The President of the Federation of Belgian Companies (FEB) has warned that Belgian businesses are facing an economic tsunami of up to €55 billion in the coming months as a consequence of soaring energy and labor costs.
Businesses can expect growth to slow in the first half of the new year, according to companies surveyed in early November by the Federation of Enterprises (FEB) in Belgium.
A year of multiple crises is coming to an end. Shaken by high energy prices, increasing migrant figures, an alleged corruption scandal in the EU parliament and the Russian war in Ukraine, the EU is entering 2023.
These problems will hardly turn around at the threshold of 2023 – nevertheless, one EU member state has reason to celebrate. Access to Eurozone and Schengen Croatia is coming out of the year 2022 as a fully integrated member of the European Union.
From the beginning of next year, the country will belong to both the Eurozone and the Schengen area without internal border controls.
Thus, Croatia joined the club of what is now 15 countries (Belgium, Estonia, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain) which are members of the most integrated confederations on the continent – the EU, the Eurozone, the Schengen area and NATO.
Croatia is the one of those members of these clubs that used to have a communist one-party system 30 years ago, just like Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania or Slovenia.
The European Union has criticized the US subsidies of 369 billion dollars to promote climate-friendly technologies, fearing the erosion of the bloc’s industrial base with manufacturers relocating to the USA.
Belgium insists that the answer has to be a joint European one.
As the country with the highest budget deficit in the European Union, Belgium does not have the firepower to enter into a subsidy race. The announcement of massive German subsidies to soften the energy crisis has made the Belgian industry very nervous.
The Western Balkans was again the most active migratory route into the EU, according to the agency, which registered some 140,000 irregular crossings in the region – an increase of 152% compared to 2021.
As a country with an enormous pressure on its asylum system, Belgium is also expected to keep urging for more solidarity at the EU level, the conclusion of the new European migration pact and respect for the Dublin rules until that new pact is in place.
Under EU law, the country where a migrant first arrives is in charge of hosting the person and of handling asylum requests, a policy often leading to frictions between member countries.
Brussels Times / ABC Flash Point European Economic Blog News 2023.