The worsening geopolitical context around the borders of the European Union (Ukraine, Georgia, Syria) and the aggressive attitudes of Russia and Turkey towards several member states raise questions about the pertinence of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) being pursued by the EU today. That policy is based on the European Union Treaty, which encourages the development of “a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterized by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.” How is it being pursued today? Is it still appropriate to the context? Jean-François Drevet looks into the ENP, stressing the need to review its detailed implementation and proposing some ways that it might be revised by adapting it to developments within the geographical and strategic environment of the EU.
Économiste, homme politique et auteur de deux douzaines d’ouvrages traitant de l’Europe, du monde de la finance, de la concurrence industrielle et des incohérences françaises, Christian Saint-Étienne sonne cette fois le tocsin : le monde est bouleversé par une révolution industrielle, culturelle et géostratégique sans précédent, alors que l’Europe reste atone et se perd en querelles byzantines. Première puissance mondiale, les États-Unis se désintéressent de l’Atlantique et de l’Europe pour se concentrer sur le Pacifique et ...
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Il n’est pas fréquent de disposer d’un texte écrit en commun par deux personnes issues de milieux aussi différents : d’une part Bernard Philippe, ex-fonctionnaire européen, avec une longue expérience du Proche-Orient et notamment de Jérusalem ; d’autre part, David Meyer, rabbin et professeur à l’université pontificale de Rome. Faute de connaissances en matière talmudique, notre commentaire se limitera à l’analyse politique, qui présente à elle seule un intérêt évident, par l’éclairage nouveau qu’elle ...
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A change has been underway in Europe for some months now. In the context of the announcement of the UK’s departure from the European Union and weakened US leadership from an unpredictable president, the voice of the EU may well assume particular significance and begin to resonate internationally. If we add to this encouraging prospects for economic growth and a proactive attitude on the part of the presidents of the European Commission and France, it does not seem far-fetched to dream of a genuine revival of the European project.
This at least is hinted at by Catherine Vielledent in this article, drawing on two speeches from last September by Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron, which both seem to be moving in the direction of such a stimulus to the Union and to European (economic, social, monetary etc.) integration. This article highlights the respective proposals of the two presidents on this question, their points of convergence and the perspectives they open up for the EU. It also stresses the need not to miss the window of opportunity, the next European elections being scheduled for a little over a year from now, in May 2019.
In one year’s time, in March 2019, the negotiations to finalize the UK’s exit from the European Union (Brexit) should have reached an end. This is, admittedly, a short timeline, but is it set in stone and what consequences are to be expected from it? Jean-François Drevet looks here at three questions directly or indirectly linked to Brexit: the hypothesis of the UK reversing its decision if it does not achieve a satisfactory agreement on leaving the EU; the consequences of Brexit for the EU’s internal relations and, in particular, the real, unexpected cohesion of the 27 other members of the Union in the current negotiations; and lastly the clarification that follows from this with regard to the EU’s relations with its periphery. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, one thing is sure. It will have moved things on and contributed to a degree of revitalization within the European Union.
Transition(s) électrique(s), l’ouvrage de Jean-Pierre Hansen et Jacques Percebois, offre une perspective historique sur le secteur électrique à travers principalement les trois pays que sont le Royaume-Uni, la France et l’Allemagne, et quelques incursions aux États-Unis. Cette histoire est passionnante parce que loin d’être une affaire seulement de spécialistes de l’énergie, l’électricité est le « reflet quasi parfait de l’économie de marché et du capitalisme ». Quelques retours sur les vies de Ricardo, Walras ...
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Deux fois par an, le service de recherche du Parlement européen publie le Global Trendometer, un rapport sur les grandes tendances destiné aux députés européens. Il constitue aussi une contribution au dispositif collaboratif de renforcement de la prospective stratégique entre institutions européennes : ESPAS (European Strategy and Policy Analysis System). Ce nouveau rapport présente une sélection de tendances effectuée à partir de publications de prospective émanant notamment de l’Union européenne, du National Intelligence Council (NIC) américain, de l’Organisation de ...
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La Commission européenne a rendu publiques ses propositions pour l’approfondissement de l’Union économique et monétaire (UEM) le 6 décembre 2017, dans le cadre de ce qu’il est désormais convenu d’appeler le « paquet UEM » . Ces propositions ont déjà fait réagir dans le cercle (un peu trop) fermé des journalistes spécialisés dans les questions européennes, notamment dans les deux États membres les plus peuplés de la zone euro, la France et l’Allemagne. Dans l’ensemble, aucun ...
