Bursting the Bubble

Growth via Trade is Plan A, also Plan B, C, D and E…

2 April 2013 | by

2008 will forever, in this generation’s eyes at least, be synonymous with the global financial crisis which continues to dominate the political and social spectrum across the European Union. Even now, 5 years later, the EU is still trying to claw its way out of economic stagnation. The recent Cyprus ordeal is just one further reminder of how inter-connected and fragile our economies are in this time of austerity and market upheaval; hindsight is often a wonderful thing but questions do need to be asked exactly how the previous financial stress tests were so positively signed off-on the Cyprus banking model in 2010 – however, this is neither here nor there. The EU has been desperately attempting to find a collective solution to the economic contractions and sluggish growth which have dominated the recent economic landscape across all member states, and if one thing can be specified as the EUs core plan-of-action to economic stability and growth, it’s trade.

Continue reading

Data Protection: good for citizens but bad for business?

29 March 2013 | by

The future for data protection in Europe has finally arrived in the form of an EU Data Protection Regulation. Taking the stage after being leaked onto the virtual world, the new law will modernise the EU Data Protection Directive of 1995 in the form of a directly applicable Regulation. The European Commission presented this proposal in January 2012 and it is a good initiative for the digital world we’re living in, where we rely on a continuous connection to the Internet. The Commission stated that this reform will help companies get the most out of the Digital Single Market and that it will foster economic growth, innovation and job creation. However, questions arise when we think about how realistic these ambitious perspectives are. Continue reading

Where will Venezuela go?

27 March 2013 | by

Where will Venezuela go as Chávez goes into mythology?

This article comes weeks after Venezuelan caudillo, Hugo Chávez, died on the 6th of March. Hence, the commentary is neither a farewell nor a note for the enormously-recounted event itself. On the contrary, that is an attempt to understand where Chávez left Venezuela, and where the country will go after his death.1

Continue reading

“Economic Giant, Political Dwarf” in the Age of the Global Economy – Part 1: Germany in the Community, foreign policy in an economic Europe

25 March 2013 | by

When one reads any of the myriad of articles following the European Debt Crisis, one can hardly fail to notice the key role Germany plays without some manner of epithet such as “…said Germany…Europe’s largest economy”, or “according to Chancellor Merkel, leader of the eurozone’s most powerful member”. To anyone who has followed the historical evolution of German influence within Europe since the Second World War, such statements mark a fundamental shift in how the media, politicians and public view Germany.  This article will be the first of several in exploring the evolution of Germany within Europe. Continue reading

Denmark in the European Union: A Chat with MEP Morten Messerschmidt

22 March 2013 | by

Given my experience with Danish politics, I always find it interesting to hear different perspectives on Denmark’s involvement in the European Union. I have spoken to many current and former national parliamentarians on the issue (I will address these views in an article shortly), but never a member of the European Parliament who is from Denmark. From the 2009 elections, there were 13 members of the European Parliament from Denmark. Looking at the list of names and political affiliations, I quickly found an intriguing individual. Morten Messerschmidt.

While one of the European Parliamentarians won her seat by achieving 3,592 votes from Danes, Morten won by a landside, achieving the largest amount of votes with 284,500 votes. Yet what intrigued me was not solely this, Morten is part of the Dansk Folkeparti or the Danish People’s Party. For those of you unacquainted with Danish politics, the Danish People’s Party is portrayed as the populist/nationalistic party. That they have two people representing Denmark at the EU is interesting since in their party program from 2002 it states that the, “Danish People’s Party opposes the European Union”*. That the person in European Parliament receiving the largest number of votes from Danes is from this party is, for one enthralled by Danish politics, immediately fascinating.

Continue reading