*Shortlisted for 2016 European Book Prize* Giles Merritt describes himself as a 'sceptical europhile'. For many years among the foremost commentators on the politics and economics shaping Europe, he was named by the Financial Times as one of 30 'Eurostars' who are the most influential voices in Brussels.
Slippery Slope is far from the usual run of uncritical EU-related studies. Its aim is to set alarm bells ringing across Europe with its revealing insights into our increasingly troubled future. Giles Merritt argues that the steepness and suddenness of Europe's decline in the 'Asian century' will depend on the actions we Europeans undertake. And there are two key lessons that we need to face from the beginning. Firstly, the 'good times' aren't coming back without a massive effort on our
part. And secondly, in a fast-developing world of 9-10 billion people, no single European country can survive and prosper on its own.
Merritt sets out to sort fact from fiction in his analysis of Europe's weaknesses, and the policies needed to address them. Placing the outlook for Europe in its global context, he assesses Europe's decline in relative as well as absolute terms, and puts forward an ambitious but realistic 'to do' list for Europe's policymakers if our comparatively privileged life styles are not to be seriously threatened in the coming years.
In the wake of 'Brexit;, this is a hard-hitting warning that unless Europeans shake themselves awake their future will be increasingly gloomy. Anyone who believes that the economic crisis that began in 2008 is just a blip will find this book a salutary lesson in the reality of Europe's position.
Giles Merritt was named by the Financial Times in 2010 as one of 30 'Eurostars' who most influence thinking on Europe's future, along with the European Commission's president and the secretary-general of NATO. For 15 years a Financial Times foreign correspondent, Merritt has reported and commented on European affairs since the early 1970s. He went on to found 'Friends of Europe', one of the leading think tanks in Brussels, and the policy journal Europe's World, of which he is the Editor-in-Chief. His Op-Ed columns in the International Herald Tribune from 1985-2010, and since then in the hundreds of newspapers around the world that subscribe to Project Syndicate, have ranged widely across political and economic issues in Europe. His previous books include World Out of Work, an award-winning analysis of unemployment issues, and The Challenge of Freedom, on the difficulties facing post-communist Eastern Europe.