We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

March 28, 2018

The real reason for the sanctions against Russia

None of the multiple problems the world is facing have gone away before the Easter break - unlike the journalists and commentators who write about them and who seem to have disappeared for the holiday season. 

If there is one common thread in our stories today, it is wishful thinking. Wishful thinking still characterises the debate about Italian politics, about the future of the euro, and about the chances of a Brexit revocation. But when it comes to Russia, a long period of wishful thinking is drawing to a close. Many politicians in western Europe have invested a great deal of their political capital in good relations with Vladimir Putin. There are still pockets of this, but Putin has pulled off the unlikely feat of unifying a large part of the EU against himself. Last week's coordinated western sanctions were truly impressive in their scope. They won't solve the problem. They might be the start of a new cold war. An end to wishful thinking is usually not comfortable.

Markus Wehner has an excellent commentary in FAZ on the politics behind the orchestrated western sanctions, and its implications. We already reported on the deep splits in the German political system - with the SPD old guard, the AfD, the Left Party, and parts of the FDP opposed. Wehner makes the point that the strong reaction from the west has not so much to do with the actual Skripal affair, or even with the use of chemical agents on European soil. It is an escalation in a new cold war that started some time ago with the annexation of Crimea, the invasion of eastern Ukraine by Russian soldiers; the downing of MH17 over Ukraine; the murder of Boris Nemtsov, Russia's ruthlessness in Syria; and doping cases in international sport. He cites the German foreign ministry as saying that the cyber attacks against IT system of the federal government constituted another reason. Wehner notes that the German government is now ready to hold Russia directly responsible for those attacks, while that had not been the case in 2015 when the Bundestag's IT system were subject to an attack that led to the theft of classified security data.

Wehner concludes with the observation that the most effective sanctions the west could impose on Russia, however, would be to stop the Russian money laundering through the City of London. That has yet to happen.

Another article in FAZ takes a look at the EU countries that are not expelling Russian diplomats. In the case of Malta the official reason is that the Maltese embassy in Moscow is so small that sanctions would lead to the inevitable end of diplomatic relations. But the real reason, the article says, is the lucrative passport trade through which wealthy Russians obtain EU citizenship. Russian influence is also strong in Cyprus. And Austria ("felix Austria") sees a good business opportunity in the sanctions. The country's cocky young chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, portrays himself as the EU's principal interlocutor with Vladimir Putin. The article records that, even at the height of the Ukraine crisis, Putin was met with a ceremonious reception in Vienna. We note that this is the price the EU is paying for accepting member states that have no interest in a common security policy.

Show Comments Write a Comment

March 28, 2018

Wishful thinking: Brexit edition

Wishful thinking has been a particular characteristic of both sides in the Brexit debate. The Brexiteers are wishful in their dreams of liberation, while the Remainers are deluding themselves over the possibility of a Brexit revocation. We all know about the stages of mourning. We are not quite through the phases of denial and anger, but there are at least some tentative signs of an arrival of the mature stages of acceptance and negotiation. There are some tentative signs that the most ardent Remainers are now willing to contemplate at least the theoretical possibility that Brexit might actually happen. The biggest danger of the revocation campaign is that the Remainers, instead of focusing on the post-Brexit world, will find themselves deprived of their favourite project, and will be stuck with a backward-looking agenda. We have argued before that this is not the time to revoke, but to accept Brexit, shape it differently, and build the foundations of a future return to the EU - with a positive agenda in contrast to the current toxic relationship between the UK and the EU.

One of the most glaring examples of wishful thinking in the Brexit debate is this article by Jean-Claude Piris, a former director general of the EU's legal service. He is one of the most ardent advocates of a Brexit revocation. He writes that there is no way to prevent a calamity except by revocation, which in his view could be done by a simple letter. This is a dishonest statement because there are no provisions for revocation in Article 50. It is possible that in such a case the ECJ would be asked to give an opinion that might be different from his own. The European Commission's legal opinion is different from that of Piris. It says revocation is possible, but only if accepted by the European Council. In other words, it cannot be done unilaterally. 

