The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

The EU has been consistently very weak in dealing with post-Soviet countries (except the Baltic states) compared with the former Communist countries of Central Europe and Southeastern Europe. The latter knew exactly where they wanted to be after 1989: part of the Euro-Atlantic constellation. Joining the EU and NATO was their goal. It was about coming home to a reunited Europe. Continue reading The EU’s Benign Neglect Of Eastern Europe

What the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Says About the EU’s Role As a Peace Mediator

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In November 2009, the European Union adopted the Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities. In this document, which is the first policy document exclusively dealing with mediation and dialogue, the EU formulates the ambition to systematically enhance its mediation capacities and to strengthen its overall ability to engage in non-military conflict prevention and crisis management missions. The Concept represents the main conceptual and policy reference for the EU’s approach to mediation and spells out different roles and guiding principles of EU mediation. Continue reading What the Belgrade-Pristina Dialogue Says About the EU’s Role As a Peace Mediator

Has Moldova Come To a Dead-End Or Is the Country Preparing For a New Start?

After the signing of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Moldova in April 2014, the EU membership became a clear perspective for the 25 year-old country. A coincidence or not, the same Agreement was proposed to Ukraine and Georgia in the context of the Russian expansion — the annexation of Crimea and the intervention in Donbass. Continue reading Has Moldova Come To a Dead-End Or Is the Country Preparing For a New Start?

The European Commission Should Be Wary Of Intervening In Polish Domestic Politics

Since it came to power, Law and Justice has wasted little time in introducing sweeping reforms to state institutions which have widely been described as undemocratic both at home and abroad. Two measures are particularly problematic. Firstly, the appointment of five new judges to the Country’s Constitutional Tribunal, an act the Tribunal itself deemed partially unconstitutional. This was followed by package of measures making it very difficult for the Tribunal to rule against any future government legislation – laws can only be blocked by a two-thirds majority of at least 13 out of the 15 judges.
Continue reading The European Commission Should Be Wary Of Intervening In Polish Domestic Politics

An Invitation To NATO Might Help The Montenegrin Opposition And Push For Democratisation

Montenegro has experienced an unprecedented wave of protests against the government in recent weeks. Initially focused on the governments bid to join NATO the heavy-handed government response have shifted the focus to the government itself and the dominance of Milo Đukanović over Montenegrin politics for nearly 25 years. Continue reading An Invitation To NATO Might Help The Montenegrin Opposition And Push For Democratisation

PrimeTime Poland — London Calling

Vision + leadership = EU growth. At a time when people, including those appointed to lead Europe seem to be floundering and asking whether the EU project is unraveling, or we’re at the end of free movement and Grexits even Brexits prevail, it is time to stop, take stock and reflect. Europe is as big as we make it, so we better pitch high. EU exports should not be the UK selling to Poland, but rather the UK and Poland selling to India or China – a new partnership driven order. Offshoring and outsourcing are part of yesterday’s paradigm which risks loss of control and added value – beware. PrimeTime Poland – London Calling time for a 2016 wake up call. Continue reading PrimeTime Poland — London Calling

A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, political elites in Central and Eastern Europe believed that their countries could be successful if they became more like Western Europe. This is no longer the case. The victory of Law and Justice (PiS) in Poland means that now three prime ministers in the Visegrad countries believe these differences between the East and the West are not there to overcome – but to build upon. The Visegrad countries now represent an alternative approach to democracy: more majoritarian, nationalistic and conservative, less European.  Continue reading A New Division Between Eastern And Western Europe?

Poland’s New Government Will Re-calibrate Its Relationships With the EU Powers And the East

Although the outcome of Poland’s parliamentary election was determined by domestic issues, the right-wing opposition’s apparent victory could herald a substantial shift in the country’s foreign policy, with major implications for its relations with the rest of Europe. Continue reading Poland’s New Government Will Re-calibrate Its Relationships With the EU Powers And the East