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Posts Tagged ‘Leonard’

The End of Europe’s Chinese Dream

Posted by hkarner - 28. Mai 2020

Date: 26‑05‑2020

Source: Project Syndicate by Mark Leonard

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

The COVID‑19 crisis has pushed Europeans‘ strategic thinking about China – already shifting because of three developments – past the tipping point. After years of pursuing closer bilateral economic ties, Europeans suddenly realize that they have become dangerously dependent on Chinese trade and investment.

BERLIN – A paradigm shift is taking place in relations between the European Union and China. The COVID‑19 crisis has triggered a new debate within Europe about the need for greater supply‑chain “diversification,” and thus for a managed disengagement from China. That will not be easy, and it won’t happen quickly. But, clearly, Europe has abandoned its previous ambition for a more closely integrated bilateral economic relationship with China.

In the past, when Europeans sought trade, economic‑, and foreign‑policy reforms vis‑à‑vis China, their hope was always to increase contact with the country while making the relationship fairer and more reciprocal. The basic goal was to expand bilateral trade and pry open the Chinese market for European investments. Even when the European Union toughened its approach toward China, its objective was still to deepen economic ties with the country. The creation of new EU instruments to screen investments and enforce antitrust measures were presented as regrettable but necessary measures to create the political conditions for closer cooperation. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Führung in Zeiten der Ansteckung

Posted by hkarner - 30. März 2020

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

BERLIN – Googlen Sie einmal die Begriffe „Europa” und „Krise” und Sie bekommen über 784 Millionen Ergebnisse angezeigt. Diese beiden Ausdrücke erscheinen so häufig gemeinsam, dass sie schon ein zusammengesetztes Substantiv sein könnten. Bei jeder neuen Eurokrise fragen sich besorgte Kommentatoren, ob das europäische Projekt überleben wird.   

Oberflächlich betrachtet laufen viele Eurokrisen ähnlich ab. Die europäischen Regierungen durchlaufen verschiedene Phasen der Trauer – von Verleugnung und Wut bis hin zu Erholung und Akzeptanz – und beschuldigen schließlich die üblichen Verdächtigen. Für die Nordeuropäer liegt das Problem immer in Südeuropa; und für die Bewohner des Südens sind die Deutschen die Bösen und China der mögliche Retter.  Freilich bestehen grundlegende Unterschiede zwischen der Generation von Staats- und Regierungschefs, die Europa durch die Finanzkrise von 2008 steuerte, und denjenigen, die sich jetzt mit COVID-19 auseinandersetzen. Deutlich wurde das in diesem Monat, als sich der frühere britische Premierminister Gordon Brown auf eine Medientour begab, um über die Lehren aus seiner Amtszeit zu sprechen.Aufgrund seiner proaktiven Reaktion auf die Krise des Jahres 2008 – zu der auch die Organisation des G20-Gipfels im April 2009 gehörte, auf dem sich die Staats- und Regierungschefs der Welt auf eine koordinierte wirtschaftspolitische Vorgehensweise einigten – behaupteten einige Kommentatoren, Brown hätte das globale Finanzsystem im Alleingang gerettet. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Makings of a “Geopolitical” European Commission

Posted by hkarner - 29. November 2019

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

As if incoming European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen was not already inheriting a full plate of major challenges, she has also promised to reshape the EU into a „geopolitical“ force to be reckoned with. To succeed, she will need to pass seven tests, in areas ranging from climate change to cybersecurity and competition policy.

BERLIN – On December 1, Ursula von der Leyen will finally take office as president of the European Commission. She has promised to lead a commission that will avoid a scenario in which, as French President Emmanuel Macron recently warned, Europe might “disappear geopolitically” amid an escalating Sino-American rivalry.

To be sure, the European Union has the largest market in the world, the second-highest defense spending (after the United States), 55,000 diplomats, and the world’s largest development-assistance budget. But these strengths are constrained by the fragmentation of European power both between and within member states and EU institutions. While China and the US are both adept at integrating geopolitics with their economic interests, the EU stubbornly acts as if these were separate agendas. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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Naht der Winter für die EU?

Posted by hkarner - 25. April 2019

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

BERLIN – Ein weit verbreitetes Narrativ besagt, dass die Europawahlen im Mai der „dritte Akt“ in dem populistischen Drama sein werden, das 2016 mit dem Brexit-Referendum im Vereinigten Königreich und der Wahl von US-Präsident Donald Trump begann. Zu erwarten, so heißt es, sei ein großer Showdown zwischen den Kräften „offener“ und „geschlossener“ Gesellschaften, in dem die Zukunft der Europäischen Union auf dem Spiel steht. Es klingt alles sehr plausibel. Und es ist völlig falsch.

Der Brexit und die Wahl Trumps führten viele politische Analysten zu dem Schluss, dass auch die europäischen Wähler die etablierten Parteien für neue, identitätsgestützte Tribus aufgeben würden. Doch in Amerika sind die politischen und regionalen Trennlinien derart verfestigt, dass sie beeinflussen, wo jemand arbeitet, wen man heiratet und wie man die Welt betrachtet. Und im Vereinigten Königreich haben sich schon seit langem ähnliche Gräben zwischen Nord und Süd, jung und alt, Stadt und Land sowie Hochschulabsolventen und denjenigen, die keine Hochschule besucht haben, aufgebaut. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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The Coming Franco-German Bust-Up

Posted by hkarner - 26. Dezember 2018

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

The partnership at the center of European integration is unraveling just when Euroskeptic forces are coming together. If French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel cannot start rebuilding the political center, next year’s European Parliament election will produce the biggest victory yet for anti-EU populists.

BERLIN – The politics of Brexit is descending into chaos. The European Union is fragmenting into northern, southern, eastern, and western tribes. And now the Franco-German marriage at the center of the European project is in danger of falling apart.

In May 2017, when German Chancellor Angela Merkel and newly elected French President Emmanuel Macron met for the first time, for a renewal of vows. Crowds of pro-European well-wishers urged them on. Macron, the fresh-faced reformer, seemed to have a Midas-like political touch. And Merkel was at the height of her power on the international stage, having been deemed the new “leader of the free world,” supplanting the “very stable genius” in the White House, Donald Trump.

Quoting the German author Hermann Hesse, Merkel observed that, “There is magic in every beginning,” but added a caveat: “The magic lasts only when there are results.” Eighteen months later, the magic most certainly has not lasted. Merkel has now of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and will not seek another term as chancellor. And Macron, far from walking on water, has been trying not to drown in a sea of yellow-vested protesters. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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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.

Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »

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