Are we Living in a Post-EU Society?
There seems to be a paradox: whereas the euro crisis has enforced deeper integration, economic and political attention is shifting away from the EU. Europhiles blame the Eurosceptics but EU-watchers should be careful to follow simplistic reasoning. Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister Frans Timmermans has the reputation to be an EU-believer and was, among others, a […]
Taking a Close Look at the Grand Coalition Talks: not so Grand on Europe?
Berlin is heading towards a grand coalition between Chancellor Merkel’s CDU, her Bavarian sister party, the CSU, and the Social Democrats (SPD). After an election campaign in which European issues were strangely absent, surely the delegations that sat down a month after the elections had to get their teeth into Europe. By putting Europe on […]
Barroso Stretches the Limits of Subsidiarity
By Adriaan Schout and Judith Hoevenaars (Instituut Clingendael) The eurocrisis has reignited debates on subsidiarity. On June 21st, the Dutch government presented the (disappointing) results of a subsidiarity review, listing 54 EU measures or policy fields which could better be regulated at the national level. The UK is working on a more extensive proposal to […]
Reckless Spending and Excessive Wage Growth: Myths Debunked
If I were to pinpoint the two most harmful and most often repeated myths at the core of the orthodox account of the euro crisis, these would surely be, first, that the public debt crisis across the eurozone was solely or mostly caused by reckless government spending; and second, that the fundamental competitiveness problem of […]
Will France Become like the Netherlands or the Netherlands like France?
To understand the euro project we need to go back to 1989 and the frustrations over exchange rate adaptations under the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). France was frustrated by the hard Deutsch Mark and, occasionally, lost billions on aligning the FF to the DM. Mitterrand used the German unification as a lever to get […]
Help the Bruised French out of the Corner!
There has been a lot of bad news last week: the Eurozone is further contracting, France is moving into recession and the EU has been dramatically losing support all across Europe according to figures published in a Pew poll. Watching President Hollande’s Élysée address one year into his presidency one saw a cornered head of […]
Dangerous Fantasies and Really Existing ‘Adjustment’
It has been two years to the month since the original Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the ECB-EC-IMF Troika and the Portuguese Government. Elections followed shortly after, bringing into power a new conservative coalition government, which proceeded to implement the structural adjustment programme with unbridled enthusiasm. In the words of Prime Minister Passos […]
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 […]
Europe – Absent?
This is my first entry in the Eurozone 2013 blog. Based in Berlin, in the following months I will comment on the steps taken by EU leaders to reform the Eurozone from the German capital, and will include my observations on the German euro debate. As it happens, the German President, Joachim Gauck, has just […]
The European Periphery: Between a Rock and a Hard Place
The strategy of the Portuguese government in the context of the current crisis, which is essentially aligned with the prescriptions of the ECB-EC-IMF troika, revolves around two axes that, indeed, were also typical of the policy packages implemented in the global south from the 1980s onwards: stabilisation, which in this case refers to slashing public […]