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November 15, 2016

Is the EU's global strategy paper really our response to Trump?

The council of ministers of foreign affairs is meeting yesterday and today in the shadow of Donald Trump's victory. On the agenda yesterday were Turkey, the Eastern partnership, the Southern neighbourhood and a joint meeting with the ministers of defence. Today, they will discuss cooperation with NATO and the operations under way under the common security and defence policy.

Don't expect any radicalism. The discussion of the "EU Global Strategy" is being hailed as "qualitative leap" in European defence cooperation, but it still falls short of some of the more ambitious proposals in the direction of an EU army. The council conclusions stress the EU's need to "act autonomously" and "enhance its ability to act with partners". In relation with NATO, the Wall Street Journal notes that Brexit offers an opportunity for deeper EU defence cooperation, which the UK traditionally viewed with suspicion as possibly undermining NATO. The council recognises that NATO remains the foundation of collective defence for member states which are part of it, wants "coherence of outcomes" where EU policy and NATO defence planning overlap, and intends to avoid unnecessary duplication. The conclusions introduce a new bit of jargon: the "level of ambition" in relation with the "EU global strategy" priorities. The EU intends to be able to carry out the following missions, which will drive future work in identifying requirements for further action:

  • joint crisis management operations in the regions surrounding the EU;
  • joint air and special operations;
  • civilian and military rapid response, including using the EU Battlegroups;
  • substitution/executive civilian missions;
  • air security operations, including close air support and air surveillance;
  • maritime security or surveillance operations, including longer term in the vicinity of Europe;
  • civilian capacity building and security sector reform missions; and
  • military capacity building including robust force protection.
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November 15, 2016

President Steinmeier

The anointment of Frank-Walter Steinmeier as Germany's next president would normally not matter because the presidency is politically irrelevant. Even the idea of the president as moral authority is passé. But it matters for what it says about the German political system right now. It tells us that CDU/CSU and SPD are planning to continue the grand coalition after the elections (when it will no longer be grand). It also tells us that Angela Merkel is politically a lot weaker than people abroad think.

Merkel hasn't had much luck with her presidential choices. Her first choice after the resignation of Horst Köhler was Christian Wulff, who also had to resign a short while later over a relatively minor influence-peddling scandal relating to his previous job. She had earlier proposed Ursula von der Leyen, now defence minister, but then dumped her in favour of Wulff, causing much resentment. After Wulff's resignation, the SPD proposed Joachim Gauck, initially against Merkel's wishes. But Gauck proved too popular a choice, and Merkel had no real alternative. Now that Gauck is to leave office after five years, she has literally run out of candidates. Von der Leyen does not want to be burnt for a second time. Norbert Lammert, the president of the Bundestag, decided to retire from politics altogether next year. Wolfgang Schäuble also said he does not want the office. As Günter Bannas writes, everybody said no to her. When the SPD proposed Steinmeier, Merkel's initial reaction was to say No, but then she could not find anyone in the CDU willing to be nominated by her - for fear of being dumped later.

Berthold Kohler noted in his commentary in Frankfurter Allgemeine that Steinmeier is the ultimate establishment figure in German politics. The fact the coalition partners agreed on him tells us that they want to continue the grand coalition. The lack of alternatives that characterised the choice of president is not good for the political system in a country in which the populists are on the rise. Kohler makes another point: Steinmeier is extremely pro-Russian, just as Trump and the new leaders of Moldova and Rumania.

Steinmeier's most likely successor as foreign minister is going to be Martin Schulz, who would have to give up his job as president of the European Parliament next year. Schulz is also a potential candidate for the chancellorship (which, of course, he won't win, but the candidacy may raise his profile). Our understanding is that Sigmar Gabriel wants to hang on to the job of SPD chief, so there is a potential source of conflict between the two politicians, who are otherwise regarded as close.