What Piris is doing is to abuse his own expertise in the quest for a political goal - which is to prevent Brexit from happening. We find it utterly dishonest for experts to dress up personal political views as some form of technical truth. Economists made the dreadful mistake of making exaggerated forecasts about the economic impact of Brexit. And some lawyers are now trying to do the same.

Show Comments Write a Comment

March 28, 2018

Wishful thinking: Future of euro edition

The debate about the future of the eurozone is also subject to the fallacy of wishful thinking. There are those who peddle their pet projects, such as securitised safe bonds. There are those who ask for politically unrealistic treaty change. And then there are those, like Jean Pisani-Ferry, who argue in the name of what they perceive to be realism: the ultimate acceptance that Germany's liquidationist version of the eurozone must prevail, with softer edges. His entire explanation for this position is that the eurozone's classic dilemma - no default, no bail-out, no exit - remains unresolved and constitutes a potentially fatal flaw. He spends some time to argue how a eurozone exit is potentially fatal for the eurozone, and recommends debt restructuring instead - in line with the recommendations take by the group of French and German economists of which he was part. He says that the French president is ardently against semiautomatic debt restructuring. That is also our understanding of Emmanuel Macron's red line in the upcoming talks with Germany. This is the crucial section in what Pisani-Ferry proposes:

"But the French must confront the new reality. While the euro survived the financial disruption of 2010-2012, it is now confronted by a potentially more challenging political disruption. This threat must be faced. Absent a shared consensus on the sanctity of rules, there are not many possibilities. One is a euro without an anchor, something Northern Europe would not want to remain part of for long. Another is a euro with a wide-open exit door, something that would quickly lead to another financial crisis. And still another is a euro with defined and predictable internal debt-resolution mechanisms. The latter option is, admittedly, not without risks, but it is certainly safer than the exit threat. France, and Europe, should choose the lesser evil."

For a man who devoted large parts of his professional life to the eurozone, we find the lack of ambition shocking. The goal can surely not be to maintain the eurozone at all costs, come what may. The goal is surely to create a strong economic framework for the people in the EU to prosper. The eurozone has failed to deliver that, and it is far from clear how debt restructuring could solve this. The observation that it is better than euro exit is like arguing that pestilence is better than cholera. If you are stuck in a unresolvable dilemma, as we clearly are in the eurozone, the alternatives are starker: you can resolve the problems through a strong degree of centralisation like a single safe asset, a policy Pisani-Ferry himself once advocated before it became expedient no longer to do so; or, if that is not possible, it might be better to realise that the eurozone has failed its citizens. But another fix without any hope of stabilising the eurozone economy is delusional.

Show Comments Write a Comment

March 28, 2018

Wishful thinking: Italy edition

And finally, we noted a comment by Angelo Panebianco on the front page of Corriere della Sera this morning - a comment that in our view is typical for the delusions of Italy's political establishment. As Five Star and Lega are moving slowly towards a possible government, he notes that Italian history suggest it is impossible for a bi-partisan political system to exist without the representation of the centre. During the cold war the political confrontation in Italy was between the Christian Democrats in the centre, and the Communists and Socialists on the left. Since 1990s, Italy has been dominated by two centrist parties. His conclusion is that there can be no bipolar system based on the Lega and Five Star.

