Optimism about reinforcement of democracy, transparency and efficiency

1. How does the future of the EU after the Irish ‘No’ look like?


The Lux­em­bourg gov­ern­ment is sat­is­fied with the fact that the Lis­bon Treaty is a qua­si ‘copy and paste’ of the essen­tials of the for­mer Con­sti­tu­tion­al Treaty it strong­ly sup­port­ed, and which the Lux­em­bourg peo­ple vot­ed for in the ref­er­en­dum of 10 July 2005. Hence the Lis­bon Treaty will con­tribute, accord­ing to the gov­ern­ment, to rein­forc­ing democ­ra­cy, trans­paren­cy and effi­cien­cy in the func­tion­ing of EU insti­tu­tions. The gov­ern­ment regrets that cer­tain Euro­pean sym­bols (like the Euro­pean flag) have dis­ap­peared from the new text and that cer­tain excep­tions, like the one allow­ing the Unit­ed King­dom to main­tain cer­tain opt-out pos­si­bil­i­ties, the non-appli­ca­tion of the Char­ter of Fun­da­men­tal Rights of the Euro­pean Union and the non-coop­er­a­tion in the domain of pol­i­tics, jus­tice and inter­nal affairs have made their entry in the Lis­bon Treaty.[1]

The Lux­em­bourg gov­ern­ment strong­ly sup­ports the appli­ca­tion of the tra­di­tion­al ‘com­mu­ni­ty method’ and the main­tain­ing of the insti­tu­tion­al equi­lib­ri­um. The Lux­em­bourg par­lia­ment may have rat­i­fied the Lis­bon Treaty on 29 May 2008, but the Lux­em­bourg gov­ern­ment has to acknowl­edge the neg­a­tive result of the Irish ref­er­en­dum on the treaty of 12 June. Any­way, the Lux­em­bourg gov­ern­ment is con­vinced that the Lis­bon Treaty remains the basis for the future devel­op­ment of the EU in the sense that the process of rat­i­fi­ca­tion has to be imple­ment­ed in all the mem­ber states which still have to ful­fil their rat­i­fi­ca­tion oblig­a­tions. The gov­ern­ment is pre­pared to give Ire­land enough time to find a solu­tion to the prob­lem. In a dec­la­ra­tion in the Lux­em­bourg par­lia­ment, Jean Assel­born, Luxembourg’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Affairs, recog­nised on 18 Novem­ber 2008, that there were some fears among the Irish vot­ers which may have con­tributed to the neg­a­tive vote and “which are total­ly unjus­ti­fied or sim­ply false”[2]. These fears are: the fear of los­ing mil­i­tary neu­tral­i­ty, the sov­er­eign­ty in fis­cal ques­tions, the fear of being oblig­ed to aban­don the inter­dic­tion of abor­tion, the fear of being incor­po­rat­ed in a ‘Euro­pean army’, but also the con­cern to lose an Irish Com­mis­sion­er. Assel­born point­ed out that, on the oth­er hand, recent stud­ies and sur­veys have proved the con­sis­tent pro-Euro­pean mood of the Irish people.

The posi­tion of the gov­ern­ment in these mat­ters was not crit­i­cized by the oppo­si­tion par­ties in the Lux­em­bourg parliament.

The upcoming European Parliament elections in June 2009

As the num­ber of the Lux­em­burg deputies in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment (six MEP since 1989) does not dif­fer nei­ther from the Lis­bon nor from the Nice Treaty, there is no dis­cus­sion what­so­ev­er on this point.

Ever since 1989 when the first direct elec­tions of Euro­pean Par­lia­ment were held, nation­al elec­tions have been sched­uled on the same day in Lux­em­bourg in order to save mon­ey. Tra­di­tion­al­ly, all polit­i­cal par­ties put their front run­ners and most pop­u­lar polit­i­cal fig­ures on their Euro­pean list. Of course, the more pop­u­lar politi­cians were can­di­dates on their party’s local constituency’s lists for the nation­al elec­tions on the same day. The Lux­em­bourg elec­tion sys­tem allows the vot­ers to express their pref­er­ence votes on one list or split their votes among the mem­bers of the lists of dif­fer­ent polit­i­cal par­ties. The Euro­pean elec­tions in Lux­em­bourg looked like a fake beau­ty con­test, since the front run­ners like Jean-Claude Junck­er, nev­er thought for even one sec­ond about going to sit in the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment. The elect­ed polit­i­cal lead­ers left their new­ly won seats to the back­benchers or retired nation­al politi­cians who took their place after the nation­al polit­i­cal stars had with­drawn to become min­is­ters. This ‘com­e­dy’ has left many vot­ers frus­trat­ed. Only the defeat­ed par­ty in the nation­al elec­tions would send a polit­i­cal star to the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment when he or she lost the seat in the gov­ern­ment since his or her par­ty would be exclud­ed from the rul­ing coalition.

