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Perspectives—Letter from Berlin. A Heavy Debate about the Refugees Has Germans in a Severe Identity Crisis. (1/20)

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By Markus Ziener, Berlin Professor of Journalism

In Cologne on New Year's Eve there was no terrorist attack and no one got killed. But the massive assaults on women by a huge crowd with many asylum seekers has sent a nation into shock. The shock is multi-dimensional and deep: Germans are rubbing their eyes about a helpless police that was incapable to upholding the law. They are shocked about the criminal behavior of people Germany had welcomed and opened the doors for. But most of all: Germany is wondering about the values the country stands for – and whether they can be defended.

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Britain's ”Back” With Some Messages for Its Allies (12/11)

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By Michael D. Mosettig, Former Foreign Editor of PBS News Hour

Bolstered by last week's parliamentary vote authorizing military action in Syria, Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has been in Washington with a double set of messages:first, his country is back as a key player on the international scene and second, key British allies should not let emotions get in the way of good policy.

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Climate Action: In the Streets, If Not at the Negotiating Table (12/8)

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WalterNicklen2015By Walter Nicklin in Paris

Regardless of the content and shape of the final climate agreement negotiated here in Paris, the two-week conference called COP21 has brought together disparate individuals and groups from around the world with alternative visions of a future without fossils fuels and carbon emissions: a kind of global town hall.

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Perspective: The Unfolding Refugee Crisis (12/3)

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By Chris Matteo

While addressing the European Parliament in mid-October, President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz maintained that, '''Willkommenskultur' is prevailing over growing fear and scepticism.'' At this point only a few weeks later, Mr. Schultz would perhaps admit that this sentiment is fading even in his own country, much less around the rest of the EU.

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COP21: The First Week of Climate Conference (12/3)

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By Walter Nicklin in Paris

A few days into the much anticipated 21st meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,  the mood here in Paris seems more optimistic than not.  That’s at least partly due to having defined “success” downward, as the parties long ago recognized: (1) that a formally binding treaty (especially given domestic U.S. politics) would be all but impossible; (2) that strictly limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celius above preindustrial levels, a goal originally proposed by the European Union two decades ago, should not be the conference’s top-down organizing principle.

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Will Climate Action Be Another Casualty of the Paris Terror Attacks? (11/20)

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WalterNicklen2015By Walter Nicklin

With less than the two weeks to go before the COP21, the Paris attacks have perhaps done more harm to the UN conference than U.S. climate-change deniers could ever have hoped to achieve -- a perverse and happy outcome for the fossil-fuel-dependent Islamic State, which, according to U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, derives $40 million a month producing and exporting oil.

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American in Paris – Thoughts on the Terror Attack & What May Follow (11/17)

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By Paul Horne

Editor’s Note: These comments are from an American international political economist and long-time resident in Paris where he is now.

Paris – Nov. 16, 2015. Three days after jihadists massacred at least 130 people and wounded 350 in Paris, France is facing another shock: How to deal with the consequences of Daesh’s attack on French and European society.

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CIA Director John Brennan on the Paris Attacks (11/16)

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By Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS’s The News Hour

Despite the events in Paris, CIA Director John Brennan kept his commitment to open a think tank conference 60 hours after the deadly attacks. But show up he did for a discussion that included the suggestion that some European governments re-think their post-Snowden curbs on intelligence gathering but rejecting suggestions that the European Union would have to end its policies of free movement.

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The opening salvo: Cameron’s wish list for Europe (11/13)

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The British Prime Minister David Cameron has finally announced what he would like to achieve by negotiating with the European Union about Britain’s future role in the EU. Or has he? In a letter sent to the President of the European Council Donald Tusk there is little to suggest that Cameron is about to enter the decisive phase of the negotiations on the basis of a specific list of detailed requests. Cameron outlines some generic and already well-known areas in which Britain would like to see progress.
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After the Torpor, Green Shoots? ‘Modest Recovery’ Forecast for Europe as Global Economic Outlook Strengthens despite Emerging Markets Difficulties (11/9)

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By James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

Despite global economic difficulties, especially those spilling over from the downturn in China and other emerging markets, a modest recovery is forecast for Europe next year. These “green shoots” come as the European Central Bank decides in early December whether to expand its programs to jumpstart economic growth and avoid deflation, “quantitative easing 2.”

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Europe Looks at TPP Approval as Mostly Positive for TTIP (10/30)

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 By Owen Phelps, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

On the morning of October 5th, the United States and 11 Pacific Ocean nations, comprising 40% of the world’s economy, finalized a landmark free trade agreement (FTA) that has been seven years in the making.

