GIS Dossier: Return of the Daddy State
The aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the 2008 financial crisis have led to calls for a dramatic increase in the powers of government. Even the ubiquity of internet-based technologies and the populist backlash against political establishments have had the paradoxical effect of promoting centralization. Yet in both politics and economics, there is plenty of evidence that state paternalism is the wrong answer.
Scenarios for the future of the EU-Turkey relationship
The relationship between Turkey and the European Union is on the rocks. Turkey cannot be considered eligible for membership, but the accession process remains officially ongoing. A collapse of the talks seems likely – but that would cause more problems than it would solve. Forging a new kind of partnership would have plenty of benefits, but would require ending accession negotiations. Sticking with the status quo gives both sides what they want, for now.
A new Euro-Atlantic strategy for the Western Balkans
The European Union and the United States are again paying attention to the Western Balkans, trying to keep the region firmly within the EU and NATO orbit. But Angela Merkel’s ambitious plans for economic development will hinge on overcoming traditional animosities – especially the conflict between Serbia and Albania over Kosovo and Greek-Macedonian tensions – which have allowed Russia to reassert its influence.
Germany votes: another four years of Merkel – but which Merkel?
Angela Merkel looks nearly certain to win another term as chancellor of Germany in September. The big question is what her next moves will be. Much of that will depend on her coalition partners in government, but one thing is sure: she will continue to be flexible and outsmart her opponents. She will also begin to shore up her legacy: making Germany relevant again, as a reliable, rational, and stable nation.
India and Germany draw closer
India and Germany may seem like an odd couple. But a recent flurry of diplomatic consultations suggest that the two countries may be beginning to form a strategic relationship. What animates them is a belief that second-tier powers need to work more closely together to shore up an international order threatened by an assertive China and a whimsical United States.
Opinion: Statesmanship in short supply
Today’s politicians seem to be reacting to events rather than leading. Part of the problem is the plethora of high-profile international summits, which make for good photo opportunities but don’t offer any occasion for deeper discussions. The whirlwind trips give them little time to think through strategy and future scenarios, making them more likely to act in terms of political expedience.
Macron and the German project
After Brexit, the European Union is composed of two sorts of countries – those willing to recognize German leadership, and those reluctant to do so. With the project of an ever-closer union now defunct, the EU’s internal debate has shifted to what Germany wants and how much it is willing to compromise. A lot depends on the position of France and its new president.
It pays to be principled
The CDU swept three regional elections in Germany because local candidates got back in touch with traditional Christian values. That augurs well for the September general elections, provided Chancellor Angela Merkel doesn't ignore the message.
The risks of German unilateralism on Nord Stream 2
Russia’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline, the most controversial energy project in Europe, is putting strain on Germany’s relationship with other European Union members. Berlin’s support of the project at the expense of other partners could deepen rifts in the EU and lead to a renationalization of energy policies, especially in Central and Eastern Europe.
All eyes on France, but local German elections were also crucial for the EU
Emmanuel Macron’s proposals to centralize debt and financial functions in the European Union could, if implemented, put the bloc on a slow path toward disintegration. However, election results in Schleswig-Holstein have confirmed that fiscally sound policies have solid support in Germany. If the CDU and FDP can again form a coalition after the country’s September elections, Berlin will be in a strong position to continue to resist moves toward centralization. That will be good news for the EU.