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looking beyond borders

foreign policy and global economy

Archive for the category “Europe”

Is Angela Merkel Still In Charge?

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomes German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel at the President’s House in New Delhi on November 1, 2019. Photo/PIB

Two things make Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany look like an exemplary head of government: Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. Measured against the poorest of benchmarks, Ms. Merkel’s chancellorship, even after 14 years in office, appears stable, wise and exemplary. Measured against the leadership Germany and Europe need, it lacks all of the above.

Read Here – The New York Times

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Jacques Chirac Was Not A Great President, But We Can Still Learn From Him

Grandeur, however, has been denied the former Gaullist Jacques Chirac, who died this week. In the cascade of eulogies following his death, the man who not only served twice as president of France but also as prime minister and mayor of Paris, was rarely called a great man. This is not a matter of ideology or politics. That Chirac’s former opponents on the left would refuse him greatness is not surprising, but what is more surprising, perhaps, is that few of Chirac’s former colleagues and friends have insisted on his greatness either.

Read Here – Slate

30 Years After Reunification, Germany Is Still Two Countries

Nov. 9 marks the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. There will be no lack of commemoration — but there will also be very little celebration. Today the country is once again divided along East-West lines, and growing more so. As it does, the historical narrative of what really happened in the years after 1989 is shifting as well.

Read Here – The New York Times

The Old World And The Middle Kingdom

Europe is beginning to face up to the challenges posed by a rising China. From the political debates roiling European capitals over the Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei’s involvement in building 5G mobile networks to the tense EU-China summit earlier this year, recent events have shown that European leaders are growing uneasy in a relationship that until recently both sides saw as immensely beneficial.

Read Here – Foreign Affairs

Bored Brits Want Brexit Done Now Or Not At All

The majority of Britons are sick of Brexit. They want it enacted now, or canceled now. It might seem strange that such a monumental decision is regarded so derisively by so many. Still, when one thinks about the three years that have passed since the Brexit vote and today, it’s not so complicated. Most people want to lead happy, prosperous, and interesting lives. They do not want to hear every news report for more than three years discuss the latest intrigue from Brussels, or the latest plot to stop Brexit or see it carried through.

Read Here – Washington Examiner

The Lessons Of The Versailles Treaty

In terms of harshness, the Yalta and Potsdam accords of 1945 were far tougher (on the Germans) than Versailles — and far more successful in keeping the peace. The failure of Versailles remains a tragic lesson about the eternal rules of war and human nature itself — 100 years ago this summer.

Read Here – The National Review

Europe’s Ancien Régime Returns

The politics of the European Union, however, look increasingly pre-democratic. In this new Ancien Régime – much as in the old one – officials condemn petty theft while absolving themselves of more serious crimes. Countries that wish to join the EU are instructed to scrub their institutions of corruption before they can even be considered for accession. Without the slightest hesitation, however, the EU now promotes candidates with a clear record of kickbacks and other dirty deals, as long as they are already senior members of the political class.

Read Here – London Review Of Books

The Millions Who Left

It has taken nearly 30 years, but half of all eastern German regions finally have a positive migration balance with western German states. For the first time, more people are moving from West to East than the other way around. That is primarily due to the fact that fewer and fewer people are leaving the East – in part because there are hardly any people left in many regions who are both willing to migrate and able to do so. But it is also because many large cities and regions in the former East have become a draw, places like Potsdam or Leipzig, for example.

Read Here – Zeit

Europe’s Dream: Escaping The Dictatorship Of The Dollar

Trump’s hostile behaviour is reinvigorating efforts to turn the euro into an alternative to the world’s dominant currency. If only the Europeans could find some way to do it.

Read Here – Foreign Policy

Views From The Capitals: European Elections

Though the biggest headlines of election night may have been of the Le Pen and Salvini victories, the story across Europe is that voters have mobilised in favour of change.  A high turn-out in the European Parliament elections has resulted in a surge for smaller parties, notably greens and liberals, which has effectively countered the rise of far-right parties – preventing them from the kind of sweeping successes in the European elections that were predicted earlier this year.

Read Here – European Council On Foreign Relations

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