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August 30, 2016

Brexit facts on the ground

The debate about the future relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe is now starting in earnest. Yet, some Brexit facts continue to be created on the ground. We noted a story by Reuters that London financial firms have given up hope of single-market access and are already preparing for a hard Brexit. It cites the share trading platform Bats, which benefits from the single passport, and which is now looking for a second location - in Dublin - unless it receives assurances of single market membership.

In this context, we noted a significant proposal by Jean Pisani-Ferry, Norbert Rottgen, Andrew Sapir, Paul Tucker and Guntram Wolff, who favour a system allowing the UK to impose quotas on migration while maintaining full access to the single market. It sounds too good to be true from a UK perspective, so we need to ask whether such a deal can fly politically - we think not - and whether there is a catch - our answer is yes. The proposal is, nevertheless, worth discussing because it is worked out in some detail, not just as a list of demands and red lines. The authors are seeking a new deal between core EU members and ante-room group. They call it the "continental partnership", a form of associated member status.

When people discuss the future of the EU, the first question a reader should always ask is: does it require treaty change. In this case the answer is surely yes. This is not a simple Art 50 agreement, but a major institutional reform of the EU, as it affects fundamental rights and sets up new institutions. 

The authors' starting point is the correct observation that none of the existing models is suitable for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. What they are proposing, in essence, is a deal within which the UK imposes immigration quotas, has full access to the single market, has no co-decision over rule-making but the right of deep consultations, and contributes to the EU's budget.

The most controversial part of this paper is the observation that, from an economic point view, the freedom of movement of labour is of a different quality than the freedom of movements of goods, services and capital. They are connected, up to a point, but not completely inter-dependent. It is possible to freely exchange goods and services in a deeply integrated market without freedom of movement of workers, the authors argue.

But, surely, from an economic point of view, capital and labour are factor inputs, while goods and service are outputs. The EU's four freedoms were not a random collection of rights - but there was some purpose behind them. It is, also, technically possible to exclude capital from the list. But does it make sense?

There are also important political reasons why the four are not easily separable. Many EU countries are net importers of capital services from the UK, but net "exporters" of labour. Why should they agree to this? The authors concede that some form of labour mobility is essential - to allow companies to transfer workers for temporary periods. So these proposals benefit large companies, but not individuals. It also needs to be mentioned that the UK would need to mirror all EU single market legislation without any formal say in the process. This is unlikely to be politically sustainable.

We thought the single most interesting sentence of the entire paper was a small footnote, which is worth quoting in full. It tells us how complicated it will be able for the EU to agree such a system.

"We assume that the EU will define a joint migration policy. We would reject a quota system by which the UK would impose quotas on individual EU countries."

A joint migration policy is unlikely. And we don't think that a points-based immigration control system, based on educational levels, is consistent with EU's stipulations of non-discrimination. The UK is thus in some danger of ending up with the wrong type of immigration.

The Brexit commentary in the UK, meanwhile, focuses on a second referendum. We would recommend William Hague's well argued article in the Daily Telegraph in which he dismisses any likelihood of a second election, or some procedural ruse to boycott the result. He said he himself voted Remain, but says a second-best course is to not frustrate the result, but leave the EU with clarity, certainty and purpose. He says Theresa May will almost certainly, from a legal perspective, not need to consult parliament for the Article 50 trigger, but she would be wise to get parliament to ratify the referendum outcome, to forestall any future plots. He said the real threat is not from civil servants frustrating the result, but from the likes of Owen Smith, the Labour leadership contender, who is campaigning for a second referendum. A parliamentary vote could forestall that.

Wolfgang Munchau writes that freedom of movement was the DNA of the EU - like the holy ghost to the Catholic Church - not something you can easily dispense with. So, if the UK government prioritises immigration control, it will have to look for a different arrangement. He says there is a possibility of an EEA-type interim agreement. But it is absurd to think that Britain can export financial services to the EU from London, while restricting the movement of plumbers into London. He also criticises the erstwhile Remainers for going  on a tangent by pushing for a second referendum. Not only will this not happen but, more importantly, they are leaving the entire debate to the Leavers.

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August 30, 2016

Burkinis and Republican primaries

The controversy about burkinis in French costal towns is normally outside our reservation, but it looks like this controversy has legs beyond the summer as France enters the campaign for Presidential primaries. 