We think this agreement is terrible for German politics. The problem is not Steinmeier as such but the idea that the SPD will want to continue to bind itself into a perma-coalition with the CDU/CSU, which will in the long run weaken both parties and strengthen the exrtremes. The SPD has concluded that it will not be able to win an election as a senior coalition partner, so that this is a second-best way to guarantee access to ministerial limousines. However we fear this will only accelerate the decline of the party, and drive its erstwhile voters to the AfD.

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November 15, 2016

Are journalists to blame?

In the Brexit debates before the referendum we noted a tendency on both sides to blame the media. The Remainers argued that the UK media had been too eurosceptic over the years - though the criticism was muted given their certainty that they would win the referendum anyway. And the Leave campaign criticised the pro-Remain bias of the papers as most newspapers actually came out in favour of EU membership, including the Times and the Daily Telegraph. After the referendum we noted a tendency, especially among economists, to blame the media for the defeat - we presume to deflect away from the incompetent role those doing the blaming played in the referendum defeat.

The media are, of course, far from innocent bystanders, but we should not overestimate their importance either. The Trump phenomenon in the US is the result of a number of factors: a long period of Democrat incumbency, a weak economy, and the relative impoverishment of what turned out to be an electorally critical part of the population. Brexit is the result of more than two decades of alienation from the EU, of failing to join the euro and one of the most awful political campaigns in modern history. If you are incapable of making the case for the EU, then don't blame the media.

In this context we noted a contribution by Wolfgang Blau (@wblau), who makes a converse point. He writes that it is the downfall of continental Europe that it has never developed an English-language media sphere. He writes, correctly, that the most influential EU opinion formers towards Asia and the US are the UK media, not Le Monde, Der Spiegel, or La Stampa. 

We think the observation is correct, as is his conclusion: once Art 50 is triggered, it will get a lot worse. But we don't think that it is possible, as Blau writes, for the media to overcome their limits and form EU-wide media spheres. This is not because it can't be done, but because the EU's national media figures simply have the wrong mindsets (we speak here from first-hand experience). The main obstacle is that the continent's media are nationally-focused, not in what they cover, but in the attitude of their reporting. The journalists always support the home team - just look at the outraged commentary in Frankfurter Allgemeine about Italian fiscal policy, and the symmetric Italian media's hostility towards Berlin.

We note that German journalists, when reporting on Brexit, have a tendency to pick stories that suggest that Brexit will probably not happen, which gives a completely misleading impression and might strengthen the official hard-Brexit-vs-No-Brexit position. We have seen this most recently when the daily newspapers interpreted the recent UK High Court case as implying that Brexit was not going to happen. And, while almost every UK newspaper supported Clinton over Trump, most had commentators who predicted a Trump victory, or who even endorsed Trump. This is unthinkable on the Continent. The downfall of the continent is not a lack of an English-language media sphere, but tunnel vision.

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November 15, 2016

March of the pro-Russians

Bulgaria, an non-eurozone EU member with its currency pegged to the euro, is on the edge of our reservation; while Moldova, having an association agreement with the EU, would normally count as being outside. However, the victories of pro-Russian candidates in the respective presidential elections held this past weekend have geopolitical implications which we cannot ignore. This would be true just on the basis of the two countries' proximity to Ukraine, but is even more so with Trump's election calling into question the US' Russia policy and Europe's security arrangements.

In a post at the LSE's European Politics and Policy blog, Dimitar Bechev gives a more nuanced view than the breathless "Bulgaria turns towards Russia" one sees elsewhere. The point is that, in contrast with the outgoing president Rossen Plevleniev's virulent anti-Russian rhetoric, long-time Prime Minister Boyko Borisov already favoured engagement with Russia. The Bulgarian president-elect Rumen Radev is even similar to Borisov in that the latter is a former chief of police while the former is an air force reserve general. Radev is actually an alumnus of the US' Air War College, and he may therefore attempt to play both his western credentials and his open hand towards Russia. Borisov, meanwhile, has resigned as PM as his party's candidate Tsetska Tsacheva was defeated by Radev. But Borisov is not out of politics. Plevleniev will now appoint a caretaker government, and then shortly after taking office Radev is likely to call new parliamentary elections which Borisov'c party Gerb may be able to win again. The author observes that Radev is not a professional politician and will have to learn the ropes pretty quickly if he doesn't want to be outmanoeuvred by more skilled political operators such as Borisov.

