• The omnipotent dollar and the euro problem

      The omnipotent dollar and the euro problem

      Last week, European heads of state and government moved to protect European companies that do business with Iran from US sanctions. In this, they have the law on their side. Under the Iran nuclear deal signed in 2015, Western companies are allowed to do business with Iran in return for the country's suspension of much of its nuclear programme and submission to a stringent inspection regime.

    • Europe needs neighbourhood policy rethink

      Europe needs neighbourhood policy rethink

      The main thrust of the EU's response to the migration crisis has been to enlist the co-operation of third countries in an attempt to better control its own borders. The EU struck a deal with Turkey in March 2016, and supported Italy's efforts to co-operate with Libyan authorities in policing their coasts better and cracking down on people-smuggling.

    • Civil society of tomorrow

      Civil society of tomorrow

      Centralisation of power in the executive, politicisation of the judiciary, attacks on media independence and lack of trust in the traditional political parties are just some of the symptoms of the current widespread crisis of democracy. It is not an understatement to say that European democracy is experiencing its biggest setback since the 1930s and that traditional models of participation seem ill-equipped to cope with the acceleration of change.

    • Increasingly loveless Trans-Atlantic marriage

      Increasingly loveless Trans-Atlantic marriage

      Beyond its potentially dramatic consequences for Middle East stability, Trump's 8 May decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal has also damaged the United States' relations with its European allies. France, Germany and the United Kingdom worked with the Obama administration to barter the United Nations-approved Iran agreement in 2015. Now, the three European signatories must figure out how to save that deal and continue working with a US president who has mostly shown them contempt. As a scholar of transatlantic relations who has followed the Iran deal for years, I am frankly sceptical that Europe can manage either.

    • Integration cannot be forced

      Integration cannot be forced

      There is nothing more frightening than a barbarian slave class which has learned to think of its existence as an injustice and is preparing to take revenge, not only for itself, but for all generations. These words belong to the great thinker and philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche.

    • Next EU budget seems rooted in the past

      Next EU budget seems rooted in the past

      An enormous political battle has just begun in the European Union (EU). On 2 May, the European Commission presented its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the EU budget, for the period 2021-27. This kicked off a lengthy and complex negotiation process. Throughout 2018 and 2019, probably even beyond, we can expect a discussion on the highest political level, involving the European Parliament and the member states, about the priorities and direction for the EU. As before, this will likely turn into horse-trading whereby competing interests are translated into actual figures – at the cost of the agreed grand objectives.

    • Europe's last resort: robust diplomacy on Iran deal

      Europe's last resort: robust diplomacy on Iran deal

      Despite months of E3-US negotiations to avert an unnecessary crisis over the Iran nuclear deal, President Trump has declared a hard exit from the nuclear agreement. The decision demonstrates that the US has decided that confrontation with Iran is both necessary and inevitable, regardless of what European allies think. The US administration looks set to increase tensions with Tehran and promote an implosion of Iran's economy in ways that significantly increase risks of greater military escalation in the Middle East. Moreover, in the coming weeks, United States looks set to lead an economic and political assault on European interests.

    • Courting Nero: The state of relations with Trump

      Courting Nero: The state of relations with Trump

      The pomp and rhetoric surrounding any high-level visit, but especially to the White House, invariably offer clues about the aims and ambitions of both guest and host. And normally the players give out signs front-of-house that tell us something about what they would like to communicate in public. As ever with Donald Trump, things are different. With this president, much of what he wants may actually play out in front of the audience itself.

    • North Korea wants a deal

      North Korea wants a deal

      After a fearful year of brinksmanship, the recent summit between South Korean president Moon Jae-In and North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong-un was a beautiful moment of hope. The two leaders stepped back and forth over the Military Demarcation Line between their two countries and shared Korean cold noodles brought specially from a famed Pyongyang restaurant. They planted a tree and fed it water from two rivers, North Korea’s Taedong and South Korea’s Han.

    • The EU is at risk of death from myopia

      The EU is at risk of death from myopia

      If the European Union were to die, some might expect its death certificate to cite inertia. But myopia looks more likely. Short-sightedness risks becoming the European project's terminal sickness. "I don't want to belong to a generation of sleepwalkers," said France's President Emmanuel Macron in Strasbourg. Underlying his speech to the European Parliament was the message that the solutions to yesterday's problems are no longer suited to those of tomorrow. It's a theme that other policymakers and political leaders across Europe should be repeating over and over again.