Last week the country’s highest administrative court ruled that the burkini ban in Villeneuve-Loubet is illegal, setting a precedent for other cases. This might have been the end of the story, but no. A majority of mayors (20 out of 30) who have banned burkinis from their beaches, are refusing to lift the restrictions. And Nicolas Sarkozy is calling for a national ban on burkinis and is ready to even change the constitution if needed. He said on RTL the question is whether society adapts to the law or the law to society, according to Journal du Dimanche. Alan Juppé on the other hand came out against a nationwide law calling it illegal and unconstitutional. He said politicians should refrain from inflammatory rhetoric. He instead advocates an accord between the state and Muslim leaders to lay out clear rules respecting French secularism.

Manuel Valls warns against Sarkozy's populist response, saying he is a menace giving substance to a joint programme of the right and the extreme right. He announced on facebook that the debate about the burkinis must continue. His government will have to decide whether to force the mayors to withdraw the bans. François Hollande has so far refrained from taking a position. 

In this electrified atmosphere there was also a gloves-off attack from François Fillon, suggesting that Sarkozy lacks the moral integrity to lead the country, according to Politico. And we hear rumours that Emmanuel Macron might finally depart from the Socialist government to build up his own political movement. This is not about preparing a candidacy for the primaries, but to get ready in case Hollande does not run after all, writes Cecile Cornudet.

We also note that Manuel Valls wants to soften the stability pact, once again. He told Socialists at a party meeting that the European left, the Social Democrats, should do more to relaunch the economy, soften the rules of the stability pact, and act against social dumping. After Brexit, there is a new chance to rebuild Europe, so Valls. At this point we don’t expect any real proposal to back this up, just an attempt to play the melody of some disenchanted Socialists.

A TNS Sofres poll, meanwhile, showed that Sarkozy caught up with Juppé, rising in the polls by 4 percentage points just days after Sarkozy declared his candidacy.

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August 30, 2016

The SPD and TTIP

Sigmar Gabriel has stepped up his criticisms of TTIP and said it is effectively dead. We agree with him - which does not happen often these days. This is a statement you are not allowed to make in polite company, so we have taken the outraged reactions by the European Commission and the CDU with a grain of salt. Gabriel said there was no agreement on a single chapter and, with only four months to go until the end of Obama's administration, there is no realistic chance of the deal being completed and ratified. The European Commission criticised Gabriel for uttering an opinion fit for the silly season.

Frankfurter Allgemeine offers outraged comments from the CDU and German business representatives. Klaus Dieter Frankenberger writes that there is a lot of political posturing in Gabriel's claims. The SPD obviously needs a degree of anti-Americanism one year ahead of the elections. See also Frank Walter Steinmeier's comments on Nato sabre-rattling in eastern Europe. Frankenberger said there is now a clear conflict of interest between Gabriel's positions as SPD chairman and economy minister. Germany needs closer trade integration with the US, and the EU would be mad if it failed to grasp the opportunity to influence the path of globalisation in close cooperation with the Americans.

