Archive for the ‘Europe’ Category

8
Jul

 What Are the Geostrategic Implications of a Grexit?

At the the moment, it is unclear how Greece will ultimately fare in the current duel of wills with the Troika over its technical default, the upcoming referendum, and the possibility of a continuation of the long-running bailout drama. The two sides are locked in acrimonious finger-pointing, Greek banks are shuttered for the week, and the logical but ever elusive diplomatic and economic solution — a reasonable negotiation between the parties — seems further away than ever. As a proud Greek-American, I am saddened by the situation.

Meanwhile, the July 5 referendum is judged too close to call at the moment, and most Greeks will likely be confused about the implications and uncertain how to vote. Macroeconomic theory appears to have been the first casualty of the process, and the doomsday economic scenarios — a crashed Greek economy, a battered if not broken euro, and a deeply shaken European project — are looming large on the horizon.

But in the midst of all of the appropriate Sturm und Drang of the Greek financial and economic crisis, it is worth considering the geostrategic implications of the “Grexit” — which have been largely ignored.

Let’s face it: A Greece that goes crashing out of the eurozone will be an angry, disaffected, and battered nation — but one that will continue to hold membership in the European Union and NATO, both consensus-driven organizations. (“Consensus-driven” means that without unanimous consent among all members, the organization cannot take decisions or execute effective operational actions.) Many times in NATO councils as the supreme allied commander I watched the agonizing process of building consensus, one compromise at a time. In both the EU and NATO, an uncooperative Greece in the future could time and time again put the organizations “in irons,” which is to say becalmed and not moving effectively forward.

This could manifest itself very quickly in, for example, decisions about sanctions against Russia (from which Greece is avidly courting support and funding, logically enough). It could easily affect day-to-day governance in the European Union over issues from negotiating the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership to agricultural subsidies to what should be done about refugee flows across the Mediterranean. Greece could become a troublesome and obstructionist actor in complex negotiations involving the EU, such as the Iranian nuclear treaty efforts.

 Read more…

James Stavridis is a retired four-star U.S. Navy admiral and NATO supreme allied commander who serves today as the dean of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He recently gave a well attended seminar at the IE School of International Relations.

 

Published on 1 July, 2015 in http://foreignpolicy.com/

6
Jul

By Deniz Torcu, MIR 2014/2015 Current Student

The image that has started to go viral in social media amongst Greek users is simple, yet strong enough to explain the stand of the majority. It says a clear “NO”, however the rejection is composed of the sentence “YES TO THE EURO”.

My recent trip to Athens was a clear depiction of how devastated the country really is. The once busy neighbourhoods filled with restaurants, cafés and shops are now being replaced by two yellow signs that mark the desperation of the people: “for rent” and “for sale”, appearing side by side.

Yes, Greece owes billions of dollars. Yes, Greece cannot pay her debt to the IMF and has to redeem billions of bonds held by the ECB or run the risk of going into default.

These are the dry, non-human facts that we read in the news every day.

However, what we don’t get to read as much is the following: after the measures taken by the Greek governments over the past 5 years, the situation only got worse where the real GDP fell as much as 27%, unemployment rates broke a new record, pensions were cut by 48%, unofficial and non-registered labour started to make up as much as 34% of the entire labour force, and public debt kept growing finally reaching a level of nearly 180% of the GDP.

Do those developments seem as a healthy way to bring back an economy? Maybe to Angela Merkel and the German creditors who hold a majority of Greece’s debt, but definitely not to the Greek people.

Go to Greece, speak to ordinary people on the streets, the cafés, taxis, etc. You will hear stories like that of the taxi driver Antoni, who, despite having two degrees in hospital management, has to work in a rented taxi because the highest salary that he can get practicing his own profession doesn’t even reach 500 euros per month; he is thinking of migrating to Canada with his wife, even though he doesn’t want to leave Greece.

You will encounter the taverna owner Dimitri, who is concerned about the anti-Syriza propaganda that has been going strong from the creditors, pointing out to the fact that two extreme right-wing parties are already backing the government. There are fears that if Syriza is not given a proper chance to try to make things right, the fascist Golden Dawn would gain even more power.

Read more…

Published on 1 July, 2015 in  http://www.katoikos.eu/es/opinion

Deniz Torcu has a degree in Economics and previously worked for the Spanish governmental organization Instituto Cervantes and the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO. She currently studies International Relations at IE School of International Relations in Madrid as the Turkish scholar for 2014-2015.

21
May

Spain&EUEl próximo lunes 25 de mayo, tendrá lugar el seminario “Diálogo sobre 30 años de España en la UE” en el aula E-001 (C/ María de Molina 4) de 14h30 a 16h00, después de un bufé frío que se servirá de 14h00 a 14h30.

