The European Union: Quo vadis?

Tuesday, 2 October 2018 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: Editorial, European Union, General

(Latest update: 23 October 2020) Best of all first: The EU and the Eurozone today have greater approval among its citizens than it did in the past 35 years. This is not just any indicator, but a solid basis and a work order that has so far been adopted only in part to actually address ambitious, long overdue reforms and the necessary reorientation of the EU. A nicely written white paper by the European Commission, which presents possible scenarios until 2025, isn’t enough. What is needed is a “EU Vision 2030” plan with clear timetables and sub-goals, which are constantly being updated, especially as new sub-goals always emerge from ongoing processes, where everyone can find orientation about ongoing and future developments, as well as to participate or in marketing-speak “Europe need a common future and story!” This one is a bit longer and a summary of the current challenges and opportunities, while continuing the article The European Union: Blessing or curse? Past or future?.


Content


Introduction
Today, people in the states of the EU live in better conditions than ever before. It should be clear to the citizens that the future viability of the states depends on their being under the strong umbrella of the EU in order to prepare themselves for the economic challenges from China, and more recently from the US, militarily from Russia (The Washington Post, 13 September 2018: 5 things to know about Russia’s Vostok-2018 military exercises, The Guardian, 20 October2018: Trump says US will withdraw from nuclear arms treaty with Russia, BBC, 21 October 2018: President Trump to pull US from Russia missile treaty, CNN, 21 October 2018: Trump says US is ending decades-old nuclear arms treaty with Russia, BBC, 21 October 2018: Russia nuclear treaty: Gorbachev warns Trump plan will undermine disarmament, CNN, 22 October 2018: Russia fires back after Trump threatens to ditch nuclear arms treaty (“funny” is that the Russian Tsar Putin has been stationed months ago the nuclear first strike weapon system Iskander-K in the region of Kaliningrad, to threaten Europe permanently, and is lamenting now, because adequate countermeasures to safeguard Europe against continued and further threats from the Kremlin shall be initiated (Avangard hypersonic glide vehicle)), NATO, 25 October 2018: Trident Juncture 18, The Washington Post, 25 October 2018: At a pivotal moment for the alliance, NATO launches biggest exercise since the end of the Cold War, The New York Times, 26 January 2019: Saving NATO, Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, The New York Times, 1 February 2019: U.S. Suspends Nuclear Arms Control Treaty With Russia, CNN, 2 February 2019: Russia follows US in suspending INF nuclear missile treaty, The Washington Post, 2 February 2019: Why Putin won’t be mad about Trump pulling out of the INF Treaty, The Guardian, 2 February 2019: Russia follows US in suspending nuclear deal, The New York Times, 2 February 2019: Russia Pulls Out of Nuclear Treaty in ‘Symmetrical’ Response to U.S. Move, The Washington Post, 2 February 2019: Following U.S., Putin suspends nuclear pact and promises new weapons, Jerusalem Post, 2 February 2019: Russia set to develop new and advanced missile systems, The New York Times, 10 February 2019: How Russia Undermined Over 30 Years of Nuclear Arms Control, France24, 12 February 2019: NATO planning for more Russian missiles: Stoltenberg and The Washington Post, 17 February 2019: Withdrawing from the INF Treaty would cripple arms control efforts for decades, The Guardian, 1 July 2019: US arms control office critically understaffed under Trump, experts say, CNN, 20 July 2019: Clock’s ticking on one of world’s most important nuclear treaties. A dangerous arms race may be next, CNN, 27 July 2019: Donald Trump’s most catastrophic decision, BBC, 2 August 2019: INF nuclear treaty: Nato ‘to avoid arms race’ after US-Russia pact ends, The Guardian, 2 August 2019: Nato and Russia trade barbs after collapse of nuclear arms treaty, CNN, 2 August 2019: NATO chief says end of nuclear treaty is ‘serious setback’, after US withdraws, Al Arabiya, 2 AUgust 2019: US to develop new missiles after exiting INF treaty, Times of Israel, 2 August 2019: US to accelerate missile program after ending weapons pact with Russia, Saudi Gazette, 2 August 2019: US pulls out of Soviet-era nuclear missile pact with Russia, Gulf News, 2 August 2019: US ends Cold War missile treaty in bid to counter China, France24, 2 August 2019: US to withdraw officially from Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, DW, 2 August 2019: Opinion: Scrapping the INF treaty is risky — and a lost opportunity, Arab News, 3 AUgust 2019: The arms race has new legs, CNN, 8 August 2019: Russia has released footage of its new ‘Hunter’ stealth attack drone, Jerusalem Post, 12 August 2019: US, Russia nuke tensions may be even worse than Iran threat – analysis, The Guardian, 17 August 2019: The nuclear arms race is back … and ever more dangerous now, CNN, 18 August 2019: What a mysterious explosion tells us about Russia’s ‘doomsday weapon’, France24, 19 August 2019: US tests medium-range cruise missile in the wake of INF treaty exit, The National Interest, 20 August 2019: Russia’s New Weapons: From Doomsday Nuclear Torpedoes to Skyfall Missiles, DW, 20 August 2019: Russia blast radiation caused by Skyfall missile, US experts say, Haaretz, 21 August 2019: Skyfall Explosion: Doomsday Weapon Accident Shows Limits of Putin’s Dangerous Ambitions). How can it nevertheless be that the colorful and cheerful Europe threatens to become a more and more dull, simple, nationalistic, fact- and learn-resistant Europe? The paradox of this is, above all, that it is the EU itself that made it possible to connect different states and their people. On the one hand, it creates EU citizens and patriots and, on the other hand, simple minded state-cross national movements. After all, nationalism by definition can only function within a nation-state, but not across multiple states, unless one understands the EU as such as a nation-state, so that EU nationalism can emerge to develop common, viable and workable solutions. It is hardly to be expected that Europe’s right-wing nationalists are able to think in such a dimension at all, although here they could take an example from the rednecks and hillbillys of the Southern United States, who have at least understood that, albeit coming from different states, they all are US citizens. That would be, even when still annoying, after all, a development and adaptation of the changed realities and general conditions (The Guardian, 21 July 2018: Steve Bannon plans foundation to fuel far right in Europe, BBC, 23 July 2018: Bannon plan for Europe-wide populist ‘supergroup’ sparks alarm, Bloomberg, 24 July 2018: Steve Bannon Wants to Divide and Conquer in Europe Too, The Guardian, 30 July 2018: Europe shouldn’t fear Steve Bannon. It should fear the hype that surrounds him, The Washington Post, 26 September 2018: A nationalist abroad: Stephen Bannon evangelizes Trump-style politics across Europe, The Guardian, 24 October 2018: The real danger to Europe? The lost sense of a common cause, The Guardian, 18 February 2019: EU parliament’s centrist coalition set to lose majority, poll finds, Arab News, 26 June 2019: Critics should not forget EU’s role in preserving peace). Overall, this article is trying to make it clear what Alexander von Humboldt already knew 250 years ago:

“Everything is connected with everything.”


