Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Europe. Show all posts

16 August 2018

Europe's Trade Coup Leaves China Isolated Daniel Gros, Project Syndicate

At the core of the recent US-EU trade agreement is the understanding that the two sides will “work together" toward zero tariffs and non-tariff barriers. But the potential for a free-trade deal isn’t the point; the end to the escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs is what matters – and not just to the US and Europe. BRUSSELS – All has gone quiet on the transatlantic trade front, with last month’s agreement between US President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker having dispelled fears of an all-out tariff war. The deal was surprising, but perhaps it shouldn’t have been.

The Elites Refuse to Understand Why Brexit Won

by Matthew Goodwin

More than two years have passed since Britain voted for Brexit. Ever since that moment, the vote to leave the European Union has routinely been framed as an aberration; a radical departure from ‘normal’ life. Countless journalists, scholars, and celebrities have lined up to offer their diagnosis of what caused this apparent moment of madness among the electorate. Russia-backed social media accounts. Shady big tech firms like Cambridge Analytica. Austerity. The malign influence of populist ‘Brexiteers’ like Boris Johnson and Nigel Farage. The Brexit campaign exceeding its legal spending limit. Or a much-debated claim, written on the side of a bus, that Brexit would allow Britain to redirect its millions of pounds worth of contributions to the EU into its own creaking health service. Typical is a recent piece by a (British) columnist in the New York Times who argues: “Britain is in this mess principally because the Brexiteers—led largely by Mr. Johnson—sold the country a series of lies in the lead up to the June 2016 referendum.”

A Better Army? German Voters Don't Care For It

IF A war were to break out in Europe, its early stages might look something like NATO’s recent exercise on the Letzlinger Heath, some 100km (60 miles) west of Berlin. The war game imagined an enemy (Russia, say) sweeping across the northern European plain and into a NATO member state (Estonia, say). In the front line of resistance was NATO’s new Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF), whose rotating leadership will pass to the Bundeswehr, Germany’s armed forces, next year. The scenario was earnestly rehearsed by an array of allied forces whose common language was English. A commander’s voice crackled over the radio, ordering troops to retake the town of Schnöggersburg and its airport. The air grew thick with dust and cordite as Leopard 2 tanks raced across the scrubby landscape, with howitzer fire providing cover and helicopters circling overhead. Fire-fights broke out across the rooftops, then Norwegian tanks rolled through the cleared streets and on to the airport. “I have spent 30 weeks in training with my troops and I can tell you: we will fulfil our mission,” affirmed Brigadier-General Ullrich Spannuth with evident pride.

14 August 2018

Japan, not Europe, is now the leader of free trade

By Hosuk Lee-Makiyama
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Hosuk Lee-Makiyama is director of the European Centre for International Political Economy in Brussels and specializes in digital trade and East Asia diplomacy. Europe has often been hailed as a global leader when it comes to trade and privacy, particularly after its passage of the General Data Protection Regulation, the European Union’s privacy law, which came into effect in May. And while it is no doubt a worthwhile endeavor to protect European citizens from illicit online surveillance, the landmark bill comes at a cost: it is a form of digital protectionism.

12 August 2018

7 August 2018

How deep is the decline of the West?


“Before 1914, the earth had belonged to all. People went where they wished and stayed as long as they pleased. There were no permits, no visas, and it always gives me pleasure to astonish the young by telling them that before 1914 I travelled to India and to America without passport and without ever having seen one. One embarked and alighted without questioning or being questioned… The frontiers which, with their customs officers, police and militia, have become wire barriers thanks to the pathological suspicion of everybody against everybody else, were nothing but symbolic lines which one crossed with as little thought as one crosses the Meridian of Greenwich… I, a case-hardened creature of an age of freedom and a citizen of the world-republic of my dreams, count every impression of a rubber stamp in my passport a stigma…”

4 August 2018

What if Brexit Happened Without an Exit Deal?

If the March deadline for the United Kingdom to exit the European Union arrives without a Withdrawal Agreement between both parties, Brexit would happen with no transition period, forcing businesses to immediately adjust to the new rules defining EU-UK relations. Under a "no-deal" scenario, British exporters would face EU tariffs that are low on average, but high in specific sectors like automobiles and agriculture. The strongest economic effect of a no-deal scenario would be felt in the United Kingdom and its close trade partners, like Ireland, the Netherlands and Belgium. Without a deal, London and Brussels would probably arrange temporary agreements to minimize disruptions while they continued to negotiate.

3 August 2018

Truce Aside, U.S.-EU Trade Relations Are In for a Bumpy Ride

Although the European Union and the United States agreed to negotiate a trade deal that includes only manufactured goods, Washington has already put agricultural products on the table and will likely keep them there as talks continue.