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The political crisis Spain is going through after Catalonia’s referendum on self-determination and the direct rule imposed on that community until the regional elections of 21 December 2017 (the current issue of Futuribles went to press before that date) has played its part in rekindling debate on the potential independence of some European territories. Brexit had opened up the debate by raising questions over the status of Northern Ireland and Scotland. The same debate flares up regularly between Walloons and Flemings in Belgium or with regard to Corsica’s position in France etc. It is the aim of this first European column of 2018 to assess where we are today with the question of the right to independence within the framework of the EU, so far as territories like Catalonia, Kurdistan or Scotland are concerned. Jean-François Drevet draws on the statute and case law of the Union, and also on earlier experiences in Europe (in the Balkans, for example) or across the Atlantic (Quebec). Above and beyond the different ways different communities are assessed (“a double standard”?), he shows how complex such questions are and how naïve it is to assume that the settlement of regional independence demands on the Old Continent could be accelerated or simplified at the European level.
Dans le cadre d’un processus initié au lendemain du vote du Brexit, la Commission européenne a publié une série de « documents de réflexion » pour illustrer une approche générale sur le futur de l’Europe . Ces documents de réflexion abordent des points a priori essentiels pour l’avenir du continent, et de l’Union en particulier : dimension sociale (avril 2017), maîtrise de la mondialisation (mai), approfondissement de l’Union économique et monétaire (mai), défense (juin). Face à des dossiers ...
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Sixty years after the European Union (EU) was formed with the signing of the Treaty of Rome, its governing bodies initiated a process of reflection on the future of Europe. We reflected this discussion in our July/August issue (419) with Gabriel Arnoux’s article on the various scenarios for the sharing of competences between the Union and its member states. Jean-François Drevet continues that examination of the EU’s possible futures here by looking into the institutional dimension and the prospects for a move in the direction of federalism. There are so many sticking points and member states are so attached to their sovereignty that this debate, recurrent since the creation of the EU, between the advocates of intergovernmental operation and the proponents of federalism has for many years seen the former group in the ascendant. Nevertheless, times are changing and, both at the socioeconomic and geopolitical levels, the limitations of that intergovernmental operation are beginning to show. The time has perhaps come, as this column suggests, to look more objectively at the advantages a shift to federalism would bring — and to prepare European citizens for it.
Cette étude a été réalisée à la demande de la Commission des affaires étrangères du Parlement européen à l’occasion du 40e anniversaire des relations officielles entre l’Union européenne (UE) et l’Association des nations de l’Asie du Sud-Est (ASEAN). Fondée le 8 août 1967, suite à la déclaration de Bangkok, l’ASEAN est une organisation régionale qui compte aujourd’hui 10 États membres : l’Indonésie, la Malaisie, les Philippines, Singapour, la Thaïlande, Brunei, le Viêt-nam, le Laos ...
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Après une période de recueillement, quand les éditeurs refusaient les ouvrages sur l’Europe, le marché semble s’être redressé et les titres fleurissent. Bien que le sien soit mystérieux, LaDouble Démocratie mérite une lecture attentive, au moins pour les compétences de ses auteurs et la qualité de l’analyse. La table des matières est claire, les tableaux et les graphiques bien présentés, la bibliographie abondante. Les deux premiers chapitres retiendront surtout l’attention des spécialistes. Leur dénonciation de ...
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The way the member states of the European Union choose to structure their territories, both politically and administratively, represents an often overlooked but very real difficulty for European integration, complicating the Union’s actions politically, institutionally, etc. To cast light on this, Futuribles has opened a dossier on territorial organization in Europe. After Germany and the UK, it is the turn here of Spain.
Éric Dufeil outlines the territorial issues facing this highly decentralized country, structured — with its “autonomous communities” — almost on federalist lines. He sets out the organization established after the disappearance of the Franco regime which, despite broad decision-making autonomy granted to communities, has not been able totally and effectively to curb Basque and Catalan nationalist demands. After reviewing the independence issue, Dufeil shows how it gained renewed vigour in the context of the 2008 economic crisis, which hit the Spanish economy hard and fed into a significant political crisis at the national level. He also explains the current reform of the financing of the autonomous regions and various scenarios for how Spanish territorial organization may develop (retention of the status quo, a unilateral break with the present order, an unlikely third way or — and why not? — federalism). Beyond the serious tensions that persist in Spain, particularly in Catalonia in recent times, the revitalization of Spanish civic life and democracy gives hope that a consensual solution will emerge from the dialogue between state and communities.
