Inspiring piece by Josep Borrell. Europeans too often act as if they are playthings stuck in the middle between two great power blocs in China and America. Borrell shows that Europeans have the resources to be a bloc themselves if they overcome the psychology of weakness. He shows member states that they will be judged by their ability to hang together behind more realistic policies on Libya, Iran, the Balkans and Africa. But the foundation of all this must be developing more tough-minded policies and the tools to link the EU's big market, diplomatic clout and spending with common policies in different areas.
Emmanuel Macron understands that the European elections this year will be different. In spite of their name, normally European elections are predominantly national, low-turn-out, low stakes affairs. But this election will have a transational element, as the Salvini-Orban-Bannon axis tries to turn it into a referendum on migration. The nationalists hope to mobilise millions of ‘left behind voters’ behind an anti-European platform and to start dismantling the EU from within. Macron’s article is the beginning of a reponse to their threat. Macron sees the three main battlefields as the main dimensions of a future-orineted European project: democracy (protecting elections from external interference), protection (a common border for Schengen and a European Security Council that includes the UK), and progress (European Climate Bank, regulation of Global tech companies, an EU innovation fund). The challenge will be to use this vision and concrete ideas to appeal to Europeans who feel that the current system is broken. Will he be able to show that his goal is to revolutionise Europe so that it can live up to the promise of democracy, protection and progress – rather than looking like a champion for the status-quo in Brussels? Mark Leonard - Director European Council on Foreign relations
With COVID-19 inflicting massive economic costs around the world, the two billion people working in informal sectors will be the hardest hit. But if these workers are brought into the fold of the global economy, they can tap into huge stores of wealth that already lie at their fingertips.
Compared to governance disasters like the United States under President Donald Trump, contemporary Germany looks like a bastion of stability. But recent books by leading German commentators raise the possibility that Europe's largest economy is not ready for prime time as a global actor.
Not long ago, America was the unchallenged global hegemon. But as inept leadership fuels an alarming surge in COVID-19 cases amid deepening economic distress and nationwide protests against systemic racism and police violence, many are wondering whether the US can govern itself, much less lead the world.