Shane Fitzgerald

A portfolio of writing on politics and policy in Europe and Asia

Tag: EU

Asian Views of Europe

What do people in Asia really think about the EU? What does Asia mean to Europeans? These are the kind of question that the Asia Europe Foundation (ASEF) was born to answer. Each year, the Singapore-based think tank commissions studies that investigate ‘the EU through the eyes of Asia’ and ‘Asia through the eyes of Europeans’. The projects gather information from thousands of news reports, hundreds of interviews with opinion leaders and an online survey of more than 12,000 citizens.

The results of this year’s studies were presented at a recent talk at the foundation’s HQ.  They show that, unlike ‘Africa’, ‘Latin America’ or ‘North America’, Europeans don’t really conceptualise Asia  as a regional entity at all. Instead, the rise of Asia is conflated with the rise of China, as the emerging giant dominates both news reports and Europeans’ ‘top-of-mind’ statements about the continent.

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Single Market Act Update 2012

Though Europe’s financial and sovereign debt crisis rumbles on and continues to dominate the Brussels policy-making agenda, it is important to also reflect on those medium and longer term EU policies which will play an important role in shaping the European economies in the years ahead.

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Record High for Eurozone Unemployment

Yesterday, the IIEA published the latest in our series of infographics on European economic issues, this time devoted to the crucial and under-reported issue of EU unemployment.

Today, Eurostat published its latest ‘Euroindicator‘ on unemployment, showing further increases in the EU27 joblessness rate from 9.7% to 9.8% and in the euro area rate from 10.2% to 10.3%.

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Europe’s New Sovereign Default Regime

Trinity College Dublin’s Institute for International Integration Studies and its Policy Institute jointly hosted a seminar yesterday on the European sovereign debt crisis. Chaired by Prof. Philip R. Lane, the seminar heard from a host of leading international experts.

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Euro Crisis Comment Roundup III

This post rounds up some interesting reports and analyses of the European economy and the Eurozone crisis that have been published in the last week or two.

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Euro Crisis Comment Roundup II

The euro crisis rumbled on ominously through the week though there was a diversion for EU nerds in the form of the annual State of the Union address, delivered by Commission President Barroso to the European Parliament on Wednesday. As well as reiterating the EU’s support for Greece and defending the role of the Commission and the EU’s ‘community method’, Barroso reaffirmed his organisation’s support for a financial transaction tax (FTT) as a way of clawing back some money from the wayward banking sector. He expanded on his remarks during an interview with the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung on Friday, covered here by Spiegel online.

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Euro Crisis Comment Roundup

It has been another hairy week in European markets as shares in French banks have swung wildly, the Swiss banking giant UBS was shaken by a ‘rogue trading’ loss of $2bn, and European finance ministers held yet another crisis meeting, this time with US Treasury Secretary Timothy Giethner making a guest appearance.

It can be hard to keep up with the pace of events in this escalating crisis, never mind with the relentless stream of commentary, criticism and policy prescriptions from economists, politicians and journalists.

There have however been some worthwhile contributions to the debate in the last few days. This post is an attempt to round some of them up. Please feel free to add your own links in the comment section.

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Single Market Act Update

Though the bulk of recent European policy commentary has been understandably focused on the need to grips with what remains an existential crisis of the euro, it is important to also reflect on those medium and longer term EU policies which will play an important role in shaping the European economies in the years ahead.

Prime among these is the Single Market Act, which we covered in some detail upon its launch earlier this year. The Act comprises twelve levers designed to boost growth and strengthen confidence in the EU’s common market, which are being launched over the course of the next year or so by the European Commission with the support of the European Parliament and national governments.

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Eurobonds a Non-Starter for Now

The establishment of a system of Eurobonds, whereby bonds are issued on behalf of the Eurozone as a whole, has been proposed by many commentators as a way of ending the European sovereign debt crisis. Political proponents include Jean Claude Juncker, Giulio Tremonti, Guy Verhofstadt and even George Osborne. Opponents include Otmar IssingJan Kees De Jager and, crucially, Angela Merkel.

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Euro Crisis will Sideline UK in Europe

Europe’s financial, sovereign debt and political crisis shows no sign of abating and could yet trigger a fresh global catastrophe. The range of endgame options runs from a costly and contentious closer union among members of the Eurozone to its chaotic fragmentation. There are no good solutions, and no agreement on what might be the least-worst one.

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