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Fri 14 Oct 2016 / Europe

Image and integration

As an ardent believer in the need for European unity, I was devastated by the result of the UK’s European Union referendum. One important aspect was the almost complete lack of positive publicity for the EU in the UK media and public opinion. With the UK experience in mind, the EU in future should defend itself better – and go on to the offensive where necessary if confronted by a largely hostile media. This requires EU representation combining skill and diplomacy with a certain activism.

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Fri 28 Oct 2016 / Europe

War by any other name

Until 1989-91, the Soviet threat was Nato’s organising principle. However, today’s risks and threats are less well-defined and unregulated. It is ‘Cold War II’ without the global doctrine of communism. In the Baltic Russia and Nato have signalled that fundamental rules will still be observed and distances both tested and respected. But revolutionary dynamics are at work in the Middle East, where deterrence is all but absent. A form of hybrid warfare is being waged in eastern Europe.

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Wed 26 Oct 2016 / Europe

Hinkley Point: the Euratom syndrome

On 15 September Theresa May, the British prime minister, gave the go-ahead for a new nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point, in south-west England. On 2 October, she announced that her government would start by March 2017 the two-year procedure that will eventually take the UK out of the European Union. Perhaps these two matters are harbingers of a ‘nuclear renaissance’? To resolve this question we need to consider what might be called 'the Euratom syndrome'.

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Fri 7 Oct 2016 / Europe

Praising Draghi and ending QE

European central bankers hostile to continuing the euro area’s €80bn a month quantitative easing programme are likely to praise rather than denigrate Mario Draghi, the ECB president, as a tussle approaches over efforts to return euro area inflation towards the 2% target. The tactics employed by the anti-QE faction on the ECB’s governing council will focus in coming months on understating public doubts and saluting signs of success in the ECB chief’s bid to boost the inflation rate in a bid to phase out QE from March 2017 onwards.

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