2018年の予測 (22)

Dec 26, 2017 | 11:57 GMT
2018 Annual Forecast (22)

2018年の予測 (22)

Debating a Continent's Future
Talks about the shape of the European Union's structure and governance will take center stage on the Continent this year. Among the items on the bloc's agenda are ways to deepen financial integration, mechanisms to cope with future crises and strategies to increase security and defense cooperation. But finding a way forward won't be easy. While most EU members agree that political, institutional and economic reforms are needed, they do not agree on what those reforms should look like or how to go about implementing them. Over time, these issues will once again expose the enduring divisions between Europe's north and south and its east and west. 


At the center of the debate will be France and Germany. Though the two powerhouses are eager to preserve their alliance, they have different visions for the European Union. The French government, which campaigned on a promise to transform the bloc, has already introduced economic reforms at home. Now that it is on more equal footing with Berlin than it has been in many years, an emboldened Paris will aim to advance its interests at the Continental level. France hopes to create new structures that would allow for greater public spending and financial risk sharing within the bloc — a goal that many countries in Southern Europe, including Italy and Spain, share. These states also advocate the introduction of a common unemployment insurance for EU workers and a common deposit insurance for EU banks. 

on an equal footing with :と対等の関係で.
emboldened:〈人〉を勇気[元気]づける, 励ます
advocate:を提唱[主張, 擁護, 推奨]する

Germany isn't necessarily opposed to these ideas. It does, however, want to make sure that they are accompanied by more efficient oversight of the fiscal policies and financial sectors of member states. Berlin believes that countries often bend the bloc's fiscal rules and that the institutions tasked with enforcing regulations are too politicized. Several Northern European states, such as Austria and the Netherlands, share this view. 

A lower price does not necessarily mean a better buy.:安価な物が必ずしも買い得だとはいえない
oversight :監視

Still, France and Germany will have to wait to hash out a compromise until Berlin settles one of its own pressing political problems: the formation of a new government. The process of trying to build a governing coalition in Germany will consume the first few months of the year. Should the talks fail, early elections will ensue, delaying any European negotiations. 

hash out:〈問題・困難など〉をじっくり話して解決する.:
ensue:から[の結果として]すぐに起こる, 続く

Regardless of when the bartering between Germany and France begins, Berlin will protect its interests, and Paris will not get everything it wants. Instead, many French proposals will be watered down or adapted to meet German demands; others will be postponed. Room for cooperation certainly exists on some issues, such as boosting security and defense cooperation and harmonizing the tax systems of EU members. But other topics — especially those that involve financial transfers from Northern Europe to Southern Europe — will be more controversial. 


For the most part, France and Germany will be more interested in cooperation than confrontation. But it is unclear whether their willingness to work together will be enough to keep Europe united. 



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