Foreign Policy Blogs

Europe

EU Security Policy Disintegrates Over Libya

EU Security Policy Disintegrates Over Libya

Okay, I’m ready to reconsider my previous criticism of Catherine Ashton and her seeming fecklessness on hammering out a common EU foreign policy. Though it’s been clear since the Libyan crisis began that EU coordination has been disorganized at best, this summary from Deutsche Presse-Agenteur demonstrates that any hope for a coherent security policy, in […]

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Did Portugal Just Shoot Itself in the Foot?

Did Portugal Just Shoot Itself in the Foot?

So posits Teresa de Sousa, a columnist in the Portugese daily Público, anticipating yesterday’s announcement that Prime Minister José Sócrates is resigning after parliament rejected his austerity plan. De Sousa points out that the country was poised to receive favorable terms on accessing the Eurozone’s provisional rescue fund if it adopted the EU’s so-called competitiveness […]

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The Fruits of Mediterranean Dysfunction

The Fruits of Mediterranean Dysfunction

Long op-ed in La Repubblica yesterday about the failure of Europe to resolve its Mediterranean question, defined as a lack of economic integration, the ongoing immigration crisis, corruption and environmental concerns. The piece recounts the litany of declarations, conferences and organizations over the past few decades that grapple with these issues, culminating most recently with […]

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Germany in the days of Fukushima and Gaddhafi

It’s Saturday morning Central European time and the world has changed significantly in the last week. Fukushima has confirmed the worst suspicions of the possibilities of a nuclear meltdown which industry and political experts had been denouncing as outrageously wild for decades. Meanwhile a French proposition to enact – and enforce – a no-fly zone […]

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At Summit, Ireland quotes Cee-Lo to France and Germany: "Forget You"

At Summit, Ireland quotes Cee-Lo to France and Germany: "Forget You"

…and other positions of European countries explained through song in this brilliant WSJ post: “EU Politics Explained Through Song“

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On Biden's Moldova Visit

On Biden's Moldova Visit

Joe Biden made a pit stop in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, during his recent trip to Europe. On paper, the visit was designed to acknowledge the people behind the tiny former Soviet satellite’s minor color revolution (and some say first Twitter revolution) in 2009. But nothing happens in Eastern Europe without a Russian subtext, […]

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"There is no future here."

"There is no future here."

Image courtesy news.bbc.co.uk In light of this morning’s news of another flotilla of North African migrants approaching Lampedusa in Italy, wanted to quickly post a link (in French) to an excellent post on the generally-excellent BondyBlog, which covers issues related to inner-city France and Europe. It is a first-hand account of what leads one of […]

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A Cure for Europe's Brain Drain

A Cure for Europe's Brain Drain

Interesting take from a Bulgarian magazine on a now decades-long problem troubling almost all of Europe but which is especially acute in peripheral countries. A group of 20-somethings in Bulgaria has formed a network dedicated to curbing brain drain out of their country. Called “Here and There,” the group averages about one hundred people at […]

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The end of French diplomacy?

The end of French diplomacy?

Presaging the apparently-imminent departure of Michele Alliot-Marie from the Quai d’Orsay, a recent op-ed in LeMonde written anonymously by current and former French diplomats is sounding the death knell of France’s diplomatic influence. “Africa is drifting away, the Mediterranean region wants nothing to do with us, we’ve been tamed by China and Washington ignores us!” […]

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Europe's Dissenting Voice on Egypt

Europe's Dissenting Voice on Egypt

Apparently should have included this image in my previous post. The New York Times and LeMonde both came out yesterday with stories depicting “divisions” among European leaders on Egypt following Friday’s Brussels summit. But a close reading of the reports shows it is apparently just one leader who can’t quite fall in line and call […]

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Europe and the Debate in Germany

In a telling leading editorial, the Zeit, Germany’s biggest and most important weekly newspaper, praises Merkel for making Europe more German. After the others had only wanted our money up to now, now the idea were to create a European economic government, give up decision-making powers to Europe and in return force everyone else to […]

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Egypt’s Relevance and Europe’s Responsibility

Egypt’s Relevance and Europe’s Responsibility

Tunisia was easy. Small country, educated middle-class and a weak Islamist element. For many European heads of state, the toppling of Ben-Ali was irksome (his ties to the continent ran deep — trained at Saint-Cyr, ambassador to Poland), but manageable. Other than the French foreign minister’s disturbing offer to provide the government security support, the […]

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Immigration

Indirectly we’ve talked about immigration repeatedly on this blog. I commented on the right-wing, anti-Islam reaction in a number of European states, it again played a role in my post on Tunisia and the tepid lack of European support for its democratization. Finally, as my co-blogger pointed out the other day: the overall immigration population […]

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Tunisia and Europe

As my fruit salesman on the market at Barbès (an Arabic neighbourhood in the North of Paris) proclaimed with a wide smile this morning pointing to the Tunisian flag his stand boasted ‘C’est la revolution! On voit la vie en rose maintenant.’ (It’s a revolution! We see life through rose-colored glasses now.) Evidently this Jasmine […]

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Indignation Without Action

The current best-selling book in France is called “Indignez-vous!” It is said to capture France’s prevailing attitude about the moribund state of the world better than any other publication since the global recession began. Its author, Stéphane Hessel, is 93 years old, a veteran of the Resistance and a drafter of the Universal Declaration of […]

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