History of Europe and the United Staates of America

“Only who knows where he comes from knows where he is going.” – Theodor Heuss

In order to understand the current developments in Europe, it makes sense to deal with the very varied and multi-faceted history of Europe and the states/federation building processes. This includes numerous regional, national and international armed conflicts, such as the Thirty Years’ War, which began with the Defenestrations of Prague on May 23, 1618. Under the motto “One people, one religion, one leader”, the catholic Emperor Ferdinand II tried to persuade the Protestant electorates to convert to Catholicism. The attempt failed after several lossy battles in favor of a pluralistic solution, because the acting persons came to the realization that diversity is probably better than simplicity. With that everything has already been said and everyone could have gone home happily and contentedly with this knowledge gain, in order to be able to work on a common, peaceful and prosperous Europe from now on. History went a little bit different and many other wars followed, because people are generally far less able to learn than they would like to think of themselves. If World War I and World War II had any good aspects at all, it is that the results are now deeply branded in the European collective memory and, as a result, the European Union was founded. Following the old saying, “When the donkey is too well, he goes on the ice”, from the end of the 2000s onwards, small groups were formed in the states, which eventually gave rise to national movements and parties and in fact found enough supporters to position their crude (conspiracy) theories against the EU. The vast majority of these theories are completely baseless and fact-free, which is what their supporters, who are suffering from extensive fact allergy, especially like about it. But it is also about fear of loss, especially with regard to identities (or social decline or to be even more accurate: If some Germans think that “refugees take away our jobs,” then these people should just keep the following in mind: Should a refugee, who has never been to Germany or even Europe at all, has no language skills, has no idea of how life and the labor market work here (neither in total nor in detail), be able to “take away jobs” from these Germans, then in their lives has so much gone wrong before, that even 12 million refugees and immigrants could not affect their lifes more negative than it already has been affected before. In any case, it is not the refugees who are to blame, but in most cases, they themselves. Presumably, such people would be overwhelmed even with returnable bottle sorting), even though today’s states have no clearly definable national identities because they are made up of colorful collections of duchies and principalities with partly contradictory identities and due to the numerous small and large migrations of the people over the centuries couldn’t develop clearly identifiable identities (The “Heimat” concept (homeland), on the other hand, is much easier to define, even if it can have individual different definitions). The romantic idea that there ever was a homogenous Germany is a very clear self-deception, because the country and also all predecessors in the area of today’s Germany (even more so if one includes Poland and parts of Russia (German Reich) or parts of France and Italy (Holy Roman Empire of German Nations)), Germany has always been heterogeneous, even if there were majorities and continue to exist. The same applies, of course, to all other current EU states as well, and certainly to the US. The EU offers a basic agreement on the basis of geography, namely, “We are all Europeans”, even if not all countries of the continent belong to the EU by now. With the EU still under construction, it will take quite a while for this to happen. On the other hand, how well European integration already works in everyday life is evident in the changed news situation, among other aspects. 20 years ago, only a small section of the population in Europe was interested in politics and politicians in neighboring countries. This has changed over the past decades fundamentally, because the perception has changed. In the past, it was understood as “foreign policy”, and is now understood as “domestic policy”, because the effects can have an affect for everyone.

At this point, it’s worth taking a look at the history of the United States of America. Even if no one-to-one comparisons are possible, the founding of the USA is the first and until today successful European major project, meanwhile not only more successful than the EU itself, but even the only remaining world power (other European projects, such as Australia or New Zealand, are also going very well. Overall, Europe has left its mark in many parts of the world due to colonization. Often with negative consequences, but often also with positive effects that reverberate to this day), because ultimately it is the anticipation of the EU outside of Europe. The settlements were finally carried out by people from all European countries (today, e.g., about 50 million of the 330 million Americans say to have German ancestors). Even today, the folklore and local features/peculiarities that came with the European settlers have survived in the individual states, are promoted and celebrated accordingly – all under the common roof of the United States. The EU implements this concern, ie the preservation and promotion of specific characteristics, specificities, folklore, language and food/drink, under the motto “united in diversity” even more consistently and extensively by creating appropriate laws and regulations and providing funding (Europe of the Regions, Culture in the European Union, geographical indication, European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, Minority rights, Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and European Convention on Human Rights). In this respect, the EU is reminiscent of the Roman Empire, but on a voluntary basis, ie a federation of different, diversified states, which keep their cultures, languages, religions and other peculiarities, but united under a common roof with self-given, common rules.


Migration debate, xenophobia, racism, right-wing extremism and right-wing terrorism
It is actually unbelievable: the wall fell, fortunately the Soviet Union failed in its own right, as a result of which most of the Eastern Bloc gained its freedom. There was great hope for democracy, freedom and the rule of law. Especially in the eastward expansion of the EU, which only knows freedom from history lessons, the hope for freedom and democracy was huge. It is all the more surprising that the majority have once again been seduced by nationalist demagogues. From the east, this nationalistic nonsense finally rubbed off into East Germany, which was formerly part of the Eastern Bloc. Where the journey will eventually lead to remains open by now. It will certainly not be pleasing for while. Therefore the blog entry The European Union: Migration debate, xenophobia, racism and right-wing extremism was created.


Challenges and solution approaches in keywords


Economic and/or political development
