Multinational supermarkets could be driven out of Hungary, a trade lobby said yesterday (29 November), after the government raised their inspection costs and threatened to shut them down if they fail to make a profit for two years.
The French government acquired patents from the private sector to protect their national smartphone producers from emerging markets' products. This has changed the game for the increasingly disputed market, writes Hosuk Lee-Makiyama.
The European Commission has voiced concerns after the French government issued a decree last week giving it the power to veto takeovers in sectors seen as "strategic" for France, including the Alstom deal currently being negotiated with General Electric. EurActiv France reports .
Since global economic ties are so closely meshed and dependent jobs are so numerous, a market intervention in the form of trade barriers would have fatal consequences for the European solar industry, writes Thorsten Preugschas.
Chancellor Angela Merkel says Germany has no interest in starting a trade war with Beijing over solar exports to Europe, but stressed in recent remarks that China must take action to address distortions to fair competition in the sector.
Arnaud Montebourg, the newly-appointed French minister for "industrial revival" who has built a reputation for his fierce attacks against globalisation, has promised to revive old plans by Nicolas Sarkzoy for a carbon tariff at the EU's borders, an idea previously rejected as protectionist among France's European partners.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy , the champion of European integration during his country's EU presidency in 2008, has appeared to turn a cold shoulder to Europe in campaign stump speeches laced with nationalism as he heads towards a first-round election in April.
As of 1 July, Bulgarians and Romanians as well as foreigners from outside the EU will only be granted a work permit in the Netherlands under "exceptional cases," the Dutch press reported on Tuesday (12 April).
After two days of tense talks, G20 leaders papered over their differences and ironed out a vague compromise on currency devaluation and trade imbalances, two thorny issues that have rocked diplomatic relations in the past weeks.
Multilateral liberalisation would be more effective in reducing trade discrimination than preferential free trade agreements, write Jagdish Bhagwati, professor of economics and law at Columbia University and senior fellow in international economics at the Council on Foreign Relations and Arvind Panagariya, professor of economics and Indian political economy at Columbia University.
Hungary will amend legislation to give the state the right to intervene in land sales and will seek to extend a ban on land purchases by foreign investors until 2014, its agriculture minister said. The country's accession treaty opens the land market to foreigners in 2011.
Brussels-based ICT federations are in the middle of a public procurement battle with China as the country is pursuing a "protectionist" new law favouring home-grown technology over foreign innovation, according to industry insiders.
Slovakia's parliament approved on 5 November a widely-criticised law which protects so-called strategic companies from bankruptcy by giving the government the option to buy, restructure and find new investors for a firm.
Recent moves by the Chinese government in a protectionist direction are worrying and have uncertain consequences, writes Stanley Crossick, founding chair of the European Policy Centre, in a recent post on Blogactiv.
Anna Diamantopoulou, a former EU social affairs commissioner, has warned EU leaders against protectionist rhetoric ahead of an EU summit on 1 March that is due to address the worsening economic recession. She spoke to EurActiv in an interview.
Greek member of Parliament and former Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou, told EurActiv in an interview that Europe should fight protectionism, which she sees as a ‘boomerang’ that hits back countries trying to restrict competition and free trade.
Prime Minister François Fillon rejected accusations of protectionism regarding a 6bn euro loan for French carmakers, telling the European Commission that a clause requiring manufacturers to maintain production sites in France did not constitute unfair discrimination against other EU member states.
Czech Prime Minister and current EU president Mirek Topolánek warned that if the bloc's large countries like France and Germany behave in a protectionist manner, the result could be similar to the 1929 crash that preceded the Great Depression.
A plan announced by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to provide 6.5 billion euro in aid to French carmakers is causing uproar among EU leaders, with the Czech Republic, the EU's current chair, calling an emergency summit over the matter. The European Commission said it would look closely at the proposals.
As MEPs, the Council and the European Commission gear up for a debate in Strasbourg this afternoon (4 February) on the impact of the economic crisis on the car industry, accusations of state aid look set to fly. EurActiv's media network in Western and Central Europe takes a look at the situation in some key countries.
Despite the parallels often drawn between the Great Depression and the current financial crisis, today's WTO commitments guarantee that protectionist reactions are very unlikely to reach the scale that caused the collapse of international trade in the 1930s, argues Katinka Barysch, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform (CER).
The EU is seeking a common approach to tackle concerns over Sovereign Wealth Funds in Europe. The rise of these state-owned funds has caused disquiet in some member states, such as France and Germany, which have already put rules in place.
The European Commission has released its political programme for the coming year, with a core focus on issues such as growth and jobs, climate change, energy and migration – confirming its desire to move on from matters of institutional reform.