As promised in the 2005 ref­er­en­dum cam­paign on the Treaty estab­lish­ing a Con­sti­tu­tion for Europe, the main polit­i­cal par­ties have decid­ed to exclude dou­ble can­di­da­cies for the 2009 upcom­ing elec­tions. In this way, the out­come of the Euro­pean elec­tions should be some­what more unpre­dictable than in the pre­vi­ous elections.

The formation of the new Commission in autumn 2009

Most Lux­em­bourg polit­i­cal lead­ers see the for­ma­tion of the new Com­mis­sion in autumn 2009 with mixed feel­ings. A strong Com­mis­sion is essen­tial in their eyes. The Lux­em­bourg posi­tion on the Euro­pean Coun­cil of Decem­ber 2008 was coor­di­nat­ed togeth­er with its Benelux part­ners before­hand. Await­ing a French Pres­i­den­cy propo­si­tion, the three found­ing mem­bers of the Euro­pean Com­mu­ni­ty agreed upon a most sound­ing appeal “to main­tain the equi­lib­ri­um between the EU insti­tu­tions”, said Asselborn.[3] Assel­born under­lined, in accor­dance with his Benelux col­leagues, that the Lis­bon Treaty must not be altered: in the treaty, the “Com­mis­sion was giv­en impor­tant responsibilities”[4]. In the tra­di­tion of its found­ing father, Jean Mon­net, Assel­born stress­es that all mem­bers of the Com­mis­sion have to be “inde­pen­dent and must defend the inter­ests of all mem­ber states regard­less of their size and importance”[5].

In order to “relaunch the Lis­bon Process”, the French Pres­i­dent Sarkozy offered the Irish gov­ern­ment a Com­mis­sion­er in return for a pos­i­tive ref­er­en­dum. If the Irish ref­er­en­dum turns neg­a­tive again, the Nice Treaty will remain in place. The Taoiseach, Bri­an Cowen, con­sid­ers this to be a strong sig­nal for his fel­low cit­i­zens. Jean-Claude Junck­er believes that the Irish fears should be tak­en into account by this agreement.[6]

The Benelux coun­tries had doubts over this issue. Jean Assel­born repeat­ed his and his colleague’s well-known posi­tion after the break-through bro­kered by the French Pres­i­dent: The prin­ci­ple of hav­ing one Com­mis­sion­er per mem­ber state would have con­se­quences in the future because it would then be very com­plex to ensure the smooth func­tion­ing of the Com­mis­sion. But any­way, even for Assel­born, “it is most impor­tant that Ire­land should approve the Lis­bon Treaty”.[7] Luxembourg’s Com­mu­nist news­pa­per edi­to­ri­al­ist is iron­i­cal about the offer made: “The Irish are oblig­ed to con­sid­er a sec­ond vote […] . An Irish Com­mis­sion­er in Brus­sels is no great asset for the Irish people”[8]. But Assel­born insists that the Com­mis­sion is com­posed of dis­tin­guished mem­bers whose man­date is not to rep­re­sent their own coun­tries, but the “com­mu­ni­ty as a whole” and to be the “guardians of the treaties”. The prin­ci­ple must be giv­en up to sat­is­fy Ireland’s demands, but this will end up harm­ing the medi­um-sized and small­er mem­ber states.[9] The big­ger nations will find ways to push through their gen­uine nation­al inter­ests. Luxembourg’s Euro­pean com­mis­sion­er Viviane Red­ing has a dif­fer­ent point of view from the offi­cial one put for­ward by the Lux­em­bourg gov­ern­ment: “I don’t agree with Jean-Claude (Junck­er) for once. Every coun­try, espe­cial­ly a small coun­try like Lux­em­bourg, should have a com­mis­sion­er of its own. Larg­er coun­tries do have enough means to push through their inter­ests even with­out a com­mis­sion­er of their own where­as small coun­tries risk to be cut of from the back­ground infor­ma­tion and the deci­sion-mak­ing process on the Euro­pean lev­el if they are exclud­ed — even tem­po­rary — from the Euro­pean commission’s col­lege .[…] A large com­mis­sion must not be inef­fec­tive one. There is enough work to be done: dif­fer­ent com­mis­sion­ers may for exam­ple work togeth­er in clus­ters and can do a bet­ter job than they do now. […] The Com­mis­sion will not be down­grad­ed if it has one com­mis­sion­er per mem­ber state.”[10] Viviane Red­ing, who is a can­di­date on the Chris­t­ian demo­c­rat list for the Euro­pean par­lia­ment elec­tions in June 2009, knows that she is well in phase with a large part of the Lux­em­bourg pub­lic opin­ion. ADR[11] MP Jacques-Yves Henck­es express­es the same opin­ion in a par­lia­men­tary debate on Euro­pean and inter­na­tion­al policy.[12]

