Foreign policy & defence

A grand bargain with Russia?

A grand bargain with Russia?

19 October 2007
Relations between the Russia and the West have not been so prickly since the break-up of the Soviet Union. Viewed from the US and the EU, Russia is being obstructive across a whole swathe of issues, such as its blockade of trade with Georgia, its refusal to accept independence for Kosovo, and its opposition to further UN sanctions on Iran.
What now, Ukraine?

What now, Ukraine?

Tomas Valasek
05 October 2007
Ukrainians voters have spoken, sort of. On September 30th, they elected a new parliament. They made some heartening choices, backing forces of reform and sidelining smaller, less relevant parties.
What Europeans think about Turkey and why

What Europeans think about Turkey and why

Katinka Barysch
25 September 2007
Surveys show that a majority of EU citizens are against Turkish membership. This matters since France, Austria and probably other countries too will hold a referendum on Turkish accession.
The EU should talk to Hamas

The EU should talk to Hamas

Charles Grant, Clara Marina O'Donnell
01 August 2007
In Britain, senior diplomats are mulling over whether to revise the government’s policy of not talking to Hamas. Until now Britain has staunchly defended the EU policy of opposing talks with Hamas. That policy, shared by the other members of the ‘quartet’ – the UN, the US and Russia...
Re-imagining EU development aid

Re-imagining EU development aid

Simon Maxwell
01 August 2007
Imagine the Berlaymont late at night. A full moon hangs in the sky. High up in the building, an office lamp still shines. It illuminates four people. They are sprawled comfortably in armchairs for an intimate conversation. The four lead the EU on international affairs.
Bulletin issue 55

Issue 55 - 2007

Charles Grant, Clara Marina O'Donnell, Katinka Barysch, Simon Maxwell
27 July 2007
Where next for Turkey?

Where next for Turkey?

24 July 2007
Some of Turkey’s critics say that it has no place in the EU because it is not a European country. Others criticise the quality of its democracy.
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.