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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
AGI provides knowledge, insights, and networks as tools to solve the challenges ahead.Support Our Work
View Commentary by Steven Erlanger View Commentary by Stefan Theil
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.