Month: March 2017

A coconut shy election

The French presidential election in reality began on Monday 20 March upon conclusion of the debate between the five leading candidates at the polls: Marine Le Pen, Emmanuel Macron, François Fillon, Benoit Hamon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon. This was in any case the hope of many commentators, if not the participants themselves. Why? Essentially, this is …

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Digital work and politics: What impact will "Work 4.0" have on the world of work and politics?

View this text’s literature and sources here View this text in German here Inevitable consequences Digitisation is a fact. Its impact on the working world is often portrayed as an inescapable constraint to which labour markets, and thus workers, can or must just adapt on pain of social exclusion. The affects can neither be tracked …

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There is still no alternative: Germany’s "Schwarze Null" and its discontents

In 2017, Germany will run a balanced budget for the fourth year in a row. This surplus, universally known as “Schwarze Null”, is accompanied by high hopes: its supporters predict that it will mean nothing less than the end of the era of permanent austerity. Yet this optimism rests on shaky grounds. The government’s capacity …

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2007 – 2017: Ten years of "marino-lepen-ism"

Read the original text in French here To truly understand the determination and drive which carries Marine Le Pen and analyse her electoral program one must first consider the 2012 presidential election before reviewing the present election. There are clear similarities between the present 2017 presidential program and the ‘strategy’ she employed for her father …

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Progressive policies for EU growth and equity

This text is based on thoughts presented by Stephany Griffith-Jones at the FEPS conference “Looking for a different Europe. Reflections and perspectives” on 21st March 2017  An important, though not the only, cause for the rise of extreme right-wing parties is very weak recovery from the Eurozone debt crisis; recent evolution is more encouraging, with all …

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Which powers back to the Member States?

With the White Paper on the Future of Europe, presented on 1 March (here), the European Commission avoids settling on a single reform concept, thus avoiding the danger of causing resistance ahead of the EU Summit in Rome and the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. Whatever the strategic intent, in terms of content …

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Poland versus the EU – another battle done, while the struggle is still far from being over…

The last summit ended with observers shaking their heads with disbelief. It was the first time in history that a single government would reject the entire document summarising the conclusions of the Council. This lonely fighter, who left the scene feeling frantic, was the Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo. Her fury echoed in the statement …

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Elections in Bulgaria – from uncertainty to instability in times when a common vision for the future is most needed

Almost two and a half years after the last parliamentary election, Bulgaria is facing another round of preliminary voting for the National Assembly on 26th of March 2017. How did the country come to this point…again? After a sequence of unstable coalitions and hard to manage governments (the last full term government held a mandate …

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To celebrate the 60th Birthday

The best way to celebrate the 60th birthday of the Treaty of Rome is to insert it in a narrative. Treaties do not appear like mushrooms after the rain. De Gaulle said rightly that “Treaties are like roses.., they last while they last”. And this Treaty is lasting. If we want a more inclusive, more …

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