Richard Gowan

A good day for good cop diplomacy

The UN Security Council has approved new sanctions on Iran. Europe’s good cop diplomacy contributed to this success, and will play an important role in holding the new agreement together

The crisis we missed

29 May is the 5th anniversary of the French ?non? to the EU constitution. The Dutch followed with a ?nee? a few days later. Richard Gowan paints a bleak picture of the Europe that might have emerged had the French and Dutch backed the EU constitution in 2005, and asks: Will the EU never be happy?

Why Cathy needs a good crisis

Catherine Ashton will be judged on how she responds to her first international emergency. Budget cuts might mean there will be less EU missions to crisis zones under her watch. So where will her first opportunity come from? Africa, the Middle East, or a crisis involving Russia?

A blow to European exceptionalism

The Euro crisis shows again that the EU needs international institutions like the IMF. This is giving observers from the developing world grim satisfaction that Europe is not as exceptional as it might like to think

Break down these walls

The EU should reinvent its crisis management capabilities / An open letter to the 27 Permanent Representatives to the EU

The making of a strategic shambles

The West tried to help in Darfur and Chad. But by having to cooperate with governments responsible for much of the suffering, EU and UN troops ended up pawns in struggles they could not stop

Sudan, 2011

In January 2011 the people of South Sudan will vote on whether to secede from the North. Violence is expected to follow. The EU must start preparing now for an intervention in Sudan if it is to have any chance of being ready to help

Sudan: the EU?s election problem

The EU has had to withdraw its election observers from Darfur before the upcoming Sudanese election. No surprise there: Darfur remains a dangerous place. But what why did the EU get involved in this controversial poll in the first place?

Ignoring the outside world

Does it really matter whether Catherine Ashton’s travel plans include Haiti, Gaza or an erupting Icelandic volcano? There must be more insightful analysis, and less idle gossip, in press coverage of EU attempts to forge a common foreign policy

Incompetent multilateralism?

The Economist?s Charlemagne asks: if Obama’s American can’t make soft power work, what hope does Europe have? Richard Gowan answers: it has to work. Europe has no other option