The EU’s ‘techno party’ is hollowing out democracy

Opinion piece originally published in the EUobserver on 30.11.11. Not everybody’s into techno music. Some folks are a little bit country; others a little bit rock and roll. But under what one Brussels wag recently called the EU’s ‘techno-party’ strategy – replacing elected representatives with technocrats and an end to consideration of fiscal policies by parliaments in favour […]

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‘New system of European governance’ demands deeper austerity

News article on the EU’s ‘European Semester’ originally published in the EUobserver on 09.06.11. The European taskmaster has cracked the whip. However much austerity has been imposed by EU member states, it is simply not enough. That is the overriding message from the European Commission that runs through its recommendations for each of the 27 member states in […]

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Working the night-shift in the German austerity sweatshop – Part IV: The end of the eurozone

Analysis originally published in the EUobserver 13.12.10 But if what needs to happen cannot happen, what does Lord Skidelsky, a 71-year-old economic historian who has been witness to the full fifty years of European integration, think will? “I don’t think immediately, but the most likely outcome is that some countries will have to devalue, which means leaving […]

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Working the night-shift in the German austerity sweatshop – Part III: Back to the future with the Werner Plan

Analysis originally published in the EUobserver 13.12.10. So how do we get out of this mess? It’s relatively simple, really. All that has to happen is a rebalancing of competitiveness between the core and the periphery. “Of course much of the responsibility lies with Germany, doesn’t it?” continues Lord Skidelsky. “The euro was constructed in a way […]

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Working the night-shift in the German austerity sweatshop – Part II: The China of Europe

  Analysis originally appeared in the EUobserver 10.12.10. But how did we get into this mess in the first place? In the 1990s during the run-up to the single currency and throughout the 2000s, all European countries battened down wage demands and loosened the regulations on companies (or, to use the jargon you often hear on the […]

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Working the night-shift in the German austerity sweatshop – Part I: Dr Merkel’s fiscal enema

Analysis originally appeared in the EUobserver 09.12.10. There was a cheeky cartoon that made the Facebook and Twitter rounds a few days ago, posted by one of the Financial Times’ Alphaville bloggers. It went ‘viral,’ as the social-media consultants think the kids say. Bearing the title “Introducing Greater Germany,” it featured a map of Europe with all the German […]

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The junta of experts tells us: ‘Vote how you like, but policies cannot change’

Opinion piece originally published in the EUobserver, 17.06.11. Europe seems to have slipped almost imperceptibly in the space of only a few months into an electoral interzone, a crack in the pavement of democracy. The formal trappings of clean elections – in which political parties with competing manifestoes contest a ballot free of voter intimidation – are […]

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