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FRONT PAGE – Europe-US, a fundamental partnership


We are proud to inform our readers that as of September (initially as an experiment, but now with a long-term commitment), we have added a German edition to our Italian and English ones. The German edition is on sale now at newsagents and bookshops in Germany, Austria, Germanspeaking Switzerland and South Tyrol. It is important for Eastwest to address a world of public opinion that will be crucial for the future of Europe and a successful European integration process.

We are all aware of the need for bold and pro-active European leadership and know that we are likely to find it in Berlin. As a European leader, the German chancellor fully supports the Italian constitutional referendum, a fundamental step in enabling the most sweeping simplification of the institutional system to take place in Italy since WWII.

This process is also key to European integration, which will certainly be aided by a modern, effective and dynamic administrative system in Italy. Only after this is in place can Italy hope to contribute to continental GDP growth and enhance its credibility in the eyes of global investors. Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was probably wrong to promote the referendum directly (he was not required to, legally speaking). But he has now taken it upon himself to explain the contents of the reform, fully aware its historic stakes. Everyone is doing their best to point out that despite Brexit, the UK will grow by 1.8% in 2016. It should be noted, however that Her Majesty’s realm is still very much part of Europe. It has not even formally announced its request to withdraw. In any case, certain sectors (-15% in real estate value) are already feeling the pinch. It is also fairly certain that the financial and insurance sectors, which lie at the very core of the British economy, will suffer serious repercussions from the limited circulation of capital that will necessarily follow once London is no longer a part of the single market. The first effects of the disastrous British decision have already been seen in Hungary, but not along the lines expected by European populist and nationalist movements. The referendum of migrant reception did not reach the required quorum, thus marking the first defeat of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s policies for over a decade. This could signal a return of Budapest into the fold of European civilisation.

One last comment on the next United States president to be elected just a week after this edition goes on sale. Democrat Hillary Clinton is very much in the driver’s seat, but there is no doubt that there would have been no contest between any other candidate and the blusterous Republican Donald Trump. Clinton will struggle to change her rather emphatic, know-it-all image but can do so by immediately addressing the concerns of the Midwest, which has been banished to the fringes of the country’s social and economic development. As for foreign policy, ‘Bill’s wife’ could play a decisive and historic role in promoting an acceleration of the EU’s integration process, so long as she considers a stronger European ally as a facilitator of global governance. Each time the US has attempted to withdraw from crisis areas, they have then been forced to return as leaders and double their efforts. To be able to rely on a less unbalanced form of co-management with a European partner that can at least boast its own joint foreign and defence policies could turn out to be a farsighted strategy of the third Clinton presidency.