Susanne Mundschenk

Susanne Mundschenk

Susanne Mundschenk is co-founder and director of Eurointelligence.

The end of Macronism

The second round of French elections this weekend will not mark the end of Macron as president, nor will it be the end of his MPs in the National Assembly. But the radical centrist movement that carried him to power – on a neither left-nor-right mantra – is no more. What happens now? Macron’s potential

How Marine Le Pen could win

Rumours that Emmanuel Macron could resign if Marine Le Pen wins a majority in parliament spooked French markets so much yesterday that he was forced to come out and reject the speculation. He will stay as president, he says, no matter what. The French government will still function if Macron’s party loses more seats in

The Netherlands is showing how not to tackle climate change

For weeks now, Dutch farmers have been protesting against the government’s plans on nitrogen emissions cuts, creating havoc in the country. Angry farmers have been withholding deliveries to grocery shops, dumping manure or tyres on motorways or at politicians’ homes, and blocking traffic. Farmers in other countries in Europe and North America have organised protests

The problem with euro-dollar parity

The euro is nearly level with the dollar. It should not matter in theory, because of the relatively low share of the US in EU trade. But it does in practice. Some predict that the euro will fall below parity. There is a straightforward explanation for this: the war in Ukraine and unpredictable Russian gas

Turkey’s grain diplomacy

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is once again using Turkey’s geopolitical position for his own ends, this time dictating grain shipments from Ukraine through the Black Sea. Turkish customs authorities detained a Russian cargo ship carrying Ukrainian wheat on Sunday, following a request of Kyiv. The Russian cargo ship Zhibek Zholy left the south-eastern port of Berdyansk

Marine Le Pen is the big winner in France’s anti-Macron election

Emmanuel Macron has lost his absolute majority. The surprise winner was Marine Le Pen and her party, Rassemblement National, while the left alliance, Nupes, confirmed their place as the second-largest group, albeit with a less spectacular showing than the media and polls predicted. The latest results, as published by the interior ministry, counted 245 seats

Where does Macron go from here?

The French do not want Emmanuel Macron’s party to win in the National Assembly, at least according to polls taken at the weekend. Expect revenge voting; Macron may lose his majority. How should he prepare for an eventual co-habitation of government and with whom? Macron promised in Marseille that his prime minister will be charged with

Le Pen, Zemmour and the two French far rights

Just about two months ahead of the French elections, a first poll for Le Parisién suggests that Marine Le Pen and Eric Zemmour are at the same level: 14 per cent. This is one out of many polls, most of which still show Le Pen ahead. But polls have been bad predictors in the past,

Europe’s emerging energy crisis

After the pandemic, is energy the next European crisis? Gas prices have hit new records, reaching $180 per barrel in the Netherlands, representing a fivefold increase over the past six months. This is driven by news that Russia has diverged gas flows from its main European pipeline to one that is going east via Poland.

The fifth wave could break Macron

The fifth Covid wave has started in Europe. Some governments are already imposing lockdowns and wage cuts for the unvaccinated as hospitals are filling up. Mass protests against restrictions are popping up, some peaceful like in Austria, others turning violent like in the Netherlands and Belgium. A nationwide lockdown in Germany is unlikely, but local

Don’t underestimate Barnier

No one really expects Michel Barnier to be chosen as the Républicains’s candidate for the French presidency. Success in Brussels does not make it easier to win at home. The most famous example of this rule is Martin Schulz, who returned from a long career in Brussels to become German SPD leader and chancellor candidate in 2017.

Is Eric Zemmour France’s answer to Trump?

Eric Zemmour, a right-wing French essayist, has had a stellar rise in the media and public opinion. He has now reached 17 per cent in the latest Harris Interactive poll for the first round if he were to run as a candidate. After Macron’s ascent to power from nowhere only five years ago, will Zemmour

The EU’s carbon border tax hits roadblocks

The European Commission’s Fit-for-55 emission plan, with its extended emission trading scheme and the new carbon border tax, will be fighting an uphill battle. The carbon border tax scheme — the first of its kind in the world — could become Europe’s opening bid to get moving internationally beyond mere discussions. If there is an

Should flights be taxed more?

The European Commission is set to propose EU-wide minimum taxes on kerosene, the fuel for planes, as part of their EU energy taxation plans to meet the new eco 2030 targets. However, it remains to be seen if this tax will be agreed by all member states, as taxation issues require unanimity.  A leaked draft

Is Marine Le Pen’s presidential bid doomed?

Nothing went as predicted in France’s regional elections. Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement National did not win a single region and Emmanuel Macron’s La République en Marche failed to grow roots in local government, or even act as a kingmaker. All incumbent regional candidates were re-elected, sometimes with quite a comfortable margin. Does this mean we

France’s latest fiscal trade-off

France’s deficit is set to reach 9.4 per cent of GDP this year, more than last year, even though France’s first lockdown was more severe and lasted for a longer time. This may relate to accounting issues, as some spending is only reported this year even if it is related to last year. But these are details