Este seminario, organizado por el Centro de Estudios Europeos/IE, es el primero del programa “España: ¿Un actor clave en las instituciones europeas? 30 años de pertenencia a la Unión Europea” patrocinado por el programa “Hablamos de Europa” del Ministerio de Asunto Exteriores que se impartirá desde mayo hasta septiembre de 2015.

Los dos ponentes son Charles Powell, Director del Real Instituto Elcano y José Ignacio Torreblanca, Director de la oficina de Madrid del ECFR, quienes establecerán un balance de la posición de España en la Unión Europea desde una perspectiva histórica y a la luz de la situación actual.

Se ruega confirmación a cee@ie.edu

Charles Powell, Licenciado en Historia y Literatura y Doctor en Historia por la Universidad de Oxford, es actualmente director del Real Instituto Elcano.  Entre sus numerosas publicaciones sobre temas internacionales destacan: ‘El amigo americano. España y EEUU de la dictadura a la democracia’ (Galaxia Gutenberg, 2011); ‘España en Europa, Europa en España’, en Emilio Lamo de Espinosa (coord.), ‘Europa después de Europa’ (Academia Europea de Ciencias y Artes, 2010); y ‘Las democracias occidentales frente al terrorismo global’, coeditado con Fernando Reinares (Editorial Ariel, 2008).

José Ignacio Torreblanca es profesor de Ciencia Política en la UNED, director de la oficina en Madrid del European Council on Foreign Relations y columnista de EL PAIS desde junio de 2008. Sus áreas de especialización son los asuntos internos de la UE, principalmente el auge del populismo y el euroescepticismo, las reformas institucionales y la política de ampliación y de vecindad. Sus últimos libros en español son Asaltar los cielos (2015), ¿Quién gobierna en Europa?: reconstruir la democracia, recuperar a la ciudadanía (2014) y La fragmentación del poder europeo (2011).

25
Apr

A Dialogue with European Commissioner Lord Jonathan Hill

We are pleased to invite you to meet Lord Jonathan Hill – European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union.

Commissioner Hill will talk about the European Commission’s priority of restoring jobs and growth in Europe and the role of banks and capital markets in financing the economy. He will present the main features of the Commission’s Capital Markets Union currently under consultation. Lord Hill will speak about the role of finance and the importance of risk-taking and an entrepreneurial attitude.

Limited seats. Confirmation of attendance is necessary through the following link: https://clubs.ie.edu/iecampuslife/rsvp?id=200002472

You can also attend through videoconference: http://meet.ie.edu/titansoffinance-lordhill/

Monday, May 4, 1:00pm – 2:00pm

S-001/S-002, c/Serrano 105, Madrid 28006, Spain

medium_image_200004724_lord_jonathan_hill_42894247_42894247

Lord Jonathan Hill
European Commission
European Commissioner for Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union

12
Mar

Written by Meghan O´Farrell, IE Master in International Relations student, 2014/2015 Intake 

foto grupo

A handful of students represented IE on Friday, February 27th during a debate with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, the Spanish Minister of Economy and Competitiveness, Luis de Guindos, and Pablo Zalba, Member of the European Parliament for the Group of the European People’s Party.

Vice-President Katainen debate_pics (6)At a rather critical moment for the EU in the wake of the financial crisis, 50 students convened from several universities to listen to Vice President Katainen, responsible for Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness, elaborate on President Juncker’s investment plan. The idea is to close the massive investment gap (€434 billion fall from 2007) crippling Europe’s employment and long-term growth. The Commission has chosen as its plan of attack a trifecta consisting of the mobilization of public and private funds, a transparent pipeline to identify viable investment projects, and the removal of sector specific and other financial barriers to investment in hopes to improve the overall business environment.

Still having not recovered from the financial crisis, Vice President Katainen reinforced the importance of this plan at a time of devastating and stubborn unemployment figures across much of Europe and concerning levels of economic inequality among Member States. But its enforcement cannot only be top-down, said Mr. Katainen. He emphasized the role of each EU country assuming national responsibility and personal accountability in upholding the plan and doing its part to contribute to overall growth and investment. Together, he says, the EU can raise €300 billion over the next 3 years in additional public and private investment by supporting local businesses, upgrading transport, funding broadband in low density areas, and expanding R&D.

Vice President Katainen admits the lack of demand is indeed a real problem for Europe, but bolstering confidence among its citizens in financial institutions again is key. Whether it be Greek debt, Spanish unemployment, or the host of other challenges facing EU Member States, Mr. Katainen calls for increased financial, political, and social integration to overcome them. With the unprecedented degree of integration that Europe has achieved comes unprecedented cooperation, cohesion, and solidarity. Only with one voice, says Mr. Katainen, can the EU reach a truly influential role in the world.

 

You can watch the full video of the debate here (in English and Spanish): http://www.ec.nirestream.com/

Vice-President Katainen debate_pics (5)

IE Students representing IE during the debate with the Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, at the Representation of the European Commission in Spain.

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