Monthly Archives

February 2020

European, Politics

Will the European Union be the main casualty of the Coronavirus?

At the time of writing on February 25th we already know quite a lot about the Covid19 and, at the same time, many uncertainties remain. Limiting oneself to official and authoritative scientific sources, we have already learned that the virus attacks almost exclusively adults; that it is fatal mainly in the case of older people and/or if they suffer additional pathologies (smoking, cancers, diabetes, hypertension…) and is otherwise less dangerous than the annual flew epidemic with a low rate of fatalities. Among still unknown factors remain the seasonality of the virus (will it disappear in spring?), the delay for providing a vaccine (10-18 months?) or the length of the incubation period (14-27 days?). Fundamental is the correctness of the data…

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European, Politics

Is the European Union sleepwalking into its dislocation?

In a very perceptive article published in the Spectator of February 13th (1) Fredrik Erixon describes “The death of the center in European politics”. He rightly points out: “This is no longer a story about the rise of populists, it’s a story of change. Either the old parties must adapt or populists will — transforming into the new ruling norm.” This is a very crucial point because it shows that by restricting the debate challenging the “populist nationalist extremes” to waiving the spectre of the demons of the first half on the 20th. century  – a “historical” period that only few survivors recall – the “democratic centre” is addressing its audiences at cross purposes to their main daily preoccupations. By…

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European, Politics

Could the ECB turn out to be the Achilles tendon of the EU’s democratic legitimacy?

  In these uncertain times many matters filling the media remind us daily of the existential risks the world is facing extending from climate change to geopolitical challenges in the Middle-East, Ukraine or Africa, to social unrest in Venezuela, Hong Kong when it is not closer to home in France, to new forms of confrontation in terms of cyberwarfare, proliferation of nuclear weapons or trade disputes, etc. These highly complex matters have deeply imbedded relationships making them especially difficult to be understood or evaluated by an ever larger number of global “connected” individuals, wrestling with new forms of instant communication, capable of using the fast developing Artificial Intelligence algorithms to manipulate a gullible “public opinion”. It is not surprising that…

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European, Politics

The “Future Relationship” between the European Union and the United Kingdom.

The speeches delivered on February 3rd by Boris Johnson in Greenwich and by Michel Barnier in Brussels reveal the deep differences between the parties on the eve of the adoption of their respective negotiation mandates. That is hardly surprising as each protagonist flexes his muscles before initiating the talks. First it should be mentioned that both presentations were of excellent quality, their structure underscoring perfectly the differences in the personality and method of the orators. On the one hand, a flamboyant sentimental speech calling for the EU to trust Britain (a feeling that Boris Johnson’s track record renders dubious at best) and, on the other, a finely honed coherent demonstration repeating ne varietur the well-established positions of the EU. A…

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European, Politics

The “Brexit” tree hides the forest of the challenges of globalization!

The historical event of the formal departure of the UK from the EU has rightfully occupied the center of media attention over the last several days. It is nevertheless sure that other events will rapidly dominate the news: the acquittal of Donald Trump and the US presidential campaign, the coronavirus epidemic, the situation in the Middle-East, Ukraine trade wars, climate change, social unrest, EU reform, etc. What is new is that in our “connected” planet, all of these matters have also become deeply interconnected, which means that addressing them in isolation becomes problematic and is often biased. Brexit is emblematic in this regard and deserves to be considered in more detail. Most current analysis cover the process under which negotiations…

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