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Unkonventionelle Lösungen für eine zukunftsfähige Gesellschaft

Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

For Europe, Trump Is a Blessing in Disguise

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2018

Date: 20-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Walter Russell Mead

His policies promote energy independence and balance between France and Germany.

French president Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The Trump administration is turning out to be a blessing in disguise for the European Union. While many of the president’s rhetorical statements offend European sensibilities, and while dramatic acts like the withdrawal from the Paris climate accord prompt talk of a “crisis” in trans-Atlantic relations, the actual consequences of the administration’s policies are shoring up Europe’s foundations in surprising ways.

A year ago, fears that an allegedly pro-Russia Trump administration would ditch the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and throw Europe to the wolves had delicate Europeans trembling. These days those fears seem quaint. But few in Europe have yet grasped how anti-Russian and pro-European the Trump foreign policy is at its core.

This is partly because European reflexes, especially German ones, are so often nonstrategic. Fine words and noble resolutions are mistaken for hard facts, and the wrapping paper matters more than the gift. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Barrosos Tätigkeit für Goldman Sachs: „Ein Skandal, der Folgen haben muss“

Posted by hkarner - 21. Februar 2018

Der ehemalige EU-Kommissionschef José Manuel Barroso wollte bei Goldman Sachs eigentlich nur beraten. Nun wurde er bei einem Treffen mit Vizekommissionschef Katainen ertappt. Aktivisten legten Beschwerde bei der EU-Kommission ein.

Wien/Brüssel. Am 25. Oktober haben sich ein ehemaliger EU-Kommissionschef und ein amtierender EU-Vizekommissionschef in einem Hotel in Brüssel zu einem Vier-Augen-Gespräch getroffen. Das wäre noch keine Nachricht wert, wenn José Manuel Barroso mittlerweile nicht für eine US-Investmentbank namens Goldman Sachs arbeiten würde. Die Optik wird auch nicht unbedingt besser, wenn man weiß, dass das Treffen erst in das Online-Lobbyregister der Kommission eingetragen wurde, nachdem das Online-Portal „Politico“ davon erfuhr. Hinzu kommt, dass Barroso 2016 vor einem EU-Ethik-Komitee erklärte, nicht als Lobbyist, sondern lediglich als Berater – etwa in Sachen Brexit – für Goldman Sachs tätig zu sein.

Die Vereinigung Alter-EU, die sich kritisch mit Lobbying beschäftigt, wollte es genauer wissen und fragte bei Vizekommissionschef Jyrki Katainen nach. Dieser erklärte nun in einem Brief: „Herr Barroso und ich waren die einzigen Teilnehmer des Treffens, in dem wir vor allem über Handels- und Verteidigungsangelegenheiten gesprochen haben.“ Zugleich rechtfertigt sich Katainen, dass man seit Barrosos Wechsel zu Goldman Sachs vor eineinhalb Jahren „nicht die Gelegenheit für ein weiteres Treffen gehabt“ habe.

Auch ein Treffen reichte dem Netzwerk Alter-EU aus, um Beschwerde bei der EU-Kommission einzureichen: „Ex-Kommissionspräsident Barroso hat sein für die Genehmigung des Seitenwechsels zentrales Versprechen gebrochen. Damit ist das Urteil des Ethik-Komitees der EU-Kommission hinfällig.“ Das Treffen sei „ein Skandal, der Folgen haben muss“, schreibt, Attac Österreich, Mitglied von Alter-EU, in einer Aussendung. Barroso nutze seine privilegierte Stellung aus. Niemand außerhalb der Institution verfüge „über mehr Insider-Know-how, Kontakte und anhaltenden Einfluss als ein ehemaliger Kommissionspräsident.“ Ein Sprecher der EU-Kommission erklärte am Dienstag dazu, dass alle Vorschriften eingehalten worden seien. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Deutscher könnte für mehr Balance an EZB-Spitze sorgen

Posted by hkarner - 20. Februar 2018

Thomas Mayer, Andreas Schnauder, 20. Februar 2018, 17:47 derstandard.at

Mit einem Spanier als Vize steigen die Chancen auf einen Deutschen als Draghi-Nachfolger und auf eine größere geografische Balance