The EU economy continues to develop well, although the federal debts of half of member countries remains above the agreed 60% of GDP. The EU GDP surpasses that of the US. The economic growth was 2.5% in 2017 and is projected to reach 2.3% in 2018, with developments in the member countries varying in some cases significantly (Reuters, 2 July 2018: Beating expectations, euro zone unemployment stable in May, Reuters, 7 September 2018: A decade after Lehman, Europe remains on economic crutches, The Guardian, 21 January 2019: IMF: no-deal Brexit and Chinese slump are biggest economic risks, France24, 7 March 2019: ECB to keep rates unchanged amid weakening economy, The New York Times, 7 March 2019: Global Economy Slows, Pushing Europe’s Central Bank to Make a Surprise Move and The New York Times, 24 April 2019: Europe Not Feeling Much Pain From Trump Tariffs, Central Bank Says, The Guardian, 15 May 2019: Populism isn’t the biggest threat to the EU – it’s the east-west divide, The Guardian, 15 May 2019: Merkel: Europe must unite to stand up to China, Russia and US, The Guardian, 16 May 2019: Majority of Europeans expect end of EU within 20 years, CNN, 18 July 2019: Europe is sleepwalking its way to another lost decade, Irish Times, 25 July 2019: European Central Bank paves way for fresh stimulus package, BBC, 25 July 2019: Eurozone prepares for interest rate cut as growth slows, Saudi Gazette, 25 July 2019: ECB charts path for new stimulus, Gulf News, 25 July 2019: European Central Bank hints rate cut, Arab News, 31 July 2019: Indecisive Europe must secure its digital sovereignty, Politico.eu, 13 August 2019: Boom time for European tourism, CNN, 14 August 2019: 5 of the world’s biggest economies are at risk of recession, Politico.eu, 19 August 2019: Merkel: ‘Truly united Europe’ includes Western Balkans, Politico.eu, 22 August 2019: EU officials float €100B boost for European companies, Saudi Gazette, 22 August 2019: Eurozone bankers warn of ‘more protracted’ slowdown, Politico.com, 24 August 2019: It’s the economy, Dummkopf! German slowdown spells trouble, Politico.eu, 26 August 2019: Europe’s last line of defense, Gulf Times, 6 September 2019: Merkel hopes China-US trade problems will be solved soon, CNN, 6 September 2019: Caught between human rights and trade, Angela Merkel lands in China, CNN, 11 September 2019: Europe needs Germany to spend big. Don’t hold your breath, Politico.eu, 14 September 2019: Trump poised to hit EU with billions in tariffs after victory in Airbus case, Politico.eu, 13 September 2019: What Europe is really fighting about, CNN, 18 September 2019: A crack just emerged in the financial markets: The NY Fed spends $53 billion to rescue the overnight lending market, BBC, 20 September 2019: Why is the Fed pumping money into the banking system?, The Guardian, 23 September 2019: Eurozone economy slows amid trade decline and Brexit fears, The Guardian, 25 September 2019: Global recession a serious danger in 2020, says UN, The Guardian, 30 September 2019: Christine Lagarde must jump-start change in Europe’s economy, Euronews, 30 September 2019: Using the EU’s own trade rules against it: the scourge of ‘VAT Carousel’ fraud (missing trader fraud), Politico.eu, 2 October 2019: The European way of life in numbers, Reuters, 7 October 2019: Mission impossible: Next EU foreign policy chief warns of EU irrelevance, Politico.eu, 15 October 2019: EU builds anti-Trump trade bazooka, Politico.eu, 19 October 2019: EU at ‘standstill’ over past 5 years, says French business lobby chief, The Guardian, 20 October 2019: World economy is sleepwalking into a new financial crisis, warns Mervyn King, CNN, 24 October 2019: The man who saved the euro bows out amid ‘unprecedented’ dissent at Europe’s central bank, Arab News, 25 October 2019: Europe has become the sick man of the world, CNN, 24 October 2019: Debt and deficit aren’t the same thing. Here’s the difference, Politico.eu, 25 October 2019: Argentine election looms over EU-Mercosur deal, Politico.eu, 31 October 2019: Lagarde’s political bent leaves critics fearing for ECB independence, The New York Times, 1 November 2019: Macron Steps Into a Leadership Vacuum in Europe, and on Some Toes, The Guardian, 4 November 2019: Poll reveals majority of eastern Europeans ‘fearful for democracy’, CNN, 10 November 2019: Two of the world’s biggest economies are at risk of recession, BBC, 21 November 2019: New warning on global economic slowdown, Politico.eu, 21 November 2019: The end of world trade as we know it, Politico.eu, 25 November 2019: Four ways to build trust for the single market, Politico.eu, 28 November 2019: EU rebels fight Commission plan to build WTO court without America, The Economist, 28 November 2019: The twilight of the WTO: The trading system’s referee is about to leave the field, Al Jazeera, 30 November 2019: The WTO 20 years after the ‘battle of Seattle’, Politico.eu, 6 December 2019: Don’t bank on the ECB saving the planet, The Guardian, 8 December 2019: WTO faces crisis over settlement disputes unless Trump backs off, Jerusalem Post, 9 December 2019: European innovation community extends operations to Israel, The Diplomat, 12 December 2019: Trump’s War on the World Trade Organization, NPR, 18 December 2019: Boeing Is So Big That Its 737 Max Production Halt Will Slow The Economy, Politico.com, 19 December 2019: Trump to now focus on trade deals after USMCA passage, France24, 21 December 2019: French Foreign Minister Le Drian calls for stronger ties between Europe and Latin America, Arab News, 25 December 2019: Europe’s hard choices in 2020, Politico.eu, 26 December 2019: Europe on the wane, DW, 30 December 2019: US, China and Germany profit most from global free trade, says WTO, Politico.eu, 31 December 2019: Europe’s big problems in 2020, WTO, 1 January 2020: The WTO’s 25 years of achievement and challenges, The Guardian, 2 January 2020: Can Merkel and Macron get Franco-German relations back on track?, Politico.eu, 27 January 2020: Europe vows to finally deliver on its unloved industrial strategy, The Atlantic, 31 January 2020: The European Union’s Double Crisis of Legitimacy (the political union is not only desirable, it is long overdue. Instead of shifting decisions from one government to the next for fear of a few nationalist backbenchers, anti-German and EU-hostile anti-democrats and anti-constitutionalists, right-wing extremists and right-wing terrorists, it is high time for the next big step forward to make the EU more powerful and future-proof and at the same time due of the results to take the wind out of the sails of the nationalists, because the successes will expose the “critics” for what they are: substance-less simpletons), Politico.eu, 3 February 2020: Europe’s next crisis: The geopolitical Commission, Arab News, 4 February 2020: Transformation being forced upon the EU, Politico.eu, 5 February 2020: Vestager’s next big fight will be with Europe, Politico.eu, 15 February 2020: Jean-Claude Juncker: Von der Leyen and I are ‘like the two popes’, Gulf Times, 17 February 2020: US economic outlook remains biggest risk to developing world, Gulf Times, 23 February 2020: Let’s come together to tax tech giants, say G20 officials eying $100 bn boost, The Guardian, 9 March 2020: Oil price plunges almost 30% as Saudis vow to step up production, CNN, 9 March 2020: Why oil prices are crashing and what it means, The Guardian, 9 March 2020: Saudi Arabia price war wipes billions from value of major oil firms, Al Jazeera, 18 March 2020: US crude plummets 11% to 18-year low as demand shock deepens, Al Arabiya, 18 March 2020: Russia would like to see higher oil prices: Kremlin spokesman, Arab News, 18 March 2020: Aramco plans to speed up big crude output rise: CEO, The National, 18 March 2020: Oil slips to lowest level since 2002 as economies brace for recession, Al Arabiya, 18 March 2020: US crude oil hits 17-year low amid coronavirus, Saudi-Russia price war, CNN, 29 March 2020: Economists and investors are flying blind through a pandemic, Politico.eu, 31 March 2020: EU makes new push for solidarity with €100B unemployment scheme, Jerusalem Post, 2 April 2020: Venezuelan warship shoots, rams into German cruise vessel before sinking, The Economist, 16 April 2020: Pandemic geopolitics: Is China winning?, DW, 23 April 2020: How the coronavirus impacts the book industry (it would be easy to create a common platform. You don’t need 2,000 people for this, just 20 and a data center. The connected publishers can do the rest themselves, thus keeping the costs low. However, there are probably once again single interests that prevent this step. Above all, the corona crisis shows that the German retail sector is hopelessly lagging behind in terms of digitalization. Individuals were well positioned before, but the majority were not. “Traditional retail” in particular will decline because of the crisis while it still believes that “personal advice” would be unbeatable compared to “this Internet that will go away anyway”. A remarkable misjudgment), Politico.eu, 27 April 2020: Macron, the lonely Europeanist, Politico.eu, 4 May 2020: Europe’s economic future in German judges’ hands, CNN, 4 May 2020: Some retailers are too broke to go bankrupt, Politico.eu, 5 May 2020: German court lays down EU law, Yale Global Online, 5 May 2020: Irresponsible Superpowers Must Cooperate, Der Spiegel, 5 May 2020: Future of Our Global Economy: The Beginning of De-Globalization, Politico.eu, 5 May 2020: German high court warns ECB that bond buying could be illegal, Foreign Affairs, 6 May 2020: The Coming Post-COVID Anarchy, Politico.eu, 6 May 2020: Hogan: Brussels will ensure ‘supremacy’ of EU law after German ruling, CNN, 6 May 2020: Europe faces recession of ‘historic proportions’, Politico.eu, 