A good rule in restaurants is always to have a good look over your shoulder before taking too freely. I recently had lunch with a group of British diplomats, and one chided me for speaking a bit too loudly, while the Russians sat at the next table.
He had a point. Our Russian neighbours – a delegation high on moustaches and low on women – had fallen silent, as they swilled glasses of wine and tried to listen in on our conversation. Perhaps they were looking for clues about the prickly relations between Moscow and London, ahead of a visit by the British prime minister, David Cameron.
Other European countries are rushing to embrace the Russian business opportunities growing in the reset and recession induced political fair weather. Yet Britain has reset reluctance. While Merkel and Sarkozy regularly ink documents and grin for the cameras with Russia’s top leadership – not so the
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This week has seen the launch of a major new competition by ECFR in partnership with the Central European University, IDEA, and the Open Society Foundation on the theme of ‘Security Liberty.’ Ten years after 9/11, we are seeking undergraduates from around the world who can develop andadvocate a security policy that balances the need for security with respect for freedom and human rights. More details can be found here. Please spread the word among students and teachers that you know.
“Tout est language,” everything is language, the famous French psychologist Francoise Dolto once said – and the language was good. Germany’s constitutional court, in its judgment this week, more or less reiterated its existing position about the need for more Bundestag involvement in European decision-making. Its approval of Merkel’s response to the European debt crisis did not come as a surprise. Yet importantly, compared to its judgment on the Lisbon Treaty, which was said to have a ‘national’ tone, the wording of the court’s latest pronouncement was favourable to Europe. Indeed, the Constitutional Court’s ruling that the (first) bailout of Greece and funding of the EFSF is compatible with German Basic Law can be seen as “pro-European,” according to an initial evaluation by Christian Calliess, professor of public and European law at the Freie Universität Berlin.
In essence, the
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Later this month, the world will mark the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 bombings. This date is now understood to mark a seismic shift in our perceptions of our own security. The terrible events of September 11th 2001 catapulted the debate over the relationship between security and human rights into the public eye. It also placed this debate – about whether a security policy that departs from human rights norms on issues like detention and interrogation can ever be justified by heightened threat – at the heart of policy-making.
In order to generate discussion among a generation of young people who become politically aware during the last decade, and for whom the ‘war on terror’ paradigm is effectively the norm, ECFR has joined with Central European University, IDEA, and the Open Society Foundation to launch a Global Debate and Public Policy Challenge on the theme of ‘Securing
The big news for us as we enter the autumn is the opening of a new ECFR office in Warsaw, under the guidance of Konstanty Gebert. Click here for more details. Welcome to our new team!
Meanwhile, there are two big stories in the news. First, Libya:
Europeans are losing faith in the EU
Europe can rescue the two-state solution
27 countries in search of a proper security strategy
How Europe can help Egypt
Understanding the influence of the Gulf States
A new era for EU-Georgia relations?
What next for Egypt, Tunisia and Libya?
What does China think about the island dispute?
A comprehensive evaluation of European foreign policy
How the euro crisis has affected politics in 14 EU member states
Do EU sanctions work?