Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

25
Jan

Sciences Po Exchange Testimonial

Written on January 25, 2017 by Waya Quiviger in Europe, Master in International Relations (MIR)

MIR Blogpost #2 | 22.01.2017

Looking back on the Sciences Po experience 

While our 2015-2016 classmates are already fully settled in cities like Chicago, Geneva, London and Doha; those of us who received the opportunity to pursue an exchange semester are wrapping up our Master Degree just now. One thing I can definitely say: it was a challenging, but most importantly rewarding experience from the first until the last day.

In this post, I would like to share my thoughts about the strengths of two very different, yet both leading academic environments. In addition, I would like to explain in more detail what Sciences Po added to the 10 months in Madrid.

Few academic environments will top IE’s one in terms of diversity of nationalities and backgrounds. Studying with classmates from all corners of the world enabled us to broaden our perspective, understand differences and now position ourselves as a bridge between different people. This clearly increased my employability as diversity and inclusion stand high in every company or organization. The entrepreneurial spirit present at IE is also one that will be hard to top. Sciences Po’s strengths stem more from its advantaged localisation in the heart of Paris. To be more precise, it opens so many more networking opportunities with business fairs, weekly corporate breakfasts, daily seminars, and guest speakers from private, public and social sectors. And, its size enables students to pick and chose classes from different masters, and expand their skillset as they are able to specialise in what really interests them, but also to take electives out of curiosity.

While Daniel was able to deepen his regional knowledge by taking IR regional classes not covered by the MIR, Kiyeon had the chance to satisfy his appetite for more finance related courses. As for myself, Sciences Po enabled me to expand both my hard and soft skills. I will provide you with examples of a few classes I was able to choose, and what they brought me.

  • Digital Business Strategies enabled me to have a closer look into the start-up world and meet inspiring founders of digital disruptors like Uber and Snapchat, guest speakers from the digital world like ING direct, and numerous investor. This course highlighted the importance of understanding the digital transformation that the world is undergoing, and taught me the necessary skills to help transform companies digitally, but also to launch a business plan.
  • Doing Business in Emerging Markets helped me understand the basic policies for investment to expand a business into a country like India, Nigeria or Brazil whether through organic or inorganic growth. It also emphasized the importance of the STEEP framework (Social, Technological, Economical, Environmental and Political) and enabled students to apply their knowledge by working in teams on expansion projects.
  • Country Risk Analysis turned out to be a follow-up class to the MIR Micro-Macro course as well as the Economic Development Theory class. Analysing the risks of a Foreign Direct Investment or a Sovereign Loan crafts your risk management skills.
  • And, other courses like Negotiating Successfully and Leading People and Teams complemented the Strategic Communication and Global Leadership courses from IE.

To conclude, my additional semester at Sciences Po strengthened my skills portfolio, complemented my course list from the MIR, and expanded my professional network. I am honoured to say that I completed an IR Master at a Business School, with courses of a Business Master at a Political Science School. I strongly believe that this brings an interesting twist and enables strong personal and professional development, better preparing me for the next chapter.

Written by: Sophie Bik – Master in Economics and Business at Sciences Po Paris.

16
Dec

By this time next year, the eurozone could be defunct. Despite the small chances of it actually happening, the fact that the collapse of the currency union is even possible speaks volumes about the size of the problems Europe faces. Since financial, economic and political crises descended on the Continent almost a decade ago, Europe has endured many difficult moments. But 2017 will be the most important year yet for the continuity of the eurozone as political and economic risk reaches the bloc’s very core in Germany, France and Italy.

Threats to the European Union and the eurozone become more acute as they spread to the bloc’s key members. While Europe’s supranational structures could probably survive Greece’s departure from the eurozone or Britain’s exit from the European Union, for example, they probably couldn’t overcome the withdrawal of Germany, France or Italy. These countries not only have the largest economies in Europe, but they are also the main forces driving the process of European integration.

Next year, a series of events will put the European Union’s foundational structures to the test. The bloc’s most serious challenges will come from France and Italy, which are dogged by low economic growth rates and relatively high unemployment. Anti-globalization sentiments are strong among large swaths of their populations, who want to protect their economies from the perceived threats of immigration and free trade. Meanwhile, many French and Italian voters are skeptical of the European Union and the mainstream political parties that back it. Both countries are fertile ground for political forces that vow to fight globalization and reverse the process of European integration. Read more…

By Adriano Bosoni
December 15, 2016; http://www.realclearworld.com/

21
Nov

“It looks like it is now just Germany and Canada holding down the Western world,” an elected politician from one of Germany’s prosperous western states told me over dinner this week. I started to laugh, but he put up his hand – he was being serious. He launched into a depressing tour of the countries once known as the Group of Eight, most of them sliding into chaos or extremism or long-term political paralysis.

