Insights

General Politics

Germany’s grand coalition leaves big choices to its successor

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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Germany’s grand coalition of Christian and Social Democrats will soon be history. Despite its comfortable majority – the next government may be jealous – there is a sense that Chancellor Merkel’s fourth government has deferred big policy choices to its successor. Even in the few areas where it has set a new policy direction, in part to deal with the pandemic, major…

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General Politics

Could Olaf Scholz be the new Chancellor of Germany?

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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With the German parliamentary elections and Angela Merkel’s departure after sixteen years, the scene seems set for profound changes, with months of coalition haggling ahead. But with a change of players and, maybe, a change of parties, will much really change in German politics? And how will that affect policy at home and in the EU?

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General Politics

A new German Chancellor will shake up the EU’s balance of power and perhaps its policy agenda

General Politics

Ana Martínez
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At today's European Council most eyes are on Slovenia and their plans as incoming Council presidency next week. However, a much bigger shakeup in the Justus Lipsius is likely to be triggered by Germany's election in September.

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General Politics

What does an EU without Merkel look like?

General Politics

Denzil Davidson
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Given how its neighbours have fared in comparison, the predictability – some would say the boredom – of German politics may have been a blessing. Chancellor Merkel and a CDU/CSU government have been a fixture of the EU for sixteen years. The Chancellor has long been the EU’s most important political actor and the CDU/CSU, through the EPP, its most powerful political party…

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General Politics

German state elections and life after Merkel

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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Denzil Davidson, Adviser and Thomas Gratowski, Practice Lead, Global Macro discuss Germany's states elections, ahead of the federal elections in September, what the state elections tell us about the future of German politics and what it means for the EU.

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General Politics

Europe’s post-2008 political fragmentation is being tested

General Politics

Alessandro Gangarossa
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The emergence of fragmented political landscapes has been an increasingly shared phenomena in European capitals in the past decade. The financial crisis was a profound shock for many European traditional centre-left and centre-right parties, which were dropped by the electorates both for their handling of the crisis and its aftermath. In their wake, smaller, often less…

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The strategic logic behind the EU’s investment deal with China

General Policy

Gregor Irwin
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In late December, the EU concluded a comprehensive agreement on investment (CAI) with China. The deal is controversial, not so much because of its economic content, but because of what it says about the EU’s priorities and because of its potential geopolitical implications. Are these concerns valid?

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General Politics

Money, power and respect in the EU’s latest crisis

General Politics

Anikó Zsebik
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After relief at the agreement on EU spending priorities for 2021-27, the Brussels establishment was caught off-guard last week by vetoes from Hungary and Poland over the obscure-sounding “rule of law conditionality”. A requirement of the European Parliament and of a qualified majority of member states, this affects a tiny proportion of the €1.8 trn package, effectively…

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General Politics

A budget for the 2020s or a return to the politics of 1997?

General Politics

Tom White
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Franco-German proposals to increase the 2021-27 EU budget could be their most significant since the 2018 Meseberg Declaration on euro zone governance. They provide clear political backing for European Council president, Charles Michel, and European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, both of whom have bet their reputations on EU funding for economic reconstruction…

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Covid-19 and the global value chain model

Trade & Manufacturing

Peter Mandelson
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Simplification and diversification. Regionalisation and repatriation. These have emerged as key buzzwords in trade and industrial policy when it comes to supply chain organisation in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. As governments worldwide grapple with the challenges of securing sufficient supply of products necessary to fight covid-19 – including personal protective…

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General Politics

Is Macron's leadership in Europe working?

General Politics

Denzil Davidson
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President Macron’s decision not to block a three-month extension to Brexit was a relief to those in the UK who feared no deal or who still hope for no Brexit. It was also a relief to his EU partners and the institutions that there would not be yet another argument with President Macron as the protagonist.

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General Politics

Weber’s revenge deals a blow to Macron’s European momentum

General Politics

Franck Thomas
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The European Parliament’s rejection of Sylvie Goulard today is the most significant consequence yet of the fragmented European election result in May. It is a reminder of the weak position of President-elect Ursula von der Leyen and a significant blow to French President Macron. He appeared to have built on his success in securing Christine Lagarde’s presidency of the…

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General Politics

German industrial strategy: big firms for big challenges?

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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Germany’s economy minister, Peter Altmaier, has presented a draft “national industrial strategy 2030” that seeks to formulate a response to fiercer international competition. It is the first time that a German government has sought to define a national and European industrial strategy. Altmaier’s proposal is thus an expression of a shifting cross-party consensus, largely…

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General Politics

Spain's European reinvention?

General Politics

Ana Martínez
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I have just spent an interesting week in Madrid talking with people from every part of the political spectrum. There was a lot of talk of Spain flexing its muscles more in Europe. In the background to these conversations, Spain was pushing hard for – and got – concessions from the UK over Gibraltar that prompted Pedro Sánchez to trail the prospect of co-sovereignty for…

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General Politics

Germany after Merkel with Sir Peter Torry

General Politics

Thomas Gratowski
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EUROPE: Global Counsel Practice Lead Thomas Gratowski discusses with Sir Peter Torry, former UK Ambassador to Germany, the future of the CDU leadership after Merkel steps down in December and what it might mean for her chancellorship until 2021.

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Getting into bed with a FAANG

TMT

Benjamin Wegg-Prosser
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What connects Jean-Claude Juncker with Netflix? House of Cards? Perhaps, but no. Orange is the new black, certainly not. Mathias Döpfner. Maybe. Back in 2014, at the peak of the horse-trading during the Spitzenkandidaten process, legend has it that this article in Bild (owned by Axel Springer, whose CEO is Herr Döpfner) played a decisive role in encouraging Angela Merkel…

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General Politics

European power plays in foreign policy

General Politics

Gregor Irwin
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European influence in the world is under threat. The privileged role enjoyed by European states in multilateral institutions has been challenged by the big emerging countries for some time now. More recently, both Russia and China have attempted, with some success, to play European states off against each other. And now the long-standing alliance with the US is in…

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Competing visions for the future of the eurozone

Financial Services

Adam Terry
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Over the summer, it looked as if there might be a breakthrough in the long-stalled discussions over eurozone reform. Emmanuel Macron had been elected president of France, promising to overhaul the domestic labour market and make the country more economically competitive. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was quick to spot the signal and the opportunity. She suggested that…

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