Job Alert – Collisions, Coalitions and finally a Deal

What a roller coaster ride these past weeks have been: to the astonishment and relief of both EU and UK negotiators, a Brexit deal has been struck at last – although not without serious turmoil. Most interestingly, some of the very ministers who had just backed the agreement as members of Theresa May’s cabinet, stepped down just hours later – including Brexit secretary Dominic Raab. And just when you thought the British side had solved most problems, EU member states got up: Spain voiced a last-minute threat to veto the deal over agreements concerning Gibraltar.  Even this obstacle could be overcome, and the EU 27 endorsed an agreement that sets out how and that Britain will leave the EU – “a moment of deep sadness” as Commission President Juncker emphasized. But wait and see: the deal still needs to be approved by the divided British parliament, where May just barely survived the crisis over her ministers without a confidence vote, and where harsh criticism is voiced over her concessions.

Whilst the Brexit chaos thus continues, Italy stands by its budget proposal, with the interesting argument that the generous spending plan is needed to solve European rather than Italian problems. The Commission is not amused: it again rejected the budget proposal, and this will now lead to the opening of a so-called excessive budget deficit procedure that could well lead to heavy sanctions. Whether this is a real threat remains to be seen: Italy is not the first country to go through this – France, Spain, Portugal, and others so far got off the hook with symbolic measures. 

Also on a collision course with the European Commission are the companies Alstom and Siemens, attempting to form, what they call, a European champion in the rail industry to fend off Chinese competition – never mind the market dominance likely to emerge within European markets. That is of no concern to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emanuel Macron who fully support the deal, but the last word is with the competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager who has just issued such a long list of objections, deeming the deal incompatible with the European internal market, that it is unlikely to happen.

Coalition instead of collision is the motto of Emmanuel Macron’s „En Marche“ movement. At the European liberal party group’s annual summit in Madrid, the group formally expressed the willingness to join the liberal party group coalition – to the joy of ALDE members, who are hoping for strong results in the European Parliament elections. Talking about elections: one Leave-voting Tory member of the British parliament just rejected the fresh Brexit agreement, because it finally occurred to her that Britain will not have any Members of the European Parliament nor a Commissioner anymore.

If such ignorance does not tire you of explaining the EU, a job in the field might be up your alley. Find attached some jobs and as usual more on

Irina Michalowitz

Featured Job

365 Sherpas seeks Associate for Corporate Affairs & Policy Advice (m/f/x)
Brussels | Apply by: ongoing | Start: instantly | Full Time

365 Sherpas is a political strategy consulting company providing services to corporate clients, associations and institutions. They develop communication strategies with their clients that enable them to anticipate developments, position themselves accordingly and communicate relevant key messages to political decision-makers and the general public. They have an immediate opening for an Associate for Corporate Affairs & Policy Advice (m/f/x) based at the new office they are setting up in Brussels. ➡️ See full job ad

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26. November 2018