The ECB shows its teeth

Trichet tipped to win his fight with Sarkozy over the ECB’s independence.

The European Central Bank (ECB) chose last week to release a letter it sent to the Portuguese EU presidency objecting to an arcane change in the ECB’s status smuggled into the draft EU reform treaty at the Berlin summit (FT story here). It doesn’t want to be listed as one of the “EU institutions”, as these will be required to cooperate towards a long list of common goals, no longer including market competition. What if anything this means is unclear, but it’s plainly part of a French plot to subject the ECB to political meddling by EU finance ministers. The ECB said politely a month ago that it was against any such changes; now the gloves are off.

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Attack of the Killer Tomatoes II

Angela Merkel’s EU Reform Treaty – a triumph for bafflegab

A sample from the conclusions of the recent EU summit:

In addition, until 31 March 2017, if members of the Council representing at least 75% of the population or at least 75% of the number of Member States necessary to constitute a blocking minority as provided in Article [I-25(2)] indicate their opposition to the Council adopting an act by a qualified majority, the mechanism provided for in the draft Decision contained in Declaration nÂș 5 annexed to the Final Act of the 2004 IGC [shall apply]. As from 1 April 2017, the same mechanism will apply, the relevant percentages being, respectively, at least 55% of the population or at least 55% of the number of Member States necessary to constitute a blocking minority as provided in Article [I-25(2)].

There’s 15 pages more of Annex 1 on similar lines. I especially like:

In III-275(3) only: “The specific procedure provided in the second and third subparagraphs shall not apply to acts which constitute a development of the Schengen acquis.”

Your eyes glaze over? You hadn’t realized that “acquis”, without italics, is a word of the English language as spoken in Brussels? That’s the point.

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