EA March 2013

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Perspectives - Cyprus: The Mouse That Roared At the Euro Zone “Troika”

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paulhorneThe political miscalculation of “Troika” leaders  (of the European Commission EC, the European Central Bank ECB, and the IMF)  has been dramatized by the Cypriot mouse that roared  “No” to what amounted to illegal confiscation of insured savings as the price for bailing out Cyprus.  When the Parliament in Nicosia unanimously rejected last week the bailout conditions posed by the Troika, it was embarrassingly forced to withdraw these conditions.

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Can the EU Ever Solve ‘Turkey’?

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On October 3, 2005, the European Union officially started membership talks with Turkey and Croatia. While both countries celebrated the occasion, it was a particularly special moment for Turkey, which had been patiently and knocking on Europe’s door since 1959. The euphoria of 2005, however, would prove short-lived for Turkey. The accession talks quickly suffered setbacks, with the EU vetoing the opening of a number of negotiation chapters. Very limited progress has been made since then, and relations between Ankara and Brussels have steadily deteriorated as a consequence. They hit a low point in the second half of 2012 when Turkey froze ties with the European institutions as the Republic of Cyprus held the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Croatia, in comparison, is slated to join the EU on the 1st of July this year.

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The Road Traveled: An Appraisal of the Evolution of The Transatlantic Partnership

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Editor’s Note:  As the European Union and the United States launch negotiations on The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership,  European Affairs inaugurates a series of occasional articles that will chart the progress and assess the implications of this historic initiative.

 The interaction between the European unification process towards “an ever closer Union”2  and its most important partner, the “more perfect Union”3  of the United States of America, has been among the top foreign policy issues since the early days of the European project. bod.burghardt Equally, helping shape the evolving EU/US relationship has been at the top of my own professional agenda for more than four decades, during which I worked as a close collaborator of European Commission President Jacques Delors, as Director General in charge of External Relations and Political Director for the European Commission, with a stint as the EU Ambassador and Head of the Commission Delegation in the United States from 2000 to 2005.  The following are a few thoughts, taken from the background of my personal recollections and practical experience.

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Euro Crisis Makes European Central Bank a Major Player

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brianbeary-august2011
One institution, the European Central Bank (ECB)  is emerging from the euro debt crisis with its powers  substantially enhanced.   The ECB was set up in the mid-1990s as the first step toward a common currency.     Only since the crisis in 2009 has the ECB  used some of the more powerful grants of authority it received at its creation.  New proposals unveiled by the European Commission in September 2012 further extend the Frankfurt-based ECB’s domain. The ‘banking union’ legislative package, details of which are still subject to haggling in  the European Parliament and Council of Ministers, extends the ECB  mandate beyond the realm of monetary policy by putting it in charge of active supervision of  6,000 banks throughout the eurozone.  If the legislation passes, as looks likely, the ECB will issue operating permits for banks, investigate their activities, and potentially dismantle them.

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