Brüssel/Wien – Nach einem Jahr Anlauf und umfassendem Lobbying vor allem in seinem eigenen politischen Lager der europäischen Christdemokraten (EVP) hat Luis de Guindos es geschafft. Der konservative spanische Wirtschafts- und Finanzminister wird im Mai als Vizepräsident in das Direktorium der Europäischen Zentralbank (EZB) einziehen. Er ersetzt dort den Portugiesen Vitor Constancio. Darauf haben sich die EU-Finanzminister am Dienstag in Brüssel geeinigt, nachdem die Minister der Eurogruppe de Guindos am Abend davor einhellig nominiert hatten. Im Herbst 2019 wird das Mandat von EZB-Chef Mario Draghi auslaufen. Die Kür de Guindos‘ deutet darauf hin, dass im Hintergrund ein Deal gelaufen ist, nach dem der nächste EZB-Präsident im Oktober 2019 aus Deutschland kommen wird: Bundesbankchef Jens Weidmann. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Thomas Fazi and William Mitchell – The EU cannot be democratised – here’s why

Posted by hkarner - 16. Februar 2018

Thanks to M.R.
As the EU’s internal crisis increases with many citizens rebelling against what has become a neo-liberal project, European politicians are racing to strip national governments of all power to prevent any further democratic interventions. The centre-left still believes the EU is an institution for the good of Europe. They fail to ask the most important question: Whose Europe are we talking about?

Thomas Fazi is a writer, journalist, translator and researcher.

Bill Mitchell is Professor of Economics and Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

Pinpointing the moment at which the process of European integration took a turn for the worse is not an easy task. That is because the more nefarious (from a progressive perspective) aspects of that process are the result of seemingly non-nefarious decisions taken decades earlier. For the sake of simplicity, we can trace the beginning of Europe’s turn to neoliberalism to the mid-1970s, when the so-called ‘Keynesian’ regime, which had taken hold in the West after the war, was experiencing a full-blown crisis.

Militant wage pressure, rising costs, and increased international competition had caused a squeeze on profits, provoking the ire of capitalists. But, on a more fundamental level, the full employment regime ‘threatened to provide the foundations for transcending capitalism’ itself: an increasingly militant working class had begun to link up with the new counterculture movements of the late 1960s, demanding a radical democratisation of society and the economy. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Die zweifache Bedrohung der liberalen Demokratie

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2018

Dani Rodrik is Professor of International Political Economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is the author of The Globalization Paradox: Democracy and the Future of the World Economy, Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science, and, most recently, Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy.

CAMBRIDGE – Die Krise der liberalen Demokratie wird heute allgemein angeprangert. Donald Trumps Präsidentschaft, das Brexit-Votum im Vereinigten Königreich und die Erfolge anderer Populisten bei den Wahlen in Europa haben die von der „illiberalen Demokratie“ – einer Art autoritärer Politik mit allgemeinen Wahlen, aber wenig Respekt für den Rechtsstaat oder die Rechte von Minderheiten – ausgehende Bedrohung unterstrichen.

Nur eine kleinere Zahl von Analysten freilich hat bislang darauf hingewiesen, dass illiberale Demokratie oder Populismus nicht die einzige politische Bedrohung darstellen. Die liberale Demokratie wird zugleich durch eine Tendenz untergraben, das „Liberale“ auf Kosten des „Demokratischen“ zu betonen. Bei dieser Art Politik werden die Regierenden durch eine Fülle das Spektrum der von ihnen umsetzbaren Politiken begrenzender Fesseln von demokratischer Rechenschaftspflicht abgeschirmt. Bürokratische Gremien, autonome Regulierungsbehörden und unabhängige Gerichte legen Politiken fest, oder diese werden von außen durch die Regeln der Weltwirtschaft erzwungen. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Poverty Time Bomb

Posted by hkarner - 15. Februar 2018

Edoardo Campanella

Edoardo Campanella is a Future of the World Fellow at the Center for the Governance of Change of IE University in Madrid.

Poverty, especially among the young, has been a growing problem across many European countries since the 2008 financial crisis. And now political leaders in hard-hit countries like Italy are calling attention to the issue in the worst way possible: by promising quick fixes that won’t work and would jeopardize government budgets.

