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European Journey – Pitfalls, Promises, Purposes

In the week’s At Issue, executive director Jack Janes explains how current tensions over the future of the euro make up another chapter of Europe’s long path to a deeper and wider Union. Today’s challenges echo those of the past, but dealing with them will require stronger arguments about the promises beyond the pitfalls.

Europe’s Lehman Moment

How did Europe get into the financial crisis it is currently facing? In his article entitled Europe’s Lehman Moment, Jeffry A. Frieden, Professor of Government at Harvard University and AICGS event speaker, seeks to explain the history behind the fiscal issues in Europe and what may happen if a solution is not found.

“If the Greeks just did their Homework…”

In his essay entitled “If the Greeks just did their Homework…,” DAAD/AICGS current fellow Benjamin Herborth explains that beneath the current turmoil over internal divisions in the German governing coalition regarding a position on the Greek debt crisis lies yet another problem. Taken for granted on both sides of the division is a more assertive rhetoric, which belittles Greece, and thus complicates co-operative solutions.

The Euro Widens the Culture Gap

In his piece entitled “The Euro Widens the Culture Gap” from the New York Times, AICGS board member Josef Joffe explains how the Euro has made worse any cultural differences that existed between European countries pre-euro times. The PIIGS countries – Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece, and Spain – should never have been admitted to the Euro, argues Joffe. Now, the borrowing afforded to them by the Euro allowed them to continue their profligate ways, thus leading to the current crisis facing the euro-zone as a whole.

Euro Stabilization: problems, eurobonds, political union perspectives

The EU Summit of 21 July 2011 has brought considerable adjustment impulses for the stabilization of the euro-zone. At first sight, the main problem is sovereign debt financing of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal—the three countries that benefit from euro-zone rescue packages—but, in fact, the bigger issue is a series of broader challenges for EU integration and institutional reforms in the euro-area.

All Eyes on Berlin

With the euro-zone fully entrenched in economic crisis, Europe’s leaders are scrambling to avoid contagion reaching some of the area’s largest economies, notably France and Italy. With the measures taken thus far having failed to calm market nerves, the focus will be shifting to Germany and its Chancellor, Angela Merkel, to lead the euro-zone back to greener pastures, according to AICGS Non-Resident Fellows Dr. Norbert Walter, Dr. Paul J.J. Welfens, and Dr. Klaus Deutsch, as well as frequent AICGS contributor Alexander Privitera.

A Continent, Sinking

View Commentary by Steven Erlanger View Commentary by Stefan Theil

Europeans Expecting German Leadership

As the euro saga unfolds, one thing is becoming clearer: The structure surrounding the euro has its weaknesses, but the crisis is not really about the currency at all. The current crisis is as much a crisis of EU governance and political mentality as it is of the economic policies of Greece or the ECB, argues AICGS Trustee and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany John Kornblum. A version of this essay originally appeared in the June 20, 2011, edition of Handelsblatt.

Berlin und Paris sind genauso verantwortlich wie Athen

While Greece certainly deserves its share of the blame for the euro crisis, Germany and France are also responsible to a large extent, argues Olaf Gersemann, economics columnist for Die Welt and a regular contributor to the Advisor. Gersemann contends that by acting in the name of monetary integration, Germany and France pushed Greece and others into living beyond their means via the strength of the euro, leading to the current crisis. This essay appeared in the June 19, 2011, edition of Welt am Sonntag and is available in German only.

Narrating the Future; Navigating From the Past

In this week’s At Issue, Executive Director Dr. Jackson Janes discusses the key challenges facing Europe and asks why today’s leaders should not be able respond to them as well as their predecessors.

Why the EU needs a Special Representative to Respond to the Arab Spring

The European Union and its member states continue to struggle to find a response to the Arab Spring, write former DAAD/AICGS Fellow Almut Möller and Cornelius Adebahr. Past policy approaches had little impact on the area’s regimes, if anything doing more to support them than reform them. In this report for the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), the authors argue that the EU should reorient its policies and utilize one of its established and successful foreign policy instruments and name an EU Special Representative for North Africa.

Recapping Obama’s European Tour Part II

President Obama’s recent swing through Europe rekindled much of the positive energy that accompanied his election – despite some increasingly thorny issues that had to be discussed. Whether or not Obama can turn this goodwill into practical results on a range of issues, however, remains to be seen. This section features essays from Jan Techau, Kurt Volker, Daniel Fata, and Dr. Jackson Janes, all of whom focus on the long-term implications for transatlantic relations in the wake of the trip.