In Moldova, meanwhile, pro-Russian candidate Igor Dodon beat pro-EU Maia Sandu. Dodon described his voters' mandate as one of friendship with Russia, neutrality, orthodoxy, and for settling the conflict in Transnistria. This last point is probably the most important. In 1992, after a short war, the then breakaway Soviet republic of Moldova lost control of the region of Transnistria - home to a sizeable Russian and Ukrainian ethnic minorities - between the Dniester river and the Ukrainian border. The region as remained outside Moldovan control since, recognised by the breakaway regions of Nagorno-Karabakh, Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Russia maintains a peace-keeping military presence in the region, and a consulate though without formal recognition. Balkan insight explains Dodon's victory as expressing discontent with the inability of successive pro-EU governments to improve people's lives. Moldova, however, labours under a Russian embargo since signing an association agreement with the EU in 2014. Dodon, while not renouncing the association agreement, hopes to improve relations with Moscow and to resolve the Transnistria situation by granting the region some sort of special status.

It is clear that, in Western as well as Eastern Europe, as long as pro-EU governments' policies don't improve the lot of the population, there is a risk of anti-EU electoral developments. While in the west the result can be rising populism, in the east it is more likely to be pro-Russian politics.

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  • 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 26, 2018
  • Two German plus two Dutch makes four spitzenkandidaten
  • Yellow vest protests - radicalisation and new political alliances
  • 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 16, 2018
  • Why no-deal is far more likely than no-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
  • November 07, 2018
  • Why it is so hard to prepare for a hard Brexit
  • Kicking the digital tax down the road
  • 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 29, 2018
  • Why the EEA is no longer a Brexit option
  • Behold the rising superpower: post-catholic Ireland’s European miracle
  • 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, 2018
  • A week of intense political tension in the UK
  • Poland's local elections reveal deeply-split country
  • 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 11, 2018
  • How to shrink the Irish border
  • The people versus the motor car
  • Timmermans volunteers as social democratic spitzenkandidat
  • Golden visa report hits hard at member states
  • 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 02, 2018
  • Whatever it takes - diesel version
  • Is Macron's European discourse too simplistic?
  • 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
  • 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 13, 2018
  • Bravo Mr Juncker for raising the issue of the euro’s international role. But what now?
  • Are the eurosceptics imploding?
  • 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 03, 2018
  • Is the AfD an extremist party? Of course it is. Why do you ask?
  • 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 24, 2018
  • Towards a standoff between Italy and the EU
  • A short note on the diminishing role of economists in political life
  • 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 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 25, 2018
  • Future of euro debate: can the ECB do the heavy lifting?
  • 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 16, 2018
  • How to think about the three Brexit options
  • How to respond to Trump
  • 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 05, 2018
  • Does the German compromise work? Legally? Politically?
  • What to make of Salvini's relations with Russia?
  • 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 25, 2018
  • Trump's car tariff to come early
  • On the lack of a sharp focus in the eurozone debate
  • 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, 2018
  • Macedonia - a deal hailed internationally and challenged at home
  • Macron - elusive to the left
  • What did Theresa May concede?
  • 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 04, 2018
  • German discourse out of control
  • Wait for European disunity on US tariffs
  • 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 19, 2020
  • Green policies get a boost from recovery efforts
