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New Open Europe report: The first comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of EU crime and policing law, by Dominic Raab MP

29 Oct 2012

The Times, Sun, Metro and Irish Independent cite Open Europe’s new report, in which Dominic Raab MP has undertaken the first comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the value of EU crime and policing laws to the UK. The report calls for the Government to exercise its right to opt out of 135 EU policing and crime laws. Raab warns that while 60 of the measures have “some practical law enforcement value”, none merits giving up democratic control to the European Commission or the European Court of Justice.  

Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, Raab argued that, “While the Government should assess the operational value of all these measures, one by one, we should also seek alternative models of cooperation, including non-binding memoranda of understanding. Our Serious Organised Crime Agency already collaborates with some of our closest allies in this way, including the US, Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Enhanced cooperation with those allies hasn’t meant sacrificing democratic accountability. Why should it in Europe?”
Open Europe press release
Open Europe report: Cooperation not control Sunday Telegraph: Raab Sun Times

UK’s net contribution to long-term EU budget could increase even under a real-term freeze;
Ahead of Parliament debate Labour calls for a cut to the EU budget

On Friday, BBC Newsnight cited extensively from Open Europe analysis showing that, even if David Cameron manages to achieve a real-terms freeze in the next long-term EU budget, to run between 2014 and 2020, the UK’s net contribution could still go up by between €1bn and €2.4bn over seven years, as the share going to poorer EU member states, not covered by the UK rebate, will increase. Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel appeared on the programme saying that the UK Government is right to argue that more money is spent on poorer member states, but that by completely limiting structural funds to these states, the UK’s net contribution would instead decrease.    

Meanwhile, in the Times, Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and Shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, argue that “Labour will argue against the proposed increase in EU spending and instead support a real-terms cut in the budget. We believe these goals are difficult but achievable with the right leadership and the right approach from the UK.” On Wednesday MPs will discuss a motion tabled by Mark Reckless MP, calling for a cut in the EU budget. Though not binding, it has the potential to cause difficulties for the government if Labour MPs vote with Tory backbenchers.
Open Europe research
Newsnight (14 min in) Newsnight: Stratton BBC Times Times: Balls & Alexander

Troika refuses further concessions on labour market reforms;
New Open Europe flash analysis: A two year extension in the Greek bailout would cost €28.5bn

Open Europe released a flash analysis on Friday which calculated that a two year extension of the Greek bailout would cost a minimum of €28.5bn. The analysis, which also looked at how much money different policy options could deliver, was cited by the Telegraph and on the Telegraph live blog.

Greek Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras announced yesterday that the EU/IMF/ECB troika had refused to make any further concessions on labour market reform, as demanded by the junior coalition member, the Democratic Left. The party looks set to vote against the plans, although the government could still gain a majority without its support.  

Der Spiegel reported over the weekend that the Troika has called for the eurozone to take losses on its loans to Greece and for the ECB to forgo profit on its holdings of Greek bonds, although in exchange Greece will have to accept further budget oversight. However, speaking to Deutschlandfunk radio yesterday, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said it was “unrealistic” to expect the private sector to take any more losses on Greece. The WSJ reports that the mood may be changing in the Bundestag and that pushing through an extension of the Greek bailout could be possible, as long as there is a credible plan to make Greek debt sustainable.
Open Europe Flash Analysis
Kathimerini WSJ Kathimerini 2 Kathimerini 3 CityAM Reuters Bloomberg ARD FT: Munchau Independent EUobserver Spiegel Spiegel 2 Welt Bild Bild 2 IHT Guardian Sunday Times Sunday Times Saturday’s Guardian Saturday’s Telegraph Telegraph: Live blog   

Mats Persson: Labour could unintentionally push the UK out of the EU
On the Guardian Comment is Free, Open Europe’s Mats Persson looks at Labour’s position in Europe, arguing that ahead of the 2015 elections Labour has two options in how to respond to a possible Tory pledge to renegotiate EU membership terms and a referendum: either gambling on the EU not being an electoral issue or promising an In/Out referendum. He argues that Labour could unintentionally be the party that pulls the UK out of Europe, if it banks “on the status quo or Tory splits” rather than developing a coherent vision of its own. 
Guardian CiF: Persson

