Living and working in Brussels for ten years, I’ve seen the European Union come apart at the seams. In that decade the European security order has been violated and a bloody arc of instability surrounding the Union has emerged, which has uprooted families to seek safety on the shores of Europe. It has seen the rise of illiberal democracy and the upswing of populist parties from both ends of the political spectrum. Rifts have emerged between EU Member States and societal rifts have also deepened in EU Member States with a large number of citizens questioning whether their social, economic, environmental and personal security can still be met by the Union. And all this is taking place in a time of immense change and acceleration. New technologies are profoundly reshaping our economies and climate change is affecting our planet. They say, “may you live in interesting times”. We do. With this blog, I want to try to make some sense of these times as I find writing to be one of the best forms of reflection. It also means that the issues I hope to look at could vary – from foreign policy and internal developments to Europe’s economic outlook and energy security. But always with a European perspective in mind. Should you be interested to sign-up for the latest blog posts, you can do so here.
Briefly about myself: I’m half-German, half-Dutch, grew up in Canada and studied in Paris and Oxford. I’ve worked for the Heinrich Böll Foundation in Brussels, been an Associate Research Fellow at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS), and written numerous articles, policy papers and op-eds for different outlets. From 2009 until February 2017 I have been working for Reinhard Bütikofer, the Co-Chair of the European Green Party and a Member of the European Parliament, and since March 2017 I work in the Strategy Unit at the State Ministry of Baden-Wuerttemberg. Writing a blog has been on my mind for many years and this time I decided to put fingertips to keyboard and turn those thoughts into reality. Clearly, all views and opinions expressed here are my own. I hope it finds your interest.