Prime Min­is­ter Junck­er can not live with a Com­mis­sion reduced to a mere sec­re­tari­at of the rotat­ing pres­i­den­cy. In Juncker’s eyes, “down­grad­ing the role the Com­mis­sion means weak­en­ing the EU as a whole”[13].

The appointment of the High Representative

The appoint­ment of the High Rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the Com­mon For­eign and Secu­ri­ty Pol­i­cy does not play any role in the Lux­em­bourg polit­i­cal dis­cus­sion since no Lux­em­bourg politi­cian is involved. Before the neg­a­tive out­come of the Irish ref­er­en­dum, Luxembourg’s Prime Min­is­ter Jean-Claude Junck­er often appeared among the hap­py few to be eli­gi­ble for the post as Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Coun­cil and to be nom­i­nat­ed after the imple­men­ta­tion of the Lis­bon Treaty. Ger­many and oth­er mem­ber states looked favourably on can­di­dates such as Jean-Claude Junck­er, but more pol­i­cy mak­ers now feel that the EU-pres­i­den­cy demands an occu­pant from a much big­ger mem­ber state.[14] Junck­er declared on TV that he will be Luxembourg’s next Prime Min­is­ter after June 2009, if the Lux­em­bourg vot­ers will not send his Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party[15] in the opposition.[16]

2. Transatlantic relations renewed after President Bush: top priorities


Transatlantic relations put to the test by economic crisis, Afghanistan and Middle East

“The hero” (“d’Lëtzebuerger Land”), Pres­i­dent Barak Oba­ma is everybody’s dar­ling on the Lux­em­bourg polit­i­cal stage: the Christian-Democrats,[17] Socialists,[18] Liberals[19] and the Greens[20] hail his elec­tion; even the Pop­ulists admire his capac­i­ty to bring about change. The edi­to­ri­al­ist of a left-of-cen­tre news­pa­per, ”d’Lëtzebuerger Land” com­pares Obama’s elec­tion in 2008 to the 1981 elec­tion of François Mit­ter­rand “whose Key­ne­sian expe­ri­ences are already history.”[21]

For­eign Min­is­ter Jean Asselborn’s reac­tion to Obama’s elec­tion, and the future of transat­lantic rela­tions, are three-fold: first may be men­tioned an opti­mistic view on a real change in Amer­i­can soci­ety, com­bined with the hope that the elec­tion of an African Amer­i­can may well announce that minori­ties have at last gained the influ­ence they deserve in the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca. Sec­ond­ly, transat­lantic rela­tions have to be seen with­in the frame­work of real­ism: the finan­cial and eco­nom­ic cri­sis will deter­mine the activ­i­ty of the new pres­i­dent. For­eign Affairs Min­is­ter Assel­born, con­sid­ers that an evo­lu­tion of the transat­lantic rela­tions on a mul­ti­lat­er­al basis to be “extreme­ly important”.[22] The third impli­ca­tion of Obama’s elec­tion must be, in the eyes of Assel­born that “(the US pol­i­cy con­cern­ing) NATO can­not be an alter­na­tive to (US administration’s posi­tions tak­en with­in the frame­work of ) UNO”[23].

