The U.S.-China AI race: A ‘third way’ for Europe?
As artificial intelligence becomes a key source of competition between China and the United States, the European Union is being left behind. Until recently, Europe has focused on regulations and the ethics of AI, at the expense of technological development. The EU is now launching new research initiatives, but it remains to be seen whether it can avoid losing economic and geopolitical influence on the AI front in the long term.
Theresa May and the continental side of Brexit
British Prime Minister Theresa May is taking the blame for a debacle that is not of her making. But even now, in the shadow of a hard Brexit, the damage can be contained if cooler heads prevail on the other side of the Channel.
Prospects for two-tiered banking regulation in Europe
The European Union’s complex and lengthy set of rules for banks is putting a burden on small lenders, which often form the backbone of a country’s banking sector. The solution, some propose, is to have a two-tiered system in which the banks that are “too big to fail” must follow the most stringent regulations, while simpler, less complicated rules apply to the smaller players. Such a system is already being used in the United States. Could Europe follow?
Opinion: Six lessons from Brexit
The United Kingdom and the European Union have drawn little benefit from the Brexit negotiations. It did not have to be this way. The leadership on both sides made critical mistakes that have put Europe in this pickle. As the process moves toward its next stage, the question is whether leaders can learn the lessons and take a more realistic stance. The future of both the EU and the UK depends on it.
A choice for economies: Freedom or socialism
Some say the global economy is slowing down due to Brexit and the U.S.-China trade dispute – but these developments are not the real dangers. Far more insidious is the trend toward increased government influence in economies and large public debts. Yet, even many economists have adopted the notion that government intervention and high debt can be a good thing. These policies have been tried before and failed. Worse, they can end up limiting freedom.
Italian gold and populist publicity
Italy’s Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has revived a five-year-old proposal to use his country’s gold reserves to bring down the budget deficit. The idea is problematic for several reasons – but that is not the point. Mr. Salvini is likely using this controversial plan to make headlines and burnish his populist credentials ahead of the European Parliament elections. While he may take the gold idea further, his real goal is to enlarge and lead a pan-European alliance of euroskeptics.
Opinion: The overhauled but directionless Franco-German tandem
When French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel signed a new Franco-German treaty in Charlemagne’s old imperial capital of Aachen earlier this year, the outcome was underwhelming. The ambitious goals that were set also seem entirely unrealistic, given the countries’ increasing divergence on policy. That means fears of a dominant Franco-German tandem in the EU are unfounded, but so are hopes that it will lead the bloc out of its current doldrums.
GIS Dossier: The Italian case
Politically and financially, Italy has come to be regarded as a weak link in the European Union. Its shaky banks and enormous public debt almost blew apart the euro area during the debt crisis of 2010-2012, and could still do so. Its government, a marriage of populists on the left and right, claims to be the precursor of a protest wave that will sweep this year’s European Parliament elections. But as usual, it is hard to tell whether Italy is headed for disaster or more of the same.
African migration: From polarization to win-win
With this year’s European Parliament elections, the EU may be approaching a watershed moment on migration. Voters and politicians are questioning the fundamental assumptions of globalized approaches like the UN Compact on Migration and the EU Trust Fund for Africa, which may do more to encourage than curb the migrant influx. But “outsourcing” management of migration flows to transit countries may only increase Europe’s vulnerability to political shocks in buffer states like Sudan, Libya or Algeria.
A year of change for the European Union?
The European Union, which still lacks a post-Brexit vision of itself, will be changing the leadership of almost all its leading institutions over the next few months. Candidates are already jostling for position to take over at the European Commission and the European Central Bank, and surprises could be in store. With non-mainstream parties likely to gain seats in the May European Parliament elections, the EU-27 seems headed for even less harmony and more dissension.