December 2013

Europe’s Missing Constitution

Do we really need a European Constitution? On January 1, 2013, the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union—the TSCG or Fiscal Compact, for short—will take effect. It doesn’t sound too ominous, but in fact it will be the first time in the history of the European Union that part of a nation’s sovereign rights and power will be explicitly transferred to the EU. The…

Against Barroso’s Federalism

On September 12 of last year, José Manuel Barroso, the Chairman of the European Commission, delivered his State of the Union speech to the European Parliament. In it he described a vision for the EU that is difficult for European conservatives to accept. Barroso—like the Swedish Christian Democrats and the Swedish Moderate Party—belongs to the same conservative pan-European party (the European Peoples’ Party or EPP). But speaking as Vice-Chairman of…

Reflections on Italy’s Tea Party

The term “Tea Party,” which refers to the 1773 Boston revolt against taxation by the British, doesn’t have the same historical resonance in Italy as it does in the United States. Nevertheless, the American political tradition often provides a useful model for public debates in Italy—and Europe more generally. In this context, America’s contemporary Tea Party movement has provided a significant contribution. The American founding principles of “life, liberty and…

The Defeat of the French Right

On the eve of François Hollande’s 2012 election as President of France, thousands of jubilant people gathered at Place de la Bastille in Paris. This gave observers an overview of the Socialist Party’s clientele. Indeed, images of the event showed many people brandishing the flags of other countries, perhaps their “countries of origin,” as the phrase goes. It brings a few questions to mind: Might it have been a prodrome…