The Independent on Sunday wrote up Open Europe panel discussion entitled “What is the Coalition’s record on Europe so far?” featuring Tobias Ellwood MP, Chris Leslie MP and Baroness Falkner. Chris Leslie - Shadow Financial Secretary to the Treasury – is quoted as saying that an EU referendum “may be something that needs to be put in place in order to move forward, but it is not the right time now." The event is also cited by the IoS’s chief political commentator John Rentoul on his blog.
Open Europe Events
Independent on Sunday Independent: Rentoul  

Open Europe’s Pieter Cleppe was interviewed by German Radio ARD discussing the level of internal devaluation needed in the eurozone’s periphery to close the competitiveness gap with Germany. Peiter noted that “although Spain has only done about half of the task needed, public opposition is already significant.”
Open Europe Research

Open Europe’s Christopher Howarth is quoted in the Sunday Times as noting that Scottish membership of the EU could have serious repercussions for Spain, pointing out that a recent poll found that 62% of Catalans would vote for independence if they were given guarantees of remaining in the EU, but that support dropped to 44.7% if it were known Catalonia would be out of the EU after independence.
Sunday Times
FT Independent on Sunday

The anti-euro Finns party won 12.3% of votes in yesterday’s Finnish local elections, more than doubling its 2008 result of 5%, but below both recent polls and the 19% the party achieved in last year’s parliamentary elections. The FT reports that their underperformance was due to traditional parties - the Social Democrats and Centre Party, taking a tougher line on the euro.
FT WSJ EUobserver YLE

Speaking after his conviction on charges of tax evasion, former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi declared that "In the next few days, we shall decide… whether to withdraw confidence from the government or… leave it to work out its mandate”. Separately, exit polls suggest that comedian Beppe Grillo’s protest party is in the lead in yesterday’s regional elections in Sicily.
La Stampa Repubblica Guardian Le Figaro EUobserver Corriere della Sera Repubblica 2 La Stampa 2 Repubblica 3 Corriere della Sera FT Weekend FT Weekend 2 FT blogs: Barber Saturday’s Independent Saturday’s Mail Saturday’s Telegraph Saturday’s Guardian FT WSJ  

In an interview with Der Spiegel, ECB President Mario Draghi said that he was “fully in favour” of German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble’s proposals for a eurozone currency commissioner. Draghi added, "I am certain, if we want to re-establish trust in the euro zone, countries must pass a part of their sovereignty to the European level."

The Irish Times reports that, according to German officials, Germany is ready to re-work the €30bn promissory note given by the Irish state to Anglo Irish Bank as part of its bank bailout package, in order to improve Ireland’s debt sustainability.
Irish Times  

Cantabria has become the ninth Spanish region to seek a bailout from the government, after asking for financial assistance totalling €137m. Separately, La Vanguardia reports on a new poll which shows that only 31.5% of Catalans think that changing Spain into a federal state would solve their problems.
El Mundo ABC Expansión El País La Vanguardia  La Vanguardia 2 El Mundo 2  

De Volkskrant reports that Dutch PM Mark Rutte and the leader of the social democrats, Diederik Samsom, have reached agreement on a full coalition programme over the weekend which will include €1bn worth of cuts to development aid.
NOS Z24  

Speaking in Norway today former Defence Secretary Liam Fox will warn that “Hardship and a sense of injustice are the mother and father of extremism and we must be careful – very careful – to ensure that as the Eurozone’s wealthiest push for ever closer union to secure their own interests, it does not push others in to a place their people do not want to be” reports the Independent.

A Sunday Telegraph investigation finds that the EU’s Working Time Directive has played a part in the closure of hospital departments across Britain.
Sunday Telegraph

The FT reports that EU’s revamped Market Abuse Directive, currently before the European Parliament, will include prison sentences  of between two and five years and fines of up to 10 times the amount involved.

The Sun on Sunday reported that a new EU Commission’s draft directive on hair salons could limit the number of cuts stylists do in a day as well as making conversing with clients mandatory for the purposes of “mental wellbeing”. UK hairdressers have estimated that complying with the legislation will cost £75m and increase prices for consumers.
Sun on Sunday
Open Europe Research: EU Social & Employment Law

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