European Council, Brussels, 28-29 October
Ralitsa Kovacheva, Adelina Marini, October 28, 2010
While the enclosures around the European Council building in Brussels are still not stretched, the tension before the Council is already palpable. Quite indicative is the fact that yet at 10 a.m. journalists have taken their places, although the European leaders will begin arriving after 4 p.m. The first official news of the talks we will learn from the press conference of the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek in late afternoon.
Probably the hottest disputes among the leaders will begin during the official dinner. The bone of contention is the Franco-German proposal for changes in the Lisbon Treaty that would allow the creation of a permanent crisis resolution mechanism for the eurozone and on the countries that violate the Stability and Growth Pact, political sanctions to be imposed (suspension of voting rights). At this stage it is expected both countries have hard times to gain widespread support among the other 25, moreover given the opposition of the European Commission against Treaty changes.
Perhaps at this stage, the leaders will come forward with some principle decision that would leave the door open for possible changes, but will not decide on the issue on this Council. They are expected to endorse the report of the Task Force, led by the President of the Council Herman van Rompuy for the economic governance of the EU.
Additional emotions will bring British Prime Minister David Cameron, who is expected to criticise the EU budget increase, given the drastic cuts member states are compelled to do. Which of our expectations will be justified we will see tomorrow afternoon, after the Council. The team of euinside will follow the work of the Council and will inform you about the developments. As a beginning you could see how Brussels looks like awaiting for EU leaders.