30th Mar 2023

Spain to push for EU economic governance when at presidency helm

Madrid intends to push for greater economic powers to be placed in the hands of the European Union during its time at the helm of the bloc's six-month rotating presidency next year.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said on Tuesday (28 April) that the crisis had offered up firm evidence that economic governance was needed at the EU level, long a position of the French government as well.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • Mr Zapatero appeared unconcerned about his French counterpart's characterisation of his mental faculties (Photo: PSOE)

"I agreed with President Sarkozy that if the European Union really wants to be a political union, which works for its citizens, it has to have a much more solid economic government and with tools," the Spanish leader told reporters after receiving a two-day visit from his French counterpart.

"I can't see a single market, a single currency, then not see an economic government with powers, with tools."

Currently fiscal policy is set at member state level with a degree of co-ordination between finance and economy ministers.

What greater degree of co-ordination or centralisation was not defined.

The two leaders also committed to closer co-operation on a number of bilateral issues, particularly in combatting Basque separatist group ETA, whose operations straddle the French-Spanish border.

Mssrs Sarkozy and Zapatero agreed to found a "strategic planning and coordination committee" to battle terrorism and organised crime.

"We will not lower our guard against this curse. We will act against the hateful face of ETA or Al Qaeda, given that we have to protect our citizens and give justice to the victims and preserve the democracies we have the honour of representing," the French president said on Monday night.

Mr Sarkozy also re-iterated his position that Spain should be represented at future G20 meetings.

Mr Zapatero has yet to be invited to the next such summit, due to take place in New York in September.

The French state visit came a week after it was revealed that Mr Sarkozy had made denigrating comments about a number of European and global allies while speaking to domestic parliamentary deputies. His description of the Spanish leader was particularly unflattering, categorising him as "not very intelligent".

Mr Sarkozy laughed off the gaffe while meeting with the object of his scorn.

"There was a misunderstanding. Do you think I lack the experience that I could fall into a trap like that?" he told reporters.

"I do not want to say that I do not consider Jose Luis very brilliant, and besides that, he is too young and he runs too fast," he added. The two had gone for a jog on Monday.

Mr Zapatero, for his part, seemed to have thought nothing of the incident: "President Sarkozy has shown himself to be the best friend Spain could have," he said.

EU approves 2035 phaseout of polluting cars and vans

The agreement will ban the sale of carbon-emitting cars after 2035. The EU Commission will present a proposal for e-fuels after pressure from German negotiators via a delegated act, which can still be rejected by the EU Parliament.

'Final warning' to act on climate change, warns IPCC

The United Nations's report — synthesising years of climate, biodiversity, and nature research — paints a picture of the effects of global warming on the natural world, concluding there is "no time for inaction and delays."

EU launches critical raw materials act

The EU presented its strategy to ensure access to critical raw materials needed for clean technologies. No country should supply more than 65 percent of any key material. Currently, China dominates almost all rare earth metal markets.

'The race is on', EU Commission warns on green tech

The EU Commission is expected to detail its plans on Thursday as part of the Net-Zero Industry Act on industrial incentives, and the Critical Raw Materials Act, which seeks to reduce EU over-reliance on China.


Dear EU, the science is clear: burning wood for energy is bad

The EU and the bioenergy industry claim trees cut for energy will regrow, eventually removing extra CO2 from the atmosphere. But regrowth is not certain, and takes time, decades or longer. In the meantime, burning wood makes climate change worse.


EU's new critical raw materials act could be a recipe for conflict

Solar panels, wind-turbines, electric vehicle batteries and other green technologies require minerals including aluminium, cobalt and lithium — which are mined in some of the most conflict-riven nations on earth, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, and Kazakhstan.

Latest News

  1. The overlooked 'crimes against children' ICC arrest warrant
  2. EU approves 2035 phaseout of polluting cars and vans
  3. New measures to shield the EU against money laundering
  4. What does China really want? Perhaps we could try asking
  5. Dear EU, the science is clear: burning wood for energy is bad
  6. Biden's 'democracy summit' poses questions for EU identity
  7. Finnish elections and Hungary's Nato vote in focus This WEEK
  8. EU's new critical raw materials act could be a recipe for conflict

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. InformaConnecting Expert Industry-Leaders, Top Suppliers, and Inquiring Buyers all in one space - visit Battery Show Europe.
  2. EFBWWEFBWW and FIEC do not agree to any exemptions to mandatory prior notifications in construction
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ways to prevent gender-based violence
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Economic gender equality now! Nordic ways to close the pension gap
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: Pushing back the push-back - Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCSW67: The Nordics are ready to push for gender equality

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us