- Spanje en het Europese voorzitterschap nieuwe stijl in crisistijd
- Internationale Spectator
- Volume | Issue number
- 64 | 9
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Otto Holman analyses the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union during the first half of 2010 from the perspective of economic crisis-induced domestic problems. The Zapatero government attempts to tackle Spain's triple crisis - economic, social and political - by introducing the severest austerity package since the turn to democracy in 1975. Cutting fiscal deficits and introducing measures to increase labour market flexibility are central to this reform package. However, in terms of structural adjustment it seems necessary to increase the focus on technological innovation. Reducing the so-called competitiveness gap between North-West European and Mediterranean member states of the EU should be the first priority of any Spanish government. Unfortunately, short-term macro-economic austerity runs counter to this objective. Meanwhile, and concomitant to do-mestic crisis, Spain's presidency did not show much innovation either. Titled Innovating Europe, the Spanish programme did not go beyond already existing and rather generic EU priorities. In the 'battle of ego's' at the European level Zapatero could only play the modesty card.
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