For EU reforms, watch Germany, not France – POLITICO

Flag of the European Union

Flag of the European Union (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s an excellent piece from Politico. It suggests that with Merkel likely headed for a fourth term as chancellor, much will depend on her choice of coalition partner in order to deliver EU reforms, with Germany being the innovator not France.

Source: For EU reforms, watch Germany, not France – POLITICO

This article reminds us just how much Macron has on his plate. We are reminded that compared to say the UK or Germany that France is completely unreformed, especially in the public sector. France as a country takes summer vacations seriously but in the autumn, we can expect strikes and disruption to protest at Macron’s reforms.

So the Politico argument that Germany will have more political wiggle room to lead on European reform makes sound sense.


Europe’s Nationalist Night Watch by Dominique Moisi – Project Syndicate

According to Dominique Moisi in this Project Syndicate article, Europeans are increasingly glorifying the past to compensate for the disillusion and frustration of the present and the uncertainty of the future. He argues that sixty years ago, a return to the past was precisely what European countries sought to avoid.

Project Syndicate

Project Syndicate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Europe’s Nationalist Night Watch by Dominique Moisi – Project Syndicate

Dominique Moisi, a professor at L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris (Sciences Po), is Senior Adviser at the French Institute for International Affairs (IFRI) and a visiting professor at King’s College London. He is the author of The Geopolitics of Emotion: How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation, and Hope are Reshaping the World.

As a passionate European, for me this article was well argued. The conclusion was that greater European integration is preferable to a return to nationalism. But it’s not that simple.

Unfortunately, the article only tells part of the story. Bigger countries, like Germany and France, dominate the European agenda. Economic policies to support the Euro fail to recognize the diversity of the European economy. Germany has benefited enormously from the Euro but many countries in Southern Europe have suffered unfairly from austerity and massive youth unemployment. Similarly, for decades France has benefited unreasonably from the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

Whilst I’m pro-Europe, there’s an urgent need to reduce Europe’s bureaucracy. Also before there can be pressure for increased integration, there needs to be greater equality in the impact of the EU’s policies. Personally, I sense that Europe is not yet ready for more integration – the youth of Europe need to return to work first.


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