6 May 2020: Europe faces ‘recession of historic proportions’, Politico.eu, 6 May 2020: Hungary no longer a democracy: report, Times of Israel, 6 May 2020: Thus passes the glory of Europe, Yale Global Online, 7 May 2020: Don’t Blame Supply Chains, Politico.eu, 8 May 2020: Sassoli demands bigger European Parliament role in recovery plan, YouTube, 8 May 2020: Secretary-General António Guterres video message on observance of Europe Day, 9 May 2020 (Europe Day), European Union – External Action: Europe Day 2020: Together we are Europe, European Union: Europe Day, Politico.eu, 9 May 2020: EU leaders to Europe on Europe Day: We’re Number 1, The Guardian, 9 May 2020: IMF warns of further drop in global growth due to Covid-19, The Guardian, 10 May 2020: The ‘United States of Europe’ speech that Winston Churchill so nearly made, Politico.eu, 10 May 2020: Paolo Gentiloni: EU emergency finance has no ‘draconian’ strings attached, Politico.eu, 10 May 2020: Brussels eyes a bigger EU shareholder role in the coronavirus recovery, The Guardian, 10 May 2020: Elites have failed us. It is time to create a European republic, Politico.eu, 11 May 2020: Snake oil, quackery and deglobalization, Politico.eu, 11 May 2020: Watchdog slams EU agency for letting boss join lobby group, CNN, 13 May 2020: Europe promises to reopen for summer tourism in wake of coronavirus, Politico.eu, 13 May 2020: The EU is undermining its democracies while funding its autocracies, CNN, 13 May 2020: 2020 is a catastrophe for tourism businesses. Here’s what the industry needs to get back on its feet, CNN, 15 May 2020: Europe’s top three economies are now in recession. The real shock is still to come, Politico.eu, 15 May 2020: Get ready for a two-speed recovery, The Washington Post, 15 May 2020: Europeans emerging from lockdowns are wary of the cheek kiss, Politico.com, 15 May 2020: Coronavirus reheats Europe’s food nationalism, Arab News, 16 May 2020: The EU: Not fatally broken, but it needs fixing soon, Irish Times, 18 May 2020: European project and Ursula von der Leyen face an existential threat in Covid-19, CNN, 19 May 2020: Europe promises to reopen for summer tourism in wake of coronavirus, Politico.eu, 19 May 2020: Ischinger: German-French recovery plan could transform EU and seal Merkel’s legacy, Politico.eu, 19 May 2020: Don’t save the economy. Change the economy., The washington Post, 19 May 2020: The post-American world is now on full display, Politico.eu, 19 May 2020: Franco-German recovery deal meets resistance, Politico.eu, 20 May 2020: German conservatives’ eurobond awakening, Politico, 20 May 2020: Italian PM: Franco-German recovery deal is not enough, Politico, 20 May 2020: Merkel warns against protectionism in face of coronavirus recession, Politico, 21 May 2020: Juncker: EU internal border closures ‘nonsense’ (the Trump administration has announced, that the travel restrictions from Europe to the US will remain in place. The exorbitantly high number of Covid-19 infected and killed in the US given, there will be very few Europeans who would accept the risk of entering the US anyway. In this respect, it’s obviuosly just another misleading election campaign stunt by the Trump administration, to distract Trump voters from the real reasons why Europeans don’t travel to the United States at the moment), Politico.eu, 22 May 2020: This isn’t Europe’s ‘Hamilton’ moment, Der Spiegel, 22 May 2020: Half a Trillion Euros: Merkel and Macron Find the Strength for Europe, Der Spiegel, 22 May 2020: “Times of Struggle”: France and Germany Show the Way Forward in the COVID-19 Crisis, Politico.eu, 22 May 2020: China flexes its trade muscles, Gulf Times, 23 May 2020: Europe’s Hamiltonian moment, Politico.eu, 23 May 2020: ‘Frugal four’ propose ‘loans for loans’ approach to coronavirus recovery fund, The Guardian, 22 May 2020: We lived the European dream. Will any politician stand up for open borders?, The Guardian, 25 May 2020: The Guardian view on Europe and Covid-19: time for true solidarity, The Guardian, 25 May 2020: European Union Dawn of Asian century puts pressure on EU to choose sides, says top diplomat, Irish Times, 25 May 2020: EU divisions laid bare by ‘frugal four’ Covid recovery proposal (“The simple-minded four” would also describe the initial situation well), The Guardian, 26 May 2020: Franco-German plan for European recovery will face compromises, Forbes, 27 May 2020: Canada Opens Door To International Students While U.S. Shuts It, France24, 27 May 2020: EU Commission proposes €750 billion recovery fund in wake of Covid-19 crisis (congratulations to this sensationally good proposal with a lot of foresight and future orientation or according to the American motto “go big or go home!”), BBC, 27 May 2020: Von der Leyen calls €750bn recovery fund ‘Europe’s moment’, CNN, 27 May 2020: EU plans to raise $825 billion for coronavirus relief. Hard-hit countries need help soon, The Guardian, 27 May 2020: European commission: ‘Defining moment’ as EU executive pushes for €500bn in grants, The New York Times, 27 May 2020: A €750 Billion Virus Recovery Plan Thrusts Europe Into a New Frontier, The Washington Post, 27 May 2020: E.U. proposes $825 billion coronavirus rescue plan giving Brussels power to raise money for first time, BBC, 28 May 2020: EU budget: Who pays most in and who gets most back?, Politico.eu, 27 May 2020: Germany’s Scholz sees recovery fund as more than money, The Washington Post, 29 May 2020: Germany, borrowing from Trump, says it wants to make Europe ‘strong again’, Politico.eu, 29 May 2020: Back off, Trump. Germany wants to Make Europe Strong Again, The Washington Post, 29 May 2020: Europeans emerging from lockdowns find conspicuous absence of Americans, The New York Times, 30 May 2020: How We Broke the World, Irish Times, 31 May 2020: National Courts Cannot Override CJEU Judgments, Politico.com, 1 June 2020: G-7 members reject Trump’s bid to bring Russia in from the cold, Der Spiegel, 2 June 2020: Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz: “The EU Consists of More than Just Two Member States”, CNN, 2 June 2020: A lost decade looms for America’s economy, The New York Times, 2 June 2020: Embattled at Home, Trump Finds Himself Isolated Abroad, Too, France24, 3 June 2020: Trump says ‘common sense’ for Russia to rejoin G7, DW, 3 June 2020: Germany unveils stimulus package to kickstart economy, Politico.eu, 4 June 2020: Germany, France launch Gaia-X platform in bid for ‘tech sovereignty’, France24, 4 June 2020: Germany unveils 130-bn stimulus to kickstart virus-hit economy (that’s a really good signal for Germany), Politico.eu, 4 June 2020: Trump’s Europe strategy: Nothing, Der Spiegel, 4 June 2020: A Foreign Policy Conundrum: Merkel and the EU Trapped between China and the U.S., BBC, 4 June 2020: Eurozone in fresh emergency action to boost economy, Politico.eu, 5 June 2020: EU eyes return to free travel by early July, Arab News, 5 June 2020: G20 discusses long-term vision for the digital economy, The Guardian, 6 June 2020: Europe’s big two kiss and make up for pandemic rescue deal, Politico.eu, 6 June 2020: German court ruling could tear EU apart, warns senior judge, BBC, 10 June 2020: Outlook for virus-hit global economy ‘dire’, The National, 10 June 2020: Italy and Greece sign deal defining Mediterranean maritime zones, Politico.eu, 11 June 2020: EU leaders deeply divided on recovery budget, Michel tells Parliament, CNN, 11 June 2020: Trump authorizes sanctions against International Criminal Court officials (well, he’s still on course by acting like your average banana republic dictator), Politico.com, 12 June 2020: Brussels plans to counter Chinese and U.S. subsidies, Politico.eu, 14 June 2020: Trump’s WTO criticism is ‘damaging,’ says trade body’s chief, The National, 14 June 2020: Europe stands united with fiscal support package of requisite magnitude, IMF says, Der Spiegel, 15 June 2020: Wolfgang Schäuble on Germany and Europe: “We Germans Have Reached Agreements with NATO and We Must Adhere to Them”, France24, 15 June 2020: Grand reopening? FRANCE 24 and Deutsche Welle at France-Germany border, The Guardian, 15 June 2020: Germany and France reopen borders as Europe emerges from lockdown, Politico.eu, 15 June 2020: Transatlantic blues as Pompeo holds EU talks, France24, 16 June 2020: Italy’s Conte says EU virus recovery funds will be spent wisely, Politico.eu, 16 June 2020: New factions emerge in EU recovery fund fight, Politico.eu, 18 June 2020: Merkel: Coronavirus pandemic revealed