After yesterday’s debate in the European Parliament it looks like the EP and the Council have found a way forward, at least with regard to the procedure to follow. See the EP’s press release: SWIFT: European Parliament to vote soon on the interim agreement (20 January 2010).
The European Parliament will vote on the interim agreement and it will be allowed to participate fully in the drafting of the long term agreement, according to the Spanish presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The Council’s explanations about delays caused by translation sound a bit fishy, because the interim agreement should have existed in all the official EU languages on 30 November 2009, when it was adopted by the Council, and it was published in the Official Journal of the European Union 13 January 2010. If a draft or aims for the long term agreement exist, one would expect at least an English language version to be available.
The European Parliament has previously stated its concerns regarding fundamental rights. Now it looks as if it is going to be able to check how the Council intends to meet them.
Update 21 January 2010, about 17:05 EET: The EP's press release has been updated. The vote has now been scheduled for 9 February 2010.
P.S. If business leaders, top officials and political heavyweights have a European newspaper in common, it is The Financial Times. FT bureau chief Tony Barber writes the recommendable Brussels blog (Financial Times), listed together with more than 500 great euroblogs on growing multilingual Bloggingportal.eu, your useful one-stop-shop for fact, opinion and gossip on European affairs, i.a. politics, policies, communication, economics, finance, business, civil society and law. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed for new blog posts appearing on Bloggingportal.eu.
By the way, I also discuss European issues in Finnish on Eurooppaoikeus and in Swedish on Grahnblawg.