Foreign Policy Blogs

Europe

The Year in Review

The Year in Review

Overview  For the EU, 2010 has been a very eventful year. In particular, 2010 will be remembered as the year of the euro-meltdown. As this event undoubtedly will overshadow any evaluation of the EU anno 2010, it is worth remembering that the EU entered the year with some definite plusses. After much wrangling, the Treaty of Lisbon entered into […]

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How Berlusconi Survived Tuesday's Vote

Whether you call it “dangling lucrative incentives,” or outright vote-buying, it seems likely that Silvio Berlusconi was able to heavily influence the successful outcome of Tuesday’s censure poll that allowed him to avoid calling new elections and imperil his administration. But one could argue that he truly owes whatever remains of his career to his […]

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Germany in Europe Reconsidered

Hat-tip to Frédéric LeMaître for reminding me of this: Maybe the biggest opponent of the apocalyptic, Thomas Mann-induced vision of a German Europe that Alphaville has been fearing and which I invoked in a recent post, might actually be Germany itself. Ulrike Guérot from ECFR has put forward an argument recently that Germany were in […]

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EU-Israeli Impasse Continues

Noting the “ongoing deterioration of the situation on the ground” as Israel resumes settlement expansion, a group of former EU leaders last Friday called on the EU to take concrete action, with “consequences,” to force Israel back to the negotiating table. Among their demands: laying out a final plan, with a clear time frame, to […]

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From a European Germany to a German Europe?

Arguably the most fascinating exercise one can indulge in ever since the early days of the eurozone crisis is to compare the coverage of said crisis in the German media discourse with that everywhere else in Europe. Within Germany, the focus lies on the hard-working, financially frugal Germans who fail to understand why they should […]

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Wikileaks, Mr.Putin and the Future of the EU-Russia Relationship

Wikileaks, Mr.Putin and the Future of the EU-Russia Relationship

One of the latest Wikileaks that might cause a serious rift between friendly nations is the assumption by officials that Russia and Mr. Putin have a stronger relationship with organised crime within Russia and abroad that realised and that this relationship is often used to promote national goals. These accusations focus mostly on the sale […]

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European Central Bank boss calls for budgetary federation

European Central Bank boss calls for budgetary federation

More Europe or else. Considering the problems facing the euro, more Europe seems to be the only alternative to a euro meltdown that could jeopardize the entire European project. European Central Bank boss, Jean-Claude Trichet, is not in doubt. In a meeting with the European Parliament´s economic and monetary affairs committee, Trichet called for a […]

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Wikileaks reveal President Aliyev's views on Iran, Turkey, and regional security

Sunday’s Wikileaks release containing some 250,000 diplomatic cables included headline-creating news regarding Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. One of the cables, marked as “confidential” (not a terribly high level of secrecy) was “classified” and perhaps written by Donald Lu, who at the time was the US Chargé d’Affaires in Baku. The cable summarizes in great detail […]

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Second donkey blogger released by Azerbaijani court

Second donkey blogger released by Azerbaijani court

In a stunning development, Emin Milli, the second so-called “donkey blogger,” was granted a release from prison today by an Azerbaijani court.  Details are still sketchy, and Radio Free Europe does not appear to have confirmation yet that Milli is actually out as of press time.  One of my sources claims that Milli has been released, […]

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Triple trouble: Ireland prodded toward bailout, MEPs stall budget, and Greek woes worsen

Triple trouble:  Ireland prodded toward bailout, MEPs stall budget, and Greek woes worsen

Faced with considerable pressure to tap into the eurozone bailout fund, Ireland seems about ready to buckle. In particular, Spain and Portugal (worried that Ireland’s troubles will spread, sending their bond yields, and thus borrowing costs, even higher) have shouted from the rooftops of the necessity for Ireland to apply for bailout funds. Although the […]

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Update on Adnan Hajizade

This blog may have been the first news source anywhere (or at least the first non-Azeri source) to confirm that Adnan Hajizade was actually released from prison – although RFE/RL was apparently first to report the court’s decision to release him.  See attached two superb pictures taken by freelance journalist Turkhan Karimov. Karimov emailed me, saying […]

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Thoughts before the beginning of the Lisbon Summit

Thoughts before the beginning of the Lisbon Summit

On November 19 and 20, Lisbon will be hosting the latest NATO Summit. The main purpose behind the Summit will be to adopt a new ‘Strategic Concept’ and try to bring Russia closer to the Alliance. This Summit is extremely important for the future of the Alliance and transatlantic relations. For these reasons, I will […]

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Donkey blogger released from prison

In a surprise move, jailed “donkey blogger” Adnan Hajizade was released from prison in the last two hours. He had been serving a two-year sentence on charges of “hooliganism” after being mauled by thugs in a Baku cafe in 2009. Coincidentally, the charges and the assault took place not long after Hajizade produced (and starred […]

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Another spy scandal in Georgia

Another spy scandal in Georgia

Big news out of Georgia (which is where I am until 17 November), where thirteen men were arrested on charges of spying for Russia, Georgia’s nemesis. Most of the men were arrested in October, and the Ministry of Internal Affairs made the announcement on 5 November, perhaps due to Reuters breaking the story a week […]

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Defense cuts: Bridging the gap between financial and strategic constraints

Defense cuts: Bridging the gap between financial and strategic constraints

A proposition for major cuts on the uniformed and civilian division of the German army has been suggested to the German Defense minister, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg by an expert commission. The plan would be to downgrade the Bundeswehr from 250.000 to 180.000. Mr. zu Guttenberg has been calling for cutting military spending by professionalizing the […]

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