The tragic events surrounding June 4, 1989 had an enormous impact at the time on the perception of China in the West. The events have symbolic importance, both inside and outside China, although the interpretation of the real meaning is highly contentious. China has changed beyond recognition in 20 years, and how far what happened in 1989 made any real difference to the subsequent development of China remains an open question. By Duncan Freeman more»
A round table
A wonderful idea. Who wouldn’t like to see the estate of an Eastern dictator be
set in order at history’s most famous piece of furniture? But the rounds for
hope are nonexistent when the suggestion comes from Alexander Lukashenko, the
despot in power for the last 17 years.
The experience of the post-Soviet countries shows that civil society (CS) plays an important role in democratisation and institutional (governance) reforms, which are central to the EU agenda in its relat ions with the Eastern Partnership countries. Howe ver, the effectiveness of EU sup port has been limited so far by factors such as the incoherence of EU policy which can be seen in the insufficient coordination of assistance activities carried out by EU institutions and the Member States as well as bureaucratic obstacles, making it difficult for social partners from the recipient countries to use the support.
After months of negotiations, the European Parliament and the EU Council finally gave the go-ahead in October for the creation of the European External Action Service. As a result, the new service can start work on 1 December 2010, drawing on around 3 700 staff and 135 embassies worldwide. The EEAS is one of the most important institutional reforms provided for by the Treaty of Lisbon. Existing but fragmented EU structures will be reformed, enhanced and brought together under the EEAS's umbrella. By Franziska Brantner
On 17 November 2010 the European Union Office of the Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung organised a lunch debate on The European External Action Service: Added Value or just a “28th Foreign Ministry”? Speakers were Poul-Skytte Christoffersen, Ambassador, Special Advisor to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Franziska Brantner, MEP, Greens and Anne Schmidt, Researcher, Brussels Office of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik, German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP). Eberhard Rhein, former chef de cabinet to the Commission VP in charge of external relations and director responsible for the Mediterranean and Arab world, currently advisor to the European Policy Centre gives his own personal summary.
When Barack Obama was elected president in 2008, expectations were raised for a new political era. At home, many Americans hoped for an end to political polarization and the so-called culture wars. Abroad, millions more looked forward to America’s recommitment to engagement and consultation with the rest of the world. As the 2010 congressional elections approach and the midpoint of Obama’s four-year term looms, it is a good time to reassess such expectations. Are they on the way to being realized? And if not, why not? By Peter Skerry
The countries formed after the disintegration of Yugoslavia need to be aware of their potential to enrich the European Union by making their own contribution. In this sense, paradoxically, the negative experience of war becomes an opportunity to embed their direct peace building experiences into EU security policy, and thus work together toward conflict prevention.
- Japan has been the only country in the world that suffered from a nuclear attack. Today, security and stability in Asia are at risk because of a potential nuclear arms race from the Persian Gulf to North Korea. By Ralf Fücks more»
- The EU should readjust its relations with Russia. In this it must bear in mind that Moscow no longer rules out military confrontations as a means of pursuing its interests. Accordingly the EU has to more clearly define its external policies. Should a country like Georgia, which has strategic importance for the West, be left to a Russian sphere of influence? By Roderick Kefferpütz and Iris Kempe more»
Green Security Strategy for Europe
- The strategy was prepared by Angelika Beer, Member of the European Parliament, and adopted by the Greens / European Free Alliance. See pdf (9 pages, 99 KB).
This Policy Briefing Paper aims to provide a concise background on the Arctic region offering a succinct analysis of the situation and a set of recommendations for the European Union. By Roderick Kefferpütz and Danila Bochkarevmore»
This workshop took place from 23-25 February 2009 and was organized in co-operation with WWF EPLO and other partner NGOs from the specific countries. It served as a follow-up to the workshop that took place from 10-12th March 2008 in Odessa. more»
Greening the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP): A Handbook to assess Implementation of the Action Plans in the Field of the Environment.
- Civil society has a crucial role to play in holding their governments accountable for the commitments they have made in the context of the ENP. The handbook aims at increasing their capacity to monitor the implementation of ENP Action Plans. See pdf (81 pages, 5.51 MB)
Moving out of the doldrums? Perspectives on Change in Russia-EU Relations
Russia and the European Union are increasingly bound together – if not by common values, then by virtue of their interdependence and intertwined interests. See pdf (29 pages, 1,5 KB)