Articles on Europe

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The heart of the matter. The container port at Long Beach. sunslate

Europe faces weapons of legal destruction in USA trade talks

Efforts to build a more effective trading regime between Europe and the USA can reasonably be called positive, both for growth and the ease of doing business. Currently, however, negotiations include proposals…
Wrinkles in the EU plan to drive innovation? Giampaolo Squarcina

Europe’s bid for investment could be bad news for big oil

The European Union might just have made a historically important statement of intent, aimed at laying the foundations to boost investment in the EU as a driver of full recovery and long-term growth. That’s…
Bulgaria’s parties fought for East and West in this month’s election. EPA

Russia’s borders: old ties pull Bulgaria in two directions

As part of our series on Russia’s relations with its European neighbours, we put the spotlight on Bulgaria. The country’s old tensions over commitments to East or West have come to the fore over the Ukraine…
On the lash in Germany, 500 years ago. Barthel Beham, ‘Village Fair’ (German single-leaf woodcut, c. 1530).

Hard Evidence: how much did our ancestors drink – and are we drinking more?

Autumn is awash with alcohol, and not just because of the new vintage. Oktoberfest plays a part, too, the 16-day festival in Munich that we associate with massive beer mugs and plenty of debauchery. Its…
Angela Merkel has thus far closed her eyes to the need for more spending, at her country’s peril. Reuters

Germany may be the biggest loser if it doesn’t start spending

There’s growing pressure on Germany to spend more to support Europe – and for good reason. But it’s proving to be a hard sell to the country’s leaders. Germany’s budget is balanced and the government insists…
Originally, to be honourable meant very different things for men and for women. Simon

Honour and violence in Europe, through the ages

Ideas about personal honour are a major key to understanding violence. This is so today, when “honour” is often replaced by terms such as respect - with “dissing” as its opposite. It was even more true…
What’s blue and yellow and excites nobody? EPA

Could the Ryder Cup spark an outpouring of European-ness?

Few competitions pitch the whole of Europe against the United States. The Ryder Cup began formally in 1927 as a contest between Great Britain and the US. It was expanded to include first Ireland and then…
The EU 28 are being sent a message from above. EPA

Juncker Commission line up shows he’s a man with a plan

Jean-Claude Juncker, the newly elected president of the European Commission, announced his nominated team of commissioners this week. Each represents one of the 28 members states and will take charge of…
Counting your blessings. A worker at a chocolate factory in Germany. Jan Woitas/EPA

German labour markets put Europe’s workforce in the firing line

Germany’s strategy for export-led growth has set the Eurozone up for a fall. Plans to introduce minimum wages in 2015 might be too little too late for European countries locked in a futile game of beggar-thy-workforce…
Ready, but not necessarily equipped. Phillip Capper

Was Europe really ready for World War I?

How prepared were the Great Powers for war in 1914? Too often, this question has been answered by pointing to expectations of a short war, and to muddle and inefficiency in its opening stages. The realities…
‘Memorial diplomacy’, on display in June’s D-Day commemorations, is a mode of symbolic soft power politics which uses sites of memory and commemorative events to boost relations. AAP

The WWI centenary in France and the diplomacy of shared memory

When French president François Hollande rose to deliver the keynote address for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings earlier this year, he set in motion an unprecedented five-year cycle of commemoration…
Germans today have little appetite for constructing new national myths about the Great War, or reclaiming old ones, because of painful associations with the more recent past. Robert Scarth/Flickr

Why the Great War centenary will be a non-issue in Germany

There is not much of a question of who controls the national myth of the Great War in Germany today. Nobody in particular seems to want to claim it. More interesting, however, is considering who has sought…

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