MADRID – The poor don’t often decide elections in the advanced world, and yet they are being wooed heavily in Italy’s current electoral campaign. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, the leader of Forza Italia, has proposed a “dignity income,” while Beppe Grillo, the comedian and shadow leader of the Five Star Movement, has likewise called for a “citizenship income.”

Both of these proposals – which would entail generous monthly payments to the disadvantaged – are questionable in terms of their design. But they do at least shed light on the rapidly worsening problem of widespread poverty across Europe. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The EU’s Real Rule-of-Law Crisis

Posted by hkarner - 13. Februar 2018

Date: 12-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Simon Nixon

Frustration with uneven application of EU law is a feature of the domestic politics of all member states

It has become accepted wisdom to talk of the European Union being afflicted by a rule-of-law crisis. This is often portrayed as the latest threat to the EU’s cohesion, following hard on the heels of the eurozone debt crisis and the migration crisis.

The focus of this new crisis is central and Eastern Europe, where authoritarian governments are alleged to be driving through reforms that undermine important democratic safeguards including the freedom of the press and the independence of the judiciary. This perceived assault on core liberal democratic values has fueled talk of an emerging East-West split that could lead to further EU fragmentation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Why Border Controls on Trade Will Rise Again in Europe

Posted by hkarner - 11. Februar 2018

Date: 10-02-2018
Source: The Wall Street Journal By Stephen Fidler

U.K.’s decision to steer clear of any customs union means new red tape for British exporters

The leading voice of British business argued this week for staying in a customs union with the European Union, saying it was “part of the answer to the tough questions facing the government” over trade.

As the Confederation of British Industry was setting out its case, the government made clear it has other ideas. Britain, it said, wouldn’t be a part of any customs union after the post-Brexit transition period it hopes to secure ends in about three years.

As a result, for the first time in decades, the 180,000 British companies that export to the EU will face bureaucracy at the border. Even if Britain cuts a trade agreement with the EU after Brexit that keeps goods tariffs at zero, administrative costs for exporters to the EU will soar. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Learning from Europe’s populists

Posted by hkarner - 2. Februar 2018

Date: 01-02-2018
Source: The Economist

There is lots to dislike in Europe’s populists, but also something to study

THE European Union must feel as if it has seen off the populist horde. Economic growth is at its strongest in a decade. Emmanuel Macron has defeated the National Front and is transforming France. Although just 41% of citizens trust the EU, that is more than trust their national governments—and is fully ten points up on the lows after the financial crisis.

Yet populism is not vanquished. Insurgents are in office in Poland, Hungary and Austria and won last week’s vote in the Czech Republic. In Italy the Five Star Movement could sniff power in next month’s elections. In the years to come the influence of populist parties is likely to grow.

Rather than declare victory and return to politics as usual, the establishment needs to learn from populists. That means adopting the best of what they offer and discarding the rest.

The far-from-medium is the message

There is plenty to discard. Hardline populists pursue an antagonistic politics, imagining society to be simplistically split between people and elites that have sold them out. They claim a direct connection between politician and citizen that leaves little room for an independent judiciary or free press, for assertive minorities or for facts that contradict voters’ gut feelings. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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How Eastern European Populism is Different

Posted by hkarner - 1. Februar 2018

Sławomir Sierakowski, founder of the Krytyka Polityczna movement, is Director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw.

Only in Europe’s post-communist east do populists routinely beat traditional parties in elections. Of 15 Eastern European countries, populist parties currently hold power in seven, belong to the ruling coalition in two more, and are the main opposition force in three.
WARSAW – In 2016, the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum and Donald Trump’s election to the US presidency created an impression that Eastern European-style populism was engulfing the West. In reality, the situation in Western Europe and the United States is starkly different.

As political scientists Martin Eiermann, Yascha Mounk, and Limor Goultchin of the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change have shown, only in Europe’s post-communist east do populists routinely beat traditional parties in elections. Of 15 Eastern European countries, populist parties currently hold power in seven, belong to the ruling coalition in two more, and are the main opposition force in three.

Eiermann, Mounk, and Goultchin also point out that whereas populist parties captured 20% or more of the vote in only two Eastern European countries in 2000, today they have done so in ten countries. In Poland, populist parties have gone from winning a mere 0.1% of the vote in 2000 to holding a parliamentary majority under the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s current government. And in Hungary, support for Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s Fidesz party has at times exceeded 70%. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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