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Posts Tagged ‘Leonard’

Macron Takes Aim at European Politics

Posted by hkarner - 28. März 2018

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

During his first year in office, French President Emmanuel Macron outlined a series of proposals for reforming European institutions; now he is launching a campaign to shake up the European Parliament election in 2019. Through it all, he has adhered to a coherent philosophy of how politics in the twenty-first century should work.

LONDON – Until the terrorist attack at a market in southern France on March 23, French President Emmanuel Macron had been planning to launch a new European-level political campaign. Though the official rollout has now been postponed, Macron’s latest project remains central to his presidency and to his conception of power.

Macron’s “La Grande Marche pour l’Europe” will mimic the program that toppled France’s dominant political parties and transformed his La République En Marche ! movement into a political force in 2017. Over the course of six weeks, he will dispatch ten ministers and 200 parliamentarians to survey the French people’s views on Europe and European issues. The results will then be considered in developing a platform that can beat populist and Euroskeptic parties in the 2019 European Parliament election. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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China’s Big-Data Big Brother

Posted by hkarner - 2. März 2018

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The Communist Party of China’s decision to abolish presidential term limits has raised the possibility that President Xi Jinping, the country’s most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, will rule indefinitely. And the cult of personality Xi is creating will be bolstered by the most powerful surveillance state in history.

LAHORE – The Communist Party of China’s (CPC) decision this week to eliminate presidential term limits seems to open the door for President Xi Jinping to be not just “Chairman of Everything,” but also “Chairman Forever.” The move has been met with dismay around the world, but it has also intensified an ongoing debate among China experts over whether the biggest threat to China is too much executive power, or too little.

Where one stands on that question seems to depend largely on whether one is a political scientist, an economist, or a technologist. Many political scientists and legal scholars, for example, argue against the change, because they consider the model of collective leadership that the CPC established after 1979 to be one of its biggest successes. That model’s term limits and system of peer review for high-level decision-making has provided the checks necessary to prevent a repeat of Mao-era catastrophes such as the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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London Bridges to Nowhere

Posted by hkarner - 26. Januar 2018

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

In December, negotiators from the European Union and the United Kingdom were able to conclude phase one of the Brexit negotiations by leaving key issues unresolved. But British leaders‘ apparent conviction that they can muddle through the Brexit process is setting up the UK for a rude awakening.

LONDON – Last week, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson resuscitated an age-old proposal for a 22-mile bridge to be built across the English Channel. The irony has escaped no one. Johnson is calling for a fantasy bridge at the same time that he is destroying his island country’s only true bridge to the continent: the European Union.

Johnson’s bridge proposal shows yet again that the Brexiteers’ entire project is based on a permanent suspension of disbelief. In December, the European Commission played along, allowing Prime Minister Theresa May to pretend that she can reach three mutually contradictory goals concerning the United Kingdom’s departure from the EU.

The UK’s first goal is to maintain a soft border and frictionless trade with the Republic of Ireland, which will remain an EU member state, subject to the rules of the European single market and customs union. The second is to establish identical regulatory regimes throughout the United Kingdom, including in Northern Ireland. And the third is to “take back control,” by leaving the single market, customs union, and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Europe’s Crisis Starts at Home

Posted by hkarner - 6. Dezember 2017

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

According to conventional wisdom, the biggest threat to the European project is „illiberal“ saboteurs on the periphery of the European Union who have decided not to play by the rules. But what this narrative misses is the even deeper divide within EU member states, including bastions of liberalism such as France and Germany.

LONDON – Deep divisions within Europe are increasingly threatening the values upon which the European project of “ever closer union” is based. In 2015, during the refugee crisis, many commentators saw a divide between German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Willkommenskultur (welcoming culture) and Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán’s vision of ethnic purity: a Western Europe of bridges versus an Eastern Europe of walls.

But another threat to European unity comes from within individual countries. In Germany, talks to form a center-left, center-right coalition have broken down. In the Netherlands, it took Prime Minister Mark Rutte 208 days to form a new government after elections in March. In the United Kingdom, the political establishment is in disarray over Brexit. And in Poland, white nationalists and neo-Nazis recently staged a massive march through the streets of Warsaw. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Illusion of Freedom in the Digital Age

Posted by hkarner - 5. November 2017

Mark LeonardMark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

The biggest danger in the coming years is not that technology will put free and autocratic societies increasingly at odds with one another. It is that the dystopian visions of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley will become manifest in both types of system.

LONDON – Over the last few weeks, media around the world have been saturated with stories about how technology is destroying politics. In autocracies like China, the fear is of ultra-empowered Big Brother states, like that in George Orwell’s 1984. In democracies like the United States, the concern is that tech companies will continue to exacerbate political and social polarization by facilitating the spread of disinformation and creating ideological “filter bubbles,” leading to something resembling Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.

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How Britain Lost Its Cool

Posted by hkarner - 6. Oktober 2017

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

In the past 20 years, the UK and Germany have switched positions, with the latter now representing openness while the former has come to embody backward-looking nationalism. But there is no reason to believe that the two countries won’t swap places again.

BERLIN – The recent meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister Theresa May in the Estonian capital of Tallinn was a portrait in contrasts. Merkel has pursued openness and internationalism, and leads a country with a world-beating industrial base and strong trade ties. May talks more about the past than the future, and has disparaged “citizens of the world” while claiming to defend her country’s confused national identity.  Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Germany’s New Power of the Purse

Posted by hkarner - 28. Juli 2017

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Can “Mercron” Deliver for Europe?

Posted by hkarner - 4. Juli 2017

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The Macron Method

Posted by hkarner - 30. Mai 2017

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The Coming Brexit Breakdown?

Posted by hkarner - 2. Mai 2017

Mark Leonard is Director of the European Council on Foreign Relations.

Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s invocation of Article 50 in March, many experts believe there is a strong chance that the coming UK-EU breakup talks will be calamitous for both sides. Mark Leonard, director of the European Council on Foreign Relations, explains why.

MAY 1, 2017 3 Mark Leonard, Project Syndicate

Since British Prime Minister Theresa May activated Article 50, formally starting the process of UK withdrawal from the EU, both sides have been adjusting their positions. May has signaled her support for EU unity and indicated that free movement may continue during a transition period. Meanwhile, the EU has agreed to discuss the outlines of a future trade agreement while the divorce talks go on.

And yet, because of the competing logics of the two sides, many experts think there is still a strong chance that the talks will result in tragedy for both.

May has revealed her hierarchy of goals, which reflects a belief that some things are more important than money. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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