BRUSSELS – The economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis occupy almost everyone’s thoughts and conversations. And for good reason: the European Union, for one, is headed toward the worst recession in its history, with the economy expected to shrink by 7-12% this year. But far less is being said about the danger the pandemic poses to democracy, even though the signals are similarly ominous.
BRUSSELS – The Brexit “Leave” campaign has been billed as an effort to “take back control” by restoring “sovereignty” to the United Kingdom’s Parliament. It is thus deeply ironic that one of the first moves of the Brexiteers upon coming to power has been to suspend Parliament and shut down debate over the UK’s impending withdrawal from the European Union on October 31.
BRUSSELS – Three years after the United Kingdom’s Brexit referendum, the UK is no closer to figuring out how to leave the European Union, and what comes next, than it was when the result was announced. And now a Conservative Party leadership election to replace outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May is in full swing. To those of us watching from the outside, the debate between the candidates confirms that they have learned nothing whatsoever from the past two years of negotiations with the EU.
BRUSSELS – When seeking investment capital and seemingly lucrative commercial deals, EU member-state governments do not always consider shared European interests. This has especially been the case with respect to China. Yet member states that pursue a relationship with China unilaterally endanger both themselves and the rest of Europe.
BRUSSELS – Far from settling the question of the United Kingdom’s future, the 2016 Brexit referendum and subsequent negotiations with the European Union have triggered a full-blown identity crisis and culture war in Britain. Two years after the UK electorate voted by 52 percent to 48 percent to withdraw from the EU, it is safe to say that former Prime Minister David Cameron’s ploy to settle a long-running niche debate within the Conservative Party has backfired spectacularly.