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Archive for 23. Januar 2020

Finding Europe’s Way in the World

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2020

Sigmar Gabriel

Sigmar Gabriel, former Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister of Germany, is Chairman of Atlantik-Brücke.

Michael HütherMichael Hüther, Director and Member of the Presidium of the German Economic Institute, is a vice chairman of Atlantik-Brücke.

For historical reasons, Europe has long resided in the strategic shadow of the United States, which itself has underwritten decades of globalization and rapidly expanding prosperity. But the global balance of power is rapidly shifting, leaving Europe increasingly exposed.

BERLIN – The European Union, and particularly Germany, have yet to rise to the challenge posed by the United States’ retreat from global leadership. But, given the new competition from China, together with Russia’s renewed great-power aspirations, Western countries must find a way to cooperate more closely. 

To that end, five issues seem vital. The first is Germany’s relationship with the US, which is now under severe stress. The elephant in the room is Germany’s failure to increase its annual defense spending to 2% of GDP, as agreed at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales. For obvious historical reasons, Germany is hesitant to become Europe’s de facto military power. Were it to meet its spending commitment, it would be allocating €80 billion ($89 billion) per year to the Bundeswehr, which is €46 billion more than what France spends. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Wer zahlt für den grünen Deal?

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2020

Hans-Werner Sinn, Professor of Economics at the University of Munich, was President of the Ifo Institute for Economic Research and serves on the German economy ministry’s Advisory Council. He is the author, most recently, of The Euro Trap: On Bursting Bubbles, Budgets, and Beliefs.

MÜNCHEN – Die EU-Kommission hat Großes vor. Sie will ein eine Billion Euro schweres Klimapaket schnüren, das den Weg in eine kohlenstofffreie Wirtschaft bis zum Jahr 2050 eröffnet. Die Summe soll freilich vor allem durch finanzielle Hebelwirkungen zustande kommen. Das echte Geld, das die EU für diese Zwecke bereit stellt, beträgt im Jahr 2020 nur etwa 40 Mrd. Euro, und davon war der Löwenanteil auch schon vorher eingeplant.  Neu sind wohl nur 7,5 Mrd. Euro. 

Wie schon bei dem erstmals im Jahr 2015 aufgelegten Juncker-Fonds besteht der Trick auch dieses Mal darin, dass der Löwenanteil der genannten Summe über einen Schattenhaushalt aufgebracht wird, den die Europäische Investitionsbank verwalten soll. Die EU-Kommission selbst darf zwar keine Schulden aufnehmen, doch die intergouvernementalen Rettungs- und Investitionsfonds der EU dürfen es. Ähnlich wie die großen Banken die Regulierung vor der Finanzkrise umgangen hatten, indem sie einen Teil ihres Geschäft in in außerbilanzielle Conduits und Zweckgesellschaften verlagerten, verhält sich auch die EU.

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Trade Tensions With Europe Flare as Trump Flexes Economic Muscle

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2020

Date: 22‑01‑2020

Source: The Wall Street Journal

President says he will impose new tariffs on European car imports if EU doesn’t agree to a new trade pact

President Trump talked Tuesday to reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He threatened European allies with new tariffs.

DAVOS, Switzerland—Fresh threats by the U.S. to place tariffs on some of its closest allies—just days after reaching an initial trade deal with China—show that economic pressure remains President Trump’s weapon of choice in international disputes.

Even as he lauded the phase‑one deal the U.S. signed with China last week, Mr. Trump on Tuesday threatened another trade fight with Europe. Mr. Trump, in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum, said he would impose new tariffs on European car imports if the European Union didn’t agree to a new trade agreement.

Hours earlier, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin  warned that Italy and Britain would face U.S. levies if they proceeded with a tax on American digital giants such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Make no mistake: Poland and Hungary aren’t the only EU states abusing the law

Posted by hkarner - 23. Januar 2020

Date: 22‑01‑2020

Source: The Guardian by Agata Gostynska‑Jakubowska

Countries from Britain to Greece are guilty of democratic backsliding. And that threatens the integrity of the EU itself

‘It has been 10 months since the European People’s party said it would consider the fate of Hungary’s ruling party, Fidesz’, led by Viktor Orbán.

Mention concerns about the rule of law in certain EU countries, and people, even EU officials, automatically assume you are referring to Hungary and Poland. Without doubt, the state of democracy in both countries is worrying. Buoyed by strong electoral mandates, their populist governing parties are interfering with the independence of the judiciary and increasing state control of other institutions, including the media. But an equally worrying trend is less talked about. The decline in respect for the rule of law is happening elsewhere in the EU – indeed, it is an EU‑wide issue and it has the potential to undermine the functioning of the entire bloc.

The World Bank’s governance indicators show a deterioration in Bulgaria, France, Italy and Greece

Make no mistake, the European commission is justified in responding to developments in Warsaw and Budapest. Efforts there to undermine liberal democracy have been flagrant. The EU has responded by launching the so‑called article 7 procedure, sometimes referred to as the nuclear option, as it can ultimately lead to a country being stripped of its voting rights. It has also pursued legal cases against the two states at the European court of justice. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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