EU ‘resolute’ on climate targets

The EU will keep to its targets to tackle climate change despite worries about slowing economies, the French president says.

Confrontational Architecture: Europe’s Mosques Move from Back Alleys to Boulevards – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International

EU rallies behind banking reform

All 27 EU states broadly support their bank rescue plan and the holding of a world finance summit, France’s president says.

Italy proposes immigrant classes

The lower house of Italy’s parliament approves a controversial scheme to create mandatory classes for the children of immigrants.

Commissioner Rehn: No enlargement ‘sabbatical’ after Irish ‘no’

The uncertain fate of the Lisbon Treaty will not delay the EU’s enlargement as both processes are not directly linked, Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn told EurActiv Czech Republic. But Rehn is confident that the new treaty will be in place ahead of Croatia’s likely accession in 2010.

Crisis shows EU needs Lisbon Treaty, says Irish leader

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen told his counterparts at the Brussels EU summit on Wednesday (15 October) that the financial crisis and the recent war in Georgia showed "the critical value" of membership of the EU and the euro zone.

Conservative EU leaders endorse second Barroso term

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso came a step closer to securing a second term in office after being informally endorsed by conservative EU government leaders at a meeting prior to the EU summit yesterday (15 October), according to a German government official.

How to save the European banking system

A coordinated EU approach is needed to save the "dysfunctional state of the euro area money market," including "recapitalising large banks" and "restarting inter-bank lending," writes Daniel Gros, the director of the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), on

Kosovo’s fragile transition

"Kosovo is proving to be a difficult test for EU security and defence policy," argues a September report from the International Crisis Group (ICG), which urges the bloc to show more determination to deliver on international commitments and avoid compromising ongoing negotiations with Russia over the deployment of a new EU defence mission to Georgia.

Summit to back immigration policy overhaul

Dwarfed by the financial crisis, the issue of immigration has momentarily slipped to the back of political debate, meaning that the adoption later today (15 October) of a European Pact on Immigration and Asylum by EU leaders – meant to be one of the highlights of the French EU Presidency – risks going unnoticed.

EU democracy from an unlikely source

By nosemonkey on Media

And from the most unlikely of sources – Britain’s leading terrestrial commercial television channel ITV. The self-same ITV that’s been kicking up a fuss over it’s obligation to provide “public service” programmes for the last year or more.

So, following Euronews, EUX.TV and the European Parliament’s own EuroparlTV, we now get a version aimed exclusively at the UK, aiming to promote knowledge and understanding of the EU and MEPs in the run-up to next year’s European Parliament elections: ITV Local’s MyEurope.

MAIN FOCUS: Are we facing a social crisis? | 16/10/2008


Has the financial crisis now reached the real economy? Rising unemployment figures, fear of an imminent recession and worries about the future of social benefits dominate the discussion in the European press.

MAIN FOCUS: Gordon Brown – the unexpected saviour | 15/10/2008


British Prime Minister and Eurosceptic Gordon Brown was long considered a marginal figure in the European Union. Now the bank crisis has put the former Chancellor of the Exchequer in the limelight. While the British media view his newfound popularity with a critical eye, the European press sees his rescue plan as a vital restructuring of Europe’s financial system.

Another Great Depression?

By Centre for European Reform

by Katinka Barysh

Many observers have drawn parallels between the current economic crisis and the Great Depression of the 1930s. However, the stock market collapse of 1929 did not directly cause what turned out to be the deepest and most prolonged recession of modern times, ultimately ending in the Second World War. The blame lies with misguided macro-economic policies and protectionist reactions, such as the infamous Smoot-Hawley tariff of June 1930, which contributed to a collapse in international trade. The downturn that is now hitting the US and EU economies will fuel protectionist reflexes. But unless western countries are prepared to tear up the rulebook of the World Trade Organisation, their room for manoeuvre is in fact limited.

Russia and the west, Alexei Arbatov

By Zygmunt Dzieciolowski on Russia


The article "Russian Strategy" by Sir Roderic Lyne, formerly Ambassador in Moscow, is brilliant in style and profound in its analysis of the resu

lts of the August 2008 crisis in the Caucasus.  It also contains constructive recommendations for reducing the current tension in Russo-British relations, which should be carefully studied by both politicians and diplomats in Moscow, Washington and European capitals.  By way of a commentary I will concentrate on some of the points raised by Sir Roderic, while adding one or two thoughts of my own. 

Ian Buruma: Fear and Loathing in Europe

Two far-right parties, the Austrian Freedom Party and the Movement for Austria’s Future, won 29% of the vote in the latest Austrian general election, double their total in the 2006 election. Both parties share the same attitudes toward immigrants, especially Muslims, and the European Union: a mixture of fear and loathing. Since the two parties’ leaders, Heinz-Christian Strache and Jörg Haider, despise each other, there is little chance of a far-right coalition taking power. Nonetheless, this is Adolf Hitler’s native land, where Jews were once forced to scrub Vienna’s streets with toothbrushes before being deported and killed, so the result is disturbing. But how disturbing?

Jörg Haider, the polariser , Anton Pelinka

Anton Pelinka is professor of political science and nationalism studies at the Central European University, Budapest, and director of the Institute of Conflict Research, Vienna. Among his books are (co-edited with Ruth Wodak) The Haider Phenomenon (Transaction, 2002) and Democracy Indian Style: Subhas Chandra Bose and the Creation of India’s Political Culture (Transaction, 2003)

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