NewsAdvocacy Lab Content
Economy 12-06-2024

No time for stagnation, Europe needs capital investment now, says Invest Europe

Est. 6min

Scalability for Europe’s innovators requires private capital - climate change and digitalisation demand that capital quickly. Europe needs more and better investment in key sectors to drive Europe’s place in the world, says Invest Europe.

Economy 05-06-2024

Eurozone finance ministers back G7 push on Russian frozen assets, but legal questions remain

Est. 5min

Eurozone finance ministers gave their political backing on Wednesday (5 May) to a G7 plan to provide loans to Ukraine by using windfall profits generated from Russian assets, which they are ready to discuss after a G7 leaders' summit later in June.

Europe's East 23-05-2024

Yellen urges ‘more ambitious’ G7 plans for Russian assets

Est. 5min

Stresa, Italy, May 23, 2024 (AFP) - US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen on Thursday urged G7 ministers meeting in Italy to work on "more ambitious options" to use frozen Russian assets to help Ukraine.

The ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven world powers are meeting in Stresa, on the shores of northern Italy's Lake Maggiore, to prepare for a summit of G7 heads of state next month in Puglia.

Top of the agenda is a plan to finance crucial aid to Ukraine using the interest generated by the 300 billion euros ($325 billion) of Russian central bank assets frozen by the G7 and Europe.

The European Union took a first step in agreeing a deal this month to seize revenues from frozen Russian assets to arm Ukraine, a windfall that will reach 2.5 to three billion euros ($2.7-$3.3 billion) a year.

In a press conference before the meeting, Yellen welcomed this plan but added: "We must also continue our collective work on more ambitious options, considering all relevant risks and acting together."

She said she wanted "concrete options" to present to G7 leaders, adding: "Failure to take additional action is not an option -- not for Ukraine's future and not for the stability of our own economies and the security of our peoples."

The United States has proposed granting Ukraine, which has been fighting a Russian invasion for more than two years, up to $50 billion in loans secured by this interest.

The details of the US plan have not yet been finalised, including who would issue the debt -- the US alone or G7 countries as a whole.

But it will serve as a basis for G7 discussions, according to a Treasury source in Italy, which as G7 president this year is hosting the Stresa talks.

The US proposal is an "interesting way forward" but "any decision must have a solid legal basis", the source said.

Time is of the essence, as the slow speed of European material reaching Kyiv and the near-halt in US aid for months during wrangling in Washington have strained Ukraine's capabilities just as Russia has regained the initiative on the ground.

In addition to the United States and Italy, the G7 includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

- Legal issues -

Yellen had initially advocated a more radical solution -- the confiscation of the Russian assets themselves.

But European countries worried about creating a precedent in international law and the risk of serious legal disputes with Moscow.

Stresa host Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italy's economy minister, has made no secret of the complexity of the issue.

He said Rome would be an "honest mediator" in discussions but said the task was "very delicate".

In April, Moscow sent a thinly veiled warning to Italy in its capacity as G7 chair, taking "temporary" control of the Russian subsidiary of the Italian heating equipment group Ariston in retaliation for what it called "hostile actions" by Washington and its allies.

Experts warn that any further G7 action against Russia could lead to similar reprisals hitting other European companies still operating in the country.

John Kirton, director of the University of Toronto's G7 Research Group, said that tapping just the interest on Russian assets "would considerably reduce the legal problems".

"Legally, it would not be confiscating the 'assets'," he told AFP.

France on Wednesday welcomed the US plan, saying it was hoping the G7 finance ministers would reach a deal this week.

"The Americans have made proposals that fall within the framework of international law, and we are going to work on them openly and constructively," Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said.

- China overproduction -

Yellen said the Stresa meeting would consider "additional action" against Moscow for its war in Ukraine, including to restrict its access to critical goods that support its military.

She also said the G7 ministers would discuss responses to what she called China's "overcapacity" of key green technologies such as electric vehicles, batteries and solar panels.

The US is concerned that Chinese government support is leading to more production capacity than global markets can absorb, driving cheap exports and stifling growth elsewhere.

"Overcapacity threatens the viability of firms around the world, including in emerging markets," she said.

She added: "It's critical that we and the growing numbers of countries who have identified this as a concern present a clear and united front."

Economy 08-05-2024

EIB greenlights historic overhaul of dual-use policy, ramps up defence investment

Est. 3min

The EU’s multi-billion lending arm announced on Wednesday (8 May) changes to its long-standing policy not to invest in military products, by waiving restrictions on dual-use investments.

Europe's East 08-05-2024

EU paves way for using windfall profits from Russian frozen assets to arm Ukraine

Est. 3min

EU ambassadors struck a political deal on Wednesday (8 May) on using windfall profits from Russian frozen assets to buy weapons for Ukraine.

Economy 18-04-2024

Capital Markets Union best route to rival US IRA, Michel says as Letta outlines sweeping financial sector plan

Est. 5min

“I am absolutely convinced for my part that the Capital Markets Union is the best European IRA that we can develop, since it is trillions of euros of resources that can be mobilised, which are not [mobilised] today, to stimulate, support, to develop innovation, to invest."