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  • From a currency to a people
  • April 09, 2018
  • Orbán gets his supermajority
  • Riding the wave of resistance
  • The EU’s self-defeating strategy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 27, 2018
  • The IMF's proposals for eurozone reform
  • No concessions from Erdogan
  • Will the UK be shut out of Galileo on Brexit?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 15, 2018
  • Miro Cerar resigns over railway
  • Taking on trade unions over the rail reform
  • How strong is the EU's solidarity with the UK really?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 05, 2018
  • One rock, two vetos, three governments
  • Rutte weighs in
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 19, 2018
  • SPD divided over grand coalition
  • Wauquiez - the French Trump?
  • Why Brexit will be extremely hard to reverse
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 21, 2019
  • Brussels warns Paris and Rome about not using low interest rates
  • What’s behind Thomas Mayer’s crypto-currency
  • February 06, 2018
  • Ciudadanos rising
  • Meet the rising star of Dutch populism
  • What to watch out for in British politics
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 27, 2019
  • German political centre is melting
  • Train drivers in all-out confrontation with Macron
  • Erdogan makes threats again
  • January 24, 2018
  • AfD europhobe to chair of Bundestag's budget committee
  • Watch out for the Labour Party debate on the single market
  • On the productivity puzzle
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 01, 2019
  • AfD now going for the climate change deniers
  • Tancos - a game changer in Portugal's election?
  • January 11, 2018
  • The horse taming the dragon - really?
  • Budget contributions for market access?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 12, 2019
  • DUP opens up to compromise
  • Spain to repeat elections after all
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 08, 2019
  • A poll on October 31?
  • December 15, 2017
  • Amendment 9 conundrum
  • The negligible GDP impact of the single market
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • July 11, 2019
  • Focus on election timetable, not prorogation...
  • ...and not on Darroch either
  • December 01, 2017
  • Unemployment insurance for all - nice idea, but does it work?
  • Hard border paradox
  • Could Jeremy Corbyn be the politician to defeat the banks?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 13, 2019
  • On the large and rising risk of a no-deal Brexit
  • Unite and divide - Act II of Edouard Philippe
  • November 17, 2017
  • Germany's climate change hypocrisy
  • Canada minus the plus
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 14, 2019
  • Trump gives Orbán his blessing
  • Outcome of Belgium's parliament election on Sunday totally open
  • Has Trump really got the economics of trade all wrong?
  • November 02, 2017
  • The Impact of Brexit
  • German court of auditors questions diesel tax break
  • On trade and violence
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 15, 2019
  • Finland's far right changes the game
  • Brexit party drawing almost even with the Tories
  • October 18, 2017
  • Veneto and Lombardy to vote on autonomy
  • Portugal's president calls on government over fires
  • Radical ideas for radical times: how to pay off public debt
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • March 14, 2019
  • A very meaningless vote
  • October 03, 2017
  • A short note about UK politics
  • The impact of the German elections on the euro debate
  • The decline and fall of Martin Schulz and the SPD
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • February 11, 2019
  • SPD dumps Hartz IV
  • Macron's revival
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 10, 2019
  • Another quiet day in the Commons
  • From Rome with love
  • September 01, 2017
  • Rutte deflates Dutch labour party like a hot air balloon
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • December 14, 2018
  • Running down the clock
  • Macron, Philippe - untouchable no more
  • EP blasts Commission over Babis
  • August 21, 2017
  • Soft, getting softer
  • Tsipras' chances of a boost
  • On the fallacy of a middle-ground option for the eurozone
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 01, 2018
  • Is candidate Merz a keen pro-European?
  • Around the corner - Brexit edition
  • July 28, 2017
  • German government bans Porsche Cayenne
  • More troubles for the AfD
  • Of course there will be a soft transitional period for the UK
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 21, 2019
  • Philippe to brace for more union protests
  • Greens are the electorates' new favourite
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • June 21, 2017
  • Why has the SPD deflated?
  • Berlusconi’s strategy
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 01, 2017
  • On how to fix the eurozone
  • What happens if there is no Article 50 agreement?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 15, 2019
  • Finland's far right changes the game
  • Brexit party drawing almost even with the Tories
  • April 16, 2018
  • Italy's and Germany's pained response to the Syria attacks
  • On the end of the eurozone's economic honeymoon
