European Commission Postpones Decision about Spain

The European Commission just postponed a decision about whether or not to impose fines on Portugal and Spain for their deficits. The decision will be in July and at that time, the Commission will decide whether to take “decisive action.” If they decide not to take decisive action then they will start a process to impose sanctions.

As EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici said at a press conference, “The effort must be led in a strong way and a strong pace.” Portugal needs to bring its deficit down to 2.3% of GDP and Spain needs to reduce its by 3.7% this year and 2.5% in 2017.

They have created the postponement so as not to interfere with the upcoming elections in Spain. Spain will be holding general elections on June 26.


European Commission Forecast Looks Grim

The European Commission’s most recent forecast should be a wake-up call for many countries. France, Italy and Spain are set to miss their budget targets unless there is quick government action. Portugal will probably be in breach of EU budget rules as well.

The Commission said that the Euro zone growth will be slower than expected. They also saw slower growth in China and other trade partners.

Learn more about their specific forecast for each of these areas.


New EU Banking Initiatives

The Innovative Enterprise Conference took place recently in The Hague, where there was the creation of a new EU Secruritisation Instrument for European banks. This creation was announced by Commissioner Carlos Moedas, EIF Chief Executive Pier Luigi Gilibert and EIB Vice-President Pim van Ballekom. The SME Initiative Securitisation Instrument (SISI) is being launched by the European Commission, European Investment Fund (EIF) and European Investment Bank (EIB) and it is supposed to enable more lending to SMEs at favorable prices.

As described in one article, “EIF will implement the instrument through securitisation transactions with the aim to stimulate new SME financing. This will be achieved by facilitating the partial transfer of the credit risk of securitised loans by providing guarantees and/or through the purchase of asset-backed notes in order to release regulatory and economic capital for the originating financial institutions which will be then used to originate new financing (in the form of loans, leases and guarantees) to SMEs at advantageous pricing terms.”

Learn more with the article in full here.

Eastern European News

Women Filling Freelance Jobs Across the EU

According to new research from IPSE, a body that represents self-employed people, women are taking over the freelance jobs across the EU. Today, there are 9.6 million independent professionals who work in the EU. This is 1.9 million more than in 2008 and out of this, freelancers account for almost 30% of all self-employed people. They make up a total of 4% of the EU workforce.

As Kelly Gilmour-Grassam, the founder of the copywriting business Making Your Content and IPSE Freelancer of the Year for 2015 said, “As home working becomes increasingly viable and the digital world makes starting a business ever easier, it’s no wonder more women are choosing to become freelancers.”

Should We Stay or Should We Go?

In the discussion about whether or not Britain should stay in the EU, the Confederation of British Industry has joined with the 21 counterparts that are urging Britain to remain in the bloc. This means that there are as many as 2.5 million businesses behind the campaign urging them to stay.

As business chiefs from many countries wrote in an open letter, “European business strongly supports continued British membership of a European Union that takes the necessary reforms to be competitive, outward-looking and continue delivering growth, jobs, peace, security and prosperity for all.” This included opinions from business executives in Ireland, Poland, Finland, Malta and more.

As CBI Director-General Carolyn Fairbairn said, “There is a compelling shared benefit for firms to trade with no barriers inside a market of 500 million people and those crucial economic ties which connect us, creating jobs and investment, cannot be taken for granted. Most CBI members — though not all — want to stay in a reformed EU and we will consult them once again when a final deal is agreed.”