Yes, rejuvenated after lying on the beach sipping cocktails for a month with Mrs Erasmus, I’m back to walk the corridors of European power.
What has been going on in Brussels during my absence? Anything much?
Belgium hasn’t got its own government but still holds the presidency of the EU, attempts to bring in some sort of regulation in the financial sector look to have been successful and France has begun expelling groups of Roma people back to Hungary and Romania. Meanwhile, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso is going all American and making the first European “State of the Union” address next week.
Join me from Monday for more daily news from Brussels.
EU Court of Justice: Are they still awake?
Four countries – Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Greece – are being taken to the European Court of Justice for not introducing European law.
Belgium hasn’t introduced the law on what to do with old vehicles, Luxembourg has not brought in clean drinking water legislation, Germany has not made rules on the access and use of certain environmental data and Greece hasn’t brought in Euro-legislation on landfill.
Meanwhile Portugal has been given two months to make sure that two significant building developments in a protected coastal area which have been planning permission do not break environment rules. Otherwise it too could be taken to court.
And all but seven countries – including the UK – have been warned they haven’t brought in European legislation aimed at liberalising the gas and electricity market.
And if they don’t – yes, you’ve guessed it, they will be taken to court.
Behind all the smiles at governmental level, Brussels is increasingly using its power to crack down on countries that break the rules.
See you in court.