Good news for fascists today – according to the EU, it’s no longer racist to target a particular ethnic group based on folklore that suggests they’re all criminals.
Leonie Holthaus: The EU should serve as a mediator in the Russian-Georgian dispute. This role requires that the EU does not take sides with one conflicting party but rather balance its criticism. Even if a position like this is perceived as "hesitant" in the US press, it may contribute to resolving the conflict by diplomatic means………
David Francis: The EU must take a strong yet cooperative stance toward Russia. The next US administration must regain its moral standing in international politics. Ultimately, Moscow must understand that its recent actions in Georgia are unacceptable.
Granting Serbia official EU candidate status as early as 2009 seems "possible" if the country continues to deliver "a positive track record," Commission President José Manuel Barroso told Serbian leaders in Brussels yesterday (3 September).
The mark of a leader is how he or she responds to tough rather than favourable circumstances. By this standard, Mikheil Saakshvili has so far managed well his military defeat in South Ossetia and the subsequent Russian onslaught. Even the continuing presence of Russian troops on the soil of "Georgia proper" – that is, excluding the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, almost all of which were outside Georgian control before the war of August 2008 – has not put into question his legitimacy as the president of Georgia.
Ukraine’s Orange Revolution was always painted (in the western media, at least) as a conflict between western-looking Yushchenko and the eastern-looking former Prime Minister Yanukovich, the man whose suspect election to the presidency sparked popular protests and an eventual turnaround back in November 2004. Yushchenko was, it is alleged, the target of an assassination plot backed by Moscow, while Yanukovich was merely backed by Moscow. When the Revolution got its way and Yushchenko came to power, it seemed the West had won.
EU Employment Commissioner Vladimir yesterday (4 September) welcomed the deal struck between social partners’ on a revision of the European Works Council (EWC) Directive after months of deadlock and Commission threats to go it alone if no amicable solution was reached.Spídla
According to a recent report, a striking gap in working time continues to exist between countries that joined the EU after 2004 and the other 15 members. Among those working longer hours, Bulgaria, Romania and the UK are well ahead of their European neighbours.
The Ukrainian governing coalition of President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is once again faced with a break-up. The crisis has arisen over differing views of Russia’s action in the Caucasus. In addition, together with the pro-Russian opposition Tymoshenko’s party has voted to limit the power of the president. Is this the end of the "Orange Revolution"?
At a four-way summit in Damascus, French President Nicolas Sarkozy discussed the Middle East conflict and the nuclear dispute with Iran with his counterparts from Syria, Qatar and Turkey. Sarkozy hopes his efforts will bring Syria out of its international isolation. Will the summit help foster political development in the Middle East?