Foreign Policy Blogs

Europe

2013 Year in Review: The State of European Affairs

2013 Year in Review: The State of European Affairs

At the end of each year I tried to reflect on the most important events that took place in Europe (see my comments for 2011 and 2012). Aside from the political look down in DC, tensions in South-East Asia, instabilities in the Middle East and North Africa, among ...

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Leaders Wanted

Leaders Wanted

A Lack of Credible Opposition Candidates Has Stalled Democratic Progress Along the Black Sea Since late November, ever since Ukraine’s President, Victor Yanukovych, refused to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union, protestors have congregated in downtown Kiev, defying what they see as a blatant attempt to maintain a post-Soviet ...

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Talking Defense – Part 3 – A PR coup for the CSDP?

Talking Defense – Part 3 – A PR coup for the CSDP?

Days prior the Defense december summit (see Part 1 here and Part 2 here), the EU is finally trying to educate European citizens about the Common Security and Defense Policy. In a 10 minutes web documentary accessible on the EEAS website, here, the EU is finally ...

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Setback in Kyiv

Setback in Kyiv

“…President [Yanukovych] has repeatedly said he is committed to putting Ukraine on a European course.  That course does not have to conflict with a robust trade relationship with Russia.  This is not a zero-sum game…” U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey R. Pyatt, December 20, 2013 The statement above may be narrowly true, ...

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Talking Defense – Part 2 – Reflection on a needed European Security Strategy

Talking Defense – Part 2 – Reflection on a needed European Security Strategy

Where do European interests lay? What are Europeans’ priorities? How can Europeans influence and shape their environments? In a recent speech, HR Ashton declared that the CSDP faces several challenges; one being that “there is no agreed long-term vision on the future of CSDP.” These questions are fundamental in order ...

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Britain’s Bold and Blistered Year on Human Rights

Britain’s Bold and Blistered Year on Human Rights

Slender forms in decadently jeweled red and gold glide across the stage. Delicate white flower petals cling to dark hair and long limbs grab the air in soft waves.  This traditional dance marked a stunning welcome to the mid-November commencement of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOG) in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  The  ceremony provided a much ...

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Talking Defense – Part 1: The Road to December European Council summit

Talking Defense – Part 1: The Road to December European Council summit

On December 19 and 20, 2013, the European Council will be discussing the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), simply known as European defense. In order to cover such event a multi-part analysis will be adopted comporting several dimensions: context; the meeting; reflections on the aftermath of the Council ...

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Ukraine: Time for Bold Magnanimity from EU

Ukraine: Time for Bold Magnanimity from EU

  The European Union should provide Ukraine with the trade benefits it would have realized had Russian pressure not prompted the government of President Viktor Yanukovych to announce on November 21 that it would not sign a long-anticipated Association Agreement with the EU. That announcement set off not only pro-EU protests in ...

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Acting Havel

Acting Havel

I recently appeared in a production of Protest. one of the better-known one-act plays written by former Czech President Vaclav Havel. It’s is an hour-long dialogue between two characters. Stanek, an outwardly prosperous writer, is a toer of the communist party line; Vanek, a fellow writer, is ...

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European Responses to Haiyan disaster

European Responses to Haiyan disaster

The Philippines were hurt by one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded. Typhoon Haiyan hit a highly populated area of the Philippines on November 7th and 8th. Apparently an estimated 10 millions people were affected by the Typhoon, and almost 3 million people have lost their livelihood. The death toll ...

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Transatlantic Snooping – National versus transatlantic interests

Transatlantic Snooping – National versus transatlantic interests

The snowball effect of the Snowden revelations is finally picking up. Between the revelations of the National Security Agency eavesdropping on Merkel’s cellphone and massive collection of European citizens’ emails and phone calls (as demonstrated by the illustration below), Europeans are furious and have been asking questions to a reluctant ...

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Stakes High in Northern Kosovo as Elections Loom

Stakes High in Northern Kosovo as Elections Loom

Life has been good for Serbs living in northern Kosovo. For the past 14 years, since the NATO-led bombing campaign forced Serbia’s government out of power, some 50,000 residents in the four municipalities north of the Ibar River in Kosovo, which is mostly ethnic Albanian, have inhabited a sort of ...

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Russia’s Bullying Pushes Ukraine Further West

Russia’s Bullying Pushes Ukraine Further West

The European Union (EU) is approaching a major milestone in its relations with Ukraine. Next month, the most valuable state in eastern Europe that remains a non-member will have the opportunity to expand its relations with the West by signing an Association Agreement with the EU. Once signed, the agreement ...

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And in this corner of Europe…

And in this corner of Europe…

The Catalans are upset and, depending on whom you speak with, have been upset since being defeated by the Spanish monarchy in 1714. Now, almost three hundred years later, they are doing what many other ethnic groups throughout Europe aspire – holding a vote to become independent. Or at least show ...

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Tyranny of the Minority or the Romanticism of a never-past

Tyranny of the Minority or the Romanticism of a never-past

The West is currently fighting a new type of political disease: the tyranny of the minority. This tyranny is a direct threat to the democratic system of the US, France and other European countries. In the US, the Tea Party is hurting an entire country; while in Europe, the ...

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