Prof. Dr. Andreas Freytag takes a look at the outcome of this week’s EU summit in Brussels. According to Prof. Dr. Freytag, while the agreement of a fiscal pact by 25 of the 27 EU member states was good news, European leaders once again failed to address several key issues of the crisis.
As tensions rise over Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the European Union has ratcheted up its pressure on Iran with an oil embargo. Tehran is now threatening with an embargo of its own, while the United States leaves its threat of military action on the table and Israel worries about the clock running out of time to stop Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Is 2012 the year where war becomes inevtiable? And what can Germany or the EU do to prevent it?
Rarely has one of the recent European crisis summits had as little impact on the public mood as the one just concluded in Brussels on Monday of this week. Reactions …
In this report, Oliver Wieck proposes a new impetus to overcome the ongoing deadlock in the WTO Doha negotiations. German industry has a huge interest in a strong multilateral trading system with bilateral free trade agreements offering additional market opening. The recent initiative between the EU and the USA to intensify the economic ties could not only boost genuine transatlantic market opening but should also set a clear signal to the new economic powers like China, Brasil and India to join the “Club of Free Traders”.
In his analysis entitled Splendid Isolation, Alexander Privitera explains how Germany is becoming increasingly isolated from the rest of Europe in the fight to fix the euro. With recent bond auctions in Italy and Spain providing some optimism for the euro zone, Germany may be quick to herald the success of German-style austerity in Europe. However, according to Mr. Privitera, the plan to save the euro is actually becoming less German.
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In his essay Downgrades and Default, Alexander Privitera explains that while last week’s European downgrades may not have roiled markets, they have some European leaders fuming. Though some European politicians have begun pointing fingers across the Atlantic for the recent rating cuts, according to Mr. Privitera, the problem lies within Europe itself. Until an effective plan for dealing with Greece is put forth, the euro zone crisis will continue.
In this At Issue, Executive Director Jack Janes analyzes the aftermath of last week’s string of European downgrades by Standard and Poor’s. Like their American counterparts in last August’s U.S. downgrade, European leaders seemed quick to point fingers at those they felt were responsible for the rating cuts. However, the message from Standard and Poor’s made one thing very clear: the efforts to fix the Euro crisis are still inadequate. According to Dr. Janes, the lack of political will in Europe to realize the true core of the problem is limiting the ability to reach a consensus on how to solve it.
Unfortunately for the euro zone crisis, last week’s EU summit appears to have produced yet another underwhelming plan. According to Dr. Stephen Silvia, Associate Professor at the School of International Service at American University, Europe’s leaders once again failed to address any of the major problems that still ail the euro zone economies. At the core of any plan, argues Dr. Silvia, should be an attempt to make the euro zone an “optimal currency area.”
The specter of 2012 in the Mayan calendar has been used to suggest the end of the world is near, but what is more likely to come is much of the same from 2011.
Alexander Privitera looks ahead to what we might expect for the continuation of the euro zone crisis in 2012. According to Mr. Privitera, while we may not witness a great start to the New Year, there is reason to believe things could change for the better.
Alexander Privitera examines the new head of the ECB, Mario Draghi, since he took the helm of the Frankfurt based central bank. According the Mr. Privitera, Draghi has indeed acted boldly, but continues to stand firm in his decision to not allow the ECB to become the lender of last resort. Mr. Draghi is growing increasingly impatient with Europe’s leaders and expects them to finally act on their promises.
What will the outcome of last week’s EU summit mean for the future of the UK’s position within the Union? According to Dr. Simon Green, Professor of Politics at Aston University, UK, it could spell disaster for Britain in the single market of the EU. In his essay entitled The Beginning of the End of the Road? Britain and the European Council meeting, 8/9 December 2011, originally published in Aston University’s Aston Centre for Europe blog, Dr. Green explains that Prime Minster David Cameron’s decision to exclude the UK from the EU’s new intergovernmental pact will alienate the UK from the Union more than ever before.