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Role model no more

To mark the start of the six-month EU Council presidency of Slovenia, a grandiose musical and ballet performance was arranged on Lake Bled. This reminded me of my own very first visit to Slovenia, which was also linked to music, though with a much more modest profile. As an unassuming clarinet player in the wind […]

Portugal’s presidency: to heal Europe

If you hated Covid-19 in 2020, you will hate it more in 2021, under the Portuguese presidency of the EU Council. The mundane reason for this is that the period of presidency in the EU is not simply a time of pushing dossiers, dialogues and trilogues, but also one of visiting the country that holds […]

Europe in 2020

The year 2020 will be recorded forever as one overshadowed by the new coronavirus. Needless to say, this was not the plan. Because there was a plan. A few of us clearly remember. The idea was that the European Union would pursue smart, sustainable and inclusive growth after the Great Recession (of 2009), and by […]

John Weeks (1941-2020)

This Summer, progressive economists lost a great thinker, author, teacher, activist and friend. I have known Prof. John Weeks for nearly three decades, starting with a visit at SOAS, and then an invitation to Budapest. During the post-1989 transition, those who refused to buy into the newly hegemonic neoliberal dogma, found his book Capital and […]

Europe’s Budget Revolution – From Covid-19 Recession to Progressive Reconstruction

The 2020 coronavirus crisis has pushed the European Union to a critical level of innovation regarding its fiscal capacity. The dogma of keeping the EU budget at around one per cent of the Gross National Income (GNI) and balancing it every year evaporated within a space of a few months. Notwithstanding some initial hesitation, the […]

The rule of law stalemate

The seven-year financial framework and the recovery budget of the European Union have been taken hostage by a bitter dispute over the rule of law. The European Parliament (EP) asserts itself as a guardian of EU values, imposing its requirements at last on the spending machinery of the Union. The declaration by the four leaders […]