At the head of the table, the United States is weeks away from falling off the political map, as far as its trade and military partners are concerned: Donald Trump’s administration will be, at best, unstable and untrustworthy; at worst, it will be a voice of toxic extremism to be shunned and avoided. Britain fell off in June, its Brexit referendum and harsh-edged new government limiting its relations with the world to a negotiated retreat, its future too uncertain for anyone to strike up commitments.

France is in deep crisis in advance of an election next year that could have frightening results: a victory by the race-hatred candidate Marine Le Pen or a lunge far rightward by conservatives to stave her off. Italy appears an oasis of sanity under Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, but his reforms are under attack and his government could be on the edge of collapse. Poland and Hungary have extreme, xenophobic governments that are withdrawing from international co-operation. Scandinavian countries are wrestling with coalition governments that include extremists.

And Russia, which has been lost for a long time, seems poised to establish a bloc of states with illiberal, authoritarian governments aimed against the liberal democracies – a bloc that could now come to include the United States. Scanning the horizon from Berlin in search of safe partnerships, there’s Canada. And, as Germans kept telling me this week, not much else. Read more…

Published on Nov. 19, http://www.theglobeandmail.com/, Doug Saunders

4
Nov

‘Brexit is the greatest threat to national wellbeing since the war, and this will test the mettle not just of individual MPs, but of the nature and purpose of a representative democratic system.’

A momentous constitutional decision was taken by the high court of England and Wales this morning. A prime minister’s absolute power to do what they like, when they like, regardless of laws and treaties, was struck down. Theresa May cannot tear up our right to be EU citizens without the authority of parliament. Those rights were bestowed by parliamentary votes in a series of treaties. She can’t high-handedly abandon them and trigger our exit from the EU without parliament’s agreement.

Judges, wisely, do not generally want to usurp the power of elected governments to govern. Laws made by judges are a poor substitute for those made by elected MPs in parliament. But this is a matter of the profoundest constitutional importance, with deep implications, controversial whichever way they had decided. They rightly pronounced that parliament is sovereign – which is what the Brexiters claimed we were voting on, until it no longer suited them. Read more…

https://www.theguardian.com; Polly Toynbee; 3 Nov. 2016

3
Oct

Europe Needs Its Realist Past

Written on October 3, 2016 by Waya Quiviger in Europe, Foreign Policy, Security

As Europe’s troubles deepen and pose more of a threat to the vital interests of the U.S., Americans are recycling their tried and tested critiques of the European Union: It is too statist and bureaucratic. Its instincts are too protectionist. Its decision-making bodies are too slow and secretive. EU foreign policy is too naive, too feckless about defense and security. The problem with Europe, in a word, is that it is too European.

But the EU isn’t in trouble today because its leaders are “too European.” The EU is in trouble because its leadership isn’t European enough. It is time for the continent to return to the tradition of realist politics that gave rise to its modern union in the first place.

It is easy today to forget just how hardheaded the original architects of Europe’s postwar drive for integration actually were. Charles de Gaulle of France, Konrad Adenauer of West Germany and Alcide De Gasperi of Italy were conservative nationalists whose vision for Europe reflected the bitter experiences of two world wars and a failed peace.

In its origins, European unity was an unsentimental exercise in geopolitics. Germany and Italy saw it as a way to reintegrate into the world after the disaster of fascism. France saw a coalition with a defeated and partitioned Germany as a way to cement its power in Europe and to strengthen its global reach. All these governments saw European unity as a way to keep the Old World as independent as possible from both Moscow and Washington. “Europe will be your revenge,” Adenauer told de Gaulle after the humiliation of the Suez crisis in 1956, when the U.S. forced France and Britain to back down from a joint campaign with Israel against Egypt.

These leaders did not think that submerging their national histories and identities in a cosmopolitan, post-national Europe was either possible or desirable. They supported Europe because it seemed to be the best way forward for the peoples they led. For its part, the U.S. backed the project because a united Western Europe offered the best hope to stop communism in the short term and to prevent the recurrence of major European wars farther down the road. Read more…

 

 

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