Comments written by Prince Michael of Liechtenstein himself provide an informed viewpoint on crucial geopolitical issues. Sometimes challenging and always thought-provoking, these brief commentaries take a stance that stimulate debate.
2018 European perspectives
Today’s ruling elites of Europe have renounced its new political movements as “nationalist” and “populist,” and accuse some member states of no longer following democratic principles. In reality, though, it is Brussels’ overreaching ambitions that bring up the specter of autocratic rule in Europe.
A differentiated view of the new U.S. tax bill
The Trump administration's long-overdue effort at tax reform – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – has gotten a bad rap from its critics. While they focus on its alleged favors toward the super-rich, the media have overlooked its benefits to small and medium-sized companies – the family firms that form the backbone of the American economy. Europe could learn a thing or two about this approach to boosting growth.
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.
UN peace conference for Syria: too late
Europe and the United States took a moralistic stand on Syria’s civil war, demanding that Bashar al-Assad must go. This created an opening for Russia: because of its military intervention, the dictator remains firmly in place, the humanitarian tragedy is deepening and chances for a negotiated settlement seem largely lost.
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.
Irrational tax and regulatory systems
The true story of the Paradise Papers is less about shady business deals than about the byzantine regulatory and tax structures of developed countries. It is a lesson that politicians like French President Emmanuel Macron are studiously trying to ignore.
Putin’s potential contribution to ending the U.S.-North Korea standoff
U.S. President Donald Trump will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin at the APEC summit this weekend. Although allegations of his campaign’s collaboration with Russia during last year’s election has made it hard for Mr. Trump to negotiate with the Kremlin, Mr. Putin’s assistance on the North Korea crisis could prove very useful. It would also be in Russia’s interest. The price the U.S. might have to pay in concessions could be high, but a solution where Washington and Russia cooperate to defuse the North Korea crisis is likely.
Limits on posting workers create Europe’s high-cost cartels
European Union labor ministers have just agreed to a proposal that could see more protectionist measures implemented across the bloc. The new rules would limit employers’ flexibility how much they pay “posted” workers – employees from a different EU member state. Until now, posting workers added needed competition to the labor market. Eliminating that option just protects high-cost cartels created by EU states with excessive cost structures.