It is possible, indeed likely, that Lega and Five Star will mess things up. But we think this type of historicist argument is not valid. Political events often do not happen until they do. There are no rules that always apply. The reason why the Italian political scene has shifted so dramatically are related to the country's disastrous experience as a member of the eurozone. Italy's political centre is pro-European in that it got Italy to join the eurozone, but without creating the necessary conditions which would have involved political and social reforms. European history is littered with examples of a disappearance of the political centre. Lega and Five Star are not in the same league as the fascists and the communists of the early 20th century, but their election victory clearly marks a break with the centrist political consensus. We are noting this time and again in discussion about Italian politics: the political establishment finds it hard to accept that they are no longer in charge. It is very similar to the mental displacement process that it is going in the Brexit debate. Change is hard to accept.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 23, 2019
  • Corbyn’s last big battle
  • Germany’s CO2 compromise meets all targets - except the climate targets
  • November 13, 2018
  • Peak Salvini?
  • Protest uberisation
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • February 28, 2017
  • Is Hamon losing the right wing of his party?
  • Something we just don’t understand
  • 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 11, 2020
  • While Italy is in lockdown, Germany allows football matches
  • Ireland grand coalition
  • May 31, 2019
  • Salvini’s frightening strength
  • The significance of Corbyn’s latest flipflop on the referendum
  • 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
  • November 09, 2017
  • From street protests to road closures
  • What Russia wants
  • January 31, 2017
  • Project fear against Italexit
  • On how not to frustrate 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
  • October 21, 2019
  • Philippe to brace for more union protests
  • Greens are the electorates' new favourite
  • February 07, 2019
  • Forget Tusk - the real action is elsewhere
  • On David Malpass and the Trump legacy
  • 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
  • September 15, 2017
  • Juncker dragged into the Catalan fray
  • What to say in Florence
  • How to fill the gap left by the British MEPs
  • 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 03, 2019
  • What to look out for in the last week of the compaign
  • Trump threatens tariffs on French luxury exports
  • April 26, 2019
  • How Brexit has given rise to different perceptions of reality
  • The EP, not Madrid, will boost Spanish clout
  • How realistic is a Gaullist Europe?
  • September 17, 2018
  • About the new partnership between Russia and China
  • EU ponders Irish backstop protocol to help May
  • February 07, 2018
  • A short note on bitcoin
  • July 04, 2017
  • On the CDU’s programme
  • Macron defines his presidential style
  • Why do we criticise modern macro?
  • 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
  • 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 31, 2020
  • Orbán's power grab
  • Why we would like to share the optimism on eurobonds, but can’t.
  • September 30, 2019
  • A pyrrhic victory for Kurz
  • Will there really be UK elections?
  • April 01, 2019
  • Meaningful IV
  • Caputová elected: a turning point for central Europe?
  • October 02, 2018
  • Whatever it takes - diesel version
  • Is Macron's European discourse too simplistic?
  • April 06, 2018
  • Schleswig Holstein collapses Spain's strategy against Catalan separatism
  • On the implausibility of conspiracy theories in the Skripal case
  • October 09, 2017
  • UK is starting to prepare for a no-deal Brexit
  • Why Germany will resist meaningful eurozone reform
  • April 12, 2017
  • Macro in a state of denial
  • Where Schulz is vulnerable
  • Schäuble’s three party tricks
  • October 17, 2016
  • Ceta is dead for now
  • L’après-Hollande, c'est Hollande
  • SPD against Russia sanctions
  • Nissan to join customs union and other fanciful tales
  • 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 09, 2020
  • Lockdown measures are not working
  • Will the ceasefire hold in Idlib?
  • October 27, 2019
  • German political centre is melting
  • Train drivers in all-out confrontation with Macron
  • Erdogan makes threats again
  • June 18, 2019
  • Retaliation threats over drilling
  • February 04, 2019
  • Watch out for the resurgence in Tory unity
  • The gilets-jaunes' effect on the European elections
  • What did he possibly mean by that?
  • September 27, 2018
  • Two ways out of the Brexit impasse
  • 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?
  • January 15, 2018
  • Is the section on Europe for real?
  • Can Drahos upset Zeman?
  • September 11, 2017
