Yesterday the French Conseil Constitutionnel struck down the law criminalising the denial of the 1915 Armenian genocide, on grounds that it infringes the right to free expression. (You can read the decision here.)
The ruling is welcome as it takes a stand in favour of one of Europe’s fundamental values. If I were a Turk I’d envy the French for having a robust constitutional court dedicated to human rights and prepared to push back against political fiat. And also consider that yesterday’s judgment did not reverse the 2001 French recognition of what Armenians call Medz Yeghern (the Great Crime) as an act of genocide.That's also the case of EU members Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Lithuania, Slovakia and, hold your breath, a number ofTurkey's friends - Italy, Sweden and Poland. 43 US states have also passed resolutions to the same effect.
Justin Vaisse is one of the lead authors of the European Foreign Policy Scorecard 2012. As part of our 'Scorecard tour' he blogs from the launch event at The Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. A podcast and a transcript of the event are available here.
In the Scorecard 2012, we document how the financial crisis has negatively affected Europe’s place in the world last year – an issue I tried to elaborate on in a recent article in Foreign Policy. Europe has seen its soft power eroded, its resources diminished, and the attention of its leaders, their available “bandwith”, consumed by the Eurozone crisis rather than the Arab awakening or relations with Russia. This has certainly contributed to the overall erosion in European performance, especially vis-à-vis large powers like China.
As part of ECFR's 'Reinvention of Europe' project, we are running a series of responses from leading thinkers and academics to Mark Leonard's recent paper 'Four scenarios for the reinvention of Europe'. The paper outlined four possible routes towards solving Europe's current crisis, and argued that Europe's main challenge was to solve the acute euro crisis without exacerbating the chronic crisis of declining European power. In the twelfth in this series of responses, we hear from Josep M. Colomer from the Institute for Economic Analysis in Barcelona.
The future can be Italy. Mark Leonard envisages different scenarios for the future of the European Union, all implying clear choices of institutional formulas and diverse relations between member states and the Union. But Italy is already working on the basis of just broad policy consensus and non-party government. This could
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This week saw the publication of a paper that seeks to explain the tough German negotiating position over the euro crisis. ‘The long shadow of ordoliberalism: Germany’s approach to the euro crisis’, by Sebastian Dullien and Ulrike Guérot, argues that Mrs Merkel’s tough line is not about punishing economic wrongdoing. They argue that it is based upon a consistent approach to economics with broad support within Germany, and that this is unlikely to change under pressure from those anxious about austerity. Click here for a summary of the paper, and click here for the PDF.
Although ECFR’s policy staff spent the week in a policy retreat, discussing the big issues facing Europe (here’s a group photo of most of us looking slightly tired), we published a few other bits and pieces over the last week:
Last week I blogged about how the euro-crisis poisoned the way we talk about each other in Europe and I argued that this starts getting dangerous. I am happy to see that this observation has found its way into the FAZ Feuilleton and that even the FAZ starts to get concerned about this, although the paper's take on the Greeks in the past months didn’t really help to promote the “Causa Europea”.
So, let us take a closer look at the underlying dynamics as language does not seem to be the only problem in our relations to Europe. The crisis also highlights the fact that we need to rethink the European dimension of the relationship between state and market as well as the nexus of social policies and economics.
The situation in Greece seems to be a rough test case in this context but the very fact that we are experiencing this particular problem can be explained with the
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