France, Italy and other protectionist governments on the Continent will resist U.S. – and likely German – calls for U.S.-EU trade talks to include agricultural products.

European leaders are already saying that talks will eventually need to include the auto sector and address U.S. "Buy American" laws.

American demands on agriculture and vehicle protectionism, however, could derail the prospects of a deal, making the future of U.S.-EU trade relations potentially stormy.

2 August 2018

EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2018

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This YES edi­tion re­views the ac­tors, poli­cies and in­sti­tu­tions that un­der­pinned the EU’s for­eign and se­cu­rity poli­cies in 2017. These in­clude de­tails about the or­ga­ni­za­tional as­pects of the Eu­ro­pean Ex­ter­nal Ac­tion Ser­vice (EEAS), EU part­ners, re­stric­tive mea­sures, ge­o­graphic in­stru­ments, CSDP mis­sions and op­er­a­tions, EU agen­cies and bod­ies and the Eu­ro­pean De­fence Tech­no­log­i­cal and In­dus­trial Base. The vol­ume also pro­vides: 1) an overview of the work pro­grams of the pres­i­den­cies of the Coun­cil of the EU as they re­late to for­eign, se­cu­rity and de­fense pol­icy; 2) nar­ra­tives of the EU’s en­gage­ment with se­lect coun­tries and re­gions in its south­ern and east­ern neigh­bor­hoods and the wider world; 3) an overview of new EU de­fense ini­tia­tives such as Per­ma­nent Struc­tured Co­op­er­a­tion; 4) a re­view of Eu­ro­pean se­cu­rity in light of cy­ber­se­cu­rity, and more.

31 July 2018

U.S. and Europe Outline Deal to Ease Trade Feud

Richard M. Rossow

It Will Take Four to Tango

The United States and India will engage in our first “2+2 Dialogue” on September 6 in New Delhi, bringing together the heads of our respective defense and foreign ministries. This is the “successor” to the U.S.-India Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD). The S&CD met twice—in 2015 and 2016—never quite hitting its stride in terms of deepening our partnership on either the strategic or commercial relationship. The timing is critical; bilateral relations are in a trough, largely due to a range of trade concerns. The July 6 2+2 Dialogue must focus on three objectives:

30 July 2018

Hundreds storm border fence into Spain's north Africa enclave of Ceuta

Sam Jones

About 800 people have tried to enter Europe by storming a border fence that separates Morocco from Spain’s north African enclave of Ceuta, according to Spanish police. The incident on Thursday morning followed renewed warnings about Spain’s ability to cope with the rising number of migrants and refugees who have been arriving on its southern coast. It also came just hours before the Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, was to meet the French president, Emmanuel Macron, to discuss the EU’s response to the migration crisis.

29 July 2018

EUISS Yearbook of European Security (YES) 2018

This YES edition reviews the actors, policies and institutions that underpinned the EU’s foreign and security policies in 2017. These include details about the organizational aspects of the European External Action Service (EEAS), EU partners, restrictive measures, geographic instruments, CSDP missions and operations, EU agencies and bodies and the European Defence Technological and Industrial Base. The volume also provides: 1) an overview of the work programs of the presidencies of the Council of the EU as they relate to foreign, security and defense policy; 2) narratives of the EU’s engagement with select countries and regions in its southern and eastern neighborhoods and the wider world; 3) an overview of new EU defense initiatives such as Permanent Structured Cooperation; 4) a review of European security in light of cybersecurity, and more.

25 July 2018

Qingdao and Europe's Return to Asia

Parag Khanna

I’m in Qingdao, China, this week, a Qing dynasty stronghold that was ceded to Germany and used as a Pacific base for the German imperial navy in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today it is still home a famous German brewery, and just two weeks ago played host to the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. As both Germany and China sign new trade and investment agreements to deepen their ties and hedge against Trump’s erratic economic policy, it is important to remember the many ways in which China seeks inspiration from Germany: Marxist and Communist ideas of course emerged from 19th century Germany, and Germany is the standard-bearer for late 20th century industrial capitalism and social democracy. The EU-Japan free trade agreement is another recent example of how Europe is returning to Asia not as colonizers but economic partners and investors. The EU is China’s largest trading partner, and European trade with Asia is $300 billion greater annually than EU-US trade.

24 July 2018

The U.K. Hits a Chaotic Patch on the Road to Brexit

Friction within the British government and between the government and Parliament will intensify as the date for Brexit in March 2019 approaches. A "no deal" scenario with the European Union is possible, and it would severely disrupt trade, but the disorder would likely be temporary as London and Brussels would remain interested in an agreement. An extension of negotiations is also possible, but it would require the unanimous support of the remaining 27 members of the European Union. The negotiations over Brexit have entered a crucial stage. Although there are just eight months to go, the United Kingdom and the European Union have yet to work out an agreement for the March 29 British exit from the trade bloc. To make things more complicated, British Prime Minister Theresa May is wrestling with domestic difficulties; her Conservative Party is internally divided and struggling to draft a coherent plan acceptable at home and abroad. While a "no deal" scenario come next spring is a possibility, both sides would likely continue to negotiate to shorten any disruption to trade.

