Foreign Policy Blogs

Europe

Crises Forcing Europe Together

This is nothing new per se of course, it has been argued before that European integration proceeds only when faced with an important obstacle. In that sense once again the financial crises have led to a number of heretofore unimaginable cooperative steps of governments giving up national sovereignty. The French President Sarkozy has proposed an […]

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EU leaders fear treaty change will lead to referendum

EU leaders fear treaty change will lead to referendum

The EU is none too fond of referendums. As most will recall, it was the pesky public and its fear of all things Brussels that sunk the EU Constitution Treaty, which, after considerable wrangling, was adopted in a revised version as the Treaty of Lisbon. Following the announcement by European leaders of the European Council’s […]

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Politics of the Street

Europe in the past has seen its fair share of successful (and unsuccessful) mass movements descending in the street and clamoring for justice of course. The 1968-69 demonstrations spectacularly failed (Prague) or led to ambiguous changes in the social life styles of society difficult to measure (Germany, France). The 1989 mobilizations were an unequivocal success […]

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Can the EU handle a multipolar continent?

Can the EU handle a multipolar continent?

With the Cold War a thing of the past and the limits of US unilateralism clearly demonstrated, the EU must be experiencing perfect conditions for their key competencies; soft power and diplomatic dexterity  – right? European nations have after all been conditioned by the continent’s tumultuous history in the necessity of taking other points of view […]

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Another Brick in the Wall: The Building of the EAS

Another Brick in the Wall: The Building of the EAS

On November 25, 2010, Lady Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, announced in a press release the appointment of the two top administrators of the External Action Service: Pierre Vimont as the Executive Secretary General and David O’Sullivan as its Chief Operating Officer. […]

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Europe and France’s Many Steps to Contradiction

Europe and France’s Many Steps to Contradiction

For your average German citizen it seems that they might feel they are supporting many of their European cousins while they work to keep the books balanced. The year 2010 has become a year where Germany and in some aspects, France, have been supporting an EU that many in the media had left for dead […]

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A spectre is haunting Europe

A spectre is haunting Europe once again, yet unlike during the 1840s it is not Communism but instead the continent-wide popular appeal of modern far right, xenophobic politicians and beliefs which menace the traditional parties’ grip on power. While the specific situations in European countries differ widely, common trends and forces are clearly discernible.Let us […]

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Strasbourg Court rules against Azerbaijan. Again.

Once again, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Azerbaijan. RFE/RL reports that the Court (commonly referred to as “the Strasbourg Court”) has ruled that the Azerbaijani government illegally annulled the election victory of pop singer Flora Karimova after the 2005 parliamentary elections. The court ruling (which is available here) addressed decisions of […]

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Georgia slowly moving to jury trials

According to the Global Post and other sources, Georgia has finally adopted jury trials, at least for cases of aggravated murder – and for now, only in Tbilisi. This is reportedly part of a larger program to introduce jury trials more broadly, weaken the role of judges in Georgian trials, where they are more like […]

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Georgia loses four servicemen in Helmand Province

My apologies for being away from the blog for so long, but I was in Afghanistan for three weeks and just returned. I had been working as an observer during the recent parliamentary elections, and was sent by Democracy International, an NGO based in Bethesda, Maryland. While Afghanistan is somewhat outside my normal baliwick, I […]

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Will post-election Sweden catch the “Danish disease”?

Will post-election Sweden catch the “Danish disease”?

    Sweden is left with a hung parliament after the country’s September 19 election. Although the current center-right alliance came out on top, commanding 172 of the Swedish Riksdag’s 349 seats, it fell short of an absolute majority. The leftwing opposition managed 157 seats, with the Social Democrats (in power for 65 of the past […]

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European Companies Take the Spotlight on Labour Abuses

European Companies Take the Spotlight on Labour Abuses

Questions have arisen this week over the rights of workers who work within European companies and the results of activities by management staff within those companies in Europe, in European companies in the USA, and European companies abroad. The most drastic example of some worker’s responses towards management comes with the recent suicide of ten […]

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European Commission backs down on criticism of Roma expulsions

European Commission backs down on criticism of Roma expulsions

Those who had hoped the European Commission would resist the decision of the French, Italian Swedish and Danish governments to deport the Roma people were in for a disappointment.  Albeit the EU’s chief executive Barroso’s first “state of the union” address included a message to European leaders to steer clear of the racism and discrimination […]

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European economy rebounds – but will it last?

European economy rebounds – but will it last?

Amidst austerity program s and gloomy worse-than-expected forecasts for the Greek economy, the European economy has caught a break. According to the latest data, the euro zone recovery outstripped that of the US. A 1,7 pct expansion across the 16 euro zone and the 27 EU nations as a whole, compared to the same quarter […]

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VIDEO. Professor Simon Hix on the state of European democracy after Lisbon

Professor Simon Hix, Director of the Political Science and Political Economy Group at the London School of Economics, has some interesting points on the democratic deficit of the EU post-Lisbon. In spite of an extension of the powers of the European Parliament and further involvement of national parliaments in the European decision making process, Simon […]

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