Any assessment of European economic governance must acknowledge the slow, contradictory nature of intergovernmental decision-making, in which national assertion, fueled by upsurges in popular anti-EU sentiment, has led to a stop-and-go process. Viewed in these terms, Europe's political class has failed to lead.
MILAN – The debate about improving economic governance within the eurozone is shedding new light on the system’s weaknesses. It was already evident when the Maastricht
Treaty was signed in 1992 that a monetary union without something similar in the fiscal domain would be unsustainable in the long run. Then, for the common currency’s first decade, that fundamental flaw was papered over.
Now the eurozone – with a centralized monetary policy, run by the European Central Bank, alongside 27 national fiscal policies – has come to look like a mockery of economic common sense. Early on, important states like France and Germany stopped taking seriously the European Union’s Stability and Growth Pact (SGP), which was supposed to guarantee fiscal discipline and coordination among the member states.
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The collapse of coalition negotiations has left German Chancellor Angela Merkel facing a stark choice between forming a minority government or calling for a new election. But would a minority government necessarily be as bad as Germans have traditionally thought?
During a time of American waywardness under Donald Trump, the United Kingdom's national security has increasingly come to depend on the European Union as a buffer against Russian revanchism. Ironically, then, the safest form of Brexit might be the one that hurts the most, so long as it leaves behind a stable EU.
In the first 11 months of his presidency, Donald Trump has failed to back up his words – or tweets – with action on a variety of fronts. But the rest of the world's governments, and particularly those in Asia and Europe, would be mistaken to assume that he won't follow through on his promised "America First" trade agenda.
While developed countries in Europe, North America, and Asia are rapidly aging, emerging economies are predominantly youthful. Nigerian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese young people will shape global work trends at an increasingly rapid pace, bringing to bear their experience in dynamic informal markets on a tech-enabled gig economy.
One day, the United States will turn the page on Donald Trump. But, as Americans prepare to observe their Thanksgiving holiday, they should reflect that their country's culture and global standing will never recover fully from the wounds that his presidency is inflicting on them.
In Zimbabwe, as in all coups, much behind-the-scenes plotting continues to take place in the aftermath of the military's overthrow of President Robert Mugabe. But who the eventual winners and losers are may depend, among other things, on the gender of the plotters.
At the 2017 Abu Dhabi Petroleum Exhibition and Conference, the consensus among industry executives was that oil prices will still be around $60 per barrel in November 2018. But there is evidence to suggest that the uptick in global growth and developments in Saudi Arabia will push the price as high as $80 in the meantime.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is working hard to consolidate power and establish his country as the Middle East’s only hegemon. But his efforts – which include an attempt to trigger a war between Israel and Hezbollah in Lebanon – increasingly look like the work of an immature gambler.