Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | If the coronavirus pandemic is giving Europeans doubts about the EU, it isn’t showing up in support for Euroskeptic parties. Germany‘s ruling Christian Democrats are up from 33 to 35-37 percent in the polls. The far-right Alternative for Germany is at 9-10 percent, down from 13 percent in the last election. There is no chance it will end up in government. In Austria, the conservatives have swapped the far-right Freedom Party for the Greens in the ruling coalition. The Freedom Party is polling at 12-16 percent, far below their peak of 26 percent support in 2017. Mark Rutte is on track to win reelection in the Netherlands. The far-right Forum for Democracy, which narrowly bested Rutte’s liberal party in midterm elections in 2019, has imploded. In France…
Lidia Conde | Over the weekend in Germany, the CDU elected Angela Merkel’s replacement as head of the party. They bet on continuity with the election of the moderate Armin Laschet. For the first time in Germany’s history, the person who occupies the chancellor’s office is leaving voluntarily. And she does so with the respect and recognition of her opponents and successors, both in the CDU and in the government.
Ali Batuhan Barlas (BBVA Research) | Industrial Production (IP) grew by 11% yoy in cal. adj. terms in November, confirming a growth level in the first 2 months of 4Q20 (9%) similar to the strong 3Q20 performance (8.5%). We expect GDP growth to materialize near 5% in 2021, benefiting from a sizable contribution from external demand
European Views | Tensions over agricultural policy have been building steadily since November, when Frans Timmermans, the Vice-President of the EC, and one of the leading figures in the European Green Deal, questioned whether the €258.3 billion (in constant prices) budgeted for the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and €90 billion for the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) were fully compliant with the European Green Deal and EU climate targets as they stood.
After seven years of negotiations, the EU and China announced the trade agreement that will seek to boost new and lucrative opportunities for companies on both sides. The deal is the most ambitious China has ever reached with a third economic bloc in terms of market access, fair competition, and sustainable development, said EU Trade Commissioner Valdis Dombrovskis.
Nick Ottens (Atlantic Sentinel) | I haven’t read the 1,246 pages of the EU-UK trade agreement, so I’m going to rely on trusted sources to make sense of the accord. For example, David Allen Green of the Financial Times argues the trade agreement leaves much unchanged. The Joint Partnership Council, alternating between Brussels and London, will be able to make binding decisions without the involvement of lawmakers. So much for UK “independence”.
Miroslava Sawiris | According to the GLOBSEC Trends 2020 report, across Central and Eastern Europe, 34% believe that COVID-19 is a hoax designed to manipulate populations. With hundreds of deaths around the world occurring as a result of disinformation related to the coronavirus, the pandemic has demonstrated the critical importance of limiting the impact of disinformation on our societies. Yearly profit generated by disinformation websites come to $235 M, estimates the Global Disinformation Index.
After 47 years of membership in the EU and 1,645 days since the British citizens voted their way out, finally early in the afternoon of the 24th, negotiators Michel Barnier and David Frost reported on the agreement on the conditions of exit and their new commercial relationship, which amount to near €900 Bn annually. This last minute deal avoids one of the biggest risks facing the Eurozone in recent years, but it is “vague in many aspects” and “both parties will force specific changes in the future”, say analysts.
Ranko Berich (Monex Europe) | The details of the deal will be digested by markets over the coming weeks, after traders have finished digesting Christmas lunch. Given the lack of fanfare over services provisions, the EU has likely retained the prerogative for equivalence recognition, importantly for financial services. If this is indeed the case this deal is at best a disincentive for investment in financial services in the UK, and at worst hangs a sword of damocles above the City and the wider economy.
David Collins via The Conversation | The terms “Australian-style” or “Canadian-style” Brexit are meant to convey to the British public the kind of trade relationship they can expect with the EU if no preferential free trade agreement (FTA) is concluded between the UK and the EU at the end of the transition period. They are a short-hand way of telling the public that it is perfectly normal not to be a member of the EU or Single Market, because both Australia and Canada manage this and remain functional and amicable trading partners with the EU.