Europe’s fragility, The Guardian, 18 June 2020: The end of tourism? , France24, 18 June 2020: Merkel urges EU to agree on €750 billion recovery plan by end of July, The Guardian, 18 June 2020: The end of tourism?, Times of Israel, 18 June 2020: EU okays landmark Israel ‘Open Skies’ aviation deal, despite annexation tensions, Politico.eu, 18 June 2020: Threat of EU-US trade war grows amid digital tax stand-off, Arab News, 18 June 2020: EU leaders under pressure as bloc approaches crossroads, France24, 19 June 2020: Merkel urges EU to agree on €750 billion recovery plan by end of July, DW, 19 June 2020: EU leaders hold virtual summit on coronavirus recovery plan, The Guardian, 19 June 2020: Angela Merkel fears economic crisis is being underestimated in EU, France24, 19 June 2020: Divided EU leaders face challenges on Covid-19 stimulus package, Politico.eu, 19 June 2020: In budget summit, EU leaders live up to low expectations, CNN, 19 June 2020: Which international destinations are reopening to tourists?, Politico.eu, 21 June 2020: Europe’s post-lockdown rules compared, BBC, 24 June 2020: What the Dutch can teach the world about remote work, Politico.eu, 24 June 2020: Conference on EU future edges closer — but with clear limits, CNN, 24 June 2020: European chocolates, olives and 28 other items could be hit with $3.1 billion in new US tariffs, Politico.eu, 24 June 2020: Hey, big spender! EU prepares to splash the cash, Arab News, 25 June 2020: Trump tears up traditional US approach to Europe, BBC, 25 June 2020: US threatens tariffs on EU beer, gin and olives, Politico.eu, 26 June 2020: Merkel: Europe must set ‘good example’ and fight protectionism, The Guardian, 26 June 2020: Do not assume US still aspires to be a world leader, Merkel warns, Politico.eu, 26 June 2020: Europe’s bank needs more money to fund EU recovery plan, The Guardian, 26 June 2020: ‘For Europe to survive, its economy needs to survive’: Angela Merkel interview in full, Politico.eu, 26 June 2020: We’ll all be speaking German soon, Politico.eu, 26 June 2020: Merkel’s Germany will outlast her, Irish Times, 27 June 2020: New EU borrowing plan could accelerate green recovery, Politico.eu, 27 June 2020: Von der Leyen urges leaders to agree on EU budget by ‘summer break’, The Guardian, 29 June 2020: Poland should get less from Covid-19 fund due to rights record, claim EU member states (rightly so. As the Poles claim that they are a Christian nation (according to their reactions on the migratin crsis, they don’t even have the slightest idea what Christian values are), they should know the biblical “eye for an eye” concept pretty well), Politico.eu, 29 June 2020: Merkel’s Dr. No gets his toughest mission yet, France24, 29 June 2020: Macron and Merkel meet to discuss EU recovery plan, The Guardian, 29 June 2020: Europeans’ trust in US as world leader collapses during pandemic, DW, 30 June 2020: Opinion: Angela Merkel’s moment to define the EU’s future, France24, 1 July 2020: Germany assumes EU presidency as Merkel pushes for massive bloc-wide recovery plan (it is becoming increasingly clear that it is once again time for big pictures and visions of an integrated EU and that real leaders must courageously go ahead, take the EU population with them, animate them, cheer them up – just as outstanding coaches in team sports have to do it in order to ultimately win the trophy. Because of and through Corona, the EU has once again been “given” a time window for major changes. This means that the most important basic requirements are already in place: money is there, there is general consensus, there is a spirit of optimism right up to impatience, and there is pressure to change for years. There is a lot to do, but it can be taken as a very positive challenge because it means work for everyone. What does it start with? Development clear specifications and requirements for the individual departments (economy, education, social issues, environment, digitization, EU defense etc.). After that, only one thing is missing, namely the starting shot! It is actually very simple and only needs to be done), DW, 1 July 2020: Angela Merkel’s last EU Council Presidency — what to expect, Politico.eu, 3 July 2020: European Parliament leaders in Spanish spat, CNN, 4 July 2020: The UK is reopening for business. London may never be the same, DW, 4 July 2020: Donald Trump slams ‘far-left fascism’ at Mt. Rushmore speech for July 4 (fortunately, our freak shows are not called Trump, but instead AfD, NPD, Reichsbürger, Rassemblement National, Partij voor de Vrijheid, Fidesz, PiS, English Defense League and how else Europe’s anti-constitutional and democratic freak shows, racists and fascists call/name themselves. So there is little reason for arrogance as long as we don’t get our own extremists under control), CNN, 4 July 2020: Cracks in the Trump-Europe relationship are turning into a chasm, Politico.eu, 4 July 2020: EU budget rules to come back after crisis: Dombrovskis, DW, 5 July 2020: Faith leaders call to keep EU’s religious freedom envoy, BBC, 6 July 2020: US to withdraw visas for foreign students if classes moved fully online, France24, 7 July 2020: Eurozone economy to plunge 8.7% this year after hit from Covid-19, CNN, 7 July 2020: International students may need to leave US if their universities transition to online-only learning (this has, of course, undeniable advantages: Instead of exposing yourself to the risk of an infection from the Trump virus when studying at Harvard University or other US universities, you can instead study online from your safe home country, while enjoying the benefits of universal health care. The necessary literature is available in European university libraries as well. Only the study experience and networking in the US cannot be replaced by online studies. Foreign students spend approximately $ 45 billion annually. They will be missing in the future), France24, 7 July 2020: US says foreign students whose classes move online due to Covid-19 have to leave, CNN, 7 July 2020: There are more than 1 million international students in the US. Here’s where they’re from, Irish Times, 7 July 2020: The Irish Times view on the dual threat of coronavirus and Brexit, Politico.eu, 7 July 2020: Why the recovery fund won’t work, Politico.eu, 9 July 2020: With Eurogroup, Donohoe wins the tough job of economic recovery, Politico.eu, 9 July 2020: European Parliament clashes with Merkel over rule of law in budget talks, Politico.eu, 9 July 2020: Merkel sees tough road to EU budget and recovery deal, Politico.eu, 10 July 2020: Charles Michel’s small cuts set stage for big EU budget fight, Politico.eu, 10 July 2020: Rutte says Michel’s EU budget plan is an improvement, Politico.eu, 10 July 2020: Bulgaria, Croatia enter euro waiting room, The Guardian, 11 July 2020: Global ‘catastrophe’ looms as Covid-19 fuels inequality, DW, 11 July 2020: Foreign students in US face ‘huge amount of stress and fear’ after visa change, The Guardian, 12 July 2020: EU leaders are split over coronavirus recovery, DW, 13 July 2020: German Chancellor Angela Merkel says EU leaders ‘remain apart’ on coronavirus recovery deal, France, 13 July 2020: EU summit may not reach recovery fund deal: Merkel, DW, 13 July 2020: EU foreign ministers meet to discuss Hong Kong, Turkey, The Guardian, 13 July 2020: The world needs grown-up leadership. Time for Germany to step up, Al Jazeera, 13 July 2020: IMF warns of deeper MENA recession and rising social unrest risks, Arab News, 13 July 2020: IMF predicts worst Mideast downturn in half century, The National, 13 July 2020: IMF cuts Middle East and Central Asia economic outlook as pandemic persists, France24, 14 July 2020: Trump administration reverses course on order barring some foreign students, CNN, 14 July 2020: Trump administration drops restrictions on online-only instruction for foreign students, CNN, 14 July 2020: US allies once seemed cowed by China. Now they’re responding with rare coordination, Politico.eu, 15 July 2020: The coronavirus recovery plan that von der Leyen built, DW, 15 July 2020: China’s economic loss could be Morocco’s gain, Politico.eu, 23 July 2020: EU can’t have it both ways with Turkey, Arab News, 23 July 2020: Macron wants EU to punish Turkey, NPR, 24 July 2020: ICE Confirms New Foreign Students Can’t Take Online-Only Course Loads In The U.S., Politico.eu, 24 July 2020: EU vows tougher response on hybrid threats, France24, 25 July 2020: EU recovery plan deals a blow to popular Erasmus exchange