• On Axes and Party Politics: the End of Europe’s Predictability

    In a commentary last year on the eve of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Élysée Treaty I wondered to what extent the notion of ‘the Franco-German axis’ was still a useful framework to analyse politics in Europe. I argued that in the course of the euro crisis, economic and monetary policies in […]

  • Dijsselbloem or DijsselDoom – a Dutch Perspective

    I already presented my reservations against the appointment of Dutch Minister of Finance, Jeroen Dijsselbloem (Labour Party) as President of the Eurogroup. The public outrage following the bankruptcy of the banking sector in Cyprus has raised new questions concerning his ‘presidency’ (for which in Dutch the more modest ‘chairmanship’ is used). My initial doubts concerned […]

  • Halftime in Cyprus

    Analysing the latest acute episode of the euro crisis, Cyprus, on March 26th is a bit like writing a match report at halftime: you’re bound to get much of the story right, but if you try to predict the final outcome, you may very well miss – by an inch or by a mile. And […]

  • Getting Cyprus Wrong – and Germany Too?

    The agreement on Cyprus concluded this week will turn out as a burden to policy-makers in Europe for both next steps related to Cyprus and the Eurozone rescue as a whole. The best take I have read so far is by Bruegel’s Nicolas Véron, who in his latest commentary addresses the manifold arenas in which […]

  • What a Tomato Can Tell us about the Euro

    In order to form an opinion on the effects of the euro, we could start out from a simple question: what sort of impact had the introduction of the euro on a specific product, let us say a tomato, that a country (e.g. the Netherlands) cultivates and exports? The Netherlands has a strong horticultural sector. […]

  • Is there an Alternative for Europe in Germany?

    In my last blog I made the point that despite Germany being a major player in the reform of the eurozone and despite federal elections taking place in the fall of 2013, Germans at the moment seem rather indifferent about the eurozone’s future direction. I found this to be rather baffling, since the decisions taken […]

  • The French Squeeze

    There are signs that the economies in the eurozone are picking up in various ways. Recent figures of the ECB on Target2 (the capital account of the eurozone countries within the ECB) show remarkable signs of improvement. The claims of the triple-A countries Germany, Finland and the Netherlands on the problem countries are going down. […]

  • The European crisis explained in two graphs

    Guest contribution by Ricardo Paes Mamede (Assistant professor at the Department of Political Economy of ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon) A long book is probably too short to explain the European crisis in full length and depth. However, the essential causes of this crisis can be grasped with two simple ideas. 1) The sovereign […]