Many com­men­ta­tors, although they wel­come Obama’s elec­tion, nev­er­the­less fore­see trou­ble ris­ing in transat­lantic rela­tions. They are linked to the elect­ed president’s com­mit­ment to rein­force NATO‘s mil­i­tary pres­ence in Afghanistan.[24] Euro­peans will have straight talks with the new Amer­i­can Pres­i­dent on these mat­ters, as they can­not ignore the ris­ing annoy­ance among the pub­lic opin­ion with the last­ing pres­ence of NATO troops on the Hin­du Kush.[25]

Con­cern­ing the most recent Mid­dle East cri­sis, the ‘hyper­ac­tive’ French EU-Pres­i­den­cy, the Ger­man For­eign Affairs Min­is­ter or the new Czech EU-Pres­i­den­cy, have tried in vain to bro­ker a deal in the bloody Israeli-Pales­tin­ian con­flict. Again, the lack of Euro­pean influ­ence in this region has seemed to be obvi­ous. The per­sist­ing silence of the new­ly-elect­ed pres­i­dent con­cern­ing the Israeli attack on the Hamas fight­ers in the Gaza Strip end­ed as soon as inau­gu­ra­tion day had passed. Barack Oba­ma will have no time to lose before mak­ing accept­able propo­si­tions to both sides.

3. Financial crisis and challenges of global governance: the EU response


Common actions within the EU needed but no economic government

A Euro­pean response to the finan­cial cri­sis and chal­lenges of glob­al gov­er­nance makes sense to all polit­i­cal­ly and eco­nom­i­cal­ly rel­e­vant actors in Lux­em­bourg. As a very small coun­try, whose econ­o­my is almost total­ly depen­dent on for­eign trade rela­tions and whose present pros­per­i­ty is large­ly trib­u­tary to its finan­cial ser­vices exports, Lux­em­bourg is pri­mar­i­ly hit by the finan­cial cri­sis. But not for even one sec­ond can the Lux­em­bourg gov­ern­ment and par­lia­ment imag­ine react­ing on their own behalf to the cri­sis. They can only act in coop­er­a­tion with Luxembourg’s neigh­bours, with­in the Euro group, or in all EU coor­di­nat­ed actions. As Luxembourg’s Prime Min­is­ter and Min­is­ter of Finance, Jean-Claude Junck­er is the cur­rent Pres­i­dent of the Eurogroup, Luxembourg’s voice in this mat­ter is most audi­ble through the dec­la­ra­tions of its Prime Minister.

As Pres­i­dent of the Euro­zone and as Luxembourg’s Min­is­ter of Finance, Jean-Claude Junck­er wants a strong polit­i­cal mes­sage to be sent which should take in to account a glob­al approach. The answer has to be decid­ed on with­in a short term and must be lim­it­ed in time. These mea­sures must work with­in the frame­work of the Sta­bil­i­ty and Growth Pact decid­ed dur­ing the Lux­em­bourg Pres­i­den­cy in 2005.[26] But Junck­er is well aware that “the new year is bring­ing seri­ous tests to the eco­nom­ic frame­work of the Euro­pean Union and the Euro­pean cur­ren­cy zone”.[27] Accord­ing to Juncker’s per­son­al pre­dic­tions, pos­i­tive growth will be seen again in 2011 only.[28]

The French Pres­i­dent, Nico­las Sarkozy, who was hold­ing the EU-Pres­i­den­cy in the sec­ond half of 2008, pushed for­ward the propo­si­tion of an ‘eco­nom­ic gov­ern­ment’ for the Euro­zone: reg­u­lar meet­ings of heads of state and gov­ern­ment of the mem­ber states of the Euro­zone – sim­i­lar to those that had been host­ed by the French Pres­i­dent under the extra­or­di­nary cir­cum­stances of the finan­cial cri­sis and that has pushed Europe’s bank­ing sec­tor to the verge of total col­lapse. In the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment, Sarkozy declared that this new forum could serve as a form of Euro­zone ‘eco­nom­ic gov­ern­ment’. Luxembourg’s Min­is­ter of Finance, Junck­er, was not amused and declared that this idea was not new and that Sarkozy had argued in favour of it “on a num­ber of occa­sions before” and “most mem­bers did not agree with that idea” of an eco­nom­ic government.[29] Juncker’s stand is sup­port­ed not only by the Ger­man cab­i­net mem­bers, but also by the Czech gov­ern­ment hold­ing the EU-Pres­i­den­cy in the first half of 2009, which feels offend­ed because of the fact that the Czech Repub­lic is not a mem­ber of the Eurogroup.[30]