  • Why Bulgaria should stay out of the euro
  • Where shall we meet after Brexit?
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • January 31, 2019
  • EU will play hardball until February 14, and stick to backstop beyond
  • French left and right moves ahead of EP elections
  • Tighten the belts as the economy prepares for landing
  • February 27, 2018
  • Irish transport prepares for Brexit scenarios
  • One last Dutch referendum
  • Is the CDU a conservative party?
  • March 27, 2017
  • Governing formation troubles - Northern Ireland edition
  • Did Trump present Merkel with a bill for Nato?
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 30, 2019
  • A pyrrhic victory for Kurz
  • Will there really be UK elections?
  • November 19, 2018
  • May’s pushback is kicking in
  • January 08, 2018
  • Getting real on Brexit
  • Macron in China
  • March 02, 2017
  • Juncker's scenarios for Europe
  • EU minimum wages are rising
  • No, the Lords didn’t stop Brexit
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • June 12, 2019
  • What Spain wants from the EU
  • What to focus on in the Brexit procedure, and what not
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 15, 2017
  • A Christmas bonus for poor Greeks
  • Dim prospects of negotiated de-escalation on Catalonia
  • Macron's favourite to succeed Juncker - first round
  • On sovereignty
  • Gli Azzurri
  • February 03, 2017
  • The Schulz effect is getting huge
  • The post-Brexit boom goes on and on and on
  • A correction on Catalonia
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 04, 2019
  • Brexit tactical voting is happening - on both sides
  • Merkel promises 1m charging stations - but doesn't tell us how
  • February 18, 2019
  • How the splits on the left and the right will affect Brexit
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • September 18, 2017
  • Why Germany cannot lead Europe, let alone the free world
  • Will Macron help to build up Mélenchon?
  • Boris' Coup
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • May 14, 2019
  • Trump gives Orbán his blessing
  • Outcome of Belgium's parliament election on Sunday totally open
  • Has Trump really got the economics of trade all wrong?
  • October 01, 2018
  • After the referendum, more turmoil in Macedonia
  • What will happen if the UK parliament votes No?
  • Barnier's no-thanks works much better than a yes-please
  • February 19, 2018
  • SPD divided over grand coalition
  • Wauquiez - the French Trump?
  • Why Brexit will be extremely hard to reverse
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • December 01, 2016
  • Will Italian expats swing the referendum result?
  • Why we keep on misreading the polls
  • Si vis pactum, para bellum
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 27, 2019
  • German political centre is melting
  • Train drivers in all-out confrontation with Macron
  • Erdogan makes threats again
  • April 24, 2019
  • May's final and biggest gamble
  • Will the EP be Brexit's great parliamentary beneficiary?
  • Can Loiseau fight the far right given her past?
  • October 22, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • April 20, 2018
  • Macron at home
  • EU has rejected all UK proposals on Northern Irish border
  • Could there be a Five Star-Forza Italia government?
  • October 19, 2017
  • Germany is softening up over Brexit
  • The French budget and the wealthy
  • Will Borut Pahor win re-election as Slovenian president?
  • April 20, 2017
  • Don’t bet on Trump turning globalist
  • A note on UK election polls
  • October 21, 2016
  • Wallonia says No for the third time
  • Do you remember that Dutch referendum on Ukraine?
  • How narratives are destroying the EU
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • November 29, 2019
  • Macron is doubling down on his Nato stance
  • France accuses Europeans of free riding in the Sahel
  • Beware of the empty chair
  • July 17, 2019
  • The dreaded scenario
  • Meet the Labour no-dealers
  • March 05, 2019
  • The most promising Brexit strategy we have heard yet
  • October 22, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • June 11, 2018
  • The end of the G7 - good riddance
  • Macron needs allies for his European agenda
  • Who is going to be the next director-general of the Italian treasury?
  • January 30, 2018
  • Will Puigdemont be Catalan premier today?
  • Some thoughts about the German car industry
  • A short note on Italian coalition maths
  • September 22, 2017
  • The last German polls
  • May 15, 2017
  • SPD and CDU disagree on how to respond to Macron
  • Was Rajoy blackmailed?
  • The rise of the re-leavers
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 22, 2019
  • High stake poker with Turkey
  • Without EU accession prospect, what is at stake for Macedonia?
  • September 05, 2019
  • Would Keynes be in favour of Brexit?
  • July 22, 2019
  • Will Johnson go for elections?
  • How will von der Leyen handle the east?
  • June 07, 2019
  • Keep looking, gentlemen, said the King
  • Message from Peterborough
  • The decline of the grand coalition is accelerating
  • April 24, 2019
  • May's final and biggest gamble
  • Will the EP be Brexit's great parliamentary beneficiary?
  • Can Loiseau fight the far right given her past?
  • March 11, 2019
  • Ask what Europe can do for Germany - AKK's EU manifesto
  • January 28, 2019
  • Battle of the amendments
  • How the Prespes deal affects the next Greek elections
  • December 17, 2018
  • A second referendum is no closer today than last Friday
  • Philippe expects 3.2% deficit next year
  • November 05, 2018
  • Macron trails behind Le Pen in European elections poll
  • How the CDU will organise leadership campaign
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • August 20, 2018
  • ... and a subtle shift in EU policies towards both Russia and Turkey
  • Nothing to celebrate about the end of the bailout programme
  • Support for Brexit holding up
  • July 09, 2018
  • German panic about Target2
  • AfD level with SPD
  • How the EU could fail
  • June 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • April 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in the UK
  • March 27, 2018
  • The IMF's proposals for eurozone reform
  • No concessions from Erdogan
  • Will the UK be shut out of Galileo on Brexit?
  • February 23, 2018
  • The politics behind the Novartis case
  • German decision on diesel cars postponed
  • The Le Pens
  • January 22, 2018
  • Carles Puigdemont's flying circus
  • Macedonia and the insurrection of Greek patriotism
  • On the real hurdles for Brexit revocation
  • And the satellites, too
  • December 21, 2017
  • Catalonia votes
  • A deputy prime minister resigns
  • Will Gibraltar result in another Irish fudge?
  • Blood, sweat and tears
  • November 21, 2017
  • A short note on the impact of German political chaos on Brexit
  • A scandal, overshadowed
  • October 23, 2017
  • Macron's plans for the European Parliament
  • First phase of Brexit negotiations in final stretch
  • Why the left hates Europe
  • September 25, 2017
  • Where does this leave eurozone governance reform?
  • Is Mélenchon losing his momentum?
  • Lost in Florence
  • August 29, 2017
  • The deep significance of Labour's Brexit U-turn
  • The day after the SPD loses
  • August 03, 2017
  • Commons to vote whether to keep UK in universe
  • Syriza uses eduction bill to reconnect with grassroots
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • June 16, 2017
  • The emerging Brexit consensus
  • On the economics of supply chains
  • May 24, 2017
  • We are all anti-system now
  • Are the UK’s cards in the Brexit talks really that weak?
  • How Merkel will play Macron
  • May 02, 2017
  • An accident waiting to happen
  • Matteo Renzi wins PD primaries
  • So much for the Schulz effect
  • April 10, 2017
  • Nein, nein, nein, und nein
  • Sounds like a bad Brexit story, but ain’t
  • On how not to exit the euro
  • March 20, 2017
  • Does the language of communiques matter?
  • Spain snap election rumblings
  • Will there be a Brexit deal?
  • February 27, 2017
  • May’s next gamble
  • Macron and the rise of the centre
  • Bite the bullet and get on with it
  • Who is the AfD?
  • February 09, 2017
  • The Lords have a choice - risk abolition or vote for Brexit
  • French secret service fears Russian support for FN
  • A whiff of revolution
  • Rajoy and Trump, best buddies
  • Violent fantasies around Catalonia
  • January 23, 2017
  • What if the populists clash with one another?
  • Why the euro is a real problem for the German left
  • When you call the US, what number do you dial?
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • December 12, 2016
  • Renzi without Renzi
  • Shall we compensate the losers of globalisation?
  • The need for a partnership with China
  • November 28, 2016
  • And now what Monsieur Fillion?
  • The inescapable logic of an interim agreement
  • On Germany's foreign policy post-Trump
  • How to lose against the populists
  • November 14, 2016
  • The populists are winning
  • The Trump effect on the French Republican primaries
  • ND to target disenchanted Syriza voters
  • Debt repayment postponed to infinity
  • November 03, 2016
  • The UK's High Court rules today
  • Merkel's Turkey nightmare
  • October 24, 2016
  • Ceta - the next deadline
  • Who will lead Germany?
  • Peasant party upsets Lithuanian election
  • Ségolène Royal, seriously?
  • October 12, 2016
  • Are we headed towards a military east-west confrontation?
  • October 04, 2016
  • US breaks off peace talks with Russia
  • Shocked, shocked about Brexit
  • September 26, 2016
  • A weekend of insurrection
  • The radicalisation of the French mainstream
  • Leaving the customs union
  • Meanwhile in Bosnia...
  • September 19, 2016
  • Unhappy in Bratislava
  • Au nom du peuple
  • Pressure rising towards a hard Brexit
  • September 13, 2016
  • Is defence going to be the next core of EU integration?
  • The impact of Brexit on Germany
  • Austrian election postponed
  • September 09, 2016
  • The growing likelihood of a hard Brexit
  • Tsipras holds EU-Med summit
  • Consensual or bold?
  • Will Finland join Nato?
  • September 05, 2016
  • The beginning of the end
  • Public safety concerns in Greece
  • MPs get no access to Apple ruling
  • September 02, 2016
  • Et tu Austria
  • Watch out for Sunday's state elections in Germany
  • Republican candidates outline their economic programmes
  • August 31, 2016
  • Deflating hopes of a frustrated Brexit
  • August 30, 2016
  • Brexit facts on the ground
  • Burkinis and Republican primaries
  • The SPD and TTIP