German growth sputters: Should Europe brace for trouble?
In 2018, Germany’s growth dipped. Europe’s economic powerhouse is likely to continue sputtering in 2019 and beyond. Too many European companies have become exceedingly dependent on the health of the German economy and relatively few seem capable of restructuring their production and marketing techniques to succeed on a global scale. The German slowdown will soon be followed by other disappointing figures on the continental scale.
An offense to common sense and EU principles
The EU’s international trucking business, now dominated by highly competitive companies in Central Europe, can be disrupted by Brussels’ ham-handed attempt to shield cargo movers in countries with high minimum wages. The issue has political ramifications for the EU as well.
Opinion: A road map for peace in the Middle East
Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and Israel are all vying for supremacy in the Middle East through direct confrontation and proxy wars. This may trigger an all-out conflict with dire consequences for the region and for Europe. Reversing the logic of war and replacing it with cooperation is difficult but possible, as all the involved parties stand to gain from it.
The lessons from the last 100 years of Central Europe’s history
The emergence of new nation-states from World War I was hailed as a triumph for self-determination, but the destruction of democratic empires that held them previously hardly brought peace and prosperity to the continent, especially Central Europe.
GIS Dossier: How Turkey scored big in the gas pipeline game
Sitting at the intersection of important energy transfer routes, Turkey is an active participant in the high-stakes pipeline game between the European Union, Russia and the Caspian region energy producers. Ankara has increased its geopolitical heft and secured earnings from gas transit fees but at the price of making Turkey more dependent on Russia. This has important implications for Europe.
German exports slow down: Should Europe celebrate?
Those European leaders who like to complain about the ongoing trade surpluses of the German economy should not celebrate the recent slowdown in Germany’s exports and GDP growth. Higher labor costs and tensions in international trade may cause trouble for German exporters, but they are already investing in new production facilities in low-cost countries. If German exports slow down, their market share might be taken by German producers outside of Germany, while the productivity gap between Germany and the rest of Europe will widen.
Think of the unthinkable
For nearly two decades, the EU’s common currency system has worked wonders for internal trade. The euro has strengthened Europe’s financial position in the world. However, many government and EU leaders, and the European Central Bank have colluded in circumventing the system’s key safeguards. Today, the unmanageable levels of sovereign debt threaten to tear up the eurozone and trigger state bankruptcies.
Weighing the consequences of regulating internet giants
The United States stands at a regulatory crossroads as Congress debates whether to adopt European-style controls over the use of online personal data – or trust that Facebook, Google, and the like will respond voluntarily (and more efficiently than government) to their customers’ diverse and ever-changing privacy preferences. The wrong decision will secure the market dominance of the current reigning platforms and stifle internet innovation for years to come.
Opinion: The European Union and the true meaning of liberalism
The conservative-leaning EU governments in Central Europe have been bombarded with ideological accusations from “liberal” capitals farther west, but the Union’s truly dangerous division is between responsible and irresponsible approaches to governance and fiscal policies among the member states. A common finance ministry and money transfers would not fix this fundamental problem.