Ahead of the EU summit that is occupying the continent’s leaders as we speak, ECFR published a preview looking at what some of the countries in the Union wanted to get out of the meeting, and what they feared. ‘The EU summit: the view from the capitals’ included contributions from Germany (Ulrike Guerot), Spain (Jose Ignacio Torreblanca), Italy (Marco de Andreis), Poland, (Konstanty Gebert) and France (Francois Godement). We also distributed this as a press advisory to our journalist contacts and will do something similar whenever there is a big event or issue to look at from a pan-European perspective (journalists can sign up here for our press releases).
This week also saw the publication of a short paper by Jose Ignacio Torreblanca and Jose M. de Areilza, examining the euro crisis from the Spanish perspective. The paper is part of ECFR’s ‘Reinvention of Europe’ project, and
There is a groundswell of criticism of German stubbornness in the face of disaster for all. Critics on left and right alike consider Berlin’s demand for further integration before it will take decisive rescue action as both reckless and irresponsible. ‘Germany-bashing’ has become the game in town, with all its nasty overtones and the predictable effect of hardening German resolve. All of which misreads the psychology of Merkel’s brinkmanship and distracts from what should concentrate minds now, which is how to get out of the mess rather than figure out who is to blame.
Even if some add petrol to the flames by personalising their attacks and spicing them up with unsavoury imagery it should not obscure the fundamental critique of Germany and its policy (we must be careful not to give fuel inadvertently to any suggestion that criticising a country's policy implies rejecting its
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This post from Jonas was part of the 'Strategic Europe' blog on the Carnegie website, answering the question 'Should Europe fear the Pacific century?'
Delphi in Greece marks the centre of the world. Greenwich near London is the point zero of time. The original meter is stored in France. Europe sets the standard for the world. Its affairs are world politics. Or, that's how it used to be.
The centre of gravity is shifting. Delphi has been replaced as navel of the world by islands in the South China Sea. Thus, Asia with rising China in its middle is moving to centre stage. The US is reconfiguring its policy to reflect that. It is pivoting towards Asia and the Pacific. This is where economic growth is. This is also the centre stage for the sometimes cooperative sometimes confrontational power play between the US and China.
Europeans are currently preoccupied with the euro
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The forthcoming European Council is heading with unprecedented speed towards a banking union and historians may remember this as the turning point of the Euro crisis. The question is what kind of integration and how quickly it can be achieved. Proposals range from hybrid structures to a full integration of European banks and a common European deposit scheme.
As the EU Commission memo on banking union states: “The European banking union is not a new legal instrument yet. It is a political vision for more EU integration, which will build on recent major steps to strengthen the regulation of the banking sector and go further.”
The next EU summit could be a moment where political dreams come true, e.g. one of a European treasury with a Finance Minister, overseeing European banking policy, as advocated by former ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet last year, when he was awarded the
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Is Turkey on the brink of war with Assad’s Syria? The rhetoric of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan, generally known for his short-fused disposition, is becoming increasingly bellicose. After the Syrian air defences shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on Friday and then fired at a second plane involved in the rescue effort, Turkey’s leader issued a warning that any move of Syrian troops towards the 822 km long common border would constitute a military threat. He spoke of “new rules of engagement”, upping the ante even further. The daily Hurriyet reports that the Turkish Armed Forces have deployed 15 tanks along with long-distance guns and other military vehicles near the border town of Mardin, in the Kurdish-majority southeast (video here). Even before the Phantom 4 incident there reports surfaced that CIA operatives are running weapons to the Syrian opposition via Turkey. The
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