Born out of a world war, the European communities grew through the collapse of communism, currency crises, a pandemic and an eastern war. Histories of these crises focus on politicians but the real work is done by officials behind closed doors. These people built the single market and banking union, expanded the EU to 28 members, shrank it by one, threatened and then saved the euro. In this series, I talk to officials who were In The Room as Europe evolved from a club of nations into a union.
“We couldn’t accept that Spain could do better than Italy” — Vincenzo Visco, 18 June 2023.
“He was definitely not amused” — Lex Hoogduin, 5 May 2023.
“Now maybe we’re a bit spoiled” — Klaus Regling, 4 March 2023.
“We backed down and we started again” — Andrew McDowell, 17 February 2023.
“Trust was thin on the ground” — Georges Heinrich, 6 January 2023.
“Look into my eyes: you’re gonna go bankrupt” — Thomas Wieser, 9 December 2022
“Reality took its revenge” — Ramon Fernandez, 12 November 2022.
“Putin didn’t know that he actually united Europe” — Erkki Liikanen, 22 October 2022.
In June 2020, a few months into the Covid pandemic, historian Marshall Poe — the founder of the New Books Network — kindly let me loose to interview authors of any new books in European politics or economics that took my fancy. This is the result so far.
Russia and Ukraine: Entangled Histories, Diverging States — Maria Popova and Oxana Shevel, November 2023.
Mario Draghi: The True Story of the Man Who Saved the Euro — Jana Randow and Alessandro Speciale, 14 October 2023.
Russia’s War Against Ukraine — Gwendolyn Sasse, 29 September 2023.
Warmonger: Vladimir Putin’s Imperial Wars — Alex J. Bellamy, 28 September 2023.
What Went Wrong With Brexit: And What We Can Do About It — Peter Foster, 7 September 2023.
Eurowhiteness: Culture, Empire and Race in the European Project — Hans Kundnani, 17 August 2023.
Russia’s War Against Ukraine: The Whole Story — Mark Edele, 23 August 2023.
A Small, Stubborn Town: Life, Death and Defiance in Ukraine — Andrew Harding, 7 July 2023.
The Politics of the Eurogroup: Governing Crisis and Conflict in the European Union — Joscha Abels, 30 June 2023.
The Russo-Ukrainian War: The Return of History — Serhii Plokhy, 12 May 2023.
Belarus in Crisis: From Domestic Unrest to the Russia–Ukraine War — Paul Hansbury, 21 April 2023.
Putin’s War on Ukraine: Russia’s Campaign for Global Counter-Revolution — Samuel Ramani, 14 April 2023.
Russia’s War — Jade McGlynn, 7 April 2023.
And Then What? Inside Stories of 21st-Century Diplomacy — Catherine Ashton, 3 February 2023.
Central Banks and Supervisory Architecture in Europe: Lessons from Crises in the 21st Century — Robert Holzmann and Fernando Restoy, 27 January 2023.
Governing the EU in an Age of Division — Dalibor Roháč, 25 November 2022.
What is Europe? — Anna Triandafyllidou, 28 October 2022.
Europe’s Coming of Age — Loukas Tsoukalis, 11 October 2022.
European Disunion: Democracy, Sovereignty and the Politics of Emergency — Štefan Auer, 26 May 2022.
La Hongrie sous Orbán — Hélène Bienvenu, 22 April 2022.
The Need for an EU Expulsion Mechanism — Tom Theuns, 14 April 2022.
Orbanland: Why Viktor Orbán’s Hungary Matters — Lasse Skytt, 28 March 2022.
Flexible Europe: Differentiated Integration, Democracy, and Domination — Richard Bellamy, Sandra Kröger, and Marta Lorimer, 24 January 2022.
The Behavioral Economics of Inflation Expectations: Macroeconomics Meets Psychology — Tobias Rötheli, 28 December 2021.
Ruin and Renewal: Civilising Europe After the Second World War — Paul Betts, 30 September 2021.
The Foundations of Antitrust: Events, Ideas, and Doctrines — Gregory Werden, 7 September 2021.
Redesigning Democracy: More Ideas for Better Rules — Hans Gersbach, 3 September 2021.
Illiberal Constitutionalism in Poland and Hungary — Tímea Drinóczi and Agnieszka Bień-Kacała, 3 September 2021.
European Representation in EU National Parliaments — Lucy Kinski, 10 August 2021.
Monetary Policy in Times of Crisis: A Tale of Two Decades of the European Central Bank — Massimo Rostagno, 28 July 2021.
The Success and Failure of Right-Wing Populist Parties in the Benelux Countries — Léonie de Jonge, 28 July 2021.
