Women aren’t always superstar leaders…as Ursula von der Leyen illustrates

by Rashmee

Posted on March 3, 2021


/ TAKE UP ONE IDEA The other day someone gave thanks that Ursula von der Leyen is not a superstar leader in a crisis. The writer said that the European Commission president’s misjudgements are a clarifying point in the debate over women making better leaders than men. Ms von der Leyen, it should be remembered, … Continue reading “Women aren’t always superstar leaders…as Ursula von der Leyen illustrates”

Read More

Merkel’s heir: ‘Three men and a vote’

by Rashmee

Posted on January 16, 2021


  The most trite observation of all, as Germany’s most powerful political party picks its new chairman: the three contenders aren’t like Angela Merkel. For starters, they’re all men. Three, middle-aged men – Friedrich Merz, Armin Laschet and Norbert Röttgen – have been duking it out in the long campaign to replace Ms Merkel. The … Continue reading “Merkel’s heir: ‘Three men and a vote’”

Read More

This isn’t Trumpgate: here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on July 1, 2020 / The Focus


Legendary Watergate journalist Carl Bernstein has a scoop of sorts. Using authoritative accounts of the contents of hundreds of Donald Trump’s highly classified phone calls with various world leaders he has shown that the US president routinely bowed before authoritarian “strong men”, berated the women and bad-mouthed his predecessors in the White House. This is … Continue reading “This isn’t Trumpgate: here’s why”

Read More

The US and EU are competing to play peacemaker in the Balkans

by Rashmee

Posted on June 30, 2020 / The National


The Serbia-Kosovo dispute is back in the news more than two decades after the war ended. A peace summit that was to be held over the weekend at the White House between the presidents of both countries had to be postponed. But Kosovo’s Prime Minister Avdullah Hoti and Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic met the president of the European … Continue reading “The US and EU are competing to play peacemaker in the Balkans”

Read More

More European Union? The ‘frugal four’ are pushing back against Franco-German largesse

by Rashmee

Posted on May 21, 2020


Some say there’s “18% more union”. That’s what Bloomberg opined anyway. It said that the decision by Germany’s Angela Merkel to join France’s Emmanuel Macron in backing a 500-billion euro European Commission lending facility is a very big deal. It doesn’t mean there will be a United States of Europe any time soon, but the fiscal union … Continue reading “More European Union? The ‘frugal four’ are pushing back against Franco-German largesse”

Read More

Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading

by Rashmee

Posted on November 26, 2019 / The National


Tomorrow, European officials will vote to confirm the new European Commission. If all goes well, the executive arm of the European bloc will begin its five-year term by the end of the week, just a few days before Nato’s 70th anniversary summit in London. The sequence of events throws into relief three key policy challenges … Continue reading “Amid preparations for Nato’s 70th anniversary summit, no one seems sure about where Europe should be heading”

Read More

Lords and Ladies of Misrule in a year of tumult

by Rashmee

Posted on December 29, 2018


Was 2018 an especially bad year for good governance? Leonid Bershdisky seems to think so in an insightful piece for Bloomberg. He writes, “Surely, 2018 saw a staggering number of countries woefully misruled by the worst crop of world leaders in recent memory.” His list starts with the person you might expect – US President … Continue reading “Lords and Ladies of Misrule in a year of tumult”

Read More

Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 14, 2018


  It was striking that Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban declared that his country took as a duty the need to “protect Europe”. Mr Orban said this after he met German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on July 5. As for Mrs Merkel, she didn’t say anything like that. Instead, she spoke about Europe’s obligation … Continue reading “Hungary’s Orban says he wants ‘protect Europe’. Which one?”

Read More

A European Monetary Fund? Europe’s answer to Trump’s tormenting?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 11, 2018


The German Chancellor is thinking of a European Monetary Fund (EMF), ie “greater independence within Europe from the International Monetary Fund.” This is not a boring exercise in economic blue-skies thinking. And this is not a knee-jerk response to Donald Trump’s extraordinary behaviour at the G6+1 summit in Canada when the US president treated allies … Continue reading “A European Monetary Fund? Europe’s answer to Trump’s tormenting?”

Read More

Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum

by Rashmee

Posted on December 28, 2017


Every year-ender ends on an uncertain note. The space-time continuum demands nothing less. Pay attention to the tone of all those web listicles, newspaper box items, editorials and year-ender features. They’re not definitive. How can they be? How can you measure events in a finite amount of time when time is not finite for all … Continue reading “Europe in the #Alternative #2017 of the space-time continuum”

Read More

Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK