Brussels Edition: Spending Europe’s Billions

Brussels Edition
Bloomberg

Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg's daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

EU governments hoping to use the hundreds of billions in debt raised by the European Commission next year for tax cuts, higher pensions and other handouts are in for a reality check. The EU's executive arm will publish a set of guidelines today clarifying what kind of spending is eligible from the gigantic rescue package agreed between the bloc's leaders. The list includes investments ranging from high-speed broadband to electric-vehicle charging stations and building renovations, as well as the financing of reforms recommended by the Commission. If governments comply and submit credible draft plans next month, then serious money can start flowing to cash-strapped economies sometime in the second quarter.

John Ainger and Nikos Chrysoloras

What's Happening

Climate Crux | Climate activists and carbon traders will be glued to their screens at midday when the European Commission publishes plans on how to meet its target to cut carbon emissions by 55% from 1990 levels.

Merkel's Burden | Whether the plan becomes reality likely hinges on Angela Merkel. That's because Germany currently holds the bloc's rotating presidency and is its largest polluter. Here's what's needed for it to pass.

Tune In | Want to know more about the EU's push to lower carbon emissions? Listen to our podcast, where we talk to Professor Alberto Alemanno, who specializes in EU law at the university of HEC Paris, to discuss what's actionable for investors and whether or not the Commission has what it takes to carry through its plans.

Conte Coalition | The promise of a wave of European money could help Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte weather a challenging set of regional elections on Sunday and Monday. Watch out especially for Tuscany, Marche and Puglia, which are held by the center-left and where the opposition bloc led by Matteo Salvini is putting up a strong fight.

Turkey Warning | The European Parliament plans to say today that Turkey must show "sincere cooperation and concrete progress" in easing tensions in the eastern Mediterranean in order to avoid more EU sanctions.

In Case You Missed It

Brexit Update | Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the EU will never back down on the Withdrawal Agreement that U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed less than a year ago, a sign the two sides are entrenching their positions. Here's the latest.

Catalan Pride | CaixaBank has been a symbol of Catalonia's industrial prowess for over a century and was a key plank of secession plans for an economically viable state. And now a tie-up deal involving the Spanish government is proving controversial. Here's why.

Chronic Unemployment | Spain's central bank issued a dire warning that the nation's coronavirus-induced jobless rate could be stuck at around 20% through 2022. The nation has been unable to shake off one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, while other parts of Europe also brace for severe job losses.

Pipeline Problems | Von der Leyen directly called into question the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a cornerstone of Merkel's energy policy that has been plunged into doubt after the poisoning of a vocal critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Here's the background.

Falling Stars | A 2,000 person "farewell party" for Covid-19 on Prague's medieval Charles Bridge shows how Eastern European countries that initially acted more decisively may have been premature in their celebrations. They're now battling an explosion of cases.

Chart of the Day

The global economic slump won't be as sharp as previously feared this year, though the recovery is losing pace and will need support from governments and central banks for some time yet, according to the OECD. The world economy will shrink 4.5% this year, less than the 6% forecast in June, with China the only Group of 20 nation to grow modestly, the Paris-based institution said.

Today's Agenda

All times CET.

  • 9:30 a.m. China's ambassador to EU Zhang Ming speaks on EU-China relations at EPC event
  • 12:30 p.m. Executive Vice President Frans Timmermans holds press conference on the Commission's 2030 climate plan
  • European Council President Charles Michel visits Malta
  • European Parliament votes on resolution on Turkey and the "dangerous escalation'' in the eastern Mediterranean
  • EU economy chief Paolo Gentiloni and EU health chief Stella Kyriakides participate in meeting of G20 finance and health ministers
  • Informal meeting of EU education ministers

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