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Upping the Ante—QE2 on its Way from ECB (10/22)

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By Alexander Privitera Executive Director, European Institute

The latest gathering of the Governing Council (GC) of the European Central Bank (ECB) provided ample ammunition to all those who expect the central bank to expand or extend its program of asset purchases, also known as QE. In his public remarks following the GC meeting President Mario Draghi indicated that a decision could come as early as December. The ECB is shifting from a wait and see approach to a, in Draghi’s own words, “work and assess” mode, as the slowdown of emerging economies is starting to have a negative impact on the euro zone’s exports and risks to the euro zone’s economy are clearly tilted to the downside.

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Europe’s Top Court Suspends Trans-Atlantic ‘Safe Harbor’ Data-Transfer Pact (10/6)

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From Google to Apple, U.S. Companies Face Countless Challenges from Europeans Asserting Privacy Violations

By James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

Europe’s highest court suspended immediately (October 5, 2015) a “Safe Harbor” agreement between the United States and the European Union that had allowed U.S. businesses to transfer personal data of European citizens to the United States.

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EU Unveils Ambitious Plan to Unite Capital Markets by 2019 as Antidote to Europe’s Sluggish Economy (10/1)

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Single Market Would Promote NonBank Financing, Remove Investment Obstacles, Encourage Financial Innovations

By James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

The European Union set out an ambitious plan to remove barriers to cross-border investment, a move that could make it easier for a business in one country to obtain capital in any member-state. The resulting expansion of financing options could lower funding costs and provide more diversity in the financial products and services available in Europe to meet a company’s complex financing needs.[i]

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Catalonia’s Resurgent Independence Movement (9/24)

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By Owen Phelps, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

While Catalonia’s zeal for independence from Spain was temporarily sated last year after an unofficial referendum was called on the Catalan National Day in 2014, the ante has been raised higher recently, as independence leader Artur Mas has declared that the results of the Catalonian Parliamentary election this month (September 27) will serve as a vote on whether or not Catalonia will become its own state.

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Political Gamble Results in Victory – Again – for Tsipras to Retain Power in Greece. Difficult Steps Ahead to Slash Spending, Hike Taxes, and Overhaul Policies Tied to EU Bailout (9/21)

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spellmanBy James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

In a surprising and conclusive victory, the prime minister who had sharply reversed his ruling party’s approach by negotiating an eleventh hour bailout deal with Brussels last month, forcing Sunday’s election, won nearly half of Parliament’s seats.

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Spain’s King Felipe VI Comes to Washington (9/16)

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michaelmosettigBy Michael D. Mosettig, former Foreign Editor of PBS’s The News Hour

The Wilson Center think tank in Washington often plays host to international heads of state and government. Less frequently does a center named for a U.S. president who entered a European war to "make the world safe for democracy" hear from a European monarch whose nation has struggled with that concept for nearly 100 years. But for Spain's King Felipe VI the visit and keynote speech at a security forum seemed smooth and effortless, a glimpse for Americans in the audience to see why his popularity ratings are at 81 percent 15 months after he took the throne following the abdication of his father amid some scandal.

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New Storm Clouds for Europe: China’s Weakening Outlook (8/31)

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By James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

Signs mount that China’s outlook is deteriorating, as a credit-driven bubble of irrational real estate prices bursts and decades of infrastructure investments to sustain double-digit growth have resulted in detrimental side effects, ushering in a likely recession. As the dominant market for many EU-made products, from luxury goods to machinery to transport equipment, China’s slowdown will have far-reaching consequences as Europe’s recovery remains fragile.

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EU Clears Third Bailout to Help Greece Pay Debt and Promote Development; Toxic Debate before Greece’s Parliament Approved Reforms Brussels Demanded (8/17)

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spellmanBy James D. Spellman, Strategic Communications LLC

The European Union Friday (August 14) cleared a third bailout, a three-year program that provides Greece with €85 billion ($94.3 billion) to pay debt, recapitalizes banks initially with €10 billion ($11.1 billion) and launches a €35-billion ($38.8 billion) economic development package provided that a quarterly review affirms that Athens is achieving increasingly larger budget surpluses over the next three years.

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Uber's Battles (7/30)

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By Jamie Connolly, European Affairs Editorial Assistant

Innovative companies such as Uber are beginning to revolutionize urban transport through today’s latest technologies. Their success reflects a drive towards an ever-increasing “gig-based economy” and its ability to challenge established economic models through their use of disruptive technology.

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