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.
Serbia prepares to change course on Kosovo
The Serbian-Albanian dispute over Kosovo has kept the Western Balkans unstable for more than a century. Now, President Aleksandar Vucic is preparing the Serbian public for a new opening – recognition of Kosovo’s independence as the price of admission to the European Union. The Serbian public and senior officials are far from convinced this is the right move – some are calling for partitioning the territory and keeping Serbia’s orientation towards Russia.
Opinion: The EU meets its perfect storm
Europe’s migration crisis is about to get worse – much worse. Efforts to interdict the migrant flow and funnel aid funds to the countries of origin will prove ineffective or counterproductive. The problem is less the size of the exodus than European leaders’ refusal to address its causes. We know what policies will work, but that knowledge is useless if politicians will not face facts.
Central Europe is not less European or less democratic
Parties unfairly labeled “euroskeptic” and “populist” have won elections in Austria and the Czech Republic. But they only want to preserve sovereignty and regional diversity. Western Europe likes to look down on Central Europe as nationalist and backward, but the real political problems in Europe stem from established parties’ headlong push toward harmonization and their refusal to accept new ideas.
Theresa May’s guardedly optimistic Brexit scenario
Under London’s current proposal, the United Kingdom could quit the European Union at midnight on March 30, 2019 largely unscathed, leaving behind a smaller, but cooperatively disposed community on the continent and the outstanding, complex divorce issues for settling later on. But then, there is the “cliff edge” scenario with not such a happy ending.
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.
Burundi’s downward spiral
President Pierre Nkurunziza’s grip on power has divided Burundian society to the point where armed opposition groups are in open conflict with forces loyal to the regime. Violence against civilians has forced thousands to flee their homes. The economy has been hit hard as well. But the fragmentation of the opposition and Burundi’s involvement in critical peacekeeping missions means Mr. Nkurunziza has the upper hand, for now.
Opinion: Corruption in Guatemala and why Central America won’t go away
If U.S. President Donald Trump really wants to stop illegal immigration, he would do well to look at its causes, like violence in the Northern Triangle countries of Central America. However, a one-size-fits-all approach will not solve the problem. Each country has its own specific difficulties. In Guatemala, it is corruption. The U.S. and the international community can play a key role in fighting corruption, which could reduce violence and therefore migration – but they must stop sending mixed signals.