programme, DW, 26 July 2020: Opinion: The dollar determines Cubans’ everyday lives, DW, 27 July 2020: Don’t take unnecessary risks, a second coronavirus wave is definitely coming!, The Guardian, 27 July 2020: Germany by far most admired country, with US, China and Russia vying for second – global poll (Gallup, 27 July 2020: U.S. Leadership Remains Unpopular Worldwide), BBC, 28 July 2020: Pandemic cost tourism industry ‘at least $320bn’, France24, 28 July 2020: Covid-19 cost tourism sector $320 billion in first five months of 2020, the UN says, DW, 28 July 2020: Will Donald Trump’s visa restrictions slow down America’s economic revival?, Arab News, 28 July 2020: Europe’s COVID-19 recovery choice: Responsibility or ruin, The Washington Post, 29 July 2020: ‘Revenge travel’ is the phenomenon that could bring back tourism with a bang, BBC, 30 July 2020: Coronavirus: US economy sees sharpest contraction in decades (well, the Trump virus strikes with all severity. Who would have thought that? Probably everyone who deals with the economy, and therefore definitely no one from the Trump administration), CNN, 30 July 2020: US economy posts its worst drop on record, The Guardian, 30 July 2020: Can Germany now hold the European team together?, DW, 31 July 2020: Eurozone GDP drops 12.1% in record pandemic plunge, Politico.eu, 31 July 2020: The historic coronavirus recession — by the numbers, The New York Times, 31 July 2020: Despite Historic Plunge, Europe’s Economy Flashes Signs of Recovery, France24, 2 August 2020: Tourist sites are empty as Covid-19 travel restrictions limit movement, DW, 3 August 2020: Coronavirus: How are the 4 biggest economies trying to stem insolvencies?, Foreign Policy, 7 August 2020: It’s a New Europe—if You Can Keep It, CNBC, 7 August 2020: Canada to impose tariffs on $2.7 billion in U.S. goods after Trump reignites trade feud (all major US trading partners should band together and collectively impose 25% punitive tariffs on all US products, goods and services. Within no time, the Trump gang would be send to hell by the Republicans. In addition, it would suddenly become clear that the US has been living at the expense of its trading partners for decades when it comes to total accounts (products, goods, services and finances)), CNN, 9 August 2020: ‘Everything is gone.’ Flooding in China ruins farmers and risks rising food prices, Financial Times, 9 August 2020: National budget rules to remain suspended next year, Brussels says, Politico.eu, 10 August 2020: EU governments roll back wage support despite corona uncertainty, BBC, 10 August 2020: Opposition disputes Lukashenko landslide win, Reuters, 10 August 2020: Bloody clashes in Belarus as West condemns crackdown after election, CNN, 10 August 2020: As Belarusians take to the streets, authoritarian leaders rally behind Lukashenko, Politico.eu, 10 August 2020: Germany, France knock down Trump push for WHO overhaul, DW, 12 August 2020: Many German firms ignore partners’ human rights abuses, Al Arabiya, 12 August 2020: An Israeli-Saudi ‘Silicon Wadi’ will benefit both countries, Politico.eu, 12 August 2020: From Stilton to Feta, 5 cheeses that stunk up trade deals, France24, 14 August 2020: EU ministers agree to new round of sanctions on Belarus as protests escalate, Politico.eu, 14 August 2020: Belarus frees protesters as workers turn on Lukashenko, France24, 15 August 2020: ‘No more torture,’ say demonstrators as Belarus faces weekend of protests, BBC, 15 August 2020: Belarus: Thousands protest outside state TV building, France24, 16 August 2020: Lukashenko addresses supporters amid rival rallies in Belarus, BBC, 16 August 2020: Belarus: Mass protest eclipses defiant Belarus leader’s rally, The New York Times, 16 August 2020: Belarus Protests Eclipse Rally in Defense of Defiant Leader, The Guardian, 16 August 2020: ‘We will win’: Vast Belarus rally adamant Lukashenko must go, DW, 17 August 2020: EU emergency summit on Belarus: What’s at stake?, Politico.eu, 18 August 2020: In Belarus, fighting for democracy — and LGBTQ rights, Irish Times, 18 August 2020: Russia warns EU leaders over Belarus ahead of crisis talks, DW, 18 August 2020: Belarus: Fractures form in diplomatic elite, France24, 18 August 2020: Demonstrations held outside prison in Belarus where husband of opposition leader is held, DW, 18 August 2020: Is Belarus closer to the West, or to Russia?, BBC, 18 August 2020: Belarus unrest: President Lukashenko accuses opposition of staging coup, DW, 18 August 2020: Exclusive: Lukashenko regime ‘clearly’ at an end in Belarus, says Schäuble, The Guardian, 18 August 2020: Lukashenko: President hints at fresh repression to keep grip on power, DW, 19 August 2020: EU rejects Belarus presidential election result, France24, 19 August 2020: EU will not recognise Lukashenko’s re-election, plans sanctions on those behind protest crackdown, Politico.eu, 19 August 2020: EU leaders back sanctions on ‘substantial number’ of people in Belarus, DW, 19 August 2020: EU rejects Belarus election result, vows quick sanctions, BBC, 19 August 2020: Belarus unrest: Lukashenko steps up efforts to reassert control, The Guardian, 19 August 2020: Belarus crisis: EU says it does not recognise election results, Politico.eu, 19 August 2020: European leaders mix condemnation and caution on Belarus, DW, 20 August 2020: Opinion: Putin wants Belarus in Moscow’s orbit — with or without Lukashenko, France24, 20 August 2020: Macron, Merkel offer EU mediation for Belarus election stand-off in concert with Russia, NPR, 21 August 2020: How To Invest — Even During A Pandemic, Der Spiegel, 21 August 2020: The End of Lukashenkism? On the Knife’s Edge in Belarus, DW, 21 August 2020: Belarusians ‘will never accept’ Lukashenko’s leadership, says opposition’s Svetlana Tsikhanouskaya, France24, 21 August 2020: Belarus opposition summoned as Tikhanovskaya voices defiance, NPR, 21 August 2020: PHOTOS: Belarus’ Massive And Unprecedented Protests, DW, 23 August 2020: Belarus: Protesters flood Minsk, defying Lukashenko’s threats, France24, 23 August 2020: Massive crowd gathers for ‘New Belarus March’ despite Lukashenko’s warnings, Politico.eu, 23 August 2020: Belarus protests continue after Lukashenko digs in, DW, 23 August 2020: Baltic nations form human chains in support of Belarus protests, France24, 23 August 2020: Lukashenko warns of border threats as Belarus opposition calls for Minsk rally, Politico.eu, 23 August 2020: Europe’s 5G plans in limbo after latest salvo against Huawei, Arab News, 24 August 2020: German finance minister sees ‘no way back’ from EU joint debt, BBC, 26 August 2020: The remote hideout of the World Bank, Israel Hayom, 26 August 2020: Europe is clinging to the Palestinians (once again the already well-known and typical Likudnik and anti-EU propaganda. The EU and most member states would be pretty happy, if and when the letter of intent between the UAE and Israel would be filled with life. There are still a myriad of unchallenged issues to overcome, so that it is far to early to celebrate. At the same time the Israel Hayom is Netanyahu’s advertisement agency, so that the Likudniks make clear what kind of supporters they are looking for: racist, far-right-wing and/or autocratic governments. Pretty telling), France24, 27 August 2020: Putin vows military support for Belarus’ Lukashenko, Politico.eu, 27 August 2020: Putin uses Jacob Blake shooting to call US and EU hypocrites on Belarus (good, old Soviet-style propaganda), The Guardian, 27 August 2020: Belarus protests: Putin ready to send Lukashenko military support, Israel Hayom, 27 August 2020: Ashkenazi meets EU counterparts in Germany on first diplomatic trip overseas, Politico.eu, 27 August 2020: EU too slow to help Belarus, says Lithuania, France24, 27 August 2020: EU condemns crackdown on Belarus opposition as Putin offers to help Lukashenko, Politico.eu, 27 August 2020: Beatings and humiliation: Detained in Belarus tell all, Al Jazeera, 27 August 2020: Putin: Russian forces ready to enter Belarus to end protests, The Guardian, 3 September 2020: Switzerland Voters reject EU immigration curb, DW, 6 September 2020: Belarus: Tens of thousands defy threats and march in Minsk (2020 Belarusian protests), BBC, 6 September 2020: Belarus Lukashenko: Protesters defy heavy security, France24, 6 September 2020: Tens of thousands attend Belarus protest against Lukashenko, France24, 7 September 2020: Masked men reportedly seize senior Belarusian opposition figure Maria Kolesnikova in Minsk, DW, 8 September 