One of these days the EU powers that be are going to realise that when you’ve got countries torn between a European and non-European identity, to keep on telling them “sorry, you’re not European enough yet” is just going to drive them into the other camp.
How much longer are the likes of Ukraine and Turkey going to put up with these repeated, very public rejections before heading off to the waiting embrace of Moscow or non-secular Islamism?
Growing migration is putting strains on rich and poor economies alike, according to the OECD.
On 10 September, the EU organisation for nuclear research in Geneva launches the biggest experiment of the history, funded by 20 EU member states – including the UK – to replicate conditions of the big bang. Exclusive interview with its director general, as a legal bid is filed at the European court of human rights
France is the latest western country to find itself bogged down in the Afghan quagmire. It has paid a heavy price for its engagement with the death of ten of its elite soldiers killed in ambush east of Kabul on 18 August 2008 by the Islamist fundamentalist Taliban. France had previously had only a limited role in the Afghan conflict, training Afghan soldiers or flying reconnaissance missions. This changed with the election of Nicolas Sarkozy in 2007.
A new particle accelerator will start operating today at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research. Among other things the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is to provide information on the Big Bang and the origin of the universe. But alongside scientific enthusiasm, the atom smasher is also raising doubts about the limits of scientific research.
The European Union has taken a measured route between Vladimir Putin’s Moscow and Dick Cheney’s Washington in its combination of refusing to impose sanctions on Russia after its military and diplomatic actions in Georgia while firmly setting a test for Moscow over the next two months about its willingness to cooperate with other Europeans.
A Eurosceptic thinktank, Global Vision, is holding a conference today to press the case for Britain to remove itself from the heart of the EU. They want a trading relationship, they say, but not much more than that. And anything that is agreed more than that must be agreed unanimously by intergovernmental methods. (Read about Global Vision here.)
They do not elevate opposition to the EU into a moral crusade, as do some of its critics; they do not make a fetish out of national sovereignty. It is not in Britain’s interests to take part in an integrated Europe, they say, but if other countries wish to do so, that is fine. In fact, given the evident wish of many other European countries to do exactly this, the negotiation of arrangements for Britain to leave should be perfectly possible. The fact that the EU is based on mutual and unanimous consent gives the UK a power over the rest: it can prevent the others from developing the EU further, if it wishes. Agreement would provide a welcome release for both parties, they say…………….
Europe shores up the Russian-Georgian ceasefire agreement
HUMILIATION avoided, but hardly a triumph: that is the upshot of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s talks in Moscow on Monday September 9th, where he tried to get the Kremlin to implement in full a French-brokered ceasefire that ended Russia’s war with Georgia.
After sometimes stormy talks, Mr Sarkozy, accompanied by the European Union’s nominal foreign-policy chief, Javier Solana, and the EU commission’s president, José Manuel Barroso, gained agreement on the withdrawal of Russian troops from a buffer zone established around the two breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Russia (but so far almost nobody else) has recognised both places as independent states.
One year before the German federal elections, the battered Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) has come up with a reorganisation: Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was chosen as the party’s chancellor candidate at a meeting on Sunday. Franz Müntefering, one of the party doyens, will become chairman, while Kurt Beck, the previous party leader, has stepped down. Europe’s press discusses the change of leadership in Germany’s oldest party.
In a meeting with EU Council President Nicolas Sarkozy yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced his country’s troops would leave Georgia’s heartland within one month. At the same time, Medvedev agreed to the EU’s sending 200 observers to the Caucasus. Europe’s press evaluates the meeting in Meiendorf Castle near Moscow.
I wanted to write a post comparing Kosovo and South Ossetia, but Dan Drezner has already written it. It’s a week old now, but still good:
"Everything has to rethought in terms of the water problem," Austrian centre-right MEP Richard Seeber told EurActiv in an interview, commenting on the unanimous adoption of his report on water scarcity and drought by Parliament’s environment committee yesterday (9 September).
The publication of government-commissioned research into the reasons behind the rejection of the Lisbon Treaty by the majority of Irish citizens marks the opening of a national consultation process on Ireland’s future relationship with the EU, the government in Dublin announced today (10 September).