Category Archives: Blog

The ‘What’ Is Always The Easiest Part; It’s The ‘How’ That Paralyzes

In our latest podcast episode, we look at how Covid has thrown a wrench into the machine of international relations. Everything seems to have been put on hold. We also discuss how, if Europe wants to recalibrate its crucial relations with the United States, if will have to step up to the plate. As is usual, formulating an objective – the ‘what’ – is always the easiest part in politics; it’s the question of ‘how’ where unstoppable forces tend to meet immovable objects.

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Things change fast

Four-point-five years ago in a galaxy far, far away, I attended the Brussels Forum. It was a fine event, and I’ll always remember it fondly, but at that time it seemed a bit tone-deaf, too. I drifted from one meeting on trade pacts (TPP, TTIP, remember those?) to the next seminar discussing Russia’s ‘hybrid warfare’ (a mostly discarded term that was a leading framework at the time). Leading bien-pensants of the end-of-history generation gathered on the island of an upscale Brussels hotel as the tides of history rose around them. They dropped globalist nostrums at the podium as if they were sandbags against the rising sea.

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To many Dutchmen, an Italian divorce sounds just fine

As we discuss in our latest podcast episode, Italy is a microcosm of the European Union. The north is one of Europe’s most prosperous regions, a crossroads of trade and industry. The south is a perennial periphery, dogged by persistent poverty and structurally high unemployment. In the north, people ask why they should bail out their southern brethren. Indeed, the populist Lega, one of the country’s most powerful political parties, was originally the Lega Nord, a party that preached secession and practiced the pursuit of autonomy for northern regions. The south holds grudges of its own, caricaturing northern industry as rapacious and exploitative. Sound familiar? It will if you’ve followed the politics of the European Union since 2008. 

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2020: The Year Of Fear

Fear abounds. If not fear for your health, then fear for the economy – what happens after Covid19 has been put back in its cage. On both sides of the Atlantic, voices of those who believe that the ‘cure is worse than the disease’ are getting louder. On a more meta-level, there is a real fear that the world as we know it is falling apart.

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