ESADEgeo Daily Digest, 27/09/2017

Politico—P. Briançon / 5 takeaways from Macron’s big speech on Europe’s future

  • Yesterday, at the Sorbonne University, French President Emmanuel Macron called on Germany to enter into a “partnership” with France to lead the implementation of a EU reform agenda. For Macron, Germany’s participation in his European vision seems more important for now than its acquiescence to his eurozone reform plans.
  • The French President put “sovereignty” at the head of the three themes he said Europe should focus on in its next stage of evolution, the other two being “union” and “democracy”.
  • Macron tried to put a positive spin on his “multispeed Europe” by insisting that building a “strong and efficient core”—and by core, he probably meant the eurozone—would benefit those who might or could only join at a later stage.
  • Macron proposed that the future European Commission be limited to 15 members, along with a battery of other concrete proposals.
  • Macron insisted that the EU should better “protect” its citizens against social or trade dumping, one of many ideas through which he tried to shed the image of an austerity advocate.

Project Syndicate—J. Fischer / Germany’s grave new world

  • Angela Merkel’s greatest mistake during the recent campaign was to rely on the same defensive strategy that she used in the last two elections.
  • Nowhere is the resurgence of the far right more disconcerting than in Germany, owing to its particular history. In order to counter the AfD, the parties that still stand for democratic values must take seriously their responsibility to form a new government.
  • However, it is likely that party leaders will posture and try to save face, and not much will happen until after the state elections in Lower Saxony on October 15. And even then, a new government will not be formed quickly.
  • The only alternatives to a Jamaica coalition (CDU/CSU+Free Democrats+Greens) are a CDU/CSU minority government or a new election next spring, which would probably only strengthen the AfD. Therefore, the Jamaica parties have a responsibility to get behind Merkel.

Open Democracy—S. Ardittis / Live and let die? The end of the EU migrant relocation programme

  • After two of years of tortuous implementation of the EU migrant relocation programme, less than 28,000 eligible people, or 17.5 per cent of the total planned target, were relocated.
  • More than 20 EU member states have under-performed on their legally binding commitments by at least 50 percent.
  • Moving forward, the option that would be acclaimed by most member states would consist of establishing a “free and open market of solidarity”, whereby each member of the bloc would be left to decide on the level and nature of its inputs into the EU’s migrant solidarity regime.
  • The second option would consist of encouraging more vigorously direct resettlement from the countries of origin or transit. Such an initiative might entail revisiting the resettlement scheme in its current form by expanding its geographic scope to reach not just regional but global levels.
  • The third option would relate to the long-stated objective of facilitating new channels for legal migration to Europe, including through innovative private sponsorship schemes such as that implemented by Canada.
  • The last option would consist of making optimal use of the forthcoming overhaul of the Dublin System, establishing when a country is handling a disproportionate number of asylum applications (relative to its size and wealth) and arranging relocations and/or compensations accordingly.

Foreign Policy—C. Kahl / The myth of a “better” Iran deal

  • It remains unlikely that President Trump will just walk away from the JCPOA. Instead, the administration seems to be considering two other options meant to raise the heat on both Tehran and the international community.
  • The first option—the so-called “waive and slap” approach—would entail continuing to certify Iranian technical compliance with the JCPOA and waive associated nuclear sanctions, while massively increasing non-nuclear sanctions and other forms of pressure on Iran.
  • However, reports suggest that the president is leaning toward a second option, which could be called “decertification and renegotiation.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has strongly encouraged the Trump administration to go down this road.
  • There’s just one problem: More pressure would not have produced a better deal two years ago — and threatening to blow up the deal will not produce a better one today.
  • “It is literally insane to believe that it is possible to produce 150 percent of the current deal with 50, 70, or even 99 percent of the leverage the United States possessed in 2015. It simply ignores the laws of diplomatic physics.”
  • Trump’s top general says Iran honoring nuke deal

The selected pieces do not necessarily reflect the views of Javier Solana and ESADEgeo. 

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