The EU leadership – and the media, which seems to have appointed itself as the cheerleaders of the coalition – would like everyone to believe that all is well. But some cracks are beginning to show.
First, Poland is not too happy with the way things are going in the EU. Poland Foreign Minister Waszczykowski Interview – SPIEGEL ONLINE
As many people have pointed out, there are aspects of the EU governance structure that are not exactly democratic.
The European Council, for example, consists of representatives of elected governments, meaning it has a high degree of democratic legitimacy. As such, it should have the most power. The Commission, by contrast, is made up of deputies sent by the member states. They are bureaucrats. As such, the Commission shouldn’t have the right to monitor member states, as happened to us with the Rule of Law Framework. The Commission should only be able to carry out directives from the Council and should not have its own political ambitions.
There are other problems between Poland and the EU (and between Poland and Germany) that are festering. It is an interesting read, and not terribly long.
Next, Germany is about to start charging foreigners a toll to use the Autobahn. Not everyone thinks that is living up to their obligations. Austria says it will take Germany to court over autobahn ‘foreigner tolls’ – The Local
Germany’s upper house of parliament on Friday approved a controversial law imposing tolls on the country’s famous autobahns (motorways), in the face of objections from neighbouring countries who say it discriminates against foreign drivers.
The headlines (for the most part) imply that all is well with the Greeks and their economy. The truth isn’t quite so simple. Greece-Creditors Negotiations Stall Again Over Labor Law Issues and Pension Cuts | GreekReporter.com
The International Monetary Fund is not backing down on Greece’s request to implement pension cuts from 2020 onwards, insisting that pension reforms must be implemented in 2019. Furthermore, there are still differences on labor market legislation on issues like mass layoffs, the lockout and collective bargaining.
On pensions, the IMF argument was that since the present government’s term expires in 2019, the Greek side cannot guarantee that the next government will implement the changes.
Who will budge? I’m not sure either side can at this point.
That doesn’t even cover the rift between Germany and the US over Germany’s military budget, and whether or not the 2% goal is binding on NATO members or not. But that is a post for another day.