Ordoliberalism and European Economic Policy: Between Realpolitik and Economic Utopia — Malte Dold and Tim Krieger, 21 July 2021.
Brexit Unfolded: How No One Got What They Wanted (and Why They Were Never Going To) — Chris Grey, 30 June 2021.
Dealing with Europe: Lessons from Switzerland’s Experience — Paolo Dardanelli, 31 May 2021.
The Great Crash 1929 — James Galbraith, 11 May 2021.
European Studies: Past, Present, and Future — Erik Jones, 7 May 2021.
Reinventing Liberalism: The Politics, Philosophy and Economics of Early Neoliberalism (1920–1947) — Ola Innset, 26 April 2021.
Belarus Under Lukashenka: Adaptive Authoritarianism — Matthew Frear, 14 April 2021.
The Legal History of the European Banking Union: How European Law Led to the Supranational Integration of the Single Financial Market — Pedro Gustavo Teixeira, 12 April 2021.
The Road to Monetary Union — Richard Pomfret, 7 April 2021.
Mark Rutte — Petra de Koning, 17 March 2021.
The Rise of the Dutch New Right: An Intellectual History of the Rightward Shift in Dutch Politics — Merijn Oudenampsen, 16 March 2021.
The Last Neoliberal: Macron and the Origins of France’s Political Crisis — Bruno Amable, 16 March 2021.
Governance and Politics of the Netherlands — Tom Louwerse, 15 March 2021.
The Constitutional Theory of the Federation and the European Union — Signe Rehling Larsen, 19 February 2021.
The Spotify Play: How CEO and Founder Daniel Ek Beat Apple, Google, and Amazon in the Race for Audio Dominance — Sven Carlsson and Jonas Leijonhufvud, 18 February 2021.
European Banking and Financial Law — Matthias Haentjens, 12 February 2021.
Neoliberalism: A Very Short Introduction — Manfred Steger and Ravi Roy, 8 February 2021.
The Orbán Regime: Plebiscitary Leader Democracy in the Making — András Körösényi, 3 February 2021.
The Retreat of Liberal Democracy: Authoritarian Capitalism and the Accumulative State in Hungary — Gábor Scheiring, 14 January 2021.
Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe: Background, Impact, and Policy — Tara McIndoe-Calder, 4 January 2021.
Modern Monetary Theory and European Macroeconomics — Dirk Ehnts, 31 December 2020.
Project Europe: A History — Kiran Klaus Patel, 15 December 2020.
The Economics of Target Balances: From Lehman to Corona — Hans-Werner Sinn, 8 December 2020.
Big Tech and the Digital Economy: The Moligopoly Scenario — Nicolas Petit, 7 December 2020.
European Integration: A Political History — Mark Gilbert, 20 November 2020.
The Pandemic Information Gap and the Brutal Economics of Covid-19 — Joshua Gans, 17 November 2020.
The Asset Economy — Lisa Adkins and Martijn Konings, 9 November 2020.
Money and Life — Ewald Nowotny, 5 November 2020.
Stars with Stripes: The Essential Partnership between the European Union and the United States — Anthony Gardner, 23 October 2020.
Reluctant European: Britain and the European Union from 1945 to Brexit — Stephen Wall, 9 October 2020.
Currency, Credit and Crisis: Central Banking in Ireland and Europe — Patrick Honohan, 8 October 2020.
The Tribalization of Europe: A Defence of Our Liberal Values — Marlene Wind, 24 September 2020.
Markus Söder: The Shadow Chancellor — Roman Deininger, 23 September 2020.
Brexit And Financial Regulation — Jonathan Herbst, 4 September 2020.
Walking the Highwire: Rebalancing the European Economy in Crisis — Olli Rehn, 28 August 2020.
Economics of Monetary Union — Paul De Grauwe, 13 August 2020.
What’s Wrong with Modern Money Theory? A Policy Critique — Gerald Epstein, 13 July 2020.
Price of Peace: Money, Democracy, and the Life of John Maynard Keynes — Zachary Carter, 30 June 2020.
Coming up …
Italian Budgeting Policy: Between Punctuations and Incrementalism — Alice Cavalieri (Palgrave Macmillan), December 2023.
The Russia Sanctions: The Economic Response to Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine — Christine Abely (Cambridge University Press), December 2023.
The Showman: The Inside Story of the Invasion That Shook the World and Made a Leader of Volodymyr Zelensky — Simon Shuster (William Collins), January 2024.
Collisions: The Origins of the War in Ukraine and the New Global Instability — Michael Kimmage (Oxford University Press), March 2024.
Italy Reborn: From Fascism to Democracy — Mark Gilbert (Penguin), June 2024.