Last week, at a joint press conference with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during Li’s visit to Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel openly disagreed with the European Commission’s plans to impose punitive tariffs against Chinese-made solar panels. The commission has accused China of unfair trade practices that undercut European producers. But Merkel’s concerns for German exports to China took precedence over European Union solidarity, highlighting the difficulties Brussels has faced in forging a unified policy toward Beijing. China has been a strategically important partner for Europe for at least two decades, but the economic crisis in Europe has changed the nature [...]
AMSTERDAM—When news of economic troubles in Europe started emerging in 2009, the prevailing narrative in the Netherlands, as in much of the northern part of the continent, held that cultural differences, even the weather, could help explain the problem. The troubles in Greece, one often heard the Dutch say, stemmed from a certain lack of discipline, perhaps understandable considering the temptations of leisure along the sunny Mediterranean coast. Almost five years later, Europe’s economic woes have reached the North Sea shores, sending a chill through one of the most disciplined economies of the European Union. The Netherlands is now in [...]
The May 23 Moscow European Security Conference gathered government representatives, defense officials and analysts from Russia, Europe and elsewhere to discuss the range of issues confronting policymakers for European security today. Sponsored by the Russian Ministry of Defense, which covered my expenses as well as those of other nongovernmental participants, the speeches and debates displayed an interesting admixture of standard post-Cold War rhetoric and genuinely innovative thinking. While the conference highlighted the many areas of divergence between Russia and the West on matters of European and global security, it also offered some opportunities for renewed engagement and dialogue on these [...]
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