(Bloomberg) -- Welcome to the Brussels Edition, Bloomberg’s daily briefing on what matters most in the heart of the European Union. Sign up here to get it in your inbox every weekday morning.
Euro-area industrial production data today rounds off a relatively decent week for the economy, with a gain forecast for May after positive numbers from Germany, France, Italy and Spain. The region’s economic outlook is still uncertain, however, and European Central Bank policy makers have indicated that they’re ready to provide more stimulus, possibly as soon as this month. But that may not be enough, according to the International Monetary Fund, which warned that the ECB has limited room to safeguard the euro area’s economic expansion and governments must be ready to step in if there’s a severe downturn.
Ursula’s Hour | The European Parliament is sticking to its plan to vote on Ursula von der Leyen’s nomination for EU Commission president on July 16 after she addresses the house at 9 a.m. and it holds a three-hour debate. But the assembly is pushing back the secret ballot to 6 p.m. to give members, many of whom are still skeptical of her bid, more time to weigh the morning’s exchanges.
Turkish Punishment | The EU is struggling to reach agreement on the exact wording of a communique triggering punitive measures against Turkey over its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. Talks continue today, with Cyprus pushing for a more direct threat for targeted sanctions against companies, in addition to the freeze in most high-level contacts and a cut to the flow of funds to Turkey, which has already more or less been agreed.
EU-U.S. Trade | German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier sees a 50% chance of the EU striking a trade deal on industrial goods with the U.S. If the two sides respect each others’ key interests, an agreement could be reached by the end of 2019, he said during a visit to Washington.
Kurz’s Future | The next few months will decide whether Austria’s Sebastian Kurz, the 32-year-old former chancellor, can morph from youthful curiosity into a European statesman as he leads a campaign under scrutiny following the scandal that brought down his government. A solid victory could make him a power broker at home and in the fractious EU as Angela Merkel prepares to step down.
In Case You Missed It
Merkel Questions | Angela Merkel has always said she wants to serve out her fourth term. Yet three public trembling spells within a month have thrust the issue of her health front and center and raised questions about whether she’ll stay on until 2021. What happens if the EU’s longest-serving leader chooses to step down early? Here’s a blueprint for how Merkel’s succession could take place.
Carney Warning | The Bank of England said the risks of a no-deal Brexit have increased and warned that such an outcome could slam the pound, government bonds and house prices. Still, the warnings delivered in the BOE’s financial stability report came with some good news for big lenders: the central bank said that they have the strength to survive a global trade war colliding with a disorderly Brexit.
French Tax | France won’t back off from its planned tax on companies like Facebook and Google even after the U.S. suggested it may use trade tools against the levy. The French Senate passed a bill yesterday to impose a 3% tax on certain large global tech companies, making France the first EU country to impose such a levy, with other nations, including the U.K. and Germany, mulling similar measures.
Irish Backlash | Ireland’s parliament expressed opposition to the EU’s draft free-trade agreement with Mercosur in a non-binding vote that signals potential resistance to the deal in other parts of the bloc. The verdict doesn’t commit the government to oppose the agreement, but it underscores the parliament’s concerns about greater import competition for Irish farmers.
Quiz Answer | The EU permanent representative with a short film career is none other than Bulgarian Ambassador Dimiter Tzantchev, who has appeared — as a child — in supporting roles in popular Bulgarian films. His father was one of the most famous directors of photography in Bulgarian cinema and Dimiter had cameos in some of his movies.
Chart of the Day
The population of the euro area will shrink by 20 million people by the end of the century, according to Eurostat forecasts. That’s primarily due to Italy, which will see a drop of 16 million thanks to an aging population and low birth rates. If there’s no influx from abroad for the rest of the century due to zero-immigration policies, Italy’s population is forecast to decline to 30 million, half the current level.
All times CET.
- 9:30 a.m. EU’s second-highest court rules on appeals by Sony, Hitachi-LG and Toshiba-Samsung against the European Commission’s 2015 fines for fixing the prices of CD and DVD drives
- 11 a.m. Eurostat publishes May industrial production data
- 12 p.m. Huawei executives host 5G conference in Brussels
- 1 p.m. Press conference with AIIB President Jin and Luxembourg Finance Minister Gramegna in Luxembourg
- Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) annual meeting in Luxembourg
- Informal meeting of EU environment ministers in Helsinki
- Bank of Italy publishes quarterly economic bulletin
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--With assistance from Jonathan Stearns.
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