Notable Commentators

sauerStefan Auer

Stefan Auer has a Jean Monnet Chair in EU interdisciplinary studies at La Trobe University. In a series of articles in The Australian, he has argued that the adoption of a common European currency was a mistake. He argues further that the Eurozone is likely to collapse under the increasing costs of keeping indebted, uncompetitive countries such as Greece afloat, and as popular resentment builds both in the countries financing the bailouts and in those being forced to accept them. European leaders should instead focus on saving the EU.

ubeckUlrich Beck

Ulrich Beck is professor of sociology at Munich's Ludwig-Maximilian University and the London School of Economics. He is also a prominent commentator on European politics. Beck takes a very pro-European integration perspective, arguing that nation-states can no longer meet their objectives and serve the needs of their people in a globalised world. This makes regional economic, political and social integration vitally important. Beck views the EU's current economic crisis as an opportunity to achieve even closer integration, turning the EU into something that resembles a democratic federal state.

tashTimothy Garton Ash

Timothy Garton Ash is a British historian, political writer, columnist and professor of European studies at Oxford University. He writes about the economic and political challenges facing the EU from a pro-integration perspective, though he is unsure of European leaders' willingness and ability to resolve the current crisis. Garton Ash also looks at Europe's role in relation to global events, such as the Arab Spring, and superpowers, such as the US and China.

pkrugPaul Krugman

Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist and op-ed columnist for the New York Times. He argues from a left-wing perspective that European leaders' responses to the Eurozone debt crisis – bailouts to protect banks and bondholders, paid for by taxpayers who face lower wages, higher unemployment and government spending cuts (known euphemistically as 'austerity measures') – are unfair and ineffective.

moravAndrew Moravcsik

Andrew Moravcsik is a professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University, and perhaps the most widely cited EU academic. He argues that the success of the EU to date is a result of the ongoing recognition by member state governments that closer integration and cooperation is in their best material interests. Thus, for Moravcsik the EU is built on self-interest rather than an ideological commitment to integration. In relation to the current crisis, Moravcsik believes that the Eurozone will not collapse, that richer creditor countries such as Germany will continue to bail out poorer debtor countries such as Greece, and that Europe will become more closely integrated. Consistently with his theories, Moravcsik argues that the actions of the main players – France and Germany – will be driven by economic interests rather than a sense of solidarity towards their fellow Europeans.

  • Europe After the Crisis (New York Times, 22/4/2012)
  • The EU Will Last (with Mareike Kleine, NY Times, 12/09/2011)
  • In Defense of Europe (Newsweek, 29/5/2010)
  • Europe Defies the Skeptics (Newsweek, 31/7/2009)

rompuyHerman Van Rompuy

Herman Van Rompuy is the permanent president of the European Council, an EU institution that consists of the heads of state and government of the EU's member states. In the short speeches listed below, Van Rompuy defends the measures taken to combat the euro crisis so far. He also argues in favour of saving the Eurozone through closer political and economic integration between European countries. Van Rompuy puts the current crisis in the context of the entire process of post-war European integration – he claims that the common currency is central to the whole EU project and, with it, Europe's peace and prosperity.