2020: Belarus protest leader Kolesnikova detained at Ukraine border, France24, 8 September 2020: Will souring China-Australia relations force a rethink on trade?, CNN, 8 September 2020: These three women stood up to Europe’s longest-serving dictator. Here’s what happened to them, Foreign Policy, 8 September 2020: The Pandemic Is Showing What the EU Is Good For, NPR, 9 September 2020: ‘Terror Against The People’: Belarus Detains Another Opposition Leader, Politico.eu, 10 September 2020: EU’s fraud busters struggle with pandemic overload, The New York Times, 11 September 2020: Pandemic Intensifies Food Insecurity, Leaving ‘Children Screaming in Hunger’, CNN, 11 September 2020: Rented penguins and $300,000 dinners: The wildest holiday requests from the super rich, France24, 12 September 2020: Belarus police arrest dozens of protesters at anti-Lukashenko rally, France24, 13 September 2020: Tens of thousands of Belarus protesters rally on eve of Putin-Lukashenko talks (DW, 14 September 2020: Putin pledges a $1.5 billion loan while meeting Lukashenko in Sochi), The Guardian, 13 September 2020: Belarus: 100,000 join rally against Lukashenko on eve of Putin showdown, CNN, 15 September 2020: Trump less trusted internationally than Putin and Xi after Covid-19 response, Politico.eu, 15 September 2020: Ursula von der Leyen’s State of the Union speech: As it happened, France24, 16 September 2020: EU’s von der Leyen unveils blueprint for recovery in ‘state of the union’ address, The New York Times, 16 September 2020: Europe Is Preparing for the Worst, Politico.eu, 16 September 2020: Von der Leyen challenges EU capitals to step up, Foreign Policy, 16 September 2020: The Dutch Don’t Love Europe—and Never Did, DW, 16 September 2020: Global economy coping with coronavirus better than expected: OECD, The Guardian, 17 September 2020: European Union: Belarus sanctions in doubt as Cyprus demands action against Turkey, Politico.eu, 18 September 2020: EU foreign ministers to try to break deadlock on Belarus sanctions, The Guardian, 18 September 2020: Belarus: ‘Another iron curtain’ could come down across Europe, warns UN, DW, 19 September 2020: Belarus police detain hundreds at women’s rally against Lukashenko’s rule, Politico.eu, 19 September 2020: Why Putin hasn’t won the game in Belarus, France24, 19 September 2020: Belarus police detains hundreds in women’s anti-Lukashenko protest in Minsk, BBC, 19 September 2020: Belarus protests: Opposition icon, 73, among hundreds detained in Minsk, The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, 20 September 2020: An ICIJ Investigation: FinCEN Files, Buzz Feed News, 20 September 2020: We Got Our Hands On Thousands Of Secret Documents. Let’s Break Them Down. (despite all the justified criticism and commotion, one should leave the church in the village. Many of the cases that have now been “uncovered” have already been negotiated and punished. Of course, it’s annoying that something like this continues to happen, even though everyone involved has vowed to stop it as soon as possible. For the most part, this is now working quite well, at least as far as SMEs are concerned. If you were caught laundering money here, that would mean not only a stay in prison but also the withdrawal of your business license and thus the economic end. In this respect, it is incomprehensible that bank managers, after the allegations become known, go to the dominatrix they trust, have their buttocks spanked with a rivet board in order to do appropriate penance and then go home, where they eat a pea soup with a extra sausage. The fact that big banks are repeatedly highlighted is in the nature of things, because the leaks should of course say “If we can catch the big ones, what do we do with the small ones?” They are threatening scenes that are actually quite effective. As someone from the construction and real estate industries, you naturally know that the situation was much more dramatic. Until the late 1980s/beginning of the 1990s it was “good form” to participate in semi-legal deals. That has changed considerably, not least because of the increasingly restrictive legal situation and the risk of discovery. Measured in terms of business volume, it is actually the small private banks that are involved heavily, to stay in business at all (or were even founded for the purpose). Now, therefore, big banks are being pilloried again, which transaction volume from bad deals is negligible in relation to the total transaction volume, so that the small banks get scared and follow the regulations. How helpful this is remains to be seen. In any case, the big banks around the globe have lost market value and have therefore had to pay their fine in advance without a trial and on the basis of previous convictions. Whether that is fair is at least questionable), DW, 20 September 2020: FinCEN Files: Tracing the flow of dirty money, BBC, 20 September 2020: FinCEN Files: All you need to know about the documents leak, Irish Times, 20 September 2020: The FinCEN files: The billion dollar a month money trail, CNBC, 21 September 2020: Leaked U.S. government files suggest Deutsche Bank tops list of suspicious transactions, The Guardian, 21 September 2020: Banking: Barclays and HSBC shares fall after reports of alleged suspicious transfers, BBC, 21 September 2020: HSBC’s shares dive to lowest level since 1995, France24, 21 September 2020: Global banks enabled ‘Ponzi scheme’, moved vast sums of illicit money, leak shows, DW, 21 September 2020: Cyprus blocks EU sanctions against Belarus (which says something about the Cypriot government’s non-existent understanding of democracy and about their desire to support the Belarusian dictator Lukashenko against his people. Perhaps it is just hasty obedience in order to be able to join the Russian alliance in the Eastern Mediterranean after leaving the EU. At the same time, however, it also shows why the principle of unanimity must be given up in favor of the majority principle. It cannot be that a single EU state can hold the entire EU hostage for its fantasies), Financial Times, 21 September 2020: Cyprus blocks EU sanctions on Belarus, France24, 21 September 2020: Belarus opposition urges Brussels to ‘be more brave’ on sanctions, The Guardian, 21 September 2020: Cyprus: EU fails to agree on Belarus sanctions after government blocks plan, Politico.eu, 21 September 2020: Borrell admits EU’s credibility ‘at stake’ over failure to sanction Belarus, Politico.eu, 21 September 2020: Conference on EU’s future derailed by leadership fight, The National, 22 September 2020: Cyprus refuses to back EU sanctions on Belarus unless action taken against Turkey, Politico.eu, 22 September 2020: France’s EU minister urges Cyprus to stop linking Belarus sanctions to action on Turkey, France24, 22 September 2020: World should not be dominated by US-China ‘rivalry’, Macron tells UN, Politico.eu, 22 September 2020: EU must use hard power with ‘not so nice’ Russia and Turkey, says French minister, BBC, 22 September 2020: UN General Assembly: US-China tensions flare over coronavirus, Politico.eu, 22 September 2020: ‘I agree with the chancellor.’ German leadership hopeful sees no need to change course, CNN, 23 September 2020: Leaders spar at UN General Assembly amid global crisis, France24, 23 September 2020: Belarus leader Lukashenko holds secret inauguration amid continuing protests, Politico.eu, 24 September 2020: 2020: The year diplomacy died, Politico.eu, 25 September 2020: ECB tensions resurface as pandemic second wave builds, DW, 25 September 2020: Opinion: FinCEN Files should trigger outrage, Politico.eu, 25 September 2020: In global power contest, Charles Michel says EU takes US over China, France24, 26 September 2020: Belarus police detain dozens of women at anti-Lukashenko protest, The National, 26 September 2020: Global trade recovers to 75% of pre-pandemic levels as monthly exports rise, BBC, 27 September 2020: Switzerland referendum: Voters reject end to free movement with EU, France24, 27 September 2020: ‘Lukashenko has to go,’ says France’s Macron, France24, 27 September 2020: Tens of thousands protest in Belarus despite police detentions, Politico.eu, 28 September 2020: Germany seeks breakthrough on linking EU payouts to rule of law, Politico.eu, 29 September 2020: Poland, Hungary to set up rule of law institute to counter Brussels (of course, no extreme right-winger worldwide ever lived a law abiding life ever, even though they expect it from everyone else. The autocrats from the “new eastern block” are a bunch of weirdos and, on top, using the term “double standard” shows the full scale antisemitism in the east, by trying to equate themselves to the persecution of the Jews – typical brownshirt BS), Politico.eu, 30 September 2020: Commission report finds many EU nations fall short on rule of law, Politico.eu, 30 September 2020: Live blog: European Council summit
