Foreign policy & defence

The EU should talk to Hamas

The EU should talk to Hamas

Charles Grant, Clara Marina O'Donnell
11 July 2007
The conspicuous role of Hamas in the recent release of Alan Johnston was not only good news for the BBC correspondent. Hamas showed that it cares about how it is perceived abroad, that it wants to be considered a credible actor, and that it hopes to end its international isolation.
EU business and Turkish accession

EU business and Turkish accession

Katinka Barysch, Dr Rainer Hermann
22 June 2007
Many EU politicians and their voters are unsure about the merits of Turkish accession. Europe’s entrepreneurs are not. They are showing confidence by investing billions into the fast-growing Turkish economy, partly because they expect that EU accession will continue to change the country for the better.
Serbia's European choice

Serbia's European choice

David Gowan
19 June 2007
Serbia's accession prospects are looking up, following the formation of a new government in Belgrade and the resumption of SAA talks with the EU. However, disagreements over Kosovo could quickly derail the process again.
Turkey before the election

Turkey before the election

Katinka Barysch
15 June 2007
I have recently come back from Turkey, where the mood is a mixture of relief, hope and anxiety: relief that the army has remained in the barracks; hope that the early election in July will result in a workable compromise between the AKP and the secularists; and anxiety that the crisis that started in April has done lasting damage to Turkish society and its political system.
Europe and America’s debate about foreign policy

Europe and America’s debate about foreign policy

Tomas Valasek
01 June 2007
Washington’s holiday from strategic debates is over. In the years immediately after September 11th, feelings of solidarity with a president at war prevented serious discussions on the merits of US foreign policy.
Sarkozy, secularism and Turkey’s European future

Sarkozy, secularism and Turkey’s European future

Katinka Barysch
01 June 2007
Can things get worse for Turkey? The presidential election is stalled; the army threatens to intervene; millions are protesting in the streets; EU negotiations remain partly suspended; terrorism in the South-East could prompt military forays into northern Iraq; and the new French president wants to see Turkey in a Mediterranean...
On oligodemocracy and people power in Ukraine  thumbnail

On oligodemocracy and people power in Ukraine

Tomas Valasek
31 May 2007
There shall be no war, at least not now. On Sunday, President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovich agreed to hold early elections in September. In doing so, they halted the country’s slide toward violence, which began with Yushchenko’s dissolution of the Ukrainian parliament in April and culminated this weekend with a standoff between Interior Ministry troops (loyal to Yushchenko) and traffic police (controlled by Yanukovich). But even if the Sunday agreement holds – and law-makers from the prime minister’s side already dispute it – Ukraine has become an uglier place for it. In the end, it was political and military muscle that settled the differences. A conflict may have been averted but Ukraine’s tentative steps to build democracy based on rules and institutions were dealt a severe blow.
Insight

Nicolas Sarkozy: Turkophobe and protectionist?

08 May 2007
Most EU governments wanted Nicolas Sarkozy to win the presidential election. They think his liberalising economic agenda stands a fair chance of boosting France’s lacklustre economic performance.
What future for EU development policy?

What future for EU development policy?

Aurore Wanlin
04 May 2007
The European Union, together with its member-states, is the world's largest source of development aid. Yet the Union under-performs as a donor: its various governments and the Commission seldom co-ordinate their efforts, and often fail to think strategically.
What Turkey’s crisis means for the EU

What Turkey’s crisis means for the EU

Katinka Barysch
03 May 2007
Turkey has aborted its presidential election and called for an early parliamentary one. The army, it appears, is still on stand-by. Prime Minister Erdogan accused the country’s highest court of having fired “a bullet at democracy” by declaring the first round of voting on his presidential candidate, Abdullah Gul, invalid.
The EU and Arab reform

The EU and Arab reform

Charles Grant, Tomas Valsek
27 April 2007
The Arab Reform Initiative held its annual conference in Amman, Jordan, on 18th April. Founded in 2005, ARI is a consortium of a dozen research centres that advocate peaceful and gradual political, economic and social reform in the region. A few non-Arab think-tanks are also involved, including the Centre for European Reform, but it is very much led and managed by Arab research centres. The CER is part of ARI because it believes that ARI offers an excellent opportunity to encourage reform in a region that is deeply suspicious of outside influence.
Ukraine’s real problem

Ukraine’s real problem

Tomas Valasek
02 April 2007
A marriage of convenience is probably too charitable a description of the relationship between Ukraine’s president, Viktor Yushchenko, and its prime minister, Viktor Yanukovich.
In defence of missile defences?

In defence of missile defences?

Tomas Valasek
14 March 2007
For those spoiling for another good transatlantic fight, the headlines from last week’s EU summit must have come as manna from heaven.
What's happening to Airbus?

What's happening to Airbus?

23 February 2007
Top of the agenda when Jacques Chirac meets Angela Merkel today in Berlin will be the crisis at Airbus. The European aircraft manufacturer has been forced to suspend a restructuring programme following inferference from both the French and German governments.
If Turkey and the EU break up...

If Turkey and the EU break up...

Katinka Barysch
01 December 2006
The EU may decide to halt the accession talks with Turkey – or the Turkish government may walk away from them. But has either seriously thought through the consequences?
Turkish business and EU accession

Turkish business and EU accession

Sinan Ülgen
01 December 2006
Turkish accession prospects were becoming bleaker at the end of 2006, just over a year after the start of accession talks. Both Turkey’s political elite and its people are disillusioned with the EU.
Absorption capacity – the wrong debate

Absorption capacity – the wrong debate

Katinka Barysch
09 November 2006
On November 8th, the European Commission published its new strategy report on enlargement. A non-event: drafts had been widely leaked to the press; and the most explosive question – whether accession negotiations with Turkey should by wholly or partly suspended because of Cyprus – has been put off until December.