Causes for Optimism in 2022

In this comment on future prospects for 2022, prepared for the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) Progressive Yearbook (January 26, 2022), I express cautious optimism for the future of economic governance and democracy in the European Union. 

The shift in economic ideas – from the obsession with deficit and debt to a focus on investment for the green transition and the digital transformation while addressing social inequality at the same time – should largely be credited with this turnaround in economic prospects. But EU economic governance has also played an important role, as it has moved from a largely top-down exercise to a more bottom-up one in which national capitals are now in the driver’s seat through their National Resilience and Recovery Plans (NRRPs).

Read the full text of my comments here:

What to Expect in 2022?


As part of a survey of the International Institute for Peace’s (IPP) advisory board and affiliated experts, I recently shared my comments on what the coming year would bring. I spoke about China's pivot towards Eurasia and the emerging ideological struggle between so-called “democracies” and “authoritative regimes.”

Contributors came from various countries and backgrounds in the world. The IPP outlook focused on the most pressing issues facing the world today: Great Power conflict, U.S., China, Russia, Taiwan, Ukraine, the Middle East, nuclear weapons, cyber-security, and more.

To read full response as well as other IIP experts, visit the IIP website.As part of a survey of the International Institute for Peace’s (IPP) advisory board and affiliated experts, Vivien Schmidt, Jean Monnet Professor of European Integration and Professor of International Relations and Political Science at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, offered her thoughts on what the coming year would bring.


Comments in Sarasota Herald Tribune

I was quoted at length recently in a Sarasota Herald Tribune op-ed by Roger Brown comparing French President Macron's tough approach to French citizens who are choosing not to be vaccinated with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis's enabling stance. The piece — Gov. DeSantis needs some French lessons on handling the unvaccinated — can be found here.

Comment in Le Monde

« La BCE devrait avoir un mandat politique clair qui expliciterait quels objectifs secondaires sont les plus pertinents pour l’UE »

I was co-signer (with seven other experts) to a comment in the French newspaper Le Monde that argued that to ensure that the ECB does more with regard to its secondary objectives, the ECB needs political guidance from the European Parliament and arguably the Council. 

Quote in Wall Street Journal on EU’s Covid-19 Recovery Fund

I was quoted on the paradigm shift in EU’s Covid-19 rescue package compared to the EU's policy approach after the 2008 financial crisis in a December 6 Wall Street Journal article by Paul Hannon entitled, “Europe Seeks to Boost Pandemic-Damaged Economy by Spending.”

The rescue deal allows for transfers within the bloc to the regions most badly hit by the pandemic and most in need of funds - very similar to what happens in the United States on a routine basis. There has also been a change in monetary policy, allowing for easier borrowing by states in need of fiscal stimulus.



Macron Wins Presidency in Decisive Fashion

See my comments on Le Pen's defeat in Monday's Boston Herald. I said, “Le Pen is not going away, but this is a major defeat for her.” As the article notes, I attribute Le Pen’s success to her charisma and name recognition and said it will be tough for another nationalist to pick up her momentum. “This is a family enterprise, in many ways.” 

Why the Populists Didn’t Win France’s Presidential Election

I was quoted at length today in the Washington Post on the French elections and why populism did not triumph there. I helped to make the case that compared with Britain and the United States, the countries history explains why the center held in France.

Read the article on the Washington Post's website>> 

Comments for Izvestia on French Presidential Election


I was quoted in an April 21, 2017 in the Russian outlet Izvestia for an article entitled “France Solves an Equation with Four Unknowns.

Here are my comments to the reporter:

There is likely to be higher turn out in the first round, if only because there has been so much build up with real debates between the many different candidates.  Macron and Melenchon are most likely to attract undecided voters.  Le Pen voters have been committed for quite a while, even if her rhetoric has ramped up in recent days, and may enable her to pick up disenchanted Fillon (center right) voters.

Anything is possible in this race.  The question is, if Melenchon is the second man, is Le Pen the first woman?  That is what most analysts suggest, and established politicians fear, because they think that will mean that Le Pen is elected.  ‘Strategic’ thinking among voters may mean that they pull back from Melenchon in the end, and vote Macron.  If the contest is Macron/Le Pen, Macron wins.  If, however, Fillon comes from behind, to make it a Fillon/Le Pen race, then the abstention on the left could mean a Le Pen victory.

France’s Presidential Election May Determine the Future of the European Union

Marine Le Pen, French co-chair of the ENF group - Photo by European Parliament
Marine Le Pen, French co-chair of the ENF group - Photo by European Parliament

On Friday, March 31, I was quoted in another Washington Post article on the upcoming French elections. Making the case that the anti-European sentiment in France closely mirrors that of the Brexit and Donald Trump phenomena in Britain and the United States, I pointed out that it's the same discourse of globalization gone too far, of outrage over high unemployment — and especially youth unemployment. As the authors of the article point out, “the general unemployment rate in France has hovered around 10 percent for years, and the youth unemployment rate is about 26 percent.” But the phenomenon is also sociocultural. People really feel a loss of control, political and otherwise. Le Pen gives people a nostalgia for a vanished past, a past most people don’t even remember.

Read the entire article here.