Technology 17-04-2024

Letta to recommend creation of EU Deep Tech Stock Exchange

Est. 3min

Europe's stock market are plagued by problems that prevent deep tech startups from getting the funding they need, Letta wrote.

Economy 17-04-2024

Letta: ESMA should supervise largest market players

Est. 4min

The EU’s markets watchdog should start taking on the supervision of the bloc's largest financial sector firms and oversee the creation of a pan-European IPO venue for small and medium businesses, Enrico Letta will tell EU leaders

Economy 15-04-2024

Bulgarian commissioner: To adequately finance R&D, the EU needs private capital

Est. 6min

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth shared with Euractiv in an interview her views on how to fill the gap in financing of science and innovation in the member states which stands at €100 billion per year.

Economy 21-03-2024

EU leaders to discuss more joint borrowing to fund bloc’s military-industrial complex

Est. 5min

EU leaders are looking at a serious debate on Thursday (21 March) about how to fund the ramp-up of the bloc’s defence industry to answer Ukraine's needs and match the Europeans’ ambition to become an independent security player.

Economy 19-03-2024

EIB ready to ‘stretch’ lending criteria as it prepares for EU Council’s call to arms

Est. 7min

The European Investment Bank (EIB) could move one step closer to loosening its lending criteria to unlock more direct investment into defence as soon as Thursday (21 March), when it expects to get the final signal it needs from the European Union's 27 member states, Euractiv understands.

Economy 08-03-2024

Eurogroup to urge EU to ease ‘regulatory burden’ on financial sector through CMU revival

Est. 5min

A draft Eurogroup statement, obtained by Euractiv, outlines multiple “imperative and urgent” reforms that ministers want to be “taken forward” by the next European Commission

Economy 29-02-2024

US money propping up France’s investment allure, but will it last?

Est. 5min

The number of confirmed foreign investments projects in France is on the up for the third year in a row, according to new government data released on Thursday (29 February) – almost a third of which comes from the US, despite growing concerns over labour costs and administrative complexity.

Defence main topic on table at EIB annual forum

Est. 5min

Defence was on everyone’s lips at the European Investment Bank’s (EIB) annual forum on Wednesday and Thursday (7-8 February), as member states call for a ramp up in defence and military spending, and EU’s Charles Michel wants a “real Defence Union”.

Economy 07-02-2024

Fast money: European Parliament greenlights ‘instant payment’ law

Est. 5min

The European Parliament has formally approved legislation that will force banks and other payment service providers to offer EU citizens and businesses the option of performing virtually instantaneous credit transfers.

Europe's East 30-01-2024

EU backs setting aside frozen Russian assets profits for Ukraine

Est. 3min

EU member states on Monday (29 January) agreed unanimously to a plan to set aside billions of euros of windfall profits from Russian central bank assets frozen in Europe, in a first step of a plan towards their possible use for Ukraine’s future reconstruction. 

Economy 27-01-2024

‘Very damaging’: ECB policy fuels fears for German economy

Est. 5min

The European Central Bank’s (ECB) decision to maintain interest rates at their record high levels on Thursday (26 January) has raised fears about its impact on Germany, as it shows increasing signs of weakness amid a manufacturing slump and declining business confidence.

EU Investment Fund launches €175 million risk investment programmes in defence start-ups, SMEs

Est. 4min

The European Investment Fund (EIF) launches €175 million fund named Defence Equity Facility to boost defence innovation around the bloc, it announced on Friday (12 January).

Europe's East 10-01-2024

Hungary might lift its Ukraine aid package veto, but with strings attached

Est. 4min

EU member states agreed on Wednesday (10 January) on a partial negotiation mandate to start talks with the European Parliament on a €50 billion aid package for Ukraine, but the threat of Hungary raising obstacles along the way has not faded.

Economy 07-12-2023

One week before EU summit, member states still sceptical on budget review

Est. 5min

The latest compromise proposal on the EU’s seven-year budget review, which comes with large cuts and re-purposing of funds, has so far failed to convince member states, with time running out one week before a decisive EU summit.

Economy 17-11-2023

To host AMLA, Rome needs to do more than just tackling financial crime

Est. 5min

Italy has a strong case to be awarded the European Anti-Money Laundering Authority (AMLA), but it will have to do more than tackle  financial crime to convince its European peers, writes Maria Nizzero. Maria Nizzero is a research fellow at the …

Economy 14-11-2023

As EU struggles to finance green investments, French businesses bet on capital markets union

Est. 5min

Relaxing state aid rules is a step forward in unlocking new green financing, but “we must move quickly” on the capital markets union (CMU) to reach private investors' money, French business association Medef’s chief Patrick Martin said on Monday (13 November).

Economy 02-11-2023

Finance Watch warns: Economic models underestimate climate risks

Est. 4min

The economic models used to calculate the risks of climate change to economic growth and financial stability are "disconnected" from climate science and perpetuate an inaction bias in policymakers, a new report by the financial policy NGO Finance Watch warned.

Banking union 20-10-2023

Europe’s microstates must clean up their banking sectors

Est. 5min

Unresolved banking scandals threaten to derail closer cooperation with Europe's microstates, writes Martin Kreutner.