European leaders will try to put on a united front during a summit in Brussels today (1 September) that will review the EU’s relations with Moscow following the conflict in Georgia. But sanctions are off the agenda for now.
By its actions in Georgia, Russia is trying unilaterally to redefine the rules of the game. That can never be acceptable to an organisation like the EU
As EU leaders prepare to meet in Brussels today (1 September) for an extraordinary summit on Russia, the country’s former president Vladimir Putin has indicated that Moscow wants to "diversify" oil and gas export markets.
"What do women want?" — Sigmund Freud
Somewhere buried in the archives of the Pentagon or the CIA or the State Department is an analysis of the Iraq War written before the war began. It asked whether a "victory" in Iraq would be worth the cost — not in terms of lives or treasure, but in terms of the long-term interests of the US.
During a meeting with his Estonian and Latvian counterparts in Talinn on Thursday (28 August), Polish President Lech Kaczynski blasted the six-point peace plan negotiated with Russia by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for its failure to mention the need for Moscow to respect Georgia’s borders.
During a two-day trip to Sofia which ended today (28 August), Commission Vice President Günther Verheugen said Bulgarian authorities are doing better at fighting corruption than suggested in the press, highlighting the fact that corruption and ineffective judiciary systems are problems common to other EU members. EurActiv’s partner in Bulgaria Dnevnik reports.
Yavuz Mildon, president of the Council of Europe’s Congress of Local and Regional Authorities (CLRA), says they are planning a second Euroregion in the Black Sea whose bylaws will be open for signature on Sept. 26 in Varna.
For some time now, the European Union has declared war on “hatred.” That is to say, the EU has made it a crime to express hatred in both speech and action against historically oppressed and vulnerable minorities. If any nation seeks membership in the EU, it had best understand the far-reaching implications of this long-established policy.
There is a diaspora of 100, 000 South Ossetians in the EU member candidate country. Engin Polat Tkhostati, 28, was sleeping when war broke out between the Russians and Georgians on 7 August
According to a recent study by the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat), Europe’s population is growing too old. The study estimates that in 50 years’ time a third of the EU’s population will be over 65 years of age, and in some states the number of inhabitants could even go down. This will also have a negative impact on Europe’s social systems. What are the ramifications of this prognosis for Europe?
Only a week ago, Russia’s recognition Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s independence was regarded as unlikely by most observers. They hoped that the Kremlin today was too strongly integrated into the world of global finance to resort to a drastic escalation of antagonism with the West. Nonetheless, this took place.
One of the major theories behind the formation of the EU – and one of the successes that has always been claimed – is that by intertwining European economies as closely as we can, future conflict will become impossible.
All very well and good – but Russia’s economy is also closely intertwined with that of the EU. Russia is heavily dependent on EU countries for trade, while the EU is heavily dependent on Russia for energy supplies. So, what exactly can the EU – its economy tied up so heavily with Russia – do to stop the Kremlin pursuing whatever course it likes? Not only is there no consensus among EU member states, but also sanctions will certainly be met with retaliation, probably in the form either of raised gas prices or cutting off of supplies altogether.
Territorial integrity or peoples’ right of self-determination? Russia’s recognition of the secessionist Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia has fueled new discussion of old geo-political conflicts across Europe. In particular the division of Cyprus into Greek-Cypriot and Turkish republics could be affected by the conflict.