"Blair reappears on shortlist to head EU

Blair reappears on shortlist to head EU

The former PM is re-emerging as a possible choice for first full-time EU president as crises reinforce the argument for having a high-profile personality in the job

Why is Britain Eurosceptic?

The British Eurosceptic press constitutes a "serious problem" for any British government that tries to engage with the EU, argues Charles Grant, director of the London-based Centre for European Reform, in a December 2008 paper.

A decade of the euro – in cartoons

By Nabeelah Shabbir

As the single currency celebrates ten years, cartoonists from Italy, Spain, Slovenia and France paint their visions of a euro which seems distant from its users

MEP: Gas conflict ‘highlights importance of Nabucco’

The current gas crisis could provide the momentum to develop a consistent EU energy policy, while the European Commission should take the lead in implementing the Nabucco pipeline project, Bulgarian Socialist MEP Evgeni Kirilov told EurActiv in an interview.

European Year of Creativity and Innovation launched

As the economic crisis continues to get worse, creativity and innovation are key to strengthening Europe’s competitiveness and must remain on the EU agenda beyond the current European Year, leading EU politicians stressed at the its launch event in Prague this week. With additional reporting from EurActiv Czech Republic. 

Avoiding a new European divide

"The emergence of a new economic and political divide within Europe has become a distinct possibility," argue Jean Pisani-Ferry, director of the Bruegel think tank, and Zsolt Darvas, research fellow at the Institute of Economics of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, in a December 2008 paper for Bruegel.

European elections: UK voting intentions

By nosemonkey on Featured

From the invaluable UK Polling Report, we have the first UK voting intention figures for the 2009 European elections, released in today’s Sunday Telegraph.

The results, plus changes from the 2004 EU elections, are as follows:

Czech Republic: from soviet satellite to EU presidency

By Mira Galanova

On 1 January France passes the baton of the six-month rotating presidency to the east. Vaclav Klaus, the outspoken Czech president, is well known for his dislike of the EU, and considers the Czech presidency to be purely ornamental. Will attitude be the main problem in 2009?

Just another gas crisis?

By Centre for European Reform

by Katinka Barysch

Russia has cut off the gas flowing to and through Ukraine – again. Like in January 2006, Moscow and Kyiv are blaming each other, while a convoluted mix of political intrigues, shady middlemen and broken contracts makes it almost impossible for outsiders to ascertain which side is at fault. But the current interruption in gas supplies to Europe is different in many ways from that three years ago.

MAIN FOCUS: Lessons to be learned from the gas dispute | 12/01/2009


Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has proclaimed a preliminary agreement in the gas dispute with Ukraine invalid and labelled an addition to the document by Kiev "dishonest". The Ukraine has since retracted the addition. With an agreement now in the offing, the European press draws its first lessons from the crisis.


MAIN FOCUS: Russian and Ukrainian tactics | 09/01/2009


An agreement is in the offing in the gas dispute. Russia is willing to resume gas exports to Europe provided that EU observers monitor gas supplies to Ukraine. The European press comments on the two countries’ tactics.

MAIN FOCUS: Turned off | 08/01/2009


The Russian energy company Gazprom turned off the gas tap on Wednesday. While Moscow and Kiev continue to blame each other for the stoppage, the European Union must now reevaluate its position in the dispute.

The Gas Crisis

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

Over at the New Atlanticist, James Joyner argues that even if the current spat between Russia and Ukraine is resolved in Moscow’s favor, things are unlikely to get much better for Russia. He thinks this may be the spur to get Europe to really diversify beyond Russia as a hydrocarbon supplier but also beyond hydrocarbons as a whole.

Constitutional treaty or Lisbon treaty?

By Richard Laming

A question comes in from a subscriber to our e-mailings: What would Federal Union have preferred? The constitutional treaty or the Lisbon treaty?

My answer is the constitutional treaty, definitely. For three reasons.

Twin crises set early test for Czech leadership

Spare a thought for the poor old Czech Republic, the first country that was part of the Warsaw Pact to assume the six-month presidency of the EU, writes Quentin Peel

Gas dispute | 06/01/2009


The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine over prices and delivery agreements continues. As around 80 percent of Russian gas supplied to the EU member states goes through Ukraine, many fear Russia could turn off the tap. While the EU still treats the conflict as a "trade dispute", the European press detects political motives.

European Nations Report Halt or Drop in Russian Natural Gas Coming Via Ukraine

By Philip P. Pan

MOSCOW, Jan. 7 — Shipments of Russian natural gas to Europe came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday in the middle of a winter cold spell. Russia accused neighboring Ukraine of shutting down pipelines that supply a fifth of the continent’s gas, while Ukraine charged that Russia had halted all deliver…

Hans-Werner Sinn: Why Does Angela Merkel Hesitate?

MUNICH – “Where is Angela?” is the question The Economist asked when Nicolas Sarkozy, Gordon Brown, and José Manuel Barroso met to prepare a European economic stimulus plan without Chancellor Merkel being present. Indeed, Germany is currently the spoiler in the competition to provide billions to prevent a breakdown of the world economy. Why is Germany so hesitant when it comes to economic stimulus programs?

Ukraine and the great gas war

By yuvakuran

Anyone thinking of buying a house in Ukraine these days would do well to steer clear of gas for their energy needs and opt for electricity or oil instead. In fact, 2009 could hardly have got off to a worse start for Ukrainians. …….

MAIN FOCUS: Cold wave in the East | 07/01/2009


The ongoing gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine is hitting the former socialist countries of Eastern Europe particularly hard. With the onset of icy temperatures the Eastern European press harshly criticises the continued dependence on Russia.

More jobs for EU’s newest members

Four more EU countries lift restrictions on access to their job markets for Bulgarian and Romanian workers.

Deep rifts

Why Russia and Ukraine are letting Europe go cold

Co-Financing the CAP

By nanne

The CAP Health Check blog calls attention to the possibility that the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy will be financed in part by the national governments. This is seen as a solution to the EU’s budget constraints:

The Great Climate Giveaway

By nanne

Aside of my own neuroses, EU climate change policy is probably the issue I have spent most time both studying and thinking about. As such, I should write about it more often.


What do we believe and more importantly, why do we believe it?

Nosemonkey down at Europhobia posted a letter that he sent to the satirical magazine ‘Private Eye’. He was responding to an article about the EU. In that article, the director of something called the ‘The National Platform EU Research and Information Centre’. This centre turns out to be one guy and a blog.

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