Foreign Policy Blogs

Foreign policy keeps EU busy in August

The EU is having another busy August in Foreign policy, traditionally the month in which the EU normally all but shuts down (to the chagrin of many). Last August 6th, Russia turned its conflict with Georgia very hot when it invaded the internationally recognised Georgian territories of South Ossetia & Abkhazia. The EU and the world was in shock, Alexander Stubb – the very cool Finnish Foreign Minister admits that he had to cut his holidays “a few days short” as he went to play a decisive role in the ceasefire that has mantained an uneasy peace in the region.  Stubb notes in his Blog post from Saturday that “the possibility of renewed escalation of the crisis has caused concern” and indeed today the EU expressed its “concern” at the visit of Prime Minister Putin to Abkhaza, a region Russia now recognises as independent. Stubb suggests a number of actions that the EU can take to keep peace in the Region, manly focusing on support to Georgia including a strengthened partnersip and support for the ceasefire. What he doesn’t (and probably can’t) say is that effective containment of Russia is a necessary part of this also, but how to contain such a powerful neighbour – the EU s still, unfortunately, feeling its way.

As if this was not enough action, in addition to the above, the EU this week has already tightened travel-bans on those involved in the sentencing of Burmese leader Aung San Suu Kyi, condemned a deadly suicide bombing in the southern Russian republic of Ingushetia, been called to support monitoring of Isaeli nukes by the Arab League and signalled that it will impost harsher sanctions against Iran.

All this suggests that the newly strengthened (under the yet-to-be-approved Lisbon Treaty) High Representative for Foreign Policy will have plenty of work as will the newly created (under the same Treaty) President of the European Council will have plenty of work when appointed. But even then, I doubt they will resist the temptation to tempt fate and go on holidays next August – just as long as they keep their PDA on!

No fun for some

Some European Swimming Pools are likely to be empty this summer as the EU's foreign policy engagement leads to some unforeseen actions

 

Author

David Garrahy

David Garrahy works in Brussels monitoring European Union activites. He is originally from Ireland and studied a Degree in Law & European Studies at the University of Limerick before earning a Masters in Globalisation at Dublin City Universty. Previously he has worked in the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and as a Legislative Aide for an Irish Senator. His involvement in the EU has included working for the Irish Forum on Europe and campaigning in Referenda in favour of the Nice & Lisbon Treaties.

Area of Focus
Europe; Globalisation; European Comission.

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