  • Small Countries, small problems. Austria ready to compromise on recovery fund over Schnitzel
  • May 22, 2018
  • A €60bn ESM credit line - is this what they call a backstop?
  • Will Nato survive Trump?
  • Northern Ireland's Brexit disillusion
  • Would Corbyn become prime minister if he accepted 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
  • May 27, 2020
  • On the dangers of wishful thinking
  • Spain to introduce basic income
  • The temptation of easy money
  • May 11, 2018
  • Chère Angela, it is time to decide..
  • Those trade sanctions are really serious
  • Why Labour will not turn 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
  • May 06, 2020
  • ...and what it means for the future of the EU
  • Ciudadanos saves Sanchez' Covid-19 plan
  • April 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in 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
  • April 15, 2020
  • Italy’s coalition disagrees about the ESM
  • 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?
  • 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 23, 2020
  • Orbán seeks to extend his powers
  • UK as the double counterfactual
  • 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
  • February 25, 2020
  • Why no-deal is a real possibility
  • March 26, 2018
  • On the run no more
  • Terrorist attack will challenge Macron
  • A double-whammy of geopolitical and financial uncertainty
  • 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 02, 2020
  • Is Sinn Fein the Irish anti-establishment vote?
  • Don’t assume that nobody will follow the Brits
  • March 14, 2018
  • The geopolitics of trade war
  • A European labour authority
  • On Novichok
  • 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 08, 2020
  • What to expect from Boris and Ursula
  • Some good news from Germany on climate change
  • March 02, 2018
  • What will Theresa May say?
  • The show must go on
  • Macron - a modern hero's tale
  • 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 16, 2019
  • What the failure in Madrid says about multilateral governance
  • 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 19, 2019
  • Not the time to bet against the Franco-German relationship
  • German employers and union united against the debt brake
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • 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 25, 2019
  • We should listen to what Mario Draghi is saying about the future of the euro
  • Kurz focusses on Greens after other parties dropped out
  • Is sustainable investment just a matter of deepening capital markets?
  • January 23, 2018
  • Berlusconi is a pro-European once again
  • 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?
  • January 10, 2018
  • Yes, the choice is between Canada and Norway
  • Who is resisting Macron and his government?
  • Greece and Macedonia to solve name dispute
  • 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 11, 2019
  • What are the chances of a deal?
  • 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 05, 2019
  • No deal first, elections later
  • Free movement of labour? Not for politicians
  • Europe already lost the digital battle
  • December 14, 2017
  • Macron gives up on Euro reform... for now?
  • Refugee quota controversy hides disagreement over ultimate policy goal
  • Can't pay, won't pay
  • 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 09, 2019
  • What the UK polls are telling us - and what not
  • November 30, 2017
  • Please tell us there is another way than fudging the border
  • Could Gentiloni remain prime minister beyond the elections?
  • Stage set for Babis minority government
  • 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 11, 2019
  • Politics and the new sense of urgency
  • Ten little monkeys jumping up and down - down mostly
  • November 16, 2017
  • Germany's climate duplicity
  • Juppé open to join forces with Macron for EP elections
  • 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 13, 2019
  • Brexit Party has already changed UK politics
  • Orbán visits Trump, after a very long wait
  • Le Pen's appeal to the PiS likely to fall on deaf ears
  • November 01, 2017
  • Brussels receives Catalan president as a circus
  • Canada Dry
  • Me too
  • 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 11, 2019
  • Thoughts on how the European elections in the UK could affect UK and European politics
  • Far right to enter Estonia's government
  • October 17, 2017
  • Catalan separatism has its martyrs