Why Did the European Commission Fine Google Five Billion Dollars?

By John Cassidy
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According to some estimates, about eighty-five per cent of the world’s smartphones run on Google’s Android operating system. On Wednesday, the European Commission, the administrative arm of the European Union, levied a record fine of five billion dollars on Google for breaching the E.U.’s competition rules by, among other things, forcing cell-phone manufacturers to pre-install the firm’s search engine and Chrome Web browser on Android phones. “In this way, Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” Margrethe Vestager, the E.U.’s competition commissioner, said in a statement. “These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.”

Europe in the New Era of Great Power Competition

By Alina Polyakova and Benjamin Haddad

In the run-up to last week’s NATO summit and the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, European leaders could hardly hide their anxiety. In recent weeks, Trump has gone on a rhetorical warpath against the United States’ greatest allies. In a rally in June, he claimed that the EU “was set up to take advantage of the United States.” Earlier that month, Trump attacked German Chancellor Angela Merkel as she was facing a rebellion in her own coalition over immigration. “The people of Germany are turning against their leadership,” he tweeted. Trump also reportedly asked French President Emmanuel Macron to leave the EU in order to get a better bilateral trade deal with the United States. These latest attacks came on the heels of Trump’s refusal to join the G-7 joint statement, his imposition of new U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum from U.S. allies, and his proposal to readmit Russia to the G-7. On the eve of the meeting with Putin, the U.S. president called the European Union a “foe.” The message seems clear: “America first” means Europe alone. 

Macron and Salvini face off over Continent’s future Both want to redraw Europe’s political battle lines.


Macron is a former investment banker who styles himself as a liberal champion of the European Union. Salvini, the leader of Italy’s far-right League party, has emerged as Europe’s leading nationalist — one who has pledged to bring the European project to a crashing halt. There’s one thing the two men do agree on: Both want to redraw the battle lines of European politics and turn next year’s European Parliament election into a fight over the survival of the EU in its current form. For Macron, the contest is his chance to reprise his 2017 victory over the French far right on the European stage. As representatives of his En Marche party quietly tour the Continent, gathering allies for a pan-European campaign, the French president has rarely missed an opportunity to present himself as populism’s greatest foe.

The Nato summit proves Europe doesn't get Trump – or the US

Cas Mudde

It was always going to be this way. Whatever Donald Trump ended up actually doing on his trip, Europe was going to go wild. Turns out, he did a lot. He gave incoherent interviews, offended hosts, told his usual (as well as some new) lies, and, of course, played golf at one of his shamelessly promoted businesses. The Guardian called it “the visit from hell”. As Trump was telling everyone within earshot that the British people loved him, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in central London to protest against his visit. Many demonstrators at the “Stop Trump” protest took great pains to emphasise that they loved the US, but hated TrumpLike the European leaders at the Nato summit a few days before, they insist on a strong separation between the country, as well as its people, and its leader. Still utterly confused by the new reality, they continue to hope that the US will come to its senses once the American people see how incompetent and unpopular Trump is. But I have bad news for them: Trump’s “visit from hell” will not hurt him at home.

Europe Misfires on Google A big regulatory penalty will solve no problems and create plenty of harm.

In a long-awaited decision, the European Commission on Wednesday finedAlphabet Inc.'s Google a record 4.3 billion euros ($5 billion) for unfair business practices. The commission won some praise for standing up to big tech. But theatrics aside, this decision is misguided, harmful to consumers, and almost entirely beside the point. Start with the alleged offenses. Google licenses its Android software to phone-makers for free. If they want to offer its app store, called Google Play, they must also install a suite of the company's other products, such as its search engine and web browser. All told, this is a pretty popular trade-off: Android is now used in about 80 percent of the world's smartphones.

The Geopolitics of London: Or, How England Joined the World

Deep Dive

Editor’s note: Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced her plan to withdraw from the European Union. The plan would keep Britain in a free trade zone with the EU for certain goods, a move that proved unpopular even among some in her own party. Adding fuel to the fire, U.S. President Donald Trump told a British tabloid last week that the plan would kill any chance for a U.S.-U.K. trade deal. In light of the uncertainty over just how this issue will play out, we are republishing the following report, which was originally published in April 2018, to remind our readers why these negotiations are so critical for both Britain and the EU and how London became the financial hub it is today.