The Eurozone crisis: not time to relax yet

Development Policy28 Jan 2016Frans Bieckmann

Since the summer of 2015, European media and politicians have devoted significant attention to the refugee crisis. As a result, the crisis in the Eurozone, which had previously dominated discussions in the media and among politicians, seems to have disappeared.

But that does not mean that the crisis has been resolved. On the contrary, as revealed by our new living analysis and series of longreads about the Eurozone, the crisis is still very much alive.

Although many politicians and policy makers thought they could heave a sigh of relief when, on 12 June, the Greek Prime Minister Tsipras succumbed to pressure and signed an agreement with the Troika, the problem in the Eurozone continued. Since then, nothing has been done to tackle the root causes of the debt crisis. Accordingly, the crisis is as much an issue as it was six months ago.

So what does the crisis look like today?

Picturing the situation in the Eurozone is like watching a juggler trying to keep too many balls in the air at the same time. In their role as jugglers, European leaders have moved swiftly to catch the ball marked ‘refugees’, but the balls labelled ‘euro’, ‘national debt’, ‘increasing inequality’, ‘high unemployment’ and ‘sluggish growth and investment’ are still hovering in the air, about to fall. Leaders will have to be quick to stop them from crashing to the ground.

Staying one step ahead of this looming disaster is why, in a sequel to our dossiers on the middle class and employment, The Broker has decided to explore in depth the structural causes of the Eurozone crisis. For it is precisely now, when there is not too much media reporting to shape opinion, that the clearest possible picture of the situation, as well as the options available for Europe, can be obtained.

The results of our efforts are published in a living analysis: ‘The rebirth of the Eurozone’ and in two accompanying longreads: ‘Ideals versus reality – a false start for the Eurozone’ and ‘Debts and imbalances – the making of the euro crisis’. Over the weeks ahead, the series will grow with the addition of a number of complementary articles by international experts.

This series marks the first instalment in a longer programme that explores the socioeconomic and political crises in Europe, and searches for solutions. As knowledge brokers we are expressly seeking a wide range of contributions to this programme. Our goal is not to explain what is going on, but to engage in dialogue on the subject.

Hence, this appeal: We are inviting general or focused comments and expert opinions on the subjects addressed in our programme. Such contributions will serve to constantly update the living analysis on the Eurozone crisis and will also be published separately on The Broker website.