  • European Parliament agrees to restrict posted workers
  • Foreign policy will be key in Austrian coalition talks
  • 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 13, 2019
  • Not really all that meaningful
  • Will the EPP merely put Orban on probation?
  • Why AKKs riposte to Macron is deeply disturbing
  • October 02, 2017
  • Catalonia recalls EU and eurozone instability
  • French trade unions increase pressure over labour reforms
  • Watch out for a political accident in the UK
  • Municipal elections boost Portugal's Socialists
  • 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 07, 2020
  • Europe on brink of serious conflict with China
  • Erdogan's Libya strategy gains support at home
  • 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
  • May 18, 2020
  • Why this won't be a symmetric shock
  • Towards a new cold war
  • January 07, 2019
  • What to look out for in the Brexit debates
  • Macron's last-resort tool for the gilets jaunes
  • August 31, 2017
  • Where are the Républicains?
  • Poland unmoved by EU rule-of-law sanctions
  • May will stay through Brexit, and then fight the 2022 elections
  • 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 03, 2020
  • After medical concerns, economic concerns take centre stage in Greece
  • New momentum to exclude Fidesz from the EPP
  • The Swedish experiment
  • December 12, 2018
  • 48 letters
  • A sense of deja-vu
  • 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
  • February 02, 2020
  • Is Sinn Fein the Irish anti-establishment vote?
  • Don’t assume that nobody will follow the Brits
  • October 29, 2018
  • Why the EEA is no longer a Brexit option
  • Behold the rising superpower: post-catholic Ireland’s European miracle
  • July 27, 2017
  • Löfven's move
  • The nearing end of petrol and diesel engines
  • Why a second referendum in the UK won’t happen, and why it would be wrong
  • 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 12, 2019
  • Greta is right - the EU’s fight against climate change is most likely a PR exercise
  • 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 17, 2019
  • A dangerous game for the EU
  • After Brexit, get ready for a German EU budget rebate
  • 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 20, 2017
  • How to soften Brexit?
  • The deep roots of Brexit: Thatcher and the Germans
  • 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
  • May 31, 2017
  • Getting real in the debate on the euro's future
  • Russia's growing influence in Italy
  • 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 06, 2020
  • Did Covid-19 escape from a Wuhan lab?
  • What to make of Angela Merkel's U-turn
  • 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 10, 2017
  • PSOE primary campaign in full swing
  • Czech government crisis escalates
  • Backroom dealing on electoral reform in Italy
  • 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 06, 2020
  • The feedback loop of Covid-19 and inequalities - part 10 of our series
  • How confinement affects mental health
  • April 09, 2019
  • What can go wrong now?
  • April 13, 2018
  • German support for eurozone reform next to zero...
  • ... and no support for France on Syria either
  • A French sermon
  • Why the euro endures
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • 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 06, 2020
  • A decade that started with a bang
  • What to expect of Spain's next government
  • Divide et impera: Macron's pension reform strategy
  • January 29, 2019
  • What comes after plan B fails? Plan C, of course. C for cliff-edge
  • Gilets jaunes, how to structure a movement in free flow?
  • European Court of Auditors criticises Juncker’s investment fund
  • February 26, 2018
  • Angela Merkel's cabinet
  • 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 01, 2017
  • The threat of Frexit
  • Fear and loathing of a referendum in Spain
  • How to get around Theresa May’s little ECJ issue
  • Solve the problem
  • 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 24, 2020
  • Lock-down extends to three more European countries
  • EU accession talks to start for Albania and Northern Macedonia
  • Return of the German professors
  • June 11, 2019
  • Politics and the new sense of urgency
  • Ten little monkeys jumping up and down - down mostly
  • August 28, 2018
  • Urban politics and national crisis - the Irish case
  • How anti-semitism became one of the main issues in British politics
  • November 13, 2017
