EU’s rich north benefits from the Eurocrisis

Various studies confirm that public and even official debate about "bailouts" has been badly mis-framed as a question of whether the better-off northern member states are willing to contribute their taxpayers' money to aid their struggling Eurozone partners. In fact, as reported today by Reuters, the richer countries have benefitted massively from the huge decline in ...

Austerity in the Eurozone periphery

The latest issue of the online journal Intereconomics features articles about Greece, Ireland, Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Aidan Regan and I wrote the article on Ireland. As we know well here in Ireland, they're an oddly-sorted bunch, because each faces a rather different set of domestic policy challenges. Each also has problems that need to be addressed in ...

Home truths about the Euro crisis

Jean-Claude Juncker said some remarkably candid things to the European parliament yesterday. His role as the chair of the Eurozone group of countries has given him limited scope to speak freely to date. Indeed he’s someone who is quoted as saying 'I’m for secret, dark debates'. Now that he’s about to step down, he’s made some ...

Another look at ‘Europe’s New Fascists’

This recent story from The New York Times offers several chilling illustrations of the growing threat that extremist groups pose to democracy and human rights in Europe. As I have written in earlier posts, the protracted nature of the current economic crisis inevitably broadens and deepens public support for extremist agendas. The answer is not ...

The real spectre haunting Europe

How safe is democracy in Europe? Observers of extremist political movements have sometimes described them as "self-disqualifying" -- that is, the louder they shout, the less they are heard (or at least listened to) by mainstream voters and parties. If this were true, and established democracies really have such a built-in circuit breaker, we would ...

It’s time to stop digging

If Europe wants to get out of its current hole, it must first stop digging. Over the past four years, economic crisis management in Europe has been dominated by a narrow obsession with fiscal discipline. The narrowness of this approach reflects in large part the German political elite's misinterpretation of Europe's current crisis as a Greek ...

Merkel Hysteria

If a case study was needed on how NOT to conduct EU negotiations, the October EU summit provides it. It has long been the bane of EU politics that the carefully crafted, finely balanced and nuanced written conclusions of an EU summit can be blown out of the water by a President or Prime Minister ...