Longitude #40

July, 2014


Hands off EU reunification
by Franco Frattini

There is no standing still. We must go forward. Only a United States of Europe can allow the EU to continue with the project that has already accounted for decades of peace and prosperity.


Is it worth it?
by Lanfranco Vaccari­­

Sports mega-events like the World Cup and Olympics tend to be pitched as moneymakers for host countries and cities. The economic reality of these events, however, is much grimmer than their feel-good effect would suggest.

Spending on sports events
Map by Marie Joveneau

The Euro to come

The dangers of lowflation
by Lorenzo Bini Smaghi

The ECB has just taken steps that its traditionally inflation-wary presidents were averse to. But with the risk of deflation lurking, such risky moves will be needed to get Europe out of the doldrums.

Redrawing the stagnant continent
by Stefano Cingolani

Europe has managed to pull the common currency away from the brink, but now it is stuck in a political malaise. The whole EU project has been put into question, and the well being that it was supposed to bring is now at risk. Can the European dream resist the recent wave of skepticism?

A quest for cash
by Francesco Galietti

The term “tax harmonization” might seem like a useful banner for unifying fiscal policies, but for many it is just a silent and bureaucratic proxy war for attracting corporate cash.

Europe’s difficult choices, Italy’s chance
by Stefano Stefanini

The European project finds itself at a perilous crossroads exactly when Italy is set to take over the rotating presidency. If the Union is to thrive, then complacency and muddling through are simply not an option.


by Stash Luczkiw

The internet has blasted open a Pandora’s box of personal space. The EU’s recent decision to allow
Google users the right to be forgotten highlights
ongoing tensions in an attempt to balance freedom
of expression and privacy.

High-tech search and seizure
by Christopher Caldwell

Recent blowback from breaches in privacy have led many global internet companies to suddenly champion national sovereignty. Their concerns aim more to protect bottom lines than ensure customers’ privacy.

Middle East

The ISIS dilemma
by Raffaello Pantucci, Francesca Capano

Recent gains by the Assad regime in Syria and by jihadists in Iraq have complicated the Middle East morass. What is to be done when both sides feel they are winning, and both are anathema to Western interests?

­­Repairing the world
by Sandro De Bernardin

Is it possible to fix what seems like a broken world order? Yes, but such a healing process will need to entail not only a shift in consciousness, but also a pragmatic understanding of the limits of international politics.

ISIS rising
Map by Marie Joveneau

Eastern frontiers

The Asian energy puzzle
by Pasquale Salzano

Increased demand for clean fuel, instability in Europe and the Middle East, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and America’s Asia pivot
are just some of the many factors in Asia’s evolving energy scenario.

The strategic hub
by Pasquale Salzano
China trade routes, chokepoints and future bypass routes
Map by Marie Joveneau
A smaller Greater China
by Carlo Pelanda

The image of China striving for regional and world domination is never out of sight when looking at Asia. But recent moves have raised questions about Beijing’s true strategic objectives with respect to relationships with its neighbors and the West.

Renaissance on the steppe
by Jacopo Dettoni

Democracy and mining have brought unprecedented change for Mongolia. Poised for a burst of economic development, the land of Genghis Khan faces enormous challenges.

The Korean paradox
by Emanuele Schibotto

When we speak about Korea, public opinion is much more focused on the rogue behavior of North Korea, while its southern neighbor is rarely given the attention it deserves. A surprising fact considering Seoul’s status as world leader in integrated hi-tech city administration.

The Orientalist

The new Arab strongman
by Maurizio Molinari

Egypt’s new president is determined to crush his country’s Islamists. In doing so, he is forging a moderate Sunni alliance in the region, one that tacitly includes Israel.

Warming bloopers

When oil becomes a liability
by Carlo Clini

Although the world economy is still highly dependent on fossil fuels, we are approaching a point in time when oil will not be worth the trouble. At the forefront in preparations is one of the world’s biggest oil-producing nations.