EU Reform Problems and the Rise of Populism in Europe

  • Paul J. J. Welfens


This chapter looks at EU reform challenges and the rise of populism in Europe—with due emphasis on Germany, Italy, France and the UK. Links between Trumpism and Brexit are emphasized, including the potential conflict between the UK’s post-Brexit Global Britain approach with a focus on more free trade agreements and the Trump Administration’s apparent goal to weaken multilateralism in general and the World Trade Organization in particular. Specific financial market perspectives of Brexit, partly related to the US and the EU27, are also analyzed. Specific aspects of transatlantic regulatory and security perspectives are discussed, and a new model with trade, foreign direct investment and domestic and foreign tariffs is used to highlight some key issues under the Trump Administration.


  1. Blom, P. (2014). Die zerrissenen Jahre 1918–1938. Munich: Carl Hanser Verlag.Google Scholar
  2. Deutscher Bundestag. (2018). Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Dr. Gerhard Schick, Dr. Danyal Bayaz, Lisa Paus, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion BUENDNIS 90/DIE GRUENEN—Bilanz der Bankenrettung in Deutschland, 11 September 2018, 19/4243. Retrieved from
  3. Eichengreen, B. (2019). The International Financial Implications of Brexit. International Economics and Economic Policy, 16(1). Scholar
  4. Francois, J., Manchin, M., Norberg, H., Pindyuk, O., & Tomberger, P. (2013). Reducing Transatlantic Barriers to Trade and Investment. London: CEPR (for the European Commission).Google Scholar
  5. Gauland, A. (2018). Warum muss es Populismus sein. Op-ed in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Print Edition, October 6, p. 8.Google Scholar
  6. HM Govt. (2016, April). HM Treasury Analysis: The Long-Term Economic Impact of EU Membership and the Alternatives. London.Google Scholar
  7. Hoffmann, I. (2014, May). The Populist Networks, Spotlight Europe, 2014/02. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung. Retrieved from
  8. IFF/ZEW. (2012). Studie zu Dispozinsen/Ratenkrediten für das Bundesministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Verbraucherschutz [A Study on Interest Rates on Overdrafts and Instalment Loans for the German Federal Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Consumer Protection]. Institute for Financial Services (IFF) and Centre for European Economic Research (ZEW). Retrieved September 26, 2018, from
  9. Irwin, D. A. (1995). The GATT in Historical Perspective. American Economic Review, 85(2), 323–328.Google Scholar
  10. Jungmittag, A., & Welfens, P. J. J. (2016). Beyond EU-US Trade Dynamics: TTIP Effects Related to Foreign Direct Investment and Innovation. EIIW Discussion Paper No. 212. Retrieved from
  11. Kadiric, S., & Korus, A. (2019). Effects of Brexit on Corporate Yield Spreads: Evidence from UK and Eurozone Corporate Bond Markets. International Economics and Economic Policy, 16(1). Scholar
  12. NATO. (2018, July). Defence Expenditure of NATO Countries (2011–2018), Communique, PR/CP(2018)091. Retrieved from
  13. Payosova, T., Hufbauer, G. C., & Schott, J. J. (2018, March). The Dispute Settlement Crisis in the World Trade Organization: Causes and Cures. Peterson Institute for International Economics, Policy Brief 18-5.Google Scholar
  14. Scholz, O. (2018). Standpunkt von Olaf Scholz: Die Lehren aus der Lehman-Pleite, Gastbeitrag für die Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Online Edition, September 13. Retrieved from
  15. Schroeter, U., & Nemeczek, H. (2017). “Brexit”, aber “rEEAmain“? Die Auswirkung des EU-Austritts auf die EWR-Mitgliedschaft des Vereinigten Königreichs. Juristenzeitung, 72(4), 713–718 [Translation: Brexit, but rEEAmain? The Effects of an EU exit on the EEA membership of the UK].Google Scholar
  16. Vandenbussche, H. (2014). Quality in Exports, DG Economic and Financial Affairs. Economic Papers No. 528. Brussels: European Commission.Google Scholar
  17. Vehrkamp, R., & Wratil, C. (2017). Die Stunde der Populisten? Politische Einstellungen bei Wählern und Nicht-Wählern vor der Bundestagwahl 2017. Gütersloh: Bertelsmann Stiftung. Retrieved from
  18. Welfens, P. J. J. (2017). An Accidental BREXIT. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  19. Welfens, P. J. J. (2018). Import Tariffs, Foreign Direct Investment and Innovation: A New View on Growth and Protectionism. EIIW Discussion Paper No. 252,
  20. Welfens, P. J. J., & Baier, F. (2018). BREXIT and Foreign Direct Investment: Key Issues and New Empirical Findings. International Journal of Financial Studies, 6(2), 46. Scholar
  21. Woodward, B. (2018). Fear: Trump in the White House. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul J. J. Welfens
    • 1
  1. 1.European Institute for International Economic Relations (EIIW)University of WuppertalWuppertalGermany

Personalised recommendations