Go to ECFR's "Reinventing Europe" page
After two months of haggling, a final coalition agreement between the CDU/CSU and the SPD has been hammered out. The 185 page- document is with the title "Shaping Germany's future" is supposed to set the tone for Germany's new 'grand coalition' (in Germany the coalition is also known as GroKo which stands for Große Koalition). However, the deal sends a clear message: Merkel still holds the reigns and we are not about to witness a volte-face in German policies on Europe and foreign affairs.
The broad consensus established in the coalition agreement means that there is little sign of major innovation or a drastic change in direction in terms of European and foreign policy. On one hand, this can be seen as uninspired as the incoming German government demonstrates no real ambition for leadership in European and international affairs – with the notable exception of the euro crisis. On
President Putin and his delegation arrived in Rome earlier this week for a high-level bilateral consultation, a mechanism that was launched back in 2002. This year 11 ministers arrived and signed 35 agreements in 5 hours. Putin met with President Giorgio Napolitano, Prime Minister Enrico Letta, former prime minster Romano Prodi and Pope Francis. He even had dinner with his old friend Silvio Berlusconi. It was sober reminder of the close relationship between Italy and Russia.
In Trieste, Italy and Russia signed an impressive number of 28 trade agreements and 7 intergovernmental deals. The agreements cover areas such as finance, energy, industry, research, employment and social policies. Russia’s state-backed private equity investment fund and Italy’s strategic state investment fund have agreed a deal to invest up to €1 billion in companies and
Does Europe need a global strategy? Ten years ago European leaders approved a security strategy based upon a world that seemed so much more amenable to European interests and values. The subsequent decade has seen the world change enormously, and in a new ECFR paper our experts outline the case for a new strategy for the new world that we find ourselves in.
We recently published three short podcasts looking at some of the issues involved. In the first one, Susi Dennison (one of the authors of the ECFR paper) makes the case that a strategic rethink is overdue.
“Ahead of the December European Council, which is planning to reflect upon strategy and defence questions, there seems to be some enthusiasm across the European member states for that discussion not to be anchored solely in questions around military and defence capacity, but to look more broadly at what Europe’s interests
If the dog didn’t bark that night, he must have known the man who stole the horse, Sherlock Holmes once deduced. Such thing seems to have happened to the European - and Spanish - intelligence services. Either they didn’t know that the US was systematically gathering data on citizens, thus failing in their mission to protect the latter, or they did know but did nothing about it, which is a betrayal of the confidence placed in them.
The second hypothesis looks more likely every day. Why? Because, as far as we can see, it seems that the European services are not only consumers of the data, but also participate in collecting them, directly collaborating with the US in tapping undersea cables and offering other kinds of technical support. We knew that the UK, as part of “Five Eyes,” did this, but now it seems that Spain and France were also in it. The communiqué that the NSA has made
All of us are victims of some defective institutional design, whether it be on a global or local scale. Consider, for example, the 14 municipal representatives who had their group photo taken last week while inaugurating a traffic roundabout in a town near Granada. Or the G20, an institution that has so far been incapable of addressing issues such as climate change and the regulation of the financial markets.
Between global and local the old nation states muddle along, trapped between a territorial decentralisation that produces fragmentation, a supranational integration that presses for centralisation, and the centrifugal logic of economic globalisation. Things look no better in the supranational sphere. In this crisis, the EU has shown how much a system of governance may suffer when it comes to making decisions that are effective from a technical viewpoint and legitimate from a
Towards a new EU foreign policy
Why Europe needs a new Asia strategy
How sectarian agendas shape the politics of the Middle East
What are China's interests in the Middle East?
How to rebuild the Palestinian national movement
Germany will not provide clear leadership for Europe
More intergovernmentalism, more differentiation
How regional actors shape the conflict in Syria
The politics of China's most powerful man
What Europe needs to do
Why the German model is not a blueprint for Europe