Junck­er made sev­er­al propo­si­tions with­in the frame­work of the Euro­pean sta­bil­i­ty pact amend­ed and reformed under the Lux­em­bourg Coun­cil Pres­i­den­cy in 2005. This pact pro­vides for flex­i­ble reg­u­la­tions for eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tions like the one “we are unfor­tu­nate­ly in right now”.[31] Increas­ing deficits will be allowed tem­porar­i­ly. After an eco­nom­ic recov­ery it is essen­tial, accord­ing to Junck­er, to return to the strict course of bud­get con­sol­i­da­tion. Coun­tries now tak­ing exag­ger­at­ed aus­ter­i­ty mea­sures in order to ful­fil some of the sta­bil­i­ty pact cri­te­ria would run the risk of suf­fo­cat­ing their economies. Junck­er argues that bud­get mea­sures tak­en beyond the three per­cent deficit lim­it should be strict­ly con­fined to the area of pub­lic invest­ment and spe­cif­ic tax cuts, where they seem to be appro­pri­ate: e.g. fur­ther spend­ing on research and devel­op­ment. “At the end of the day we will see that the sta­bil­i­ty pact has rea­son­ably adapt­ed to the situation”[32].

Junck­er called for EU trea­sury to bol­ster up the Euro­zone. He could imag­ine the cre­ation of a Euro­pean agency able to emit ‘Euro-bonds’. Of course Junck­er knows very well that Ger­many would lose today’s advan­tages under such an arrange­ment because it enjoys a high­er lev­el of con­fi­dence than that of oth­er mem­ber states in the Euro­zone. But in Juncker’s view, this would not be the case after two or three years[33].

Evaluation of EU’s performance in the financial crisis so far

The role of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion in the present finan­cial cri­sis was crit­i­cised in Lux­em­bourg, with the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion react­ing too slow and timid. The 200-bil­lion Euro pack­age pro­posed by the Pres­i­dent of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion José Manuel Bar­roso to relaunch the Euro­pean econ­o­my was not accept­ed by every­body. Junck­er called it a guideline.[34] Not every mem­ber state can real­ly spend 1.5 per­cent of its Gross Domes­tic Prod­uct. Some will spend less. For Luxembourg’s Com­mu­nist news­pa­per “Zeitung vum Lëtze­buerg­er Vollek”, those 200 bil­lion Euros are mere­ly tax­pay­ers’ gifts to the big Euro­pean corporations.[35] Even the inde­pen­dent news­pa­per “Quo­ti­di­en” reflects a far-spread opin­ion: “The Bar­roso relaunch plan is not ambi­tious enough”, where­as the Lux­em­bourg-based Euro­pean Invest­ment Bank’s idea of a 31 bil­lions loan on a two-years basis for 2009 and 2010 finds strong support.[36]

Shifts in the international power constellation expected?

The shifts in the inter­na­tion­al pow­er con­stel­la­tion caused by finan­cial and eco­nom­ic crises are dif­fi­cult to pre­dict. They may have seri­ous con­se­quences on the inter­nal cohe­sion of the EU accord­ing to Jean-Claude Junck­er, because the South­ern states of Euro­zone and Ire­land cause prob­lems. Dif­fer­ences in the inter­est rates sug­gest­ed by the dif­fer­ent mem­ber states of the Euro­zone may well lead to inter­nal ten­sions. Junck­er has already called for the emis­sion of ‘Euro-bonds’. The wages evo­lu­tion and the fis­cal poli­cies of sev­er­al Euro­zone coun­tries strive into oppo­site direc­tions and cause ris­ing prob­lems to the Euro­pean Cen­tral Bank.[37]