  • Turkey issues travel warning for visitors to Germany
  • How nasty is the AfD?
  • May 08, 2017
  • A message of hope
  • Barnier's not so easily agreed Brexit principles
  • The rebirth of the paranoid conspiracy theory
  • 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 24, 2016
  • Towards a hard Brexit
  • Is there a pact of Ventotene?
  • La rentrée
  • 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 05, 2020
  • What to make of the German fiscal expansion
  • Inequality through and after lockdown
  • April 27, 2020
  • The EU’s trickery of a fake MFF
  • Philippe to put down cards as trust evaporates
  • March 19, 2020
  • A useful step - but much, much more is needed
  • The good that can come out of this
  • February 12, 2020
  • Turkey's standoff with Russia over Idlib
  • Watch out for Renzi
  • January 07, 2020
  • Europe's fast disappearance from the UK debate
  • How to de-escalate with Erdogan?
  • Working less for more
  • December 04, 2019
  • Towards a European green new deal
  • Nato summit on Turkey amid disunity
  • November 01, 2019
  • Beware of the fallacy of composition and hindsight bias - Brexit edition
  • September 30, 2019
  • A pyrrhic victory for Kurz
  • Will there really be UK elections?
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • July 18, 2019
  • Will Johnson's first action on coming to office be to call elections?
  • EU Commission will monitor rule of law in all member states
  • Dijsselbloem, not Carney, is the European frontrunner for the IMF job
  • June 19, 2019
  • What the US-Iran standoff tells us about the EU
  • Is Germany withholding information on right-wing extremism?
  • May 22, 2019
  • Better start those no-deal preparations right now
  • Europe's real transfer union is from east to west
  • 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 26, 2019
  • No, the UK parliament has not taken control
  • Barnier for president?
  • March 01, 2019
  • Stars seem to align in favour of the Brexit deal
  • The hidden traps of the UK rebate
  • Orbán coming dangerously close to EPP expulsion
  • February 04, 2019
  • Watch out for the resurgence in Tory unity
  • The gilets-jaunes' effect on the European elections
  • What did he possibly mean by that?
  • January 09, 2019
  • Trump downgrades EU's diplomatic status, threatens trade war
  • December 18, 2018
  • The secret plots behind the no-confidence motions
  • November 26, 2018
  • Two German plus two Dutch makes four spitzenkandidaten
  • Yellow vest protests - radicalisation and new political alliances
  • November 05, 2018
  • Macron trails behind Le Pen in European elections poll
  • How the CDU will organise leadership campaign
  • October 15, 2018
  • Black Brexit smoke
  • Bettel can relax and stay in office
  • Solving the crime vs solving the problem
  • September 25, 2018
  • Be careful what you wish for - second referendum edition
  • September 05, 2018
  • May’s gamble
  • The ultimate migrant
  • 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 31, 2018
  • Much ado about nothing - French version
  • Eurozone reform: Purple bonds
  • July 16, 2018
  • How to think about the three Brexit options
  • How to respond to Trump
  • July 03, 2018
  • Some realism about tariffs
  • How the Brexit carousel has come full circle
  • June 20, 2018
  • Does Macron support Merkel over refugees?
  • Arising doubts whether the meaningful vote rebellion will succeed
  • The message of two shocking polls
  • June 08, 2018
  • German car lobby in full panic mode - wants EU to cut car tariffs unilaterally
  • Turkey suspends migrant deal with Greece
  • Is Macron losing the left?
  • 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 16, 2018
  • ... and by the way: we are leaving the eurozone
  • Olaf Scholz scales back Germany’s readiness to reform the eurozone
  • Et tu Germany?
  • 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 30, 2018
  • Looming May protests against Macron
  • France has discovered the Laffer curve
  • An important resignation in the UK
  • April 23, 2018
  • More bad news for the SPD
  • Will Theresa May accept a customs union? The Times says yes. We think so too.
  • A comeback for Marine Le Pen?
  • 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 10, 2018
  • A mood of radicalisation in France
  • The German far right makes inroads into trade unions
  • On the absurdity of a new centrist party in British politics
  • April 06, 2018
  • Schleswig Holstein collapses Spain's strategy against Catalan separatism
  • On the implausibility of conspiracy theories in the Skripal case
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • March 29, 2018
  • Macron's fight against the Islamic Hydra
  • A small-country mindset in a trade war
  • March 28, 2018
  • The real reason for the sanctions against Russia
  • Wishful thinking: Brexit edition
  • Wishful thinking: Future of euro edition
  • Wishful thinking: Italy edition