The next six months will be tricky for the European Union, with Brexit, parliamentary elections, and the next budget. Is Romania up to the task of EU presidency during this time?
Populists in Europe are contesting the perceived benefits of economic integration between countries. This column uses data on trade frictions to estimate the long-run impact of trade frictions on GDP if countries in Europe were to be more or less integrated. Negative between-country impacts, such as from Brexit or an EU collapse, imply a GDP reduction of between 1-3%. The potential trade benefits of a ‘United States of Europe’, on the other hand, may be an order of magnitude greater for its members.
David Comerford, Sevi Rodriguez Mora
A calendar year is a useful, if arbitrary, gauge for judging change. But by any measure, the state of Europe looks very different today from how it looked 12 months ago. Let me start from the parochial perspective of the UK – a perspective which risks darkening everything else with its gloom, but is hard to avoid if you are writing, as I am, from London.
Europe’s social contracts to protect their citizens from socioeconomic risks are based on an inclusive growth model characterised by a more egalitarian view of revenue generation and distribution. But this model is under strain, with various global placing upward pressure on inequality that could intensify. This column suggests that keeping the essence of Europe’s current inclusive growth model does not preclude it from adapting its current social contracts to protect its citizens, whatever the disruptions that lie ahead.
Jacques Bughin, Christopher Pissarides
In December 2018, the Fundamental Rights Agency released a major survey on anti-Semitism in 12 European countries. Though flawed and not statistically representative, it draws many important conclusions. It confirms once again that anti-Semitism remains an integral part of European culture. While the findings do not mean the majority of Europeans are anti-Semites, they are nevertheless an indictment of Europe’s hypocrisy, pervasive anti-Semitism, non-selective immigration policies, widespread anti-Israelism, and huge discrepancy between the rhetoric of European leaders on fighting anti-Semitism and their actions.
The partnership at the center of European integration is unraveling just when Euroskeptic forces are coming together. If French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel cannot start rebuilding the political center, next year’s European Parliament election will produce the biggest victory yet for anti-EU populists.
Europe faces a significant threat from terrorism, particularly from Islamic extremists and far-right groups. Europe’s challenges with terrorism have largely gone unnoticed in the United States, whose strategy documents like the U.S. Department of Defense’s National Defense Strategy have shifted away from counterterrorism and toward competition with state competitors like China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea. In addition, Europe’s increasingly aggressive approach to terrorists—including prosecuting individuals for planning to travel abroad to join terrorist groups, censoring extremist Internet material, punishing Internet companies that fail to remove extremist material, and improving intelligence cooperation—have also largely gone unnoticed in the United States. This report takes a renewed look at Europe and compiles new data on the threat to Europe. It also examines the counterterrorism response by European governments, especially the United Kingdom and France.
Seth G. Jones, Boris Toucas, Max Markusen