The success of the right-wing populists in Sweden is being interpreted in public debate as a sign of growing xenophobia directed above all against Muslims. But commentators say fears of an Islamisation of Europe are unreasonable and distract from the issues at hand.
Given waning support for the Afghanistan mission, a sentiment among many Americans that the US is putting far more relatively into both Iraq and Afghanistan than it’s partners, and regular arguments from media pundits that NATO no longer has relevance in a post-Cold War world — I was surprised to read this in The Chicago Council on Global Affairs’ 2010 national survey of public opinion on foreign policy:
The French ?Romagate? affair was highlighted dramatically before and during the summit of EU leaders, but the official conclusions were as if from another planet.
The paper has published a transcript of the row, under a new headline: “A lunch as bitter as bile in Brussels”. Unfortunately for our French-speaking readers, we aren’t able to provide a link, as the article is only available to subscribers of Le Monde‘s website. However, we provide some of the more juicy excerpts below. (Only thing to bear in mind is that the transcript has been put together thanks to the contribution of several witnesses – both direct and indirect – and therefore might not always reflect what was said verbatim.)
“I sincerely hope that following the deletion of any explicit reference to Roma in the circular in question, France will redress other legal and procedural shortcomings as well. I also hope that the European Commission will take the necessary actions if the French measures prove to be discriminative and the rights of Roma as European citizens are not fully guaranteed”, said the Hungarian member of the European Parliament Lívia Járóka in a press release on the web pages of the EPP group.
The Bloggingportal.eu blog headlined its Week in Bloggingportal France vs. Europe, but more than yesterday?s news the French crackdown on illegal Roma camps is a fountain of learning about how the European Union (mal)functions.
On the blog Se former à la communication européenne, Michael Malherbe opined that the Roma crisis has mobilised pro and anti-Europeans more than it has improved understanding of the European Union, in: Quels sont les effets d?opinion de la crise européenne autour des Roms ?
Lessons for the European Union are the aim of the ?Romagate? series of blog posts, but Malherbe?s lack of optimism tells us that the mission is far from accomplished.
One of the questions in the wake of the French ?Romagate? affair is how it affects the international standing of France. Regards citoyens republished an article by Christian Lequesne in Le Monde: L?attitude du pouvoir vis-à-vis de l?Europe isole la France au lieu de renforcer son rôle.
Ireland successfully raised 1.5 billion euros by auctioning government bonds on Tuesday. But the heavily indebted country must pay higher interest rates for the bonds than in June, which in the eyes of the press demonstrates the fragility of the country’s economy after the financial crisis.