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First arrested in 2007, the story of Wu Ying, a millionaire Chinese businesswoman sentenced to death for financial fraud has captivated the nation. The rejection of her final appeal earlier this year led to an outpouring of sympathy among the Chinese public and angered the business community and legal academics. At first this may seem […]

At the end of January, European heads of state gathered for a European Council meeting to discuss the latest draft of the new fiscal compact, the treaty initiated by Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy at the previous summit in December 2011. With the exception of the UK, all member states have voiced their support of […]

With the final results from Egypt’s six week parliamentary elections tricking in, all talk is about the strong election performance of the two main Islamic parties. With 43.7% of the vote, the Freedom and Justice Party (the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood) was the clear winner, although the ultra-conservative Nour party surprised many by […]

It’s now or never!

The following post was contributed by Charles Baillieu. It can also be found at…. When Jankélévitch was trying to define the philosophical aspects of morality, he came up with a variation of the maxim: “It’s now or never.” Recently this maxim has been again embraced by another philosopher, Cynthia Fleury, who applauds as a courageous act, one […]

(This article is also available in French, on the website: In recent times there has been a rather surprising resurgence in federalist sentiments in the pronouncements of several European leaders. Since the financial crisis took hold in 2008, several European leaders have bellowed for “more Europe”. Their actions however have often moved in the […]

The following post was contributed by Serena Garelli. Serena holds a Bachelor degree in international relations from the University of Turin and Masters degrees from the Université Libre de Bruxelles and the College of Europe. She is currently working at the European Central Bank. Introduction Is external border control undermining one of the basic […]

The Scramble For Europe

A recent paper by François Godement and Jona Parello-Plesner describes in rather startling terms how China is “buying” up Europe. According to the authors, the main components of this new wave of Chinese activity are: 1) China’s purchases of European countries’ sovereign debt 2) The acquisition of European companies by their technology-hungry Chinese counterparts 3) The […]

China’s challenges

Despite its enviable growth rates, China faces a raft of well-publicised economic and societal challenges. It recent 5-year plan did a good job of acknowledging these concerns but was less clear on how it would overcome them. With a leadership change in 2012, it will likely be some time before we see any significant policy […]

“Kazakhstan is a partner that we can work with, even if not necessarily an easy one” (EU Commission Official – 2010). The EU’s operations in Kazakhstan try to be both pragmatic and values-based. Like the US and China, Brussels has been keen to bolster economic and energy cooperation with a fast-growing regional giant. On the […]

The following post was contributed by Malthe Mikkel Munkøe. The current debacle over Danish plans to step up customs checks on its borders to Sweden and Germany highlights the fact that European integration has blurred the traditional divide between domestic politics and international politics. Gone is the time when affairs between states was “high politics”, […]

WTO trade negotiations are not brisk endeavors. However even by the WTO’s own lethargic standards, the progress of the current Doha round has been disappointingly slow. As a new paper by Aaditya Mattoo, Francis Ng, and Arvind Subramani explains, the main reason for this is the “elephant in the green room” – China. According to […]

Cet essai a été contribué par Jan Weisensee. Les idées qu’il avance sont les siennes. L’Union européenne est un « acteur fragmenté » non seulement par son système institutionnel et le grand nombre de décideurs possédant d’un droit de véto, mais aussi par les intérêts de ceux-ci, parfois extrêmement divergents. Cette fragmentation est souvent la principale […]

Despite soaring prices and concerns among many investors, China is not facing a housing bubble. At least not according to a new report published by the Economist Intelligence Unit. Rather, owing to future growth in China’s urban population and their income, demand for housing looks set to remain strong. This demand will have global implications, […]

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