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Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported overnight on an interesting development with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said to be proposing significant restructuring of the European Commission and seeking to tie the changes in with the UK’s EU reform programme. He is also reportedly hoping for the UK’s support. Open Europe’s Raoul Ruparel investigates what Schäuble is actually looking to do, why he is doing it and whether he can expect UK backing.

The post German Finance Minister comes to the table with his own EU reform plans and looks for UK support appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Raoul Ruparel

Following the French blockade of German and Spanish lorries to stop foreign food products entering the country, Stephen Booth argues that French farmers should be asking themselves why French agriculture has singularly failed to respond to new competition following EU enlargement to the East in 2004 and 2007.

The post French farmers’ protest illustrates their declining competitiveness appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Stephen Booth

In a guest piece published by Open Europe, businessman Ian Baxter, the Chairman and Founder of Baxter Freight, writes that Britain has a unique opportunity to change the direction of the EU, making it work better for both Britain and its other member states.

The post The UK has a vital role to play in shaping the future of Europe. Now is not the time to turn our backs. appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Ian Baxter

Following the Greek bailout deal, attention has quickly moved to Spain – where anti-establishment party Podemos is on a declining trend in opinion polls and appears to have been hit the hardest by SYRIZA’s capitulation in the negotiations between Greece and its Eurozone partners. Our Southern Europe expert Vincenzo Scarpetta takes a look at what lies ahead for Podemos.

The post Podemos: Down but not out appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Vincenzo Scarpetta

As the dust settles following the latest agreement between Greece and its creditors it is worth stepping back and examining what it, along with Syriza’s time in office so far, might mean for other peripheral countries and other rising populist parties in Europe. Raoul Ruparel looks at the potential for political contagion.

The post Could there be political contagion from Greece? appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Raoul Ruparel

The Greek crisis has reignited the debate over the future of the Eurozone. French President François Hollande is calling for a Eurozone government, with a dedicated budget and even a separate parliament. At the same time, Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson is worried that, outside the Eurozone, her country could become a second-class member of the EU. Can the EU rise to the challenge of accommodating these different interests?

The post Hollande proposes a Eurozone government appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Vincenzo Scarpetta

Whatever technical fudge the EU comes up with to ensure that the UK and other non-Eurozone countries are not exposed to a Greek default via a proposed €7bn bridging loan, an important Rubicon has been crossed. The EU’s apparent willingness to renege on a political agreement only increases the domestic pressure on David Cameron to secure treaty change to underpin any UK renegotiation.

The post Will the EU regret dragging the UK into Greek bailout? appeared first on Open Europe.

Posted by Stephen Booth