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DW, 1 October 2020: Opinion: Words alone won’t enforce EU rule of law, Politico.eu, 1 October 2020: EU bangs the Brexit negotiating table (but stays in the room), DW, 1 October 2020: Turkey, Belarus, Armenia-Azerbaijan present EU with tough test, France, 2 October 2020: EU leaders approve sanctions on Belarus officials after Cyprus drops veto threat, DW, 2 October 2020: Opinion: This isn’t how the EU increases its international influence, Politico.eu, 2 October 2020: EU sanctions 40 Belarusian officials, but not Lukashenko, DW, 2 October 2020: Belarus cancels all accreditation for foreign journalists, Bloomberg, 2 October 2020: What a Second Bauhaus Movement Means for Europe, Arab News, 3 October 2020: Changing of the guard in Germany, France24, 4 October 2020: Belarus police fire water cannon, detain anti-Lukashenko protesters, The Guardian, 4 October 2020: Live Coronavirus: close to 35m cases worldwide; 10,499 new infections in Russia, DW, 5 October 2020: Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya calls for German mediation in Belarus, Reuters, 5 October 2020: EU budget rules to remain suspended in 2021: Commission, DW, 6 October 2020: Angela Merkel meets Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, Belarus opposition leader visits Berlin wall, France24, 7 October 2020: Belarus opposition leader Tikhanovskaya added to Russia’s wanted list, Arab News, 7 October 2020: Europe’s contradictions exposed by Middle East crises, DW, 8 October 2020: European Parliament urges EU to snub Saudi G20 Summit, DW, 9 October 2020: Opinion: Nobel Prize for the WFP is an appeal for greater cooperation, Politico.eu, 9 October 2020: As EU debates rule of law, Norway’s already making offenders pay, Politico.eu, 10 October 2020: Fear and loathing (of Donald Trump) in the EU, The New York Times, 10 October 2020: Europe’s Economic Recovery Is a Summer Memory, The National, 10 October 2020: Extreme poverty in Middle East and North Africa doubled between 2015 and 2018, DW, 11 October 2020: Belarusian protesters clash with police, dozens arrested, France24, 11 October 2020: Scores detained as Belarus police crack down on opposition protesters, Israel Hayom, 11 October 2020: US imposes new Iran sanctions that may spook European banks, DW, 12 October 2020: Belarus threatens to use firearms against protesters, BBC, 12 October 2020: Belarus protests: Police authorised to use lethal weapons, DW, 12 October 2020: Humanitarian aid is an investment in the future, BBC, 13 October 2020: EU gets $4bn bargaining chip in US trade row, CNN, 13 October 2020: EU ready to hit US exports with tariffs over Boeing subsidies if talks fail, The Guardian, 13 October 2020: Trade: WTO rules EU can apply tariffs on US goods as row deepens, The New York Times, 13 October 2020: Europe Can Impose Tariffs on U.S. in Long-Running Aircraft Battle, Politico.eu, 13 October 2020: No more Mr. Nice Europe, Arab News, 13 October 2020: Global economy recovering faster than expected, IMF says, The Guardian, 13 October 2020: Saudi Arabia fails to join UN human rights council but Russia and China elected, European Commission, 14 October 2020: Press statement by President von der Leyen on the New European Bauhaus, Politico.eu, 15 October 2020: EU shoots for €10B ‘industrial cloud’ to rival US, Politico.eu, 15 October 2020: Europe wants ‘strategic autonomy’ — it just has to decide what that means, DW, 17 October 2020: New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party wins landslide, France24, 17 October 2020: New Zealand’s Ardern wins landslide victory in pandemic-focused elections, BBC, 17 October 2020: New Zealand election: Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Party scores landslide win, CNN, 17 October 2020: New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern wins second term in landslide election victory, The Guardian, 17 October 2020: NZ election: Jacinda Ardern hails ‘very strong mandate’ after Labour landslide, NPR, 17 October 2020: New Zealand PM Ardern Wins Re-Election In Best Showing For Labour Party In Decades, The New York Times, 17 October 2020: Jacinda Ardern, Hero to Liberals Abroad, Is Validated at Home, DW, 18 October 2020: Thailand’s protests and their digital dimension, Times of Israel, 18 October 2020: Huge crowds in Bangkok challenge Thai protest ban for fourth day, DW, 18 October 2020: Belarus: Thousands turn out for protests despite police threat to open fire, The Guardian, 18 October 2020: Thailand Protest leaders play cat and mouse with police as thousands rally, DW, 18 October 2020: Bolivia heads to the polls in contentious presidential elections, Politico.eu, 20 October 2020: Reporter’s Notebook: Trump, Biden and the ‘f****** Germans’ (one can probably assume that the German government would have even voluntarily let Nord Stream 2 disappear into oblivion, if the nutjobs of the governments of the EU eastward expansion and the Trump administration had not so vehemently demanded it. Instead, completing the project has now become a matter of credibility. After Trump’s dealings with the EU and individual EU states over the past four years, it is of course also about not making a single political success possible for him before the presidential elections, no matter how small, and that works surprisingly well. Although the Trump administration is currently trying desperately to promote the “Three Seas Initiative” in order to increase its influence on the EU eastward expansion along the way, the USA can directly bury its economic goals without the cooperation of the EU core countries. Neither Paris, Rome nor Berlin will submit to the Trump dictation. This, of course, against the background that Trump’s policies are just as insane as Putin’s policies. However, this cannot hide the fact that neither Berlin, Paris nor Brussels have any convincing counter-strategies. “We wait for the next US president” is neither sufficient nor a strategy at all. All current and many future challenges are already known, so that appropriate concepts for investments can be developed, which in the end should lead to much more European self-sufficiency in order to, among other things, decouple from Trump’s trade war with China. Also in other areas, such as NATO / Common Security (the EU sees itself as “soft power”, but without appropriate armament and defense structures that take part in solving problems in Europe, the Levant and North Africa with credible clout, from “soft power” only “chat room” remains) or international treaties (e.g. the Iran deal), it is clear that the EU has to develop its own lines and solutions in order to be able to keep up with future global competition), Al Arabiya, 20 October 2020: Israel’s EAPC pipeline company says it will bring UAE oil to Europe in new deal (Trans-Israel pipeline), Reuters, 20 October 2020: Israeli pipeline company signs deal to bring UAE oil to Europe, Financial Times, 20 October 2020: Israel and UAE sign visa and pipeline deals to cement alliance, The National, 21 October 2020: Coronavirus: Workforce is automating faster than expected, World Economic Forum says, Politico.eu, 20 October 2020: Parliament set to climb down in EU budget fight, Palestine Chronicle, 21 October 2020: European Hypocrisy: Empty Words for Palestine, Deadly Weapons for Israel, DW, 21 October 2020: EU agriculture policy: What are the bones of contention?, Politico.eu, 21 October 2020: Don’t stop saving ‘zombie’ jobs, DW, 21 October 2020: Opinion: EU fails to introduce real agricultural reform, Haaretz, 21 October 2020: Europe Lost Nearly 60 Percent of Its Jewish Population in Past Half Century, New Study Shows, Jerusalem Post, 22 October 2020: Why is the EU silent in the face of Turkish provocations toward Greece?, DW, 22 October 2020: Belarus opposition wins European Parliament rights award, France24, 22 October 2020: Democratic opposition in Belarus awarded 2020 Sakharov Prize).

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: Coronavirus/COVID-19: Situation update worldwide

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