Brussels Edition: Europe’s Top Women

(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union.

Out of the chaos, a familiar order emerged at the end of the three-day EU summit. France and Germany once again left their imprint on the next generation of leaders, and they did so to every other leader’s applause. The chiefs of the bloc’s top three institutions are all Francophone, while Ursula von der Leyen, who is set to lead the European Commission, and Christine Lagarde, the European Central Bank‘s new head, hail from Angela Merkel’s political family. Whether the deal on the EU’s next leadership was the product of luck, desperation or a cunning plan to exhaust everyone into submission doesn’t really matter that much. 

What’s Happening

Rome’s Response | Italy’s populist government will find out today whether it succeeded at dodging EU disciplinary action over its budget. EU Commissioners will discuss the nation’s failure to rein in its debt and whether to pursue sanctions. There’s some sense that Brussels isn’t keen to escalate the spat, at least until the fall.

Swiss Stakes | An EU attempt to compel Switzerland to agree to the treaty by denying the country’s bourse recognition under EU equivalence rules seems to have had little or no impact, with Swiss stocks closing at a record high on Tuesday. Catherine Bosley explores how the bloc could up the ante.

Cheap Sugar | Some European farmers are bracing for bad times after the bloc signed a historic trade deal with South America last week. They’re particularly worried that sugar imports could add to already excessive supply. For more on why France’s biggest farmers union called for protests, read this.

Pricey Pigs | On the other hand, the price of pigs in the EU is at a five-year high due to surging demand from Asia, where a deadly virus has ravaged livestock and prompted farmers to cull millions of pigs.

In Case You Missed It

Sitting Tight | ECB policy makers probably won’t rush to increase monetary stimulus when they meet this month, preferring instead to wait for more data on the economy, according to central bank officials. That leaves markets more exposed to shocks over the summer months when trading tends to die down.

Capital Shortfall | Large European banks need about 135 billion euros to comply with the latest capital standards agreed to by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, raising the stakes for policy makers and the industry. The new estimate is several times higher than previous ones put forward by the European Banking Authority.

Spanish Vote | Spain’s parliament will vote July 23 on Pedro Sanchez’s bid to lead a new government as he attempts to break the deadlock caused by the inconclusive result of April’s general election. His rivals will have to weigh the merits of continuing to block him against the risk of potentially losing voters if new elections are called.

French Fortunes | The first half of 2019 brought continued civil unrest to France, with throngs of protesters taking to the streets to demand higher wages and pensions amid widening wealth inequality. That didn’t stop the nation’s richest citizens from getting a whole lot richer though.

Chart of the Day

Brussels Edition: Europe’s Top Women

Looks like Tesla’s push to deliver more cars in June worked in Europe, with registrations jumping over the previous month. The electric-car maker is gaining ground in places like Norway and the Netherlands, where registrations surpassed 2,500 for the first time.

Today’s Agenda

All times CET.

  • 9 a.m. MEPs in Strasbourg will elect EU Parliament’s new president and 14 VPs
  • 9:15 a.m. EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn and Moldovan Prime Minister Maia Sandu to make statement
  • 11:30 a.m. EU Council President Donald Tusk meets Moldova’s Sandu
  • 12:30 p.m. European Commission to decide whether to open excessive deficit procedure against Italy
  • EU envoys in Brussels discuss financing the budget in light of Brexit and whether ministers will hold a hearing later this month over Hungary’s democratic standards
  • Romania’s parliament to elect central bank board, with Mugur Isarescu, the world's longest serving governor, likely to get a new term
  • Polish central bank to decide on rates and release inflation, GDP projections

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