Employers around the globe are reporting difficulty in finding qualified personnel. On the other hand, unemployment has reached record highs in many countries, especially since the crisis. Solutions to this problem observed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development were discussed at the OECD ministers' meeting in May 2012.
On 14 May 2012 the European Commission released guidelines for road tolls on private passenger vehicles. The most important point: foreigners must not be disadvantaged in comparison to residents. This also applies to transit traffic charges. Siim Kallas, Vice President of the EU Commission, explains: "Non-discrimination is a basic right anchored in EU law. It has to be just as easy for a French or British citizen to drive through Slovenia or Belgium as it is for residents of the respective country. Systems for collecting road tolls must be transparent and fair for all."
In its latest report dated 6 June 2012 regarding restrictions on world trade, the Directorate General for Trade of the European Union noted that 123 new trade restrictions were introduced in the past eight months alone, increasing the number of recorded trade restrictions worldwide to 534. The protectionism trend therefore remains unbroken. Even the agreement reached between the G20 – the world's leading economically advanced nations – at their Washington summit in 2008 and regularly affirmed since then, calling for an end to new measures restricting trade and the elimination of existing ones, failed to stop this development.
The third Anti-Money Laundering Directive as a legal framework is based on standards established by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and states that it falls into the responsibility of the EU to protect the financial system against money laundering and terrorist financing. One of the obligations internationally agreed upon is that the EU Commission will review and appropriately adjust its legislation. In the meantime, a corresponding report has been approved by the Commission. The Commission plans to propose a fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive this autumn, following the conclusion of the public consultation period on June 13, 2012.
Signs are once again pointing to a recovery of the world economy. But this is of limited validity for the job market. In its "World of Work Report 2012" presented in Geneva at the beginning of May 2012, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) predicts that employment in industrialised nations will only recover to the pre-crisis level in 2016 – assuming that the growth trend does not weaken.
In his speech on 11 May 2012 before the American chamber of trade in Germany, the AmCham Germany in Hamburg, EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht favoured the prompt commencement of negotiations regarding a comprehensive trade agreement with the USA.
"A recovery is in sight," is how Olli Rehn, Commission Vice President responsible for the economy, summarised the EU spring report released on 11 May 2012. Nevertheless the economic situation remains fragile since, as Rehn noted, the position of various member states differs.
So-called 'non-banks' are by no means demonized by the European Commission. In fact the contrary is true as, from the Commission's perspective, they represent an additional source of financing and offer investors alternatives to bank deposits. However, they also present a risk to the entire finance system. The EU wishes to counteract this risk potential by regulating the shadow banking system.