We are keeping a close eye on France over the coming weekend, as that country votes in the first round of its presidential election. Ulrike Guerot has previewed the election from a German point of view in this blog post – ‘Should Merkel be scared of Hollande’ – asking whether German unease over a socialist victory is justified. In this article Thomas Klau argues that France deserves better than the campaign it has been given.
We’ll have more on the election as events unfold – and it sounds as though Thomas has already been kept very busy giving analysis to the French and European media.
Meanwhile, several other things have been keeping us busy:
China is enjoying a "think tank Spring" but its policy institutes suffer from a lack of independence due to their reliance on an authoritarian state
Berlin does not want to dominate Europe, but to exercise leadership via EU institutions - something that will be essential in a post-Brexit world.
Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey have so far been resilient to the spillover from Syria’s civil war, but now the region's stability is hanging by a thread.
A political tsunami is on the horizon driven by more referenda - meet the insurgent parties calling for them.
The China analysis draws on Chinese sources to assess how the issue looks from China, teasing out the common ground, and points of disagreement.