brexit will not be let down. Solidarity is a core value of the EU and we have to make sure that in the event of major economic disruption nobody is left behind.”