EU: EU Seeks New Ways to Help Ukraine

As published on: bloomberg.com, Thursday 13 March, 2024. 

The European Union is moving forward on various fronts to maintain support for Ukraine, but the bloc’s attempts have fallen short in the face of the increasingly challenging situation on the battlefield as ammunition runs dangerously low. The European Commission is expected to put forward the negotiating framework today to advance on the process for Kyiv's accession to the bloc, while a €4.5 billion payment will be sent in the coming days to support the Ukrainian budget. In addition, the EU’s executive arm may propose allocating revenues obtained from a windfall tax on profits generated by frozen Russian central bank assets for Ukrainian military needs as early as this week — an issue that will be discussed by EU finance ministers today.

— Jorge Valero and Katharina Rosskopf

What's Happening
Capital Markets | EU finance ministers agreed on a broad roadmap aimed at giving momentum to near-dormant efforts to break down barriers between the region’s capital markets. All 27 countries in the bloc backed an “ambitious” statement that includes commitments related to developing securitization, creating EU-wide investment products and a common rulebook, Eurogroup President Paschal Donohoe said.

Le Pen’s Ascent | Three years out from the French presidential election, the prospect of a Marine Le Pen presidency is coming into sharp focus as polls show National Rally building momentum for a large victory in June’s EU elections. President Emmanuel Macron is struggling to push initiatives through a divided parliament in which Le Pen’s party now has a substantial foothold after dropping radical ideas like leaving the euro.

Rising Right | Who is the man behind the success of Portugal’s far-right The Chega party with its founder and figurehead Andre Ventura registered significant gains in the country’s parliamentary elections. President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will meet parties represented in parliament in the coming days as part of the process of naming a new prime minister. Learn more about the man who brought Europe’s right wing trend to Portugal.

No Need | President Joe Biden said there was no need for additional US troops to bolster Poland’s border ahead of a request from President Andrzej Duda for more personnel and military equipment. Duda and Prime Minister Donald Tusk will meet Biden at the White House today at a moment when Russia appears to be gaining the upper hand in its war in Ukraine, Poland’s eastern neighbor.

Around Europe
Take it easy | Latvia’s finance chief said the Baltic nation will begin easing some of its financial regulations after the collapse of a major bank six years ago triggered a wave of restrictions that foreign investors have called onerous. “The anti-money laundering situation in Latvia has stabilized and therefore we can reduce some of the de-risking,” Finance Minister Arvils Aseradens told us in an interview.

Post Election | Even before Russians go to the polls, the Kremlin elite is consumed by their career prospects after Vladimir Putin is declared the winner. Russia’s leader may carry out a significant government shake-up for the first time since 2020, we’ve been told. While nothing is finalized, several potential changes are likely as the president looks to refresh his team at the start of another six-year term. Another plan for after the elections includes large tax increases to finance the Ukraine war. Here are the details.

Mini Deal | German Economy Minister Robert Habeck spoke with US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo about intensifying cooperation on the mutual recognition of products with the aim of reaching a form of limited trade pact. “We are both willing to work on it,” Habeck said in Chicago during his three-day trip to the US.

Boiler Wars | “The boiler is the enemy.” With this confrontational
slogan, Aira UK CEO Daniel Särefjord introduced the company’s own-brand heat pump in London last week. Aira — started last year by Swedish private equity firm Vargas — offers a sort of subscription service for heat pumps. So far the company has come to Germany, Italy and the UK. Särefjord told us what the future will bring.

Companies only raised about $14 billion via IPOs on European exchanges last year, a 36% drop from the almost $22 billion raised in 2022, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Others have been abandoning the region, such as agricultural machinery group CNH Industrial, which delisted from Milan to leave New York as its primary listing. One reason? European stock trading debuts lack the fanfare and “razzmatazz” of US listings, Euronext London’s chief executive Simon Gallagher thinks.

Today's Agenda

All times CET

9 a.m. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen speaks before European Parliament on upcoming EU leaders’ summit
3 p.m. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell annual address to UN Security Council
3:30 p.m. EU Vice President Vera Jourova speaks to European Parliament on preparedness to combat foreign interference
College meeting
EU finance ministers meet
European Parliament debates AI Act, votes on energy and emissions directive for buildings sector


EU Ukraine

CYPRUS: Anti-money laundering…