The new German government: a political shambles
The coalition agreement between the CDU-CSU and the SPD in Germany is the result of broken promises and abandoned principles. If the government comes about, its policies will be tilted even further to the left. The only tangible result will be more government spending. Germany is facing a crisis of leadership, and the only way to solve it is through new elections or a series of “coups d’etat” within the established parties.
Europe and Germany’s coalition of ‘losers’
Germany’s Christian Democrats and Social Democrats were the biggest losers of September’s federal elections, and yet they are about to form a coalition government. This bodes ill for the country and for Europe, as both parties have consistently chosen the road of expediency and populism, rather than addressing the country’s or the continent’s real problems. It has all the ingredients to break Europe’s fragile cohesion.
2018 Global Outlook: The Euro-Atlantic relationship
The transatlantic relationship can be described as a family matter – with the United States as the mostly benevolent patriarch and Europe as the dependent relatives. Relations had been cooling for at least a decade, but this process is being expedited by the presidency of Donald Trump. Both sides seem to agree that Europe needs to grow up and take charge of its own destiny. If so, we could be headed for a stormy late adolescence.
2018 Global Outlook: Another challenging year for Europe
The European Union is facing internal and external challenges that will continue to test its leadership in 2018. Politicians will struggle to agree on a reform agenda for the union against a background of tepid economic growth, Brexit, the migrant drama, geopolitical realignments, a rethinking of the international role of the United States, technology-driven economic dislocations, secessionist movements, and many other problems. Europe’s outlook is not entirely gloomy, however.
GIS Dossier: How demography shapes geopolitics
Though demographics has always had an important effect on geopolitics, big changes in population structure have become more frequent and had a wider impact as the world has become more globalized. In East Asia, populations are aging, while in Africa they are growing younger. Huge waves of migration are causing political upheaval. In this edition of the GIS Dossier, we review our experts’ analysis of demographic trends across the globe and their predictions for how they could shift geopolitical tides.
No solution in Donbas
A close look at how events are unfolding in the Ukraine conflict makes clear that the Minsk agreement and the Normandy format, which were supposed to help lead to a resolution, are irrelevant. Russia is digging in, while the West has few strategic options. The most likely scenario now is one where the conflict remains frozen and the Kremlin retains a de facto veto over any Ukrainian move toward the West.
The EU’s tilt toward centralization
The European Commission has proposed creating a European Ministry of Economy and Finance, and transforming the European Stabilization Mechanism into the European Monetary Fund, controlled by Brussels. These steps toward economic centralization are dangerous for Europe’s competitiveness. What it needs is diversity and regional competition.
GIS Dossier: Autumn of the patriarchs
In many parts of the world, the outlook for political stability in 2018 will depend on aging, often long-serving politicians. Some are senescent leaders trying to manage a generational transition, others have caught their second wind and are bracing for a long run. Here is a short list of rulers who are losing their grip, handling tricky successions, or building their legacies with a late burst of vigor. They are a key human element in geopolitics.
Is a European Monetary Fund needed?
In December, the European Commission will publish its proposal to establish a European Monetary Fund. From a strictly economic point of view, such a fund is not needed. There are plenty of political reasons, however, with Germany, France and the EC all pursuing their own contradictory goals. That makes it likely that an EMF will eventually be created, even though it will amount to little more than the existing European Stability Mechanism.
There was never much sense in Germany’s coalition talks between the CDU/CSU, FDP and the Greens, but Angela Merkel saw it as her best chance to remain chancellor. Now, FDP leader Christian Lindner has pulled his party out of the negotiations, showing an adherence to principles rarely found in European politics these days. The best scenario for Germany now would be for Ms. Merkel to step down.