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Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Monaco, Menton and the micro-state gamble

Micro states, like Monaco, depend for their existence on the acquiescence of their larger neighbours.

Dear David: this may help with your own well-being

Managing the process of globalisation requires that those who gain from it compensate those who lose. Otherwise we risk not only the rise of protectionism but a loss of social cohesion: both these problems are already evident.

Why the key to carbon trading is to keep it simple

The genius of the market system is that it responds flexibly, if imperfectly, to a future that will not have been predicted. But when it is created through political action, rather than emerging spontaneously, business will seek to influence its design for commercial advantage.

Europe’s insiders will never vote for a reform agenda

The states of Western Europe are the first states in history in which insiders represent a large proportion of the population. So every presentation of the reform agenda simply provokes the opposition of the majority and the victims are those who can never hope to become insiders.

Right and wrong choices in the market for justice

A jurisdiction benefits from forum shopping if its decisions are out of line with mainstream opinion, and the most common reason is that there is something wrong with its legal system.

English triumphs everywhere but home

The peculiar characteristic of markets with standards is that quality is not important to commercial success. But while Global English has become the lingua franca, native speakers are now less internationally useful than their bilingual colleagues, and English firms have similarly lost a source of advantage.

European monopoly laws are already fair and stringent

In the US monopolies are prohibited, in Europe they are simply prohibited to abuse their dominant position. There is nothing wrong with current legislation in Europe, as a law that protects competition protects efficient competitors, and vice versa.

Forms of solidarity reveal a nation’s character

Solidarity is a central element of national identity in most of Europe. But such solidarities are today under pressure from globalisation, which undermines all forms of national identity, from the economic burdens imposed by favoured groups that demand extension of their privileges, and by groups not favoured that demand their rights, and from immigrant communities, poorly assimilated into the countries that have received them.

A French No would be best

The death of the notion that support for the European project requires support for every European initiative is a mark not of that project's failure but of its maturity. This week, John discusses the French referendum on the EU constitution.

Europe must not create national champions

To support the creation of national champions hampers competitiveness. In a letter to Günter Verheugen, European commissioner for enterprise and industry, John hints at lessons from business history.