Quite apart from its economic and commercial consequences, the 2016 decision by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union (EU) has also shown up the role the EU has played in keeping a lid on certain territorial disputes and demands for independence. Without second-guessing the details of Brexit implementation that will emerge from the current negotiations between the two parties, Futuribles has decided to examine these questions of territorial organization by way of a dossier covering not only the United Kingdom (where Brexit could change the rules of the game), but also two largely decentralized states, Spain and Germany.
In this dossier, Jean-François Drevet examines the specific situation of the UK. After recalling how the country has recently decentralized power (devolution) to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, he highlights the particular case of England, which is struggling to find its place in this decentralized arrangement, and the dilemmas this produces where some decision-making is concerned. Most importantly, he recalls why this regional organization was adopted — mainly to respond to the economic crisis that was hitting some regions more severely than others — and the limits (particularly budgetary) it is running up against. Regional development remains very unequal in the country and socio-economic disparities between the London region and areas of high unemployment persist. These regional disparities also had a hand in the Brexit vote (with the EU playing its now classic role as scapegoat). Unfortunately, the implementation of Brexit will probably not have the positive consequences the citizens are hoping for, because of the loss of some European funding and a possible strengthening of dependence on the Treasury, if not indeed a potential revival of aspirations to independence in Northern Ireland or Scotland.
The way the member states of the European Union choose to structure their territories, both politically and administratively, represents an often overlooked but very real difficulty for European integration, complicating the Union’s actions politically, institutionally, etc. To cast light on this, Futuribles has decided to examine the question of territorial organization in Europe by publishing a dossier covering three countries: Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Éric Dufeil sets out the particular case of Germany, where the federal structure laid down in the aftermath of the Second World War has become a central pillar of political organization, further consolidated by reunification. After reminding the readers how this federalism operates, he highlights the generally balanced character of the country, while stressing the developmental inequalities that persist, particularly between East and West. Dufeil also writes of the recent reforms which, among other things, recentralize the management of economic equalization between territories and could lead in the medium term to a revision of the number and geography of the Länder. Lastly, he stresses, on the one hand, the demographic challenges the country faces, which might also lead to some territorial reforms and, on the other, the interesting status of the “metropolitan regions” within the country. However, given how rooted Germany is in it federal structure and the population’s attachment to that structure, adjustments, if they are made, will be carried out within the framework of the Federation.
La session extraordinaire du Parlement français convoquée en juillet a, entre autres, adopté le projet de loi d’habilitation du gouvernement à prendre par ordonnances « les mesures pour le renforcement du dialogue social ». Et le gouvernement entendait avoir, d’ici la fin du mois d’août, procédé aux principaux arbitrages concernant la réforme du droit du travail. Heureuse initiative s’il en est quoique, au moment où nos bouclons ce numéro, la teneur des réformes reste floue. Et il est ...
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Il arrive que les éditeurs imposent aux auteurs des titres très accrocheurs qui ne reflètent ni leur pensée ni même le contenu de leur ouvrage. Ce pourrait être le cas de celui-ci, la lecture de la table des matières n’étant pas exempte de raccourcis, comme par exemple « La grande illusion du marché unique » ou « Le poison du dogmatisme ». Heureusement, le point d’interrogation qui figure à la fin du titre indique que tout n’est peut-être pas consommé pour ...
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Publié par le SIPRI, ce rapport s’inscrit dans le cadre d’un projet de recherche financé par la fondation allemande Friedrich Ebert. Divisé en trois parties, il analyse les enjeux stratégiques du projet chinois de Ceinture économique de la route de la soie (la Ceinture) pour l’Union européenne (UE). La première partie décrit le projet chinois et ses motivations. La Ceinture constitue un modèle de coopération économique internationale souple et évolutif qui vise à combler un important déficit ...
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The recent French presidential elections have confirmed a lack of understanding and disapproval on the part of many citizens of policies that go back several decades, and also of the leaders who carried out those policies. They have also reminded us of how these same citizens distrust — or even reject — the European Union, which is often quick to figure as a scapegoat for national problems. Yet, as this article by Gabriel Arnoux shows, this rejection of Europe is based on a misunderstanding — very often maintained by national governments — of the EU’s actual areas of competency.
