Populism and the Leftist answer

On Carnegie Europe, Yannos Papantoniou argues that if the left wants to break the populist front it needs to endorse a policy mix aimed at restoring growth. He calls for a “leftist third way” that should sustain open markets and foster the development of an investment friendly environment. However, Papantoniou warns that to do so it is necessary, in the first place, to establish a fiscal capacity for the Eurozone. Consequently, he calls for the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to be transformed into a European Monetary Fund, for the issuing of Eurobonds, and for the establishment of a Eurozone budget with its own resources.

On The Guardian, several authors share their thoughts about the topic of “what Jeremy Corbyn’s brand of leftwing populism should look like?”. Yanis Varoufakis warns that there is a deep distinction that needs to be made between “being populist” and “being popular”. He defines Jeremy Corbyn as a leader on his way toward “popularity” and argues that progressive politics is the only alternative to the useless dichotomy between the establishment and populism.

On Social Europe, Justin Reynolds calls for the progressive front to rediscover the origins of social democracy, and claims that the left has to gain back faith in the capacity of the democratic state to face economic cycles and deliver welfare for all.

On The Guardian, Jonathan Freedland takes issue with the expression “post-truth politics” and claims that instead we should simply adopt the word “lies”. Freedland underlines that three factors have contributed to the denial of facts in public debates: the rise of social media, anti-elitist stances and radical partisanship. Freedland concludes by reminding us that, paradoxically, we accept facts in every other domain of our private life but in politics.

European governance: towards a digital currency?

On Carnegie Europe, Judy Dempsey asks a number of intellectuals whether the European institutional architecture is collapsing. According to Caroline de Gruyter the answer is yes: after the signature of the Maastricht Treaty, she argues, the division of responsibilities between the national and supranational level in the EU has become blurred and created a situation of increasing uncertainty. Adriaan Schout contends, on the contrary, that although many political forces flirted with the idea of leaving the common currency or the Union, more “exits” are not really on the agenda yet. At the same time, Schout argues that the economic divergences within the Eurozone are worrying. Pierre Vimont claims that the EU is not at risk of collapsing: paradoxically the resilience of the current EU architecture is the main obstacle to far-reaching institutional reform.

On openDemocracy, Lorenzo Fioramonti focuses on the monetary aspect of the European architecture. Drawing on Joseph Stiglitz’s recent critical remarks on the euro and his call for the creation of a two-currency system able to accommodate productivity differentials between northern and southern Europe, Fioramonti claims that the establishment of a “Europe-wide digital currency” could be an even better solution. According to Fioramonti, a digital currency would complement the national currencies of those countries who want to opt out of the euro and regain monetary sovereignty. These EU member states should however be obliged to accept the “digital euro” for international transactions. Such a monetary system would be flexible and combine national needs with the idea of a common European monetary system.


This Ideas Monitor is by Carlo Burelli and Alexander Damiano Ricci

Photo Credits CC Nan Palmero

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