[1] Min­istère des Affaires étrangères: Rap­port sur la poli­tique européenne du gou­verne­ment du Lux­em­bourg, Lux­em­bourg, 10 Octo­ber 2008.
[2] Déc­la­ra­tion de poli­tique européenne et étrangère présen­tée par M. Jean Assel­born, Vice-Prime Min­istre, Min­istre des Affaires étrangères et de l’Immigration, in: Cham­bre des Députés: Compte-ren­du des séances publiques, 18 Novem­ber 2008.
[3] Le Jeu­di: Trois casse-tête pour les Vingt-sept, 11 Decem­ber 2008.
[4] Tage­blatt: Benelux –Län­der besorgt über die Zukun­ft des Liss­abon-Ver­trages, 9 Decem­ber 2008.
[5] Ibid.
[6] Tage­blatt: Garantien für Irland, 13 Decem­ber 2008.
[7] Europol­i­tics: Euro­pean Coun­cil: Irish guar­an­tees via Croatia’s acces­sion treaty, 15 Decem­ber 2008.
[8] Zeitung vum Lëtze­buerg­er Vollek: EU-Kurs gegen Volk­swillen, 16 Decem­ber 2008.
[9] Süd­deutsche Zeitung: Die irische Erpres­sung, 23 Decem­ber 2008.
[10] Com­mis­sion­er Viviane Red­ing in a state­ment made at a work­shop meet­ing with the author and oth­er schol­ars in Brus­sels, 3 March 2009.
[11] ADR Alter­na­tiv demokrat­e­ch Reformpartei
[12] Cham­bre des Députés: Compte-ren­du des séances publiques, 19 Novem­ber 2008.
[13] Finan­cial Times Deutsch­land: Junck­er warnt vor Sarkozys Plä­nen, 15 Decem­ber 2008.
[14] Finan­cial Times: Blair appears as choice to be EU pres­i­dent, 12 Jan­u­ary 2009.
[15] Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei.
[16] RTL TV Lux­em­bourg lan­guage ser­vice: Spezial, 31 Decem­ber 2008.
[17] Chrëschtlech Sozial Vollekspartei.
[18] Lëtze­buerg­er Sozial­is­tesch Aarbechterpartei.
[19] Demokratesch Partei.
[20] Déi Gréng.
[21] D’Lëtzebuerger Land: Der Held, 7 Novem­ber 2008.
[22] Réponse de M. Assel­born rel­a­tive aux impli­ca­tions de l’élection d’un nou­veau prési­dent des Etats-Unis à une ques­tion de M. Fay­ot, in: Cham­bre des Députés: Compte-ren­du des séances publiques, 11 Novem­ber 2008.
[23] Ibid. Asselborn’s third point is very dif­fi­cult to under­stand, it has been made as clear as possible.
[24] Tage­blatt: Die Europäer und Oba­ma, 12 Novem­ber 2008.
[25] Tage­blatt: Notre Amérique, 6 Novem­ber 2008.
[26] Lux­em­burg­er Wort: EU–Gipfel im Zeichen der Finanzkrise, 11 Decem­ber 2008.
[27] Dow Jones Newswires: Junck­er on EU, 8 Jan­u­ary 2009.
[28] Lux­em­burg­er Wort: Wirtschaft­skrise dauert bis 2011, 10 Decem­ber 2008.
[29] Euobserver.com: Junck­er rejects Sarkozy’s “eco­nom­ic gov­ern­ment” for Euro­zone, 4 Novem­ber 2008.
[30] Glob­al Insight Dai­ly Analy­sis: French gov­ern­ment to hold Finan­cial Sum­mit after EU pres­i­den­cy, 20 Novem­ber 2008.
[31] Deutsch­land­funk: Lux­em­bourg pre­mier on Ger­man role in Euro­pean eco­nom­ic stim­u­lus plans, radio inter­view, 9 Decem­ber 2008.
[32] Ibid.
[33] The Dai­ly Tele­graph: Lux­em­bourg calls for EU trea­sury to bol­ster Euro zone, 5 Jan­u­ary 2009.
[34] Lux­em­burg­er Wort: Prog­nose von Pre­mier­min­is­ter Junck­er vor dem EU-Gipfel, 10 Decem­ber 2008.
[35] Zeitung vum Lëtze­buerg­er Vollek: 1200 Mil­liar­den Euro für die Konz­erne de EU, 3 Decem­ber 2008.
[36] Le Quo­ti­di­en: Le plan de relance soutenu timide­ment, 3 Decem­ber 2008.
[37] Süd­deutsche Zeitung: Europa driftet auseinan­der, 21 Jan­u­ary 2009.