  • A pro-European list: Wauquiez' nightmare
  • Catalan separatism isn't going away
  • Why oh why does Germany behave the way it does?
  • Why the four freedoms matter
  • February 02, 2017
  • Will it come to the use of force in Catalonia?
  • The day Brexit became irreversible
  • Can Trump and May succeed?
  • 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 29, 2019
  • People's Vote descends into Civil War
  • CDU at odds on dealing with extreme parties
  • February 13, 2019
  • What to make of the man in the pub - and other tales
  • Macron loses more early advisers - or cuts them loose
  • June 01, 2018
  • Will France and Germany stick together in their response to US trade tariffs?
  • From a eurozone budget to a slush fund
  • 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
  • December 19, 2019
  • Merkel rejects NordStream2 counter-sanctions
  • May 09, 2019
  • The EU's impossible dilemma
  • The horsetrading starts in Sibiu
  • May to bring withdrawal bill to Commons week after next
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • February 16, 2018
  • How big will the euro budget be?
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • November 30, 2016
  • Is Russia behind a massive cyber attack in Germany?
  • Will Fillon move to the centre?
  • The Dutch left field is getting crowded
  • 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 20, 2020
  • What if we are wrong?
  • October 18, 2019
  • The horrifying implications of Merkel’s 5G decision
  • April 17, 2019
  • Why it is far from clear that the grand coalition will survive the year
  • Macron's chance and challenge
  • Eurozone firms' surprising response to sagging profits
  • The result of Spain's elections, a riddle wrapped in mystery
  • The MMT debate is coming to Europe - and Germany
  • Greek parliament seeks German war reparations
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • 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?
  • October 16, 2017
  • What‘s the deep meaning of the elections in Lower Saxony?
  • Can Brexit be revoked?
  • Macron's grand narrative
  • April 19, 2017
  • Shadows of money
  • Breppe Grillo vs Eurointelligence
  • October 20, 2016
  • No games please, we are Europeans
  • 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, 2020
  • Italy’s coalition disagrees about the ESM
  • November 27, 2019
  • Audi cuts jobs - the beginning of a trend
  • July 16, 2019
  • What next, after EU sanctions Turkey?
  • What to make of Johnson’s four-point Brexit plan
  • Galileo fails, and nobody notices
  • March 04, 2019
  • Macron's two-month sprint
  • May's numbers are not there yet
  • Greening QE
  • On the "hope" of a rate raise
  • 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 29, 2018
  • Where is the opposition in France?
  • Scenarios and risks for Syriza over Macedonia
  • September 21, 2017
  • Time to get serious about Brexit
  • Would the FDP claim the job of finance minister?
  • The return of the ultra-right to German politics
  • 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
  • June 04, 2020
  • No-deal preparations start for real
  • How to respond to Turkish provocations in the Mediterranean?
  • April 16, 2020
  • Local coordination key in management of pandemic
  • A new migrant wave from Turkey?
  • How Covid-19 condemns EU to geopolitical insignificance
  • February 27, 2020
  • German polls point to red-red-green
  • Greece's struggle to improve migrants crisis
  • January 10, 2020
  • Why the UK is no longer seeking access to the EU’s financial market
  • November 25, 2019
  • Twenty years on - and less safe than ever
  • Philippe's last round of talks ahead of strike actions
  • October 10, 2019
  • What if UK parliament rejects both elections and the second referendum?
  • Should Europeans really look forward to President Warren?
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • July 03, 2019
  • A bold but risky choice
  • What will the European Parliament do?
  • May 22, 2019
  • Better start those no-deal preparations right now
  • Europe's real transfer union is from east to west
  • April 09, 2019
  • What can go wrong now?
  • February 27, 2019
  • EU bets on stable dictatorships to guard its south
  • The grand débat context for the unemployment insurance reform
  • Survey suggests that political dividing line in Europe is between France and Germany
  • January 18, 2019
  • Why Dublin won't yield on the backstop
  • Town hall debates vs street protests - who is winning?
  • December 10, 2018
