The question is asking for a European equivalent of the so-called "Couch Potato" portfolio. "Couch Potato" portfolio is defined by the two URLs provided in question as,
- A 50:50 allocation of assets between
- a long position in an stock fund; and
- a long position in a fixed-income index fund.
- Holding these two long positions for five years at a minimum, and taking no other action besides re-balancing back to a 50:50 ratio of asset value at some periodic interval of a year or maybe six months.
Criteria for fund composition
Fixed-income: Regardless of country or supra-national market, the fixed-income fund should have holdings throughout the entire length of the yield curve (most available maturities), as well as being a mix of government, municipal (general obligation), corporate and high-yield bonds.
Equity: The common equity position should be in one equity market index fund. It shouldn't be a DAX-30 or CAC-40 or DJIA type fund. Instead, you want a combination of growth and value companies. The fund should have as many holdings as possible, while avoiding too much expense due to transaction costs. You can determine how much is too much by comparing candidate funds with those that are only investing in highly liquid, large company stocks.
Why it is easier for U.S. and Canadian couch potatoes
It will be easier to find two good funds, at lower cost, if one is investing in a country with sizable markets and its own currency. That's why the Couch Potato strategy lends itself most naturally to the U.S.A, Canada, Japan and probably Australia, Brazil, South Korea and possibly Mexico too.
In Europe, pre-EU, any of Germany, France, Spain, Italy or the Scandinavian countries would probably have worked well. The only concern would be (possibly) higher equity transactions costs and certainly larger fixed-income buy-sell spreads, due to smaller and less liquid markets other than Germany. These costs would be experienced by the portfolio manager, and passed on to you, as the investor.
For the EU couch potato
Remember the criteria, especially part 2, and the intent as described by the Couch Potato name, implying extremely passive investing. You want to choose two funds offered by very stable, reputable fund management companies. You will be re-balancing every six months or a year, only. That is four transactions per year, maximum. You don't need a lot of interaction with anyone, but you DO need to have the means to quickly exit both sides of the trade, should you decide, for any reason, that you need the money or that the strategy isn't right for you.
I would not choose an ETF from iShares just because it is easy to do online transactions. For many investors, that is important! Here, you don't need that convenience. Instead, you need stability and an index fund with a good reputation. You should try to choose an EU based fund manager, or one in your home country, as you'll be more likely to know who is good and who isn't. Don't use Vanguard's FTSE ETF or the equivalent, as there will probably be currency and foreign tax concerns, and possibly forex risk. The couch potato strategy requires an emphasis on low fees with high quality funds and brokers (if not buying directly from the fund).
As for type of fund, it would be best to choose a fund that is invested in mostly or only EU or EEU (European Economic Union) stocks, and the same for bonds. That will help minimize your transaction costs and tax liability, while allowing for the sort of broad diversity that helps buy and hold index fund investors.