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”

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French public life is becoming more ‘Americanized’ and British public life more French

by Rashmee

Posted on February 20, 2020


Everyone’s talking about the alleged “Americanization” of French public life, but almost no one is mentioning the almost parallel Gallicization of British public life. Let me explain. Just days ago, for the first time in France’s modern history, a politician resigned because his sex life was publicly exposed. Benjamin Griveaux, one of President Emmanuel Macron’s … Continue reading “French public life is becoming more ‘Americanized’ and British public life more French”

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Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey

by Rashmee

Posted on January 20, 2020


I’m with Peter Ricketts on NATO. The man who served as the UK’s permanent representative  to the defense alliance from 2003 to 06, has said (paywall) that Emmanuel Macron’s doubts deserve a sensible and measured response. That is entirely true. Instead of rebukes from Donald Trump and Angela Merkel, Mr Macron’s attempt to force attention … Continue reading “Nato is not threatened by Macron’s call for strategic clarity but by the values gap with Turkey”

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New year, same old issues as Macron pursues reform agenda and French unions push for war

by Rashmee

Posted on January 3, 2020


New year, same old issues. France’s president promised on new year’s eve that he would go ahead with plans to reform the pension system and the unions bristled and said they would continue with the strikes that now enter their fifth week. The wave of street protests are exceedingly strange. For starters, they began with … Continue reading “New year, same old issues as Macron pursues reform agenda and French unions push for war”

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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”

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France wants to be primus inter pares in Europe despite a junked nominee for commissioner

by Rashmee

Posted on October 15, 2019


Two recent developments indicate the internal political flux within the European Union and the jostling underway for the role of primus inter pares (first among equals). Today, North Macedonia and Albania met EU ministers in the hope of starting talks to join the bloc. Paris is opposed. This, on account of the usual scepticism about … Continue reading “France wants to be primus inter pares in Europe despite a junked nominee for commissioner”

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At the rate European disunion is going, Britain won’t need to exit

by Rashmee

Posted on February 8, 2019


  Remember, before the Brexit referendum there was Viktor Orban. In 2014, two years before Britain voted narrowly to leave the European Union, the Hungarian leader was pledging to turn his country into an “illiberal” democracy. In effect, Mr Orban was exiting the EU in spirit, by fiat and without a referendum. Now, there is … Continue reading “At the rate European disunion is going, Britain won’t need to exit”

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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”

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Forecast from the 1776 French Revolution: ‘The present order is the disorder of the future’

by Rashmee

Posted on December 22, 2018


I was very struck by philosopher Srecko Horvat’s observations on the Yellow Vests protests in France. He spoke to Jacobin, the left-wing magazine based in New York, alongside Pamela Anderson, the former model and star of Baywatch. [Ms Anderson, by the way, was very articulate and passionate about Europe’s political problems and the rise of … Continue reading “Forecast from the 1776 French Revolution: ‘The present order is the disorder of the future’”

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Paying people to reduce their carbon footprint could be the answer to climate change

by Rashmee

Posted on December 19, 2018 / The National


In a depressing coincidence, the gilets jaunes protests were raging in France when diplomats from nearly 200 countries assembled in Katowice, Poland, to write a common rulebook on climate-friendly policies. What the COP24 summit eventually produced isn’t legally binding, but it does present a way to make the 2015 Paris Agreement operational. The snowballing French … Continue reading “Paying people to reduce their carbon footprint could be the answer to climate change”

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