  • ECJ says UK free to revoke Article 50, even inside extension period
  • A turning point in Macron's presidency
  • China has added Portugal to the list of its key EU partners
  • Belgium's coalition implodes over Marrakesh pact
  • November 01, 2018
  • Is candidate Merz a keen pro-European?
  • Around the corner - Brexit edition
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • 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 16, 2018
  • How to think about the three Brexit options
  • How to respond to Trump
  • 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?
  • May 08, 2018
  • Macron and the technocratic republic
  • Philippe's silent offer to the SNCF unions
  • On the ordoliberal utopia of a debt-free state
  • April 06, 2018
  • Schleswig Holstein collapses Spain's strategy against Catalan separatism
  • On the implausibility of conspiracy theories in the Skripal case
  • March 07, 2018
  • The PD - so much like the SPD
  • Why the EU is right to blackball the City of London
  • Car companies don't deliver on diesel upgrades
  • February 05, 2018
  • How big is Germany's external surplus, really?
  • Macron's first election test
  • Coeure's endorsement of a fiscal union
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • December 04, 2017
  • Can Brexit still be stopped?
  • Could Poland open up the Posted Workers Directive again?
  • Has the Bank of England solved the productivity puzzle?
  • November 06, 2017
  • Pressures on EU rise over Catalonia
  • German pre-coalition talks hit glitch
  • If you thought UK politics couldn‘t get worse...
  • October 10, 2017
  • The UK is slowly gearing up for a no-deal Brexit scenario
  • No liberal parties in Austria
  • September 15, 2017
  • Juncker dragged into the Catalan fray
  • What to say in Florence
  • How to fill the gap left by the British MEPs
  • August 23, 2017
  • Is Macron neo-protectionistic?
  • No, it is not easy to get rid of the stability pact
  • July 31, 2017
  • Russia sanctions bill becomes US law
  • Spain's Guardia Civil in the eye of the Catalan storm
  • A grand bargain between France and Germany
  • July 10, 2017
  • EU in self-destruction mode
  • The EU's fault lines
  • Fake News and Fake views
  • June 19, 2017
  • SPD to focus on inequality
  • On radical uncertainty
  • May 30, 2017
  • Beer tent politics - Merkel edition
  • Brexit arrives in UK elections
  • Rajoy clears budget hurdle
  • May 11, 2017
  • Germany rejects IMF’s policy recommendations before they are issued
  • Why Labour is losing
  • April 23, 2017
  • The demise of the AfD has accelerated dramatically
  • On how France will need to confront Germany
  • April 05, 2017
  • What if Macron were to become president?
  • The case for relative optimism about Article 50
  • March 20, 2017
  • Does the language of communiques matter?
  • Spain snap election rumblings
  • Will there be a Brexit deal?
  • March 05, 2017
  • Poland vs Tusk
  • Juppé - a recovered candidate?
  • Will Italy leave the euro?
  • February 20, 2017
  • SPD ahead of CDU/CSU
  • Fillon bounces back
  • The Brexit timetable
  • February 08, 2017
  • Fillon faces new allegations
  • Does Martin Schulz really have a chance?
  • Spain's not-so-green taxes
  • Building the Catalan tax database - legally?
  • Reports of the death of Russia’s economy were exaggerated
  • January 27, 2017
  • The Brexit Bill in full
  • Fillon says he would withdraw if charged
  • January 16, 2017
  • Trump doubles down against the EU
  • Fake maths
  • 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 20, 2016
  • The politics of terror
  • On Lagarde
  • Is a disruptive Brexit possible?
  • December 12, 2016
  • Renzi without Renzi
  • Shall we compensate the losers of globalisation?
  • The need for a partnership with China
  • December 05, 2016
  • Tu felix Austria
  • All eyes on Valls
  • Discrimination is the issue, not deportation
  • What do these men have in common?
  • November 29, 2016
  • On the politics of the Italian referendum
  • November 25, 2016
  • Unstoppable Fillon
  • To disengage or not from Turkey
  • Spain's opposition scores minimum wage victory in parliament
  • Can Tony Blair succeed to undo Brexit?
  • November 21, 2016
  • Merkel IV
  • Erdogan increasingly alienated from the West
  • EU may force a hard Brexit
  • The day after
  • November 17, 2016
  • Sarkozy's Brexit plan
  • Freedman on Trump
  • November 16, 2016
  • Signal-to-noise ratio - Brexit edition
  • Rodrick on the duplicity of his profession