There is, in fact, a real difference between the perception many European citizens have of the role of the Union in shaping and determining national policies and the reality of that role. The exclusive areas of competency of the European Union are actually rather limited (relating mainly to compliance with competition rules, currency, and customs and trade policy). In most areas, the EU intervenes only to support member states or in collaboration with them. This clarification of the EU’s real areas of competency is vital, since the Commission has just begun a process of reflection on the future of Europe, based on five scenarios aimed at determining how the Union might develop and what its proper areas of competency should be. It is also essential because the vagueness around the actual responsibilities and legal competencies of European and national institutions is an indicator of a more general malaise regarding the way public policies are presented and evaluated, which also plays a considerable role in the citizenry’s general disaffection with politics.
Voilà un livre qui, par les temps qui courent, s’avère très engagé. Les deux auteurs, dont les expériences professionnelles sont différentes, sont connus pour leurs analyses stratégiques à propos de l’état du monde et ont beaucoup publié par le passé. Mais cet ouvrage proposé ensemble constitue une première et l’exercice est assurément réussi, sur le fond comme sur la forme. Il faut saluer les auteurs capables de formuler, dans des essais relativement courts, un argumentaire suffisamment vaste ...
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The growing success of populist — and, very often, sovereignist — rhetoric, both on Left and Right, the triggering of Brexit and the accession to the US presidency of a Donald Trump who is intent on putting the interests of his country above all others, have rightly given cause for anxiety over some months now. There is particular concern with regard to trade, where existing agreements are being cast into doubt, protectionist measures initiated and trade deals currently under negotiation rejected. Above and beyond the media commotion over these developments, are we actually facing a genuine risk to multilateralism and the regulation of international trade?
Jean-François Drevet examines this question through a presentation of the arrangements that currently apply with respect to free trade, particularly from the standpoint of the EU and its member states. He warns of the dangers inherent in any waning of trade multilateralism or return to protectionism, while stressing the technical difficulties of reversing developments in the field. Though it is more than necessary to establish fair competition rules and measures that respect citizens, democracy, the environment etc., those regulations should be achieved within the framework of the international free-trade agreements constructed since 1945, not by states turning their backs on them.
Cette étude constitue la première du genre publiée par le service de recherche du Parlement européen. Elle vise à offrir aux responsables politiques européens, et en particulier aux membres du Parlement européen, un aperçu des grandes tendances globales de moyen et long termes, tout en soulignant la complexité et la transversalité des principaux défis auxquels l’Europe devra apporter des réponses à l’horizon 2030 ou 2040. Sans présenter de recommandations ni délivrer de projet politique, le Global Trendometer a ...
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On 23 June 2016, 51.9 % of votes cast in the British referendum were for Brexit or, in other words, for the UK’s departure from the European Union. Since then, new Prime Minister Theresa May has been making preparations to negotiate the terms of that exit which, apart from its economic consequences, will also have a significant geopolitical impact for the country.
It is these geopolitical consequences Jean-François Drevet considers in his column, arguing that if the British believe they are taking back control of their international affairs, they might well be disappointed. So far as the Commonwealth is concerned, the UK is no longer the major partner it was in the 1970s, the USA and China having both overtaken it in terms of trade. And some Commonwealth members even fear the consequences of Brexit for their own economies. When it comes to the United States under a Trump administration, it isn’t at all clear that it sees its political or economic interests as lying in a UK withdrawal from the EU. As for the prospect, hinted at by the UK government, of turning the country into a European offshore tax haven, that idea has not as yet been sufficient to reassure British financial circles. And lastly, internal discord generated by the Brexit decision (in Scotland and Northern Ireland) isn’t likely to make the government’s task any easier. As Jean-François Drevet rightly concludes, Europe is scarcely any easier to dismantle than it has been to build!
As a pendant to the current European column on the possible geopolitical consequences of Brexit, Futuribles is also publishing this analysis of Brexit seen, as it were, from the inside, asking how the UK government and political parties see exit from the EU and how the outcome of the negotiations is regarded – or might be regarded – by British citizens? Derek Martin reminds us, first of all, of the Brexit referendum’s failings in terms of democratic representativeness and the doubts to which that gives rise regarding the real will of the British people to leave the Union. After presenting the two possible routes argued for by the Brexiteers (“hard” v. “soft” Brexit), and their prospects of success in the negotiations with the EU, Martin shows what disillusionments might arise for the “soft” Brexiteers within the various British political formations. A situation which, as he sees it, might make it possible to reshuffle the deck and open the door to a reversal of the Brexit decision in one of a range of possible ways that he outlines.